The bottom line
As of 2016, the median net worth of those born in the 1980s was 34 percent lower than what past trends would predict for the group. Those born in the 1970s, the Gen Xers, were 18 percent behind. Slate.com
The 160,000 or so wealthiest American families—the top 0.1 percent—held 22 percent of America’s wealth in 2012, up from 10 percent in 1963. The Atlantic
America’s shortage of truck drivers is getting worse. About 51,000 more drivers are needed to meet demand from companies such as Amazon and Walmart, according to the American Trucking Associations, up from a shortage of 36,000 in 2016. The driver shortage is already leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices for consumer goods. The Washington Post
The number of female CEOs in the Fortune 500 has dropped 25 percent this year. After reaching an all-time high of 32 in 2017, the number of female chiefs has fallen to 24. Among those departing: Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison, Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman, and Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of snack giant Mondelez. Fortune.com
The number of air conditioners worldwide is predicted to soar from 1.6 billion units today to 5.6 billion units by midcentury, according to the International Energy Agency. By 2050, air conditioners will use as much electricity as China does for all of its activities today. While 90 percent of U.S. households have air-conditioning, in the warmer-climate countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East just 8 percent of residents own air conditioners. The New York Times
A flood of perks for plumbers
“Drained from a labor shortage, the plumbing industry is throwing the kitchen sink at job candidates,” said Jennifer Levitz in The Wall Street Journal. Demand for skilled plumbers is soaring, thanks to an uptick in construction and retirements, leading firms to offer recruits the kind of “perks a pampered Silicon Valley tech worker might expect.” Neuworks Mechanical in Fort Collins, Colo., which employs 75 plumbers but needs 20 more, has installed a craft beer tap and a putting green in the office. The Sunny Plumber lures talent with free laundry service and a suite at Arizona Cardinals games, while employees at My Plumber Heating & Cooling in Manassas, Va., get biweekly massages. The median salary for a plumber last year was $53,000, but it “isn’t uncommon” to see jobs advertised from $70,000 up to six figures. “We’re like top dogs now,” said plumber Jason Braukman.