5 things to know: 9 August 2019
 
5 things to know: 9 August 2019
09 AUGUST 2019 9:34 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hoteliers get creative with employee recruitment, retention
  • UK economy shrinks as Brexit worries mount
  • US Treasury yield curve sloping further downward
  • Court rules users can sue Facebook over facial recognition
  • Officials investigate Legionnaire’s outbreak at Atlanta hotel

Hoteliers get creative with employee recruitment, retention: An ever-tightening labor market and rising wage demands have led hoteliers to find more creative ways to attract and retain employees, writes HNN contributor Brendan Manley.

“The really big favor that the millennials have done for us, is they said, ‘This is not about money. This is about me.’ So we are now forced to realize that we’re not in business just for the money,” said Robin Kirk, president and COO of Maverick Hotels & Restaurants. “It’s about whatever makes me productive, engaged and involved, gives me responsibility and gives me happiness. The millennials are forcing corporate America to do these things, and the really good news is, those of us who are not millennials tend to be not much different than millennials. We have the same needs and desires.”

U.K. economy shrinks as Brexit worries mount: The economy in the United Kingdom contracted unexpectedly during the second quarter, The Wall Street Journal reports. Business confidence has fallen as the country moves closer to the Brexit deadline of 31 October.

The Office for National Statistics reported that the country’s gross domestic product was 0.2% smaller during the first quarter, the article states. This equates to an annualized 0.8% drop, a drastic change from the 2% growth the U.K. experienced during Q1.

Although Brexit uncertainty is seen as a main driver of the contraction, the newspaper reports weakness in the global economy was another factor.

U.S. Treasury yield curve sloping further downward: The U.S. Treasury yield curve is on a trajectory to send 10-year rates below two-year rates, CNBC reports. The yield on the 10-year note “is in free fall, plunging more than 40 basis points over the last month.”

The two-year rate hasn’t fallen at a similar rate, remaining a bit steadier as the Federal Reserve has signaled it might not cut rates as quickly as some are hoping it will. The yield curve for the 10-year and three-month notes have been inverted since March, but many consider the inversion of the 10- and two-year notes to be more meaningful.

“Investors often give the spread between the 10-year and the 2-year special attention because inversions of that part of the curve have preceded every recession over the past 40 years,” the article states.

Court rules users can sue Facebook over facial recognition: The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Facebook users in Illinois can sue Facebook over its use of facial recognition software on the social media site, NPR reports. The state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, known as BIPA, has protections in place over how companies can use people’s biometric information.

Facebook launched a feature called tag suggestions in 2011 that used facial recognition technology to identify other Facebook users in a photo that turned the feature on. Critics of the software worry about the software’s ability to identify and track people and the subsequent privacy violations as a result.

"Once a face template of an individual is created, Facebook can use it to identify that individual in any of the other hundreds of millions of photos uploaded to Facebook each day, as well as determine when the individual was present at a specific location,” the judges wrote in their decision.

Officials investigate Legionnaire’s outbreak at Atlanta hotel: The Georgia Department of Public Health is investigating a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak at the Sheraton Atlanta that has killed one person and infected 11 others, The Washington Post reports. There are another 61 cases involving people who stayed at the same hotel and are showing the same symptoms but have not been confirmed by a lab test.

The 700-room hotel has been closed since 15 July and will remain so until at least 11 August, the newspaper reports. Health officials are seeking anyone who stayed at the hotel between 12 June and 15 July so they can fill out a survey to describe their activities at the property and elsewhere in the city.

“Sheraton Atlanta continues to work closely with public health officials and environmental experts to determine if the hotel is the source of the Legionella outbreak,” GM Ken Peduzzi said.

“The hotel has voluntarily moved ahead with precautionary remedial activities while awaiting results. The health and safety of our employees and guests is our top priority,” the GM told the news outlet.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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