Small Businesses Do 40 Percent of the Hiring in the Gig Economy, New Study Says

Over the course of the last decade, the so-called “gig economy” has rapidly expanded to become one of America’s most crucial labor markets. Around one in three American workers are now freelancers, and more than one third of Millennials.

And according to a new study compiled by LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), it’s small business owners that are the driving force behind that exponential growth.

The Gig Economy and Small Businesses

The Gig Economy and Small Businesses

Researchers at the world’s largest professional networking site found that small businesses are now responsible for an estimated 40 percent of all hiring activity across the wider gig economy, with midmarket companies and enterprises accounting for 35 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

The study also found that 93 percent of contractors and freelancers as a collective are likely to consider working at a small business — which comes in at three percent higher than the global average for business professionals.

Software and IT services tops the list of industry segments with the largest number of contractors and freelancers in the gig economy, boasting a talent base of some 223,000 professionals. Media and communications comes in second with 166,000 contractors, followed by healthcare with 164,000.

The Gig Economy and Small Businesses - Top Industries

It’s also worth pointing out that, according to LinkedIn data, 70 percent of all contractors who switched jobs in the past year also moved to a different industry.

“This means that if you’re not having luck with recruiting contractors within your industry, you may have much more success if you look outside it,” researchers said.

“The healthcare, real estate and construction industries have gained contractors over the past year, while public safety, retail, and the arts have lost them.”

The Gig Economy and Small Businesses - Industry Migration

As one might predict, the majority of that talent has migrated to either the East or West Coast.

Cities like Seattle and Portland have experienced a net population gain of eight percent over the past year in terms of available contractors, with San Francisco experiencing a six percent gain and New York’s gig economy increasing four percent.

That being said, Denver bucked the trend by posting an eight percent net gain in the size of its freelance pool. The survey also classed Denver as a “hidden gem” due to its high supply of freelance professionals, at approximately 38,000, but relatively low demand.

The Gig Economy and Small Businesses - Supply and Demand

Bearing in mind that the median job for an American contractor lasts for some 11 months, the study suggests that a substantial number of freelancers are indeed willing to relocate — with 13 percent of contractors who switched companies over the last year also moving to a new region.

The data from LinkedIn’s study is aggregated from a range of public LinkedIn profiles, with contractor status having been determined through member supplied position titles and behavioral analysis.

HP Says PC, Printer Businesses Grew for First Time Since 2010

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Revenue from personal systems business rose 9.6 percent to $7.66 billion
  • HP and Lenovo remain the world’s two largest PC makers
  • HP warns of uncertainty in PC business for next two quarters

HP reported better-than-expected results in what its chief executive termed a “breakthrough” quarter as both its PC and printer businesses grew for the first time since 2010.

Shares of the company rose 3.6 percent to $19.7 after the bell on Wednesday.

Revenue from personal systems business, which makes notebooks, desktops and workstations, jumped 9.6 percent to $7.66 billion (roughly Rs. 49,432 crores) in the second quarter ended April 30. The business accounts for nearly two-thirds of the company’s total sales.

Worldwide shipments of PCs rose for the first time in five years in the first quarter of 2017, with HP taking the top spot, according to research firm IDC.

HP Says PC, Printer Businesses Grew for First Time Since 2010

The PC market has benefited as more businesses replace or upgrade their older systems as part of their refresh cycle.

The company’s printer and copier business also posted its first rise in revenue since 2011, driven partly by strong demand for HP Sprocket, a handheld photo printer.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that,” Chief Executive Officer Dion Weisler said on a post-earnings call, referring to the growth in its printing business.

Last year, HP bought Samsung’s printer business for $1.05 billion to bolster the unit.

However, the company warned about a “little bit of uncertainty” in the PC business for the next two quarters as the company struggles to raise prices on products sold to corporate customers.

The company’s net earnings from continuing operations fell to $559 million, or 33 cents per share, in the latest quarter from $660 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 40 cents per share. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 39 cents per share according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net revenue rose about 7 percent to $12.39 billion (roughly Rs. 79,969 crores), topping analysts’ estimate of $11.94 billion.

The company also forecast full-year adjusted profit of $1.59-$1.66 per share, while analysts are estimating $1.62 per share.

Up to Wednesday’s close, shares of the Palo Alto, California-based company had risen 28.1 percent this year.

