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U.S. hiring increased in September, led by leisure and hospitality sector

Business hiring picked up in September

U.S. companies added 568,000 jobs in September, the most since June, suggesting that hiring challenges are beginning to ease as more Americans return to the workforce.

The increase was led by leisure and hospitality, after a revised 340,000 gain in August, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday.

The stronger pace of hiring indicates that companies had greater success filling open positions after enhanced federal unemployment benefits ended on Sept. 6 and as schools reopened, allowing some parents to return to work. Even so, it will take more time to reach a full labor market recovery — total employment measured by ADP remains well below pre-pandemic levels.

The data comes ahead of Friday’s monthly employment report from the Labor Department, forecast to show the United States added 450,000 private payrolls in September.

Service-provider employment increased 466,000 in September, led by payrolls at leisure and hospitality businesses, which rose by 266,000.

Payrolls at goods producers climbed by 102,000, mostly driven by gains at construction and manufacturing firms, both the most in a year.

— Bloomberg News

GM planning new electrics in profit bid

General Motors plans to double its annual revenue by 2030 with an array of new electric vehicles, profitable gas-powered cars and trucks, and services such as an electronic driving system that can handle most tasks on the road.

In announcements ahead of an investor event in suburban Detroit, the company teased upcoming new electric vehicles, including a Chevrolet small SUV that will cost around $30,000, as well as electric trucks from Chevrolet and GMC, crossover SUVs from Buick, and luxury vehicles from Cadillac. An electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup that can go 400 miles per charge will be unveiled at the CES gadget show in January.

The Detroit automaker said it plans to have more than half of its factories in North America and China be capable of making electric vehicles by 2030.

GM said the new Ultra Cruise, GM’s next generation of electronic hands-free driver-assist system, will be able to take on 95 percent of driving tasks. The system is due in selected Cadillac luxury vehicles in 2023.

— Associated Press

Hacker attacks Twitch streaming platform

Amazon’s live-streaming gaming platform Twitch said that it was hit by a data breach, without providing further details.

An anonymous hacker claimed to have leaked Twitch data, including information related to the company’s source code, clients and unreleased games, according to Video Games Chronicle, which first reported the news of the hack.

Twitch confirmed the breach and said its “teams are working with urgency to understand the extent of this.”

The company declined to comment further and said it would “update the community as soon as additional information is available.” Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Twitch, with more than 30 million average daily visitors, has become increasingly popular with musicians and video gamers where they interact with users while live-streaming content.

— Reuters

TikTok denied there was a challenge trending on its platform daring students to slap their teachers but said it would remove such content if it appeared. Earlier this week, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called on TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew to meet parents and teachers in the state over “dangerous content” being spread on the social media platform, saying that a new “slap a teacher” challenge going viral on the app was endangering educators. 
Bank of America is offering $200 awards to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management branch employees who return to the workplace and confirm they’re fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The company will give the award to client associates, administrative support and operations staff “in recognition of the important work they are doing as the business has transitioned back into the office,” a spokesman said in a statement.

— From news services