Talking Points

Talking Points

Many women think men are the better investors; they’re not

David Weil (left), the former head of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor, has been named the dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Pete Marovich for The Boston Globe/File

David Weil (left), the former head of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor, has been named the dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Academia

David Weil heading to Brandeis

David Weil, the former head of the Wage and Hour Division at the Department of Labor, has been named the dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Weil is currently a professor at Boston University’s business school, a position he recently returned to after being appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 to lead the agency responsible for enforcing the country’s labor standards, including overtime, minimum wage, and child labor laws. At the Heller School, Weil said he will focus on addressing inequality across society, from education to health care to the workplace. Weil has studied the workplace extensively, including in his 2014 book “The Fissured Workplace,” which examines how the growth of outsourcing has changed the nature of employment. At the Wage and Hour Division, Weil was involved in the creation of a controversial regulation to extend overtime pay to more than 4 million workers that was blocked by a federal judge late last year shortly before it was set to go into effect. — KATIE JOHNSTON

EMPLOYMENT

Mass. unemployment rate climbs in April

Massachusetts employers added 3,900 jobs in April, rebounding after a sluggish March. The state’s unemployment rate climbed to 3.9 percent in April from 3.6 percent the previous month, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported Thursday. The uptick came as more people returned to the labor market in search of work. The Massachusetts unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.4 percent in April. The state data have followed a similar pattern to national trends this spring. In March, when state employers expanded their payrolls by a meager 200 positions, the nation added a disappointing 98,000 jobs. In April, payrolls nationwide bounced back, with employers adding 211,000 jobs. The share of Massachusetts residents who worked or were actively seeking jobs increased to 66.5 percent, a sign that sidelined workers feel more optimistic about their chances of finding employment. The participation rate has improved by 1.5 percentage points from April 2016, the state reported. Most of the job gains last month came in the state’s most reliable industries: professional, scientific, and business services; education and health services; and trade and transportation. “Through the first four months of 2017, Massachusetts has added over twenty-thousand jobs, with much of those gains coming from key sectors of the economy,” Ronald L. Walker II, the secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, said in a statement. “These job gains, coupled with large increases to the labor force and a low unemployment rate, are signs of a strong economy in the Commonwealth.” — DEIRDRE FERNANDES

TRANSPORTATION

Massport and CLF reach agreement on Logan parking spaces

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The Massachusetts Port Authority has a new and important ally in its quest to add roughly 5,000 parking spaces at Logan Airport. Massport has reached an agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation that would set the stage for more environmentally friendly travel options in and out of the airport area. In return, the CLF won’t fight Massport’s request of state environmental regulators to amend a parking freeze that limits the number of spaces at the airport. Logan’s garages are often at or near capacity, forcing cars to be diverted to overflow lots. Massport wants to address that by spending $250 million for a new garage on the lot next to Terminal E and an expansion of the Economy Garage near the airport entrance. With the CLF on board, Massport is on the hook for public transit improvements, as well. Massport will increase the capacity of its Logan Express shuttles by 10 percent by the end of 2019 and double the number of Silver Line buses that connect Logan and South Station. The deal will also bring more electric-vehicle charging stations to the garages. It will prompt most, if not all, of the ground-service vehicles at Logan to be replaced with electric-powered ones over the next decade. Taxi and Uber drivers will get priority in line if they show up in electric cars. — JON CHESTO

BANKING

Abington and Avon cooperative banks to merge

Abington Bank will merge with Avon Co-operative Bank, the second deal in the past year for the small Abington lender. Abington Bank, with $242 million in assets, and Avon Co-operative, with $88 million in assets, are both cooperative banks, owned by their customers. The banks expect the merger to be completed this year, pending regulatory approval. The combined bank will formally be called Abington Bank, though Avon Co-operative will continue to use its name. — SHELBY GREBBIN

INVESTMENTS

Women are better than men at investing

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Many men and women think men are the better investors. They’re wrong. After checking how 8 million of its customers did during 2016, Fidelity Investments found that women did better than men by an average of 0.4 percentage points. The difference in performance is small, and it’s always dangerous to make big generalizations out of small slices of data. But it slots in with other research that suggests women tend to take a longer-term view of investing. They are more likely to buy and hold their investments, and they take fewer risks, for example. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUTOMOBILES

Fiat Chrysler in talks with US Justice Dept. over alleged diesel emissions cheating

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, one of the world’s biggest carmakers, said on Thursday that it is in talks with the US Department of Justice to settle an investigation into diesel emissions cheating. The announcement came as an academic study found evidence the company illegally used software to evade emissions rules, piling pressure on the automaker at a time when it is suffering from meager profitability. The new study adds to evidence that the company flouted the rules on diesel emissions, much like the German carmaker Volkswagen, which has been hit with billions of dollars in settlements and fines, and seen several executives investigated or charged. Though Fiat Chrysler’s financial hit is unlikely to be as costly as Volkswagen’s, the emissions cheating, if proven, could still be expensive.
— NEW YORK TIMES

MORTGAGES

Rates slightly lower

Long-term US mortgage rates inched lower this week. It was the fifth straight week that the benchmark 30-year rate hovered around the key threshold of 4 percent. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate home loans slipped to 4.02 percent from 4.05 percent last week. The rate stood at 3.58 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971. The rate on 15-year mortgages eased to 3.27 percent from 3.29 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

THEME PARKS

SeaWorld and Sesame Street plan more parks together

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SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. and the nonprofit behind Sesame Street announced Thursday that they are expanding their partnership to build another theme park by 2021, and possibly add more US parks in the years beyond. SeaWorld and Sesame Workshop, which run decades-old educational and entertainment brands trying to adjust to 21st century tastes, are extending their almost-four-decade partnership through 2031. During that time, SeaWorld will build a second Sesame Place theme park to complement its existing location outside Philadelphia; open a Sesame Street land in its SeaWorld Orlando park by 2022; and possibly build more Sesame Place parks throughout the United States. Sesame Street lands already are in SeaWorld’s two Busch Gardens parks and two SeaWorld parks in San Diego and San Antonio. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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