Economy & Business

Why it matters: After a record economic expansion, the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a recession as unemployment soared to staggering heights. The country now faces urgent questions about how much stimulus is needed for reeling consumers and businesses, and what a recovery might look like.

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Report: Thanksgiving Day online sales hit record $5.1 billion

Shoppers line up in front of a Zara store on Black Friday. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Thanksgiving Day consumer spending increased by roughly 22% year-over-year, topping a $5.1 billion record, according to Adobe Analytics data, CNBC reports.

The state of play: As shoppers avoid in-person retail due to COVID-related concerns, online transactions have surged. Adobe's marketing technology division follows online buying in real time at 80 of the top 100 retailers across the U.S., saying nearly half the purchases made on Thanksgiving were done so from smartphones.

2 hours ago - Technology

Salesforce bid to acquire Slack puts pressure on Microsoft

Marc Benioff autographs his book, "Trailblazer," at the Economic Club of Washington last year: Photo: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa USA via Reuters

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's bid for Slack — which is valued at $17 billion and would be his biggest acquisition yet — heats up his longtime rivalry with Microsoft, The Wall Street Journal's Aaron Tilley writes.

The state of play: Microsoft, which once tried to acquire Slack (and Salesforce), in 2016 launched its own workplace collaboration tool, Teams.

Amazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic

Photo: Ronny Hartmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

Amazon has hired an average of 1,400 new employees per day since the beginning of the year, the New York Times reports.

By the numbers: The tech giant added 427,300 employees between January and October, bringing its total workforce to 1.2 million globally, up more than 50% year-over-year.

U.K. to launch new watchdog next year to police digital giants

Photo: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The U.K. government said on Friday that it will establish next year a Digital Markets Unit, which will enforce forthcoming "pro-competition" regulations aimed at curbing some of the digital platforms like Google and Facebook.

Why it matters: This is the latest move by a government to respond to growing objections to the size and power these companies have amassed.

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

Hallmark's first Christmas movie with a gay couple to air on Thanksgiving

Photo: AlexLMX via iStock/Getty Images

Hallmark's first Christmas movie featuring a storyline with a same-sex couple will air Thursday night for Thanksgiving, CBS News reports.

The big picture: GLAAD's 2019-2020 report on LGBTQ representation in TV found that 10% of regular characters expected to appear on primetime programming in the past year were LGBTQ — the highest percentage in 15 years.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Nov 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

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