Job News Roundup

This article provides a roundup of recent news stories related to employment. Team ZipRecruiter will share frequent updates.

Week of June 13, 2022

  • Nursing homes across the U.S. are facing the risk of closure amid staff shortages and higher operating costs as the country emerges from the pandemic, according to a survey by the American Health Care Association.
  • Nearly half (42%) of software developers report that they are, or may consider, leaving their jobs in 2022 if they haven’t already done so, according to research by DigitalOcean. 
  • Meta announced a new partnership with McDonald’s that will see its Workplace platform communication tool used to connect workers across franchise locations to disseminate information, training, and internal updates.
  • Microsoft announced that it will stop enforcing existing non-compete clauses (except with respect to its most senior leadership), remove from new non-disclosure agreements prohibitions on discussing misconduct such as sexual harassment, and post pay ranges in job postings. 
  • Online clothing retailer Stitch Fix laid off 15% of its salaried staff — around 330 employees — amid slowing e-commerce growth.
  • Shared micromobility company Bird laid off 23% of its staff, according to tech layoff tracker

Week of June 6, 2022

  • The U.S. economy added 390,000 jobs in May, and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%. Most industries contributed gains, including leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, temporary help services, and a tech industry known as computer systems design and related services.
  • 64 percent of full-time employees believe it’s important for their employers to take a stand on social issues, according to a new survey of 1,900 workers from employer review site JobSage.
  • A Morning Consult survey finds that roughly half of tech workers who said they’re not monitored at work would resign rather than be subjected to facial recognition or having their employer record audio or video of them.
  • White House interns will start getting paid about $750 per week for their work this fall.
  • Ford announced plans to create 6,200 union jobs in the Midwest and turn 3,000 temporary workers into full-time employees.
  • Coinbase is extending its hiring freeze for as long as the macro environment requires and has rescinded a number of accepted offers.
  • Tesla plans to cut 10% of salaried employees according to an email that CEO Elon Musk wrote to all employees last week.

Week of May 30, 2022

  • According to the American Lifeguard Association, a nationwide lifeguard shortage could prevent about a third of more than 300,000 public pools from opening.
  • LGBTQ+ employees are happiest at these four tech companies: Google, Microsoft, IBM and Apple, according to a report from Glassdoor.
  • A Statistics Canada report reveals job vacancies are reaching all-time highs in Canada with over 1 million job openings at the beginning of March 2022.
  • Snapchat is joining Meta, Uber, Lyft, Coinbase and others in slowing hiring. The company is blaming Apple’s new ad-tracking policies and the war in Ukraine.

Week of May 23, 2022

  • The skills and talent shortage is a top-three concern for nearly half of employers, according to a new report from HR solutions company Cornerstone.
  • According to a new survey from Deloitte, “38% of millennials feel stressed all or most of the time,” and 24% “feel employers aren’t doing enough to address burnout.”
  • Iowa is providing $20 million in state grants to employers to “build or expand child-care centers” for their employees’ children.
  • The Biden administration on Thursday urged federal agencies to rely on job-seekers’ skills — rather than their academic degrees — to fill vacancies.
  • Coinbase is launching a trial to let employees rate and review interactions with their colleagues through an app that delivers real-time feedback on how well an individual fits company corporate culture.
  • Workers in a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, 28 quality assurance testers at Raven Software, have voted to join the Communication Workers of America.
  • Most of Google’s Russia-based employees had chosen to leave the country, and that the company will soon have no workforce presence in Russia amid the country’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Week of May 16, 2022

  • Teenagers are choosing shorter, more affordable, career-connected pathways according to a recent survey of high school students from ECMC group. They found the likelihood of attending a four-year school sank from 71% to 51% in the past two years.
  • According to Fidelity, 85% of Americans—and 87% of professionals ages 25 to 35—who countered on salary, other compensation or benefits, or both, got at least some of what they asked for.
  • Tech companies grew at a startling rate during the pandemic, but now some are slowing hiring or announcing layoffs.
  • The House of Representatives will now allow close to 10,000 of its employees to bargain collectively and form unions, the biggest expansion of congressional staffer rights in three decades.
  • Oregon has adopted rules, that are going into effect on June 15, to protect workers from excessive heat and wildfire smoke. 
  • Walmart is creating a new program to fast-track recent college graduates into store manager positions—salaried roles that pay upwards of $200,000 a year.

