March 29, 2017

ChantelMcGeeFrom factory floors to Wall Street financial firms, robotic labor is becoming an increasingly important part of production for many companies. And according to the head of Yum Brands, fast food could be the next industry to adopt automation on a wide scale. This week CEO Greg Creed said that robots could start replacing humans at Yum-owned chains like Pizza Hut and Taco Bell by the mid-2020s.

Other fast food companies have already begun to experiment with automation. Wendy’s, for Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 10, 2017

UBS-Reinvents-WorkSpaceOver the years, Silicon Valley startups have become famous for developing open work spaces free of personalized desks or big corner offices. The idea is to allow employees to gather together and collaborate rather than leave them enclosed in their cubicles. While other companies avoided this unconventional approach at first, more firms have switched to open offices as the concept has become more popular. Still, these companies have tended to be smaller operations as many big businesses remained skeptical that Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 9, 2017

SwedishSoftwareCompany-wo-CEOThree years ago, the staff of the Swedish software consulting firm Crisp felt it was time for a change in leadership. The company had been recently experimenting with its upper management structure, going from a standard CEO model to one that replaced the top executive annually through a staff vote. Then, a radical idea took root in the minds of Crisp’s employees. “We said, ‘what if we had nobody as our next CEO – what would that look like?’” said Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 7, 2017

LisaNottinghamIn recent years, many companies have sought to create work environments that place a heavy emphasis on collaboration. With flattened hierarchies and open door policies, these workplaces give employees easy access to managers and other top performers. The system is meant to improve office efficiency by allowing staffers to receive unique advice that makes their jobs easier.

But while regular employees can have their workloads lightened, managers quickly become overwhelmed by overly collaborative workplaces. After all, executives who spend much Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 19, 2017

ArvindGroverFor many corporate executives, non-compete agreements are just a part of doing business. Since companies want to hang on to top talent as long as possible, they often insert clauses in contracts that prevent employees from joining competitors for a certain amount of time. While this limits a staffer’s options when looking for a new job, their high-level status usually provides them with plenty of alternative choices.

That’s not quite the case for sandwich makers, however. While non-compete clauses are Continue reading

Continue reading...

November 4, 2016

MartinThomasFrom short essays to lengthy term papers, college students are no strangers to writing. Matters don’t change much once they graduate to the business world: internal memos, progress reports, and a seemingly endless amount of emails constitute the daily tasks of many office employees. According to a recent study of businesspeople who write at work, an average of 22 percent of their time is spent reading. Unfortunately, the quality of the work that passes their desks is often clumsy or Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 21, 2016

PaulBicaThe remote region of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada, is not known for its bustling population. Just 130,000 people live on the 4,000 square-mile island, with 1,000 others leaving each year for the past two decades. As the population steadily drops, many Cape Breton natives have worried about the future of the island’s tight knit communities. Among these concerned citizens was Jim and Ferne Austin, local entrepreneurs who operated the Farmer’s Daughter Country Market in sleepy Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia, Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 20, 2016

CorttoAccording to a study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade American workers will miss out on two million industrial jobs due to lack of training. For years the Obama administration has tried to close this growing skills gap by promoting German-style apprenticeships that provide on-the-job education for young workers. In Germany roughly half of all high school graduates opt for these intense training programs, not least of all because they are virtually guaranteed employment at the end. Continue reading

Continue reading...

October 4, 2016

KanasphotoWith the fall semester now in full swing, the easygoing feeling of summer vacation is becoming an increasingly distant memory. Then again, that’s only for the lucky Americans who actually get to take a vacation during the warm months of the year. For the rest, either they don’t receive adequate time off or simply refuse to take advantage of it. In fact, as much as 55 percent of American workers don’t use all of their paid vacation days out of Continue reading

Continue reading...

June 16, 2016

While the government’s official unemployment rate has been hovering around 5 and 6 percent lately, that number doesn’t tell the whole story about joblessness in the U.S. This video summarizes the concept of the “real” unemployment rate and the different ways that the government defines joblessness in its statistics.

Questions:

  1. Why isn’t the “real” unemployment rate used as the official measure of joblessness?

 

  1. What does the large amount of underemployment in the U.S. say about the current state of the economy?
Continue reading...