Roundup: ExxonMobil profits down / Bar Association dues lawsuit / US employment slows

    Slide: ExxonMobil brought in $69 billion in revenue in the second quarter, down from last year’s $73.5 billion. Some of the benefits of rising crude prices, up 22% this year, were offset by natural gas prices, which have fallen almost 24% in the same time frame. ExxonMobil’s profit fell 21% to $3.1 billion, or 73 cents per share, compared with last year’s $4 billion. Read the full story. 

    First Amendment: A lawsuit filed against the Louisiana’s Supreme Court and Louisiana State Bar Association says attorneys in the state are unconstitutionally forced to pay bar association dues. New Orleans attorney Randy Boudreaux filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court. It says the state’s requirement that attorneys join and pay dues to the Bar Association violates their freedom of speech and association rights, because the bar association sometimes takes positions on various issues that some attorneys disagree with, and doesn’t provide attorneys an opportunity to object to the association’s various uses of the dues.

    Summer slowdown: U.S. employers slowed their hiring in July, adding a still-healthy 164,000 jobs to an economy that appears poised to extend its decade-plus expansion. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate stayed at 3.7% for a second straight month. Average hourly earnings increased 3.2% from a year ago, up from annual gains of 3% in June. The pace of hiring has slowed this year as a growing share of Americans already have jobs. The three-month average for job gains was 140,000, down from 237,000 a year ago. Read the full report. 

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