Here's the stories we're reading about the world of commerce, retail and work this week:
🚚 Amazon Raises Wages
⚡️ Tax Cuts Not Yielding Benefits, Yet
🤖 World's Most Valuable Startup
💰 Where Top Earners Go To College
🎓 MBAs Losing Luster?
⚡️ Jobs AI Can't Replace
🚀 PepsiCo Beats Top, Bottom Lines
🍦 How Branch Keeps Unilever Churning
🍕 Mobile Pizza Delivery Has Arrived
💸Raise for 350,000 Amazon Employees
Big news out of Seattle this morning.
Amazon has committed to raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour. The change will impact more than 350,000 Amazon employees (including 100,000 seasonal hires).
“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a press release. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”
Amazon made the announcement and is simultaneously lobbying for a federal hike in the minimum wage.
⚡️Tax Cuts Not Yielding Benefits
If you're looking for that noticeable increase in wages this year, you should probably just continue to hold.
Despite U.S. companies banking more money thanks in part to the tax overhaul last year, it seems that the money isn't trickling into employee's pay checks. Instead, corporations are investing more in staff training instead of wage increases.
According to a recent survey, 14 percent were putting savings towards base salaries.
🤖World's Most Valuable Startup
Ride along, Uber.
Bytedance, a Chinese tech company helmed by a little-known 35-year-old entrepreneur, has overtaken Uber as the world's most valuable startup. The surging startup received the nod, according to CB Insights, when Softbank’s latest $1.5 billion investment in the company pushed its value past $75 billion. Software engineer Zhang Yiming founded Bytedance six years ago as a news aggregation app powered by artificial intelligence. The company's optimistic valuation stems from its unique creation of an internet experience “that’s a cross between Google and Facebook.” For now, Bytedance will need to focus on its most pressing challenge: becoming profitable.
The Big Idea 🤔
💰Schools Where Salary Potential Pays Off
If you think you have to enroll in the top schools to make the most money, think again. According to recent research, schools like MIT, Stanford and Harvard did not make a top list of post-collegiate earners.
Salary comparison site PayScale recently analyzed 2,646 associate and bachelor's degree-granting institutions throughout the U.S. in order to determine which students earned the most after graduation. When they looked at the median salaries of graduates who only had a bachelor's degree, they found that 10 colleges produced students with sky-high salaries five and 10 years into their careers.
Surprisingly, only two Ivy League schools made the list. In fact, the number one school for salary potential is a small liberal arts college with a total undergraduate enrollment of just 844.
🎓MBAs Losing Luster?
Weaker demand for MBAs has reached even the upper echelon of U.S. education, with Harvard Business School reporting its biggest drop in applicants since 2005. A stronger labor market is exerting a pull on Americans, who find themselves questioning the value of a traditional master of business administration degree. At the same time, higher barriers to work programs for foreign students has cut applications from abroad, while European and Asian programs are competing harder for students worldwide.
🤖 Jobs AI Can't Replace
AI is still pretty new and revolutionary. Yet, it's also incredibly powerful. While there's been much debate over how it will impact jobs, there's some sentiment that it will not quite overtake jobs. CEO and AI expert Kai-Fu Lee argues there's four main points to consider:
- AI cannot create, conceptualize, or manage complex strategic planning.
- AI cannot accomplish complex work that requires precise hand-eye coordination.
- AI cannot deal with unknown and unstructured spaces, especially ones that it hasn’t observed.
- AI cannot, unlike humans, feel or interact with empathy and compassion; therefore, it is unlikely that humans would opt for interacting with an apathetic robot for traditional communication services.
That being said, Kai predicts these jobs will be harder to displace over the next decade or 15 years:
🏥 Medical Care
🤖 AI Research
📝 Fictional Writing
🏛 Criminal Defense Law
💻 Computer Science
Heard From Around The Web 💬
🚀PepsiCo Beats Top, Bottom Lines
What a last day for outgoing PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi
The longtime CEO is leaving with a winning streak, as the beverage giant announced a 16% increase in profits and earnings Tuesday. Pepsi beat expectations with third-quarter income of $2.49 billion, versus $2.14 billion a year ago. Indra Nooyi announced earlier this year that she was stepping down after 12 years at the helm of the company.
🍦Keeping Unilever Churning
If you buy an ice cream product at your local grocery store, there’s a good chance it has made rounds at a Unilever distribution center. Breyer’s, Ben & Jerry’s and Talenti are just a few of the brand names you’d recognize that are created, blended, packed, and shipped by Unilever -- the world’s largest ice cream company.
Today, they ship product to more than 40 countries. One of their distribution centers that packages ice cream is located in Sikeston, Missouri. We recently had the chance to speak with a number of employees there who’s job is to keep the plant, well, churning.
🍕Mobile Pizza Delivery Has Arrived
Are you ready for the future of pizza delivery?
Because, it appears to have arrived in Las Vegas. That's where two men captured the delivery of their Domino's pizza from an autonomous car.
The company began collaborating with the Ford Motor Company last year to slowly roll the cars out across the country on a limited trial basis, starting in Ann Arbor, MI – where Domino’s is based – before introducing them to Miami.
Las Vegas customers started trying them out in early May.
And it looks like there’s some interest in expanding the delivery method, judging from one recent social media post.
Las Vegas resident Derek Hoskins shared a video to his Facebook page Saturday showing a delivery, writing in the post: “The future is here! Next step, drone delivery!”