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NFIB Weekly News

NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

Small Business Optimism Sees Modest Downturn In June (07/09/2019)

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (7/8) for June saw a modest downturn in small business optimism, reversing May’s gain. Small business optimism remains historically high, but the Uncertainty Index saw a substantial rise. NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan was quoted saying, “Last month, small business owners curbed spending, sales expectations and profits both fell, and the outlook for expansion dampened. When you add difficulty finding qualified workers and harmful state level laws and regulations, you’re left with a volatile mix where uncertainty has increased to levels not seen in more than two years.” Chief Economist William Dunkelberg was quoted saying, “As expectations for sales gains and the general business environment faded, uncertainty levels increased. ... Still, job openings and plans to create jobs remain historically very strong, and while it’s not as ‘hot’ as May, Main Street is still running strong.”

Business Climate

WTimes Analysis: Longest Economic Expansion In US History Might Be Easing (07/09/2019)

The Washington Times (7/3, Boyer) reported, “The longest economic expansion in U.S. history is showing signs of cooling, and while the economy is still good, some polls show a challenge for President Trump’s reelection.” Trump tweeted Wednesday that the US has “the greatest economy anywhere in the world.” However, “some indicators are showing parts of the U.S. economy easing amid concerns” about trade disputes and a global slowdown.

Small Business Marketing

IBM’s Watson Marketing Spins Off Into Separate Company (07/09/2019)

ZDNet (7/1, Condon) reported that IBM’s Watson Marketing platform “officially launched as a standalone company on Monday, about three months after IBM announced it would sell” the business to Centerbridge Partners. The new company “will announce its new name and brand later this month.” It “offers marketing automation tools, marketing analytics, advertising and content management tools.” In a blog post, “CEO Mark Simpson argued the new company will be mature enough yet agile enough to take on major cloud marketing competitors like Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce.” With the deal completed, ZDNet added that IBM can now “keep its focus on its new priorities.”

Wages and Benefits

Sen. Warren Proposes Plan To Address Women Of Color Pay Gap (07/09/2019)

Reuters (7/5, Chiacu) reported Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Friday “proposed a plan to help women of color get better wages and a path to the leadership positions they have been denied.” Warren said, “Employers ‘tilt the playing field against women of color at every stage of employment.’” She also “noted the statistics on pay: Black women earn 61 cents for every dollar white men make and the gap between white and black women is higher than it was 40 years ago.”

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