WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Worker filings for jobless claims fell to 364,000 last week, reaching a new pandemic low as layoffs continue to recede. Jobless claims are down by more than 40% since the first week of April, but remain elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels. Global shares retreated Wednesday evening as investors’ fear worsened over a sudden rise in inflation and the Delta variant of COVID-19.
- Fed Unity Cracks as Inflation Rises and Officials Debate Future – The New York Times
- Wall Street powers through the first half of 2021 with U.S. stocks at record highs – The Washington Post
- Key Economic Questions for the Second Half of 2021 – Bloomberg
- “Private equity companies have struck deals worth more than $500bn in the first half of 2021, the highest amount since records began in 1980” – @FinancialTimes
- Team communication app maker Slack launched a new feature that allows casual audio calls that colleagues can jump in and out of while working. Slack Huddles is an attempt to better accommodate companies that have not directed employees to return to the office. Salesforce expects to complete its proposed $28 billion acquisition of Slack near the end of the quarter that ends on July 31.
- How Slack Is Preparing for the Future of Work – Bloomberg
- AWS has acquired encrypted messaging service Wickr – TechCrunch
- If you’re burned out on Zoom calls, try Slack’s new feature – Fast Company
- “Slack’s version of Clubhouse, Huddles, is here and it’s basically how I have been using Slack for months: Quick and easy voice chats.” – @JoannaStern
- Rulings dismissing federal and state antitrust lawsuits against Facebook renewed pressure on lawmakers to push through proposed legislation that would rewrite key aspects of monopoly laws that would make some of the tech giants’ business practices illegal. Following the dismal, Facebook shares rose , putting its market capitalization over $1 trillion for the first time. Experts warn the decision may serve to harden the resolve of lawmakers as well as encourage regulators outside the U.S. who are pursuing their own antitrust investigations.
- Apple refused to back down from its hybrid work model that will require most employees to return to the office three days a week starting in early September. Fully remote positions will also be extremely limited . In early June, some Apple employees protested the new policy, expressing their displeasure in an open letter to CEO Tim Cook.
- Apple Won’t Back Down, Demands Employees Return to Office in September – Insider
- We’re Fumbling the Return to Physical Offices – The Scientific American
- “Apple will expect employees to be in the workplace on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays.” – @ITPro
- With Americans gradually returning to the office, data shows rush-hour traffic remains more spread out. Rush hour mellowed in many places as the pandemic shifted schedules and allowed more people to work from home. Traffic is still expected to increase as many employees are expected to return to the office after Labor Day, but experts remain confident that more flexible work arrangements will keep overall traffic volume lower than pre-pandemic levels.
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