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Vital Signs is a weekly economic wrap from UNSW economics professor and Harvard PhD Richard Holden (@profholden). Vital Signs aims to contextualize weekly economic events and cut through the noise of the data impacting global economies.

Vital Signs Series

3 economic facts point to a big-spending federal budget

Apr 30, 2021 07:08 am UTC| Economy

Its difficult to make predictions, the saying goes, especially about the future. The many predictions federal budgets make about the economy over the coming four years must therefore be taken with a large grain of...

Vital Signs Series

The pros and cons of diversity in organisations

Apr 23, 2021 11:44 am UTC| Insights & Views Business

Breaking down the old boys club in business, government and other organisations is intrinsically important. Ensuring greater diversity in organisations on gender, racial, ethnic and other lines is, simply put, the right...

Vital Signs Series

Vital Signs: COVID-19 recession is different – and we need more stimulus to deal with it.

Jun 21, 2020 03:30 am UTC| Economy

Australia has done well on the public health front during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to decisive action by the National Cabinet in March. Australia has done better than most countries on the economic front, too, thanks...

Vital Signs Series

Modelling tells us the coronavirus app will need a big take-up, economics tells us how to get it

Apr 26, 2020 05:30 am UTC| Technology

With Australias test-confirmed daily COVID-19 infection rates continuing to fall to relatively low levels, there is considerable discussion about when and how the successful containment measures might be...

Vital Signs Series

The end of the checkout signals a dire future for those without the right skills

Jan 18, 2020 04:45 am UTC| Insights & Views Economy

There has already been a fair number of jobs lost to automation over recent decades from factory workers to bank tellers. In the coming decade we might see radically larger numbers of jobs lost to automation, thanks to...

Vital Signs Series

Untaxing childcare is a bold idea that seems unfair, but might benefit us all

Nov 24, 2019 14:17 pm UTC| Insights & Views Economy

Australias system of childcare support is pretty good. It ensures high-quality care is provided to a large number of children, it is targeted through income-based subsidies, and it is attentive to the needs of...

Vital Signs Series

To tackle unemployment, start by empowering jobseekers

Nov 19, 2019 02:45 am UTC| Insights & Views Economy

If youve ever lost your job, youll know how overwhelming and difficult it can be. One day youre in work, the next youre not and so starts the hunt to find another job. This can be particularly tricky if you lose your...

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Economy

Activision Blizzard criticized as employees sign a petition for the management to recognize the seriousness of the issue

Activision Blizzard is currently dealing with heavy backlash from its employees, not just because of the previously reported frat boy culture at the workplace but also due to how the company responded to the lawsuit that...

Walmart adds full college tuition and book payments to part-time and full-time employees

Walmart revealed on Tuesday, July 27, that it will be paying for its staffs full college tuition fees, including the books. The company will shoulder the college schooling of its around 1.5 million full and part-time...

Starbucks, Nestle extend collaboration to bring ready-to-drink coffee to Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Oceania

Starbucks and Nestle just made an announcement that they will be extending their collaboration to be able to distribute ready-to-drink coffee to other parts of the world. To be more specific, the companies strategic...

Campbell's redesigns its cans after 50 years

Campbells soup cans were redesigned for the first time in 50 years, so customers will see new labels when they purchase the popular canned soup products. While the color scheme remained white and red, the font may change a...

Politics

Russia: Vladimir Putin commissions warplanes to be used in case of nuclear war

Countries are on the alert for Russias military activities as tensions remain over certain issues. This week, the Kremlin has commissioned the construction of two new military warplanes in case a nuclear war may...

Capitol insurrection: Video footage of rioters assaulting police officers played during first committee hearing

Law enforcement officials took the most beatings during the January 6 insurrection, resulting in dozens of officials severely injured from the violence. During the House Select Committees first hearing, a new video edit of...

Jovenel Moise assassination: Haitian leader's security coordinator arrested

A few weeks following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, he was laid to rest last week. In another development in the investigation, Haitian authorities have arrested and detained Moises security...

Joe Biden weighs in on vaccine mandate for federal workers as VA makes vaccine mandatory for health workers

With the rising cases among Americans who have not been vaccinated, Joe Biden and his administration have been ramping up efforts in ensuring more people get their shots. Biden this week weighed in on making vaccinations...

Science

Hyundai Mobis develops brainwave analyzer to prevent drowsy driving

Hyundai Mobis developed a brainwave detection device dubbed M. Brain to alert motor vehicle operators against drowsy driving or sudden health issues. The M.Brain analyzes brainwaves to determine the drivers health...

Osaka University ties up with town of Okoppe to turn cow poop into methanol using LEDs

Researchers from the Osaka University and the town of Okoppe are conducting studies to produce methanol by illuminating biogas from cow manure with LEDs. Experiments were conducted at an agricultural and scientific...

Big bang: how we are trying to 'listen' to it – and the new physics it could unveil

Exactly what happened at the beginning of the universe, 14 billion years ago, is one of the greatest mysteries in physics theres no simple way to probe it. Thats because, in its early stages, the universe was filled with...

S. Korean researchers reveal method of using fat insects in producing eco-friendly biodiesel

South Korean researchers announced a method of producing environment-friendly fuels by utilizing the remains of high-fat black soldier flies. The method uses leftover fat from black soldier flies to produce animal feed,...

Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Suntory debut world’s first enzymatically recycled bottles

A consortium that includes Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Suntory has produced the worlds first food-grade PET plastic bottles from enzymatically recycled plastic using Carbios recycling process. The bottles that have been...

Technology

‘Pokémon Unite’ gets first post-launch character and its Gardevoir

Just a week after Pokémon Unite officially launched on Nintendo Switch, the game received its first-ever addition. Gardevoir was added to the roster on early Wednesday, adding another powerful choice to the list of...

‘GTA V’ is leaving Xbox Game Pass in a couple of weeks

GTA V has to be one of the biggest additions to the Xbox Game Pass library this year. However, subscribers may be losing their free access to the popular game soon just when the rumor mill started picking up clues that...

‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ version 1.11 goes live on July 29

It has been a while since Animal Crossing: New Horizons received an update with a lineup of free content, but the drought is finally ending this week. Nintendo has announced the official release date for version 1.11,...

Facebook offers free silicone cover amid Oculus Quest 2 recall due to skin irritation reports

Facebook will recall Oculus Quest 2 units worldwide and postpone its sales for a few weeks due to reports that the VR headsets foam padding is causing skin irritation on some users. For existing owners of the device, the...

‘Fortnite’ survey hints at possible D’Amelio sisters, Selena Gomez, and ‘Naruto’ collaborations

Collaboration with major brands and franchises, internet personalities, and successful artists have become a major part of Fortnite in recent years. And fans may already have the list of the most likely celebrities and...
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