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LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Stays Under Pressure, But Pound Drops After U.K. Jobs Data
Unemployment

LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Stays Under Pressure, But Pound Drops After U.K. Jobs Data

LONDON MARKETS: FTSE 100 Stays Under Pressure, But Pound Drops After U.K. Jobs Data.
Sterling dropped below $1.33 after the release of unemployment and wages figures, having traded around its highest level in a year against the U.S. dollar earlier in the session.
The FTSE 100 index was down 0.6% to 7,357.61, with less than 20 components moving higher.
Economic data: The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that wage growth in the three months to July rose 2.1%, including and excluding bonuses.
That missed expectations for growth of 2.3% for pay with bonuses and 2.2% without, from a FactSet poll of analysts.
The unemployment rate for the period fell to 4.3% from 4.4%.
Earlier Wednesday it hit an intraday high of $1.3329, compared with $1.3284 late Tuesday in New York.
The Bank of England, led by Governor Mark Carney, is slated to release an update on monetary policy Thursday.
Among them, shares in Johnnie Walker whisky maker Diageo PLC (DEO) lost 1.4%.
The airline will start offering connecting services to long-haul carriers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/easyjet-to-sell-seats-on-partner-long-haul-flights-2017-09-13) flying to the U.S. and other destinations, expanding the network of cities international passengers can reach on a single ticket.

4.3%: UK unemployment falls to 42-year low
Unemployment

4.3%: UK unemployment falls to 42-year low

4.3%: UK unemployment falls to 42-year low.
The employment rate, which measures the proportion of people aged 16-64 in work, hit 75.3% – the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
In total, there are 32.1 million people at work in the UK, according to the figures, or 181,000 more than the previous quarter. “Another record high employment rate and a record low inactivity rate suggest the labour market continues to be strong,” Matt Hughes, a senior statistician at the ONS said.
Here’s the ONS’ chart of unemployment over the longer term:
Alongside the unemployment numbers, the ONS also said that wage growth was unchanged at 2.1%, as the UK’s pay squeeze deepens. “Despite earnings rising by 2.1 per cent in cash terms over the last year, the real value of people’s earnings is down 0.4 per cent,” Hughes said.
The numbers will likely give the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee — which holds its September meeting on Wednesday, and will announce its policy decisions on Thursday — something of a headache, Rhys Herbert, a senior economist at Lloyds Bank said after the data’s release. “The data leaves Bank of England interest rate setters with a dilemma going into tomorrow’s latest policy announcement.
With headline inflation well above its target but domestic inflationary pressures seemingly still under control, most MPC members will probably content themselves for now with sounding some notes of caution rather than hiking interest rates.”

FTSE 100 stays under pressure from a strengthening pound
Unemployment

FTSE 100 stays under pressure from a strengthening pound

U.K. stocks dropped broadly Wednesday, under pressure as the pound traded at its highest in a year against the U.S. dollar before the release of labor-market figures.
“The U.K. FTSE remains hindered by sterling strength … in the wake of strong U.K. inflation figures, as well as a U.S. Dollar Index retreat to yesterday’s lows,” said analysts at Accendo Markets in a note.
Stronger sterling can hurt revenue and earnings prospects for U.K.-listed multinational companies and, in turn, weigh on their shares.
It was buying $1.3309, compared with $1.3284 late Tuesday in New York.
Stock movers: Shares of EasyJet PLC EZJ, +1.01% were among the FTSE 100’s few advancers, adding 1.3%.
The airline will start offering connecting services to long-haul carriers flying to the U.S. and other destinations, expanding the network of cities international passengers can reach on a single ticket.
Economic data: The Office for National Statistics is scheduled to release August jobs figures at 9:30 a.m. local time, or 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Wages excluding bonuses are expected to have risen 2.2% in the three months to August.
The Bank of England, led by Governor Mark Carney, is slated to release an update on monetary policy Thursday.
The central bank is expected leave the key interest rate at 0.5%.

