U.S. employers picked up their pace of hiring in June. Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 222,000 from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from 4.3% the prior month as more people joined the workforce. Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose 2.5% in June, little changed from prior months. In one positive sign, the average workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours.
Tesla Inc. shares took a beating on Wednesday after several analysts questioned whether customer demand for its two electric vehicles is waning as the company begins producing a cheaper sedan. The Silicon Valley auto maker’s shares fell nearly 5% in midday trading to $335.74—the lowest point in more than a month—after rising about 69% this year through last week on enthusiasm for the coming Model 3 sedan, which is central to Tesla’s plan to sharply increase total sales. Tesla on Monday reported sales of its Model S cars and Model X sport-utility vehicles were lower than analysts expected because of a supply issue with battery packs, raising new fears the company will have trouble meeting ambitious production targets for the Model 3.
The strongest reading on U.S. factory activity in nearly three years signaled underlying health in the economy headed into the second half of 2017. The Institute for Supply Management on Monday said its index of U.S. manufacturing activity rose to 57.8 in June, its highest level since August 2014. A number above 50 indicates expansion; economists had expected a more modest rise from May’s 54.9.
The U.S. economic expansion remains on track as it prepares to enter its ninth year. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S. economy, expanded at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
Consider the Paris agreement’s preamble, which states that signatories will work to keep the rise in average global temperature “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and even suggests that the increase could be kept to 1.5 degrees. This is empty political rhetoric. Based on current carbon dioxide emissions, achieving the target of 1.5 degrees would require the entire planet to abandon fossil fuels in four years.
But the treaty has deeper problems. The United Nations organization in charge of the accord counted up the national carbon-cut pledges for 2016 to 2030 and estimated that, if every country met them, carbon dioxide emissions would be cut by 56 gigatons. It is widely accepted that restricting temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius would require a cut of some 6,000 gigatons, that is, about a hundredfold more.
The Paris treaty is not, then, just slightly imperfect. Even in an implausibly optimistic, best-case scenario, the Paris accord leaves the problem virtually unchanged. Those who claim otherwise are forced to look beyond the period covered by the treaty and to hope for a huge effort thereafter.
. . . Acknowledging the Paris treaty’s flaws does not mean endorsing the Trump administration’s apparent intention to ignore climate change. Real progress in reducing carbon emissions and global temperatures will require far-reaching advances in green energy, and that will mean massive investment in research and development—an annual global commitment of some $100 billion, according to analysis by the Copenhagen Consensus. When green energy is economically competitive, the whole world will rush to use it.