Week of May 9, 2022

  • April’s job growth was strong and wage gains were solid. Inflation is still outpacing wage gains for most workers, except in leisure and hospitality, and transportation and warehousing.
  • Some 42% of Gen Z employees (aged 18 to 25) and 40% of millennials (26 to 41) have shared salary information with a coworker or other professional contact, according to a survey from Bankrate.
  • A survey of managers conducted by GoodHire in March found that 60% of managers in the U.S. believe their company will force workers to return to the office full-time in “the near future.”
  • Manufacturers, restaurants, airlines, and cleaning companies are among the employers seeing a surge of job seekers who accept positions but are neither seen nor heard from again.
  • Amazon has dismissed more than six managers at the warehouse in Staten Island where thousands of workers voted last month to form the company’s first union.
  • Meta is pulling back on hiring in order to control its spending. The Facebook parent company is working to cut costs as its revenue grows more slowly than expected.

Week of May 2, 2022

  • The U.S. is expected to recover all jobs lost in the pandemic later this summer, according to a new The Fitch Ratings report.
  • Louisiana’s minimum wage increase bill was rejected, maintaining Louisiana’s status as one of five states that does not have a state minimum wage and instead relies on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
  • Oil prices are increasing, but U.S. oil companies are struggling to hire to meet demand due to inflation and competition for candidates from companies like Amazon and Target.
  • Distributed work is giving rise to new ways of connecting with colleagues. Big companies such as Accenture, Google, and Netflix are onboarding new employees — and fostering connections between existing ones — in the metaverse.
  • Airbnb is shifting to a remote-work model, allowing employees to work from anywhere in the country and even beyond its borders.
  • Tyson Foods is partnering with Guild Education to provide free college and career-development education to all U.S. employees.

Week of April 25, 2022

  • A growing coalition of epidemiologists and aerosol scientists says that better ventilation at the workplace could be a tool against Covid (and other airborne disease), but many companies say they are unable to invest in upgrading current systems.
  • While it may now be safer for workers to return to the office, Pew Research found that 61% of people are choosing to work from home.
  • According to the latest Gallup research, one in four U.S. employees says they have been recruited in the past three months.
  • A growing number of companies, including many in tech, are dropping the requirement for a bachelor’s degree for many middle-skill and even higher-skill roles, according to a recent study from Harvard Business Review and Emsi Burning Glass, a leading labor market data company.
  • In the continuing war for talent, employers have been adding more perks to attract and retain employees, including financial wellness benefits such as 401K plans, personalized financial coaching, debt management, and help with student loans.
  • A Baltimore City Starbucks became the first location in Maryland to unionize. The vote in Baltimore follows a growing trend among Starbucks and Amazon workers nationwide. It’s part of a national wave of pandemic-related labor activism.
  • Amazon’s plan to build a distinctive, helix-shaped tower in northern Virginia has been approved by local officials. The 350-foot building is one of several office buildings in the area that will make up the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters, which it plans to fill with 25,000 workers.

Week of April 18, 2022

  • Several million workers who dropped out of the U.S. workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic plan to stay out indefinitely. Their choice is based on fear of  persistent illness or physical impairments, according to a recent survey performed by Stanford University, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, and the University of Chicago.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor unveiled a public education campaign called “Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?” to highlight how everyone, regardless of their title, has a role to play in promoting a mental health-friendly workplace.
  • Verizon is raising its minimum wage to $20 per hour for customer service and retail employees, following the lead of T-Mobile.
  • Chick-fil-A is investing $24 million in scholarships for nearly 12,700 employees across the country. The scholarships can be applied to any area of study at any accredited university.
  • A Dollar General employee went viral on TikTok for detailing the challenges around working conditions inside the fast-growing retail chain. She was eventually fired from the company.
  • Starbucks, which has seen unionization efforts at their stores skyrocket over the past year, is weighing better benefits for employees, which may not extend to  non-union workers.
  • Some employees at the Apple store at New York’s Grand Central Station are seeking to form a union, the latest high-profile labor organizing effort to take root in the pandemic era.

