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Jobless Claims At Five-Year Low; Home Building Hit Five-Year High In 2012

There were 335,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 37,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's the lowest total for any one week since January 2008.

In other good economic news, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development say there was a 12.1 percent gain in housing starts in December from November. Starts were up 36.9 percent from December 2011.

Construction was begun on an estimated 780,000 housing units last year. According to The Associated Press, it was "the best year since 2008."

Home construction is a closely watched economic indicator not only because of the jobs it creates in the building industry, but for its ripple effects on other parts of the economy — including the appliance, furniture and retail industries.

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The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.

WAMU 88.5

Will Montgomery County Go "Bottoms Up" On Liquor Laws?

Since Prohibition, Montgomery County has held the purse strings on liquor sales, meaning the county sells every drink from beer to bourbon to local bars and restaurants. But local business owners are pushing back from this system, claiming it lacks efficiency and leaves customers waiting. County officials say they are holding out for alternatives that protect those within the industry. We discuss both sides of the issue today.

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Exelon's Chief Strategy Officer On Its Proposed Takeover Of Pepco

Kojo chats with Exelon's chief strategy officer about the company's vision for electric service in the Washington region, and its argument for why its acquisition of Pepco is in the best interest of customers.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

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