Welcome to Insider Today’s Sunday edition, where we bring you the latest updates on various topics. I’m Matt Turner, the Editor in Chief of Business at Insider. If you’re new here, make sure to sign up for our newsletter and download the Insider app for all the latest news.
Let’s start with the job market. The US job market is still thriving, with wages rising and unemployment dropping. In June, the US added 209,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, slightly lower than the previous month but still showing a strong market. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.6%, a positive indicator of economic growth. Additionally, the prime-age employment-population ratio reached 80.9%, the highest since 2001. This indicates a higher percentage of prime-age workers are employed. Moreover, average hourly earnings increased by 0.4% month on month and 4.4% compared to last year, surpassing inflation. Although four million people quit their jobs in May, which is lower than the peak of the “Great Resignation,” it remains historically high. Similarly, the number of layoffs and discharges in May was relatively low at 1.6 million. This robust job data is likely to prompt the Federal Reserve to resume raising interest rates after a recent pause, contributing to a soft landing for the economy. Achieving stable inflation without a significant increase in unemployment or a recession is the ultimate goal for the economy, and the job market’s strength is a positive sign. This week, we’ll get a better understanding of inflation when the consumer price index for June is released.
Shifting gears, we turn our attention to the Hamptons, where Wall Street’s ease has faded. During the pandemic, as remote work became the norm, the Hamptons became a popular destination for Wall Streeters seeking refuge. However, with rising interest rates and falling banker fees, the situation has changed. Our correspondent, Linette Lopez, returned to the Hamptons to observe the banking class’s current state, which she describes as grim. Wall Street’s reign of convenience and prosperity seems to have ended, and new challenges have emerged.
In other news, American Express (Amex) has faced significant turmoil. Last year, 150 salespeople were fired, while approximately 100 were reassigned to roles that didn’t involve commissions. Former staff members claim that these individuals were scapegoats for various investigations plaguing the company. Allegations suggest that salespeople were pressured to sell a product marketed as a tax-write-off vehicle. Internal sales material, interviews with former employees, and legal claims raise questions about whether senior managers were aware of this product’s tax avoidance intent and how high up the corporate ladder this knowledge reached. The situation at Amex is a cause for concern, and the company’s reputation may have been damaged.
Furthermore, an Insider investigation reveals the pitfalls of the rent-to-own company Home Partners. Despite promising to make homeownership a reality for those excluded from traditional mortgages, tenants claim they were set up for failure. Private-equity investment in Home Partners began in 2014, and the company was later acquired by Blackstone Group for $6 billion in 2021. Tenants express disappointment and frustration, indicating that their dream of homeownership turned into eviction.
Tesla surprised many when it opened up its Supercharger network to Ford and GM vehicles. This move raises questions about Tesla’s intentions. By allowing other car manufacturers to use their charging stations, Tesla may have access to valuable data from its competitors’ vehicles. Insider’s senior tech correspondent, Adam Rogers, explores this strategy, suggesting that Tesla is strategically positioning itself to gather critical information.
Now, let’s take a look at some other notable stories from this week. Despite high mortgage rates, housing prices are showing no signs of cooling down, raising concerns about affordability. Reddit, the popular online forum, is moving towards an initial public offering (IPO), but reports suggest that the company’s internal dysfunction may hinder its progress. Wall Street has been warning of an impending recession and stock market crash, but it may be time to disregard these fearmongers. The ongoing writers’ strike in Hollywood is having a detrimental effect on the industry’s next generation. Evan Gershkovich, a journalist, has been held captive in Moscow for 100 days on espionage charges, shedding light on the challenges faced by journalists globally. The internet revolutionized travel booking, but it also led to increased flight delays and a decline in overall travel experience. An Oxford economist argues that older generations have an advantage in the AI boom, as their people skills and experience cannot be easily replicated by automation.
That wraps up this week’s top stories. Stay tuned for more updates, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and download the Insider app for all the latest news.