1) Another 2.1 million Americans are unemployed as the economy begins its reopening with restriction on economic activity easing in some parts of the country. One bright spot is the number of continued claims (people remaining on unemployment) dropped slightly from people returning to work. While the number of new claims continues to drop each week, it still remains at a record high, with the drop in new claims remaining higher than anticipated. The continued elevated number of claims isn’t a good sign, showing that we are not through the business shutdowns and possible closures yet, with some furloughs shifting over to permanent layoffs. The unemployment in America is now at 40.7 million workers.
2) Boeing aircraft manufacturer may be starting its recovery announcing the resumption of limited production of its 737 MAX after a five month halt. The 737 MAX has been grounded since March of 2018 because of software problems resulting in two airliners crashing. While the FAA has not cleared the airplane for return to passenger service, Boeing expects the 737 MAX to fly again in mid 2020.
3) The millennials and generation-Z are worst off economically than any previous generation, they are experiencing slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation in U.S. history. It’s not just that it’s a bad recession, or that it’s hitting young people more, but rather that it’s hitting people who have already been hit by the Great Recession. Millennials have experienced slower economic growth since entering the workforce than any other generation in U.S. history, and they will bear these economic scars throughout their lives, with lower earnings, lower wealth and delayed milestones, such as home ownership. The old adage of ‘just work harder, sink or swim by your own effort’ no longer applies, because many millennials are now having to swim upstream against a much stronger current . . . from the forces of automation and technology displacement.
4) Stock market closings for – 28 MAY 20:
Dow 25,400.64 down 147.63 Nasdaq 9,368.99 down 43.37 S&P 500 3,029.73 down 6.40
1) Present Trump has renewed his threats to impose tariffs on imported cars from Europe, citing that the European Union is even more difficult to do business with than China. His comments signals he is turning his attention to renegotiating trade deals with the bloc. Automobiles have been at the center of trade tensions for the past couple of years.
2) The millennials own just 4% of American real estate by value, much less than the 32% which baby boomers owned. This comparison is with approximately the same media age of the two groups, meaning the millennials are far behind the baby boomers economically. While millennials may close that gap in the next four years, it’s unlikely they will reach 20% ownership, still far behind the baby boomers.
3) There is a rash of retail store closings after the holiday season, due to sales slump. Fashion retailer Express is closing 91 stores, Bed Bath & Beyond is closing 60 , Schurman Retail Group is closing its Papyrus and American Greeting stores for a total of 254 locations in the next four to six weeks. Express is the latest in a serious of fashion retailers to close, part of the struggle of malls to compete in the new retail arena. Last year, retailers Forever 21 filed for bankruptcy, with Charlotte Russe and Payless ShoeSource going out of business.
4) Stock market closings for – 22 JAN 20:
Dow 29,186.27 down 9.77 Nasdaq 9,383.77 up 12.96 S&P 500 3,321.75 up 0.96
#EFRPod we are back @ it once more, Sammy BE @ecofiretv, James Lyman @obsoletepeople & on the boards Magic Jon Don Sterling @thedramablock . We are the EFR Podcast show live and direct in your area.
This episode #EFRPod, we had the dubious pleasure to interview an an established entrepreneur business consultant, author, and motivational speaker, who happens to write for business/entrepreneur publication, INC. Magazine and he has lectured on the TED Talks lecture series; his name is Mr. Damon Brown @BrownDamon .
Damon came on to discuss entrepreneur development, generational entrepreneurial leadership, future business leadership models, what it takes to be a leader in business and in life, and his life successes and failures, and how he was able to evolve in his business mentorship role, and help others to achieve their goals and life long dreams.
1) The Dollar has hit its highest value for 2019, as measured by the Bloomberg Dollar Index. This is when President Trump wants the Dollar value lowered to position America better in international trade. The President claims that the Dollar is so strong now, that it is hurting other parts of the world. He is even suggesting that the U.S. should actually weaken the Dollar, although this could turn the trade conflict into a currency war. Presently, the U.S. economy is doing much better than global peers, so it is unlikely to deteriorate faster than other countries and therefore is unlikely for the Dollar to weaken on its own accord.
2) The millennials are turning away from the large elaborate houses of the baby boomers in the sun belt. Houses built before 2012 are being sold at a deep discount, sometimes as much as a half, so owners are not making a profit. Large homes are receiving 12% to 45% fewer views on the internet and are selling up to 73% slower.
