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Facebook wanted to offer him a job. Here’s why he publicly turned it down
03 Jun 2020
  • Facebook
  • Employees
  • job offer
Facebook employees are taking a stand over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s inaction towards President Donald Trump’s inflammatory posts promoting violence against protestors. This week, at least two employees have already resigned from the company. While those working for the social media giant are making their voices heard, some developers are taking action in another way: by publicly turning Facebook recruiters down. Software developer Ryon Day recently shared an email he sent to a Facebook recruiter who had been actively pursuing him for employment opportunities over the past few months.“I deeply appreciate your and Facebook's interest in me as a possible candidate,” Day wrote in his posted reply. “Nevertheless, I must demur.” “I have long felt that the harm your product does to society far outweighs any benefit that it brings to the world,” he explained. “Still, events of the past four years and especially the past few days has shown that beyond a reasonable doubt, Facebook is an active threat to the noble aspects of the American experiment and an active and seemingly enthusiastic participant in the dismantling of our civil society.” Day’s email then succinctly laid out his issues with Facebook, noting its role in spreading misinformation and harboring extremists, and, of course, Zuckerberg’s recent defense of keeping Trump’s posts on the platform. If Day’s name sounds at all familiar, it's because you may know him from his Twitch channel or the YouTube show he used to host with his sister, actress Felicia Day.In an email with Day, he explained that he'd received the recruitment message from Facebook on the same day Zuckerberg appeared on Fox News to defend his decision “to keep Trump's propaganda in their pristine form,” as he put it. During that same news segment, the Facebook CEO also criticized Twitter’s decision to label Trump’s comments on mail-in ballots as disinformation. “But what really ultimately did it was the smarm,” Day said. “The superciliousness of the tone of the message; the horrible irony of opening with 'Hope you are doing well and staying safe,' when writing on behalf of an employer who has done so much to ensure the opposite, to ensure that we are not doing well, that we are decidedly not staying safe, that we cannot stay safe." “We cannot stay safe physically; we cannot stay safe emotionally; we cannot stay safe mentally, due in no small part to the havoc that Facebook has wreaked on our entire culture over its lifespan,” he continued.  Day thinks that, in many ways, Facebook is just like a typical tech company. He believes the company designs its platform's rules and policies in order to give itself more power, often at the detriment of its users. Or, as he put it: “They refuse to acknowledge that the forward movement of technology far outstrips our ability as a culture to adapt.” But Day thinks Facebook stands out in the pack, thanks, of course, to its founder and CEO.“Mark Zuckerberg is a sociopath,” he said. “He is a sociopath who is pulling the levers of an entity that is also inherently sociopathic: a corporation.”  Big tech companies like Facebook are known for paying software talent quite well. There are surely those who think having “Facebook” on their resume would be a boon for future job opportunities, as well. Day sees it differently, though. “I cannot understand working at Facebook feeling any pride. I cannot understand how you can work there and contort your mind into believing that you are doing any good whatsoever for the world, or anyone but yourself,” he said. “I believe that by working there, you diminish yourself and you diminish the users of the product you are helping to create. It's not worth it.” “Maybe consider working for an employer you may not want to one day, hide from your resume out of shame,” he continued. Day believes that there are places to work in the tech industry where you can make similar money and solve real problems without sacrificing your morals to work with a company “directly coordinating” with the Trump administration. Day is currently an employee at online style company, Stitch Fix. And, before that, he worked on fitness apps for Under Armour.  So does Day think that if enough tech talent turn Facebook down the company could be forced to change its policies or the way it works? No. But he also doesn’t think that’s the end goal. “I think the way to change is to change our cultural perception of Facebook and make it a shameful place to work.”
Know someone coping with job loss, money troubles now? Here's how you can help
03 Jun 2020
  • Job Loss
  • Money
  • pandemic
My friend lost his job. At the end of March, just as the horrors of the new pandemic were unfolding, his employers told him that they had to let him go. He had not expected it. Panic and anger took over first. How could they do it to me, he seethed. How will I face the family and friends, he worried. How will I find a new job in these times, he feared. A week was spent speaking to friends and holding the information from his wife and children. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/plan/know-someone-coping-with-job-loss-money-troubles-now-heres-how-you-can-help/articleshow/76104211.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstMy friend lost his job. At the end of March, just as the horrors of the new pandemic were unfolding, his employers told him that they had to let him go. He had not expected it. Panic and anger took over first. How could they do it to me, he seethed. How will I face the family and friends, he worried. How will I find a new job in these times, he feared. A week was spent speaking to friends and holding the information from his wife and children. Then he told his wife. She did not work. She quit her job years ago after the children were born. They decided to not let the children know, and manage with their savings. In the last 60 days, the turmoil in that household has been a scary picture. Our friend was angry initially and is now depressed. He is not confident of finding a new job. Every application has returned with the comment that there are no positions to fill in these difficult times. He worries this temporary phase might become permanent. It is difficult to get him to see that things might be better. As a 40 plus professional, he thinks he is unemployable.The household’s routine money decisions have become tougher to make. They continue to pay for the school that is no longer open but for the online version; they pay fees for online courses and summer classes they don’t see value in; they buy things the children want ordered online. But each decision is painful. They do not know how to let the kids know that they can’t spend like before.The quarrels between the couple have increased. The man is quick to take offence and the woman is too scared to take charge. The relationship is on the brink of becoming abusive despite best intentions. The worried children find the parents tense.Using accumulated savings and investment is problematic. In theory the household can run for another 12 months without an income. However, every decision seems tough. Liquidating the mutual funds at a loss is difficult; selling stocks at a loss is unthinkable; drawing the PF down now looks like a risk. The couple are unable to decide. What could we as friends do? Here is what the four of us who are close to the couple have done in the last 60 days.Second, one of us has taken over his finances from his wife who was doing fine all along but is now struggling to make decisions under the new situation. We have made a liquidity plan with the assets, and have initiated the process to draw down the money the household needs, keeping expenses controlled.Third, one of us has spoken to the children and told them that in the new circumstances where so much is changing, it would be foolhardy to spend too much. Dealing with the older child who had plans to go abroad to study this Fall has been the toughest. She knows she will have to drop that plan, but it breaks everyone’s heart to deal with that. Fourth, we are constantly reminding the couple that they should see this as an interruption and not the end. It looks severe as it happens, but as the crisis dies down, things will be different and there will be new opportunity to work or create, and an economically viable alternative can be found.Fifth, we have assured them that we are all around to offer a hand loan should things get tough. We have created a pool of funds and told the family we will chip in as and when needed, since we know the finances of the household. There is a lot of work to do. The pessimism around us is not helpful. As the normal we knew before March 2020 seems increasingly elusive, we may have more friends and relatives needing help and support. How are you preparing to be the support your family and friends may need? First, stay in touch. Make sure you do not allow the social isolation to cut you off. Look out for friends who aren’t communicating as before. Or not as active on social media as they once were. Reach out to talk and listen.Second, try and understand what their situation is and see if you can help them solve it on their own. Most people do not need external monetary help or may be hesitant to reach out assuming you would shy away from getting involved. What they may truly need is the reassurance that their thought process is right. Be that person whom someone can trust and confide in.Third, not everyone is willing to discuss difficult financial matters with their spouses. They like to insulate the family from any trouble with the finances. If the spouse is not involved in these decisions, it is even tougher. Try to help a friend unload their anxieties, work out their options, and think through their decisions without the fear of being judged or reprimanded. Fourth, do not tell your friend that you understand their situation. You don’t if you yourself haven’t been fired from your job. Do not offer empty empathy. Be genuine about how you can help, and be aware that these are tough times that call upon the more fortunate to be kind, generous and helpful. Remain honest about how far you are willing to go for a friend. Fifth, help your friend see the big picture. Unless the situation is very dire with no savings, investments or assets, your friend will be able to ride this phase with the assets they already have. Everything that is used now can be rebuilt when the times get better. Enable your friend to see a liquidity crunch for what it is and stop them from equating it to bankruptcy. Life has been indescribably tough for so many around us. Make sure you reach out and support those that you can. So many of them are suffering in silence and need a shoulder to lean on.
Should one opt for job loss insurance during COVID-19?
02 Jun 2020
  • Job Loss
  • Insurance
  • Financial Crisis
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, mostly all sectors are going through a lack of work and production /manufacturing predicament which is leading to financial crisis and job loss in the country. From the last two months, we have seen that most of the companies have cut salary, done lay-offs or closed their production/work for the time being. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, mostly all sectors are going through a lack of work and production /manufacturing predicament which is leading to financial crisis and job losses in the country. From the last two months, we have seen many companies cut salary, done lay-offs or closed their production/work for the time being.  This is the time when people think of their savings, insurance covers and emergency fund. Many insurance companies in India have started to give job loss insurance covers as well but with terms and conditions. This raises an intrinsic question. Should you opt for job loss insurance cover?  Let see if this is a good option? What is job loss insurance cover? Job loss insurance cover is not based and available on a standalone basis It is an add on cover rider which can be taken with home loan protection plan or critical illness One has to pay the additional charge to avail job loss cover as it comes as an add on rider Should one opt for job loss insurance cover? If you have a high probability of losing a job or you think the sector for which you are working may face some financial crisis in the future then you must opt for this add on cover Job loss insurance cover provides you with instant cover relief from the financial crisis You need job loss cover or not depend on your job risk and your professional image The premium of this add on is totally on the probability of your job loss The premium ranges from 3%-5% of the coverage Premium is calculated on various factors that are taken into consideration to arrive at an appropriate premium such as the age of the individual, tenure of the policy, EMI amount, the credit rating of the insured’s employer, number of EMI’s to be covered etc. It is a cover which not only provides benefit to the insured but also the insurers Companies that are offering job loss insurance protection: 1.   ICICI Lombard's secure mind critical illness plan 2.   HDFC Ergo’s Home Suraksha Plus (Home loan protection plan) 3.   Royal Sundaram Safe Loan Shield (Critical Illness Plan)
AI is already putting journalists out of job. But there will never be AI Arnab or Ravish
02 Jun 2020
  • Coronavirus
  • pandemic
  • Jobs
As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t enough of a nightmare for workers around the world, now Artificial intelligence has started taking over people’s jobs. Amid several industries being affected by the influx of automation, journalism, it turns out, is not an exception. Microsoft recently decided to fire dozens of its journalists responsible for selecting, curating and editing articles for the MSN website, with plans to replace them with automated systems that shall select news stories. At a time when Indian news media companies are laying off employees left, right, and centre due the Covid-related economic downfall, the possibility of robots affecting our job security further is a chilling thought. Turns out all those Hollywood movies not only predicted calamities such as the pandemic, the locust attack and multiple climate change fiascos, but also robots rendering humans redundant. But it’s worth acknowledging that as of now AI isn’t taking away the jobs of reporters, but of those responsible for selecting and arranging the news. But who knows when the robots might be able match the grit and instinct of reporters, too? What if this article was written by a robot? Who will the editors blame if something is factually incorrect? Will Solicitor General Tushar Mehta call the news bots ‘vultures’ then? Artificial Intelligence is still in its early stages. But it will be interesting to see how it will change the fourth pillar of democracy, especially in an era of clickbait web journalism and shouting matches on Prime Time TV news. Will hysterical anchors in newsrooms be replaced by robots who’ll talk with some sanity?Or with pre-decided templates and algorithms, making them another agenda-fulfilling tool? Looks can be deceptive — take China’s first AI news presenters “Xin Xiaomeng“, who sports a short haircut, a pink blouse and earrings, and “Xin Xiaohao” who wears a sharp suit and charismatically presents the news like any other news presenter.
COVID-19 Tech Job Losses Over 10,000 Now, Show No Sign of Slowing
01 Jun 2020
  • Covid-19
  • Job Loss
  • Tech Jobs
A huge number of tech companies are cutting staff or shutting shop. The losses continue to mount with thousands of people out of jobs.Tech companies in India have seen thousands of layoffs because of COVID-19. Ever since the lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus in March, most industries have struggled to make money, and have been cutting jobs at a steady pace. One of the latest developments on this front was BookMyShow, which laid off 270 employees, around 18 percent of its total staff, on Thursday.The combined scale of all the job losses taken together now goes into the thousands — and this is just for some of the biggest and best-known companies in India. The actual number of the ground is likely to be significantly higher if anything.According to a recent Nasscom survey published in May, nine out of ten Indian startups are bleeding. Nasscom conducted its survey with over 250 startups in India in April and found that around 62 percent are suffering revenue decline of over 40 percent, while 34 percent are facing revenue decline of over whopping 80 percent — all due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country.“Out of the blue, this flourishing growth saga has suddenly been hit by a roadblock… the COVID roadblock” said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom, in the report. “There is no country, business or living being that has not been affected by the COVID pandemic.”Most recently, BookMyShow laid off or put on furlough 270 employees in India and abroad, out of its total 1,450 employees. BookMyShow CEO Ashish Hemrajani added that the remaining team had voluntarily taken salary cuts ranging from 10 percent to 50 percent at the leadership level, given up their bonuses, and all salary raises. But that's far from the biggest impact of the coronavirus related lockdown taking place right now.Zomato has announced a layoff for 600 employees and up to 50 percent pay cut for the remainder for the next six months, CEO Deepinder Goyal said in an email to the employees. In April, it was reported that Swiggy will lay off hundreds from its cloud kitchen business and shut down half its kitchens — by May, Swiggy had to lay off 1,100 employees due to the impact of coronavirus.Uber and Ola have had to let people go as well, with Uber having to lay off 600 employees and Ola laid off 1,400 people.Another report states that B2B startup Udaan laid of 3,500 contract workers in three days, of which 600 were in Bangalore alone.Reportedly, layoffs and furloughs at Oyo go into the thousands to mitigate pandemic woes and lack of revenue. Oyo was already seeing challenges at the start of 2020, with reports of around 2,400 layoffs in January; a later report said Oyo is in the process of firing another 3,000 direct employees and furloughing some of its discretionary staff.Indian social commerce startup Meesho is reported to have laid off over 200 employees in a bid to cut costs. The company is also looking to slash salaries from next month, and senior executives are expected to see severe pay cuts.Other cuts that have been reported include MakeMyTrip (which reportedly plans to fire over 60 percent of its headcount that is not on its payroll), 120 people at scooter rental startup Bounce, and over 500 people at travel portal Fareportal.
Infosys among UK firms accessing Rishi Sunak's Covid-19 job saving scheme
01 Jun 2020
  • Infosys
  • UK
  • Coronavirus
LONDON: Indian software major Infosys NSE 1.45 % is among the many UK companies to benefit from UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it emerged on Sunday.Infosys, co-founded by Sunak's father-in-law Narayana Murthy, said it had used the furlough - or forced leave - option for 3 per cent of its staff in order to tide through the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the deadly virus."In light of the current situation, Infosys has furloughed 3 per cent of its UK workforce. We are reviewing this on a weekly basis,” Infosys told ‘The Sunday Times'. The scheme was unveiled by the Indian-origin finance minister, married to Murthy's daughter Akshata, at the peak of the crisis and is set to gradually wind down until it is fully closed at the end of October. Under the provisions, the government covers 80 per cent of salaries of furloughed staff, up to the value of GBP 2,500 a month, in order to prevent companies having to resort to redundancies. In a latest set of announcements earlier this week, Sunak had added more flexibility into the programme so that employers can make use of the scheme in the most effective way.“Our top priority has always been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through this crisis. The furlough and self-employment schemes have been a lifeline for millions of people and businesses,” said Sunak, who is leading the UK government's economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.“We stood behind Britain's businesses and workers as we came into this crisis and we stand behind them as we come through the other side. Now, as we begin to re-open our country and kickstart our economy, these schemes will adjust to ensure those who are able to work can do so, while remaining amongst the most generous in the world,” he said. ‘The Sunday Times' also claims that the finance minister is drafting up an emergency coronavirus Budget to be tabled before the House of Commons in July, as the lockdown measures begin to be eased from next week.“Plans to save millions of furloughed workers from the scrap heap and retrain them will be a centrepiece of the address to MPs, which is pencilled in for the week beginning July 6,” the newspaper said.The July statement will not be a full Budget with tax changes but would be a pre-budget report to outline a recovery plan for the pandemic-hit economy. Sunak has had to table a series of mini-budgets in response to the economic crisis since his maiden Budget in early March.Business groups briefed on the new plans claim the emergency budget will have three key elements - funds to retrain workers laid off when the furlough scheme ends, huge extra infrastructure spending, and a plan to help British-based technology firms.
ZF to cut up to 15,000 jobs by 2025, report says
29 May 2020
  • Frankfurt
  • Jobs
  • Germany
FRANKFURT -- German supplier ZF Friedrichshafen plans to cut up to 15,000 jobs, or around 10 percent of its work force, by 2025 as a result of a slump in demand, according to a company memo. ZF, which helps automakers develop gearboxes and hybrid drivetrains, said in an email to employees that half of the 12,000-15,000 job cuts would be in Germany.The company employed 147,797 people at the end of 2019, according to its annual report. "As a result of the demand freeze on the customer side, our company will make heavy financial losses in 2020," CEO Wolf-Henning Scheider wrote in the email memo that was seen by Reuters. "These losses threaten our financial independence," he wrote. "The crisis will last longer, and even in 2022 we will fall noticeably short of our targets for sales." A spokesman declined to comment. German media including DPA and Suedkurier first reported the planned cuts.
Jobs data shows millions went back to work but unemployment rate for May is still expected at 20%
29 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Unemployment
  • pandemic
Almost 4 million people came off unemployment benefits earlier this month, the most encouraging news on the employment front since the shutdowns began.But there were 2.1 million more workers who filed claims, and economist see the unemployment rate rising since many workers, who thought they were temporarily laid off, may find their job losses to be permanent.There have been 40 million claims filed over the past 10 weeks, and that does not include the nearly 8 million who claimed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, under the CARES Act, as of May 9.Nearly 4 million people came off unemployment  benefits earlier this month as the economy began to reopen, but the unemployment rate is still expected to jump to nearly 20% in May.There was a decline of 3.86 million in continuing claims to 21.05 million, for the week ended May 16. It is the biggest reversal in the claims data so far. There have been over 40.8 million claims filed for state benefits in the past 10 weeks, since businesses, stores and restaurants abruptly shutdown. But there are still many more workers who may not be able to return to jobs, even if their employers reopen.“Our assessment is the labor market is still in very bad shape,” said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust. “We are optimistic that reopenings of the economy and the SBA’s [Payroll Protection Program] will bring some people back,  but we don’t think it will stop the unemployment rate from being much higher in next week’s report or will bring unemployment down quickly over the second half of the year.”There were 2.12 million initial claims filed for the week ending May 23, down from the revised 2.44 million the week earlier. The continuing claims data is for the week prior to that.Another number that economists are following in the claims report is the number of people counted separately and are receiving benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. There were 1.19 initial claims filed under that program for the week ended May 23. That program was made available under the CARES Act, and reaches self-employed and gig workers.“These are just enormous numbers,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “It’s still at least three times more than the number of people filing claims in any week of the Great Recession.“The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program of mostly gig workers rose to 7.8 million in the May 9 week,” he said. “It’s still the worst labor market since the Great Depression. That’s not going away. If there’s any ray of hope in the numbers, the crest of the joblessness wave is very, very near the peak, if not at the peak.”The total continuing claims reported under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance data is delayed by two weeks. Rupkey said the number of unadjusted continuing claims and those on PUA totaled 30.6 million for the week ending May 9.Economists say the sheer magnitude of unemployed has made it difficult to get an accurate picture of the job losses, starting with the fact that states have not been able to completely process those that filed weeks ago.  About 7.5 million jobs were expected to have been lost in May on top of the 20.5 million in April, according to Refinitiv. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 19.8%, from the 14.7% in April. That’s because about 78% of the unemployed people surveyed by the government in April viewed their layoffs as temporary, and they may not have shown up in the unemployment rate since they were not looking for jobs.Economists expect more workers to now see their job losses as permanent.“I think the continuing claims probably tells you the story a little better,” said Drew Matus, chief market strategist at MetLife Investment Management. “It’s encouraging, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are in for an extended period of much higher unemployment than anyone in this country is used to.”Matus said staffing is not going to return to where it was before the virus outbreak any time soon. “There’s going to be a substantial haircut to the number of jobs in those sectors,” he said. He said workers will have to transition from those jobs and will need to be trained in new areas.“The May number is going to look bad, but the question is, is it really telling us anything? Maybe we’re better off looking at the consumer confidence numbers which seem to be stabilizing,” said Matus. Consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in May, and consumer sentiment for May is reported Friday.“The worrisome issue is what is the level we’re going to hit where we’re going to plateau for awhile. It shows there’s no easy fix, and it could be more persistent than we’d like to see,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.As stores and restaurants reopen, they are changing the way they operate to comply with social distancing. “When you’re talking about 25% to 50% of capacity, how many can they rehire?” Swonk said.
