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Nearly a third of workers expect to remain out of the office for good, survey says


Nearly a third of workers expect to remain out of the office for good, survey says

Nearly a third of workers who are remote now expect to remain out of the office once the COVID-19 crisis is over, according to one online survey. A poll of 828 remote workers across the country, conducted for Waltham online education firm MindEdge in May, shows that 29 percent said they will stay remote on a full-time basis even after businesses resume normal operations. Another 27 percent expect to work remotely on a part-time basis, and only 35 percent said they plan to return to their old workplaces all the time. About half of the respondents had some previous experience with remote work, although about 80 percent said their employers did not have a remote-work program before the pandemic’s onset. The respondents had a decidedly mixed reaction about the whole experience: Thirty percent said it made their jobs harder, while 26 percent said it made their jobs easier. — JON CHESTO


Businesses added nearly 2.4 million jobs in June

US companies added nearly 2.4 million jobs in June, according to a private survey, a large gain that still leaves total employment far below its pre-pandemic levels. The payroll company ADP said Wednesday that small businesses reported the biggest increase, adding 937,000 jobs. Among industries, construction firms, restaurants, and hotels, and retailers posted large gains in hiring. Yet according to ADP’s data, the economy still has 14.3 million fewer jobs than it did in February, before the viral outbreak intensified. On Thursday, the government will release the official jobs figures for June, which are projected to show that employers added 3 million jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 12.3 percent, down from 13.3 percent in May. Both those rates are among the highest the United States has seen since the Great Depression. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Macy’s notched a $3.1b charge in the first quarter

Macy’s Inc. recorded a $3.1 billion charge in the first quarter as the pandemic ravaged retail, even as sales have since started to show signs of recovery. The department-store chain’s business has tracked ahead of expectations in the two months since the quarter ended. The company said it continues to expect a “gradual sales recovery.” The retailer was particularly affected during the quarter by store closures, including at its flagship in Manhattan’s Herald Square, which relies heavily on international tourists.



Largest Pizza Hut franchisee files for bankruptcy

NPC International Inc., the largest franchisee of Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States, filed for bankruptcy after coronavirus-related shutdowns added to competitive pressures in the restaurant industry. The closely held company sought Chapter 11 protection in the Southern District of Texas court on Wednesday. NPC, founded in 1962, operates 1,227 Pizza Hut and 393 Wendy’s stores across the US, according to court papers. Under the deal with its lenders, NPC will start trying to sell its Wendy’s restaurants in the coming days. Meanwhile, the company has until July 24 to work out a deal with certain creditors and Pizza Hut itself on how to restructure NPC’s pizza business. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Rapper launches free online financial literacy program for teenagers

Rapper 21 Savage will be launching a free online financial literacy education program for youth sheltered at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The Grammy winner announced his new Bank Account At Home nationwide initiative on Wednesday. His efforts will include a partnership with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to provide free Wi-Fi and tablets for undeserved students in the city. 21 Savage said he wants to empower youth to manage their money. His program will work with mobile banking service provider Chime and EverFi, an education technology platform. The rapper launched his Bank Account program in 2018 to teach financial literacy to teenage students across the United States. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



British regulators want more competition in digital advertising

British regulators want new rules to foster competition in digital advertising markets and rein in the industry’s dominant players, Google and Facebook. The Competition and Markets Authority took aim at the US tech giants in a report Wednesday that recommends the British government take a new regulatory approach to governing big digital platforms making money from online ads. The authority said it was concerned that the two companies have developed “such unassailable market positions’’ that rivals can’t compete on equal terms, resulting in higher prices for hotels, flights, electronics, insurance, and other goods and services that are heavily advertised online. Google and Facebook accounted for about 80 percent of the 14 billion pounds ($17 billion) earned by the UK’s digital ad industry last year, the authority said.


FedEx sees biggest stock jump in decades on pandemic deliveries

FedEx Corp. wasn’t planning for a pandemic when it began overhauling its Ground unit last year to prepare for the growth of e-commerce. But the revamp is now spurring the courier’s biggest share gains since 1998. Before COVID-19 began to spread across the globe, the company had already moved to seven-day service, expanded capacity for larger packages, introduced a new routing software, and began pushing more Express packages into the lower-cost Ground network. Those changes helped it increase profit on a flood of residential packages while its more lucrative business deliveries shriveled up amid a US lockdown. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



United to increase August schedule

United Airlines will boost its domestic schedule for August to 48 percent of last year’s level, up from 30 percent in July, in another sign of rebounding travel demand. International flying will also increase, to 25 percent of the 2019 schedule from 16 percent in July, United said in a statement Wednesday. All told, the carrier will add almost 25,000 flights during the month as a whole compared with July, and triple its schedule from June. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Lego latest company to halt advertising on social media

Lego will stop all advertising on social media for at least 30 days as Europe’s biggest toymaker joins other companies in protesting against inadequate policing of hateful and misleading content on social networks. The maker of the iconic building blocks will spend the period to ‘‘carefully review the standards’’ it applies for ads, according to a statement published on Wednesday. It won’t reduce its total media budget but will ‘‘invest in other channels’’ during that time, it said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Wirecard offices raided in Germany

Wirecard’s offices in Germany were raided by Munich prosecutors looking into the 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion) that went missing from the fintech company’s accounts. Twelve prosecutors and 33 police officers are conducting the searches, a spokeswoman for the Munich authority said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. The action is part of the probe that led to the arrest of former CEO Markus Braun last week. — BLOOMBERG NEWS