Innovation Is The Key

Grind for January 13th, 2019
“There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.”

– Maya Angelou

Good News

The Headline

Trump promised us more jobs, and we’re getting them

The Grind

According to a report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 312,000 jobs in December.

This is far higher than economists’ estimate of 176,000.

Job growth for October and November was revised to 247,000 and 176,000, respectively.

The Details

The stats for December are surprising considering recent warnings about an economic slowdown caused by factors including: trade tensions with China, the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates for a fourth time in 2018, and the partial government shutdown.

“The far bigger than expected 312,000 jump…would seem to make a mockery of market fears of an impending recession,” said economist Paul Ashworth, adding that the US economy “still has considerable forward momentum.”

Other stats from December:

— Wages increased 3.2% compared to December 2017

— Wages increased 0.4% compared to November 2018

— Hourly earnings increased 0.4%

— Average work week increased by 0.1 hours to reach 34.5 hours

— Unemployment rate rose slightly to reach 3.9%

Leading the way in new jobs was the healthcare industry, which added 50,000 jobs during the month of December.

Other notable increases include:

— Bars and restaurants with 41,000 jobs

— Construction with 38,000 jobs

— Manufacturing with 2,000 jobs

— Retail with 24,000 jobs

The Bureau’s report, combined with news of upcoming trade talks with China and suggestions the Fed could reconsider its plans to increase rates in 2019, contributed to a stock market surge that came as a relief to investors following record losses on Christmas Eve.

Why Not??

The Headline

Finance expert Tom Forte urges Amazon to open gas stations

The Grind

Amazon is missing a big opportunity if it fails to open gas stations, argues Tom Forte, a senior research analyst at the financial services firm DA Davidson.

Not only would gas stations generate income, but they would also provide new opportunities to collect data on people and “provide the company [with] thousands of commercial locations to advance its delivery efforts,” says Forte.

Gas stations would also give Amazon a great opportunity to expand its new “Amazon Locker” service.

The Details

While Amazon has yet to comment on Forte’s suggestion, the company has two distinct options to move into the fueling business: it could build new gas stations or acquire an existing chain (like it did with Whole Foods).

Perhaps the biggest potential for Amazon opening gas stations now would be the eventual transition from gas station to charging station (for electric cars).

Did you know… It takes twice as long to lose new muscle if you stop working out than it did to gain it.