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Exclusive: Is the US Job Market Still Strong? Answers to Your Questions About Employment – CNET – TalkOfNews.com

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Is the US Job Market Still Strong? Answers to Your Questions About Employment     - CNET

#Job #Market #Strong #Answers #Questions #Employment #CNET

This story is part of Recession Help Desk, CNET’s coverage of how to make smart money moves in an uncertain economy.

What’s happening

The job market appears to be holding with a 3.5% unemployment rate, but more layoffs are happening.

Why it matters

If the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates to slow the economy, we may face a recession, prompting more businesses to downsize or shutter.

What it means for you

Knowing the factors driving the job market now can help you decide your next career and money moves.

Earlier this summer, during a live television interview, a news anchor asked me point-blank if we could have a recession with such a low unemployment rate. 

Being quick on my feet, I said, “That’s a good question,” and deflected by talking about the state of inflation. (I’m such a pro.)

Many key indicators suggest the economy is on the verge of a recession, including high inflation, a drop in consumer sentiment, a volatile stock market, rising interest rates and a tight housing market for both buyers and renters. The latest monthly jobs report is still at odds with those figures, with the unemployment rate dipping slightly to 3.5%, which is a pre-pandemic low. Nonetheless, layoffs are starting to become more widespread. And if you ask most Americans, they’ll tell you a downturn is already here.

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That question from the news anchor puzzled me for days. It speaks to how perplexing the US economy is at this moment, even for someone like me, who’s been covering personal finance for over two decades. 

I went searching for answers. Here’s what I learned about recession fears, interest rate hikes, layoffs and more employment-related questions. 

I’m hearing about more layoffs and hiring freezes. Is the unemployment rate still low?

News about layoffs is definitely trending. Job losses are primarily concentrated in the tech, mortgage and housing industries, which have slowed considerably due to a drop in consumer spending or rising interest rates. In recent weeks, major companies, including Wayfair, Apple and Walmart, have announced downsizing and cutbacks. 

And still, across the spectrum, the number of job openings is almost double the number of unemployed job seekers. In June, there were 10.7 million jobs available, with widespread job growth. Recorded layoffs have remained steady, between 1.3 million and 1.4 million each month since the beginning of 2022. 

That could change, of course, and there are signals that the job market is cooling a bit. Filings for unemployment benefits have been going up, recently reaching their highest level this year.

It may just take longer for the unemployment rate to catch up to other lagging data points we’re seeing at the moment. “The labor market is one of the last indicators to show real stress,” said Liz Young, head of investment strategy for SoFi. 

Many big employers earned record profits during the pandemic, providing them with a larger buffer than in previous business cycles to absorb inflation or a slowdown in spending, Young pointed out. Additionally, companies will first try other cost-saving measures like reducing spending on marketing and hiring freezes. “They’re going to try to cut costs when they can before having to lay off the workforce,” she said.

How do interest rate hikes weigh on the job market?

When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, as it has several times since the start of the year, borrowing becomes more expensive for everyone, including businesses relying on credit financing to grow. When the cost to carry debt jumps, businesses may decide to reduce operating costs — that is, cutting staff — to afford the higher interest burden. 

In short, steeper interest rates can lead to more financial challenges for business owners, which can then lead to layoffs and higher levels of unemployment.

I took time out of the workforce during the pandemic. How good are my job prospects?

Certain industries are hiring more than others but, generally, this is a job-seeker’s market. Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and healthcare added most of the jobs in July

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If you’re a woman, it’s not surprising that you took time out of the workforce during the pandemic. Employers should understand gaps on resumes dating back to 2020. More women lost their jobs that year than men: Between January and December of 2020, 2.1 million women left the labor force, nearly half of whom were Black and Latina, based on an analysis by The National Women’s Law Center.

And although some women are still struggling to return due to family constraints and difficulties with work-life balance, a promising new paper suggests that women have made quite a comeback. In her research for the Brookings Institution, Lauren Bauer, a fellow in economic studies, discovered that women between the ages of 25 and 44, most with a college degree, had returned to their pre-COVID labor participation levels.  

“There is something to be said for women taking the past couple of years on the chin and not accepting that this was going to change the trajectory of their lives,” Bauer told me. Given how hard their lives have been, they’ve been “much more proactive about staying on track for themselves and their children in a way we couldn’t have predicted.”

Can I ask for a raise in these uncertain times?

This depends on the financial health of your company, but given the fact that there are so many job openings compared to job-seeking applicants, the power could be tilted a bit more toward workers. 

“My guesstimate is that wages have some momentum and that … workers still do have a fair amount of bargaining power,” says Jesse Rothstein, professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

About half of workers say they’ve received a pay bump in the last year, although it’s not been enough in the face of inflation.  

