The bottom line
Even as rates for most other age groups have fallen, older Americans are going bankrupt more often—the rate has tripled since 1991 for those ages 65 and over. A total of 12.2 percent of all bankruptcy filers are now 65 or older (up from 2.1 percent in 1991). Vanishing pensions are partly to blame, as are higher medical costs. Also, many more older homeowners are still paying off mortgages.
The New York Times
The construction industry has endured a significant labor shortage as young U.S. workers shun the building trade. The share of workers in the sector under 24 fell nearly 30 percent from 2005 through 2016. Replacements for retiring workers have been scarce even though the work pays well and doesn’t require a college degree.
The Wall Street Journal
The newspaper industry shed 45 percent of its employees from 2008 to 2017. Digital and television news couldn’t make up for the losses, with total newsroom employment down 23 percent during this period, from 114,000 newsroom staffers in 2008 to 88,000 in 2017.
Americans are a surprisingly industrious workforce, according to research from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted from 2013 through 2017. The department found that 92.3 percent of time spent at the workplace was actually spent working. The most common activities when not working were eating and drinking, and then…working on assignments from another job.
The Chinese tech giant Huawei sold 95 million smartphones in the first half of the year, shipping more phones globally than Apple as sales rose steeply in Europe, the Middle East, and India.
The Wall Street Journal
China fears this little bear
Disney’s new Winnie-the-Pooh movie, Christopher Robin, is notably absent from Chinese theaters this summer, said Emily Stewart in Vox.com. Though China gave no reason for rejecting the film, the problem seems to be that Chinese leader Xi Jinping loathes online comparisons of him to the bumbling bear. Chinese cartoonists have depicted Xi and Barack Obama as Pooh and his taller, thinner buddy Tigger; Xi and Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, get turned into Pooh and the donkey Eeyore. Xi is so sensitive about the comparisons that references to the controversial bear have been censored from Chinese social media as “illegal content.” In June, HBO host John Oliver brought up Xi’s Pooh problem on air, saying his fear of the bear “doesn’t exactly project strength.” Censors were not amused; predictably, they blocked HBO’s website, and online mentions of Oliver himself.