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The Week in Business: A Strong Employment Report

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The economy added 467,000 jobs in January despite record levels of coronavirus cases, the Labor Department reported on Friday. Employers continued to add jobs at about the same pace as in December. The quirks of the data make January’s employment figures particularly difficult to interpret accurately, and the labor force has shrunk, suggesting that Omicron may have kept some people from looking for work. But economists said the strong jobs report was a good sign. “Clearly, something is different about this push,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist for career site ZipRecruiter.

Meta’s stock price fell on Thursday after the company reported weak quarterly results a day earlier, wiping more than $230 billion from the market value of Facebook’s parent company and triggering Wall’s worst fall ever. Street in almost a year. It was the largest one-day wipeout in history, according to Birinyi Associates, a research firm. Some of the troubling signs for Meta include its first-ever drop in user numbers for its flagship app and new competition from TikTok. He also reported that Apple’s recent changes to its privacy tools, which allow iPhone users to be untracked by advertisers, could cost the company $10 billion in ad sales this year. And Meta’s main effort to build a business outside of its current advertising model, its pivot to the Metaverse, is also costing the company a lot of money. The division that builds devices to access these virtual worlds, such as virtual reality goggles, lost $10 billion last year.

Jeff Zucker resigned as president of CNN on Wednesday after failing to disclose a consensual relationship with one of the network’s top executives. Mr. Zucker was one of the most powerful leaders in America’s media and television industries. His resignation comes as CNN parent WarnerMedia is set to spin off from AT&T and partner with Discovery in a $43 billion deal, and its new streaming service by subscription – intended to compensate for a decline in cable subscriptions – should start in a few weeks.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor will report on the price increase in January. In December, the Consumer Price Index, an important gauge of inflation, rose at its fastest pace since 1982. A United Nations report last week showed global food prices soared , and Starbucks said it would raise prices again this year, citing inflation as one of the reasons. Federal Reserve officials said Monday they would move quickly rather than gradually to cool the economy. The Fed is expected to start raising interest rates in March.

One of the key factors behind the rapid rise in inflation is a supply chain crisis that has caused shortages of everything from computer chips to kitchen appliances. But even if central banks around the world try to cool the economy with higher interest rates and less support, supply chains are unlikely to return to normal anytime soon. Many of the delays were caused by aging infrastructure, labor shortages, outdated technology and a lack of warehouse space – systemic issues that have built up over years that would be difficult to resolve quickly.

The Beijing Winter Olympics kicked off on Friday and will run until February 20. For the Games’ official broadcaster, NBC, producing the event could be more difficult than even the Tokyo Olympics, which last year drew the lowest viewership of any summer game. since 1988. China’s Covid-19 restrictions will keep most sports commentators, as well as the hosts of NBC’s “Today” and “NBC Nightly News,” in the United States. In the past, broadcasts have moved to Olympic host cities and provided a boost in ratings. In addition to the challenges of Covid-19, NBC will have to manage a political aspect of what is generally feel-good entertainment. President Biden announced a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics because of human rights abuses in China, and House Republicans recently asked NBC executives what influence the Chinese government would have on the network’s broadcast.

The national debt exceeded $30 trillion for the first time. Tesla has recalled cars equipped with its fully autonomous driving software to disable a feature that allowed them to drive through intersections without stopping. And TurboTax will allow users to deposit tax refunds into crypto accounts.