The Disappearing Right to Earn a Living

In most states, a person who desires to install home-entertainment systems for a living, or as a part-time gig for extra cash, faces relatively few barriers to entry. This is work teenagers routinely do for grandparents after they make a technology purchase. But in Connecticut, a home-entertainment installer is required to obtain a license from the state before serving customers. It costs applicants $185. To qualify, they must have a 12th-grade education, complete a test, and accumulate one year of apprenticeship experience in the field. A typical aspirant can expect the licensing process to delay them 575 days.

These figures are drawn from License to Work, a report released this week by the Institute for Justice, a public-interest law firm that has sued state governments on behalf of numerous small-business owners and members of the working class who’ve faced unduly onerous obstacles while trying to earn a living.

Occupational-licensing obstacles are much more common than they once were. “In the 1950s, about one in 20 American workers needed an occupational license before they could work in the occupation of their choice,” the report states. “Today, that figure stands at about one in four.” These requirements are at their most reasonable when regulating occupations such as anesthesiologist or airline pilot, as in those instances, they can mostly affect a privileged class.

They are at their most pernicious when they are both needless and most burdensome to the middle class, the working class, and recent immigrants to a society. The IJ report focuses its attention on these cases, surveying 102 lower-income occupations across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It concludes that “most of the 102 occupations are practiced in at least one state without state licensing and apparently without widespread harm.” In other words, dropping many of those requirements likely wouldn’t …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Business

Utah jobless rate at 3.3 percent

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate registered at 3.3 percent in October, according to the state Department of Workforce Services.

About 51,600 Utahns were unemployed and actively seeking work. The national jobless rate was 4.1 percent.

The state’s nonfarm payroll employment for October grew by an estimated 2.7 percent, adding 39,400 jobs to the economy since last year. Utah’s current employment level registers at nearly 1.5 million. September’s year-over-year job growth was revised from 2.4 percent to 2.7 percent, the report stated.

Private sector employment grew by 2.9 percent from the previous year, with the addition of 34,800 positions, according to the data. Eight of the 10 private sector industry groups in the establishment survey showed net job increases in October compared with the previous year, the report noted. Among the outliers, the information industry lost 1,000 positions, while the natural resources and mining industry shed 300 positions.

Within the various growth sectors, the largest private sector employment increases were in professional and business services, which added 10,000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities added 6,200 jobs; while education and health services increased by 5,500 positions.

“Employment trends in Utah have moderated slightly but continue to show notable expansion,” said Carrie Mayne, Department of Workforce Services chief economist. “Unemployment remains low, indicating that opportunities for employment are meeting the needs of job seekers.”

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

These stores have the best Black Friday discounts, new report says

Department stores may offer the best average discounts for Black Friday.

According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers in 2016 spent most of their time on Black Friday and Thanksgiving weekend shopping at department stores.

And for good reason. A new WalletHub report highlighted 10 stores that have the best average percent discount on their items for the first weekend of holiday shopping.

The report surveyed close to 10,000 deals across 35 major stores in the U.S. The report also reviewed the stores’ ad scans to see the deals.

Here’s a quick review of the top 10 stores with their average percent discount:

Kohl’s (66.32 percent)
JCPenney (66.3 percent)
Belk (62.75 percent)
Stage (60.82 percent)
ShopKo (55.93 percent)
Bealls Florida (52.78 percent)
Sears (50.09 percent)
Macy’s (45.58 percent)
Fred Meyer Jewelers (43.88 percent)
Army and Air Force Exchange Service (37.25 percent)
Meanwhile, Bass Pro Shops had the lowest average discount, with 20.83 percent.

The average overall discount for Black Friday is closer to 37 percent.

To find the best deals, look to apparel and accessories, which have a 28.03 percent average discount. By comparison, consumer goods have a 1.62 percent average discount.

Of course, be wary of shopping on Black Friday in general. As the Deseret News reported, Black Friday is far from the best time of the year to shop for deals. Many embrace it for its cultural impact, with families and friends shopping together during the Christmas season.

But some data suggest the best deals appear on the Monday before Thanksgiving, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“For all the hype, Black Friday isn’t the day to find the best deals, according to new data from Adobe Systems Inc., which has collected information on one …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Don’t fall for the ‘Secret Sister’ gift exchange. It’s totally illegal.

Don’t fall for the “Secret Sister” gift exchange again this year — it’s still a hoax.

The faux holiday gift-giving exchange, which first made headlines in 2015, has returned to social media this year.

The exchange calls for people to send one gift (for about $10 to $15) to a stranger. In return, they’ll receive 36 gifts, books or even wine from other strangers, much like a pyramid scheme.

Here’s how the post reads, according to the Deseret News.

“Anyone interested in a secret sister gift exchange? It doesn’t matter where you live! You only have to buy ONE gift valued at $10 or more and send it to one secret sister! You will 6-36 in return. Let me know if you’re interested and I will send you the information.

(Please don’t ask to participate if you are not willing to spend the $10)”

In 2016, the trend shifted a little bit, becoming something more like a wine exchange, too.

Snopes, a website that checks and verifies fake news reports, first addressed the trend and called it “false.” Similarly, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning in 2016 about “secret sister,” calling it a “typical pyramid scheme.”

A screenshot of the gift exchange. | Screenshot Instagram

People who participated in the exchange said they didn’t mind sending $10, since there’s low risk, according to Snopes. But they were upset that they didn’t receive any gifts in return.

According to the New York Daily News, the exchange also violates federal law.

“According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service website, chain letters are ‘illegal if they request money or other items of value and promise a substantial return to the participants. Chain letters are a form of gambling, and sending them through the mail …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News