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Business Highlights

Service firms also kept adding jobs last month. A measure of service-sector hiring fell only slightly after reaching a nearly seven-year high in January.

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Carmakers don't see European recovery this year

GENEVA (AP) â¿¿ It is still a tough time to be a European carmaker. Profits are falling as idle factories produce more costs than cars. And fewer consumers are buying new cars.

Despite the gloom, automakers began the rollout of new models at the Geneva Motor Show on Tuesday, from a pair of hybrid supercars to a sedan to a raft of smaller SUVs. All done in an attempt to lure buyers back - or at least capture their imaginations. But Europe's carmakers are finding it harder to recover from the collapse of the car market in 2008 than some of their rivals in the U.S. and Asia. Europeans are buying fewer new cars as their economies grow weakly, or not at all.

New car registrations in Europe dropped 8.5 percent in January - more than anyone was expecting - and that is on top of a decline of 7.8 percent overall last year to 12.5 million units. Even bedrock Germany, the engine of Europe, was suffering: sales were down 9 percent in January and 10 percent in February, putting Europe's largest economy and home to some of the continent's most important mass market below the 3 million mark.

Auto executives are split over when the European car market will bounce back - or whether it will happen at all. Ford Europe's Stephen Odell and Renault's Ghosn put it at least three years out.

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Telecommuting: Was Yahoo doing it right?

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Yahoo's leaked edict under CEO Marissa Mayer that calls remote workers back to the office lit the Twitterverse on fire, angering advocates of telecommuting and other programs intended to balance work and home life.

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