Apple Says Developers Earned Over $70 Billion Since App Store's Launch

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple made the announcement on Thursday
  • Photo and Video category is fastest growing category on App Store
  • Apple’s WWDC 2017 kicks off next week

Apple on Thursday, few days ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kickoff, announced that its global developer community has earned over $70 billion through the App Store since its launch in 2008. The Cupertino-based giant further added that last 12 months have seen massive growth, and the App Store has seen over 70 percent growth in downloads.

Talking about its App Store, Apple said that iOS developers around the world have been catering to 155 countries, and few segments have lately seen massive growth. Apple says that the Photo and Video category is among the “fastest-growing” as it registered nearly 90 percent growth. Other segments like Lifestyle apps, Health and Fitness have seen over 70 percent growth in the past year. Gaming and Entertainment are top-grossing categories, adds Apple in a statement.

Apple also adds that the subscription model introduction has bumped the paid subscriptions as it saw 58 percent more paid subscriptions compared to over a year ago. The company notes that subscription model has been doing well in a wide variety of services including Netflix and Hulu. While newcomers like Tastemade, the mobile-first cooking network, and photo editing apps like Over and Enlight, have also done well.Apple Says Developers Earned Over $70 Billion Since App Store's Launch

Announcing the news, Philip Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing said, “People everywhere love apps and our customers are downloading them in record numbers. Seventy billion dollars earned by developers is simply mind-blowing. We are amazed at all of the great new apps our developers create and can’t wait to see them again next week at our Worldwide Developers Conference.”

Apple’s annual developer conference WWDC is no doubt one of the biggest events for the technology lovers and it will take place from June 5 to June 9. The 28th annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be returning to McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, which will host the event after 15 years. For those unaware, San Jose was the original venue of WWDC, and it hosted Apple’s annual event from 1988 to 2002.

BlackBerry Says Its New Solution Can Help Businesses Monitor WhatsApp Chats

HIGHLIGHTS

  • BlackBerry has partnered VoxSmart to offer data monitoring services
  • It provides ability to capture, record, store and analyse mobile voice
  • Services will be useful for firms to monitor WhatsApp and WeChat chats

To enable financial institutions monitor data on WhatsApp and other encrypted messaging platforms in line with the upcoming European Union (EU) directive, BlackBerry has partnered with the leading mobile surveillance and compliance firm VoxSmart.

Together with BlackBerry UEM (Unified Endpoint Management), which connects and manages endpoints, VoxSmart’s ‘VSmart’ will provide financial services firms with the ability to capture, record, store and analyse mobile voice, text and third-party instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat.

BlackBerry Says Its New Solution Can Help Businesses Monitor WhatsApp Chats

“Together with VoxSmart, we can enable businesses around the world to effortlessly capture conversations on endpoints including smartphones, wearables, tablets and laptops,” said Florian Bienvenu, Senior Vice President of EMEA Sales, BlackBerry.

“This joint solution is an excellent example of how BlackBerry is leveraging its software portfolio and developing strong partnerships to secure the Enterprise of Things,” Bienvenu added in a statement.

The companies have partnered to help financial services firms comply on time with the European Union’s “Markets in Financial Instruments Directive” (‘MiFID II’).

MiFID II, which comes into effect on January 3, 2018, demands that all financial services firms in Europe must keep records of all services, activities and transactions for at least five years.

 

Records include all electronic and instant messaging communications, telephone conversations and text messages related to or intended to conclude in a transaction, even if one does not occur.

The directive seeks to make financial markets in Europe more resilient, transparent and investor-friendly.

“VoxSmart is the only global mobile compliance solution that can capture, record, store and analyse both voice and third party instant message applications such as WhatsApp and WeChat,” said Oliver Blower, CEO, VoxSmart.

“Our partnership with BlackBerry has already led to additional proofs of concept exercises from other global investment banks and financial services firms, who are seeing the MiFID II Directive as a chance to refine their approach to mobile security and compliance,” Blower added.

Already successfully deployed to several global investment banks and trading houses, VSmart provides a perfect balance between user experience and compliance, securing and enabling regulated users, all while adhering to stringent global regulations.

Amazon India Says It Has Doubled Its Seller Base in Less Than a Year

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon has crossed two lakh digital entrepreneurs-mark in just four years
  • It has also done partnerships with several national and state government
  • This will open online opportunity for thousands of Indian artisans

Amazon India on Tuesday announced it has crossed two lakh digital entrepreneurs-mark in just four years of its operations and in less than a year of crossing the one lakh seller-count last July.