Retailer must face FMLA claim filed by terminated employee
Welfare

Retailer must face FMLA claim filed by terminated employee

A retailer must face a Family Medical Leave Act lawsuit brought by an employee who claimed he was fired in retaliation for filing a workers compensation claim, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
Mr. Zuber filed a workers comp claim and received work leave.
He returned to work two days after the injury but requested an additional week of medical leave three days later.
Boscov’s moved to dismiss Mr. Zuber’s complaint, saying he waived his FMLA and common law rights when he signed the compromise and release agreement.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court Monday reversed the District Court’s order granting Boscov’s motion to dismiss and denying Mr. Zuber’s motion for reconsideration.
The panel determined that the agreement signed between Mr. Zuber and Boscov’s covered only his right to future workers comp claims related to his work injury and not the FMLA or common law claims.
“When Zuber signed the C&R, he merely released his right to bring a future workers compensation claim against Boscov’s.
Consequently, it does not prohibit Zuber from bringing FMLA or Pennsylvania common law claims against Boscov’s.” The court remanded the case to the District Court for further proceedings.
“My client, Boscov’s, is disappointed with this ruling and is weighing its options as to what actions it will take,” said Alexander Ross, an attorney with Marlton, New Jersey-based law firm Rakoski & Ross P.C., which represented Boscov’s.
“We respectfully disagree with the decision of the 3rd Circuit and believe the District Court judge made the correct ruling in his original decision and on the reconsideration motion to dismiss this case.”

Irma, Harvey victims get help buying hot meals
Welfare

Irma, Harvey victims get help buying hot meals

Hurricane Irma and Harvey victims can now use food stamps to buy meals and people in Texas who aren’t usually eligible for the assistance program may be able to access temporary benefits.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which runs the nutrition program, is temporarily expanding food stamp benefits for users in Florida and Texas so that they can buy ready-to-eat foods.
The benefit, which is available to all Floridians and Texans who receive food stamps, will be in effect until the end of September.
Food stamps can be used for grocery items that require no further preparation to eat, such as nuts, potato chips and fruits.
Perdue also welcomed Florida and Georgia’s plans to accelerate their September food stamp distribution schedules.
Georgia issued all remaining benefits for the month on Sept. 10. “Both actions will ensure families have access to their monthly benefits sooner during this time of immediate crisis,” the USDA said in a statement.
Special disaster food assistance in Texas Meanwhile, in a program called Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP), Texas will begin accepting applications Wednesday from victims of Hurricane Harvey who want to receive food stamps but aren’t typically eligible for the program.
To be eligible, applicants will have to meet certain income limits, prove their residence in the affected counties and have qualifying disaster-related expenses.
Eligible households will receive two months of benefits.

How Americans Could Have Cheap Health Care Almost Instantly
Welfare

How Americans Could Have Cheap Health Care Almost Instantly

Imagine comprehensive, universal, effective and cheap health care for all Americans, essentially overnight.
A decade ago, public policy expert Phillip Longman published a detailed proposal for how this might work in his book Best Care Anywhere.
So why make it again now?
There’s a reason the VA’s so effective and yet so inexpensive, compared to private health care: it stresses evidence-based treatment and coordinated care, instead of bouncing patients from one doctor to another in an open-market system.
It’s comprehensive, efficient, cost-effective and, except for some modest charges for prescriptions and a few other items and services, almost entirely free to patients and treasured by the veterans who use it.
What makes this proposed national solution different is that the VA isn’t just a single-payer solution.
It is both single-payer and single-provider; it pays for the visit to the doctor’s office and is the doctor’s office.
Instead of focusing on an elaborate (and confusing) system of tax credits and subsidies and commercial exchanges selling insurance coverage for people who have to buy health care on the open market — that’s the way the Affordable Care Act works — it’s about providing actual health care to people who need it.
No one would have to use government health care; no one would have to go private.
This proposal glosses over any number of real-world problems of health care delivery and financing.

Macron’s big test: France-wide protests over labor overhaul
Unemployment

Macron’s big test: France-wide protests over labor overhaul

PARIS – Eiffel Tower employees planned a walkout, angry carnival workers snarled traffic around Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, and Paris police girded for potential violence as unions and others hold nationwide protests Tuesday against changes to labor laws they fear corrode job security.
The protests are the first big public display of discontent with President Emmanuel Macron’s presidency, which kicked off in May amid enthusiasm over his promises of revving up the French economy but is now foundering amid anger over the labor decrees and other domestic troubles.
The prominent CGT union is leading Tuesday’s protests, calling for strikes and organizing some 180 demonstrations against last labor decrees unveiled last month by Macron’s government.
The workers said they timed their protest to coincide with Tuesday’s broader labor demonstrations, since both movements are about workers fearing their jobs are at threat.
Everybody has been to a funfair one time in his life … Funfair is France.”
Meanwhile, thousands of union activists marched Tuesday morning in the Mediterranean city of Marseille, in Le Havre on the English Channel and other cities.
An afternoon march is planned in Paris, where police announced extra deployments.
The protests come amid anger at a comment last week by Macron suggesting that opponents of labor reform are “lazy.”
Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said on RTL radio Tuesday that Macron didn’t mean workers themselves but politicians who failed to update French labor rules for a globalized age.
Companies argue that existing rules prevent them from hiring and contribute to France’s high unemployment rate, currently around 10 percent.

