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US unemployment applications drop to a 4-year low

Unemployment DropWASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell to the lowest point in almost four years last week, the latest signal that the job market is steadily improving.

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Necessity and Opportunity Drive Women to Start Their Own Businesses

Working WomanWomen are still less likely than men to start their own businesses, they are doing so for different reasons, according to new research from Babson College. In developing countries, for example, necessity drives women to start their own businesses. In more-developed countries, however, 72 percent of women started businesses because they saw an opportunity for entrepreneurship.

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Three reasons women start fewer businesses than men

Men Vs WomenIn almost every country, women lag when it comes to entrepreneurship, according to data from a report released Wednesday by by the nonprofit Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Babson College.

And despite their comparatively higher educational attainment and wealth, Western women were far less likely to start a businesses than women in emerging economies, in part because stronger private sectors in developed nations make the temptation to remain an employee hard to resist.

Researchers surveyed 90,000 women in 59 countries and regions on how they feel about the prospect of starting and running a business. The percent of entrepreneurs that were female varied from 16 percent in South Korea to 55 percent in Ghana — the only economy with more female than male entrepreneurs. In the United States, nearly half of entrepreneurs are women.

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Female execs on wane at Fortune 500 firms

Patricia Woertz is chair and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, the highest-ranked Fortune 500 company to have a female top executive. She is one of only 12 female CEOs on the list of the biggest American companies, down from 15 last year. (Virginia Mayo/AP)

Women promoted based on performance, men based on potential

The ratio of female senior executives at Fortune 500 companies declined this year, according to a new tally, suggesting women still have a long way to go in achieving gender equality in business.

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