Week of April 11, 2022

  • Walmart has increased starting pay for first-year truck drivers to $95k–$110k, to combat a shortage of talent. The retailer also launched a driver training program for existing supply-chain workers in Texas and Delaware.
  • Maryland launched a workforce development initiative that will eliminate the four-year college degree requirement from thousands of state jobs for candidates identified as STARs (Skilled Through Alternative Routes). That designation will be given to workers over age 25 who are high school graduates, active in the labor force, and have developed their skills through alternative pathways, including military service.
  • JPMorgan Chase reversed its stance on requiring its employees to return to the office full-time, instead allowing 40% of the workforce to work in a hybrid capacity, while 10% will be fully remote. The other 50% of jobs are roles that require employees to work in-person, such as bank tellers and security guards.
  • Bank of America plans to bring all U.S. workers back to the office regardless of vaccination status by June 1.
  • The California Legislature is considering a bill (AB2932) that would reduce the workweek to four days for companies with more than 500 employees.
  • According to a recent Microsoft survey, 30% of knowledge workers experience a “triple peak day” that occurs later in the evening, with employees “working almost as much at 10pm as they were at 8am.”
  • The majority of managers in the U.S. would fire workers or cut their pay if they refused to return to the office full-time this year, according to a GoodHire survey.
  • Rising inflation and wages are prompting older workers to put off or forego their retirement plans. And it’s not just inflation—the prevalence of COVID vaccines, more remote and flexible work, and rising wages are also coaxing older Americans back to the workforce

Week of April 4, 2022

  • The majority of job seekers who participated in a recent poll said they think there are too many requirements when searching for a job and that cover letters are outdated. While 83% of polled hiring managers said they find cover letters an important asset in deciding who to hire, only 38% of candidates said they attach a cover letter, even when requested.
  • Many employees returning to offices find that they are wasting time commuting only to take Zoom calls in an empty office.
  • As Google rolls out its return to office plan, the tech company is teaming up with e-scooter maker Unagi to offer Google’s U.S.-based workers a monthly subscription for one of their scooters.
  • In February, about 3% of total retirees in the U.S. re-entered the workforce, the highest level since early March 2020.
  • Last week employees were notified that Meta would cut back on or eliminate free services like laundry and dry cleaning, and the on-campus complimentary dinner would not begin until 6:30pm. The change in dinner time does not allow employees who take the company’s shuttle home enough time to catch the shuttle and stock up on to-go dinner plates, since the last shuttle leaves at 6pm.
  • According to a new survey from Jackson Hewitt, over a third of Americans plan to spend their tax return as soon as it hits their bank account. 31% of respondents said this cost will go towards outstanding bills. 
  • The Council Committee on Civil and Human Rights discussed a possible amendment to New York’s salary transparency law, which would exempt companies with less than 15 employees, as well as certain positions, from the new salary disclosure requirement for all job postings. 

Week of March 28, 2022

  • United Airlines officially opened The United Aviate Academy, its own in-house flight training operation to combat the current pilot shortage. The academy costs $71,250 with scholarships available. A traditional certification costs around $100,000.
  • Digital mortgage lender accidentally rolled out severance checks the day before they announced a round of layoffs. Approximately 3,000 employees at the 8,000-person company were let go across the U.S. and India.
  • Uber is adding a fuel surcharge to its rideshare and delivery services, due to the recent increase in gas prices. 
  • According to the Axios-Generation Lab Next Cities Index, which tracks geographic trends in employment and culture, Seattle is the top destination for college graduates. 
  • The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is currently at its lowest level in 52 years.
  • Fast-casual restaurant DIG is offering its hourly employees a four-day work week. The move to four-day work weeks started when the company downsized in locations and staff due to coronavirus, but after seeing an increase in employee happiness and productivity, they decided to keep the new work schedule.
  • The latest Census Bureau population estimates show that big cities New York, LA, Chicago, and San Francisco collectively lost more than 700,000 residents from mid-2020 to mid-2021. Meanwhile, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Atlanta collectively gained 300,000 residents. 