Jobs data shows millions went back to work but unemployment rate for May is still expected at 20%
29 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Unemployment
  • pandemic
Almost 4 million people came off unemployment benefits earlier this month, the most encouraging news on the employment front since the shutdowns began.But there were 2.1 million more workers who filed claims, and economist see the unemployment rate rising since many workers, who thought they were temporarily laid off, may find their job losses to be permanent.There have been 40 million claims filed over the past 10 weeks, and that does not include the nearly 8 million who claimed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, under the CARES Act, as of May 9.Nearly 4 million people came off unemployment  benefits earlier this month as the economy began to reopen, but the unemployment rate is still expected to jump to nearly 20% in May.There was a decline of 3.86 million in continuing claims to 21.05 million, for the week ended May 16. It is the biggest reversal in the claims data so far. There have been over 40.8 million claims filed for state benefits in the past 10 weeks, since businesses, stores and restaurants abruptly shutdown. But there are still many more workers who may not be able to return to jobs, even if their employers reopen.“Our assessment is the labor market is still in very bad shape,” said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust. “We are optimistic that reopenings of the economy and the SBA’s [Payroll Protection Program] will bring some people back,  but we don’t think it will stop the unemployment rate from being much higher in next week’s report or will bring unemployment down quickly over the second half of the year.”There were 2.12 million initial claims filed for the week ending May 23, down from the revised 2.44 million the week earlier. The continuing claims data is for the week prior to that.Another number that economists are following in the claims report is the number of people counted separately and are receiving benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. There were 1.19 initial claims filed under that program for the week ended May 23. That program was made available under the CARES Act, and reaches self-employed and gig workers.“These are just enormous numbers,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “It’s still at least three times more than the number of people filing claims in any week of the Great Recession.“The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program of mostly gig workers rose to 7.8 million in the May 9 week,” he said. “It’s still the worst labor market since the Great Depression. That’s not going away. If there’s any ray of hope in the numbers, the crest of the joblessness wave is very, very near the peak, if not at the peak.”The total continuing claims reported under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance data is delayed by two weeks. Rupkey said the number of unadjusted continuing claims and those on PUA totaled 30.6 million for the week ending May 9.Economists say the sheer magnitude of unemployed has made it difficult to get an accurate picture of the job losses, starting with the fact that states have not been able to completely process those that filed weeks ago.  About 7.5 million jobs were expected to have been lost in May on top of the 20.5 million in April, according to Refinitiv. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 19.8%, from the 14.7% in April. That’s because about 78% of the unemployed people surveyed by the government in April viewed their layoffs as temporary, and they may not have shown up in the unemployment rate since they were not looking for jobs.Economists expect more workers to now see their job losses as permanent.“I think the continuing claims probably tells you the story a little better,” said Drew Matus, chief market strategist at MetLife Investment Management. “It’s encouraging, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are in for an extended period of much higher unemployment than anyone in this country is used to.”Matus said staffing is not going to return to where it was before the virus outbreak any time soon. “There’s going to be a substantial haircut to the number of jobs in those sectors,” he said. He said workers will have to transition from those jobs and will need to be trained in new areas.“The May number is going to look bad, but the question is, is it really telling us anything? Maybe we’re better off looking at the consumer confidence numbers which seem to be stabilizing,” said Matus. Consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in May, and consumer sentiment for May is reported Friday.“The worrisome issue is what is the level we’re going to hit where we’re going to plateau for awhile. It shows there’s no easy fix, and it could be more persistent than we’d like to see,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton.As stores and restaurants reopen, they are changing the way they operate to comply with social distancing. “When you’re talking about 25% to 50% of capacity, how many can they rehire?” Swonk said.
Young pros facing jobs cuts may turn into the 'lockdown generation'
29 May 2020
  • Geneva
  • Coronavirus
  • pandemic
EmployementGENEVA: More than one in every six young workers have stopped working during the coronavirus pandemic, the UN labour agency reported Wednesday, warning of long-term fallout that could lead to a "lockdown generation" if steps aren't taken to ease the crisis. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/young-pros-facing-jobs-cuts-may-turn-into-the-lockdown-generation/articleshow/76066775.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstGENEVA: More than one in every six young workers have stopped working during the coronavirus pandemic, the UN labour agency reported Wednesday, warning of long-term fallout that could lead to a "lockdown generation" if steps aren't taken to ease the crisis. The International Labor Organization, in its fourth edition of its report on the impact of the pandemic on jobs, says that work hours equivalent to 305 million full-time jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 crisis, with it being felt most sharply now in the Americas, an epicentre of the outbreak currently. ILO Director-General Guy Ryder warned of the "danger" that young workers aged 15 to 28 in particular could face, from inability to get proper training or gain access to jobs that could extend well beyond the pandemic and last far into their working careers. "They have been basically ejected from their jobs," he said, referring to the one in six youths who have stopped working. "There is a danger of long-term exclusion. The scarring of young people who are excluded from the labour market early in their careers is well attested by the literature." "So I don't think it is giving way to hyperbole to talk about the danger of a lockdown generation," Ryder added. Of those still working, nearly one in four - or 23% - have seen their working hours reduced, the ILO said, pointing to a "triple shock" faced by young workers: Destruction of their work, disruption to their training and education, and obstacles moving in the work force or entering it in the first place."We run the risk of creating a situation - in this sort of snapshot of pandemic - which will have lasting effects," Ryder told a virtual news conference from the ILO headquarters. "A lot of young people are simply going to be left behind in big numbers."And the danger is - and again, this is the lesson of past experience - that this initial shock to young people will last a decade or longer than a decade," Ryder said. "It will affect the trajectory of working people, young working people, throughout their working lives.The ILO said policymakers can take steps to ease the fallout, such as by providing "guarantees" to protect employment and skills, and rolling out COVID-19 "testing and tracing" measures that can help improve workplace safety and get people back to work faster and more safely. The report is based on a survey that the ILO and its partners conducted on youth employment. The agency says young people were already in a precarious position relative to other age categories, with work rates still below those before the 2008 economic crisis. Of the 178 million young workers employed around the world, more than 40% were in "hard hit sectors when the crisis began," such as food services and hospitality industries, the ILO said. More than three-fourths of young workers are in "informal" jobs - including 94 per cent of young workers in Africa alone.
Decline in jobs and incomes eases as coronavirus restrictions begin to lift, ANU survey finds
29 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Income
  • Coronavirus
The ANU’s longitudinal survey of more than 3,200 Australians predicted a loss of 670,000 jobs in April – close to the official figure of 600,000 lost jobs measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics heralding the largest contraction since the Great Depression.The historic decline in jobs and incomes as a result of Covid-19 and associated restrictions may have come to a halt in May, according to a new ANU study. The ANU’s Centre for Social Research and Methods found that – with dramatically improved health results and easing restrictions – employment has levelled out at 58% and average hours worked actually increased from 32.3 per week to 32.8 in May. Despite improvements in wellbeing and job prospects, the study warns more than half of Australians are still anxious about Covid-19, almost a third think it is very likely they will be infected in the next six months and more than a third of the population are lonely at least some of the time.The latest edition of the survey, conducted on 12 May, just days after restrictions began to ease, found the employment rate had arrested its decline, nudging down slightly from 58.3% to 58%.The report’s co-author, Nicholas Biddle, said “the fact that employment outcomes have not continued to worsen appears to have translated into a significantly more positive outlook for the future within the Australian workforce”.The report’s co-author, Nicholas Biddle, said “the fact that employment outcomes have not continued to worsen appears to have translated into a significantly more positive outlook for the future within the Australian workforce”.People expecting to lose their jobs over the next 12 months fell from 24.4% in April to 20.6% in May. The proportion who thought there was no chance they would lose their job rose from 34.6% in April to 39.2% in May.Household after-tax weekly income has also slightly improved, increasing from $1,622 in April to $1,652 in May.Australians in the lowest household income bracket continued to enjoy the greatest percentage gains, with the lowest decile experiencing a 39% pay boost from February to May in large part due to jobkeeper wage subsidies and the doubling of the jobseeker unemployment benefit.On Thursday the Reserve Bank governor, Phil Lowe, warned against withdrawing these payments too early, telling the Senate Covid-19 committee that “if the labour market is not improving we will need to keep the fiscal support, some way or other”.Although unemployment sits at 6.2%, the Treasury believes the figure is in line with estimates of 10% unemployment once those who stopped searching for work due to restrictions are factored in.Scott Morrison has insisted that fiscal supports are temporary – even likening them to “medication” the economy should not become accustomed to – although the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has left the door open to “further support” to the hardest hit industries, such as tourism.Labor has warned against withdrawing economic supports too soon and called for jobkeeper to be extended, although the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, believes the $1,100 fortnightly rate of jobseeker should not continue, as it now sits higher than the aged pension.The ANU study found life satisfaction had declined from 6.98 out of 10 in January, to 6.51 in April, before bouncing back to 6.86 in May – “almost back to what it was prior to the spread of Covid-19”, according to the report’s co-author, Matthew Gray.Fewer people reported being lonely at least some of the time, down from 45.5% in April to 35.8% in May.Overall Australians are less worried about the pandemic, with 57.4% saying they were worried or anxious as a consequence of Covid-19, down from 66.4% in April.“However, young people are still doing it tough,” Gray said. “Our analysis shows that 18- to 24-year olds still feel the most anxious about Covid-19.
Colleges, Employers Fear Curbs to Foreign Student Job Program
27 May 2020
  • colleges
  • Employers
  • Foreign Students
Vibhu Varshney relocated from India to Tempe two years ago in part because of the quality of the computer science program at Arizona State University and in part because of the chance to train in Silicon Valley.“Most of the cutting edge work is going on here,” he said. After completing a master’s in computer science, Varshney will start an internship next month at PayPal through a program known as Optional Practical Training. The program allows international students on F-1 visas to work for 12 months in their field in the U.S. or for up to three years if they graduated from a STEM program. Current students can also work part time through the program. Participants have landed work at firms such as Google Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Intel Corp. But the OPT program could be on the chopping block as President Donald Trump’s administration weighs new restrictions to non-immigrant visa programs.That prospect is worrying college groups as well as employers who rely on the talent the program provides. The Wall Street Journal, citing administration officials, reported over the weekend that the Trump administration is expected to set temporary restrictions on practical training as part of a wider package of limits on immigration.The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program, is assessing how the OPT affects the U.S. workforce, spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell said in an e-mail to Bloomberg Government.“The department is reviewing several mechanisms to protect jobs for American workers while closing loopholes exploited by immigration fraud and continuing to support the U.S. economy,” she said. Changes to practical training programs must generally move through the federal rulemaking process, she added. That could take months unless the administration issues a temporary final rule that would go into effect immediately.Optional Practical Training has been a long-term target for some conservative lawmakers who favor wider restrictions on legal immigration and temporary work visa programs.The new scrutiny of the program compounds the financial pressure and wider uncertainty students from abroad have faced as the coronavirus pandemic forced college campuses to shut down. Many students from abroad don’t know whether they can travel between their home countries and the U.S. later this year or attend classes in person because of social distancing guidelines. And although they’ve faced financial pressures like those of American-born peers, international students were left out of emergency pandemic relief provided by the CARES Act (Public Law 116-136) because of guidance from the Department of Education. Almost 9 in 10 colleges, in a survey released this month, projected a drop in international enrollment in the next academic year.While colleges sort through those challenges, education groups are making the case to federal officials that Optional Practical Training is an essential tool for bringing international students to U.S. campuses.“This should not be an us versus them type of conversation,” said Lauren Inouye, vice president for public policy and government affairs at the Council of Graduate Schools. Silicon Valley Pipeline The number of students participating in the OPT program has risen in recent years, surpassing 200,000 two years ago. New international students on U.S. campuses, by contrast, have declined since the 2015-16 academic year. In the 2018-19 academic year, when Varshney started at ASU, about 4,000 of 13,000 international students enrolled at the school were participating in Optional Practical Training. The foreign workers employed at U.S. companies through the OPT program will help fuel a faster recovery from the coronavirus pandemic’s damage to the economy, Varshney said.“We are already trained and have already learned the latest technologies,” he said. “We are ready to work and provide for the economy.” Cutting participation in the OPT program would lead to a loss of jobs for American-born workers because the loss of talented workers would lead to slower economic growth, a 2018 Business Roundtable analysis found.Firms in the U.S. depend on programs like OPT for skilled workers, said Scott Corley, executive director of Compete America.“Our science and technology research enterprise is a massive success story,” he said. “At no point did it not involve a significant number of foreign professionals.” White House DeliberationsThe Trump administration said in April that it would consider recommendations from several agencies for restrictions on temporary visa programs. Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf later said Optional Practical Training would be on the table as part of that review. Republicans in the Senate soon after urged the White House to suspend the program, arguing that U.S. college graduates could fill the jobs employing recent international students. “While the merits of such a program are subject to debate, there is certainly no reason to allow foreign students to stay for three additional years just to take jobs that would otherwise go to unemployed Americans as our economy recovers,” wrote Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), in a letter this month also signed by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). The Republicans argued mass unemployment driven by the coronavirus pandemic should lead the administration to suspend work-based visa programs until the economy recovers. Colleges’ Competitive EdgeLimiting Optional Practical Training would predictably hurt U.S. colleges’ competition for international students, said Craig Lindwarm, vice president for governmental affairs at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Countries like Canada, the U.K., and Australia in recent years have strengthened policies to attract talent from abroad.“Without OPT, there are many other countries that international students can go to and find those training opportunities,” he said. “Eliminating or curtailing the program would be a very significant self-inflicted wound.” A drop in international enrollment would also be costly for colleges, which often rely on the higher tuition they can bring in. That would exacerbate a financial emergency driven by campus closures and looming cuts to state funding, Lindwarm said.Cotton’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment about the potential impact of suspending the program. In a call with reporters last week, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the federal government’s response to coronavirus should focus on supporting testing, treatment, and a vaccine for the virus, not restrictions for international students with a chance to work in the U.S. “Most of the companies who hired them would say that part of getting our country back to work is giving companies an opportunity to hire those students if they need to,” Alexander said. Financial Pressures Hundreds of thousands of international students study at U.S. colleges. Most don’t participate in Optional Practical Training and they can’t work off campus or obtain federal student aid. On many campuses, foreign students confront the same sudden cash crunch as American-born peers paying for rent or food.“They just have fewer levers to pull to get help,” said Brian Rosenberg, president of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.The Education Department’s guidance last month slammed the door on foreigners receiving any of the $6 billion in aid to college students from the CARES Act. Colleges such as Macalester helped those students by using their own funds or, in some cases, by raising money. The DHS responded to campus closures in the wake of the pandemic by lifting a cap on online courses that students on F-1 visas could take and maintain visa eligibility. That flexibility will continue as long as the pandemic persists. But even if campuses reopen in the fall, it remains to be seen if they can get approval for new visas in time for the beginning of the semester, said Rachel Banks, senior director for public policy and legislative strategy at NAFSA: the Association of International Educators. “The biggest challenge is the uncertainty,” she said
Uber cuts 600 jobs in India as lockdown hits business
27 May 2020
  • uber
  • india
  • lockdown
BENGALURU (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc has cut about 600 jobs in India as part of plans to reduce its global workforce by 23%, the company said on Tuesday, joining local rival Ola as the COVID-19 pandemic crushes demand for app-based cab services. Last week, Uber said it would focus on its core businesses in ride-hailing and food delivery and cut staffing globally in an attempt to become profitable despite the coronavirus pandemic. “The impact of Covid-19 and the unpredictable nature of the recovery has left Uber India SA with no choice but to reduce the size of its workforce,” Uber India and South Asia President Pradeep Parameswaran said. Laid off employees will receive a minimum of 10 weeks worth of payout, medical insurance coverage for the next six months and other help, Parameswaran added. The ride-hailing taxi business in India came to a halt in late March as the government enforced a countrywide lockdown to contain the spread of the virus. The lockdown has since been eased, but companies across sectors face challenges as demand for their services has dropped. Uber’s main rival in India - SoftBank Group-backed Ola - said last week it would cut about 1,400 jobs as the lockdown brought down revenue by 95% in the last couple of months. Uber did not say how many workers it employs in India, but a source told Reuters the company employed around 2,400-2,500 employees before Tuesday’s job cuts were announced.
Job Loss: How NBFCs lend money to first-time borrowers with no credit record?
27 May 2020
  • Job Loss
  • NBFC
  • Money
With the economic activities coming to a standstill during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, many people, especially those working with unorganised sectors, have lost their jobs.With the economic activities coming to a standstill during the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of highly contagious Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, many people, especially those working with unorganised sectors, have lost their jobs. During this moment of crisis, with the prospect of getting some help by way of co-lending also eliminated due to the widespread job loss, it becomes even tougher for the workers.Getting financial assistance from formal financial institutions either needs collateral security and/or credit history, which are missing for the millions of migrant workers, as they don’t borrow money from such institutions.However, after getting displaced from their jobs, with no other sources of income and low or no savings, they are battling to survive and urgently need financial support.In this situation, Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) are actively working out for technology-based solutions to disburse small ticket size loans to people having no credit history.One of the technologies that helps the NBFCs in getting equipped in this need of the hour is the Predictive Fraud Management and Collection Digitization solutions.A Platform-as-a-Service(PaaS) provider, Datacultr is one of the companies, which is enabling NBFCs in India to meet new credit demands With its proprietary technology.Using the proprietary technology of Datacultr, NBFCs may establish connection with its customers, using their mobiles devices throughout the tenure of the loan. The technology also allows the lenders to make data-driven behavioural interventions throughout the life-cycle and help them to communicate, remind, educate and in gradual impairment of the device experience, if a user defaults.With effective collections solutions, the financial institutions may expand their books to ‘New to Credit’ across nooks and corners of the country as the financial sector will have a crucial role to play in helping the economy stabilise afterward by bringing in the required liquidity.
Leadership lessons from Job in the time of pandemic
27 May 2020
  • Leadership
  • Jobs
  • pandemic
Like many people in this era of quarantine and social distancing, I’ve turned to uplifting news stories, gripping novels, and entertaining podcasts for solace and diversion. But for deeper insight I’ve been rereading the Book of Job. To recap: By almost any standard, Job would be considered a real civic leader. He’s wealthy and by the time’s standards “blameless and upright.” The New English Bible reports he owns 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 asses, and many slaves. He cares for the needy, and when he enters the public square, high-ranking citizens listen respectfully to his opinions. He’s the kind of person publishers might pursue to write a best-seller, “Top Ten Leadership Lessons from Job of Uz.” Deprived of wealth, health … Yet God agrees to let Satan deprive Job of all his wealth, his sons and daughters, and even his own health. Satan has presented a challenge: Let’s see if Job remains so righteous and God-fearing once his fortunes have turned and he’s brought low.  Job is left with next to nothing and afflicted with “running sores from head to foot.” He launches into a lengthy lament of self-defense and demands that God show up and explain why he’s being so mistreated.Finally, God relents and (in effect) says from the whirlwind: “Listen up! Look around. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Did you set the boundaries between land and sea? Do you control the weather and the seasons? Do you determine the laws of nature on earth?“Just take a look at all the marvelous wild creatures in the world. They accomplish amazing feats without your help.”At last, Job drops his defenses and his eyes are opened to his lack of control over creation and his relative insignificance in the universe. He repents his former ignorance and arrogance.In times of crisis, we humans are easily tempted to turn to seemingly powerful men and women; humans understandably yearn for the all-seeing savior, or the guarantor of better times. Yet, Job’s story points away from such illusory hope.The writer of Job offers a powerful counter-punch to an old (still familiar) story: that material success is a sign of God’s favor and deserved by those who are widely celebrated (even if their success stems from forced labor). The Job story admonishes all of us who are leaders, would-be leaders, and engaged followers to pay attention, to be humble about our own abilities to control outcomes, and to harmonize our actions with natural systems. It prompts us to remember that we must care for our earthly habitat.A modern versionAn especially vital leadership skill just now is storytelling that makes sense of our current tragedy and offers a vision of a sustainable future. What, then, is the story that wise leaders and followers might convey today? Perhaps it’s simply a modern version of the Job story, one that points out the limitations of powerful people and nations, celebrates the awe-ful beauty of the natural world, and recognizes that the most sustainable leadership is vested in a host of collaborative leaders and engaged followers.It might peel back the capitalistic veil to show that the great profits of many corporations rest on the tenuous, underpaid employment of cleaners, stockers, delivery people, servers, and gig workers. It might highlight the great insights of scientists yet acknowledge the imperfections and ambiguities in the experts’ models and research findings. It might celebrate community-level examples of supporting health care workers or farm families, of transitioning to low-carbon modes of transportation and energy production. It might point toward public policies such as a carbon tax, cultural preservation, or guaranteed early childhood education. People are hungry for such stories. Witness the response to the bedtime tale and YouTube sensation “The Great Realisation” or to former President George W. Bush’s recent video message.  It took a lot to get Job’s attention, and the massive global pandemic has finally awakened more and more people to the planet’s fragility and the interconnected fate of its human societies. Let us craft a host of new stories that help us act on these insights.  Barbara C. Crosby is associate professor emerita at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and author with John M. Bryson of “Leadership for the Common Good.”
