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Aptera eyes expansion, 17 new hires

Aptera Inc. plans to expand its operations with a $785,000 investment, according to a statement Tuesday.

The software development and Web design firm, 201 W. Main St., will renovate and equip its 13,500-square-foot building, while adding 17 jobs. The average salary at the company is more than $64,000.

The jobs will be created within two years. The renovations, expected to be done by January, will allow the company to make room for more employees and streamline business operations.

Aptera has more than 70 workers. It has begun hiring software developers, network engineers and graphic designers, as well as expanding its marketing and sales teams. As part of the project, Aptera will train its new and current employees.

Applicants can go to

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Aptera up to $150,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $100,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans.

Wholesale stockpiles rise 1.4% in October

U.S. wholesale businesses boosted stockpiles in October by the most in two years as their sales rose sharply, encouraging signs for economic growth in the year’s final three months.

Wholesale stockpiles grew 1.4 percent in October, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That’s nearly triple the 0.5 percent gain in September and the biggest monthly gain since October 2011.

Sales at the wholesale level increased 1 percent in October, the most in five months. Sales rose 0.8 percent in September.

Rising stockpiles boost growth because it means factories have produced more goods. Robust restocking drove roughly half of the 3.6 percent annualized economic growth in the July-September quarter.

Some economists had predicted that growth would slow in the October-December quarter to an annual rate of 2 percent or less.

US job postings reach 5-year high

U.S. employers advertised the most job openings in more than five years in October, and the number of people quitting also reached a five-year high.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings rose 1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 3.93 million. That is the highest figure since May 2008, three months after the last recession began.

And the number of workers who quit rose 2.5 percent to 2.39 million, the most since October 2008. More workers quitting can signal a healthy job market, because most of those people likely either have a new job or are confident they can find one.

Total hiring, though, slipped 2.6 percent to 4.5 million after reaching a five-year high in September. Still, overall hiring has risen 5.2 percent in the past year.

Fifth & Pacific sells Lucky Brand Jeans

Fifth & Pacific is selling its Lucky Brand Jeans line for $225 million so it can better focus on its Kate Spade brand.

The New York company, formerly known as Liz Claiborne, has been selling off parts of its business over the past few years.

Before announcing the sale Tuesday to an affiliate of private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP, it sold its Juicy Couture brand in October to Authentic Brands Group for $195 million.

The Lucky deal includes $140 million in cash and $85 million as a three-year seller note.