Every week we bring you the world’s biggest travel, business and currency exchange news. This week: unemployment in the US is down and rates could go up next month, Canada’s unemployment drops to 10-year low, AirBnB valued at over $30 billion, and China posts a trade deficit for the first time in three years.
A CBC investigation revealed that “Hundreds of current and former [TD] employees respond to CBC report with stories of pressure to upsell customers.” According to former employees TD pressured them to upsell customers in order to reach increasing revenue targets. Dlisha Dyal told the CBC “I was made to feel as if I was committing a huge wrong for looking out for the best interests of my customer over the interests of the bank.” The targets not only put the bank’s interests before the customer, but also had a negative impact on employee health. One teller spoke to the CBC while on medical leave for stress related to her position.
Unemployment down, rates up?
The US economy added 235,000 jobs last month, pushing unemployment down to just 4.7% from 4.8% and hourly pay rose 2.8%. This strong jobs data could be the final push that the Fed needed to raise rates. In December the Fed predicted that it would increase rates three times this year. Following the 2008 recession the Fed kept rates at zero for seven years to encourage growth. Increasing rates will make borrowing money more expensive which could cool the housing market, and stock market, but will strengthen the USD.
Canada’s economy added 15,000 jobs last month, reducing the unemployment rate to 6.6%. Over 105,000 full time jobs were created, the largest single increase since 2006, but was offset by a loss of 90,000 part-time positions. Overall in the last 12 months Canada has created 288,000 jobs. At 6.6% the unemployment rate is tied for the lowest level in a decade. Economists had predicted a moderate loss of jobs.
AirBnB attracted over $1 billion in investment funding in a deal which values the firm at $31 billion. AirBnB was founded in 2008 and has enjoyed enormous popularity. It operates in about 65,000 cities across the globe.
China Trade Deficit
China reported its first trade deficit in three years due to increased demand and higher commodity prices. Combined with a slowdown in production during the Lunar New Year. Chinese imports increased 38.1% in February and exports fell by 1.3% for a trade deficit of $9.2 billion. Analysts had predicted a surplus of $25.8 billion.
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