The Wall Street Journal - 07.09.2019 - 08.09.2019

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A2| Saturday/Sunday, September 7 - 8, 2019 ** THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.**


The name of SimilarWeb ,
an internet traffic research
firm, was misspelled as Simil-
iarWeb in a Page One article
Thursday about mass shooters.

About 8,600 non-U.S. for-
eign forces are deployed in Af-
ghanistan. A World News arti-
cle Friday about a proposed
U.S.-Taliban deal to withdraw

foreign forces from Afghani-
stan incorrectly said 17,000.

IWG, the parent of rental
business Regus, has locations
in around 120 countries. A
Heard on the Street column
Friday about We Co.’s planned
initial public offering incor-
rectly said Regus has locations
in 12 countries.

Readers can alert The Wall Street Journal to any errors in news articles by
emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-410-2667.


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Administration Seeks
Tougher Work Rules

The Trump administration
wants to make it harder for asy-
lum seekers to receive work per-
mits while they wait for their
cases to be decided, a move that
could deter some immigrants
from entering the country illegally.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigra-
tion Services, the federal agency
that processes asylum applica-
tions, said Friday it would pro-
pose a rule next week scrapping
a requirement that asylum seek-
ers receive a work permit within
30 days of applying for one.
USCIS Acting Director Ken
Cuccinelli said the agency wants
to allow it more time to screen
applicants for national security
and other concerns.
By doing away with the 30-
day deadline, the government
isn’t obligated to grant these im-
migrants work permits at all.
Federal law states that asylum
seekers may work but aren’t en-
titled to do so.
—Michelle Hackman


Facebook Questioned
On Hidden Gun Sales

A group of influential Demo-
cratic senators called on Face-
book Inc. to quickly end the post-
ings of firearms for sale on its
popular Marketplace and de-
manded information about how it
polices gun sales on the service.
In a letter to Chief Executive
Mark Zuckerberg, 15 senators
asked for information about the
company’s knowledge of, and ef-
forts at policing, the sale of
guns on Marketplace. Last
month, The Wall Street Journal
reported sellers of firearms were

clandestinely posting guns for
sale on the service, often dis-
guising them as posts for gun
cases or empty boxes.
A Facebook spokeswoman
said the company had made up-
dates to Marketplace since the
Journal’s article, without elaborat-
ing. The company is “evolving” its
automated system and retraining
human reviewers hired to catch
violating content, she added.
—Parmy Olson


Judge Delays Release
Of Documents in Suit

A judge on Friday agreed to
give the Trump administration
more time to decide whether to
shield documents concerning al-
legations of official Saudi in-
volvement in the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks, a sign that top
Justice Department officials are
struggling how to handle de-
mands from victims’ families to
release the information.
The 9/11 victims families are
seeking the information as part
of a lawsuit against Saudi Ara-
bia, accusing its government of
helping coordinate the 2001 ter-
rorist attacks.
Most of the attackers were
from Saudi Arabia; Riyadh has
denied complicity in the attacks.
Invoking the states-secret
privilege requires Attorney Gen-
eral William Barr’s approval. The
judge agreed to postpone a Fri-
day deadline until Thursday after
the Justice Department sug-
gested in a filing that the Federal
Bureau of Investigation intends
to try to keep at least some of
the information from public view.
The U.S. government’s pend-
ing decision comes amid broader
tensions between Washington
and Riyadh.
—Aruna Viswanatha

with regulators, including at-
torneys general, in answering
questions about our business
and the dynamic technology
Tech firms generally have
contended that they operate in
highly competitive markets.
The action by the attorneys
general, which has been antici-
pated for weeks, could be ex-
panded to other companies be-
yond Google and Facebook
soon, some of the people said.
Some of the state officials
already contend that the tech
companies’ dominance is pro-
ducing harmful effects.
For now, it appears unlikely
the state and federal investiga-
tions will be formally coordi-
But the federal enforcers
have been meeting with state
attorneys general, and closer
cooperation could develop as
the probes move forward.
“The FTC values our cooper-
ative relationship with the AGs
and routinely coordinates on
tech and antitrust issues,” a
spokeswoman for the FTC said.
The Justice Department de-
clined to comment.

