Overnight Finance

On The Money — Job growth speeding up, inflation could be next 

Salem, OR, USA – Mar 31, 2022: Now Hiring sign is seen at the storefront of a local business in Salem, Oregon, as labor shortage persists across the nation.

While the U.S. economy is still strong, we’re breaking down the ways it could push prices higher. We’ll also look at President Biden ending the threat of a rail strike and why one tech company isn’t laying off workers. 

☢️ But first, check out the new nuclear stealth bomber. 

Welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. For The Hill, we’re Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom.

Jobs report suggests inflation will stay high

Friday’s jobs report showed the buzzing U.S. economy is creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, suggesting rising prices are here to stay despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to contain them. 

  • The U.S. added 263,000 jobs in November, according to the federal jobs report released Friday, far more than the 200,000-job gain economists expected to see.  
  • The jobless rate also held even at 3.7 percent, just 0.2 percentage points above its level in February 2020. 

This is not bad news if you are looking to get a different or new job, but it is bad news for policymakers worried about inflation — a huge political issue for both parties. 

It comes days after Fed chief Jerome Powell signaled the central bank would like to reduce its interest rate hikes, raising red flags over whether that will change. 

Sylvan explains here. 

STRIKE BLOCKED

Biden signs bill to avert rail shutdown 

President Biden on Friday signed a bill that will avert a rail strike, just days before the deadline for an agreement, and amid fears that such a halt in railroad operations would cripple the U.S. economy. 

The bill implements the labor agreement between freight rail carriers and unionized workers that Biden backed in September. His administration at the time was largely praised for helping broker a deal. 

  • Senators voted 80-15 on Thursday on the House-passed bill, with several Democrats voting against the measure because it didn’t include a sick leave provision. Biden, who touts himself as the most pro-labor president in U.S. history, has said that he supports increasing paid leave accommodations for rail workers, but that it should be addressed separately from the bill. 
  • The deal provides rail workers with 24 percent raises over five years and makes it easier for workers to miss time for medical appointments, but a sticking point was that the deal did not include more than one day of paid leave. 
  • Since the deal was struck in September, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had been in regular touch with labor leaders and management but saw no path to resolve the dispute at the bargaining table.  

The Hill’s Alex Gangitano takes it away

SMOOTH DRIVING

Uber CEO says no job cuts despite competitor moves 

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Thursday that he does not anticipate job cuts at the ride-hailing and food delivery company, even as his competitors have announced layoffs in recent weeks. 

“No, we’re in a good place,” Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg News in response to a question about potential cuts. 

  • Fellow ride-hailing service Lyft announced in early November that it was cutting 13 percent of its workforce amid recession fear. 
  • Food delivery service DoorDash said on Wednesday that it would cut more than 1,000 positions due to slowing growth and rising expenses. 

Here’s more from The Hill’s Julia Shapero. 

WALKING IT BACK 

Florida lawmakers consider move to reverse stripping Disney of self-governing status: report 

Florida lawmakers are reportedly working on a legal move that would halt the decision to strip Walt Disney World of its unique self-governing status, first made in the aftermath of the mass media company’s pushback against the state’s recent gender and sexuality laws. 

State law dating back to 1967 exempts Disney from normal taxes around water, power, roads and other services, allowing the company instead to tax itself for funding of these resources. 

  • The Florida House voted in April to dissolve that tax-exempt status over the company’s opposition to Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) law banning educators from discussing gender and sexuality with students in kindergarten to third grade, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics. 
  • But now, lawmakers are drafting a legal compromise between Disney and the government, according to a new report, motivated in part by last month’s switch in the company’s leadership. 

The Hill’s Chloe Folmar has more here

Good to Know

The Group of Seven nations and Australia agreed Friday to adopt a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil, acting shortly after the European Union reached unanimous agreement on the same price earlier in the day. 

The move is a key step as Western sanctions aim to reorder the global oil market to prevent price spikes and starve President Vladimir Putin of funding for his war in Ukraine. 

Here’s what else we have our eye on: 

  • Elon Musk early Friday morning announced that Ye’s Twitter account has been suspended after the rapper formerly known as Kanye West tweeted an image of a swastika. 

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Monday. 

Tags Biden Dara Khosrowshahi Jerome Powell Marty Walsh Pete Buttigieg Tom Vilsack
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