Must-Read Money Stories for Friday, Dec. 29

by December 30, 2016
The airbag maker Takata is said to be close to a $1 billion settlement with regulators over its deadly airbags, according to The New York Times. (Crash photo via Pexels.)

The airbag maker Takata is said to be close to a $1 billion settlement with regulators over its deadly airbags, according to The New York Times. (Crash photo via Pexels.)

Retailers expect record sales Jan. 3

Retailers are expecting a big online shopping day on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the day most Americans will return to the office after the holiday season, The Washington Post reported. The sales-tracking website Brad’s Deals found most stores see a big jump in sales on that day as office workers begin to spend their gift cards and buy items they didn’t receive during the holidays. According to Brad’s Deals, hot items are jewelry, fitness equipment, beddings and linen. Sales rose 15 percent on Monday, Jan. 5 last year, the same day most Americans returned to work.

Students give college career services an F

While there is a great deal of money and effort spent to recruit students, a new Gallup report found there is concern most colleges don’t do enough to help students land good jobs post-graduation. The LA Times reported more than half of college graduates say they visited their school’s career services at least once, but only 16 percent said it was helpful, according to a report from Gallup and Purdue University. That same report found that barely 1 in 10 U.S. business leaders believe a college education prepares people with the right skills for their business.

After years of stagnation, wages tick upward

NPR reported wages are slowly climbing after years of little change following the Great Recession. The increases aren’t huge, but in October, the Labor Department reported average hourly earnings climbed 2.8 percent—the highest level since mid-2009. Another report this month showed the cost of labor—another measure of wage growth—increased during the spring of this year. New state and local minimum wage laws could be driving some of the increase. Nearly half of the states and Washington, D.C. have changed their minimum wage laws since 2014.

Takata close to settlement over deadly airbags

The airbag manufacturer Takata is said to be close to a deal with American regulators over its deadly airbags, people familiar with the matter told The New York Times. The paper reported the “sweeping settlement” with federal prosecutors over its airbags that can suddenly explode and kill or injure people could happen within the next two weeks. Takata is expected to pay up to $1 billion, according to those briefed on the matter. It isn’t clear whether there will be a guilty plea to criminal misconduct.