Business Week in Review: 06/22/14


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Learning not to share

The Public Utility Commission is moving ahead with cease-and-desist orders against ride-share companies Lyft and Uber to force them to stop operating in Pennsylvania.

Every silver lining has a cloud

In the new normal ushered in with the economic recovery, there is no such thing as a purely good economic report. The state Department of Labor and Industry reported that the unemployment rate for May dipped to 5.6 percent, the lowest it has been since September 2008. But the labor force — the number of people working or looking for work — declined by 12,000.

Stuck in neutral

Pennsylvania’‍s real gross domestic product, an indicator of general economic conditions, grew just 0.7 percent in 2013, according to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Only three states and Washington, D.C., saw slower growth.

What will wake me up?

The biggest benefit the electric motorcycle Harley-Davidson plans to unveil is not its fuel economy or environmental impact but that it doesn’t make that distinctive sound. The LiveWire won’t hit the market for several more years, so sleeping in will have to wait.

Quote of the week

“Regardless of how much a debtor owes, it doesn’‍t mean they have to sacrifice their right to basic human dignity.”

— Christopher Koegel, assistant director of the FTC’‍s Bureau of Consumer Protection’s financial practices division, on the rules protecting loan scofflaws from debt collectors.

See you in court

Pennsylvania is suing oil companies over environmental damage caused by a chemical additive used in gasoline, as well as reimbursement over the alleged misuse of state funds to clean up gasoline spills.

Data is a team sport

The Penguins and Pirates have jumped on the analytics bandwagon long used by retailers to gather information about customers. Teams want to be able to gather demographic details about fans and even nuanced data like your favorite player and your beer preference.

In case you missed it …

Nontraditional families, which are the majority of families today, are struggling under financial stress, according to a survey by Allianz, a Minneapolis life insurance company.

For details on this and other stories, go to www.post-gazette.com/​businessnews.


Brian Hyslop: bhyslop@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1936.

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