US worker productivity slumped again in Q1

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Jun 7, 2016 6:32 am MDT Last Updated Jun 7, 2016 at 9:23 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email In this Wednesday, March 23, 2016, photo, construction workers unload supplies off a hoisted pallet on a rooftop in Atlanta. On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the Labor Department issues revised data on productivity in the first quarter. (AP Photo/David Goldman) US worker productivity slumped again in Q1 WASHINGTON – American workers were less productive again in the January-March quarter, although the decline wasn’t as severe as first thought. Meanwhile, labour costs climbed at a faster pace than initially estimated.The Labor Department said Tuesday that productivity declined at an annual rate of 0.6 per cent in the first quarter after a 1.7 per cent drop in the fourth quarter. The government first estimated that productivity fell at a 1 per cent rate. Labor costs for employers rose at a 4.5 per cent rate in the first quarter, even faster than the 4.1 per cent gain first reported.Productivity has been weak for the past five years, a troubling development since productivity growth is the key factor that pushes up living standards. The rise in labour costs indicates that worker pay is finally climbing after an extended period of weak wage growth.Blerina Uruci, an economist with Barclays Research, said she forecasts only modest productivity growth in the coming years, with “limited scope for an imminent return” to the stronger productivity gains that were occurring before the 2007-2009 recession.Fed Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Monday that lacklustre productivity gains represented a key uncertainty facing the economy. Productivity growth has been unusually weak over the past five years, averaging just 0.5 per cent per year, just one-third of the annual gains seen from 1970 to 1990, she said.While some economists are pessimistic about the prospects for productivity in the coming years, Yellen remains “cautiously optimistic” as the adverse effects of the Great Recession on investment spending and research begin to fade.But she also urged pursuit of policies that would boost productivity saying “strengthening education and promoting innovation and investment” would support longer-term growth in productivity and greater gains in living standards.The upgraded estimate for productivity in the first quarter reflected the fact that the government revised its estimate for total output, as measured by the gross domestic product, showing GDP grew at a 0.8 per cent rate in the January-March quarter. That was slightly stronger than the 0.5 per cent gain first reported.Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work. While output was revised higher, it wasn’t enough to compensate for the fact that employment — and thus the number of hours worked — rose at a faster pace in the first quarter.The 4.5 per cent rise in labour costs in the first quarter followed an even sharper 5.4 per cent increase in the fourth quarter. While gains at this pace could raise concerns about inflation, the increases are coming after an extended period of wage weakness. Economists believe American wages have room to increase at faster rates before becoming an inflation problem. read more

UN agency smartphone app now raising funds for Syrian refugee children in

ShareTheMeal, the award-winning smartphone app developed by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), is switching its fundraising efforts to support Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Launched last November, the app let users virtually “share” their meals with a Syrian refugee with a tap on their screens, sending a donation to provide a child with vital nutrition for a day.Moving forward, ShareTheMeal’s fundraising goal in Lebanon will support 1,400 refugee children aged three and four in Beirut for a full year. The children’s parents are to receive funds transferred to their regular WFP electronic food vouchers, allowing them to buy the foods they want in local shops which also supports host communities and the Lebanese economy.“With ShareTheMeal, you can easily help parents who have lost everything provide for their children,” said WFP Lebanon Country Director Dominik Heinrich, in a press release. “Nutritious home cooked meals are essential to children’s physical and mental development, and they help provide a sense of stability that is critical in children’s lives.”Through the app, smartphone users can join thousands of other people in support of a selected community or project goal and monitor its progress. Donations can range from $0.50, the global average for feeding a child for a day, to a monthly gift. Since its launch, almost half a million people have helped ShareTheMeal reach funding goals in Lesotho, Jordan and Syria. The goal changes once the app users have reached a particular target. Most recently, the app raised funds for women and children in the devastated Syrian city of Homs.On Tuesday, it was announced that ShareTheMeal will receive the prestigious Webby People’s Voice Award for Mobile Sites & Apps—Best Practice Category. ShareTheMeal was also named among the best apps by both the Google Play and Apple App stores and recently won the SXSW [South by Southwest] Interactive Innovation Award.With the Syrian conflict in its sixth year, the UN estimates that more than a million Syrians now live in Lebanon, including vulnerable children. According to WFP, many refugee families have exhausted their savings and are unable to earn an income, making them increasingly reliant on food assistance. read more

DOUBLE DOMINATION IN POLAND Kielce and Plock with new points

11Piotrkowianin Piotrków Trybunalski4013110:1341 9KPR Legionowo310280:902 Easy passage had Polish champions in the fourth round of PGNiG Superliga – Vive Targi Kielce demolished Zagłębie Lubin, winning in front of a home crowd 41:26 (21:13). The match wasn’t very spectacular, because for the most part the team from Lubin was unable to equal fight. Despite a pretty good start for guests, Vive had incrased advantage with every passing moment, taking away wish to continue a game from the opponents. Especially Mateusz Jachlewski, who hasn’t played in the last Kielce’s battle in Champions League, take its toll on Zagłębie’s players and scored eleven goals. Guests didn’t help even a good attitude of their goalkeeper, Marek Kubiszewski and they suffered a second defeat of this season. Kielce can now start thinking only about the impending duel in the Champions League against FC Porto and have hope that all the players will be ready for this match.Most goals: for Vive – Jachlewski 11, Chrapkowski 8; for Zagłębie – Szymyślik 6, Paluch 5Orlen Wisla Plock beat “black sheep” – Piotrkowianin 35:28. 2Orlen Wisła Płock4400132:1028 3Gaz-System Pogoń Szczecin3300112:806 Piotrkowianin – Orlen Wisła Płock 28:35 (16:20)Piotrkowianin: Ner, Wnuk, Procho – Głowacki, Mróz 1, Daćko 4, Tórz 4, Woynowski, Trojanowski 4, Różański 2, Swat 2, Iskra, Pilitowski 4, Pożarek 1, Pacześny 4/3, Wasilewski 2.Orlen Wisła: Sego, Wichary, Morawski – Kwiatkowski, Nenadić 6/2, Kavaś, Ghionea 5/3, Jurkiewicz 7, Toromanović 7, Lijewski 2, Paczkowski 2, Eklemović 2, Milas 4 ← Previous Story FROM LEON TO EISENACH: Faruk Vrazalic to DKB Bundesliga! Next Story → The Brazilian National League 2013 started 12Gwardia Opole300380:980 10SPR Chrobry Głogów310285:982 8MMTS Kwidzyn310287:972 4KS Azoty Puławy320181:884 6SPR Stal Mielec310288:872 7Górnik Zabrze310279:862 1Vive Targi Kielce4400142:948 TEXT: IDA BARAN, Z.B handballhandball matchKielcePlockPoland handballPolish Handball 5Zagłębie Lubin4112109:1313 read more