Friday, June 3, 2016

Slowdown in US job creation; Uber drives into delivery business; For S&P, Indonesia stays junk

1 Slowdown in US job creation (BBC) US job creation in May fell to its lowest level in more than five years, a sign of economic weakness that may limit the Federal Reserve's ability to raise interest rates soon.

The Labor Department said that employers added just 38,000 jobs last month, the fewest since September 2010. The jobless rate fell to 4.7% from 5%, the lowest since November 2007. But this was partly due to people dropping out of the labour force and no longer being counted as unemployed.

The government said a month-long Verizon strike had depressed employment growth by 34,000 jobs. The strikers would have been considered unemployed and counted in the figures. But even without the Verizon strike, non-farm payrolls would have increased by just 72,000.

2 Uber drives into delivery business (Rob Davies in The Guardian) Uber is recruiting an army of delivery drivers as it prepares to go to war with Deliveroo for a slice of the UK’s takeaway food market. The taxi-hailing app confirmed it was finalising plans to roll out its UberEATS service in the UK as it looks for ways to build on the success of its fast-growing service.

Uber is offering a £100 signing-on fee to delivery partners, its term for bicycle and scooter drivers joining its fleet, though it is looking for drivers only in London at the moment. UberEATS is available in the US, but the UK launch will pit the firm against Deliveroo, which has grown rapidly with its model of paying drivers small sums to collect food from restaurants that do not have a delivery service.

Uber’s plans to expand its food delivery service to the UK come as it prepares to launch its first major British advertising campaign. The campaign, Get there with Uber, will seek to woo customers and drivers by suggesting that the income from working for the company could help them start their own business.

Uber’s phenomenal growth has sparked opposition from traditional taxi services, leading to major protests and bans on the service in some European cities. But the European commission warned member states not to crack down on the so-called sharing economy, urging them to ban services such as Uber as a “last resort”.

3 For S&P, Indonesia stays junk (Straits Times) Indonesia's long wait to win full investment-grade rank just got longer after S&P Global Ratings maintained its junk status because of weak fiscal performance. S&P affirmed the country's BB+ rating on Wednesday, while leaving the door open for a future upgrade by maintaining a positive outlook.

It cited forecasts for larger budget deficits in coming years and a decline in corporate credit quality. Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service awarded Indonesia investment-grade status more than four years ago.

The failure to win to full investment-grade status may take the shine off Asia's best-performing bond market, with the nation's local currency notes gaining about 10 per cent this year, according to indexes compiled by Bloomberg. The S&P report comes as government revenues fall short of targets because of weak tax collection and low commodity prices.

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