3) America’s steel giant, U.S. Steel announced layoffs of hundreds of its workers in Michigan. The layoffs are expected to be temporary because of a halt in production at the Michigan facility, while also idling two blast furnaces. The reason for production cutbacks is lower steel prices and softening demand. The layoffs are anticipated to last about six months. U.S. Steel’s stock has dropped 73% since March of 2018.
4) Stock market closings for – 20 AUG 19:
Dow 25,962.44 down 173.35 Nasdaq 7,948.56 down 54.25 S&P 500 2,900.51 down 23.14
And Yes We’re Back Like Never Before. It’s the EFR Podcast Show featuring me (Sammy BE/Bizman Bassey) @EcoFireTV, James Lyman @ObsoletePeople & on the boards Jon Don Sterling @TheDramaBlock.
On this episode #33, the group interviewed social media manager Keith Dorsey @YoungGunsCEO. He happens to assist managing the careers of online mega stars such as RobbiiWorld, Hollywood Dollz & Woah Vicky.
came on the show to discuss social media presence, online platforms,
attaining a lucrative online following and base, as well as productive
advise for young entrepreneurs, trying to thrive in media… This is an
episode you got to listen to…..
1) Chinese economic growth has slowed to its lowest level in twenty-seven years, a result of the prolong trade war. Additionally, global growth has slowed, coupled with external uncertainties increasing. China is reporting a fall in both exports and imports for the first six months of this year. The Chinese are working on more stimulus measures to stabilize growth such as boosting infrastructure spending and interest rates cut, while also seeking loans from abroad.
2) Just like all youth, the millennials and generation-Z, have aspirations for their lives and the direction they want to go. Presently, these two groups comprise 40% of the American population, but like previous generations they disdain much about the older generation’s lives such as cars, big houses and material wealth. They want careers that make a difference even if not paying much, where they can provide some greater good to society. The fly in the ointment is their exploding student loan debt coupled with the growing obsolescence of American workers, in particular the younger ones.
3) Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant recently in the news so much, plans hundreds of layoffs in the near future. These layoffs are expected to be in Huawei’s U.S. development subsidiary Futurewei, a technology development center, which employs 850 people across several states. Blacklisted by the American government because of security risk issues, the company expects to lose $30 billion dollars in sales over the next two years.
4) Stock market closings for – 15 JUL 19: All three markets set new record highs.
Dow 27,359.16 up 27.13 Nasdaq 8,258.18 up 14.04 S&P 500 3,014.30 up 0.53
1) The Canadian book retailing chain Indigo is expanding into the United States with its new model for brick and mortar bookstores at a time when online book selling is squeezing out traditional American bookstores. Indigo’s success is credited by selling signature gift items along with their books, such as beach mats, bento lunch boxes, herb growing kits, scented candles and crystal pillars.
2) The drug giant CVS Health is closing 46 of its stores as they become more involved in health care services. Nevertheless, CVS remains a solidly profitable business, but like so many other retailers, is worried about Amazon’s entry into the prescription drug business. Amazon has acquired the online drug retailer PillPack, which could serve as a bases for Amazon’s launch into the drug retailing business.
3) The millennials and generation-Z are not the only Americans facing massive college student loans to pay off. Senior citizens are struggling to pay off their student loans. More than three million people, who are over sixty, are still paying for college loans, owing more than $86 billion dollars.
4) 2 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 26,307.79 down 122.35 Nasdaq 8,036.77 down 12.87 S&P 500 2,917.52 down 6.21
If you would like to watch displacement by a new technology coming into your life, just watch at your local supermarket.
James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM
I do our weekly grocery shopping, each Wednesday morning like clockwork, and in the last year or so I’ve seen these multi-shelf wire carts being pulled through the store by young kids, seemingly absorbed by the screens of their smart phones, appearing to be oblivious to all about them. Up and down the aisles they go, stopping occasionally to pick an item or two off the shelves to fill plastic grocery bags which rest on these wire shelves. In actuality, they are doing the physical shopping for HEB customers. The customer uses an app on their smart phones to compile their shopping list, which then goes to one of the young shopper’s smart phone to be gathered up. At a later time, the customer pulls up to a delivery door on the side of the store, gathers up the order and is off for home in just minutes.
This is the newest innovation in retailing, both dry goods and foodstuff. Attempts are being made by a number of different retailers to further automate their store operations, thereby remaining competitive and not becoming another Sears and Roebuck chain. Trouble is, it’s too labor intensive! Automation means doing more with fewer people, so how can this be an example of new unfolding automation technology? Quite simply this is the start, not the end of development, and right now, HEB and other retailers are feeling out the market, researching just how best to develop it for their future.
