April 8, 2022

The e-commerce giant Amazon is the second largest private employer in the U.S., with more than 1 million employees working in fulfillment centers and corporate offices around the country. For years, labor activists have sought to unionize this enormous workforce, but past efforts largely failed to gain traction. That may be starting to change, however, if recent developments at New York’s largest Amazon warehouse are any indication. 

Last week, staff at the JFK8 facility on Staten Island voted 2,654 Continue reading

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March 29, 2022

With omicron infection rates falling and mask mandates expiring across the country, many companies are attempting to reestablish a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy by reopening offices and bringing employees back to stay. But while firms return to business as usual, the nation’s biggest companies may never again return to business travel as usual. According to the Global Business Travel Association, spending on corporate travel amounts to a third of what it was before 2020. 

For example, the consultancy giant Continue reading

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February 1, 2022

In the early days of the pandemic, the federal government passed the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in order to provide money for payroll expenses that had been lost during the nationwide shutdowns. The initiative offered companies with 500 or fewer workers low-interest loans of up to $10 million to cover about two months of payroll. With unemployment soaring at the time, the idea was to bring relief to struggling employees while simultaneously giving businesses more breathing room on Continue reading

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January 20, 2022

Although heavy traffic in U.S. ports did not end up canceling Christmas last year, the supply chain crisis still led to some empty shelves and expensive items as companies struggled to obtain needed inventory. Now that the holiday shopping season is long over, however, some officials are optimistic that the worst has passed as ports in Southern California work through their backlogs and shipping costs drop from their September 2021 highs. But like so many other aspects of American Continue reading

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November 16, 2021

The pandemic completely upended the concept of work in the U.S., resulting first in mass layoffs as companies closed down followed by mass resignations when businesses returned. This video looks at how the first problem may have led to the “Great Resignation” as workers continue to leave their jobs and companies struggle to attract talent.

Questions:

  1. Why have employment rates in travel and hospitality struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels?
  2. What are some of the causes of the Great Resignation? Continue reading
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October 13, 2021

Last month, we looked at how air travel has become so complicated during the pandemic that people are turning to travel agents to make sense of the mess. But not even the most experienced agents could have prepared Southwest passengers for the problems that many encountered this past weekend. On Saturday the carrier cancelled more than 1,000 flights and then another 800 on Sunday, followed by 360 more cancellations and close to 1,000 delayed flights on Monday. Southwest apologized for Continue reading

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September 29, 2021

At the beginning of the year, the widespread distribution of Covid vaccines gave many companies the confidence to start plotting their triumphant returns to office life. Then the spread of the delta variant largely thwarted these plans as firms brought back just a fraction of the staffers they had intended to. And for those few employees who returned to offices, most are still doing the same thing that they’ve done since March 2020: Zoom meetings. 

For example, Nick Kneer Continue reading

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September 23, 2021

Since the widespread restaurant shutdowns of 2020, workers have steadily started to leave the food service industry, many for good. Along with the dangers of working in public during a pandemic, employees also found that some customers at reopened restaurants tended to tip less while others responded aggressively to mask rules. As a result, eateries across the country have nearly one million fewer filled positions than they did before the pandemic, amounting to an 8 percent decrease. And in a Continue reading

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September 8, 2021

Although fewer people could be traveling in the coming months due to the delta variant, this summer airlines got slammed with vaccinated vacationers who were ready to fly. Unfortunately for travelers, though, some understaffed carriers were not exactly prepared to handle their return. During the height of the pandemic, airlines offered buyouts or encouraged retirement to many behind the scenes staffers. This led to employee shortages at many carriers, with Delta Air Lines reporting that its call center staff was Continue reading

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August 13, 2021

Last week, we looked at how Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging that Black Widow’s premiere on the company’s streaming platform deprived the movie star of income. The video below dives into further detail about how this upcoming legal battle could set the stage for big changes in Hollywood as on-screen talent looks to grab a piece of the increasingly important streaming market. 

Questions:

  1. How could Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney potentially transform actor compensation in Continue reading
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