Here’s my take: Rather than worry about the uncertainty in the economy, focus on the financial health of your company to gauge whether making more money would be possible this year. If your company implemented a hiring freeze or has cut back on expenses, this may be a precarious time to ask for a raise. On the other hand, if your employer has had a profitable 2022 so far (you can look up the earnings reports if it’s a public company or ask a colleague in finance or accounting for insights), this may be a ripe opportunity to petition for a salary bump. 

Read more: Is Now a Good Time to Ask for a Raise?

If I get laid off, how long will it take to find a new job?

The average amount of time that someone was collecting unemployment insurance in June was 22 weeks. In theory, that means some job seekers were able to find new employment in about four and a half months. Still, this is an imperfect measure since some job seekers are cut off from jobless benefits before they’ve landed a new job. Experts say many long-term unemployed workers are undercounted in official employment numbers.

How should I prepare for a potential layoff? 

Focus on the decisions that are within your control, including communicating with your employer now about how you can continue to help add more value, productivity and possibly revenue in these tricky times. Mind your own personal finances by saving and paying off high-interest debt, reviewing your goals and doing your best to create security in both good times and bad.

Can there be a recession if the job market is relatively healthy?

The National Bureau of Economic Research makes the official call of a recession, taking into account the health of the job market in addition to other economic indicators, such as retail sales, industrial production and personal income growth. Historically, the most severe recessions have been marked by widespread layoffs and cyclical unemployment, which is a slump in hiring demand. 

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Nonetheless, deciding if, when or how the recession will play out is not the best use of someone’s time. “I think this is mostly a semantic argument,” said Rothstein. 

Alas, this is what I wish I’d said on the television appearance. I did better the second time around.


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Exclusive: Disney Plus is Taking Longer and Longer to Stream New Marvel Movies – CNET – TalkOfNews.com

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Disney Plus is Taking Longer and Longer to Stream New Marvel Movies     - CNET

#Disney #Longer #Longer #Stream #Marvel #Movies #CNET

After the depths of social distancing pushed a wave of big-budget movies straight to streaming, theatrical exclusives are the norm again. But for a while, it seemed like Disney and other big Hollywood movie studios might be falling into a new post-COVID rhythm for how long they kept flicks in theaters before streaming them, one that was much faster in shuttling films to a streaming service than before.

But now streaming release dates are all over the map. And for the biggest films, like Marvel’s, the waits seem to be stretching out longer and longer.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will take longer to start streaming on Disney Plus than any other Marvel movie in the pandemic era — and that may not bode well for how long you’ll have to wait to stream the Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy sequels hitting theaters soon.

When will Black Panther: Wakanda Forever start streaming? 

Disney Plus will start streaming the Black Panther sequel early Wednesday, starting at 12:01 a.m. PT/3:01 a.m. ET. Its streaming-release date is more than three months after it hit theaters. 

How long will it take to stream Marvel’s next big movies?

It’s anybody’s guess, but it probably won’t be quick. 

Last year, Marvel released three films in theaters: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May, Thor: Love and Thunder in July and Wakanda Forever in mid-November. Doctor Strange took 47 days to reach Disney Plus. Thor hit Disney Plus 62 days after its theatrical release.

Now Wakanda Forever will take 82 days to start streaming. 

That’s the longest that a Marvel movie has spent in theaters before streaming on Disney Plus since the company resumed theatrical exclusives in 2021. That year, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was in theaters for 70 days and Eternals for 68 days. 

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(Coincidence or not, the Marvel film that Disney gave the shortest theatrical window among them also had the best overall box office performance. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness grossed more than $955 million worldwide. Wakanda Forever has generated $840 million.)

However, Wakanda Forever may have been held off Disney Plus so long because of a consideration that doesn’t apply to those other Marvel films this year: The movie, with a Black director and predominantly Black cast, is debuting on Disney Plus on the first day of Black History Month. Disney hasn’t stated any connection in the timing, but it’s possible the film’s wait to start streaming may have been drawn out to coincide.  

Still, big Hollywood companies like Disney aren’t prioritizing streaming-subscriber growth nearly as much as they did, depressing the incentive to bring big movies to a service quickly. 

Paramount, for example, kept Top Gun: Maverick off its streaming service for 209 days, nearly seven months. The strategy paid dividends at the box office, with the Top Gun sequel grossing nearly $1.5 billion.

Disney has been much more aggressive than Paramount at putting its movies onto its streaming service quickly, but Disney is starting to show that it may be holding back its big-budget films longer in theaters as well. With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania set to hit theaters next month, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following in May and The Marvels arriving in July, you could be waiting more than three months to stream each of them if they stick to Wakanda Forever’s pace. 

