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Business Update – February 8, 2023

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Is the U.S. economy really heading for a recession? Here’s what the economists think

While many economists believe the U.S. is headed for a recession, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate remains at 3.5%, the lowest in around 50 years. Economists say the country could be headed to a different type of recession than has been seen in the past.

PayPal is the latest tech company to announce mass layoffs and it says it’s cutting 2,000 jobs

PayPal announced it will layoff around 2,000 workers, approximately 7% of the company’s workforce, over the next few weeks. The company follows Alphabet, IBM, Microsoft, Spotify, Stripe, and Amazon in announcing major layoffs.

Apple executives violated worker rights, US labor officials say

The National Labor Relations Board alleges Apple executives made comments and imposed policies that are illegal, including prohibiting employees from discussing wages or other terms of employment. One employee claims she was fired for making complaints about workplace health hazards.

McDonald’s doubles down on restaurant development

McDonald’s announced plans to open approximately 1,900 restaurants around the world, including more than 400 in the US. This would mark the first time the fast-food giant plans to open new restaurants in the U.S. in more than 8 years, a period in which the company focused on remodeling its restaurants. Other regions that will see new restaurants include Australia, Canada, and Germany.

U.S. launches second USMCA dispute panel in dairy battle with Canada

The United States has launched a dispute panel regarding Canada’s dairy industry, alleging Canada is violating its trade agreement in how it distributes its allotment of dairy tariff rate quotas. The US alleges Canada failed to properly respond to the findings of the first dispute panel, which agreed with the US that Canada allocated too much of its quota allotment to processors instead of producers.

How is the US economy doing after COVID-19?

Reports indicate nonfarm employment returned to pre-pandemic levels in August 2022, making the labor market incredibly strong, while the GDP grew 2.1 percent in 2022. Although COVID-19 did affect economic growth, the country has made a swift recovery. The recovery, however, could result in an economic slowdown or recession in 2023.

Global economic outlook slightly ‘less gloomy,’ Europe ekes out growth

Rising interest rates and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are affecting the global economy, which is expected to continue weakening. Economists, however, believe the overall slowdown in growth won’t be as bad as predicted. In October, economists predicted growth of 2.7%, while in January, that figure was revised to 3.3%.

Monkeys missing from Dallas Zoo found in abandoned home

Two monkeys that were taken from Dallas Zoo were found alive in an abandoned home, but the person who allegedly took them has not been found. The two emperor tamarin monkeys were found in a home around 16 miles from Dallas and were returned to the zoo. Meanwhile, investigators are searching for a person of interest in the case.

Pay for entry: US travelers will soon have to pay a fee to enter the United Kingdom

US citizens will have to get permission and pay a small fee to enter the United Kingdom, as part of the country’s Electronic Travel Authorization plan. The U.K. plans to fully digitize its borders by 2025, giving them more control and better data on who is entering and leaving the country.

National windchill record set in New Hampshire as cold weather begins to ease up across the Northeast

Facing temperatures of -46° F and wind gusts of 127 mph, Mount Washington had a windchill of -108° F, breaking the country’s previous record of -105° F (set in Alaska). The cold began to warm up by around midday on Saturday, but not before several low-temperature records were set across parts of the Northeast.

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