The rise of the consuming class, smartphones everywhere, challenges to the global labor market

-The McKinsey Global Institute considers the evolution of cities and “the rise of the consuming class” as urban areas expand at an unprecedented speed and scale.

The Economist looks at the central role that educated and ambitious young women are playing in China’s economic and social development.

-China’s “promiscuous” consumers are not inclined toward brand loyalty, according to a study from Bain & Company and Kantar Worldpanel, reports The Wall Street Journal.

-A new McKinsey report, The World at Work, outlines challenges the global labor market will face in the next two decades.

The Economist examines “a revolution in the workplace” for Brazilian women.

-McKinsey’s Sustainability & Resource Productivity issue includes a look at the business of sustainability, how India is tackling green growth, how countries can transform water economies and new models for sustainable urban growth.

-A new poll finds that America’s values are in “upheaval,” according to The Atlantic.

-China is going beyond emerging markets to fund infrastructure and resource projects in the U.S. and other developed regions, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Economist spotlights more bad news for Europe: Fertility rates are declining again, likely due to the recession.

Time considers why American women are still burdened with the majority of housework, according to the latest American Time Use Survey.

-Thanks to the rise of online social networks, mixed-gender workplaces and urbanization, Indian families are hiring private eyes for premarital snooping, reports the Los Angeles Times.

-An excerpt from Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited spotlights race and gender differences among America’s creative, service and working classes, via The Atlantic.

The Economist takes a look at the tug-of-war between P&G and Unilever for dominance in the developing world.

-Google’s new made-in-America Nexus Q player is an early indication of what looks to be a shift away from Chinese manufacturing among American electronics companies, reports The New York Times.

-An Adweek issue on tweens examines how marketers are targeting this increasingly important demographic and reports on the rise of “advergames” and pre-game video ads.

-A new study from Common Sense Media looks at how teens view their digital lives.

-A Pew Internet study finds that a significant portion of Americans access the Web only through their cell phones.

-E-books have made reading a “measurable and quasi-public” activity, reports The Wall Street Journal, and now retailers and publishers are starting to analyze all the data.

-“Think smartphones are ubiquitous now? Just wait a few years,” says The Guardian, as analysts predict that 90% of mobile users will have no choice but a smartphone in two years.

-New research from Deloitte finds that smartphones are helping more than hurting brick-and-mortar retailers, reports MediaPost.

-An explosion in digital loyalty cards is challenging the Groupon model, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

Ad Age reports that butter is becoming more popular, and brands are responding with novel variations on the grocery staple.

-Gaining inspiration from food trucks, a growing number of entrepreneurs are opening stores on wheels instead of paying for retail spaces, USA Today reports.

-In a look at the luxury retail sector, The Guardian reports that “the business of catering to the super-rich is still booming.”

The Next Web takes a look at how crowdsourcing is developing in Latin America, where the trend is flourishing.

-Publishers are giving classic books cutting-edge covers in a bid to draw more teens, reports The New York Times.

-Are robot workers getting good enough to replace humans? Bloomberg Businessweek investigates.

-Traditional outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing are becoming less popular among Americans, in favor of other forms of nature viewing, such as photography, according to Wired.

-Driven by the EU crisis and aided by the Internet, a black market for organ trafficking is booming in Europe, according to The New York Times.

-What happens when 1,000 connected computers are set loose for “unsupervised learning” on the Internet? They learn to identify cat faces, reports Slate.