“This fast pace of adoption of the Amazon India marketplace by retailers – online and offline as well as first generation digital entrepreneurs – has come on the back of various unique, India-first innovations like feet on street teams, self-service registration, Chai Cart and Tatkal that helped take this digital opportunity to lakhs of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in tier II and tier III geographies,” the e-commerce major said in a statement.

Amazon India Says It Has Doubled Its Seller Base in Less Than a Year

The statement added that partnerships with several national and state government bodies was helping unlock this online opportunity for thousands of Indian artisans, weavers and craftsmen in the country.

 

“We have not only introduced Indian sellers to our globally successful offerings for sellers…but have constantly innovated specifically for Indian sellers to address their unique challenges,” said Gopal Pillai, Director and General Manager, Seller Services, Amazon India.

“Our teams have done an admirable job focusing on our core seller experience, seller enablement and seller success. The fast-paced adoption of our marketplace by sellers speaks volumes of their trust in us to help them grow and succeed,” he added.

Foxconn Says Apple, Dell Part of Its Bid for Toshiba Chip Business

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple, Dell, & Kingston are part of the Toshiba’s chip unit business bid
  • Toshiba said Amazon, Google, Microsoft, & Cisco too are a part
  • Toshiba is planning to sell its chip business unit

Apple Inc, computing giant Dell Inc and Kingston Technology Co are members of a Foxconn-led consortium bidding for Toshiba Corp’s chip unit, the CEO of the world’s largest electronics manufacturer told Reuters on Monday.

Terry Gou, Foxconn’s founder and chief executive, also said Amazon.com Inc was close to joining and that the Taiwanese firm was also in discussions with Google, Microsoft Corp and Cisco Systems Inc about their participation in the bid.

Foxconn Says Apple, Dell Part of Its Bid for Toshiba Chip Business

He declined to comment on the total size of the offer or say how much Apple and other US firms planned to invest in the bid.

“I can tell you Apple is in for sure,” Gou said in an interview, adding that its participation had been approved by the Chief Executive Tim Cook and Apple’s board of directors.

 

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, and its Japanese unit Sharp Corp would have a combined stake of not more than 40 percent, he added.

Representatives for Apple and the other US firms named by Gou could not be immediately reached for comment outside of regular business hours. Sharp declined to comment.

Laptop Ban Affecting Middle East-US Traffic, Says IATA

HIGHLIGHTS
US in March announced laptop/tablet ban on flights coming in & going out
The Middle-East bound flights were mostly targeted
IATA has said that it’s affecting the flight traffic
Restrictions on bringing large electronic devices into aircraft cabins on certain routes to the United States are affecting traffic between the Middle East and the United States, a global airlines’ association said on Thursday.

Overall demand for air travel rose 10.7 percent in April, but the growth rate for the Middle East airlines was slower than its five-year average, a trend not seen in other regions, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday.

In March, the United States announced restrictions on large electronic items, such as laptops, on flights originating from 10 airports, including in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, because of fears that a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic devices taken onto aircraft.

That affects carriers such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.

IATA said that in March traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometres between the Middle East and the United States fell by 2.8 percent year-on-year, the first drop in at least seven years.

“It’s too early to be absolutely sure, but we think these numbers are indicative of some impact on travel,” IATA chief economist Brian Pearce said on Thursday.

The United States seemed set to expand the restrictions last month to flights from Europe but, after discussions with European partners, it has not yet announced a decision.

Any extension of the ban could affect US and European airlines such as United, Delta, American Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France-KLM and Norwegian Air Shuttle .

Laptop Ban Affecting Middle East-US Traffic, Says IATA

Authorities have been discussing several aspects, including the potential safety implications of storing large numbers of laptop batteries in cargo holds.

IATA has called for alternatives to placing such devices in the hold, such as enhanced screening at airports, more training of airport security staff and the use of dogs trained to detect explosives.

It estimates that if the restrictions were extended to Europe it could result in a $1.4 billion (roughly Rs. 9,023 crores) hit to productivity from passengers not being able to work while in the air.

IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said that the uncertainty over whether the ban would be extended was not yet having a measurable impact on overall bookings.

“In the mid term, if the decision is made, it’s another story,” he said.

