Weekly Digest – October 4, 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

With a US government shutdown, what happens to the economy?

The U.S. Congress passed a stopgap funding bill late on Saturday government averting shutdown. About quarter of the US GDP is government expenditure. A drop in that spending will have knock-on effect on the economy. What would stay open and what would shut down?

International Longshore and Warehouse US dockworkers union files for bankruptcy

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) representing U.S. dockworkers has filed for a chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to resolve a pending litigation with the Oregon affiliate of the International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI).

Walmart plans to remove college degree requirements from hundreds of corporate job descriptions

For many roles at Walmart’s corporate headquarters, applying for a job is about to require one less thing on your resume: A college degree

CFPB mortgage report finds jumps in closing costs and denials for insufficient income, growing proportion of cash-out refinances

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its annual report on residential mortgage lending activity and trends.

Google’s antitrust showdown with US could ‘dramatically change’ competition

A landmark trial currently under way in Washington may well decide the future of the internet. In the dock is Google, the world’s largest search engine. The United States Department of Justice has accused the search giant of muscling its way to dominance by paying other companies like Apple to be the default search engine on their devices.

Got to have it: The dangers of social media impulse buying

Almost half of social media users (48%) made an impulse purchase of something they saw online, according to new survey from financial information site Bankrate. And 68% of them say they regret one of those buys later.  Those items are not necessarily minor, or cheap: The average impulse buyer forked out $754 on stuff purchased over the past year after spotting it on social media platforms.

Sales tax changes jump as governments search for funding

The first half of 2023 saw a flurry of state and local sales tax changes, with governments relying more heavily on indirect taxes to fund operations as borrowing becomes more expensive and the overall cost of providing government programs (infrastructure, roadways, etc.) increases.

Bill Gates says there’s lots of ‘climate exaggeration’

Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist, recently expressed that there’s a lot of “climate exaggeration,” stating that the planet will survive despite the changes. His comments are not a denial of climate change but a call for realistic, practical solutions and technological innovations to combat it, rather than alarmist narratives.

Manufacturing faces potential labor shortage due to skills gap

About 1.4 million manufacturing jobs were lost during the COVID-19 pandemic but the industry was already facing a potential labor crisis — a projected 2.1 million unfulfilled jobs by 2030 resulting from a lack of skilled labor, according to a study by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

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