October 1, 2020

Back in March, airlines received $25 billion in relief so that workers could stay on the payroll as the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive disruption in world travel. But with that money now spent, major carriers had been hoping for another round of economic stimulus from the federal government as demand for travel remains low. Legislators have been unable to come to an agreement so far, however, leading American Airlines and United Airlines to announce that more than 32,000 employees Continue reading

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August 27, 2020

For nearly every week since March, millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits as the economy continues to struggle with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. And last week was no exception: once again more than 1 million people filed for unemployment for the first time. All together, more than 27 million people applied for benefits as the jobless rate hovers around the 10 percent mark. 

“It’s massively concerning that five months into this crisis we are still Continue reading

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August 24, 2020

In 2018, California’s Supreme Court ruled against a delivery company that classified its employees as independent contractors. This landmark decision was followed two years later by official legislation that required businesses throughout the state to turn contracted staff into full-time workers or else face legal action. The most prominent targets of this new law were Uber and Lyft, the rideshare giants that employ tens of thousands of people as independent contractors. 

According to consumer advocates, drivers for Uber and Continue reading

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August 20, 2020

As companies across all industries look for ways to reduce contact between employees during the pandemic, many are turning to automated labor as a way both to stay safe and trim costs. This video looks at how advanced robotic technology could change workplaces in the long term while also examining the potential limitations of automation. 

Questions:

  1. Why are many companies investing in automated labor during the pandemic?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of automation?
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June 18, 2020

Tomorrow is Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. Although few major companies observed this day of remembrance in the past, many are now correcting this mistake in response to the protests that have been going on for weeks in cities across the country. Firms like Nike, Mastercard, Target, and Twitter recently announced that Juneteenth will become a paid holiday next year. Best Buy offered employees a “paid volunteer holiday” they can use this upcoming Continue reading

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June 11, 2020

Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic. This historically high number increased by another 1.5 million last week as many people continue to struggle to make ends meet. Although the gradual reopening of businesses has sent some back to work, nearly 21 million Americans are still receiving unemployment benefits. All together, more than 44 million people have applied for unemployment over the course of the pandemic. 

“That means 29 percent of the workforce Continue reading

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For weeks, thousands of people across the country have been protesting against police violence following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25th. In response to these historic events, many companies have voiced their support for the fight against racism on social media. Adidas, for instance, released a statement on Twitter expressing how the sportswear brand was “deeply saddened by what we see happening to our black community in America.” The company even retweeted an advertisement made by Continue reading

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With tens of millions of Americans currently out of work, the U.S. is experiencing an unemployment crisis on a scale not seen since the height of the Great Depression. This video looks at the devastating effects of rising joblessness while also explaining how several European governments intervened to avoid disastrous unemployment rates. 

Questions:

  1. Why is the U.S. unemployment insurance system not equipped to face the current crisis?
  2. Do you think the U.S. should take a more active role in Continue reading
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April 9, 2020

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. All told, almost 17 million people have applied for jobless aid in the past three weeks, accounting for 10 percent of the U.S. labor force. The sudden loss of so many jobs is staggering and unprecedented. For comparison, it took two years for 8.6 million people to lose their jobs during the Great Recession. Many analysts predict that the unemployment rate Continue reading

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April 2, 2020

After a long debate, last week legislators finally approved and signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus package that provides much needed economic relief during this unprecedented health crisis. The video below looks at how the money will be allocated to companies and the logistics behind expanded unemployment benefits as well as a $1,200 stimulus payment to American adults. 

Questions:

  1. What sort of restrictions does the stimulus package place upon companies that accept government relief?
  2. Do you think this Continue reading
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