Five fascinating business facts – Part 42
US unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since the beginning of the century, as a rebound in hiring following hurricane-induced stoppages confirms signs of a resilient economy. Joblessness dropped to 4.1 per cent, the lowest since 2000, while nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 in October following an upwardly revised 18,000 increase the prior month. The upturn in hiring was driven by bars and restaurants, which took on 89,000 following a decrease of 98,000 the prior month.
The road ahead is strewn with potholes for Tesla, the electric carmaker attempting to become a mass market player by producing hundreds of thousands of affordable Model 3 vehicles. But snags, some of its own making, risk hobbling this ambition and have already led to severe delays over its short-term targets. Last quarter Tesla aimed to make 1,500 Model 3 vehicles. In the end, it produced just 260. On Wednesday night, Tesla pushed back its target of making 5,000 Model 3 cars a week by three months to March, blaming delays chiefly on its Nevada battery factory.
American car-maker Ford said it would invest $211 million in its South African assembly plant to meet rising domestic and international demand for its Ford Ranger pickup truck, the company said on Friday. “This significant investment reaffirms Ford’s ongoing commitment to South Africa as a local manufacturer, exporter and key employer in the automotive sector,” Ockert Berry, vice president operations for Ford Middle East and Africa said in a statement.
Almost $750 million paid by international mining companies to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned miner over a three-year period is missing from the company’s accounts, the Carter Center said. Royalties, signing bonuses and asset-sale proceeds due to Gecamines from more than 20 copper deals with partners between 2011 and 2014 can’t be reliably tracked to Gecamines’ accounts, the Atlanta-based advocacy group said in a report published Friday. That’s almost two-thirds of the $1.1 billion in partnership revenue Gecamines should have received, according to the analysis based on a review of contracts, corporate records, public statements and more than 200 interviews.
MTN Group Ltd. is seeking to challenge rival Vodacom Group Ltd. as Africa’s biggest digital bank by tripling its customer numbers within three years. Already the continent’s biggest mobile-phone company by subscribers, is adding about 500,000 active banking customers a month, Chief Executive Officer Rob Shuter, said. About 20 million people use MTN’s mobile banking now, he said in an interview at Bloomberg’s office in the South African city.
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