Poor neighborhoods have 10% joblessness

The tightest labor market in years isn't pulling in all Americans.

Despite a robust job market that added 200,000 positions in January and the fact that many companies are struggling to find skilled labor, the unemployment rate is 10 percent in impoverished neighborhoods, compared with the overall national rate of 4.1 percent, according to a Gallup survey for the Center for Advancing Opportunity.

In those communities, about 30 percent of job seekers, both men and women, cite health problems as an obstacle.

"This finding highlights the two-way relationship between low socioeconomic status and poor health in such communities, and the need for more targeted research to determine which health interventions have the most potential to break this negative cycle," the report on the survey said.

Other hurdles cited by respondents included not enough job openings, low pay, the need to care for children or other family members, and not being qualified for available jobs.

The findings are included in the first report by the Center for Advancing Opportunity, a research initiative formed through a $26 million donation to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund from billionaire Charles Koch and Koch Industries in 2017. Results are based on a survey of about 6,200 people living in "fragile" communities — those with high proportions of financial hardship and limited growth paths — across the United States. The survey was conducted between May and August.

Almost two-thirds of residents in those communities identified as black or Hispanic, compared with about one-third for the country as a whole, according to the report.

— Bloomberg News


Powerful rocket from SpaceX to debut

SpaceX's new monster rocket will make its launch debut this week, blasting off from the same pad that hoisted men to the moon half a century ago.

The Falcon Heavy won't surpass the power of NASA's Saturn V moon rocket, still the all-time king of the launch circuit. It won't even approach the liftoff might of NASA's space shuttles.

But when it departs on its first test flight — as early as Tuesday — the Heavy, with its three boosters and 27 engines, will be the most powerful working rocket out there today, by a factor of two. Picture SpaceX's frequent-flier Falcon 9 and its single booster, and then multiply that by three; the Heavy's three first-stage boosters are strapped side by side by side.

— Associated Press

Manatees dying in cold: A report says 35 manatees across Florida died as a result of cold stress syndrome in January. The Bradenton Herald reported that the deaths between Jan. 1 and Jan. 26 were tallied in a preliminary report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The panel said that was five times as many deaths as in the same period in 2017. But it doesn't come close to the 151 manatees that died during a cold snap in January 2010. Cold stress syndrome can occur when the animals encounter water below 68 degrees Fahrenheit for a prolonged period.

Museum's T. rex displaced: A Tyrannosaurus rex fossil that has been on prominent display at Chicago's Field Museum is being moved to make room for a cast of the biggest dinosaur ever discovered. Officials with the Field Museum said the T. rex, called "Sue," which has been at the museum since 2000, will be moved Monday. The specimen will be updated and moved upstairs to a private suite opening next year. A 122-foot-long titanosaur, a Patagotitan mayorum from Argentina, is expected to arrive in June. It will take up a third of the main hall, with its head peeking over a 28-foot-high balcony on the second floor.

— From news services