Week of January 31, 2022

  • Domino’s Pizza is “tipping” customers $3 if they order online and choose carryout over delivery. The pizza company hopes the incentive will alleviate stress on the limited number of delivery staff leading into the Super Bowl weekend.
  • Despite the unexpected windfall from Covid vaccine and testing revenue, CVS is struggling to get ahead of staffing shortages, with some pharmacies closing for hours at a time with no staff to work. Almost half of polled CVS pharmacists said their workload has increased while they have not received a raise.
  • More than 30 Starbucks stores have filed for union elections. The push to unionize Starbucks locations is being led by Starbucks Workers United, a group of pro-union employees, mostly in their early 20s.
  • New hires at an Amazon warehouse near Seattle were offered signing bonuses of up to $3,000, causing existing employees to demand similar perks. In response, Amazon management doubled overtime pay during the holiday shopping season and offered cash bonuses of up to $150.
  • Beauty company Glossier laid off one third of its corporate employees, citing prioritization mistakes as a big reason for the layoffs. 
  • In Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization Martha’s Table will roll out a $1.5 million year-long pilot program that will give $900 per month to more than 100 new and expectant mothers. The program aims to provide new mothers with the flexibility and autonomy they need to provide for themselves and their children in the first year of motherhood.

Week of January 24, 2022

  • Starbucks will no longer require employees to be vaccinated, now that the Supreme Court has rejected President Biden’s plan to require workers to be vaccinated or take regular Covid tests at businesses with more than 100 employees. 
  • The Biden Administration plans to distribute 400 million N95 masks to Americans by February 2022 for free. The administration plans to distribute masks through local pharmacies and community health centers. 
  • 30 companies in the U.K. will participate in a six-month trial of a four-day work week starting in June 2022. The U.K. pilot study will measure productivity and employee well-being. It will give employees their full wage while working 80% of their usual work hours but committing to 100% productivity. Similar programs are set to begin in the U.S. and Ireland soon. 
  • Between December 29, 2021 and January 10, 2022 a record-high 8.8 million workers called out of work because they were sick with coronavirus or taking care of someone sick with coronavirus, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
  • With the rise in remote work, there has also been a rise in online employee surveillance. According to research from HR organization Gartner, 60% of surveyed companies with 1,000+ workers have adopted surveillance technology. Only 30% of the surveyed companies had similar technologies before the pandemic. 
  • As a result of the health care shortage crisis, rich nations including the U.S., U.K., and Canada are recruiting medical workers from developing nations.

Week of January 17, 2022

  • Over one million students have gone missing from higher education during the pandemic, with public two-year colleges experiencing the largest decline in enrollment. This trend seems likely to continue in the coming year, since only 29% of high school seniors have completed financial aid applications to attend college in the fall.
  • Private insurers must now cover up to eight at-home Covid tests per month.
  • President Joe Biden announced that he would send 1,000 military health personnel to help over-capacity hospitals in Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island with the Omicron variant surge. 
  • The U.S. is averaging over 700,000 new Covid cases daily, a new pandemic high. 
  • Financial services companies are taking different approaches to encourage employees to get vaccinated against Covid. Blackstone Inc. recently directed employees to get boosted as soon as possible, and announced that all in-office employees will be tested three times a week. JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently informed employees that they must be vaccinated to work in the office, and that they will not be paid to work out of the office. Bank of America Corp. announced that it will donate $100 to local food banks and hunger-relief organizations for every vaccinated employee.
  • The Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule that would have required over 80 million employees at large companies to get vaccinated against Covid.
  • Americans feel they need to earn $122,000 a year to feel financially healthy, according to a new survey by Personal Capital. That is almost double the national average income.

