Job openings were little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of September. Job openings have been at or near record high levels since June. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.3 million and 5.2 million, respectively.
Luxury electric carmaker Tesla this week acquired a small, Minnesota-based factory automation company, in hopes of fixing unexpected bottlenecks on its Model 3 production line. Perbix launched in 1976 and employs 150 people in a suburb north of Minneapolis. Tesla said it’s worked with the engineering firm for nearly three years, on a number of projects on the production line at its Fremont car factory and its Gigafactory in Reno. Terms of the deal were not immediately released.
A key moment in the modern myth-making around small business came in 1978. That’s when MIT economist David Birch published claims – which he repeated in testimony before Congress – that small firms had accounted for 80 per cent of all new employment opportunities between 1968 and 1976. Critics quickly pointed out that Birch’s findings were quite wrong, largely because he defined firm size according to how many employees worked in a given location (like a branch office, factory, or store), not how many the firm employed altogether. In fact, most job creation, in the 1970s and today, comes from a small number of very fast-growing firms, while most small firms either fail (killing jobs) or remain small. Birch later admitted that the 80 per cent figure was a ‘silly number’, but the claims took firm root in popular mythology and political rhetoric by the 1980s. ‘Small businesses create eight out of every 10 new jobs,’ said Richard Lesher, president of the largest pro-business lobbying organisation, the US Chamber of Commerce.
The Census Bureau reports that home ownership in the United States rose to 63.9 percent in the third quarter of 2017. This continues a rising trend since the second quarter of 2016, when home ownership had dropped to 62.9. This equaled the previous low of 51 years before (1965), just a year after annual data reporting began. Home ownership peaked at 69.2 percent during the housing bubble and had been generally declining since late 2006 (Figure).
The California dream isn’t dead. It just upped and moved to South Dakota. Less than half of people born in California in 1980 are making more money than their parents did as young adults. That’s the lowest percentage of children out-earning their parents that California has seen since at least 1940. By contrast, 62 percent of people born in South Dakota in 1980 out-earn their parents. That’s the highest percentage for any state in the country.