Current Events in November 2018

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2018

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    Workers are earning more in a tight labor market

    Consumer confidence rose in October

    Independent data released this week points to slightly higher wages for workers and a still-tight labor market for employers. And it all points to more confident consumers.

    In its monthly National Employment Report, ADP said the economy produced 227,000 private sector jobs between September and October. The services sector did the most hiring, with the biggest expansion coming in trade, transportation, and utility companies.

    "The job market bounced back strongly last month despite being hit by back-to-back hurricanes," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "Testimonial to the robust employment picture is the broad-based gains in jobs across industries. The only blemish is the struggles small businesses are having filling open job positions."

    Pay is increasing

    That may be one reason employers who can find qualified candidates have to pay them more. The Paychex IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch report for October again reflects a tight labor market, a slight dip in hiring, and an uptick in wages.

    Hiring was down a modest 0.06 percent from last month. At the same time, the rate of hourly earnings growth in October was at 2.41 percent, rising for the second straight month. Analysts link the dip in hiring to a lack of available candidates to fill them.

    "According to the latest Paychex Business Sentiment Report, business owners rank their ability to fill open positions with qualified candidates as a top challenge," said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. "With employment growth continuing to show moderate declines, we're seeing first-hand the impact of the tightening labor market on small businesses."

    That's not so good for businesses that need more help, but it’s very good for consumers. The report shows consumers who live in the South enjoyed the strongest job growth, while those in the West saw their paychecks grow the most.

    More confident consumers

    Nationwide, consumer confidence rose in October, even as the stock market turned in its worst month of 2018. The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index reached 137.9 this month, up from 135.3 in September.

    The Present Situation Index – based on consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions – turned in an even bigger gain, rising from 169.4 to 172.8.

    The Expectations Index – based on consumers' short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions – increased from 112.5 last month to 114.6 this month.

    Independent data released this week points to slightly higher wages for workers and a still-tight labor market for employers. And it all points to more con...

    Creative Sto recalls children’s toy instrument sets

    Paint on the products violates the federal lead paint ban

    Creative Sto of China is recalling about 440 INNOCHEER children’s musical instruments sets.

    Paint on the maracas, xylophone and carrying case contains levels of lead that exceed the federal lead paint ban.

    Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health issues.

    No incidents or injuries have been reported.

    This recall involves INNOCHEER children’s musical instruments sets.

    The 18-piece instrument sets have one xylophone, two mallets, two maracas, one jingle stick, one sleigh bell, four shaker eggs, two finger castanets, one rainbow bell stick, one mini tambourine and one triangle with striker.

    The instruments set comes inside a clear plastic bag that measures about 8.9 inches by 8.9 inches by 3.2 inches and has a green trim and a yellow zipper and handles.

    INNOCHEER is printed in green on the front of the bag.

    The instrument sets, manufactured in China, were sold exclusively at

    Amazon.com from June 2018, through August 2018, for between $21 and $33.

    What to do

    Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled instrument sets and carrying case, take them away from children and contact Creative Sto for a full refund, including the cost of shipping the product back to Creative Sto. The firm is contacting all known purchasers directly.

    Consumers may contact Creative Sto toll-free at (866) 322-3361 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or by email at support@myinnocheer.com for more information.

    Creative Sto of China is recalling about 440 INNOCHEER children’s musical instruments sets.Paint on the maracas, xylophone and carrying case contains l...

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      Ford recalls model year 2017-2018 Ford GTs

      The rear wing valve block may leak hydraulic fluid

      Ford Motor Company is recalling 176 model year 2017-2018 Ford GT vehicles.

      The rear wing valve block may leak hydraulic fluid.

      A leak of hydraulic fluid in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.

      What to do

      Ford will notify owners, and dealers will perform a software update to the fully integrated vehicle controller, which eliminates the possibility of excessive pressure in the valve block assembly.

      Some vehicles will have a rear wing hydraulic check valve installed and will have the o-rings and the filter replaced, if needed. The repairs will be performed free of charge.

      The recall is expected to begin November 26, 2018.

      Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 18S29.

      Ford Motor Company is recalling 176 model year 2017-2018 Ford GT vehicles.The rear wing valve block may leak hydraulic fluid.A leak of hydraulic fl...

      Pacific Cycle recalls adult men’s mountain bikes

      The downtube on the bicycles can crack, posing a fall hazard

      Pacific Cycle of Madison, Wis., is recalling about 17,600 model year 2018 Schwinn Abbott Adult Men’s Full Suspension Mountain Bicycles.

      The bike's downtube can crack, posing a fall hazard.

      The firm has received 37 reports of cracks in the bike’s downtube. One injury has been reported, involving cuts and abrasions.

      This recall involves Schwinn Abbott Adult Men’s Full Suspension Mountain Bicycles that come in black with green, yellow and blue accent colors on the downtubes and 29-inch tires.

      “Schwinn” is printed in green and yellow on the downtube of the bicycle and “Abbott” is printed in blue on the top tube of the bicycle near the bicycle stem and handlebars.

      The bicycles, manufactured in China, were sold exclusively at Walmart stores nationwide and online at Walmart.com from February 2018, through August 2018, for about $180.

      What to do

      Consumers should immediately stop riding the recalled bicycles and contact Pacific Cycle to receive a free replacement bicycle

      Consumers may contact Pacific Cycle toll-free at (877) 564-2261 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday, by email customerservice@pacific-cycle.com or go online at www.pacific-cycle.com and click on Safety Notices & Recalls at the bottom of the page for more information.

      Pacific Cycle of Madison, Wis., is recalling about 17,600 model year 2018 Schwinn Abbott Adult Men’s Full Suspension Mountain Bicycles.The bike's downt...

      Suzanna’s Kitchen recalls chicken strips

      The product contains concentrations of thallium

      Suzanna’s Kitchen of Peachtree Corners, Ga., is recalling approximately 15,408 pounds of grilled chicken .

      The product contains concentrations of thallium.

      While the concentration levels do not present an immediate health hazard, prolonged ingestion of contaminated product in sensitive populations could cause some health effects.

      There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions.

      The following ready-to-eat item, produced on June 20, 2018, is being recalled:

      • 8-oz. boxed packages of “NATURE RAISED Farms organic GLUTEN FREE GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST STRIPS” with a “Use By” date of June 20, 2019 and a lot number of “1718SUZ01”

      The recalled product, bearing establishment number “EST. 1381” on the side panel of the box, was shipped to retail locations nationwide.

      What to do

      Customers who have purchased the recalled product should not consume it, but discard it or return it to the place of purchase.

      Consumers with questions may contact Tyson consumer relations at (888) 747-7611.

      Suzanna’s Kitchen of Peachtree Corners, Ga., is recalling approximately 15,408 pounds of grilled chicken .The product contains concentrations of thalli...

      Toyota recalls model year 2004 –2006 Scion xAs

      The airbag system could experience electrical shorting

      Toyota is recalling about 17,000 model year 2004 –2006 Scion xAs in the U.S.

      The vehicle's airbag system could experience electrical shorting that could damage the circuits in the system.

      This could cause the airbag warning lights to illuminate and the airbag and seatbelt pretensioners to become deactivated. Or it could cause those systems to deploy inadvertently.

      Either condition could increase the risk of injury or crash.

      What to do

      Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace the airbag control unit with an improved one at no cost to customers.

      The recall is expected to begin in late December.

      Owners may contact Toyota at (800) 331-4331.

      Toyota is recalling about 17,000 model year 2004 –2006 Scion xAs in the U.S.The vehicle's airbag system could experience electrical shorting that could...