Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2023 |
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US economy added 372,000 jobs in June
The U.S. economy powered through June with broad-based hiring on par with recent months, keeping the country clear of a recession even as inflation eats into wages and interest rates continue to rise. Employers added 372,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday, and the unemployment rate, at 3.6%, was unchanged from May. The June job growth exceeded economists’ forecasts by roughly 100,000, offering some reassurance that a sharper downturn isn’t underway — at least not yet. The healthy pace of hiring stands in contrast to surveys of consumer and business sentiment, which have recently sunk to alarming lows.
Wages climbed 5.1% last month
Wages continued to climb rapidly last month, offering little encouragement to the Federal Reserve as U.S. policymakers hope for a slowdown in pay gains that might allow inflation to moderate. Average hourly earnings picked up by 5.1% in the year through June, moderating slightly from 5.3% in the year through May. Fed officials spent the years before the pandemic cheering every strong wage number, but recent pay gains have been fast enough that they would make it difficult for rapid inflation to slow toward the central bank’s 2% annual goal.
Musk abandons deal to buy Twitter; company says it will sue
Elon Musk announced Friday that he will abandon his tumultuous $44 billion offer to buy Twitter after the company failed to provide enough information about the number of fake accounts. Twitter immediately fired back, saying it would sue the Tesla CEO to uphold the deal. The likely unraveling of the acquisition was just the latest twist in a saga between the world’s richest man and one of the most influential social media platforms, and it may portend a titanic legal battle ahead. The chair of Twitter’s board, Bret Taylor, tweeted that the board is committed to closing the transaction.
Wall Street ends winning week with mixed close on jobs data
Wall Street is closing out a winning week with a sputtering finish on Friday, as stocks waffled following a stronger-than-expected report on the U.S. jobs market. The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% after earlier flipping between a loss of 0.9% and a gain of 0.4%. A surprisingly strong jobs report showed that employers are continuing to hire despite worries about a possible recession. But the data also likely keeps the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates sharply. Treasury yields rose. Despite its weak finish, the S&P 500 delivered just its third winning week in the last 14.
Report: Uber lobbied, used ‘stealth’ tech to block scrutiny
As Uber pushed into markets around the world, the ride-sharing service lobbied political leaders to relax labor and taxi laws and used a “kill switch” to thwart regulators and law enforcement. Uber also channeled money through Bermuda and other tax havens and considered portraying violence against its drivers as a way to gain public sympathy. That’s according to a report released Sunday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The nonprofit network scoured internal Uber texts, emails, invoices and other documents to deliver what it called “an unprecedented look into the ways Uber defied taxi laws and upended workers’ rights.” Uber acknowledged “mistakes” in the past but said the company had changed under a new CEO.
Dire US labor shortage provides opportunity for ex-prisoners
The United States’ ongoing labor shortage is bad for employers but presents an opportunity for workers who often could not find jobs in rosier economic times: ex-prisoners. Special training programs in Mississippi and other states are now trying to fill some of the 11.3 million open jobs in the U.S. through “second-chance hiring” — the practice of employing people with a criminal record. Studies have shown that stable jobs are a major factor in reducing recidivism. In a 2021 survey, 53% of human resource professionals said they would be willing to hire people with criminal records — up from just 37% in 2018.
BY WIRE SOURCES
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