March 26, 2020

After the federal government placed a ban on gatherings of ten or more people last Monday, restaurants and bars across the country either closed or drastically altered their operations. Although such measures are necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus, countless businesses have had to furlough workers or lay them off entirely as a result. In fact, statistics released by the Labor Department this morning found that a record 3.3 million Americans applied to receive unemployment benefits last week.

That Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 20, 2020

With many businesses altering their day-to-day operations, millions of Americans working in restaurants, bars, hotels, or for gig companies like Uber have seen their hours and pay cut drastically. This video looks at how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting regular people working in the San Francisco Bay Area and the solutions that they are asking for to relieve this crisis. 

Questions:

  1. Why do small businesses like restaurants and bars face so much uncertainty during the current coronavirus pandemic?
  2. Do Continue reading
Continue reading...

January 26, 2017

DaveSTo people familiar with sunny Silicon Valley, Finland may seem like a questionable tech hub. But thanks to the telecommunications giant Nokia, for years the snowy Scandinavian nation served as one of the central destinations in Europe for tech workers. Once Nokia began to collapse, however, the fortunes of many Finnish engineers declined as well.

These formerly prominent staffers then signed up for unemployment benefits in the hopes that the tech industry would turn around. When jobs largely failed to 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...

August 30, 2014

In the Internet age, people don’t need to leave their homes in order to access near limitless choices of entertainment. Although convenient for consumers, this cultural shift has sent attendance at many theaters and symphonies across the country on a downward spiral. But it’s not just highbrow pursuits that have seen a drop in public interest. In fact, circuses are in such a dire state that industry insiders fear their decline will lead to a nationwide decline in the number Continue reading

Continue reading...

August 26, 2014

Economists have long argued that a skills gap is growing among the American workforce. Hundreds of businesses both large and small have echoed this sentiment, claiming that there aren’t enough qualified people to perform certain jobs. However, in most cases this line of thinking simply doesn’t add up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people exceeds the number of jobs available in every industry. In durable goods manufacturing, for instance, there are approximately 576,000 idle Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 11, 2014

 

When Kevin Hartford lost his consulting job in the mid-1990s, the knowledge and expertise he gained after years of hard work should have been enough to land him another job quickly. However, potential employers became hung up on one particular item not included on Hartford’s resume: his stutter. While his speech impediment had never been a problem at his previous job, Hartford says that it put off recruiters as he went on countless interviews. “I applied for job after Continue reading

Continue reading...

January 24, 2014

Over the past few decades farming towns across America have seen populations drop as more young people leave their rural homes behind in favor of big cities. However, urban living today doesn’t present as many opportunities as in the past. Not only do cities demand a higher cost of living, but also chances for career advancement can diminish given the large talent pool.

That’s the situation systems manager Wallace Harwood encountered at his job with an energy company in Lexington, Continue reading

Continue reading...

March 5, 2013

With economic recovery proceeding at a sluggish pace, many companies are operating on razor thin margins that can be easily disrupted. For instance, business got so slow at the plastics company Saint-Gobain last fall that executives cut worker hours by 40 percent. Although this type of story has become all too common since 2008, a federal government-funded work share program ensured the company’s staff didn’t lose their entire income. Thanks to the additional funds, Saint-Gobain’s employees recouped 70 percent of Continue reading

Continue reading...