business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From the Wall Street Journal this morning:

"Jobless claims rose to 744,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, bucking a downward trend amid other signs of recent labor-market improvement.

Weekly claims averaged around 220,000 in the year before Covid-19’s arrival.

"With nearly one-quarter of U.S. adults now fully vaccinated, consumers are spending more on gyms, restaurants, hotels and other services they had shunned over the last year, setting in motion a post-pandemic spending boom. Economists are closely watching unemployment claims numbers for signs that layoffs are moderating as businesses scramble to keep up with consumers."

•  From Engadget:

"Best Buy has started piloting a $200 membership program meant to rival Amazon Prime and Walmart's own take on a subscription service. It's called Best Buy Beta, and while it's a lot more expensive than a year of Prime ($119), it offers perks that focus on providing services to customers who have a bunch of electronics in their homes. Members will enjoy unlimited Geek Squad tech support on all technology they own, whether it was purchased from Best Buy or not. They're also getting free installation on most products and two-year warranty protection on most of their purchases, including AppleCare on Apple products.

"Its other perks are free shipping with no minimums, a 60-day extended return window, exclusive member sale pricing, 10 percent off subscription services billed through Best Buy and dedicated concierge support."

But no version of Amazon Prime Video, the story notes … and to my way of thinking, Prime Video is one of the great benefits of Prime membership.  Bosch.  Jack Ryan.  Judas and the Black Messiah.  The Father.  The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  The Sound of Metal.  One Night in Miami.  I could go on and on and on …