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 10, 2021

Although demand for wine from California’s Napa Valley has never been higher, supply is low across the region after years of drought, wildfires, and then the pandemic disrupted production. This video looks at the inflationary pressures currently weighing on winemakers as they consider whether or not to raise prices on the latest vintages.

Questions:

  1. What inflationary factors are driving winemakers to raise prices on their products?
  2. What are the potential advantages and disadvantages for businesses when they raise prices?
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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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August 3, 2021

For decades, Hollywood’s top movie stars have brokered contracts that grant them a percentage of a film’s box office earnings in addition to their multi-million dollar salaries. Then the pandemic hit last year and completely upended the industry’s long-established practice of premiering movies in theaters. Instead, studios like Disney and Warner Bros. released new titles through the streaming platforms Disney+ and HBO Max as $30 single-viewing rentals. 

Once theaters began to reopen in 2021, studios combined both of these Continue reading

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The widespread disruptions caused by the pandemic resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs last year and subsequently applying for unemployment benefits. In one especially bleak week in spring 2020, new unemployment claims topped out at more than six million as businesses locked down to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Although the amount of new claims steadily began to decline after this historic high, hundreds of thousands of Americans have nevertheless applied for unemployment week after week since the Continue reading

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April 27, 2021

Last year, the onset of the pandemic devastated air travel as lockdown orders kept planes on the ground all over the world. After numerous airlines nearly collapsed as a result, the federal government provided the industry with three bailouts amounting to tens of billions of dollars in relief. This allowed airlines to keep many of their employees on the payroll while they waited to see if travel would recover. And now with ticket sales on the rise once again, analysts Continue reading

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April 15, 2021

After experiencing the worst year for the hospitality industry in U.S. history, restaurants and bars are beginning to bounce back as vaccinated Americans reemerge into the world and Covid-19 restrictions ease. For instance, sales at the Miami coffee shop and eatery All Day spiked in January to their highest levels since the start of the pandemic. “It was like turning on a light switch,” said owner Camila Ramos. As customers continued to flood into All Day, she tried to hire Continue reading

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April 6, 2021

Starting in March 2020, new unemployment claims in the U.S. seemed to reach record levels every week as businesses closed all over due to the pandemic. And while that number has gradually been decreasing in recent months, thousands of people continue to file fresh unemployment claims each week. 719,000 workers filed for unemployment last week, an increase from 658,000 initial claims the week before.

Although the U.S. unemployment rate remains high, some experts are optimistic that the economy is on Continue reading

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April 2, 2021

As the NCAA March Madness tournament enters its final stages, politicians and labor advocates have reignited a debate about compensating college athletes. This video takes an extensive look at the discussion as it currently stands and how possible legislation could change matters in the future.

Questions:

  1. What is the NCAA’s reasoning for not compensating student athletes?
  2. Do you think NCAA athletes should receive compensation for participating in college sports? Why or why not?
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