Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 7th 2015 Contents A18
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, February 7, 2015
WASHINGTON---US employers added a vig-
orous 257,000 jobs in January, and wages
jumped by the most in six years---evidence
that the job market is accelerating closer to
The surprisingly robust report the government
issued yesterday also showed that hiring was
far stronger in November and December than
it had previously estimated. Employers added
414,000 jobs in November---the most in 17
years. Job growth in December was revised
sharply up to 329,000 from 252,000.
Average hourly wages soared 12 cents in Jan-
uary to US$24.75, the sharpest gain since 2008.
Over the past 12 months, hourly pay, which
has long been stag-
nant, has now risen
2.2 per cent. That
is ahead of inflation,
which rose just 0.7
per cent in 2014.
ment rate last
month rose to 5.7
per cent from 5.6
per cent. But that
occurred for a good
reason: More than
one million Amer-
2000---began looking for jobs, though not all
of them found work, and their numbers swelled
the number of people counted as unemployed.
An influx of job hunters suggests that Americans
have grown more confident about their
Investors immediately responded to the bet-
ter-than-expected jobs figures by selling ultra-
safe US Treasurys, sending yields up.
The yield on the benchmark ten-year Treas-
ury note rose to 1.88 per cent from 1.81 per
cent shortly before the jobs report was released.
Stock market index futures also edged higher
in pre-market trading. Futures that track the
Standard & Poor s 500 index and the Dow Jones
industrial average each rose about 0.4 per cent.
A sharp drop in gas prices has held down
inflation and boosted Americans spending
power. Strong hiring also tends to lift pay as
employers compete for fewer workers. A big
question is whether last month s jump in wages
can be sustained.
Job gains have now averaged 336,000 for the
past three months, the best three-month pace
in 17 years. Just a year ago, the three-month
average was only 197,000.
The stepped-up hiring in January occurred
across nearly all industries. Construction firms
added 39,000 jobs and manufacturers 22,000.
Retail jobs jumped by nearly 46,000. Hotels
and restaurants added 37,100, health care
LONDON---A British parliamentary com-
mittee yesterday accused the accounting
firm PwC of promoting tax avoidance on
an industrial scale and urged the govern-
ment to step in and do more to regulate the
The Public Accounts Committee issued a
scathing report, accusing PwC of mass-mar-
keting tax avoidance plans and diverting
profits to Luxembourg through intra-com-
"We believe that PwC s activities represent
nothing short of the promotion of tax avoid-
ance on an industrial scale," committee chair
Margaret Hodge said. "The effect has been
to reduce the amount of corporation tax that
some multinational companies pay in the
countries in which they make their profits."
The committee said the tax avoidance
plans show the "government needs to take
a more active role in regulating the tax indus-
try, as it evidently cannot be trusted."
PwC said it disagreed with the committee s
conclusions. However, PwC said that the tax
system had become "too complex, as gov-
ernments compete for investment and tax
revenues. We take our responsibility to build
trust in the tax system seriously and will
continue to support reform."
The UK committee cited Shire Pharma-
ceuticals, saying the company arranged to
have its interest payments on intra-company
loans significantly reduce its overall tax lia-
bilities. Although the company borrowed
£800 million (US$1.2 billion) externally, it
had made interest payments on intra-com-
pany loans worth US$10 billion to a company
it established in Luxembourg.
"The effect is to shift profits from other
countries, where tax rates are higher, to Lux-
embourg. The substance of Shire s business
in Luxembourg, used to justify these arrange-
ments, consists of two people out of the
5,600 staff the company employs globally,"
the committee said. (AP)
UK report accuses PwC of tax avoidance
wages soared 12
cents in January to
sharpest gain since
2008. Over the past
12 months, hourly
pay, which has long
been stagnant, has
now risen 2.2 per
cent. That is ahead
of inflation, which
rose just 0.7 per
cent in 2014.
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