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Google: We Underpaid Thousands of Men

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Facing claims that it underpays female employees, Google conducted a pay equity study this year that instead found men were earning less than their peers, leading it to issue raises to thousands of men. The company gave $9.7 million in additional compensation to 10,677 employees—both men and women, and the breakdown isn’t known—following the annual study, which reviewed the wages of 91% of Google employees within job types, job levels, performance, and location. “Men account for about 69% of the company’s work force, but they received a higher percentage of the money,“ per the New York Times. The paper adds the results—coming amid a Labor Department investigation into whether the company systematically underpays women, and various lawsuits making such claims—were “to the surprise of just about everyone.“

Yet the study did not address whether women are hired at a lower pay grade than men with similar qualifications, per Ars Technica. In one lawsuit, a former Google engineer claims she was grouped in with recent college graduates despite four years of experience, while men of the same qualifications received better pay. “Because leveling, performance ratings and promotion impact pay, this year we are undertaking a comprehensive review of these processes to make sure the outcomes are fair and equitable for all employees,“ Google’s lead analyst for pay equity wrote in a Monday blog post. Just 228 employees received a combined salary increase of $270,000 following the 2017 study. The 2018 analysis was the first to factor in new hires, who accounted for 49% of the adjustments.

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX – FEBRUARY 2019

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The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The indexes for shelter and food increased, and the gasoline index rose after recent declines to result in the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index rose 0.4 percent, its largest monthly increase since May 2014, as both the food at home and food away from home indexes increased. The gasoline index rose 1.5 percent in February, following three consecutive monthly decline s, resulting in the energy index rising 0.4 percent despite declines in the electricity and natural gas indexes. 

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in February after rising 0.2 percent in January. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for personal care, apparel, and education all increased. The indexes for recreation, medical care, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles all declined in February.
The all items index increased 1.5 percent for the 12 months ending February, a smaller increase than the 1.6-percent rise for the 12-months ending January. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent over the last 12 months, a slightly smaller figure than the 2.2-percent increase for the period ending January. The food index rose 2.0 percent over the past year, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 2015. In contrast, the energy index declined 5.0 percent over the last 12 months.

Kia, Hyundai Recall 500K Cars Due to Fire Risk

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Hyundai and Kia have added more than a half-million vehicles to a 3½-year string of US recalls for engine failures and fires, the AP reports. Three recalls released Thursday by the government add new problems and vehicles to the Korean automakers’ list of safety woes, which have brought hundreds of complaints about fires from across the nation. The companies have now recalled nearly 2.4 million vehicles for fire and engine failure problems since September of 2015, and they are under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for potentially being slow to fix faulty vehicles. In addition, the companies are doing a “product improvement campaign” covering another 3.7 million vehicles to install software that will alert drivers of possible engine failures and send the cars into a reduced-speed “limp” mode if problems are detected.

The largest of three recalls posted on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website Thursday covers nearly 379,000 Kia Soul small SUVs from 2012 through 2016 with 1.6-liter engines. Documents show that high exhaust gas temperatures can damage the catalytic converters, which control pollution. That can cause abnormal combustion and damage pistons and connecting rods. A failed connecting rod can pierce the engine block and cause oil leaks that can cause fires. In addition, Hyundai and Kia are recalling 152,000 Tuscon SUVs from 2011 to 2013 and Sportage SUVs from 2011 and 2012 to fix an engine oil pan leak that also can cause fires. Documents in the latest round of recalls don’t mention whether there have been any fires or injuries. The director of the Center for Auto Safety has said more than 300 fire complaints to NHTSA have come from across the country, including a death in Ohio in April of 2017.

REAL EARNINGS * FEBRUARY 2019

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All employees

Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.3 percent from January to February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from a 0.4-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.2-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.1 percent over the month due to the change in real average hourly earnings combined with 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek. 

Real average hourly earnings increased 1.9 percent, seasonally adjusted, from February 2018 to February 2019. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 1.6-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.


Production and nonsupervisory employees

Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased 0.2 percent from January to February, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.3-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.2-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.5 percent over the month due to the change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.6-percent decrease in average weekly hours.

From February 2018 to February 2019, real average hourly earnings increased 2.2 percent, seasonally adjusted. Combining the change in real average hourly earnings with a 0.6-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 1.5-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

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