Federal Trade Commission alle-
gations that it repeatedly used
deceptive disclosures and ac-
count settings to lure users into
sharing personal information,
and it remains under federal
scrutiny for issues including
whether it acquired companies
such as Instagram to stave off
competition. State attorneys
general also are expected to ex-
amine those issues, along with
Facebook’s use of data and its
role in the huge digital adver-
tising market.
This year, Google’s share of
the total U.S. digital ad market
will be 37%, and Facebook’s will
be 22%, according to eMar-
keter, a research firm.
Facebook declined to com-
Google, which also is facing
a Justice Department antitrust
probe, said it is cooperating
with the inquiries.
“Google’s services help peo-
ple every day, create more
choice for consumers, and sup-
port thousands of jobs and
small businesses across the
country,” said Google spokes-
man Jose Castañeda. “We con-
tinue to work constructively

of the people, as well as
whether the firm has stifled in-
novation or harmed consumer
choice and privacy.
Separately, New York Attor-
ney General Letitia James, a
Democrat, confirmed a Wall
Street Journal report that her
office is organizing a bipartisan
probe into whether Facebook
“has stifled competition and
put users at risk,” as she said in
a statement. “We will use every
investigative tool at our dis-
posal to determine whether
Facebook’s actions may have
endangered consumer data, re-
duced the quality of consumers’
choices, or increased the price
of advertising.”
Joining in the Facebook in-
vestigation so far are attorneys
general of Colorado, Florida,
Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina,
Ohio, Tennessee and the Dis-
trict of Columbia, Ms. James
said. The investigation focuses
on Facebook’s “dominance in
the industry and the potential
anticompetitive conduct stem-
ming from that dominance,”
her office said.
Facebook recently agreed to
shell out $5 billion to settle

year in the journals Socio-
logical Science and Educa-
tion Next, Dr. von Hippel
and Caitlin Hamrock, direc-
tor of research at the E3 Al-
liance, a nonprofit that
serves Texas students, wrote
that a primary reason some
newer tests fail to show the
summer learning gap is be-
cause modern tests are

“The important thing is that
the wage increases, which had
slowed, seem to be coming
back,” said Joel Naroff, chief
economist at Naroff Economic
Advisors Inc. “That points to
the simple fact that the labor
market really is tight.”
The unemployment rate
was unchanged at 3.7% in Au-
gust for the third consecutive
month. The jobless rate re-
mains near a 50-year low, a
sign of job security and plenti-
ful work opportunities for mil-
lions of individuals.
Still, its downward trajec-
tory appears to have lost some
momentum. At its August
level, the jobless rate was lit-
tle changed from 3.8% a year
earlier. Between 2010 and
2018, by contrast, it fell on av-
erage 0.6 percentage point a
Investors have been shaken
in recent months by signs the
global economy is slowing. On
Friday China’s central bank re-
leased 900 billion yuan ($
billion) to banks to spur the
economy, and the Bank of Rus-
sia cut its key interest rate for
the third time this year.
Earlier this week the Insti-
tute for Supply Management
reported its closely watched
gauge of U.S. manufacturing
activity contracted for the first
time in three years in August.
The report—coming after data
pointing to contracting factory
activity in the U.K., Germany,
Japan and South Korea—
fueled fears that a manufac-
turing slowdown elsewhere in
the world had reached the U.S.
Many business executives
have said in conference calls
with investors in recent weeks
that uncertainty about trade
between the U.S. and China is
clouding their outlook.

