Business week: jobs are making a comeback

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Hello and happy Easter. Here are the top business and tech stories you need to know for the week ahead. – Charlotte Cowles

Employers added a whopping 916,000 jobs in March, more than doubling employment growth in February. Many hires were in the hotel and construction industry, stimulated by the accelerated pace of vaccinations and a new wave of federal aid. (The spring weather didn’t hurt either.) In other good news, Wall Street hit a record last week, with the S&P 500 index closing above 4,000 for the first time.

President Biden presented his proposal for a giant infrastructure package, which he called “the biggest American investment in jobs since World War II.” It also comes at a steep price, costing around $ 2 trillion over eight years. The plan aims to repair thousands of old bridges, roads and plumbing systems, improving travel times and drinking water. It also includes $ 100 billion for provide high-speed internet access in rural areas who struggle with spotty Wi-Fi. And it will invest heavily in green initiatives like more efficient electric cars and energy networks. But the proposal faces a difficult path through Congress, as republicans oppose corporate tax increases that Mr Biden said would pay for it.

Anyone with federal student loans hasn’t had to make payments for about a year. But those with private student loans haven’t had a break – until now. The education department will temporarily stop collecting payments about six million loans that were made under the federal family education loan program and are now privately held. There’s a catch: only borrowers who have defaulted will get a stay. This decision will also temporarily prevent people in default from having their wages seized or tax refunds seized by collectors, and will return any refunds or wages seized since March 2020.

The airline industry showed some promising signs of life last week. After a year of near dormancy, national holiday bookings bounce back. United Airlines is hire pilots again, starting with those who had conditional job offers before the pandemic or whose start dates were pushed back after travel restrictions were set. pick up reservations at the middle seat in May. And finally, the budget airline Frontier Airlines became public, a sign that he is anticipating a rebound.

After six days of digging and towing, plus a boost from the full moon, the massive container ship that was housed in the Suez Canal has been freed, and the waterway is open for business again. But the ripple effect of its blockage will be felt for weeks. The stuck boat avoided up to $ 10 billion in freight a day after crossing the canal and costing the Egyptian government up to $ 90 million in lost toll revenue. Who will pay for the damage? A fleet of insurers, government authorities and lawyers are figuring out who is financially responsible (likely the Japanese owner of the stranded vessel) and how much they have to pay.

As the global economy picks up, the demand for fuel increases. And the question arose as to whether oil producers would increase their supply to meet them. If they chose not to, gasoline could cost up to $ 4 per gallon by this summer – not really welcome news for anyone trying to drive to work. But OPEC and its allies allayed those fears last week when they agreed to gradually increase production over the next three months, which should keep prices stable.

Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, two companies with large footprints in Georgia, have joined more than 70 black executives from across the country in denounce the new state law which restricts access to voting. New York prosecutors have assigned personal bank statements from the Trump organization’s chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, as part of their investigation into the business practices of former President Donald J. Trump and his family company. And a group of doctors has sued insurance giant UnitedHealthcare and accused him of stifling competition and hurting their business.

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