20 million back in the job in May as lockdown eases
27 May 2020
  • Employement
  • lockdown
  • Indian Economy
NEW DELHI: About 20 million workers came back into employment in May as the government eased the nationwide lockdown to counter Covid-19 outbreak, according to an update by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy or CMIE. CMIE report said India's employment rate was up 2% in May to 29% from 27% in April. CMIE had estimated 122 million people had lost their jobs due to nationwide lockdown since March 25. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/20-million-back-in-the-job-in-may-as-lockdown-eases/articleshow/76014812.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstNEW DELHI: About 20 million workers came back into employment in May as the government eased the nationwide lockdown to counter Covid-19 outbreak, according to an update by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy or CMIE. CMIE report said India's employment rate was up 2% in May to 29% from 27% in April. CMIE had estimated 122 million people had lost their jobs due to nationwide lockdown since March 25. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/20-million-back-in-the-job-in-may-as-lockdown-eases/articleshow/76014812.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstNEW DELHI: About 20 million workers came back into employment in May as the government eased the nationwide lockdown to counter Covid-19 outbreak, according to an update by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy or CMIE. CMIE report said India's employment rate was up 2% in May to 29% from 27% in April. CMIE had estimated 122 million people had lost their jobs due to nationwide lockdown since March 25. “This two percentage point increase implies that about 20 million people may have been added to the count of those that are employed,” CMIE said, adding implicitly that the loss of 122 million in April may have narrowed down to 102 million in May. “If 20 million jobs have indeed been repaired, we have made significant progress. But, the remaining challenge is five times larger at 102 million,” it added.According to CMIE, increasing labour participation rate (LPR) week after week in May, touching 38.8% for the week ended May 17, shows that a fairly large number that had technically left the labour market in April is returning back. LPR had fallen to 35.6% in April from 41.9% in March after which it gained ground in May.Workers Coming Back CMIE’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey shows that while the count of employed shrunk by 122 million in April, the number of people willing to work but not actively seeking jobs swelled by 77 million to 89 million in April from 12 million in 2019-20. "These are the potentially unemployed but technically not considered unemployed,” it said, adding that since these people are willing to work, they can easily join the labour force and start looking for jobs if employment conditions improve even marginally.According to CMIE, the weekly estimates of May suggest that there is a migration of labour from the ‘willing but not looking for jobs’ category to the ‘willing and looking for jobs category’. “The discouraged workers seem to be coming back to look for jobs. This is good news,” CMIE said, adding that weekly data also suggests that this influx into the labour markets is succeeding in finding jobs. CMIE, in the normal course, conducts a multi-stratified survey using a monthly sample size of 1,17,000 individuals who are visited in person and interviewed. However, since the lockdown, the sample size has been reduced to 11,000-12,000 individuals and people are being interviewed over phone.
Job searches for remote work surge in February-May
25 May 2020
  • Job Searches
  • Coronavirus
  • Job Seekers
Mumbai: Job searches for remote work in India have surged by over 377 per cent during February to May amid the coronavirus crisis, a report said. Job seekers across the country are showing greater interest in working remotely, with a spurt in search for terms like 'remote', 'work from home' and related phrases, job site Indeed said in the report. Searches for remote work have increased by over 377 per cent as a share of all searches on Indeed India during February to May 2020, it adde .. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/job-searches-for-remote-work-surge-in-february-may-report/articleshow/75938080.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstMumbai: Job searches for remote work in India have surged by over 377 per cent during February to May amid the coronavirus crisis, a report said. Job seekers across the country are showing greater interest in working remotely, with a spurt in search for terms like 'remote', 'work from home' and related phrases, job site Indeed said in the report. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/job-searches-for-remote-work-surge-in-february-may-report/articleshow/75938080.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppstMumbai: Job searches for remote work in India have surged by over 377 per cent during February to May amid the coronavirus crisis, a report said. Job seekers across the country are showing greater interest in working remotely, with a spurt in search for terms like 'remote', 'work from home' and related phrases, job site Indeed said in the report. Searches for remote work have increased by over 377 per cent as a share of all searches on Indeed India during February to May 2020, it added. Similarly, job postings for remote work and work from home have also seen an increase of 168 per cent. "COVID-19 has forced many of us to change the way we work, powering a huge shift towards remote working that is expected to continue. It is here that industries need to think collaboratively to develop future proof workforce strategies and support at-risk workers in reskilling and up-skilling. "COVID-19 might have put 'in-person' dreams on the back-burner, but it also gives an opportunity to prepare ourselves to realize them in the meantime," Indeed India MD Sashi Kumar said. In some of its previous studies it found that 83 per cent of job seekers consider remote work policy an important factor when searching for a job. Not only that, 53 per cent of employees would consider taking a pay cut in order to have access to remote working options.About 56 per cent of employees and 83 per cent of employers concur that offering flexibility in working can help boost productivity, it added. Further, searches for remote work increased by over 261 per cent as a share of all searches on Indeed India since February-March. However, the number of available job postings for remote work opportunities has remained relatively unchanged during the same time period, it added.
Hiring alert: Job openings amid slowdown, application process closing soon
25 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • openings
  • Coronavirus
Though the coronavirus lockdown has badly affected the economy, but the hiring is on in various sectors. As per naukri.com, some key industries like IT, BPO/ITES, BFSI, and accounting/finance have shown a lesser decline in hiring as compared to rest of the sectors. Various government departments are also hiring. Though the application process for government recruitment has been extended till June, but some of them will be closed this month. For those aspiring for a well-paying government sector post, here is the list of jobs to apply for this week.SEBI offers digital internships for law students: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has invited candidates for an online internship programme in its legal department. The internship programme which is held in April every year will start from June this year, in view of the coronavirus, the internships will be held digitally. Law students who have completed at least three years of five year LLB course or two years of three year LLB course with 60 per cent aggregate marks can apply for the internship. The application process is to close on May 25Vacancies in Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers: The Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET), under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, has invited applications for technical and non-technical positions. The online application process will be closed on May 29. A total of 57 positions are on offer. Interested can apply at the official website cipet.gov.in. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change: The application process for the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will be closed on May 25. A total of 48 vacancies are on offer, and candidates can apply through the website- cpcb.nic.in. The candidates will get a salary upto Rs 1.77 lakh.NIC Scientist recruitment 2020: The application process for the National Informatics Centre (NIC) scientists and scientific or technical assistant posts has been extended, which was scheduled to be closed on April 30, 2020. The application process has extended till June 1, 2020. Interested candidates can apply through the website- nielit.in. BCECEB recruitment 2020: The Bihar Combined Entrance Competitive Examination Board (BCECEB) has invited applications for the posts of city manager under the Urban Local Bodies. A total of 163 vacancies are to be filled through this recruitment drive. The online application process is open at bceceboard.bihar.gov.in and will conclude on May 27.
Looking for a job? Amazon is now hiring for Spokane fulfillment center
21 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Hiring
  • Amazon
SPOKANE, Wash —  Amazon is now hiring more than 2,000 full-time employees for its Spokane fulfillment center.“We are thrilled to announce that Amazon is joining the Spokane community and that we’ll be hiring over 2,000 new associates,” said Andy Parra, Director of Operations for the Spokane facility. “We are absolutely committed to the health and well-being of our future associates and will do everything we can to ensure their safety throughout the hiring process taking COVID-19 precautions into consideration.”The fullfillment center located at 10010 West Geiger Boulevard is slated to open in the summer of 2020, according to Amazon spokesperson Brittany ParmleyAmazon is offering a minimum wage of $15/hour, along with comprehensive health, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) with a 50% match, up to 20 weeks paid parental leave, and a program that pre-pays 95% of tuition for courses in high-demand fields like game design, nursing, IT programming and more.“Thanks to Amazon’s hiring efforts in the area, everyone from recent college grads to those who may have recently lost their jobs will have access to new opportunities and benefits that start on day 1,” said Lisa Brown, Director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “Not only is Amazon’s new facility bringing new economic opportunities to Spokane, it’s bringing new safety measures to make sure future associates are protected where they work.”Job candidates must be 18 years or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent to be considered. All interested candidates need to apply online where they can indicate a shift preference and select an appointment time to attend an upcoming hiring event and orientation. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply online or text SPOKENOW to 77088.Amazon has moved as much of its hiring process as possible from physical to virtual steps. During their appointment, candidates may have their temperature checked and will be required to wear a face mask provided by Amazon. 
COVID-19 impact: Should you opt for job loss insurance cover?
21 May 2020
  • Covid-19
  • Job Loss
  • Insurance Cover
The job insurance cover is based on the reason for job loss of the insured. Policy holders have the choice of selecting a job insurance cover based on the probability of job loss and the premium amount. With the job market in many sectors seeing the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, it is prudent to be prepared for any financial crisis arising from job loss. Many companies have already started pay cuts and layoffs. In such an unprecedented situation, some people may think insurance is one of the best ways of protecting oneself.There are many insurance providers that offer job-loss covers too which aim to provide income replacement."Job insurance cover is the latest in the insurance industry in India. However, it is not yet available independently and can be purchased only as an add-on with a critical illness cover or a home loan protection plan,” according to Bankbazaar.The job insurance cover is based on the reason for job loss of the insured.  Policy holders have the choice of selecting a job insurance cover based on the probability of job loss and the premium amount."Typically, the premium towards job insurance is the range of 3 percent to 5 percent of the total coverage, on top of the master policy’s premium. If the job insurance is a part of the home loan protection plan, the policy tenure is just five years. The insurance does not cover the entire period of the home loan tenure," BankBazaar said.Customers opting for this cover should, however, understand all the terms and conditions of these plans since job-loss policy triggers only if the loss is due to the conditions included in the policy.Seeing the high premium and temporary relief, some experts also warn against opting job loss insurance cover."These policies provide very limited cover. Also, job insurance does not cover job loss in cases when the employee has been asked to leave due to poor performance, or in the probation period. The are many more conditions under which job insurance does not provide any coverage," BankBazaar said.
Task force suggests ways to create 2.5 million jobs amid job losses at home and abroad due to Covid-19
19 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Abroad
  • Employement
A government formed task force has suggested creating over 2.5 million jobs in the next four-five years by restructuring and expanding various government programmes that are ongoing and by activating new proposed programmes.The task force formed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply last month, under the coordination of its joint secretary Puspa Raj Shahi, has recommended expanding and restructuring the government programmes focussed on entrepreneurship and employment, reviving sick industries and utilizing land spaces allocated for the industries.The recommendation comes at a time when hundreds of thousands of Nepali people are expected to lose their jobs at home and abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged most of the world’s economies.As the government is preparing to present its budget for the next fiscal year 2020-21 on May 28, it is under pressure to create more jobs at home as over one million jobs in the tourism sector are already at stake as this is the hardest hit sector due to the pandemic.Likewise, the Institute of Integrated Development Studies, a think tank, on Saturday revealed in a report that 60 percent jobs in macro, small and medium enterprises, part of which also belonged to tourism, have been estimated to have been lost.According to the institute, the numbers are based on surveys conducted among 700 entrepreneurs, vulnerable workers, government employees and elected representatives in 23 districts.According to the Foreign Employment Board, 127,000 migrant workers are expected to return after losing jobs abroad once the international travel restrictions are lifted and around 407,000 Nepalis are expected to return home in due course of time, as economies of the job destination countries have also been hit hard by the pandemic. Furthermore, every year, 500,000 people enter the country’s labour market and employment opportunities need to be created for them also. “Considering possible unemployment at home and abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we had formed a task force to suggest what can be done to increase employment in the industry and commerce sector,” Chandra Ghimire, secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply, told the Post. “Based on the report of the task force, we have also made necessary recommendations to the Finance Ministry team that is preparing the budget.”According to the report, parts of which the Post has seen, the largest number of employment could be created in “agriculture-based extensive self-employment programmes”. Two million employment opportunities can be created in the sector through the combination of the Prime Minister Agricultural Modernization Programme and employment programmes, according to the report.“Self-employment should be promoted by increasing access of people to the seed capital through a combination of various funds,” the report says. “For this, there should be an investment of Rs100 billion every year in the agriculture sector.”According to the National Economic Census 2018, as many as 102,196 people are engaged in 23,899 registered firms related to agriculture, forestry and fishing. In the entire government and non-government sectors, 3.11 million people are engaged in 900,924 entities, according to the economic census.Similarly, as many as 315,000 jobs can be created in the industrial villages in the next four-five years provided 40 out of 45 such industrial villages are brought into operation. There are currently 37 industrial villages and nine are being planned, according to the report.Likewise, self-employment can be promoted through partnership between the start-ups and Youth and Small Entrepreneurs Self-Employment Programme.Considering the potential losses of jobs, the government has made employment one of the four key priorities for the next fiscal year. According to the policies and programmes for the next fiscal year presented at the Parliament on Friday, the four key priority areas are—health, education, employment and economic recovery.In order to promote self-employment, the government has announced that it would offer seed money to innovative youths, entrepreneurs and returnee migrant workers to start new ventures. The government also said that it would also help new entrepreneurs with skills development and improve market access.However, Shankar Sharma, an economist and former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission, said that creating jobs as envisioned by the Industry Ministry would be challenging because of the absence of good training to produce skilled workers and a lack of proper collaboration between training institutes and industrial enterprises.“Provided that the well equipped training institutes offer training and industries offer placement for the trained workers, there is a scope for higher employment,” he said. “Such modality should be tried by keeping migrant workers at the centre, as many of them are skilled for working in factories abroad.”
Job vacancies during the Covid-19 pandemic
19 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Vacancies
  • pandemic
Job vacancies are an early indicator of economic activity. When a firm’s demand for labour increases, it may post new vacancies some time before these vacancies are actually filled; conversely, when labour demand falls, a firm may stop recruitment efforts before an effect on employment is felt. Tracking the evolution of vacancies allows us to see where labour demand has fallen most during the pandemic, and where it is tentatively picking up again, much faster than official employment statistics allow. In this note we present virtually real-time information from a daily census of all job adverts posted on Find a Job, a recruitment website maintained by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). We use this data to provide a detailed and up to date picture of the current state of labour demand across the UK economy, as it emerges from lockdown. Key findings By the time the lockdown was announced, firms had stopped posting new vacancies almost entirely. New postings on 25 March were just 8% of their levels in 2019. Vacancies fell across the wage distribution. The fall was sharpest in low-paid occupations directly affected by social distancing measures, but new vacancies for higher-paid jobs in legal and managerial professions also saw falls of over 60% relative to 2019. There have been some tentative signs of recovery since mid-April, but this has been entirely driven by vacancies in health and social care. Health and social care vacancies rebounded from half their 2019 levels in the first week of April to 85% of their 2019 levels in the first week of May. In all other occupations, new vacancies in the first week of April were 21% of their 2019 levels, and still only 26% of their 2019 levels in the first week of May. Whilst the initial drop in job postings was evenly distributed across more and less deprived areas, the recovery in health and social care vacancies has been concentrated in more affluent areas. New health and social care vacancies in the least deprived fifth of local authorities (measured by their Index of Multiple Deprivation) were 15% lower than their 2019 levels in the first week of May, whilst those in the most deprived fifth still 35% lower. The health and social care occupations in which vacancies are recovering pose relatively high health risks. They are relatively difficult to do from home, involving working in close physical proximity to others and are more exposed to disease. The new jobs that are emerging require high levels of training. Jobs in health and social care typically require a high level of training, but even outside healthcare, labour demand has recovered more in occupations that require higher levels of preparation. This suggests that workers who have been furloughed or made unemployed are likely to struggle to fill vacancies in areas where labour demand is recovering.
Covid-19 impact: Job losses mount in smaller startups, unicorns
19 May 2020
  • Covid-19
  • Franklin
  • Job Losses
Many startup founders who had earlier prioritized growth over profitability are now forced to re-look at their business strategy as covid-19 has impacted startups and big corporates alikeIn April and May, multiple startups have laid off or furloughed employees and contract staff, besides salary cuts to save cash after revenues take a hitFranklin Templeton mutual fund may take over five years to return some fundThe development is the latest turn after the company shut six debt schemes last month in the country’s biggest-ever fund freeze, which triggered shock waves in local credit markets Investors in some of the credit funds run by Franklin Templeton’s India unit may have to wait over five years to fully recoup their money, the asset manager said in an email to investors. The email and attached documents, which were seen by Bloomberg and confirmed by the company, laid out the latest timeline for scheduled cash flows. The timing could wind up being sooner, as any sale of the underlying assets in the frozen funds in the secondary market and prepayments or accelerated payments made by issuers of debt in the funds would quicken the payout, according to the documents.The development is the latest turn after the company shut six debt schemes last month in the country’s biggest-ever fund freeze, which triggered shock waves in local credit markets.It may take more than five years for the company to return the entire amount invested in four of the funds, according to the documents. Investments in the two remaining funds may be returned within five years, they showed.The fund manager had previously said it is seeking investor approval to liquidate the six debt schemes.
Amazon job openings rose in April while they fell at Alphabet, Facebook and Netflix, says Citi
19 May 2020
  • Amazon Jobs
  • Facebook
  • Netflix
Amazon displayed over 36,000 job openings at the end of April, up 19% year over year, while openings from s companies contracted, according to a review by Citi analysts that was published on Monday.The statistics suggest that other companies were taking steps to hold back on unnecessary spending as coronavirus impacted world economies, and Amazon, which has sold groceries to consumers and cloud services to businesses through the pandemic, still wanted to grow its workforce. The pandemic has created a record rise in jobless claims in the U.S., with more than 36 million new claims since the crisis started in March.According to Citi, Alphabet, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, GrubHub, Netflix and Twitter all posted year-over-year declines in job postings in April. The biggest declines among the companies that analysts led by Jason Bazinet reviewed came at Cars.com and Trivago.“Excluding Amazon, total job postings fell 51% in April 2020 versus last year,” the analysts wrote, noting that postings are a proxy for costs.The analysts began looking at web traffic information, a proxy for revenue, alongside job postings after the coronavirus outbreak began. “So far, e-commerce, social media and streaming services have experienced a boost in traffic,” they wrote.Amazon’s annualized growth rate slowed down in April from 35% in March. Amazon had 840,400 employees at the end of the first quarter, up 33% year over year, according to the company’s most recent earnings statement. In April, CNBC reported that Alphabet subsidiary Google took steps to freeze hiring and lower its marketing expenditures.
