Morning Money Memo…
Game on! For the first time in eight years, Sony (SNE) has overtaken Nintendo in console sales.
The PlayStation 4, launched late last year, was the catalyst. Sony sold 18.7 million consoles during the past financial year, according to Nikkei Asian Review. Nintendo, with 16.3 million sales, suffered from a 31 percent drop compared with the year before. Unlike the PS4, the launch of the new Wii has failed to excite consumers.
Sales of the portable Nintendo 3DS handheld system also slumped. Smartphone games continue gain ground while the video game console market is losing ground.
This week, the gaming world will descend on Los Angeles for Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). About 200 exhibitors will show off their latest stuff in hopes of launching the next big thing. Sony is set to display the “Uncharted” game, and a title based on the Legend of King Arthur. Microsoft will be there too, where it’s expected to show off the latest “Halo” offering for the X-Box One.
Investors are beginning to feel more optimistic about the U.S. economy after a series of positive reports last week.
Friday’s jobs report came in stronger than many expected.
The S&P 500 scored another high – its 8th record in 10 days. The S&P climbed 1.3 percent last week.
A new survey from business economists predicts U.S. growth should accelerate in the second quarter and remain healthy for the rest of this year. But because of the slowdown during the winter, the economists say growth for the full year may be less than they previously estimated. The forecast says job growth should remain steady and consumer spending will also likely pick up.
With a stronger economy, demand for many types of skilled employment is rising.
“You don’t necessarily need a college degree to get a good, high paying job [but] you do need skills,” says Stacey Holland, a global job search expert with DHR International. “I think people need to go to the trades. Those jobs are not being filled and are in high demand.”
The trades, Holland said, include “maintenance people, electricians, plumbers and equipment repair people.”
With the aging population demand for home health care workers and physical therapists is expected to grow.
Sweet Gigs in Silicon Valley
With summer’s arrival comes an influx of thousands of Silicon Valley interns. Well-paid and perked, young up-and-comers from around the world who successfully navigate the competitive application process are now being assigned big time responsibility at firms such as Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Twitter.
Silicon Valley tech firms pay their interns more than any other sector in the U.S., according to a Top 25 list of 2014 intern pay by online career website Glassdoor. Palantir Technologies, a Palo Alto-based cyber security firm, tops the list with $7,012 average monthly base pay, but Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, eBay, Google and Apple, all pay more than $5,000 a month. And that’s not counting the perks, which include bikes, buses, massages, swimming pools, dance classes, nap pods, parties and access to their tech heroes.
The Right and Wrong Majors for Getting a Job
New data from H&R Block finds business and computer science top the list for the “most in-demand majors.” Engineering, health professions, health degrees and clinical sciences are next. Unemployment rates are much higher for recent graduates who majored in the arts and humanities.