Economics in the News – June 6-12, 2022
Economics impacts our lives every day. Below are some of the top storylines from this past week related to economics.
- Employees are pushing back against a return to the office. Some business leaders have threatened employees with their jobs while others have provided their employees with more incentives such as a stocked snack room and providing gear. Executives are more accepting that a return to the office could result in a loss of talent.
A January survey from Pew Research Center suggests that 60 percent of workers whose jobs can be done at home wanted to work from home most or all of the time. However, many executives believe that the office environment is better for collaboration and an increase in productivity. [The New York Times]
- The national price for a gallon of gas has reached an unprecedented $5.00, according to AAA. The national averaged has climbed $0.19 in the past week and is up nearly $2.00 from last year. California has the highest average price at $6.43 per gallon, while Mississippi boasts the lowest price at $4.52.
Even with gas prices above $5.00 for the first time ever, the most Americans have ever paid for gas when factoring for inflation remains July 2008 with a national average of $4.11, or $5.40 per gallon today. Early signs show that Americans have started to cut back on their driving. According to the Oil Price Information Service, the amount of fuel consumed last week down three percent from the previous week and six percent from last year. [Associated Press]
- The Walton Family is planning to purchase the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. Rob Walton – the son of Walmart co-founder Sam Walton – along with his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and son-in-law Greg Penner has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to buy the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust.
The price to acquire the franchise is reportedly a record $4.65 billion, shattering the previous record of $2.28 billion paid by David Tepper to purchase the Carolina Panthers in 2018. If approved by NFL owners and the league’s finance committee, Walton will surpass Tepper as the NFL’s wealthiest owner with an estimated $60 billion net worth. [The Athletic]
- Good news is on the way for users tired of trying to remember so many passwords. In its next software update this fall iPhones, iPads and Mac users will have a new way to login to their devices without entering passwords or relying on password managers. The technology called passkeys will prompt a scan of your face or fingerprints to log in and will generate unique passkeys for each individual app or browser-based service.
The goal is to replace the multiple passwords that are required, while aiming for additional security on personal information. Your keys will be stored on your device, not Apple’s servers or the servers of the app or web developer. [The Wall Street Journal]
- The prospect of a four-day workweek is becoming a reality for those in the United Kingdom. The UK is launching the world’s largest four-day workweek trial in a program that includes more than 3,300 workers from 70 companies. Those workers will work 80 percent of their hours for 100 percent of their pay, as long as they maintain their productivity.
It’s part of a six-month trial coordinated by non-profit groups 4 Day Week Global and 4 Day Week UK Campaign with collaboration from researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College. Belgium announced in February that it plans to offer employees the option to request a four-day workweek. Other trials in Iceland between 2015 and 2019 found workers productive and happier. Similar trials are scheduled for this year in Scotland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.[The Washington Post]