Amid Covid battle, this MC worker is on job to keep dengue away
19 May 2020
  • Covid-19
  • MC Worker
  • pandemic
 As the entire machinery battles the Covid-19 pandemic, the health wing of the Municipal Corporation has activated its machinery to prevent the city residents from other vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya. Deepak Kumar, an MC worker, said when most people were indoors, they were on their job to prevent the residents from these diseases by carrying out fogging exercise on a regular basis. He said apart from spraying sodium hypochlorite solution in residential and other vulnerable areas, they were urging residents to take precautions as the dengue season was knocking on doors. They had been urging them to clean up water tanks, dry up waterlogged corners and sanitise houses on a regular basis to keep both unwanted guests... corona and dengue— away. “Earlier, the MC used to conduct the fogging exercise during July after the monsoon. But due to the Covid-19 threat, the officials decided to initiate fogging earlier. Now we have four scooter-equipped machines and conducting regular fogging in the walled city areas and slums”, said Deepak Kumar. Apart from fogging, Deepak has also been disinfecting the localities as per demand. “I start my job early in the morning and return home around 7 pm. I spend 12 hours in the field. During the lockdown, the MC provided us gloves, masks and sanitisers. Residents also recognise our work and honour us in several ways,” said Deepak. He said the MC also had four jeep-equipped fogging machines for the outer city areas, while scooters were more effective in narrow streets. “We work as per the roster prepared by senior officials. Sometime we do get some special assignments of disinfecting residential apartments in the containment areas. The MC provides all safety equipment. Despite some risks, I am doing my job with the utmost responsibility.”
Centre’s rural job spending push a work in progress
19 May 2020
  • Rural Job
  • Work
  • Employement
In 2020-21, the central govt plans to spend much more money than it ever has on the MGNREGS and has increased the allocation by ₹40,000 crore to over ₹1 trillion In 2020-21, the central government plans to spend much more money than it ever has on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and has increased the allocation by ₹40,000 crore to over ₹1 trillion. Mint analyses if this will be enough. Why is so much money needed for MGNREGS? The government plans to spend ₹1,01,500 crore (see Chart 1) under MGNREGS this fiscal. During an economic upheaval, governments go back to what British economist John Maynard Keynes had suggested: In tough economic times, when the private sector and individuals are not spending money, the government should become the spender of last resort to put money in people’s hands. The ratio of the total amount to be spent under MGNREGS and GDP is 0.45% (see Chart 2). Even after adjusting for growth in the size of the Indian economy over the years, the MGNREGS spending will be the highest since 2014-15.How will this spending help individuals? The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) expects the Indian economy to contract 12.5% in 2020-21, with industry and services likely to shrink 27.1% and 8.1%, respectively. As such, many people may lose their jobs and quite a few already have, particularly in the informal sector. This, to a large extent, explains the rush among migrant workers to go back to their native places. The government needs to create work for them, along with others. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently said states had been advised to provide work to migrant workers, according to the provisions of the scheme.What does the rural job scheme seek to achieve? NCAER expects the agriculture sector to grow by 2.3% this year. But even this growth rate is not going to be enough for the migrant workers returning home as the agriculture sector already employs more people than is economically feasible. As such, the government’s rural job scheme seeks to provide work to the migrants. Will the increased spending be enough? As of 18 May, 23.3 million households had sought work under the scheme; for the whole of May 2019, the number was 25.1 million. As the government recently said in an answer to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, MGNREGS is a “fall-back option for livelihood for the rural households when no better employment opportunity is available". Households have started utilizing this option and as more migrant workers return home, the demand for work under the scheme will only go up.Anything else that the government can do? Over the years, the government has been able to provide around 50 days of work per household. In 2018-19 and 2019-20, this was 50.9 days and 48.4 days, respectively. In states such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh—the native places of a bulk of migrant workers—the figure was much less at 41.3 days and 44.8 days, respectively. There is a need to create more work in these states and if that means spending more money, the Centre should be ready on that front.
Explained: Lost your job during COVID-19? Here's what to do
19 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Coronavirus
  • Indian Economy
The coronavirus outbreak led to companies across the globe temporarily downsizing operations and also making employees work from home. Amidst this, several jobs were lost in companies that were struggling to spruce up revenues or had to completely suspend business in sectors like hospitality, aviation and travel/tourism.Estimates from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) showed that 122 million people lost their jobs in April 2020 alone. Of this, about 75 percent are daily-wage earners and small traders.Human resource officials told Moneycontrol that about 200,000 people have lost their jobs in the two-month period between March 15 and May 15. A majority of the job losses have been in the hospitality and tourism sector, followed by sales staff in the financial services sector.So, what do you do if you have lost your job? Apart from having a financial plan to deal with a job loss, here’s what a victim of pink slip can do:Read your employment contractOnce the employer has stated that you will be let go from your position, go back and read the employment contract. This contract has details stating under what circumstances can individuals be fired from a job. Look for details on the financial benefits offered in case of a job cut initiated by the company.As far as possible, seek an immediate advance package from the company so that any financial liabilities in terms of loan installments and credit card dues can be paid off for about two to three months. Also, an employee should insist on getting an official letter or email from the organisation to this effect.Laid-off employees across companies told Moneycontrol that the employer was using chat platform call services to inform them of the decision. In several cases, the employee was being asked to resign on their own.“My employment contract stated that I will be eligible only for part bonuses and nothing else. Whereas if I was sacked, the provision was for three-months' pay. The company I worked for tried to persuade us to resign on our own. However, considering the benefits that would be lost, I decided against it,” says 36-year-old Manali Kharat, who lost her sales jobs in a financial services firm in April 2020.If a company makes you leave in violation of a contract, you have the right to sue the organisation. Further, a company cannot ask you to quit in case you test COVID-19 positive and are unable to resume work for a few weeks. Similarly, pregnant women cannot be sacked from the job as per law.Seek outplacement servicesSeveral mid-sized and large organisations have the provision of outplacement services. This means that if they let go of an employee, he/she is to be offered hand-holding in finding a job.For this purpose, companies take the help of outplacement firms who help selected employees find alternative employment. Hence, as soon as a company informs of a job cut decision, employees must write to the human resources team to seek clarity on whether outplacement services can be availed of.COVID-19 has squeezed the number of job opportunities open in the market right now. Outplacement agencies would be more equipped to help sacked employees find another job.Look for re-skilling areasWhile there is a hiring freeze among companies, there are several skill-sets for which employers are still hiring.For instance, in the IT sector skills like coding, Python programming and application development are among the in-demand ones.If your employees asked you to leave, you could go to jobs portals or professional networking sites and look for allied skill areas where companies are still hiring. Since several e-learning platforms are now offering free courses on a temporary basis and job cut victims could make use of the opportunity.Utilise time to work on freelance rolesEven if you are not able to secure a new job, don’t fret. Freelance roles are slowly opening up in sectors like IT, advertising, e-commerce, financial services and media/entertainment in the areas of digital marketing, data entry, customer services, online sales and content development.The compensation in freelance roles may not replace the monthly pay for a salaried professional. However, the more the number of freelance projects you take up, the better is the pay. Once the lockdown ends, these freelance projects could be a value addition to the resume. HR experts state that individuals should also be open to seeking temporary roles in other sectors so that future job opportunities open up.Seek help for any mental health issuesAn often-forgotten aspect when someone loses his/her job is the mental health impact. During a pandemic situation like COVID-19 with a rapid increase in cases on a daily basis in India, losing one’s employment is likely to lead to anxiety and depression.Online counselling and therapy sessions are available on nominal costs for individuals who may want to discuss issues related to uncertainty due to job cuts. Always seek professional help to tide over mental health issues during a tough time.
We have jobs, give us workers: Locked down FMCG firms send an SOS to Centre
15 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Job Opportunities
  • lockdown
New Delhi: Let us hire more, so that we produce more, that’s the message India’s top consumer goods companies like HULNSE 0.57 %, Nestle, PepsiCo, Parle Products, Britannia NSE 0.63 %, ITCNSE -0.61 % and Mondelez have sent to the government.These companies want clearances to run facilities with a 75% cap on worker deployment in green and orange zones, and a 50-60% cap in red zones (excluding containment areas). The current cap is 33%. The communication has been sent to government through CII. ET has reviewed a copy of the letter. “As companies ramp up operations, there is an urgent need to enhance labour footprint within norms of social distancing to augment essential food availability,” the letter, addressed to the ministry of food processing industries and the empowered committee on supply chain & logistics, says.The letter has also sought relief from the Factories Act and requested that governments clear 12-hour work days with overtime pay, against the stipulated eight hours, in all states. It says this should be done with the consent of workers, and that overtime will be paid in proportion to normal wages. State responses to overtime have not been uniform. Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have said they allow overtime, while others have not taken a stand.“Why should there be a cap on the labour workforce percentage?” said Britannia Industries MD Varun Berry. “Also, the relief on work hours should be made national, and not be different for different states.Local Police Permissions “All this will help us meet consumer demand adequately. We request for a standard operating procedure on the same,” Berry said. Industry executives said supplies of essentials continue to be as much as 50% less than demand even after restrictions have been eased. “Severe supply constraints from FMCG companies remain as they aren’t producing more than 50% of stocks listed with us. On essentials, supply is far less than demand,” said Arvind Mediratta, managing director, Metro Cash & Carry. Parle Products category head Mayank Shah said, “We are still operating at 60-65% capacity; production has to be increased to fulfil consumer demand which is growing very rapidly.Labour availability is still a major issue even in green and orange zones and this needs to be addressed with state labour secretaries as local police permissions are extremely difficult to obtain in states like Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, the letter said.A spokesperson for Nestle, the country’s largest pure play foods company said: “We are in regular communication with authorities to seek their advice pertaining to our operations.” The maker of Maggi noodles and KitKat chocolate had reported a 10.7% increase in domestic sales for the March quarter, led by consumers stocking up in the first phase of the lockdown. In its BSE filing it had said its business operations are dependent on various official permissions. India’s largest consumer goods company HUL, which reported 7% decline in volumes, said in a post earnings call that the immediate impact of Covid was on the supply side. “We don't know to what extent trade pipelines have come down. And we don't know to what extent demand would have been impaired, because of non-availability of stocks or more structural reasons,” HUL chairman and managing director Sanjiv Mehta had said.
Job portals prioritise laid-off employees while launching new initiatives
11 May 2020
  • Job Portals
  • Employees
  • Digital Sectors
Job portals like Naukri, Scikey and Personnel Search Services, which are seeing an increased demand from professionals, are launching initiatives that give priority to laid-off workers.Sectors such as healthcare, pharmaceutical & life-sciences, ecommerce, logistics, online groceries, agri-tech, other digital sectors and gig workers are able to find new jobs. On the other hand, customer service, marketing and sales have been impacted by the job cuts so far, say HR experts.Meanwhile, listings of work-from-home (WFH) jobs that pay around Rs 5 lakh annually have doubled compared with February, said Naukri. It did not disclose the nature of these jobs.Naukri’s Step-Up initiative, started around two weeks back, tracks companies and industries that are currently hiring along with active jobs to apply to, in addition to launching personalised hiring drives. The portal plans to add insights into hiring trendsand webinars with experts in the coming days.“Close to 5,500 unique companies have posted jobs on the platform to hire relevant candidates,” said Pawan Goyal, the chief business officer at Naukri. These companies include IBM, Accenture, HDFC Bank, HCL Technologies and Oracle, he said.“We have also curated some useful content around WFH productivity, job search, upskilling courses, etc., to help jobseekers navigate these times. Also, there is a section on hiring insights that includes trending keywords from recruiters and insights,” he added.Scikey has launched a ‘Jobseeker-to-Jobsecure’ initiative, which intends to connect job seekers with employers over the next 100 days through its artificial intelligence-based Talent Commerce Platform.There is a section on the platform that allows employers who have laid off employees to list the details of the staff impacted so that the portal can help them match and connect with other employers who are hiring, cofounder Karunjit Kumar Dhir said.“The platform is industry-agnostic to maximise the ability to match people with similar technical skills as well as softer human skills in one industry into other industries where new jobs are being created,” Dhir added.Listings on the portals clearly reflect the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the job market.Monthly jobseeker applications have increased 31% and 38% in February and March, respectively, compared with January, as per Scikey. On the other hand, hiring activity tumbled 62% year-on-year in April, according to a survey by Naukri. The pandemic has caused thousands of job losses and a hiring freeze across companies in the last two months.“Most of these layoffs over the last two months have happened in startups which were overstaffed. But, we are discussing this with the clientele as there is ample availability of good talent in the market,” said Erika Lobo, the executive director at Personnel Search Services and Ray & Berndston. “Even if a company does not hire right away, just having conversations with these candidates to see which roles can they fit in will be a big win,” Lobo said/
Why upskilling will be important in post COVID-19 job scene
11 May 2020
  • UpSkilling
  • Covid-19
  • Jobs
COVID-19 has made life tough on both sides of the money divide--while businessmen are worried over not just demand and supply but vagaries of production and availability of labour, salaried professionals across-the-board are staring at salary cuts, delayed payments and bans on bonuses and increments. Or worse, job losses.  According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), one in four employees in India lost their jobs in just the last two months, as the coronavirus induced scare led to a nationwide cessation of economic activity. That’s a whopping 12.2 crore people we are talking about! And the worse may be yet to come—a snap poll was done among the CEOs by the industry chamber CII earlier this week showed that almost half of them believed they may have to fire up to 30 per cent of their staff. “In the long term, there could be staff (cuts) in the blue-collar and grey-collar, and reduced demand in the entry-level segment, as discretionary spending gets muted,” feels Nilabh Kapoor, Head of Revenue, OLX People (Horizontal Business Unit). Adds Payal Kumar, professor and chair (HR/OB) at BML Munjal University, “Certain industries may have been hit so badly that recovery may be very difficult, for example, hospitality and airlines. Many start-ups, too, may not survive.” Two uncertainties could make the job market bleaker for both the salaried as well as new job aspirants. One is if the COVID-19 graph keeps rising, not just in India but across the world. India already has the unenviable task of restarting business even while grappling with a disastrous bureaucratic approach to lockdown which has seen migrant workforce flee to their villages, or even worse, struck in cities waiting for the first chance to go back home.  While getting the labour back, clearing up the issues with raw materials, transport and supply chain is in itself worrisome; a bigger pain would be the expected dip in consumer demand. Almost two months of the shutdown has already seen consumer spending dropping to new-lows, and future uncertainty might just prompt them to continue keeping their purse strings tight. That does not augur well for an economic revival, and in correlation, the employment scene. So what can the salaried as well as the new job aspirants do? The writing is up there on the wall. Or the blackboard, in this case — upskill. “Even before the pandemic, it became increasingly evident that the young generation who are just entering the workforce would need to constantly upskill themselves,” points out Payal Kumar of BML Munjal University. “The concept of education has transformed from school certificates and university degrees to life-long learning, especially through online courses. Now more than ever youngsters would have to be more agile, adaptable and would need to constantly upskill their knowledge and skills.” Supplements Jayant Krishna, senior fellow, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) & executive director (public policy) at Wadhwani Foundation, “Develop a beginner’s mindset, inculcate critical thinking and acquire an attitude for solving complex problems. Such a skillset would be extremely useful in post-COVID-19 India and hold them in good stead.” His tip? Check out online seminars and talk shows to evolve as better professionals, and also, acquire new skills through online certification courses. And of course, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, feel the experts. “While private jobs are more likely to be affected than government jobs, many sectors in the former segment are expected to pick up once the lockdown is lifted,” thinks Nilabh Kapoor of OLX People. He feels that once businesses resume and government pumps in stimulus packages for MSMEs, it could be “a shot in the arm for industries to ramp up hiring.” Expanding your job search across areas faring better in the present scenario, from health, tech, fintech, e-commerce to logistics, as also looking for ‘gig economy’ freelance work and in the informal sector would also be a smart move.
3 Bitter Truths About Coronavirus Job Losses And The Economy
11 May 2020
  • Unemployement
  • Coronavirus
  • Job Losses
Recession Can you hear it? Can you hear the warnings and predictions of long-term and unrelenting job losses amidst this coronavirus pandemic? Or, do pronouncements of a lightning fast economic recovery and immediate bounce back to low unemployment drown them out? Can you process the sustained detriment the economy is likely to suffer after experiencing never-before-seen unemployment numbers occurring in just a matter of weeks?Certainly, it would be wonderful if the economy would experience a quick recovery. It would be wonderful if unemployment levels actually bounce back immediately to where they were in early March 2020. There is no limit of commentators, experts and analysts who proclaim that these things will indeed come true. But it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the warnings because it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the data. And since the economy is largely driven by consumer confidence, it’s also very difficult to push forward information that risks driving down confidence and contradicting the many rosy and uplifting proclamations.But here’s the truth—three bitter truths—about coronavirus job losses, the economy and unemployment. The Three Bitter Truths Despite the rosy scenarios, research and data clearly indicate that (1) a huge portion of the job losses are indeed permanent; (2) the coronavirus recession—arguably a depression—will last much longer than many are prepared to admit; and (3) the unemployment numbers are actually higher than currently reported.1. The bitter truth is that 42% of all coronavirus job losses will be permanent. This statistic has to be one of the most underreported of all and the most staggering. Day after day the Trump Administration announces that all the jobs are coming back, and all the newly unemployed will be able to return to their jobs real soon. However, research, history and data do not support this message.While it does seem that the majority of people will be able to return to their jobs after the coronavirus lockdowns are lifted and the economy fully opens, far too many will learn they no longer have jobs to return to. The Becker Friedman Institute of the University of Chicago reports that COVID-19 is causing reallocation shock that’s both driving “the fastest reallocation of labor since World War II” and causing the elimination of millions of jobs. It finds that “42 percent of recent layoffs will result in permanent job loss.” To learn more about reallocation shock and how it has simultaneously led to massive upticks in both hiring and layoffs, read this BFI report. Beyond BFI’s findings, there is more evidence to support the prediction that millions of job losses will become permanent. For example, CNN reports that GE will permanently cut 13,000 aviation jobs in response to the pandemic and a few other aviation factors. MGM Resorts laid off some 63,000 workers in March, and the company is now acknowledging that many of those coronavirus layoffs may become permanent. Then you have the bankruptcies. So far, major retailers including Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed with more companies at risk. But small business may suffer most of all. FEMA reports that up to 60% of small businesses never recover from a disaster. Surely, COVID-19 must be classified a disaster—right? If 42% of the coronavirus job losses really do end up being permanent, this would be a devastating blow for the unemployed and for the economy. Given that 33.5 million people have filed new jobless claims so far, it stands to reason that approximately 14 million people could end up not having a job to return to at all. 2. The bitter truth is that the coronavirus recession will last far longer than many will admit. The CBO predicts that unemployment will reach at least 16% by 3rd quarter. This would surpass even the 14% rate of the Great Depression. The CBO also informs that unemployment will linger at highs of 10% or better for the remainder of 2020 and for much of 2021. Americans struggled deeply getting through the Great Recession when unemployment hovered at just under 10% for years. What’s worse is that if the CBO’s predictions prove true, millions more Americans will face unemployment—many who aren’t yet even contemplating such a predicament for themselves. Whether you’re currently unemployed, worried about becoming unemployed or you are comfortably secure about your job, I recommend you focus your mind on this bitter truth, and consider taking these action steps to prepare for a long drawn-out, struggling economy. 3. The bitter truth is that unemployment is currently closer to 25% instead of 14.7%. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released unemployment numbers for April. The 14.7% unemployment rate corresponds with the devastating toll coronavirus has taken on the nation and across the globe. And though the April unemployment rate is quite astonishing, especially considering that it was just 4.4% in March and 3.5% in February, it didn’t come as a surprise.In fact, many experts and researchers were predicting that the rate would actually be higher with MarketWatch’s Jeffry Bartash finding that the unofficial U.S. jobless rate is at best 20% and likely as high as 25%.Bartash’s findings are in line with what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged today on Fox News Sunday when he announced that real unemployment could already be at 25% and will likely get worse.Can you handle the truth? What about the three bitter truths regarding coronavirus job losses, the economy and unemployment?If people could and would process and understand that millions—millions—of the newly unemployed won’t actually have jobs to return to, that the economy isn’t going to just snap back very quickly or that the unemployment rate will exceed that of the Great Depression and then hover at the highs of the Great Recession, do you think they’d prepare differently? Do you think this would focus their minds and attention on alternative jobs and alternative career options? Do you think Congress would do more?Additional related material.
US economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs, historic unemployment rate in April
11 May 2020
  • US Economy
  • Labour Department
  • Coronavirus Pandemic
Though millions of Americans continue to file claims for unemployment benefits, April could mark the trough in job losses.WASHINGTON: The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression and the starkest sign yet of how the novel coronavirus pandemic is battering the world's biggest economy. The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report on Friday also showed the unemployment rate surging to 14.7% last month, shattering the post-World War Two record of 10.8% touched in November 1982.The bleak numbers strengthen analysts' expectations of a slow recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic, adding to a pile of dismal data on consumer spending, business investment, trade, productivity and the housing market. The report underscores the devastation unleashed by lockdowns imposed by states and local governments in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. The economic crisis spells trouble for President Donald Trump's bid for a second term in the White House in November's election. After the Trump administration was criticized for its initial reaction to the pandemic, Trump is eager to reopen the economy, despite a continued rise in COVID-19 infections and dire projections of deaths. "Our economy is on life support now," said Erica Groshen, a former commissioner of the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. "We will be testing the waters in the next few months to see if it can emerge safely from our policy-induced coma," added Groshen, who is now a senior extension faculty member at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast nonfarm payrolls diving by 22 million. Data for March was revised to show 870,000 jobs lost instead of 701,000 as previously reported. A record streak of job growth dating to October 2010 ended in March. The unemployment was forecast rising to 16% from 4.4% in April. Though millions of Americans continue to file claims for unemployment benefits, April could mark the trough in job losses. More small businesses are accessing their portion of an almost $3 trillion fiscal package, which made provisions for them to get loans that could be partially forgiven if they were used for employee salaries. The Federal Reserve has also thrown businesses credit lifelines and many states are also partially reopening. Companies like Walmart and Amazon are hiring workers to meet huge demand in online shopping. Truck drivers are also in demand, while supermarkets, pharmacies and courier companies need workers. Still, economists do not expected a quick rebound in the labor market. "Given the expected shift in consumer behavior reflecting insecurities regarding health, wealth, income, and employment, many of these firms will not reopen or, if they do reopen, hire fewer people," said Steve Blitz, chief economist at TS Lombard in New York. "This is one reason why we see the underlying recession extending through the third quarter." Economists say the economy entered recession in late March, when nearly the whole country went into COVID-19 lockdowns. The National Bureau of Economic Research, the private research institute regarded as the arbiter of U.S. recessions, does not define a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline in real gross domestic product, as is the rule of thumb in many countries. Instead, it looks for a drop in activity, spread across the economy and lasting more than a few months.
Coronavirus Inflicts Huge Job Losses In US As Pandemic Breaches White House Walls
11 May 2020
  • Job Losses
  • usa
  • Coronavirus
The US government reported more catastrophic economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis on Friday as the pandemic pierced the very walls of the White House and California gave the green light for its factories to restart after a seven-week lockdown. A day after the White House confirmed that President Donald Trump's personal valet had tested positive for the virus, Trump told reporters that Katie Miller, press secretary to Vice President Mike Pence, had also been infected. She is married to senior Trump aide and immigration policy hard-liner Stephen Miller and travels frequently with Pence.The back-to-back diagnoses of individuals close to Trump, Pence and the White House inner circle raised questions about whether the highest levels of government are adequately safeguarded from infection."We've taken every single precaution to protect the president," White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters.Earlier in the day, the Labor Department reported the US unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent last month, up from 3.5 percent in February, demonstrating the speed with which the workforce collapsed after stay-at-home orders meant to curb the outbreak were imposed across most of the country.Worse economic news may be yet to come. White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said the unemployment rate was likely to climb to around 20 percent this month. The jobless rate for April already shattered the post-World War Two record of 10.8 percent set in November 1982.The economic devastation has heightened the urgency of governors' efforts to get their states' economies moving again, even though infection rates and deaths are still rising in parts of the country.California, the first state to issue stay-at-home orders on March 19, partially reopened shuttered commerce on Friday. Retailers such as bookstores, jewelers, clothing merchants, sporting goods shops and florists were permitted to begin offering curbside pickup and deliveries, while manufacturing and warehouse facilities were allowed to resume operations if they met infection-control requirements.Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said California had managed to flatten its infection curve in recent weeks, allowing the state to safely proceed with gradually restarting the economy.CHILD VICTIMMore than 77,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, out of more than 1.29 million confirmed cases, according to a Reuters tally.Elderly individuals and people with underlying chronic health conditions have been the most vulnerable.But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday reported the death of a 5-year old boy from a rare inflammatory syndrome believed to be linked to the coronavirus, highlighting a potential new pandemic risk for children.Just as minorities have been especially hard hit by the virus itself relative to their population size, African Americans and Hispanics also suffered disproportionately greater job losses in April - at 16.7 percent and 18.9 percent, respectively, the Labor Department data showed. The jobless rate was also higher among women, at 15.5 percent, compared with 13 percent for men.Rita Trivedi, 63, of Hudson, Florida, was furloughed as an analyst at Nielsen Media Research on April 23 and has struggled to secure benefits from the state's troubled unemployment system. She fears running short of money to cover her husband's medical bills and other expenses."I'm more than anxious, I'm more than worried - it's 'can't sleep' kind of anxious," Trivedi said. "I'm just so tense thinking about these things and how to manage."Trump, seeking re-election in November, initially played down the threat posed by the coronavirus, and has given inconsistent messages about the expected duration of the economic shutdown and its consequences."Those jobs will all be back, and they'll be back very soon," he told Fox News on Friday.CALIFORNIANewsom said California, home to 40 million residents with an economy ranking among the top five or six in the world, was doing worse than the nation as a whole, with unemployment running over 20 percent.But he said roughly 70 percent of California's economy was eligible to reopen "with modifications" under his plan, though it remained to be seen how many businesses would jump at the chance, and how many customers would immediately return.In Los Angeles, few retail businesses appeared to be open in the downtown area. It also was unclear how much, if any, assembly line production in California had yet resumed.Electric car manufacturer Tesla Inc was aiming to restart its factory in Fremont, California, on Friday, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wrote in an email to staff.But a health official in Alameda County, where the plant is located, said local lockdown measures remained in effect and supersede Newsom's relaxation of statewide restrictions."We've been working with them, but we have not given the green light," health officer Erica Pan said of Tesla.At least 40 of the 50 US states are taking steps to lift restrictions affecting all but essential businesses - including Arizona, Mississippi and South Dakota, which on Friday all reported record numbers of cases.Public health experts warn that reopening prematurely, without vastly expanded virus testing and other safeguards, risks fueling renewed outbreaks. They also say the state-by-state hodgepodge of differing policies may confuse the public and undermines social distancing efforts.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Freshers stare at an uncertain future as Covid hits job market
11 May 2020
  • freshers
  • Future
  • covid
In the midst of lay-offs, a possible economic contraction and shrinking job opportunities, a sense of fear and uncertainty is palpable among the Class of 2020, who will enter a world changed by the Covid-19 crisis to look for their first jobs. According to the All India Survey on Higher Education 2018-19, over 23 million students are enrolled in undergraduate-level programmes across universities and colleges. A section of these students, pursuing their last year of the programme, will graduate in August as per University Grants Commission guidelines for central universities, while states are still determining their own exam schedules.The students now fear that the job market will dry up as companies pause hiring to recoup the losses that piled up as the economy ground to a halt in an attempt to check the disease spread. “We were lucky our placements happened in February,” said Indranil Palit, a third-year computer science student, who has offers from two top-tier companies. “We’ve signed a letter of intent but there is no news regarding offer letters. We were scheduled to join August. We fear they may rescind the offer.”Third-year marketing student Sneha Roy, however, changed her plans to focus on a Masters instead. “It makes no sense to go for a job at present. The pay scale in the commerce sector has been on a decline in any case,” said Roy, a student at St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata. “Many of my friends and I will be focusing on a Masters programme since the offers we have received are not what we expected.” Industry experts say the situation is set to take a particularly dire turn, as the economy will open slowly and at rock bottom. “We have to realise that the job market was in extremely poor shape even before we entered the Covid-19 crisis,” said human development economist Santosh Mehrotra, who has recently authored Reviving Jobs: An Agenda for Growth. “In 2018, unemployment was at a forty-five year high, it will only get worse, since we are likely to see an economic contraction, that is, the growth rate will fall below zero.” According to Mehrotra, in 2018, the unemployment rate for secondary educated people was 14.4%, for those with technical degrees it was 37% and 36% for graduates. “These rates are double those found in 2012,” he said. “In 2018, we had nearly 30 million people who were unemployed,” said Mehrotra. “I expect the number to rise by another 50 million this year.”“Unemployment will at least double for new entrants this year, it will be catastrophic,” he added. Manish Sabharwal, chairman and co-founder of Teamlease Services, one of India’s largest staffing and human capital firm concurred with Mehrotra that the job sector may see a decline but reserved his judgment until the lockdown is lifted. “It will depend from industry to industry,” said Sabharwal. “We will have to see if the recovery is in a V-shaped, U-shaped or a bathtub curve, bathtub being that the particular sector spends a long time at the bottom.” Sabharwal added that the sunrise would be a ‘gentle one’, as companies will be biased towards retaining present employees and not hiring new ones at the moment. “We are definitely going to see salary adjustments and job losses,” said Sabharwal. “Hospitality, retail and airlines will take a hit. But the impact will be distributed across the board.”
US Fed official says ''worst is yet to come'' on job front
11 May 2020
  • usa
  • Job
  • Million Jobs
US Fed official says ''worst is yet to come'' on job front Washington, May 11 (IANS) A US Federal Reserve official said that the worst was yet to come on the employment front aftera staggering 20.5 million jobs were slashed in April amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "I mean the worst is yet to come on the job front, unfortunately. And that it really is going to be, you know, as these states start to reopen and as businesses start to reopen, obviously we need them to reopen safely," Xinhua news agency quoted Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, as saying on ABC News on Sunday "We may be in an environment of gradual relaxing and then having to clamp back down again around the country as the virus continues to spread," he said. "To solve the economy, we must solve the virus. Let''s never lose sight of that fact." "What I''ve learned in the last few months, unfortunately, this is more likely to be a slow, more gradual recovery," Kashkari said, throwing cold water on White House officials'' optimistic expectation about a very strong second half of 2020 and a roaring 2021. "When we look around the world, there''s evidence that when countries relax their economic controls, the virus tends to flare back up again. And the longer this goes on, unfortunately, the more gradual the recovery is likely to be," he said. The Fed official noted that a "robust economy" would require a breakthrough in vaccines, widespread testing and therapies to give people confidence that it is safe to go back. "I don''t know when we''re going to have that confidence," he said. Kashkari''s remarks came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News earlier on Sunday that the unemployment numbers were probably "going to get worse before they get better", acknowledging that the current jobless rate may have already hit 25 per cent. The US economy is going to experience "a very, very bad second quarter", but the nation is focusing on reopening the economy, so a rebound is expected in the third quarter, Mnuchin was quoted as saying. Data released on May 8 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed that US employers cut a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, erasing a decade of job gains since the global financial crisis and pushing the unemployment rate to a record 14.7 per cent. The record unemployment figure, however, might not capture the full scale of the COVID-19-induced job crisis, due to the survey''s timing and the traditional definition of unemployment, among other things. About 7 million Americans filed for jobless claims since the BLS''s household survey reference period, in this case April 12 through April 18. Millions more might have been laid off or left a job and are not looking for a new one amid the pandemic, and thus might not be defined as unemployed. --IANS
Job offers withdrawn, internships now unpaid
11 May 2020
  • Engineering
  • Job Offers
  • Internships
Engineering and business school graduates stare at a bleak future as job offers are withdrawn or revised, while delays in joining dates add to the climate of uncertainty. THE extended COVID-19 lockdown is wreaking havoc on the country’s job market. Not only are existing jobs vanishing because of a complete shutdown of the economy, but prospective jobs for engineering and management graduates, who typically enter the job market at this time of year, are withering. Job offers are being cancelled, and in cases where they are not the inordinate delay in joining brings its own uncertainties.The crisis has not spared even the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) as big-budget companies, including foreign multinationals, are reported to have withdrawn job offers.Thousands of engineering and business graduates could be left in the lurch as a consequence, according to industry watchers. An estimated three lakh business school students and 7.5 lakh engineering students graduate every year. Even in normal times an overwhelming percentage of these students (over 60 per cent, according to some estimates) are “unemployable” for various reasons. The rest get placed with various core sector companies or IT or ITES companies. The COVID-19 crisis, however, has dashed the hopes of this section, too.IIT Delhi, for example, which had just started its campus placement process, saw big American companies withdrawing their offers in bulk in March. Ten job offers from big oil companies and two finance companies were withdrawn. Alarmed that this could trigger an exodus by other companies, Professor V. Ramgopal Rao, Director of IIT Delhi, put out a tweet on April 3 appealing to companies to not withdraw their job offers. He pointed out that once a student received a job offer, he/she was not allowed to participate in the placement process and was thus left with nothing at all if the offer was withdrawn. “Please do not complicate the lives of these brightest children in an already complex environment. If at all, they are capable of getting you out of recession faster than you can imagine,” he wrote in an impassioned plea.Gartner, an American business research and advisory company, withdrew its job offers to 11 IIT students from Delhi, Kanpur and Madras and six IIM Calcutta students. Top American oil companies also either withdrew their offers or revised the terms. Schlumberger, the world’s biggest oilfield service provider company, wrote to the IITs on April 6 saying that it was forced to either reduce the package or withdraw some job opportunities in order to adjust to the “sudden reduction in customer spend”.Professor V. Ramgopal Rao’s appeal did put a brake on such withdrawals, but the picture remains bleak. “We are definitely looking at delays in joining and probably cuts in salary packages,” he told Frontline. He said that companies in the core sector, which required the physical presence of employees either on site or in factories or oil/gas fields, were the most affected. “Those in IT or ITES are comparatively less affected because they can still have their employees work from home. In any case, a lot of business activity is happening online now, so IT/ITES companies are not so badly affected. They have not yet cancelled their job offers but have hinted at delaying the joining of new recruits.”For students whose job offers have been withdrawn and those who could not participate in the campus recruitment process because of the lockdown, IIT Delhi will hold a special recruitment drive in July or “as and when the situation normalises”, said Prof. Rao. He added that companies had responded positively to this special drive. “Many companies which in normal times are not able to recruit from IITs have indicated their preferences, and we are hoping to place all our students then,” he said.Prof. Kantesh Balani, Chairman of the placement committee at IIT Kanpur, was more worried about the fact that internships of final-year students had been put on hold. “Basically, internships pave the way for future employment opportunities. Most job offers materialise during internships as pre-placement offers. Now that internships are gone, the students who will be passing out now will have to look for jobs in the market once the situation normalises, and they will have to compete with the next batch passing out at that time. This will put them at a disadvantage. At the very least, such students will lose a year,” he said. He said that the All India Committee on IIT Placements will meet to discuss ways to tide over the crisis. He felt that the companies that had withdrawn job offers should be blacklisted because students could not be made to go through such an ordeal for circumstances beyond their control.The reduction in internship offers, and the fact that most of the internships that are still available have become unpaid, is also a major concern at the IIMs. LinkedIn, a social media platform for professionals, is full of details of either cancellations/withdrawals of internship offers or paid ones being turned into unpaid opportunities. According to a IIM Lucknow student, most companies have pushed back joining dates to July and internships have been shifted completely online.While the IITs and IIMs will help their students tide over the tough times, students passing out of second-rung colleges bear a much heavier burden. Sachin Shah, co-founder of a placement consulting firm, SuccessGATEway, said: “Mostly companies do bulk hiring from second-rung colleges across the country. Hundreds of thousands of engineering and business graduates get placed across sectors. These students will now find the going tough. We are anticipating a crisis bigger than the subprime-induced crisis of 2008-09. It is going to be a mayhem in the job market.” According to him, the crisis will hit all sectors, unlike in 2008-09 when the IT sector bore the brunt. “This time all sectors are going to be hit equally, including the IT sector, because a lot of IT activity happens in core sectors and when there is no work in the core sector, what are the IT engineers going to do?”There is also a view that this may be a good time for students to pursue a master’s degree. “Since we are looking at a time frame of at least one year for the crisis to pass, the students should acquire a master’s degree in the meantime. By the time they finish their degree, the market will have normalised and they will have a good degree in hand,” said Prof. Rao. Meanwhile, colleges are taking care to keep their students motivated during these stressful times. “We hold regular counseling sessions for our students. I myself have talked to them personally,” said Prof. Rao.
How to Future-Proof Your Job Through Career Change
11 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Career Change
  • Future Proof Job
Takeaway: Whether you want to become your own boss and work from home with multiple clients, getting the right tech skills and pursuing the right opportunities will help when you're ready for a career change. For tech professionals thinking about career change, now is either not the best of times to be doing so, or it's the perfect time to be taking advantage of opportunities. Our current environment has thrown a wrench into the global economy, and many businesses spanning different industries have shut their doors and shuttered their windows. Some will re-open eventually, while others will cease to be going concerns. Many companies that are still operating have, due in part to social distancing rules, ordered their employees to work from home.But how many of those employees will want to return to their cubicles inside of brick-and-mortar office buildings after the lockdown has been rolled back?Might tech workers who’ve gotten used to programming code, preventing data breaches and protecting computer systems from their home offices decide that now's as good a time as any for career change?Becoming an independent consultant could, for example, give tech workers more job stability if they can freelance for multiple clients.The good news is that there is still a lot of demand in the tech space. Computers aren’t going anywhere and neither is the Internet said Mark Aiello, President at CyberSN, which provides cybersecurity staffing services for both permanent and contract employment.“We have a great number of clients that are hiring and taking advantage of the opportunity to figure out how to onboard people remotely,” said Aiello.“It’s a great industry to be in. The computer is not going away, the Internet is not going away. There are always going to be bad guys out there trying to take advantage of both. So you need a whole bunch of good guys to protect you.”Is Freelancing a Live Option for Career Change in Tech Space?The question for tech professionals is not whether they want to be one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. Rather, the question is whether they want to be independent consultants or stay the course on their career trajectory paths.While some experts say that the gig economy will provide opportunities for people who’d like to possibly future-proof their careers by working for themselves, others stress that it’s more important to focus on broadening their skills so that they can take advantage of career opportunities in whatever form they may come.The Stats SayFreelancing in America: 2019, from Upwork and Freelancers Union, estimates that 57 million Americans freelance. The study has some especially revealing findings:At nearly $1 trillion (approaching 5% of U.S. GDP), freelance income contributes more to the economy than industries such as construction and transportation and is on par with the information sector.Freelancers doing skilled services earn a median rate of $28 an hour, earning more per hour than 70% of workers in the overall U.S. economy.For the first time, as many freelancers said they view this way of working as a long-term career choice as they do a temporary way to make money. In addition, the share of those who freelance full time increased from 17% in 2014 to 28% in 2019.Skilled services are the most common type of freelance work, with 45% of freelancers providing skills such as programming, marketing, IT and business consulting.Gig Economy: Onward and UpwardTech professionals who are interested in transitioning to a tech career where they can work from home on a full-time basis must ensure they have the right skills to be successful.Dr. Nishtha Langer is an assistant professor of Business Analytics in the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. As well, she has been studying a variety of research topics on IT for more than 20 years, and she has more than five years of IT experience in both India and the U.S.“[Make] sure you have the skills that you need to work in this type of environment because there are challenging environments, there is no guarantee of employment, there could be uncertainty in the projects you are doing, and working from home means that you are traversing a lot of boundaries,” said Dr. Langer.“My own research looks at tactical intelligence, which is basically street smarts. You should be a problem solver.”She said that tech workers who think they might like to work from home should consider entering the gig economy. But rather than leaving their day jobs right away and jumping into a freelance or independent consultant role, she recommends that tech professionals start out by using freelance projects and gigs as a complement to their current full-time jobs.Don’t Neglect Training and Certification OpportunitiesDuring this lockdown period when many people are both telecommuting and self-isolating, tech workers should be taking the opportunity to brush up on their skills and to pick up new ones.Many experts believe this will help them in their current jobs and potentially give them new skills that might lead to new career opportunities now and in the future.“I lead a marketing group for my company and we’re a HubSpot customer,” said Aiello. “They have so many wonderful, great resources for training that are free. Some are eight-minute videos and some are full certifications that would take you 20 hours to get through it or 40 hours to get through it. How many of us have said, ‘I’d love to do that if I only had the time'? Now’s the time to do it.“The key is to continue learning new things, noted Dhawal Shah, CEO, Class Central. But Shah, whose company helps people to find and review online courses, cautions that there is no silver bullet that will allow tech professionals to future-proof their careers through any one course.“Make sure you’re able to learn new things and practice and basically keep learning new things,” he said.“Online courses offer a good opportunity to do that. There’s a wide variety of these courses and many of them are free, so you can start learning new technologies, new skills. That’s certainly the first step – start learning....These courses only offer you an entryway into a particular skill or technology....It’s always good to find practical things to do such as either your own project or read somebody else’s code so that you can get better.”Many online learnings platforms have reported an increase in demand. This demand is coming from tech professionals who are working remotely, those who have been laid off and those who need to brush up on their skills.So said Ryan Corey, co-founder and CEO, Cybrary, a cybersecurity and IT workforce development platform that offers 1,000+ hands-on experiences geared towards developing real-world skills.“The higher in-demand courses are in the beginner and intermediate certification courses, such as Security+, A+, and CEH,” said Corey.“These provide foundational knowledge to earn common certifications needed in cyber and infosec roles, so they get high interest for developing the knowledge and skills needed for a job in the industry.”Networking OpportunitiesWhile now might be an ideal time for tech pros to build up their skills through training, it’s also as good a time for them to build up their networks.Michael Goldberg — entrepreneurship professor, Case Western Reserve University — noted that people are quite reachable right now on the heels of the lockdown. So it can’t hurt for tech professionals to use some of their time to connect with other people — not just for job prospects, but also to be of benefit to others.“If workers are trying to connect with folks in their school alumni network or former colleagues, this is actually a pretty good time to reach people,” said Goldberg, who as director of the new Veale Institute for Entrepreneurship recently re-launched a massive open online course (MOOC) about surviving the coronavirus as a small businessperson.There’s also the chance for tech workers to use their skills in ways that they may not have prior to the coronavirus pandemic situation.“There are a lot of companies or entrepreneurs or small businesses that had to quickly adapt or go online,” said Goldberg. “In my profession, you have a lot of educators. For the first time, they’ve had to put something online. There’s probably some nice opportunities [for IT workers]."What Now?Tech professionals with the right mix of skills and training will be able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. What they shouldn't be doing during these uncertain times, however, is sitting still and waiting to see how things play out.Those who invest in themselves now will reap the benefits later."We're all living through the three little pigs story right now," said Aiello."The two pigs that made their house out of straws and sticks had a great time while the other pig that made its house out of bricks didn't enjoy as leisurely a life as they did. But then when the big bad wolf came, he was very thankful that he had a house made of brick. Here's your opportunity, right now, to make your house out of brick."