Week of January 10, 2022

  • 21 states and 35 cities and counties kicked off 2022 by raising the minimum wage. An additional four states and 22 cities and counties will do the same through the year.
  • Chicago public schools have been closed for four days as a result of an ongoing battle between the Chicago Teachers Union, which is fighting for remote teaching due to the increase in Covid cases, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration, which wants schools to remain in-person.
  • The U.S. workforce is projected to grow by 6.5 million workers through 2030, a number much lower than in previous decades. Factors contributing to lower labor force participation include slower population growth, earlier retirements, and less immigration.
  • The latest jobs report found that hiring hit an annual record in 2021 despite a December slowdown to just 199,000 jobs added. World food prices jumped 28% in 2021 to their highest level in a decade.
  • Spirit Airlines doubled flight attendant pay through January 4 to retain workers and avoid mass flight cancellations. Over 8,000 flights were cancelled over the holidays, largely due to staffing shortages amid a surge in Covid cases.
  • Cases of Flurona, a new term for those infected by coronavirus and influenza at the same time, have popped up across the world, including in the U.S.

Week of January 3, 2022

  • Even with supply chain problems, US retail sales rose by 8.5% year-over-year between November 1st and December 24th, 2021. The rise in spending came from early holiday shopping, online purchases, and an increase in foot traffic after many consumers stayed home for the 2020 holiday season.
  • All 23 Cal States will now require students to receive a coronavirus booster shot, and are currently negotiating a requirement for all staff.
  • Hospitals that are overworked and understaffed are facing another surge in patients due to the Omicron variant. Earlier in the pandemic, hospitals were able to open field hospitals and stockpile equipment, but many no longer have enough working staff to expand their reach. Instead, they are bracing for the likelihood that they’ll need to prioritize certain patients over others, as states like Idaho and Alaska did when they activated crisis standards of care.
  • Nursing homes, which suffered from staff shortages pre-Covid, are facing an extreme labor shortage as 425,000 employees have departed over the past two years. Workers across the healthcare industry have been quitting in record numbers due to burnout and the increased chances of getting Covid, but nursing homes have been hit the hardest due to lower wages. The nursing home staff shortage has resulted in larger bottleneck issues across the healthcare industry, as patients waiting for beds in homes are taking up beds in hospital rooms.
  • After an 11-week strike, unionized Kellog workers in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee have approved a new five-year contract that includes wage increases, more health care and retirement benefits, and cost-of-living adjustments.
  • Broadway shows like Hamilton and The Lion King canceled performances through Christmas due to coronavirus outbreaks. The President of the Broadway League, Charlotte St. Martin, says there are no plans for another full-Broadway mandated shutdown.
  • Facebook’s base salaries and equity awards have increased significantly and quicker than its competitors, due to the tight labor market and the company’s worsening reputation. Because of recent scandals, the company is now paying employees more to both hire and retain competitive talent.
  • There are different factors causing America’s labor shortage. Government payments through stimulus checks and child tax credits have helped Americans build and sustain savings, allowing many workers to delay their return to the workforce. Over 1.5 million more people are retired than would have been expected before the pandemic, and child care and fears of the coronavirus have kept many Americans on the sidelines.
  • Home sales are projected to reach their highest levels in 15 years, and in 2022 potential homeowners can expect tight inventory and rising prices across the country.
  • Food delivery app DoorDash recently relaunched WeDash, a program that requires all employees, even C-suite level, to complete a “dash” food delivery once a month in order to better understand the product. WeDash was paused during the pandemic, and its return has led to anonymous complaints from internal employees.
  • More than 5,400 flights were canceled the weekend after Christmas, and an additional 2,000 flights were canceled the following Monday. Cancellations were due to staff calling out sick with coronavirus and bad weather. 

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