IATA holds it annual general meeting in Cancun from June 4-6, where it will give an update on airlines’ expected profitability for this year.

Crowdfunding Publishers Rake It In, $100 Million Pledged Thus Far, Kickstarter Says

Product startups aren’t the only entrepreneurs using crowdfunding to finance their products. Crowdfunding giant Kickstarter has hit a landmark, recording $100 million in pledges to small publishers and self-publishing authors.

In a blog post, the company said that “more than a million people from around the world have gotten behind over 30,000 Publishing projects on Kickstarter, helping nearly 10,000 of them come to life.”

Crowdfunded Publishing by the Numbers

Here’s a breakdown of the statistics that made this milestone possible.

Crowdfunded Publishing Rakes It In, $100 Million Pledged Thus Far, Kickstarter Says

  • Successfully funded creators who have backed at least one other project: 6,414
  • Number of backers: 1,226,438
  • Number of countries/territories those backers have come from: 211
  • Number of times they have pledged to a project: 1,673,631

Kickstarter’s latest achievement is good news for writers and small publishers looking for funds to reach their audience. Notably, authors such as entrepreneur Eric Ries, author The Lean Startup are now turning to the site to raise funds for their literary work.

Apart from authors, literary magazines are also opting for the platform to meet their goals.

Kickstarter’s publishing outreach lead, Margot Atwell told The Guardian that “lately we’re seeing more authors and high profile publishers.”

“They’re becoming a critical mass and people are starting to notice it more.”

Interestingly, new indie publishers like the Big Bang Press are launching Kickstarter to fund books by fanfiction authors.

For all the advantages of moving to the Kickstarter platform to get published, there are some things worth keeping in mind. Rebecca Joines Schinsky and Jeff O’Neal, editors of Book Riot offered some words of advice on The Huffington Post, “Since the big wad of cash from your Kickstarter campaign goes right to you to do with what you will, you are going to be the last person paid. This means that keeping your expenses low throughout your project will leave you with more by the end.”

They also said that the decision to print or not should be taken after careful consideration. It’s a good idea to do a “limited run of print as a small incentive for backers to give during the campaign.”

A very important tip for fiction writers and publishers to remember is that selling is a challenge. It’s therefore crucial to create an engaging proof of concept. The project description should generate curiosity to entice the readers.

Leveraging social media is also a great way to achieve crowdfunding success on Kickstarter. Book Riot ran a promotional campaign and gave away goodies to expand its social reach. The idea helped the publisher gain new readers and boosted its chances.
Image: Kickstarter

 

UK used car outlook ‘resilient’ says Sword Apak

Analysis by wholesale finance software expert Sword Apak indicates the UK used car market will remain ‘resilient’ throughout 2017 as the new car market struggles.

Sword Apak based its prediction on its historic detailed knowledge of dealer stocking activities and how the market tends to respond to economic changes.

James Powell, executive vice president of Sword Apak, said: “While the new car market is expected to slow in the months ahead, we expect the used sector to remain resilient overall.

“Modelling on historic consumer car buying behaviour during terms of economic challenges, there is typically a shift of interest towards greater affordability which is associated with a used car.

“A similar pattern, albeit on a shorter-term basis, is reflected during major political events such as an election.”

Powell said that although over recent years the growth of new car PCP finance has offset affordability advantages of used cars, the emergence of used car PCPs has changed this dynamic, swinging the affordability balance back to used vehicles.

Image result for used car

He added: “We also believe the post general election Brexit dialogue will provide an unusually long ‘tail’ to the political influence on car buying; this uncertainty will, we expect, benefit the used car sector.”

In the short-term, falling disposable income, rising inflation and the general election have seen auction businesses reporting a softening of used car activity by dealers.

Nevertheless, Powell expects both conversions and values to stabilise in light of consumer demand.

Powell said: “There are many disruptive and evolutionary influences on the car buying market place, including the (as yet uncertain) clean air approach, along with political and economic influences.

“However, for car buyers, a used car has historically been seen as the safe haven option. We expect to see this scenario to play out again as the year unfolds.”

Sword Apak has provided leading global financial software solutions to the banking and wholesale finance sectors since 1979.

Today, the business works extensively across the automotive and asset finance sector globally and is recognised for its expertise in wholesale finance stocking software.

As well as wholesale funding software, Sword Apak provides a number of innovative software systems across the retail banking sector.

Sword Apak is based in the UK with nearly 100 clients globally.