The bottom line
American workers are increasingly reluctant to change cities for a new position. Roughly 3.5 million people relocated for a new job in 2017, a 10 percent drop from 2015. Respondents cited depressed home values and an increase in the availability of jobs in their area as the chief reasons for staying put.
The Wall Street Journal
Despite record levels of consumer confidence and almost full employment, 4 in 10 American consumers are struggling to pay for basic needs. Of adults between 18 and 64 years old, 39.4 percent said they had trouble with at least one of four basic necessities—housing, utilities, food, or health care. Those in trouble include one-third of families with at least one working adult.
Sparkling water sales are booming. Americans will purchase an estimated 821 million gallons of sparkling water in 2018, a tripling over the past decade as consumers abandon soda. Sales of sparkling water also surpassed fruit juice in the year ending June 30, totaling $2.7 billion, compared with $2.5 billion. Market leader LaCroix now holds a 19 percent share of sales.
The Wall Street Journal
The Eagles’ Greatest Hits 1971–1975 compilation has rolled past Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the biggest-selling album of all time, notching 38 million sales this year. How sales are measured has shifted greatly since those albums were released: In the streaming era, 1,500 streams per song equal one “sale.”
Almost 1 in 20 American adults now use e-cigarettes, a total of 10.8 million people; 1 in 3 of those vape daily. Men are more likely to vape; 5.9 percent use e-cigarettes, compared with 3.7 percent of women.
Big Tech’s new chemical fix
Silicon Valley is getting high more and more often for fun and profit, said Kara Swisher in The New York Times. Microdoses of LSD are common; Adderall is used to “plow through work,” Ecstasy to relax; and smoking marijuana is now like “drinking a glass of wine.” Silicon Valley, though, tends “to view drugs differently” than, say, Hollywood or Wall Street. “The point is less to let off steam or lose your inhibitions than to improve your mind.” One executive points to the Bradley Cooper movie Limitless as the ideal: You’re trying to achieve “a heightened sense of awareness” while staying functional. “Whatever can get you to that place without a lot of downside—like addiction—is preferred.” It’s a new experience for techies who spent their entire youth “looking at a screen.” It’s not clear that the story always ends well. Limitless, the same executive notes, “was a terrible movie.”