Producer prices jumped a record 9.6% last year and more trade news
Producer prices jump 9.6% in past 12 months
Wholesale prices jumped a record 9.6% in November from a year earlier, an indication of lingering inflationary pressures.
The Labor Department said on Tuesday that its producer price index, which measures inflation before it reaches consumers, rose 0.8% in November after a monthly gain of 0.6% in October. It was the highest monthly reading in four months.
Food prices, which fell 0.3% in October, jumped 1.2% in November. Energy prices rose 2.6% after rising 5.3% in October.
The 12-month increase in wholesale price inflation set a new record, breaking past 12-month highs of 8.6% set in September and October. The records for wholesale prices date back to 2010.
Core inflation at the wholesale level, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose 0.8% in November, with underlying prices rising 9.5% over the past 12 months. last months.
The increase in wholesale prices was widespread, driven by a 1.2% rise in the cost of goods and a 0.7% increase in the price of services.
Within the goods category, the price of scrap metal and scrap rose 10.7% while the price of gasoline, jet fuel and industrial chemicals all increased. In the food category, the price of fresh fruits and vegetables has increased while the price of chickens has fallen.
Kroger cuts benefits for the unvaccinated
Kroger, the country’s largest traditional grocery chain, is ending some benefits for unvaccinated workers as large employers try to force more of their workforce to get vaccinated, cases of COVID-19 on the rise again.
Unvaccinated workers will no longer be able to receive paid emergency leave for up to two weeks if they are infected, a company spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday. This policy was put in place last year when vaccines were not available.
The company said it would also start charging a monthly fee of $ 50 to salaried workers and unvaccinated managers who are enrolled in a company health care plan. Unionized workers and non-union hourly workers will not pay these fees.
Kroger has nearly 500,000 employees in the United States; 66% belong to a union. The company will not say what percentage of its employees are vaccinated.
Airlines’ workforce shortage persists after assistance
American Airlines plans to hire 18,000 new employees in 2022 as it tries to recruit staff as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a pre-copy of testimony CEO Doug Parker plans to share with lawmakers on Wednesday .
Parker and other airline CEOs called on to explain why airlines grapple with labor shortages when Congress awarded $ 54 billion to the industry in 2020 and 2021 to survive the worst of the pandemic crisis.
American Airlines alone received more than $ 12.8 billion in government wage support.
But Parker, in his prepared testimony, claims that government support to avoid layoffs and time off “saved the airline industry, which Congress and the administration have recognized as critical infrastructure as essential to the economy. unique “.
âEvery time we add to our ranks, it’s like a dividend on the investment made in our team through the PSP; instead of rebuilding after the collapse, we are growing up to offer more promising careers in well-paying jobs to hard workers. people who are the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, âParker said.
Nebraska Governor urges Kellogg’s to resume talks
Kellogg’s faces growing political pressure to resume contract talks with its 1,400 striking grain factory workers.
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts sent a letter to the company’s CEO this week urging the company to return to the bargaining table with workers at its four factories nationwide, including one in his state. . It came just days after President Joe Biden criticized Kellogg’s for threatening to hire permanent replacements for workers on strike since October 5.
Ricketts said in his letter that the Battle Creek, Mich.-Based company should recognize the contributions of its workers during the pandemic by continuing to produce its well-known grain brands and try to maintain them during this time when many. companies are struggling to hire enough workers.
âDespite the challenges of the global pandemic, they have come forward day in and day out to do their jobs so that across the country there is food on the shelves,â said Ricketts, the Nebraska Republican. âThese workers have helped Kellogg’s increase sales and revenues (and increase net income by more than 30%) from 2019 to 2020 – a time when many businesses suffered losses due to financial headwinds from the pandemic. . “
– Compiled by Dave Flessner