California’s economic engine quieted in June as employers reduced their payrolls by 1,400, according to a report Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department. It was the second month this year that the state lost jobs. The unemployment rate stayed flat at 4.7%, the lowest rate since November 2000.. . . A net reduction of 1,400 jobs is slight compared with the state’s total employment of about 17 million non-agricultural workers. But it is another indication that 2017 could be a year of cooling for California’s typically bustling job market.
Despite the air district's efforts, the valley's air still violates federal standards for sooty pollution that comes from industry, businesses and vehicles. In California, where Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is an outspoken leader in the global fight against climate change, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District now is waging a very public campaign against enforcement of the landmark U.S. Clean Air Act that includes ever-tightening air quality standards the district says it cannot meet.
Now almost all of Wal-Mart’s 4,700 U.S. stores have a Cash360 machine, making thousands of positions obsolete. Most of the employees in those positions moved into store jobs to improve service, said a Wal-Mart spokesman. More than 500 have left the company. The store accountant displaced last August is now a greeter at the front door, where she still earns $13 an hour. “The role of service and customer-facing associates will always be there,” said Judith McKenna, Wal-Mart’s U.S. chief operating officer. But, she added, “there are interesting developments in technology that mean those roles shift and change over time.” Shopping is moving online, hourly wages are rising and retail profits are shrinking—a formula that pressures retailers, ranging from Wal-Mart to Tiffany & Co., to find technology that can do the rote labor of retail workers or replace them altogether.
China-based businesses have been sinking money into various automotive operations—from glass and tire makers to technology developers and car makers—for several years, reflecting Beijing’s goal of eventually dominating the world’s car business. That effort accelerated during the first half of 2017, with eight overseas deals totaling more than $5.5 billion in Chinese investments, compared with nine investments for all of last year. The list includes the takeover of troubled Japanese air-bag maker Takata Corp. , the purchase of a U.S. flying-car developer and the acquisition of a sizable stake in Silicon Valley’s Tesla Inc. TSLA 1.43% by games and social-media company Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen. In 1998, it was 38.9%. By last year, it had grown to 47%. That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students. Meanwhile, their average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale — suggesting that those A's on report cards might be fool's gold.