Morning Briefs

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JACKSONVILLE COMPANIES IN HIRING MOOD FOR SPRING

Manpower Inc. said 47 percent of Jacksonville companies interviewed expect to hire more employees from April to June, according to Manpower's quarterly employment outlook survey. That's up from 33 percent in the employment firm's first quarter survey. Manpower said 7 percent of Jacksonville firms expect to reduce payrolls in the second quarter and 46 percent expect to maintain current staff levels. The survey found that job prospects appear best in the construction, non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation-public utilities, finance-insurance-real estate, education, services and public administration sectors.

Mark Basch/The Times-Union

IBM PAYS $1.1 BILLION TO BUY INFORMATION SOFTWARE FIRM

International Business Machines Corp., the world's second-largest software maker, agreed to buy Ascential Software Corp. for about $1.1 billion to expand its products that collect and combine data into one program.

IBM is buying the part of Ascential it decided not to acquire in 2001. IBM paid $1 billion for the company's Informix database business and at the time left behind the data-management business because it was "fledgling," said IBM spokesman Tim Breuer. The business has since ballooned, growing 46 percent in 2004, as demand increased from clients looking for better ways to pool information.

Bloomberg News

PROBE OF DAIMLERCHRYSLER EMPLOYEES DEEPENS

German prosecutors expanded their investigation into criminal breach of trust allegations related to DaimlerChrysler AG, the world's fifth-largest carmaker.

The prosecutor's office in Stuttgart, Germany, is investigating 11 people who are "for the most part" DaimlerChrysler employees, spokeswoman Tomke Beddies said in a telephone interview Monday. …