Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Unemployment

December Jobs Report: U.S. Added 199,000 Jobs

Business
“We’re all sort of at the whims of these variants and surges in cases, and it’s hard to know when they might strike,” said Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab. “Any sort of projections or outlook on the pace of gains over the next year or so is still dependent on the virus.”Employment levels are still depressed compared with the period before the pandemic, even as job openings remain remarkably high by historical standards. The economy has added 18.8 million jobs since April 2020 — when pandemic-related lockdowns were at their peak — but still has 3.6 million fewer positions than in February 2020.Part of the worker shortage may reflect retirement decisions prompted by the pandemic. Some people may be waiting to go back when health risks from the virus are le...

As Beijing Takes Control, Chinese Tech Companies Lose Jobs and Hope

Technology
The video platform that laid off Mr. Zhao, iQiyi, had an abysmal quarter, losing about $268 million. Its share prices fell by 85 percent from its high in 2021, reflecting investors’ concerns that the company, once aspiring to be China’s Netflix, will be short of shows that can attract more subscribers and advertisers.“The biggest problem for our industry is severe shortage of content supply,” iQiyi’s chief executive, Gong Yu, told analysts in November. He blamed, in part, censors’ slow approval. IQiyi did not respond to requests for comment.(Mr. Zhao confirmed the details in his social media account, but declined to comment further.)Many film, TV and streaming projects have been canceled or killed over concerns of increasingly harsh and unpredictable censorship, said people in the industry...
Job Openings Report Shows Record Number of Workers Quit in November

Job Openings Report Shows Record Number of Workers Quit in November

Business
There are signs that the worst of the turbulence was beginning to ease late last year. The number of job openings posted by employers fell in November, the Labor Department said Tuesday, though it remained high by historical standards. Hiring picked up, too. Earlier data showed that more people returned to the labor force in November, and various measures of supply-chain pressures have begun to ease.But that was before the explosion in coronavirus cases linked to the Omicron variant, which has forced airlines to cancel flights, businesses to delay return-to-office plans and school districts to return temporarily to remote learning. Forecasters say the latest Covid-19 wave is all but certain to prolong the economic uncertainty, though it is too soon to say how it will affect inflation, spen...

Lingering Virus, Lasting Inflation: A Fed Official Explains Her Pivot

Business
SAN FRANCISCO — Mary C. Daly was in line behind a woman in her neighborhood Walgreens in Oakland, Calif., this fall when she witnessed an upsetting consequence of inflation. The shopper, who was older, was shuffling uncomfortably as the clerk rang up her items.“She starts ruffling in her pockets, and in her purse,” Ms. Daly said in an interview. “And she says: This is a lot more expensive than it usually is. I buy these things — these are my monthly purchases.”The woman had to put something back — she chose potato chips — because she couldn’t afford everything in her basket.It would have been sobering to watch for anyone, but the moment hit especially hard for Ms. Daly, who is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. As one of the Fed’s 18 top officials, she is one of the pe...

Jobless for a Year? Employment Gaps Might Be Less of a Problem Now.

Business
Some employers regard applicants with long periods of unemployment unfavorably, research shows — even if many are reluctant to admit it.The Status of U.S. JobsThe pandemic continues to impact the U.S. economy in a multitude of ways. One key factor to keep an eye on is the job market and how it changes as the economic recovery moves forward.“Employers don’t often articulate why but the idea, they believe, is that people who are out of work are damaged in some way, which is why they are out of work” said Peter Cappelli, the director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.Some economists believe the pandemic’s unique effects on the economy may have changed things. Notably, the pandemic destroyed millions of jobs seemingly all at once, especia...
Analysis: Biden Sees Booming Economy, but Many Americans Don’t

Analysis: Biden Sees Booming Economy, but Many Americans Don’t

Business
The president has in recent weeks painted a bifurcated picture of the economy in speeches and news releases. He promotes what he calls historic progress on several measures. But he quickly turns to acknowledging the sticker shock that families have experienced at the grocery store, the gasoline pump and a variety of online shopping sites.“Economic growth is stronger here than virtually any other nation,” Mr. Biden said on Friday. “Americans have more money in their pockets than this time last year — $100 more each month than last year — even after accounting for price increases. But we have to get prices and costs down before consumers will feel confident in that recovery. That is a top goal of my administration.”While Mr. Biden’s comments are aimed broadly at voters, they have a singular ...

October 2021 Jobs Report: Gain of 531,000 Offers Brighter Picture

Business
“It’s a euphemism, but something the Fed takes very seriously,” said Diane Swonk, the chief economist at the accounting firm Grant Thornton. If the current surge in prices does not abate by early next year, and if both internal and external pressure to prioritize price stability takes precedence, then “patience may run out sooner than people think,” she said — and sooner than Mr. Powell, the Fed chair, would like.Hiring has seesawed this year along with the pandemic, especially in vulnerable sectors like hospitality and retail, where workers must be face-to-face with customers. Because many white-collar employees can work remotely, they have consistently fared better.In October, leisure and hospitality employment rose by 164,000, while professional and business services added 100,000 jobs....
The Economic Rebound Is Still Waiting for Workers

The Economic Rebound Is Still Waiting for Workers

Business
Some businesses seem determined to wait them out. Wages have risen, but many employers appear reluctant to make other changes to attract workers, like flexible schedules and better benefits. That may be partly because, for all their complaints about a labor shortage, many companies are finding that they can get by with fewer workers, in some instances by asking customers to accept long waits or reduced service.“They’re making a lot of profits in part because they’re saving on labor costs, and the question is how long can that go on,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist for the employment site ZipRecruiter. Eventually, she said, customers may get tired of busing their own tables or sitting on hold for hours, and employers may be forced to give into workers’ demands.Some businesses are alread...
September 2021 Jobs Report Shows Gain of Just 194,000 as Delta Persisted

September 2021 Jobs Report Shows Gain of Just 194,000 as Delta Persisted

Business
Job growth slowed to the year’s weakest pace last month as the latest coronavirus wave dashed hopes of an imminent return to normal for the U.S. economy.Employers added just 194,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Friday, down from 366,000 in August — and far below the increase of more than one million in July, before the highly contagious Delta variant led to a spike in coronavirus cases across much of the country. Leisure and hospitality businesses, a main driver of job growth earlier this year, added fewer than 100,000 jobs for the second straight month.“Employment is slowing when it should be picking up because we’re still on the course set by the virus,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton.The economic news is not all gloomy. The unemp...
They Never Could Work From Home. These Are Their Stories.

They Never Could Work From Home. These Are Their Stories.

Business
Day after day, they went to work.While white-collar America largely worked from the cocoons of their homes, these workers left for jobs elsewhere. Most had no choice.For many workers around the country, the Delta variant’s surge this summer upended long-awaited plans to return to the office this fall. But millions more — including nurses, cashiers, restaurant and grocery workers, delivery drivers, factory workers, janitors and housekeepers — never worked from home in the first place.“They’re the people who often are working around the public, often working in jobs that are requiring them to be at particular risk from the virus,” said Eliza Forsythe, an economist at the University of Illinois. “All of these types of jobs where you’re not sitting at a computer — that’s what’s really been the...