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Governments should make sure that jobs created globally should be targeted not just towards robots, but also towards human economic wellbeing. The Global Commission on the Future of Work, who went into an 18-month deliberation has come up with other far-reaching reforms that will change the corporate focus from quarterly financing and GDP metrics to the creation of a lifelong investment in learning. The ILO fueled commission is co-chaired by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister of Sweden and believes that the “future of our societies depends on how we deal with the challenges and opportunities related to the world of work” and the opportunities, as well as the challenges, lie in creating policies to focus on a human-centered agenda.
Employers in the U.S. have all the good intention behind offering caregiving-support benefits, but they are not quite hitting the bull’s eye when it comes to addressing employee needs. The Harvard Business School’s Future of Work Project’s January 2019 report “The Caring Company” indicates that the “caregiver” crisis is costing firms millions of dollars in hidden costs like employee absenteeism and turnover. Three out of Four workers in the U.S. are caregivers and a vast majority of them feels that caregiving affects their productivity at work. Contrasting this point of view are the employers where just a quarter think that caregiving affects performance. The startling part is that 52% of employers never take into cognizance, the caregiving burden on the employee and its subsequent cost to the company.
Ageism exists and refuses to leave even half a century after Congress made it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees who are 40 years or above. The ProPublica and the Urban Institute fueled data analysis found that from 1992 to 2016, 56% of workers, 40 years or above faced a lay off at least once or had to leave their jobs in excruciating and debilitating financial circumstances that it looks like a forceful resignation than a voluntary one. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act or ADEA of 1967 was weakened by a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that burdened aging employees with greater proofs to prove their discrimination allegations.
Employees are more productive if they have a transparent salary policy. Emiliano Huet-Vaughan, an economist at UCLA who ran a 2013 study on similar lines said that a piece of "accurate information about peer compensation” will give them a fair idea about when they are getting underpaid. Without salary transparency, a case against pay-discrimination falls flat. Keeping the compensation secret might encourage inequalities across ranks as it hides the obvious act of discrimination. While at a macro level the wage gap is easier to see when it comes to the ground level or individual cases a wrapped up compensation is a deterrent in proving wage gap.
Pessimism is reaching out to people more than social media and people are pinning their trust on employers as per Edelman fueled global attitude survey. The survey by the public relations firm, Edelman also found that 75% of the respondents trusted their employers, which is 28% more than the media and 27% more than the government. The background of the trust on employers can be attributed to a turbulent world. The survey also found that women are more skeptical than men when it comes to trust institutions. Employers are seen as a ‘closer to home’ entity compared to media and the government.
Tesla comes in the line of fire as it slashes 7% of the jobs to limit spending as it comes in terms with what Elon Musk called the “most challenging” year in its history. The move will affect more than 3,000 jobs and comes with a warning from Musk that the “road ahead is very difficult” to make affordable electric cars for the masses. The company’s shares fell by 7.7 percent after the start of regular trading as the company profits narrowed down since October 2018. Tesla increased the staff by 30% last year and stated that the number was more than they can support.
A 2,800 people strong Robert Half survey found that 62% of them will relocate for a new and better position. The topmost impetus for relocation was compensation (44%), which resonates with 34% of the companies increasing their pay package. The Generation Z and Millennials; the 18 to 34-year-old age group is more likely (76%) to relocate than their older counterparts. Geography may play a factor in and against relocation as out of 28 cities polled people were less likely to relocate if they were from Boston, Detroit or Philadelphia. People living in Des Moines, Miami, and Charlotte, on the other hand, were more open for relocation.
New York joins the league of 21 other states as the State Assembly passed a bill prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. The said Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act or GENDA sets “a person’s actual or perceived gender-related identity, appearance, behavior, expression, or other gender-related characteristics” as a definition for gender identity or expression. The person’s sex at the time of birth does not affect the definition implying that New York Human Rights Law now, extends to transgender and non-gender confirming individual.
The Generation Z aka the youngest working generation had a pretty good 2018 as their wages gained pace and were the closest to their senior cohort since 2002. The U.S. citizen between 16-24 years working in a full-time position earned an average of $549 per week that is 59% of the earnings of the earlier cohort. The closing gap can be attributed to a tight job market, which forces companies to pay up for entry-level jobs.
The Chinese Lunar Year that will fall around early February will bring job jitters for many Chinese workers as the ongoing trade war between the Washington and Beijing is creating major ripples that are reaching across industries - from autos to logistics to technology. The Danish Shipper A.P. Moller-Maersk laid off 2,000 workers from the idle since December Dongguan transport container factory. The firing succeeded an early holiday before the Lunar New Year and was mostly a one-on-one phone call or WeChat message ritual. China’s COSCO Shipping reduced the number of vessels in Guangdong as a direct response to the trade war.