Airlines say massive job cuts are inevitable after bailout money dries up
11 May 2020
  • Airlines
  • Job cuts
  • New york
New York (CNN Business)US airline workers have been largely spared from the carnage that's pushed the country's unemployment to record highs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But those same workers -— roughly 750,000 pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers,mechanics and others — will soon be among the most at-risk for losing their jobs. The federal bailout for the airline industry barred layoffs, involuntaryfurloughs or pay cuts for employees. But executives have been blunt that job cuts are coming once that prohibition lifts on October 1, with estimates that up to a third of the sector's jobs could disappear.The airlines have already requested that workers take voluntary unpaid or low-paid leaves. About 100,000 workers at the four largest carriers -- American (AAL), United, Delta (DAL) and Southwest -- have done so, equal to about 26% of those companies' staffs at the end of 2019.But even with that level of voluntary leaves, $25 billion in grants and low-interest loans from the federal bailout known as the CARES Act, airlines are hemorrhaging millions of dollars a day. The first-quarter losses in the industry topped $2 billion. The second quarter will be much worse. That's largely because the federal help covers only about two-thirds of overall labor costs through September, said Philip Baggaley, the chief credit analyst for airlines at Standard & Poor's. He believes that between 20% and 30% of airline jobs could be eliminated through buyouts and early retirement offers, along with involuntary layoffs.Southwest (LUV) CEO Gary Kelly said on CNN this week that the carrier is going to do "everything that we can to preserve jobs." But he pointed out that the federal grant money goes straight to the airlines' employees, and doesn't cover all of the company's payroll between now and September 30. "We have a lot of cash today, but we burned through about almost a billion dollars in the month of April as an example," he said. "So you do the math in your head and you just can't survive that way."Deep, permanent cuts in the well-paying jobs found across the industry are inevitable come fall, even if the economy has improved by then, because it's clear that it will take years for air travel to return to previous levels. "Ultimately, we will likely see 95,000 to 105,000 jobs lost in the US airline industry," said Helane Becker, airline analyst at financial services firm Cowen, in a note.Airlines are running up huge losses now, partly because they can't furlough or cut their staffs more deeply despite their bare-bones flight schedules, even though passenger traffic has essentially fallen to zero. "Our schedule is down 90%. And we plan for it to stay at that level until we begin to see demand recover," said United President Scott Kirby. "If demand remains significantly diminished on October 1, we simply won't be able to endure this crisis as a company without implementing some of the more difficult and painful actions. These include decisions on involuntary furloughs, further reductions in hours, as well as other actions that will have an immediate impact on our people and their livelihood."United (UAL) this week told many of its nonunion workers -- the 11,500 management and administrative employees at the airline -- that it plans to cut that staff by at least 30% on October 1. It was the most detailed forecast yet on job cuts from any of the airline.The carrier also ordered those nonunion employees to take 20 unpaid days off between now and September 30. JetBlue (JBLU) has ordered its salaried staff to take 24 unpaid days during the same period. Both airlines say those days off amount to reduced hours, which are allowed under the CARES Act, not involuntary job cuts.But the unions that fought with management to get the CARES Act passed have objected to some of the airlines' cost-cutting moves. The Machinists union, which represents 27,000 ground workers at United, including baggage handlers and customer service staff, filed a federal lawsuit this week to block United from cutting its members' hours by 10 hours a week.United backed off and made the cut of hours voluntary instead of mandatory, although it said it might still institute mandatory cuts if there aren't enough volunteers. The companyinsists the reduced hours is allowed under the CARES Act and its labor contracts.Even if there were no prohibition on layoffs, the airlines wouldn't cut employment as deeply as they have slashed their schedules, said S&P's Baggaley. "They wouldn't be able to cut to those levels and have a viable airline coming out the other side," he said.
More than a quarter of workers faced job losses or underemployment in April
09 May 2020
  • Workers
  • Unemployment
  • April
The U.S. economy is in trouble, and today’s staggering unemployment numbers only tell part of the story. More than 27 million people stopped working between March and April, but over a third of them are not included in the official unemployment rate of 14.7 percent. Millions have been pushed into part-time hours, or want a job but aren’t currently looking for one. Taking these people into account, 26.4 percent of American workers are employed below their capacity.The official unemployment rate only looks at the labor force: People who are currently working, who have been “temporarily” laid off but expect to be recalled to their jobs or who are actively seeking work. In ordinary times, this calculation makes sense. Retired people or stay-at-home parents shouldn’t count among America’s unemployed.But these are not ordinary times. During the pandemic, many people have stopped looking for work. They may not feel safe working, or they are discouraged by the lack of jobs available during stay-at-home orders. 9.5 million Americans who worked in March exited the labor force in May, according to this month’s job report. That’s twice the number that went from employed to out of the labor force in January.Most people who leave the labor force want to return to work at some point. The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects information about people who are not in the labor force but want a job. That group jumped by 4.4 million between the March and April jobs report. If you added these Americans to the official unemployment rate, you’d get a new rate as high as 19.8 percent.But for millions of workers, keeping their job didn’t mean avoiding hardship. The number of people working part-time nearly doubled, from 5.8 million in the March report to 10.7 million in the April report. Every month some workers choose to go part-time, but this trend was driven by those who had their hours cut by their employer or were unable to find a full-time job.Working hours dropped more in some industries than others. Manufacturing workers dropped to an average of 38.3 hours per week, down from 40.4 in March. That may seem like a small drop, but in a typical jobs report, the average hours worked changes by about six minutes from the previous month. It’s by far the largest drop in hours in manufacturing since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking average hours in 2006. The construction and wholesale trade industries also saw large drops in weekly working hours. Henry Farber, an economist at Princeton University, explained that cutting hours could save on hiring and training down the road. “Many employers are laying people off reluctantly and expecting to bring them back,” Farber said. "It’s expensive to hire and train new workers, and the best way to stay attached to your workers is cut hours but keep them on the payroll.”On the other hand, the cost of health insurance may push employers to cut jobs, rather than hours. “The fact that we tie health insurance to work complicates the labor market in all kinds of ways,” Farber said. So if you take the official unemployment figure, add in people who want a job but are not looking for one, and then include everyone who has been pushed into part-time work, you could say that 26.4 percent of people lost work or work hours in April. More than one in four workers has been hit by the coronavirus fallout. Even these measures don’t capture the breadth of economic pain. There are millions more Americans who don’t earn paychecks on their own — like stay-at-home parents — but are just as affected by losses in household income. An entire generation of new workers has seen their education disrupted. There is still a long way to go before the economy recovers. While many states are starting to reopen, the number of daily deaths from the virus has not dropped off yet. April is the first jobs report to truly capture the scope of the economic crisis, but it is just the first of many. Kevin Uhrmacher and Tim Meko contributed to this report.
How many jobs will come back after the COVID-19 pandemic ends?
09 May 2020
  • Donald Trump
  • Unemployment
  • Rejoining
When the monthly jobs report came out on Friday, President Donald Trump brushed aside the staggering statistics — 14.7% unemployment, more than 20 million jobs lost in April — saying, “those jobs will all be back, and they’ll be back very soon.”  Many workers believe that, too — at least the part about getting their jobs back at some point. Of those who lost jobs last month, 78% reported they were temporarily laid off.  That was “the one point of light” in an otherwise “grim, shockingly bad” report from the Labor Department, said Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute and former chief economist at the Labor Department. “If people are on furlough that’s better for them because then they don’t suffer the real economic trauma of losing a job,” she said. “When the lockdown is over, they’ll be able to get right back to work. That’s good for the business, it’s good for the worker, good for the economy.” But a paper out this week from the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago estimates that many of the layoffs people expect to be temporary will actually become permanent. “Our best guess is something like 60% of the employment reduction is going to be temporary, and 40% is going to be permanent,” said Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University and one of the co-authors of the paper. “Looking through history at previous recessions, often these temporary layoffs unfortunately turn out to be permanent.” Already, there is evidence of that happening. MGM Resorts told employees in a letter this week that some of those who are currently furloughed may ultimately be laid off, if business doesn’t bounce back by the end of August. Other big companies, like Nordstrom, J. Crew and Neiman Marcus that initially furloughed employees are now starting to close some of their locations or file for bankruptcy, which will likely lead to more permanent layoffs. In the wake of other disasters, FEMA has found that around 40% of small businesses never reopen.  “Horribly, unfortunately, if things don’t recover rapidly, I’m sure we’re going to see a wave of firms converting temporary to permanent job reductions,” Bloom said. “Part of the dynamic is, no company wants to be the first to announce this. But what’s a trickle turns into a roar of bad news.” With every passing week, the risk that furloughs and temporary layoffs will become permanent increases. “Looking at the historical data, temporary layoffs tend to be quite short in duration,” said Ryan Nunn, policy director for the Hamilton Project and a fellow at the Brookings Institution. “A little more than half of them last four weeks or less.” Already, shelter-in-place orders have extended well beyond four weeks in much of the U.S. Many cities and states are getting close to the two-month mark, and have not yet laid out timetables for reopening — not what most businesses expected when the pandemic first began.  “If you were an employer and you told your workers you were just furloughing them for a while, and were going to hire them back, it would have been totally understandable two months ago. Now we’re seeing that this is just a much more cataclysmic thing that we’re going through than people were initially kind of able to comprehend,” Shierholz said. “I do think there’s probably a lot of businesses out there that expected that exact scenario, and then when it comes down to it, they’re actually going to have to instead declare bankruptcy.” Given the continuing uncertainty and widespread economic disruption, Bloom and his co-authors estimate some 13 million jobs have already been lost for good, if not yet on paper. “I think that’s a key message to understand the outlook for the economy, and for the policy responses to the pandemic,” said Steven Davis, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and one of the paper’s co-authors. “Policies to date have been predicated mostly on the presumption that all the jobs, or most of them, would come back. Many of them will … but there will be millions and millions of jobs that are lost and won’t come back. So we need to face up to that fact.” For every 10 jobs being lost because of the pandemic, there are three being created, though many, at companies like Walmart, Amazon, CVS and Domino’s, do not look like the jobs being lost. Going forward, there will likely be even more of a reallocation of jobs because of the pandemic, both on a short-term basis and on a longer-term basis, according to Bloom.  “The COVID recession does not look like a normal recession,” he said. “It’s part natural disaster and it’s part war. So the other good analogy is Pearl Harbor, whereby a horrible event happens and the economy has to rapidly shift focus. In that case, to making tanks and guns and arming for a war. In our case, it’s for shrinking down services that the pandemic has made unsuitable in the short run, like a lot of leisure and tourism and travel, and expanding cleaning, home delivery, health care.” Just two months into the pandemic, nearly 70% of Americans are now unemployed or afraid they will lose their job in the coming year, according to the most recent Marketplace-Edison Research Poll. Almost a quarter are not at all confident they would find a new job within six months. Confidence is even lower among those without a bachelor’s degree, and those making less than $50,000 a year. With the unemployment rate currently higher than it has been since the Great Depression, that is likely a realistic outlook.  “We should brace ourselves for a very long return path to the kind of unemployment rates that we had grown accustomed to as recently as January and February,” Davis said. “We were in a great place before the pandemic hit. Unfortunately, we’re not going to get back there quickly.” There is also this: the real unemployment rate in the U.S. is likely closer to 20% than the 14.7% reported Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s because millions of people who should have been classified as temporarily unemployed reported that they were employed but absent from work, meaning they were not factored into the unemployment rate, according to the BLS. The speed of the recovery will hinge largely on whether government stimulus is enough to keep businesses and unemployed workers afloat, and what happens as cities and states start to reopen.  “We’ll learn a lot in the next few weeks as many parts of the country begin to at least selectively roll back some of the lockdown provisions,” Davis said. “If things go well and we keep the pandemic under control in those areas, then we can gradually reopen much of the economy. But if every time we relax the restrictions we see a high incidence of major outbreaks, then we’re going to be in this kind of world we’re living in now for a long time.”
No job, no home, no savings. Young people may never recover from coronavirus
09 May 2020
  • no job
  • No Home
  • Young People
While young people are considered less physically at risk from coronavirus, they are some of the most vulnerable to its financial aftershocks.  Unlike older generations, many lack the safety net of savings or their own home to fall back on. But they do not have to be helpless victims of the crisis. Here's why young people face big problems – and how they can help themselves.   What problems are they facing?  The most pressing issue for young people is the black hole of employment opportunities they now face. Tens of thousands of graduate jobs and internships have already been cut, with more expected to follow. The number of jobs advertised for university leavers has fallen to a quarter of the level at the start of the year, according to jobs site Adzuna.
Coronavirus fuels historic US job losses, EU wants borders kept shut
09 May 2020
  • United States
  • Job Losses
  • Coronavirus
The United States on Friday recorded its steepest job losses in history over the coronavirus pandemic as Europe, faced with rising deaths, moved to keep its borders shut for another month. Hopes have been rising that the worst of the global catastrophe, which has killed more than 270,000 people, has passed, and the United States on Friday approved a new at-home saliva test to speed up diagnosis for COVID-19. But after weeks in which half of humanity was restricted from carrying on normal life, the effects have been painfully visible, with the global economy suffering its most acute downturn in nearly a century.In the United States, 20.5 million jobs were wiped out in April -- the most ever reported -- with unemployment rising to 14.7 per cent, the highest since the Great Depression. The world's largest economy has suffered the deadliest coronavirus outbreak, with more than 77,000 fatalities and nearly 1.3 million cases. Mindful of elections in November, President Donald Trump has nonetheless vowed to reopen the country, and a growing number of state governors have already let business resume with precautions. Trump played down the unemployment numbers, saying they were expected, as the White House pointed to substantial gains Friday on global stock markets as proof that better times were ahead. "We're going to have a phenomenal year next year," Trump told reporters. "I think it's going to come back blazing." His optimism came even as the virus spread within the White House, with the press secretary of Vice President Mike Pence testing positive. Neighboring Canada also shed three million jobs, bringing its unemployment rate up to 13.1 percent, two days after the European Union forecast a massive recession in the bloc.
Why the stock market is up even with historic job losses
09 May 2020
  • Americans
  • Job Loss
  • Stock Market
A record number of Americans just lost their job, and yet stocks are moving higher. This seems paradoxical given the economic toll — to say nothing of the emotional toll — on millions of people across the country without a job.While some say this is further indication that the stock market has become decoupled from reality, others say there are clear reasons why stocks have rebounded, and can continue to move higher.For one, the jobs data in and of itself is backward-looking. The April figures — which saw a record 20.5 million Americans lose their job — is from the height of the crisis. Since then, economies have begun to reopen. There is still a long way to go, of course, but the market is discounting what’s going to happen six months from now, when most states will be getting back to business.The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite all opened higher on Friday, with the Dow surging more than 300 points. Since the March 23 low, all three averages have bounced more than 30%. Worst over?While the debate among health experts about how and when economies should reopen is ongoing, some states have already started easing shelter-in-place measures. A number of states including Florida began phase one reopenings on Monday. California became the latest state to lift some of its precautionary measures, with certain low-risk retailers allowed to open beginning Friday.“The market knows that the job losses are self-inflicted due to the widespread shutdowns,” Bleakley Advisory Group chief investment officer Peter Boockvar told CNBC. “Thus, now that we are beginning the reopening process the market assumes many of these people will hopefully get hired back over the coming months and quarters.”Additionally, 78% of those who lost their job in April said they were furloughed, meaning the unemployment in theory will be temporary. Goldman strategist Jan Hatzius said this is an important distinction to make, given that it suggests the recovery will be swifter. “If job losses are concentrated in this segment [furlough], it would increase the scope for a more rapid labor market recovery when the economy eventually rebounds (because employees can be recalled to their previous jobs, as in several past recessions),” he wrote in a note to clients ahead of the report.Pockets of strength?At first the market sell-off was broad in nature as the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus sent the major averages tumbling into a bear market at the fastest pace on record.But since then, the divide between the winners and losers widened. Unsurprisingly stocks most exposed to the coronavirus threat — including hotels and airlines — have continued to trade lower. But other names are showing strength. On Thursday the Nasdaq went positive for the year, as names like Netflix and Amazon surged to all-time highs.“Large companies have fallen much less than smaller companies. It is likely that as a result of this crisis the strong will get stronger ... and so the stock market is reflecting that in its relative valuation,” Peter Orszag, Financial Advisory CEO at Lazard and former OMB director under Obama, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”“The US consumer has proven to be the economic engine over the last decade, and investors who are buying heavily into this market believe that behavioral changes are unlikely to create a dislocation in demand longer than a couple of quarters,” added Shannon Saccocia, chief investment officer at Boston Private Wealth.That said, Saccocia said a more cautious tone is warranted, since she believes it’s a “misconception” that demand for consumer services will return quickly once government edicts lift.Ongoing stimulus?As the coronavirus wreaked havoc on markets, governments and central banks around the world stepped in in an effort to prop up prices.In March, President Donald Trump signed into law a record $2 trillion federal stimulus package known as the CARES Act, while the Federal Reserve announced that it would engage in unlimited asset purchases.“While the collapse in economic activity is historic, so too is the global policy response to cushion the impact and support a recovery as containment measures are relaxed,” JPMorgan strategist Marko Kolanovic said in a recent note to clients.“We estimate the impact of Fed easing in both rates and credit more than compensate for the temporary hit to corporate earnings when valuing the US market via discounted earnings,” he added.Zero rates?As part of its stimulus measures, the Federal Reserve in March slashed interest rates to near zero. At the central bank’s most recent meeting at the end of April, it pledged to keep rates at historic lows until the economy recovers. This supports economic activity since it makes borrowing money cheaper.“Interest rates are going to be extremely low -- barely positive -- for a very long period of time, so that does provide some support to equity prices,” noted Orszag.Looking forwardAmid the ongoing uncertainty, Kate Moore, head of thematic strategy for BlackRock’s Global Allocation Team, said it’s important for investors to look beyond the noise and determine who the winners on the other side will be. She believes the market is moving higher due to three reasons: the slowing rate of infection, the gradual reopening of states’ economies, and the improving relations between the U.S. and China.“We need to continue to get government and policy support in order for the market to move forward, and for us to not just be reacting to some slightly incremental better newsflow, but to something that’s more fundamentally driven,” she said.While many unknowns remain and the path forward is far from certain, famed investors are quick to note that the U.S. has bounced back before.“Nothing can basically stop America,” said Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, at the conglomerate’s first virtual shareholder’s meeting on Saturday. “The American miracle, the American magic has always prevailed and it will do so again.”- CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.