Medicare For All: The Next Step In The New Deal
Social Security Disability

Medicare For All: The Next Step In The New Deal

Roosevelt had originally planned to include national health insurance in his Social Security legislation, but ultimately decided that it was asking for too much at once.
In his budget message to Congress delivered just one month after the nation’s entry into the war, Roosevelt proposed that Social Security be expanded to include hospital insurance, as well as temporary and permanent disability benefits.
The hardest steps in the march towards Medicare for all were completed with that expansion: The program had been successfully started and the most expensive parts of the population, seniors and people with disabilities, had been covered.
Coverage of children, who have the lowest average health care costs, and working age Americans, who are less costly than the Medicare population, should have been easy.
But the need for universal high-quality health care, efficiently provided, was still there.
Yet, Medicare is significantly more efficient than private health insurance.
Just as shrinking Medicare’s coverage increases costs, expanding coverage would reduce our nation’s overall health care costs.
Consequently, they are all advocates of expanding Social Security and Medicare.
So are Social Security and Medicare.
Extending Medicare’s coverage to everyone will only make the program stronger, more successful, and more popular.

Looking for work? U.S. job openings hit another record
Unemployment

Looking for work? U.S. job openings hit another record

Looking for work?
U.S. job openings hit another record.
Job openings in the U.S. set yet another record in July, climbing steadily despite the lowest unemployment rate in years.
It’s the first time openings have topped 6 million for two straight months since the government began keeping track in 2000.
Almost 17 million new jobs have been created since 2010.
In July, hiring was led by companies involved in services such as transportation and warehousing, reflecting an ongoing shift toward online shopping.
Retailers like Amazon AMZN, +0.42% need more warehouses to store goods and companies such as UPS UPS, +0.71% have to deliver them.
Education jobs also rose as they usually do shortly before school begins.
Some 5.5 million people were hired, up 69,000 from June.
One reason many companies aren’t hiring more rapidly is a growing shortage of workers with the skills they need.

Inflation will come back to 2% if we keep adding jobs, top forecaster says
Unemployment

Inflation will come back to 2% if we keep adding jobs, top forecaster says

Relax, says economist Michael Feroli: The U.S. economy is in “an OK place.” Growth is steady at around 2%, the unemployment rate is still falling, and the inflation rate is going to gradually head higher.
“People seem pretty relaxed about growth, and no wonder — it’s pretty steady,” Feroli said.
Aside from unpredictable geopolitical events, “there’s nothing today that looks like a looming threat to the expansion.” Feroli, the chief U.S. economist for J.P. Morgan Chase, is the winner of MarketWatch’s Forecaster of the Month contest for August.
It’s his third time in the winner’s circle.
There’s a lot of debate in the markets — and inside the Fed — about the shortfall.
The doves believe the failure of inflation to accelerate proves that labor markets are not as tight as they could be, which means the Fed should go on slowly raising interest rates.
Scrambling to catch up to rising inflation is usually the way the Fed kills expansions.
His forecasts on seven of the 10 indicators we track were among the 10 most accurate among 46 forecasting teams.
The consensus forecasts MarketWatch publishes in our Economic Calendar are the median forecasts of the 15 forecasting teams that have done the best in our contest over the preceding 12 months, plus the forecast of the most recent winner of the Forecaster of the Month.
The economists in our consensus forecast: Jim O’Sullivan of High Frequency Economics, Ryan Sweet of Moody’s Analytics, Spencer Staples of EconAlpha, Sam Coffin at UBS, Gus Faucher at PNC Financial, Christophe Barraud at Market Securities, Nariman Behravesh’s team at IHS Markit, Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics, Michelle Girard’s team at NatWest Markets, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics, Michael Feroli at J.P. Morgan Chase, Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein at First Trust, Jan Hatzius’s team at Goldman Sachs, Avery Shenfeld’s team at CIBC, and James Sweeney’s team at Credit Suisse.