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  • Jobless rate falls to 4.9%
    The bleeding stopped last month.Unemployment in metro Fort Wayne declined to 4.9 percent in August, compared with 6 percent in July – the third consecutive month the jobless rate fell.
  • Business leaders off to Japan
    John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, will lead a delegation of representatives from Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana Michigan Power and the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. to Japan.
  • Metro area reports unemployment decline
    Metro Fort Wayne unemployment declined in August to 4.

Laundry added on south end

Charlie Bob’s Coin Laundry has opened at 5439 S. Anthony Blvd., part of Charlie Bob’s International Plaza. Maurice Smith, owner of Smitty’s CRD Concrete Services Inc., did the build out.

Owner Charlie Wallace invested about $410,000 to renovate the space and install 44 washers and dryers. Wallace, who owns a limousine service and other local businesses, expects to create about 12 jobs at the laundry, which is open seven days a week.

Among those jobs will be a Burmese-speaking driver to pick up and drop off Burmese residents who don’t have transportation to the laundry. Wallace also plans to hire a Burmese-speaking attendant for the business, which is beside a Burmese grocery.

“This is what the people here need,” he said, adding that the shopping center caters to all minorities, not just Burmese refugees.

Service-sector growth slows in April: Survey

A survey of U.S. service firms says the sector expanded at a slower pace in April than March, as companies reported less business activity and couldn’t raise their prices.

The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its index of non-manufacturing activity fell to 53.1 in April from 54.4 in March. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The report measures growth in industries that cover 90 percent of the workforce, including retail, construction, health care and financial services.

The decline in the overall index suggests some service companies may be starting to see less consumer demand, in part because of higher Social Security taxes.

April’s weakness was largely because of a steep drop in a measure of prices. That index dropped from 55.9 in March to 51.2 last month.

Acquisition expands Zimmer’s portfolio

Warsaw-based Zimmer Holdings Inc. has acquired West Chester, Pa.-based Knee Creations LLC for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition, announced this week, enhances Zimmer’s product portfolio of knee treatments thanks to Knee Creations’ subchondroplasty procedure, a proprietary joint-preservation treatment that has been shown to deliver sustained relief to patients with knee pain, with or without arthritis, according to a company statement.

A Zimmer spokesman could not be reached Friday for additional information.

Zimmer lists its 2012 annual sales at $4.5 billion.

Pentagon clears use of Samsung’s devices

Samsung Electronics Co. says the U.S. Department of Defense has approved using Samsung smartphones for its networks.

The South Korean company said Friday the Galaxy S4 smartphone has become the first Android device to meet the security requirements set out by the U.S. government, allowing government and military officials to access the Defense Department’s networks with the S4.

Samsung is making a big push to enter the smartphone market for governments and enterprises dominated by Research In Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry devices.

This year, Samsung announced software for security-conscious users called Samsung Knox aimed at people who want to use their personal mobile devices to access secured networks at the workplace. Samsung said Knox is available only with the S4 and will be installed in other Samsung devices later.