To reduce their labor cost, companies like HEB need to go to a central location for filling orders, where warehouse automation systems can be used to fill those orders. This is an area of technology which is highly advanced and proven. Modern warehouses require far fewer material handling people to operate than just a decade or two ago. Since the customer orders are electronic, they would automatically go to the central warehouse to be filled. I envision using plastic impregnated corrugated tote boxes like the Post Office uses, which are cheap yet durable. Each tote box has a unique bar code, so once scanned with a hand held bar code reader, the tracking software knows which order that a tote box is associated with. These tote boxes could be color coded, blue for cold stuff, white for general dry foods, pink for cleaning chemicals, green for produce and so on.
A person would go down an aisles making stock pulls for a tote box, then at the end place the box on a powered conveyer. Having bar codes, the tote boxes can be automatically sorted to which truck (store) that tote goes to. The totes may be set on a multi level rack with wheels, so a truck is loaded merely by pushing these rack carriers into the truck, then closing the trailer doors. Each of the carrier racks also have unique bar codes and so the computer network knows which tote box is on which rack. Cold and frozen food stuff goes by separate trucks. The truck then delivers to the designated store to be later picked up.
Once at the store, the racks are rolled out of the truck, sorted and checked to ensure all the totes for an order are present, then when the customer arrives, the clerk only has to push the cart of totes out to the waiting car. The previously used totes are scanned and a deposit charge for each tote (2 to 3 dollars) is deducted from the customer’s account. Then the new totes are loaded into the car, each scanned a second time to ensure completeness of order, while the deposit charge for each tote is added to the customer’s account. So in just a minute or so, the customer is off to continue driving home, the grocery shopping chore now done.
So just how does such a system reduce labor cost? Well, to start with, the central warehouse works directly off pallets and such, so there’s no labor involved in stocking shelves as with conventional stores. With a well designed automated warehouse, the stock pullers fill more orders per day than presently done by in-store pullers walking around the store with their carts, while also getting in the way of customers. Now if 30 to 40% of the shoppers are using the automated shopping service, then there’s a reduction of the number of shoppers the store has to process, which in turn means a reduction in the number of cashiers, the number of people sacking the groceries, the number of support people and fewer man-hours spent stocking the shelves. Suddenly, there’s a very significant savings in labor which translates directly into monetary savings and therefore increased profits.
In practice, the customer would use the smart phone app to note items are needed as they are found, much like writing a conventional shopping list. Say you’re running low on plastic trash bags, then just whip out the phone and check it off. Then just as with a written shopping list, the evening before going shopping, the customer sits down and checks off what food items are wanted for the next several days or week. Once done, the order is placed, as well as the time for pickup, then next day after work, the customer swings into HEB’s pickup station on the way home (or uses one of the emerging delivery services) and presses a button on the app to signal he has arrived. A unique bar code appears on his smart phone, which the clerk scans to make sure it’s the right customer, then in less than a minute has the order loaded into the car. Payment is electronic and has already been made and approved.
And now that you know what to watch for, you can observe the process of a new technology moving into your life and the displacement that follows. This is a very serious business that spells the difference of life and death for a retailer, whether there is going be an HEB or another Sears and Roebuck. Years ago, when WalMart brought their super stores to San Antonio, someone made the snide remark to the newspaper that HEB should just fold it up and let WalMart take over, just like so many competitors had done in the past! They didn’t realize that WalMart’s advantage has always been they were so highly automated . . . and that HEB was just as automated as WalMart. For once, WalMart was taking on an equal, and this time there wasn’t the easy pushover they were expecting.
I just read an article that WalMart has acquired Jetblack, a personal-shopping company which WalMart intends to use as a teaching device for their new AI system they expect to have operating in the next 5 to 7 years. To WalMart, Jetblack is a research tool instead of a business enterprise, this is how serious technology development is for ALL retailers. For them, it’s a matter of life and death! HEB and other retailers have no real choice whether to automate or not, because their only alternative is the decline and then demise of their company.
That’s the primary driving force of automation for any business.
As millennials and generation-Z face increasing challenges of new technologies and displacement, they need to realize there’s no stopping or controlling those technologies. Even if a nation’s government was to restrict the growth of technology to preserve jobs, the baton of advance technology would just pass to another country leaving the ‘restricting nation’ to wilt on the vine. So the millennials and generation-Z have no alternative but to also advance technologically.