Coronavirus inflicts worst U.S. job losses since Great Depression; Pence spokeswoman infected
09 May 2020
  • Job Loss
  • usa
  • Coronavirus
Despite Trump's comments, the two cases in quick succession heightened fears of contagion for the president and vice president, who are leading the U.S. response to the pandemic, and who have both resumed travel and business schedules even as the U.S. death toll from the virus has topped 75,000.White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday sought to defend administration efforts to protect Trump and Pence, pointing to new measures taken by the White House including contact tracing and putting in place all guidelines recommended for essential workers."We've taken every single precaution to protect the president," McEnany insisted to reporters at a White House briefing. She also noted regular cleanings and adherence to distancing guidelines of six feet between individuals that are not always followed at crowded White House events."We've done every single thing that Dr. (Deborah) Birx and Dr. (Anthony) Fauci have asked us to do," she added, referring to highly respected physicians on the White House coronavirus task force.West Wing staffers around Trump and Pence have not been wearing masks regularly.Earlier on Friday, Trump was asked in a Fox News interview whether those who serve him food would now cover their faces. "They've already started," he said.The White House has also instituted daily, as opposed to weekly, coronavirus tests of Trump and Pence. Both men tested negative for the virus and were feeling well after the valet, a military service member who works as a White House assistant – came down with the virus.Trump told Fox News he has not yet been tested for antibodies to the coronavirus but probably would be soon. Such a test could confirm previous exposure.Amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown, the restaurant sector is one of the worst-hit. Over two million (20 lakh) people directly employed in the sector may be rendered jobless, according to the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) that represents over 500,000 restaurants across the country. Read more at: https://yourstory.com/2020/05/restaurant-industry-job-loss-coronavirusU.S. Vice President Mike Pence's press secretary, the wife of one of President Donald Trump's senior advisers, has tested positive for the coronavirus, raising alarm about the virus' potential spread within the White House's innermost circle.The diagnosis of Katie Miller, who is married to White House immigration adviser and speech writer Stephen Miller, was revealed by Trump in a meeting with Republican lawmakers on Friday, a day after news that Trump's personal valet had tested positive for the virus."Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of a sudden today she tested positive," Trump said, noting he himself had not been in contact with her but that she had spent time with the vice president. "I understand Mike has been tested... and he tested negative."Despite Trump's comments, the two cases in quick succession heightened fears of contagion for the president and vice president, who are leading the U.S. response to the pandemic, and who have both resumed travel and business schedules even as the U.S. death toll from the virus has topped 75,000.White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday sought to defend administration efforts to protect Trump and Pence, pointing to new measures taken by the White House including contact tracing and putting in place all guidelines recommended for essential workers."We've taken every single precaution to protect the president," McEnany insisted to reporters at a White House briefing. She also noted regular cleanings and adherence to distancing guidelines of six feet between individuals that are not always followed at crowded White House events."We've done every single thing that Dr. (Deborah) Birx and Dr. (Anthony) Fauci have asked us to do," she added, referring to highly respected physicians on the White House coronavirus task force.West Wing staffers around Trump and Pence have not been wearing masks regularly.Earlier on Friday, Trump was asked in a Fox News interview whether those who serve him food would now cover their faces. "They've already started," he said.The White House has also instituted daily, as opposed to weekly, coronavirus tests of Trump and Pence. Both men tested negative for the virus and were feeling well after the valet, a military service member who works as a White House assistant – came down with the virus.Trump told Fox News he has not yet been tested for antibodies to the coronavirus but probably would be soon. Such a test could confirm previous exposure.Trump and Pence maintain busy public schedules. The vice president, who has led the coronavirus task force, flew to Iowa on Friday to meet with faith leaders about holding "responsible" gatherings and to discuss the food supply at Midwestern grocery chain Hy-Vee Inc's headquarters.News of the positive test for Pence's aide prompted staff to deplane Air Force 2 on Friday morning and briefly delayed the takeoff."We went back and looked into all the person's contacts most recently," a senior official told reporters, according to a pool report. Six individuals who may have been in contact with the infected aide were removed from the flight and later tested negative. Two of the individuals were members of Pence's press office.Trump on Friday attended a public event at the World War Two memorial with elderly veterans where neither Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, the veterans nor military officials seen at the ceremony wore masks.Trump later met face-to-face with Republican members of Congress at the White House where no face masks appeared to be worn. The lawmakers were tested for the virus before the meeting.Unemployment worst since Great DepressionThe coronavirus pandemic triggered the steepest monthly loss of U.S. jobs since the Great Depression, the Labor Department reported on Friday.The unemployment rose 14.7 percent last month, up from 3.5  in February and demonstrating the speed with which the economy collapsed after stay-at-home orders meant to curb the outbreak were imposed across most of the country.White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett said the unemployment rate was likely to climb to around 20 percent this month. The jobless rate for April already shattered the post-World War Two record of 10.8 percent set in November 1982.Just as the pathogen itself has hit black and Hispanic Americans especially hard – they are overrepresented in the U.S. death toll relative to their population size – minorities also have suffered greater job losses during the crisis.The April unemployment rate was 14.2 percent for white Americans, but the rate reached 16.7 percent among African Americans and 18.9 percent among Hispanic Americans, the data showed.Overall, the Labor Department reported a loss of 20.5 million jobs in April, a level not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. On Thursday, the government said that 33.5 million workers had filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits during the past seven weeks.
Government’s Skill Registry app for job seekers
09 May 2020
  • Government
  • Job Loss
  • Opportunities
Alappuzha: If you have recently lost your job or has been laid off, there is an app that will help you to search a new job. If you are ready, there are many opportunities. The skill registry mobile app by the government has now gained popularity in times of coronavirus pandemic.Skill RegistryThe mobile app ‘Skill Registry’ was developed by Kerala Academy for Skill Excellence (KASE) in cooperation with Industrial training department, Kudumbashree, Panchayat department and Employment department.The application provides an opportunity for skilled workers to find day to day jobs and make them capable of finding their daily work themselves. Skilled workers who are not certified or professionally trained will also be considered on producing a declaration certified by the Panchayat.The app acts as a platform for the customers to find labourers for their day-to-day household and industrial job requirements. Electricians, plumbers, carpenters etc, any field will be applicable here....... Read more at: https://english.mathrubhumi.com/education/careers/government-s-skill-registry-app-for-job-seekers-1.4747919carpenters etc, any field will be applicable here.The customers can select labourers based on their qualification, expertise and wage. It also provides labourers for hire on hourly basis for emergency services.Types of jobs Major Services in 37 service sectors are provided. Electronic appliances service and repair, electrician, plumber, carpenter, painter, coconut climber, day care-babysitting, driver with vehicle and without vehicle, 2/3/4 wheeler repair, agricultural work, catering , civil draughtsman, cooking, gas stove repair, interior designing, wood cutter, welding, truss work, tailor, gardening and landscaping, geriatric care-in houses/hospitals, grass cutting, home cleaning, housekeeping, maid, laundry and ironing, masonry-small construction work/renovation, compost pit/ring work, mobile beauty parlor services at houses, health checkup at houses etc are the jobs and services available on the app platform.How to RegisterThe Skill Registry app can be downloaded from Goggle Play store. Providing basic details, one can register as job seeker or provider.Job seekers have to upload documents like ID card, course certificates of training (if any) etc. Those who are have not attended courses, then a declaration of local self-government ward member or councilor has to be submitted, said Alappuzha district nodal officer of the app K N Vinod.For more details, one can contact government ITIs and employment exchanges.
No 'V'-shape return from devastating US job loss, Fed policymakers say
09 May 2020
  • san francisco
  • economy
  • usa
SAN FRANCISCO: As many parts of the world’s biggest economy begin to reopen after weeks of stay-at-home orders that slowed the spread of the coronavirus but gutted jobs, Americans should not expect a quick return to growth, US Federal Reserve officials said on Friday. “A couple months ago I was optimistic, I was hopeful, that maybe we would have a ‘V’-shaped recovery - shut things down, clamp down on the virus, and then have a quick recovery,” Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said in an interview on the PBS Newshour. The virus has continued to spread across the nation, with nearly 1.3 million people infected so far and more than 77,000 dead. With a vaccine and effective treatment unlikely for a year or two, “we are in for unfortunately a slow, long recovery” from “devastating” job losses, Kashkari said. The US economy shed a record 20.5 million jobs in April due to the lockdowns imposed by states and local governments to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, a Labor Department report showed Friday. Interviewed by Fox News on Friday, US President Donald Trump said that the jobs will be back. “They’ll be back very soon, and next year we are going to have a phenomenal year,” he said. That’s not the dominant view at the Fed, which has slashed interest rates to zero, bought trillions of dollars of bonds and extended credit to local governments and businesses in an effort to prevent financial markets from imploding and keep the economy from even worse devastation. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, who appeared on CNN an hour later, said the Fed’s unprecedented actions, along with nearly $3 trillion committed by the US Congress for rescue efforts, should help. “What I’m hoping in the baseline is we can come back safely, we listen to public health officials, we take it slow but gradual...if we do those things and we reenter safely, then I expect us to have positive growth in 2021,” Daly said. Asked if it could take 10 or 12 years to repair the job market, as it did after the 2007-2009 financial crisis, she said, “I’m working night and day to ensure that doesn’t happen.” But the economy can’t rev up too quickly, not as long as the virus is still loose, she said. “When the coronavirus is behind us, we can reengage fully,” Daly said, noting. “It won’t be quick; in my opinion, it won’t be ‘V’-shaped, it will be gradual.”
April jobs data to show a record-shattering loss of jobs in US: Report
09 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • April
  • Job Loss
The economic catastrophe caused by the viral outbreak likely sent the US unemployment rate in April to its highest level since the Great Depression and caused a record-shattering loss of jobs. With the economy paralyzed by business closures, the unemployment rate likely jumped to at least 16 per cent from just 4.4 per cent in March and employers cut a stunning 21 million or more jobs in April, economists have forecast, according to data provider FactSet. If so, it would mean that nearly all the job growth in the 11 years since the Great Recession had vanished in a single month. Yet even those breathtaking figures won't fully capture the magnitude of the damage the coronavirus has inflicted on the job market. Many people still employed have had their hours reduced. Others have suffered pay cuts. Some who've lost jobs won't have been able to look for work amid widespread shutdowns and won't even be counted as unemployed. A broader measure the proportion of adults with jobs could plunge to a record low.   ALSO READ: Trump urged to suspend H1B, other visas after 26 mn Americans lose jobs What we're talking about here is pretty stunning, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton. The shock is unique because the cause is unique. It's such a different animal from anything that we've ever seen. The government will issue the April jobs report on Friday morning. On Thursday, it will release the latest weekly report on applications for unemployment benefits. It will likely show that about 3.5 million people sought jobless aid last week. That would bring the total number of layoffs to nearly 34 million since the shutdowns began seven weeks ago. That figure is much larger than the expected April job loss because the two are measured differently: The government calculates job losses by surveying businesses and households. It's a net figure that also counts the hiring that some companies, like Amazon and many grocery stores, have done despite the widespread layoffs. By contrast, the total jobless claims is a cumulative figure that includes aid applications that began in March. Still, the job loss for April may be much larger than expected, with most economists acknowledging that their usual models might not work as well in a collapsing job market. Swonk notes that several million unauthorized immigrants who weren't able to file for unemployment benefits were nevertheless probably laid off last month. Those jobs losses would be counted, though, in the government's surveys. Swonk estimates that April's job loss could total as high as 34 million. Companies are still cutting jobs in the midst of a severe downturn, with the economy possibly shrinking at an unheard-of 40 per cent annual rate in the April-June quarter. GE Aviation said it is cutting up to 13,000 jobs. Uber will shed 3,700 positions. Amy Egert, a dental hygienist in Severn, Maryland, was laid off in mid-March. She was told she could return a month later, but she's still waiting and it's unclear when she will able to go back. She monitors Maryland statistics on coronavirus cases in hopes that the figures will show enough of a downward trend for her to work again. "As I watch the numbers, it's like OK, are we going to make it back by the end of May?" Egert asked. Is it going to be the first of June? Is it going to be mid-June? She is receiving the extra $600 in unemployment included in the government's relief package but still wants to return. "I've got diabetics out there that haven't had their teeth cleaned, Egert said. They come every four months, and I'm thinking they're going to be a mess." Even as the unemployment rate reaches dizzying heights, it will likely be held down by several factors. The Labor Department counts people as unemployed only if they're actively searching for work. Yet many laid-off workers may be discouraged from looking for a new job given that so many non-essential businesses are closed. Others may stay home to protect their health. Still others may feel they have to stay with children who are home from school. In addition, some workers on temporary layoff might be incorrectly classified as what the government calls employed, but absent from work. This can happen if employees assume they will return to their jobs once their employer reopens. In March, the Labor Department said that such misclassification by its survey takers who have never before dealt with pandemic-related shutdowns lowered the unemployment rate by a full percentage point.
Lost your job? Hyundai to pay your car loan EMI
09 May 2020
  • Hyundai
  • Covid-19
  • Finance
Hyundai is all set to re-open dealership operations under strict adherence of government directions in COVID-19 affected areas. It recently also announced five customer-centric car finance schemes Key Highlights Hyundai Assurance Program is offered on select Hyundai car models purchased during the month of May 2020 Hyundai is all set to re-open dealership operations under strict adherence of government directions in COVID-19 affected areas The program covers the customers under uncertainties such as employment loss in view of poor financial health New Delhi: The COVID-19 crisis has led to many people losing their jobs or witnessing salary cuts. Because of this, people have been struggling financially and are not able to pay their loan EMIs. In order to help out such customer, Hyundai Motor recently announced five customer-centric car finance schemes during these challenging and uncertain times. The carmaker announced ‘Hyundai EMI Assurance’ program for select new Hyundai customers. Under this scheme, Hyundai will cover up to three-car loan EMIs of customers. As per the company, the program covers the customers under uncertainties such as employment loss in view of poor financial health/Acquisition/ Merger of the company or due to any applicable laws. The Hyundai Assurance Program is offered on select Hyundai car models purchased during the month of May 2020 and covers the customer for a period of one year from date of sale of the car (excluding first 3 months). Note that Hyundai is all set to re-open dealership operations under strict adherence of government directions in COVID-19 affected areas.  Announcing the Hyundai EMI Assurance Program, Tarun Garg, Director – Sales, Marketing and Service said, “Hyundai is a Progressive, Innovative and Caring brand. We understand customer aspirations of buying a vehicle and to ease the vehicle acquisition in uncertain times, we have brought the unique and industry-first Hyundai EMI Assurance Program. We are sure, the Hyundai EMI Assurance Program will give new Hyundai owners working in private organisations full peace of mind during these times and create positive and confident sentiments for Hyundai car purchase.” 5 customer-centric car finance schemes for Hyundai customers: 1. 3 Months Low EMI Scheme: Customers can opt for Low EMIs for the first 3 months and the balance amount in remaining equal EMIs for 3 Year, 4 Year & 5 Year loan tenures. This scheme is valid for all Hyundai models. 2. Step-up Scheme: With this scheme, customers need to pay low EMI of Rs 1,234/lac for the first year for a 7 year tenure loan. From the 2nd year onwards; the EMI would increase by 11% every year till the end of the loan tenure. This scheme is valid for all Hyundai models. 3 Balloon Scheme: Customers who want to spend less in current times but are confident of paying a higher amount later can opt for this scheme. Here customer would need to pay a lower EMI (14 % Lower than normal EMI) from 1st to 59th Month and the Last EMI will be 25% of Loan repayment. This scheme too is valid for all Hyundai models. 4.Longest Duration Scheme: Customers who want to pay the smallest amount monthly EMIs to ease up the repayment of loan amount throughout the loan tenure, can opt for up to 8 years of loan repayment duration. This scheme is valid for select Hyundai models. 5.Low Down Payment Scheme: With the minimum possible down payment, customers can opt up to 100% On-road funding from financers under this scheme. This scheme is valid for select Hyundai Models.
Uber, Lyft and Airbnb cut thousands of jobs as pandemic batters Silicon Valley
09 May 2020
  • silicon valley
  • Covid-19
  • pandemic
The economic fallout from the coronavirus has come to Silicon Valley, with major tech firms announcing layoffs in recent weeks. On Wednesday, Uber became the latest company to announce cuts, revealing in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will lay off 3,700 workers – roughly 14% of its global workforce. Uber cited the pandemic in its filing, saying Covid-19 had affected its entire business, including financial performance, investments in new products, ability to attract drivers, and corporate strategy. Uber’s announcement came after several other tech companies said they were making cuts amid the crisis. Uber’s biggest rival, Lyft, announced last week it would lay off 982 members of its staff and furlough another 288. Airbnb announced this week it would lay off 1,900 people – roughly 25% of its staff. The vaping company Juul announced in April it would lay off 800 members of its staff and move its headquarters to Washington DC. Yelp announced last month it would lay off 1,000 employees and furlough 1,100 more. WeWork announced in March it would lay off 250 employees and is expected to cut more jobs by the end of May. Big tech companies are not the only members of the industry affected. About 375 startups have laid off more than 42,000 employees since 11 March, according to a layoff tracking site. Yet not all tech firms are suffering in equal measure. In the first three months of 2020, Amazon made more than $33m per hour, according to its earnings report last week, boosted by a surge in ordering from customers locked down at home. The delivery startup Instacart had to hire 300,000 workers in less than a month as more people began to order groceries online. The online video conference tool Zoom, which was valued at $36 per share when it went public in 2019, is now valued at $150 per share and its user base recently surpassed 300 million. But with closed borders, travel bans, and stay-at-home orders around the world, travel-related tech companies are disproportionately affected, said Carl Uminski, a tech industry analyst and co-founder of the digital consultancy Somo.“It’s well understood now that the impact Covid-19 has had on the entire travel industry is absolutely colossal,” he said. “Not only has the industry stopped, it will never be exactly the same again and nobody knows exactly what it is going to look like.” Uber is attempting to make more cost-cutting measures. Dara Khosrowshahi, its chief executive, said he would forgo his own salary for the rest of the year and the company would re-evaluate investments in new products. It will also permanently close 180, or 40%, of its driver resource centers around the world.
Hardest-hit industries: Nearly half the leisure and hospitality jobs were lost in April
09 May 2020
  • Hopitality Loss
  • Jon Loss
  • April
Key PointsA torrent of layoffs in the leisure and hospitality industry led the U.S. economy to its worst month of job losses in modern history.The leisure and hospitality industry lost 7.7 million jobs, or 47% of total positions.The vast majority of the industry’s layoffs were in food service, where the government said 5.5 million chefs, waiters and cashiers lost jobs.Health care also saw steep job losses (1.4 million) thanks to a contraction in revenue at hospitals and clinics, the result of fewer elective and routine procedures.A torrent of layoffs in the leisure and hospitality industry led the U.S. economy to its worst month of job losses in modern history.The industry, which includes waiters, bellhops, bartenders and casino employees, suffered by far the largest losses in April as the coronavirus and efforts to contain its spread kept Americans homebound.The leisure and hospitality industry lost 7.7 million jobs, or 47% of total positions.The vast majority of the industry’s layoffs were in food service, where the government said nearly 5.5 million chefs, waiters, cashiers and other restaurant staff lost employment. Casinos and amusement parks also cut more than 1 million workers last month as Americans refrained from travel and shored up finances amid the ongoing U.S. pullback.The Cheesecake Factory, for example, furloughed 41,000 hourly workers at the end of March. The struggling restaurant chain saw its March same-store sales decline 46% as dining room closures tanked its business. The company is forecasting that 15% of its dining rooms will reopen by the end of May.The job losses at The Cheesecake Factory would be reflected in the April jobs report instead of the March print because of the way the government surveys businesses and households.The health-care and education sector also saw some of April’s steepest job cuts with a loss of 2.5 million. Health care comprised the majority of that decline as a contraction in revenue, the result of fewer elective and routine procedures forced hospitals and clinics to cut 1.4 million employees. Dental offices, which are categorized under the broader health-care subsector, cut more than 500,000 payrolls.“The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. Employment fell sharply in all major industry sectors, with particularly heavy job losses in leisure and hospitality,” the Labor Department said in a release.“In health care, employment declined by 1.4 million, led by losses in offices of dentists (-503,000), offices of physicians (-243,000), and offices of other health care practitioners (-205,000). Employment also declined in social assistance (-651,000), reflecting job losses in child day care services (-336,000) and individual and family services (-241,000),” the government said.The professional and business services sector, which includes lawyers, accountants, engineers and temporary workers (such as laborers, office clerks and packagers) lost 2.1 million jobs. Temporary help workers, typically contracted on a per diem or per-project basis, comprised nearly 1 million of that industry’s losses.The industry figures came as part of the Labor Department’s April 2020 jobs report, which showed that payrolls plunged by 20.5 million last month while the unemployment rate rocketed to 14.7%, record levels in the post-World War II era.Those numbers are dire reminders of the millions of Americans who’ve lost their jobs in recent weeks thanks to the coronavirus and government strategies to stop Covid-19.State governments across the country ordered the majority of businesses closed to slow the spread of Covid-19. State governors in New York, California and New Jersey all ordered a wide swath of their commerce closed, shuttering firms including bookstores, dine-in restaurants and florists.But such efforts to stanch the spread of the disease, which has killed more than 75,000 Americans and infected more than 1.2 million in the U.S., has forced thousands of managers to lay off employees to offset the abrupt halt to sales. 