Continued from Page One


Hits Jobs


THE NUMBERS|By Jo Craven McGinty

True or False: Students Backslide in Summer

Nearly 40
years ago, re-
searchers at
Johns Hop-
kins Univer-
sity launched
a seminal study of student
achievement that identified
what is now known as the
“summer slide.”
The idea is that between
school years, learning slows
for all children, and the
achievement gap separating
the rich and poor grows in-
creasingly large.
The findings launched
myriad programs aimed at
halting the slide; led to the
creation of the National
Summer Learning Associa-
tion, whose slogan is
“Smarter Summers. Brighter
Futures”; and eventually cap-
tured the attention of Mal-
colm Gladwell, who included
the work in his book “Outli-
ers: The Story of Success.”
But recently, a pair of re-
searchers has questioned
whether decades-old re-
search focused on a single
school district should domi-
nate policy discussions.

The work in question is
the Beginning School Study,
which tracked a representa-
tive random sample of first-
graders who entered Balti-
more City Public Schools in
the fall of 1982 and found
that by ninth grade, two-
thirds of the increase in the
achievement gap between
poor and privileged students
could be traced to differ-
ences in summer learning
during the elementary years.
“The Baltimore study was
well done, but it’s a histori-
cal fact,” said Paul von Hip-
pel, an associate professor
of public affairs at the Uni-
versity of Texas at Austin.
“It was true for those kids
on that test at that time. It
does not seem to replicate.”


s evidence, he offers
examples of modern
tests that don’t show
a widening summer learning
gap. But even modern tests
don’t always agree, and us-
ing disparate results from
dissimilar tests to demon-
strate that one set of out-
comes is superior to another

is difficult at best.
“There are at least five
possible reasons why you
might get answers about
summer learning loss that
are different from the origi-
nal Beginning School Study,”
said Derek Briggs, director
of the Center for Assess-
ment, Design, Research and
Evaluation at the University
of Colorado, Boulder.
Differences in: student
populations; curricula; test-
ing standards; scaling meth-
ods used to score tests; or
common items, the overlap-
ping content that allows stu-
dent performance to be
evaluated across grades,
could all have an effect.
“Changes in achievement
are based on performance
on the same items,” Dr.
Briggs said. “If the way the
items were chosen shifted,
then it’s hard to disentangle
whether the reason you’re
seeing different things is be-
cause of scaling or because
different common items
were chosen, or because
something else changed.”
In articles published this

scored differently. They ac-
knowledge the tests they ex-
amined differed in other
ways and that some contem-
porary tests do show sum-
mer learning loss.
But if the only difference
between modern tests and
the BSS were how they were
scaled, psychometricians
who measure educational
achievement would antici-
pate the results to show the
same trends, if not the same
magnitude of variance.
“I would generally expect
the direction to be the same,
but a gap that looks huge in
one type of model might not
look so big in another type
of model,” said Leah Feuer-
stahler, an assistant profes-
sor of psychology at Ford-
ham University who
researches psychometric
If the Beginning School
Study could be rescored us-
ing modern scaling methods,
psychometricians would still
expect to see widening
achievement gaps, though
the size of the gaps might
differ. (That experiment isn’t

possible because the under-
lying data no longer exist.)


o, do contemporary
test results disprove
the existence of the
summer slide?
The National Academies
of Sciences, Engineering and
Medicine may soon offer
some insight. A committee
was convened last year to
study the state of the sci-
ence on how summertime
experiences affect school-
children, and results are ex-
pected to be published later
this month.
In the meantime, Karl Al-
exander, a sociologist who
with his Johns Hopkins col-
league Doris Entwisle con-
ducted the BSS, defended
his work in the August issue
of Education Next. And on
one thing he agrees with his
critics: “Why should we
have to reach back 30 or
more years to make the case
for summer learning loss?”
Dr. Alexander writes. “I, too,
would welcome new and
better data on this impor-
tant topic.”

School-year change in scores

Summer change in scores

Pioneering research begun in
the 1980s found that poor
students lose more ground
during the summer.

