OPEC lowers oil-demand forecast for 2019, 2020

UK Employment At Record High

Despite the uncertainty revolving around Brexit, the UK employment rate remained at a record high and the jobless rate was at its lowest level since late 1974, reflecting strong labor market conditions, the Office for National Statistics reported Tuesday.

In the three months to July, the ILO jobless rate remained unchanged on quarter, at 3.8 percent, but slightly below the expected rate of 3.9 percent.

The employment rate came in at 76.1 percent in the three months to July, the joint-highest on record. The number of employed increased by 31,000 from the previous quarter.

Average earnings including bonus increased 4 percent from last year, compared to the expected increase of 3.7 percent. Excluding bonus, earnings gained 3.8 percent.

In August, the claimant count rate rose slightly to 3.3 percent from 3.2 percent in July. The number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowances increased by 28,200 from the previous month.

Data showed that job vacancies decreased by 23,000 from the previous quarter to 812,000 in the June to August period.

The labor market still looks set to provide solid support to the consumer sector over the next few years, Ruth Gregory, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Gregory noted that against the background of stagnant productivity but rising wage growth, the pick-up in inflationary pressures will probably prevent the Bank of England from becoming too dovish despite the weakening global backdrop.

Rescue efforts continue after Hurricane Dorian leaves Bahamas

Dozens dead, 70,000 homes destroyed after Hurricane Dorian slammed Abaco and Grand Bahama islands a week ago.

    Rescue workers in the Bahamas are still searching for bodies after Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands last week.

    At least 50 people are confirmed dead and now there is an urgent appeal to help the survivors in the aftermath of the most powerful storm to ever hit the Caribbean.

    Al Jazeera’s Katia Lopez-Hodayan reports.

    Luxury-goods retailer Hermes posts higher profit, revenue

    Hermes International SCA said Wednesday that first-half net profit and revenue rose, and backed its medium-term revenue outlook.

    Hermes RMS, -0.31%, which is best known for its leather bags, said net profit rose to 754 million euros ($832.6 million) from €706 million in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 15% at current exchange rates to €3.28 billion, it said.

    Hermes confirmed its medium-term outlook of revenue growth at constant exchange rates.

    AOC slams Republicans, reveals how much she owes in student loans at hearing: 'This is our job'

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    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., slammed Republicans after she revealed she owes nearly $20,000 in student loans at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on college debt Tuesday, according to a report.

    “I’m hearing people on this committee say it’s not our job,” she said, referring to Republicans, according to the New York Post. “This is our job.”

    The committee was discussing how to bring down the estimated $1.5 trillion in student debt owed in the United States.

    “I literally made a student loan payment while I was sitting here at this chair, and I looked at my balance, and it was $20,237.16,” she said. “I just made a payment that took me down to $19,000 so I feel really accomplished right now.”

    Ocasio-Cortez is one of 70 members of Congress who are still paying off student debt for themselves or a dependent, the Post reported.

    Last month, President Trump signed an executive order to cancel student loan debts for permanently disabled veterans.

    California Passes Bill To Ensure Minimum Wages To Gig Workers

    California State Senate passed the Assembly Bill 5 that ensures minimum wages, workers compensation, holiday and other benefits for the gig workers.

    The bill was supported by 29 votes and opposed by 11 members. California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign the bill into law by January 1, 2020. Those who opposed the bills suggest that the new legislation would increase the costs by at least 30 percent.

    The gig-worker bill introduced in December 2018 targets Uber and Lyft, the transportation network companies based in California.

    Kicking off debate on the bill, Senator Maria Elena Durazo said, “There is nothing innovative about underpaying someone for their labor and basing an entire business model on misclassifying workers.”

    The tech-supported ride-hailing companies have been trying to establish that the drivers are not their staff, but self-employed. The companies tried for a referendum in California. Earlier Uber has lost an appeal at a tribunal.

    It is expected that the new legislation in California would be an inspiration to impliment in other states also.

    OPEC lowers oil-demand forecast for 2019, 2020

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in its monthly report lowered its forecast of world oil demand in 2019 to growth of 1.02 million barrels a day, citing weaker-than-expected data in the first half from various global demand centers and slower economic growth projections for the remainder of the year. It also lowered its 2020 world oil demand view, seeing growth of 1.08 million barrels a day. OPEC also increased its assessment of non-OPEC oil supply growth, to 1.99 million barrels, mostly on the U.S. but also Brazil, China, the U.K., Australia and Canada. Light sweet crude-oil futures CL.1, +0.85% rose 69 cents to $58.09 a barrel in electronic trade.