Posts tagged Labor Market
The State of the Union: Unpacking the Recent Rise in Labor Unionization
January 20, 2023 // Considering unions’ historical role in curbing disproportionate corporate profits and inequality, it makes sense that the NLRB reported a 57% jump in union representation petitions and 14% more complaints of unfair labor practices in the first half of 2022. In the current moment, it seems that workers are turning to unionization as a means of righting the wrongs of corporate inequality. But this push for unions, while having recently enjoyed a burst of momentum, has been a long time coming. Public support for unions stands at 71%, up from 48% in 2010 and at its highest since 1965, according to a recent Gallup poll. Organizers are also being buoyed by a political environment conducive to labor organizing. President Biden has taken decidedly pro-union stances since entering office, replacing Trump’s pro-business and anti-labor NLRB general counsel with former union attorney Jennifer Abruzzo and backing the PRO Act, which would simplify the process of unionizing. It also helps that unions have evaded the extreme partisanship that has swamped most other issues in contemporary politics: While Democrats are twice as likely to view unions favorably compared to Republicans, almost half of Republicans still say that they would approve of unionization in their workplaces.
Private-sector employers add 235,000 jobs in December, payroll company reports
January 9, 2023 // Private-sector employers added 235,000 new hires across the United States in December, according to the December ADP National Employment Report produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Stanford Digital. Medium and small firms had robust hiring as big companies experienced declining job creation. “The labor market is strong but fragmented,” said Chief Economist Nela Richardson in a statement, “with hiring varying sharply by industry and establishment size. Business segments that hired aggressively in the first half of 2022 have slowed hiring and, in some cases, cut jobs in the last month of the year.”
Americans are taking more control over their work lives – because they have to
January 6, 2023 // In research I’ve been conducting on side hustles in the sharing economy, I am finding that many people take these gigs to compensate for limited control in their “traditional” jobs. Although gig work comes with its own set of challenges – lack of benefits is a key one – people feel liberated by greater control over where, when and how they work. Switching on an app shifts allegiance from one company to another. Turning off an app ends the workday in an instant. People rely on side hustles to earn additional income but also because of the freedom that comes from being an independent worker. Another benefit of portfolioing is hedging risk. Sudden layoffs, such as those recently affecting the tech industry, leave people feeling exposed to financial hardship and identity loss from being involuntarily sent to the exit. When facing difficult times at one job, people can turn to other parts of their career portfolio for security and stability.
Chicago saw a wave of new unions form in 2022. Getting to the bargaining table is the next challenge.
January 2, 2023 // But it’s not just Starbucks: In Chicago, museum workers at the Art Institute, faculty and staff members at its affiliated school and employees at the Newberry Library have all unionized this year. So have workers at Howard Brown Health, budtenders at Zen Leaf cannabis dispensaries and booksellers at Half Price Books in Niles. Baristas at four La Colombe Coffee Roaster locations filed for union elections in December. Thousands of graduate students at Northwestern and the University of Chicago filed petitions within two weeks of each other in November. For the hundreds of newly unionized workers in Chicago, the hard work has only just begun; now they must negotiate a first contract with their employers. Labor leaders see a contract as the gold standard for protecting workers’ rights and securing gains in areas like pay and benefits. But the process can take years.
Big Tech faces unionization push as employee priorities shift
December 22, 2022 // Big tech firms are gearing up for more labor activism in 2023 after seeing an unprecedented rise in union organization this year. Now Apple and Amazon both felt the effects of these efforts as they tried to navigate the path ahead. Well, joining us now with more is Yahoo Finance's Allie Garfinkle. This really has been an incredible year for unions.
The Standoff Between Workers and Their Bosses Is Set To Heat Up in 2023
December 15, 2022 // Now, the strong labor market that emboldened workers is softening. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7% in November—it had gone as low as 3.5%—–and high-profile tech and media companies have recently cut their payrolls through steep layoffs. But that doesn’t mean workers are losing the upper hand, says Thomas Kochan, a professor of employment research at the MIT Sloan School for Management. If anything, the current economic conditions mean labor strife may accelerate next year. “I expect what we’ll see is more conflict, more strikes, and more contract rejections,” Kochan says. Workers are still focused on companies’ profits during boom years, he notes, while companies are starting to trim costs to prepare for an economic downturn. “It’s that difference in expectations,” he says, “that creates a higher probability of conflicts and strikes.”
Feds: Low unemployment, inflation, recession have economy at crossroads
September 6, 2022 // “Further, many structural barriers existed before the pandemic, including weaker skills, lack of access to affordable, good-quality child care, transportation problems, incarceration, addiction and discrimination,” they wrote. “Individually and collectively, they reduce job matching efficiency.” While they note an economy is in recession when gross domestic product falls in two consecutive quarters, they also state the National Bureau of Economic Research’s definition of a recession relies on a variety of indicators. If we’re in a recession or entering one, economists can’t predict its effects on employment.
Another Weirdness of the COVID Labor Market
September 2, 2022 // The early retirements problem came into view as pandemic unemployment “cleared” and the labor market returned to status quo ante. The 65-plus group accounts for between 50 percent and 100 percent of the decline in the population-to-employment ratio, amounting to .7 percent of the entire workforce, perhaps a million or so workers, and about half that number were among those who chose to hang up their cleats ahead of time. These early retirements are interacting with the overall market in some unique ways. In a normal recession, businesses tend to cut labor costs through automation. As the old jobs are eliminated, workers are “reallocated,” meaning they move into new occupations. The NBER study finds that the COVID-19 recession saw almost no reallocation except in low-skill leisure and hospitality occupations. In the meantime, the number of workers in professional occupations grew as a share of the labor market. This relative expansion of professional jobs was also accompanied by “downskilling” (i.e., the relaxation of educational and experience requirements reflected in help-wanted ads) as firms responded to the tight labor market by making it easier for less credentialed workers to qualify for openings further up the value chain.
The labor market is still red-hot — and it’s helping union organizers
September 1, 2022 // A red-hot labor market that has afforded workers more bargaining power with employers is fueling a string of recent union victories at high-profile U.S. companies. Workers have voted to unionize for the first time in recent weeks at Trader Joe’s and Chipotle. Unions have also made significant inroads at Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and REI, employers that have long resisted unionization. What remains to be seen is whether the job market will stay strong as the Federal Reserve pushes to cool inflation with interest rate hikes. In a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyo., last week, central bank chief Jerome H. Powell acknowledged that the rate hikes would likely inflict “some pain” on businesses and households and probably weaken the labor market. Guy Berger, LinkedIn, Julia Pollak, Zip Recruiter, John Logan, Atulya Dora-Laskey,
Quiet quitting: Employees suffering pandemic burnout say they’ve just stopped working as hard
August 20, 2022 // Millions of Americans are taking a similar approach. Burned out after logging excessive hours or duties during COVID-19, they’re resolving to meet their job requirements but not go beyond. No toiling late into the night. No calls on weekends. And no pushing themselves to the brink even during regular business hours. Korn Ferry, Harris Poll, Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Flex + Strategy Group, Michelle Reisdorf, Andrew Challenger, Joe Galvin, Jonathan Millar,