Change in reading scores from
first to ninth grade, by
socioeconomic status

Source: American Sociological Review; Karl
Alexander, Doris Entwisle, Linda Steffel Olson,
Johns Hopkins University

191 points



Poorer Wealthier

Summit Brewing Co., a St.
Paul, Minn.-based brewery
with 80 employees, is pulling
back on hiring to contain cost
pressures cropping up due to
global trade fights, including a
recent 20% price increase for
aluminum cans tied to tariffs.
Mark Stutrud, Summit
Brewing’s president, said Sum-
mit has also deferred capital
spending on some projects.
Yet despite a slowdown in
business, Mr. Stutrud has
boosted employee pay an aver-
age 3.5% over the past year to
retain workers.
petitive where it comes to
wages and benefits,” he said.
Forecasting firm Macroeco-
nomic Advisers projects eco-
nomic output in the third
quarter will grow at an annual

rate of 2%, matching the 2%
pace in the second quarter
while down from 2.9% in 2018.
Signs of a global slowdown
have sent yields on U.S. long-
term bonds tumbling, in antic-
ipation of low inflation and
Fed rate cuts to stimulate eco-
nomic activity.
In futures markets, investors
are pricing in a quarter-per-
centage-point interest-rate cut
by the Fed at its policy meeting
Sept. 17-18. Rate cuts are meant
to spur growth by reducing the
cost of borrowing, thus making
it cheaper for businesses to in-
vest and for consumers to pur-
chase big-ticket items like
homes and cars.
Fed Chairman Jerome Pow-
ell, speaking in Zurich, Swit-
zerland, did little to push back
against expectations for an-

other rate move this month.
“Our labor market is in quite a
strong position,” he said, play-
ing down fears of recession.
Manufacturing overtime
dipped to 3.2 hours a week,
the lowest level since April

  1. Workers at Pennsylvania-
    based Norcen Industries Inc.,
    which distributes plastics to
    manufacturers and runs a pre-
    cision machine shop, typically
    log five to 10 hours of over-
    time a week during the busy
    summer season.
    But now there is just
    enough work to keep them oc-
    cupied for a regular 40-hour
    work week, said Josh Wil-
    liams, Norcen’s president.
    Customers are “holding off
    on ordering stuff,” he said.
    “They’re all worried about

Modest job growth in August saw weak manufacturing reflecting a global manufacturing
slowdown. Meanwhile, wages and participation among working-age Americans perked up.

Monthly change in payrolls, seasonally adjusted*
600 thousand jobs




2008 ’09 ’10 ’11 ’12 ’13 ’14 ’15 ’16 ’17 ’18 ’

August: 130,
Estimate: 150,

June figure revised down by 15,000 jobs to 178,
July revised down 5,000 jobs to 159,

Average weekly earnings
change from a year earlier

Manufacturers purchasing-
managers' indexes†

Labor-force participation rate
ages 25-

2017 ’18 ’









South Korea

Note: Numbers are seasonally adjusted *The Labor Department revised payroll numbers downward for early 2018 through early 2019 but have not yet
updated the monthly data. †Readings above 50 indicate expansion; below, contraction
Sources: Labor Department (payrolls, earnings, participation); IHS Markit (Global PMI)







2017 ’18 ’







2017 ’18 ’

san group of perhaps more
than 40 attorneys general will
join that effort, which is being
led by Texas Attorney General
Ken Paxton, a Republican, ac-
cording to people familiar with
the matter.
Friday, Mr. Paxton’s office
said the news conference will
detail “a multistate investiga-
tion into whether large tech
companies have engaged in an-
ticompetitive behavior that sti-
fled competition, restricted ac-
cess and harmed consumers.”
Formal civil subpoenas are
likely to begin going out from
that effort soon, according to
the people familiar with the
matter. The investigation will
examine Google’s impact on
digital advertising and informa-
tion markets, according to one

Continued from Page One

Tech Firms

Fa ce New


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