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Exclusive: OnePlus 11R and OnePlus Pad set to be launched alongside OnePlus 11 on Feb 7 Cloud Event – TalkOfNews.com

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OnePlus 11R and OnePlus Pad set to be launched alongside OnePlus 11 on Feb 7 Cloud Event

#OnePlus #11R #OnePlus #Pad #set #launched #OnePlus #Feb #Cloud #Event

Although OnePlus has already launched its flagship device for the year, OnePlus 11 in China, they are yet to launch the device in India and the rest of the world. OnePlus has confirmed that the global launch of the OnePlus 11 will take place in India on February 7. However, it seems that OnePlus may be launching a bunch of other devices as well.

OnePlus 11R and OnePlus Pad set to be launched alongside OnePlus 11 on Feb 7 Cloud Event

OnePlus has a bunch of products lined up for its upcoming Cloud Event, including the OnePlus 11, OnePlus 11R, OnePlus Buds Pro 2, the OnePlus Keyboard, a new OnePlus TV and the OnePlus Pad.

OnePlus will also launch the OnePlus 11R along with the OnePlus 11. The OnePlus 11R hasn’t been launched anywhere else and was actually expected to be launched sometime in March or April. 

Amazon India pushed a notification prompt via its app yesterday, which said that the OnePlus 11R 5G will also launch on February 7th, 7:30 PM in India. OnePlus though is yet to make any such announcement.

OnePlus has a bunch of products to offer during its upcoming February 7th Cloud Event, including the OnePlus 11 5G, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, its first-ever Keyboard, and the new OnePlus TV 65 Q2 Pro. It only makes sense that OnePlus, instead of just launching one of their premium smartphone devices at the event, may choose to launch the entire series on the same day.

A rumour has also surfaced which says that OnePlus may launch the OnePlus Pad as well at the event. Rumours of the OnePlus Pad have been going around since 2021 with more recent speculation suggesting a launch in 2023.

There isn’t much information out there about the OnePlus Pad. However, given the close ties that OnePlus has with Oppo, the OnePlus Pad may be a rebadged Oppo Pad or Oppo Pad Air.

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Coming back the smartphones, the global version of the top tier OnePlus 11 is expected to with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2 SoC, a 6.7-inch E4 QHD+ OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 50MP primary camera sensor with two additional cameras, 48MP and a 32MP unit, all of which have been tuned by Hasselblad, up to 512GB storage, and a large 5,000mAh battery which supports 100W fast charging. The OnePlus 11 is expected to be priced around the Rs 50,000 mark for the base variant.

The OnePlus 11R, on the other hand, is expected to come with a 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which will likely be paired with up to 16GB RAM and up to 512GB storage. As for the cameras, the OnePlus 11R 5G is tipped to come with a 50MP + 12MP + 2MP triple rear camera setup and a 16MP selfie snapper. Lastly, the device will reportedly feature a 5,000mAh battery with 100W fast charging support.


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Exclusive: Tesla Cybertruck mass production won’t start until 2024 – TalkOfNews.com

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Tesla Cybertruck mass production won’t start until 2024

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Tesla’s long-anticipated Cybertruck won’t be seeing full volume production until 2024, Elon Musk said during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call today.

During the call, Musk was asked whether the forthcoming vehicle would meet a mid-2023 production target that was set in Q2 last year. Musk cagily confirmed that Cybertruck manufacturing would start “sometime this summer,” but concluded that mass production of the polarizing pickup won’t start until next year. “I always try to downplay the start of production,” Musk said. “It increases exponentially, but it is very slow at first.”

Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 to widespread interest, but has seen its production delayed several times. Pre-production was originally supposed to start in late 2021, but was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then slated for sometime in 2023, a projection made a year ago. Additionally, last year Musk told investors Cybertruck’s specs and price “will be different,” (read: will be more expensive).

As a consolation prize, Tesla revealed on Wednesday that it has started installing the production equipment needed for the Cybertruck’s assembly, including the castings that will produce the electric pickup’s body. The Cybertruck is expected to be largely manufactured at the company’s Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.

Industry experts warned that the timeline needed to be sped up in order for the Cybertruck to have its desired impact. “Cybertruck will be hitting an increasingly crowded sector of the EV market amid the F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, Rivian R1T, and likely the Chevy Silverado EV and RAM 1500 EV following closely behind,” said Edmunds executive director of insights Jessica Cawell in an email to The Verge. “The downside for Tesla is that the Cybertruck almost seems like old news.”

There’s still a lot of attention on the Cybertruck after its over-the-top unveiling that introduced its aggressive, post apocalyptic design. Maybe if Tesla throws more metal balls around it can get production rolling.

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