Amazon’s Prime Air edges closer to takeoff (watch out, UPS); Ford China sales hit July record; and U.S. added 255K jobs in July, beating forecasts

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 9:06 p.m.

Prime Air plane
Amazon’s new Prime Air 767 is operated by Atlas Air.

AMAZON today is showcasing its first branded air cargo plane during Seafair’s Air Show, an annual community celebration in the retail giant’s Seattle hometown. The Boeing 767-300, operated by Amazon’s air cargo provider Atlas Air, is flying in the show for thousands of Seattle residents and employees. In May, Amazon said it would lease 20 of the planes from Atlas for its nascent air delivery service. The 767’s appearance, complete with the company’s Prime Air livery, is the latest step in Amazon’s drive to take control of every phase of its logistics as it becomes both a customer and competitor of UPS, FedEx and other shippers (press release). Amazon and UPS are both big employers in the Louisville area; UPS has 22,000 workers at its Louisville International Airport hub, and Amazon employs 6,000 at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shephardsville.

Walmart’s reported negotiations to buy Amazon competitor for around $3 billion would only put a small dent in the Seattle retailer (The Street). More news about the rumored Walmart-Jet talks.

UPS filed its detailed quarterly 10-Q financial report with the Securities and Exchange Commission today (SEC document).

FORD: Despite China’s slowing economy, Ford and its joint venture partners sold 88,189 vehicles there last month — a record — up 15% compared to a year ago (press release). Also, the automaker yesterday recalled approximately 830,000 vehicles to replace side door latches that may not be operating properly; the recall includes vehicles made in Louisville. They are 2013-15 Ford C-MAX, 2013-15 Ford Escape, 2012-15 Ford Focus, 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC, and 2014-16 Ford Transit Connect vehicles sold or ever registered in certain U.S. states (press release). In Louisville, Ford employs nearly 10,000 workers at the Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Factory.

Naked Chicken Chalupa
Headed for menus nationwide.

TACO BELL will roll out its new Naked Chicken Chalupa — a taco with a shell made of fried chicken — across the country next year after testing it on the West and East Coasts (Brand Eating).

Trump and KFC
Not finger-lickin’.

KFC: Late Night host Seth Meyers joined other comedians ribbing GOP White House nominee Donald Trump this week, zeroing in on the New York billionaire’s much-discussed Tweeted photo of himself eating KFC aboard his private jet with silverware (instead of, say, his alleged tiny fingers). “The only person I can imagine eating KFC and reading The Wall Street Journal is the CEO of KFC,” Meyers said. That would be the delightfully named Muktesh Pant (Yahoo). In Knoxville, Tenn., a health inspector ordered a KFC to throw out chicken that had been potentially contaminated by drippings and splattering on an open box of the meat (WATE)

In other news, The U.S. added 255,000 jobs last month, a second straight strong gain that shows the economy is still quite healthy despite somewhat slower growth. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted 185,000 new nonfarm jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9%. Today’s Labor Department report is one of the most closely-watched monthly gauges of the economy (MarketWatch).

MSNBC Anchor

The Muhammad Ali Center said it would honor six young people during its fourth annual Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards Sept. 17 at the Marriott Louisville Downtown. The recipients, all under 30 years old, are from California, Idaho, Virginia, plus Germany, Israel and Pakistan. Craig Melvin, national correspondent on NBC’s Today show and MSNBC anchor will host the event.

This year’s awards ceremony will also be a tribute to the late professional boxer, who died June 3. Ali, 74, was the co-founder of the Muhammad Ali Center, and attended each of the previous year awards presentations (press release). About the Ali Center.

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