Macy's holiday hiring is level with year ago
Macy's Inc. plans to hire about 85,000 seasonal workers for temporary jobs ahead of the holidays to meet expected higher demand. That is about the same as a year ago. The announcement comes as other retailers announce their hiring plans ahead of the holiday season. Many companies boost their workforces temporarily to meet increased demand. The pace of hiring at a retailer can serve as an indicator of expectations for the holiday shopping season, which accounts for 20 percent of the industry's annual sales, according to the National Retail Federation. The positions will be filled at Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers nationwide.
Existing home sales down 4.8% last month
U.S. home sales slid in August by the most since January as tight supplies and rising prices discouraged potential buyers. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes fell 4.8 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million, the lowest level since April. That's down from 5.58 million in July, which was the highest in more than eight years. Solid job growth and low mortgage rates have boosted sales 6.2 percent in the past year. But the median home price has increased 4.7 percent during that time, more than double the increase in average hourly pay. That is likely pushing more homes out of reach for many buyers. Sales will likely remain flat for much of the rest of the year, according to the Realtors' group and some private economists. The NAR forecasts sales will be 5.3 million this year, the most since the recession.
Growing Subaru to expand Indiana factory
Subaru plans to spend $140 million to boost vehicle production at an Indiana factory and add up to 1,200 jobs in the next two years. The Lafayette factory will see its production capacity grow by 100,000 vehicles a year from its current 300,000, the company said. The production increase comes after Subaru sold a record 52,697 vehicles in the U.S. during August and represents a show of confidence by parent company Fuji Heavy Industries in Subaru's only assembly factory outside Japan, said Tom Easterday, Subaru of Indiana Automotive's executive vice president. About 3,800 people now work at the factory that currently builds the Subaru Outback SUVs and Legacy sedans. It is expected to start building Impreza sedans by the end of next year.
Airlines' most profitable quarter since '07
Lower fuel costs and steady travel demand continue to boost the nation's airlines, which enjoyed the most profitable quarter since 2007. Commercial airlines reported net income of $5.5 billion for the three months that ended in June, a 53 percent increase over the same period last year, according to financial data released by the U.S. Department of Transportation. That's the highest net income since the carriers collected $5.9 billion in the same period in 2007. The latest financial data show the industry remains on firm footing after losing billions of dollars in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks and the 2008 recession.
Apple says some apps infected with viruses
App developers who downloaded key Apple software from somewhere other than the company's App Store inadvertently stuck viruses into several big-name apps, mostly in China. The iPhone, iPod and iPad apps laden with malicious code allow hackers to send people to counterfeit websites, where usernames and passwords could be harvested, or access data that are being copied and pasted. Messaging app WeChat, Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Kuaidi and contacts app CamCard were among those affected, cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks reported last week. Apple acknowledged the issue over the weekend, putting the blame on unauthorized copies of its free app development program Xcode.
Corporate bonuses fall short of targets
For the fifth year in a row, bonus payouts will fall short of what employers had budgeted for, according to a Towers Watson survey of 170 large and midsize U.S. employers. The 2015 projected bonus funding for companies is, on average, 89 percent of the performance target. That's down from 93 percent last year. But here's the thing: Towers Watson says "three in 10 employers still plan to give bonuses to workers who failed to meet performance expectations." That is the highest percentage since 2007, and a jump from last year's 28 percent. Putting aside companies that give all workers the same bonus, companies that differentiate give their lowest performers about 65 percent of the target payout, on average.