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Microsoft pay, airbags and new jobs data — 5 things to know today

Decrease In Unemployment Claims Shows Economy Continuing To ImproveDecrease In Unemployment Claims Shows Economy Continuing To Improve
A notice in a store window announces a retail job opening in New York City. Photograph by Spencer Platt — Getty Images

Good morning, friends and Fortune readers.

Executive pay is an intriguing topic of discussion in the business world, and today compensation at Microsoft (MSFT) comes into focus as shareholders vote on a new pay package for Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and other proposals at the tech firm’s annual meeting. Meanwhile, we have an early read on November jobs data this morning, with figures from payroll processor Automatic Data Processing and analysis provider Moody’s Analytics showing the nation’s private sector added 208,000 jobs last month.

Here’s what else you need to know about today.

1. Microsoft’s shareholders to vote on pay

The tech giant is hosting an annual meeting at 11 a.m. ET in Bellevue, Wash., where shareholders will vote on executive pay, a slate of 10 directors that are up for nomination for the board of directors, and a few other proposals. The executive pay issue is most intriguing, as Institutional Shareholder Services — an influential advisor to investors — last month recommended shareholders vote against the pay package for new CEO Satya Nadella. The vote on Nadella’s compensation, which ISS estimated at $90.8 million for the most recent fiscal year, is non-binding, as is the vote on pay for other top executives.

2. Private sector job growth is solid

The nation’s private sector added 208,000 jobs last month, just shy of estimates and roughly in line with what ADP reported in October. Employment gains this year have been a right spot, with many observers noting that the job growth is broad-based across various industries and company sizes. Some are also hopeful that as unemployment and underemployment levels decline, there will be improvement on stagnant wages. The ADP data come ahead of the Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls report for November, due Friday morning, which includes both private and public sector employment.

3. Abercrombie’s sales tumble

The teen retailer had already warned third-quarter results would be dismal but today it is official: sales tumbled sharply in the U.S. and abroad. The retailer, known for its expensive logo-adorned gear, is facing pressure from fast fashion chains like Forever 21 and H&M. Abercrombie (ANF) says it is in the process of shifting its design aesthetic, but merchandise changes take time to implement and for now, the company is struggling to compete. On Wednesday, Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries said same-store sales “improved somewhat” in November, and that improvement was maintained through the Black Friday weekend. But Abercrombie still expects fourth-quarter same-store sales to drop.

4. Airbag maker to testify before Congress

Takata, which has rejected demands to recall vehicles across the U.S., is poised to testify before Congress on Wednesday in a second congressional inquiry, according to Automotive News and other media outlets. The testimony comes as Takata has declined to expand recalls beyond high-humidity areas, where four motorists have died and about 8 million cars have been recalled. Takata has claimed a wider recall would aggravate a shortage of replacement air bags, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has advocated a national recall of some driver’s side airbags.

5. Hong Kong pro-democracy leaders released without charges

The founders of a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong who attempted to surrender on Wednesday for their roles in organizing protests for free elections were rebuffed by police. The individuals entered a police station in Hong Kong and left less than an hour later without facing any charges. The group, which includes two professors and a Baptist cleric, had called for demonstrators to occupy Hong Kong’s Central district to protest Beijing’s insistence on vetting candidates standing for the city’s top political post. The co-founders have recently called on protesting students to retreat, expressing concern about too many dangers of worsening violence.