Warrren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathway Inc. owned luxury plane unit NetJets went on a proactive note to avoid past burns as it extended its pilot contract by three years to avoid the labor strife it had earlier this decade. The agreement with NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilot will impact 2,500 pilots and mostly in a morale-boosting way. The 2015 agreement does not expire till 2023, but the Columbus, Ohio-based company sat through six weeks of talk to reach the accord that boosts pay and retirement benefit along with a revised compensation that pays pilots more for flying more. The pilots took the clauses positively and 81% voted in favor of the changes.
The Google walkout group circa November 2018 is back and this time they are taking up Instagram and Twitter for a campaign, spreading awareness regarding the forced arbitration clause that tech companies include in their employee agreement. The said post by the group, End Forced Arbitration has pre-recorded conversations of legal professors discussing the proposed legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of representatives to amend federal law defining employee arbitration protocols. The group also went ahead with a survey that included 30 companies and they claimed that none stands true pillars of a ‘transparent and equitable workplace’. The said names in the survey include Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb and staffing giant Adecco.
A good 86% of respondents believe that work burnout is related to job satisfaction in a University of Phoenix’s Job Burnout Poll conducted in 2008. More than half of the people currently employed have faced burnouts, while the percentage decreases to 39% for the unemployed respondents. A little above one-third of the employees said they took a day or more off for mental health opposed to a 61% taking a leave on account of physical health. And a mental health day off at least once a year is twice more likely in parents who have kids under 18 years compared to non-parents.
Tim Cook, CEO Apple Inc. said that the company will cut back on hiring for some divisions following the slump in iPhone sales and the China debacle in particular. The divisions facing hiring cuts is yet to be decided by Cook, but rest assured the crucial groups like Apple’s artificial intelligence team will continue hiring at a strong pace. On a question about Apple freezing hiring all-together Cook responded in negative saying it is not a solution. Tim who recently wrote a letter to investors explaining the difficult situation said in this particular address to employees that a cut back in hiring does not and should not define Apple’s future.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is switching its contingency plan mode on as 2019 tax filing season starts on April 28 by bringing back 46,000 furloughed employees. The plan designates 57% of the 80,000 strong teams “excepted or exempt” from the partial federal shutdown and leaves them available to process annual tax returns and refunds. The exempted employees will be working without pay till the impasse is over. The 132 page IRS contingency plan is using the legal rationale of tax returns and refunds being on a similar plain with Social Security to get the proposal moving. National Treasury Employees Union has filed for a lawsuit against the plan stating that it is illegal as it obligates a fund not obligated by the Congress.
China is all set to create more proactive employment policies in 2019 its human resources ministry said on Wednesday. The announcement comes in the wake of the country’s need to create 15 million jobs in the current year. Vice Minister Qiu Xiaoping said in a press conference that the country’s urban registered jobless rate was 3.8% for 2018. The same press briefing saw an optimistic vice industry minister Xin Guobin saying that automobile sales and production will see a good phase as per authority estimates despite the economic slowdown.
A November report by Deloitte says that about a third of U.N. employees and contractors faced at least one incidence of workplace sexual harassment in the past two years. The survey had 30,364 active respondents who completed it, which is about 17% of the eligible population. Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in his letter to staff said the response was “moderately low” and further added that they still have a long way to go before people started openly discussing sexual harassment. Two out of three times the perpetrator were men and more than half of these instances occurred in the office, while 17.1 percent of them took place in work-sponsored social events.
Amazon.com Inc. took a step back on its supposed first job listing for its Long Island, New York office and said that it is excited to kick start the hiring “later in 2019.” The company, earlier this month posted a job for software engineer and software development manager in New York, just after their announcement to build a 50 member strong team which will be a part of Amazon’s Intelligence Cloud Control Group. An earlier announcement, which was removed on Monday said that The HQ2 will provide an answer to the increasing staff demands for the ICC. The company removed all that HQ2 speculations by saying that the job posting was for the existing New York office.
An unemployment rate that ticked below 4% in 2018 did not help wages to rise with a pace that is expected from a tight labor market. San Francisco Federal Reserve published the report on Monday and also said that the wages are not expected to rise even if the unemployment rates tick down by few more notches. The 3% annual wage growth is ill-paced with the productivity and inflation rates. The sluggish wage growth led the Fed to pause rate hikes to allow the markets to tighten further giving people to earn better. While the inflation remains contained the slow wage rate may be indicative of a sluggish market than calculated. The local low unemployment rate can bring down the average national rate creating a possible mirage in this case.
With a tight labor market and turnover hitting an all-time high, employers are keen on checking-in daily with their employees. HR professionals are particular about maintaining the golden rule of responding to the applicants within 72 hours of the first contact to increase the probability of procuring the best talent. The talent retention part is also getting a facelift with HR intently focusing on engagement and development drives. Keeping a tab on employee activities and daily check-ins are the tasks, which would have attracted a lot of blank stares from the HR for being too taxing. But, technology has stepped into uncomplicated this task at hand.