Job cuts, zero production activity due to lockdown: What the Centre must do now
09 May 2020
  • Job cuts
  • No Production
  • lockdown
There is a lot of uncertainty with regards to the course of the lockdown. Hence, there is a call from all quarters to come up with a stimulus. Examples of relief measures from other countries are being cited. While the Indian government has already announced a relief programme of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the first quarter, and RBI has followed up with a monetary stimulus of 3.2% of GDP since February, there are expectations of more.Let us first assay what measures other nations have instituted. The US has a $2.2 trillion fiscal stimulus, which includes, giving as much as $3,000 to millions of families. EU’s total fiscal response to the epidemic is €3.2 trillion, of which, €100 billion will go towards subsidising wages so that firms can cut working hours and not jobs. The European Investment Bank will utilise €200 billion to lend to companies. Germany has a €750 billion package, with €100 billion for an economic stability fund that can take direct equity in companies, and another €100 billion of credit to KfW for loans to struggling businesses. It also has a stability fund of €400 billion in loan guarantees. France has made provisions for €45 billion for companies and workers, and €300 billion for guarantees of corporate loans. Spain is guaranteeing loans of corporates and individuals. The UK has put £330 billion for loan guarantees to businesses and has offered to pay 80% of wage bills for staff sent on leave, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. Japan’s package totals ¥108 trillion ($993 billion). It includes cash payouts worth more than ¥6 trillion to households and small and midsize firms.So, what could be the options for the Indian government? The first would be an extension of the Rs 1.7-lakh-crore, or 0.75% of GDP, stimulus for another quarter, which will effectively target the neediest. The government has already aggressively delivered this part of the story to the lower-income groups. And, with the lockdown expected to extend further, in different forms across the country, a second-round extension may happen.The second possibility is setting up a fresh coronavirus fund for various industries that have been impacted adversely. If industries like automobiles, textiles, aviation, hospitality, etc, are affected most acutely, the fund can be used to provide support. This would necessarily be targeted at the registered units where industry associations will play a role in the identification of firms. The fund can support either through direct lending or guarantees given for bank loans. Direct lending is not the job of the government (though nothing stops this from being done), and hence, the latter looks more feasible.The third is in the area of taxation. Following the example of Western governments that have talked about giving a fixed sum of cash to everyone, the relief programme outlined above can be supplemented with a cash payment to all taxpayers. This can be of a fixed amount, say Rs 10,000 per taxpayer. It is easy to identify and implement. There are around 5.5 crore taxpayers, as per FY19 records, and giving this sum could cost Rs 55,000 crore. This can be further segmented by the government to exclude those in the higher income groups.Fourth, the government can work on giving further concessions to the corporate sector. While cutting the tax rates for a loss-making company may not help, concessions on depreciation can be made, which will help companies. But, this will mean a drop in revenue for the government.Fifth, the government can also consider halving the GST rates to lower the prices of goods and boost demand. This can be time-bound for this year and can be rolled back to normal in FY22. It should be remembered that on account of the loss of jobs and sharp salary cuts, the ability of people to spend will get restricted. By lowering prices, real purchasing power can be increased, which in turn will help to create demand, and this may gradually help revive growth.Sixth, the government has to definitely roll back the cuts in DA and pensions that have been invoked for central government employees as it affects the income and livelihood of people. The decision not to pay these amounts is antithetical to the advice given to private companies to continue to pay their staff and desist from layoffs.Seventh, PSBs can be provided with additional capital by the government to be used specifically for lending to the affected sectors. Here, there is no revenue loss, but a capital cost, which will make banks stronger by keeping them better capitalised.Quite clearly, all this requires a substantial amount of spending and cuts in revenue. There is a high cost that has to be borne but is essential. So far, the targeting has been limited to weaker sections. The amount involved is quite reasonable at the macro-level, but very low at the micro-level given the number of people involved. The central government has to take a stance on the amount of fiscal deficit that it is willing to bear. Doubling of the fiscal deficit from Rs 8 lakh crore to Rs 16 lakh crore may not be out of place here.In the last five years or so, the government’s response to challenges, faced by sectors, has been more in terms of policy changes related to procedures or removal of administrative impediments. While this is useful, they do not directly contribute to demand, which is the requirement today. RBI has stepped in quite proactively to ensure the flow of credit to specific sectors, with SMEs, NBFCs and real estate, in particular, being the beneficiaries.The approach to be taken this time has to be fully Keynesian in nature, and there is little choice. People are losing jobs, and production activity has come to a standstill due to the lockdowns. There is enough evidence to show that all countries are aggressively doing the same. Paying attention to FRBM norms does not make much sense at this time as survival and sustenance are importance. More important, these steps should be invoked immediately, before it becomes late as lives of several are involved.
Lost your job? Consider becoming a "contact tracer"
09 May 2020
  • Job
  • Job Loss
  • Unemployement
As U.S. unemployment soars to historic levels, the hottest job of the year could be a lifesaver: contact tracing. Containing the coronavirus as the economy gradually reopens has created an urgent need for hundreds of thousands of people trained to identify infected individuals and track down anyone and everyone they could have exposed to the virus. In the absence of a federal plan, some city and state health departments are already seeking to fill thousands of these positions. Experts estimate that between 100,000 and 300,000 contact tracers — who can earn up to $65,000 per year — will be needed nationwide based on state populations and projected COVID-19 infection rates."I do think that it's a fantastic job for people who have been furloughed, and it's something that people can be trained to do," said Roger Shapiro, a professor of medicine at the Harvard School of Public Health. "It takes some training, but it's not impossible to train almost anybody with reasonable social skills, who can work off a script, begin a conversation with people, convey a few key messages and collect data," he said. Shapiro expects demand for contact tracers to jump as businesses start to reopen and Americans resume ordinary activities, which public health experts warn could cause virus infections to flare. "It's wonderful to have a growth industry right now given the state of the economy," he said.What is contact tracing? Contact tracing is a tried-and-true approach to containing infections. It is commonly used to contain sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis. Contact tracers identify infected individuals based on test results, obtained by city and state health departments. Then they contact people — initially by phone, in most cases — who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Tracers will ask them to recall the names of everyone with whom they have recently come into contact. Finally, contact tracers will warn those people of their potential exposure, advise them to self-quarantine and provide them with access to resources they might need in order to follow protocol.The containment method is most effective at disrupting transmission when an infected person's contacts are immediately notified that they have been exposed. But getting test results quickly is paramount, said Christiana Coyle, a professor at NYU School of Global Public Health and formerly a contact tracer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "If there is a three-day lag between the test and results, depending on where that person goes, hundreds of people could be exposed — versus if a person is tested and gets the results 15 minutes later, they can begin taking precautions immediately," she said. "When you don't receive results for a couple of days, the value of testing is greatly diminished if they can't be turned around quickly, for the purposes of contact tracing."Apps can help, too. Apple and Google have made tools available to public health organizations so they can develop contact tracing apps that allow coronavirus-positive individuals to record their diagnoses and use Bluetooth technology to alert other app users that they had been in close proximity. But experts stress that technology can't replace human contact tracers, who conduct lengthy interviews and perform detective-like work in hunting down the myriad and winding paths disease can take as it races through the population."Contact tracing apps may complement human contact tracing and add efficiency, but they don't replace all the things you can do training armies of contact tracers to be calling contacts and reaching out," Shapiro said. "There are so many things that go into a call like that that helps someone understand the nature of the contact and what they should do about it if they get ill."Meanwhile, a paper from the Brookings Institution argues that contact-tracing apps could threaten privacy and "serve as vehicles for abuse and disinformation, while providing a false sense of security to justify reopening local and national economies well before it is safe to do so." Do I need experience? What skills are required?Applicants for contact tracer positions don't need a background in health care, but strong interpersonal skills and empathy are musts, experts said. At least having an interest in public health also goes a long way. Call center employees often make successful "disease detectives," as contact tracers are also known."The perception that they need to be physicians or doctorate-level epidemiologists is not accurate at all. They should have an interest in public health and be comfortable with medical terminology. But essentially, if you are comfortable talking to people, answering questions and gathering information, you can do it," Coyle said.    While a layperson can be trained in public health procedures, a familiarity with one's community — in order to access contacts —and the ability to engender trust in others are also essential qualities."[Y]ou are calling from the health department, and you need to engender trust in those individuals. So understanding of confidentiality issues around collecting information they are asked for and how it will be shared — you need to be able to explain all of that," said Dr. Amanda Castel, a former epidemic intelligences service officer for the CDC and professor of epidemiology at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University."You are also calling people when they are sick, not feeling well, stressed about the impact this could have on their home life and their jobs, so it's important to be empathetic and provide reassurance to individuals as well," she added.Another desirable trait in applicants is the ability to be persuasive and convince people to self-quarantine if they could have been exposed to the virus. And while the basic task of tracing infections is relatively straightforward, the effort quickly becomes more complicated once people are asked to enter quarantine. "Then you have to consider every individual and the care they need and the wraparound services required to help them get through the isolation," said Lori Tremmel Freeman, CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials, an advocacy group that supports nearly 3,000 local health departments."A lot people in vulnerable communities don't have very many resources — they can't isolate because they need their jobs," Freeman said, "and maybe they feel threatened that their employment will end or they can't isolate because they live in multifamily house and they will infect everyone else in the house."So who's hiring?Among the initiatives to hire contact tracers now underway:In New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo last week announced that the state will hire up to 17,000 tracers as part of a reopening strategy in coordination with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Johns Hopkins University. New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has partnered with the Fund for Public Health in New York City to hire its own corps of contact tracers. Successful applicants will earn a salary of $65,000.In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has said he wants 10,000 contact tracers investigating webs of transmission throughout the state.Massachusetts recently announced plans to recruit 1,000 individuals to conduct contact tracing activities, in concert with Boston nonprofit Partners in Health. Its job description cites the need for "excellent interpersonal skills" and "the ability to interact professionally with culturally diverse individuals during a time of crisis and distress." While fluency in English is required, the ability to speak a second is also valuable, according to the job posting. The job's salary is not advertised. The Georgia Department of Public Health is also advertising openings for contact trainers, who can expect to earn up to $15 per hour for their work. Minimum qualifications include a high school diploma, excellent interpersonal skills and more. In Washington, D.C., Contrace Public Health Corps, a social enterprise, is helping local and state agencies screen and train people who want to become contact tracers (To be considered, apply here.)  Washington State Governor Jay Inslee last month said he expected roughly 1,500 contact tracers to be working in the state by mid-May. Freeman recommends that applicants check with their local and state health departments to see if they are hiring. "Local health departments have been doing contact tracing since the beginning of time and are certainly well-versed and experienced at it," she said. "But when you're talking about having to scale the response based on the threat in your community, there must be a surge in the workforce to accommodate what's going on with this disease."
‘I am worried, I don’t have job, IPL contract’: Harpreet Singh
09 May 2020
  • Covid-19
  • Financial
  • Players
Covid-19 impact on domestic circuit: Several players yet to receive their dues from BCCI, stare at financial hardship in days to come Every year after the Ranji Trophy season, Chhattisgarh skipper Harpreet Singh Bhatia would spend the summer in England playing club cricket. On return, he would turn out in a few local prize money tournaments before the next domestic season. This year however, he is sitting at his rented home in Raipur getting restless due to the Covid-19 lockdown. A one-time India under-19 World Cupper, Bhatia, 28, says it isn’t boredom that bothers him; his bigger worry is his rapidly exhausting savings and an uncertain future. With the BCCI yet to clear last season’s match fees, dues to most domestic cricketers, and substantial arrears – pertaining to players’ share from Indian cricket’s annual earnings – pending for the last three years, Bhatia, like a majority of the 950 first-class cricketers affiliated to the world’s richest board, is facing a financial crunch. While a player is entitled to close to Rs 40,000 for each day of first-class cricket they played last season, the share from the BCCI, running into lakhs, varies each year. A regular player for his state unit can expect approximately Rs 10 lakh from the BCCI pie for a year, which means Bhatia expects a cheque of Rs 30 lakh.“It doesn’t matter to those playing international cricket. But those who are dependent on only domestic cricket are certainly worried in these times. I am worried. I don’t have any IPL contract or a job. The domestic money which we earn never comes on time. We haven’t received our domestic match fees for last season till now. I’m yet to get three years’ gross money for playing domestic cricket,” Harpreet told The Indian Express. The BCCI blames the lockdown for the delayed payments with treasurer Arun Dhumal saying the process of disbursal has begun with many players starting to get their dues. “The process has started. We have released payments to players, officials and state associations. Because of the lockdown, things are slow. Our staff verifies documents of 150 players and officials daily, after which we send out instructions to release the payments. There could be a few cases where some might have not got match fees, including old dues like gross revenue share, but they will be getting it soon. If the lockdown hadn’t happened, things could have been done faster. Those who haven’t received payments will be getting it in the coming days,” Dhumal said. That would be good news for several cricketers, spread across the country, who The Indian Express spoke to. Aditya Tare (Mumbai), Tanmay Srivastava (Uttarakhand), Faiz Fazal (Vidarbha), Ishwar Pandey (Madhya Pradesh), Ishank Jaggi (Jharkhand), Upendra Yadav (Uttar Pradesh), Parvez Rasool (J&K), Arpit Vasavada (Saurashtra), Shreevats Goswami (Bengal) and Abhimanyu Singh (Baroda) confirmed that they are yet to receive match fees for the Ranji Trophy nor have they have got the complete ‘gross revenue’ payment. Some players from teams like Gujarat, Karnataka and Delhi too confirmed they are in the same boat. Like Bhatia, they said that receiving their dues will be a big help at this juncture. Bhatia also gave an insight into the income-expenditure imbalance he is juggling with these days. “Problems have started now. I used to travel to England to play minor county cricket in Yorkshire and used to earn a bit from there which used to help me, but that is not happening now. After playing for India under-19 and the Duleep Trophy, I still don’t have a job, so you can understand how tough it is to be a cricketer. Recently, I have shifted to Raipur in my rented apartment and if no cricket happens, things will become tougher. The biggest problem for a domestic player is that they don’t know when they will receive their match fees and dues. There is no consistency, no time period,” he lamented.
How to find a pandemic-proof job during the coronavirus outbreak if you’ve been laid off or furloughed
09 May 2020
  • Americans
  • Coronavirus
  • pandemic
Millions of Americans are out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic — and the possibility of a second wave of the outbreak makes finding a new job more difficultFor the millions of Americans who have lost work because of the coronavirus pandemic, finding a new job may not be an easy feat. The coronavirus pandemic has caused the U.S. economy to lose more than 20 million jobs, and some estimate that the unemployment rate in the country could actually be as high as 24%. Low-wage workers, such as those who work in restaurants or retail, have been among the hardest hit. “The industries that are most subject to these sways are lower wage jobs,” said Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank. With so many people out of work, the prospect of finding a good-paying job isn’t straightforward. “It’s not like the safer, more recession-proof jobs pay less,” Gould said. “They’re already the jobs that were in higher demand before all of this happened.” Workers in states that are reopening sectors of their economy are having success finding jobs again, and some estimate that the U.S. has regained as many as 5 million jobs it had lost. ‘It’s not like the safer, more recession proof jobs pay less. They’re already the jobs that were in higher demand before all of this happened.’ — Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute Whether those jobs are here to stay though may depend on whether the U.S. ends up seeing a second wave of COVID-19 cases. Some have suggested that returning to work could lead to more people contracting the virus and spreading it to others. If that happens, and workers lose their jobs again, they may be at the mercy of lawmakers in terms of receiving extended unemployment benefits. And regardless the scenario, some Americans who are at a higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19 might rightfully be worried about getting a new job that could put them at risk of contracting it. Here are the tips for employment experts on how to approach finding a new job in the midst of a pandemic: Find out who is hiring — some companies are still taking on new workers While millions of people are out of work because of the coronavirus, that doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs out there. In fact some companies such as Amazon AMZN, +0.50% and Walmart WMT, +0.86%, have been ramping up hiring to meet new demand created by the pandemic. “I’m encouraging people to look in industries that haven’t been hard hit, but also industries that are thriving,” said Abby Kohut, a recruiting consultant based in New York. Think pharmaceutical and biomedical companies researching vaccines or treatments like Gilead GILD, -0.15%, the maker of remdivisir. Or communication technology companies like Zoom ZM, -1.52% that have boomed in popularity. There’s even been hiring growth in the bidet industry, as consumers look for alternatives to toilet paper, said EB Sanders, a career coach based in San Francisco who specializes in working with creative types. Another route: Jobs associated with logistics and delivery. While retailers have closed their physical stores in many cases, online shopping has boomed as people are staying at home. These jobs, which are often temporary, often don’t require special skill sets, Sanders said. “Basically, do you have basic customer service skills, and can you operate within a larger company structure? And they’re really willing to take on people that they know are coming from different backgrounds.” To find remote work that doesn’t require leaving your house, experts recommended turning to websites like Upwork and Virtual Vocations. A recent report from remote-job search engine FlexJobs found that 70 majors companies including Aetna CVS, +2.71% , JPMorgan Chase JPM, +1.63% and Amazon were hiring remote positions. ‘If a company is looking for a recruiter, they’re obviously going to be doing some hiring.’ When using job search websites, avoid listings older than 30 days, because they may not reflect the current hiring situation at the company, Kohut said. Another approach to finding out who is hiring is to look for which companies are looking for recruiters, she said. “If a company is looking for a recruiter, they’re obviously going to be doing some hiring,” Kohut said. “Do a search for recruiter postings, and then see how old they are. If there are some in the past couple of weeks, you know that company is going to be hiring and then you go to their job board and see what they have up there.”With so many listings out there, it’s easy to give into panic and just lunge at the first job you see. “A lot of people are going to be in a very reactionary mode,” Sanders said. “They’re going to potentially take whatever job comes their way and is available to them in the moment. And that’s completely understandable.” But Sanders advised that people avoid thinking of these jobs merely as temporary gigs and to consider how they will help them meet long-term financial and professional goals. For instance, if someone lost their job in auto sales and wants to transition to a role at a tech company, they could see about getting a remote customer service or delivery job with that firm. “It’s a stepping stone to get you into that new field,” Sanders said. It’s easy to fall into the trap of submitting resume after resume. But part of the job hunt — especially at a time like this where many of us are stuck at home — is acquiring new skills that will make you a more attractive candidate. Also see:How to safely commute, go shopping, and go on vacation as states reopen for business during the coronavirus pandemic Learning new skills has taken on a new importance given that many white-collar workers who were laid off might be looking for lower-level jobs, much like during the Great Recession. “Those people with maybe more credentials or more experience, they may have to settle for jobs that were below what they had made before, and that would leave those people with less credentials, less experience, having an even harder time getting them,” Gould said. Job experts recommended searching out free online academies to learn skills that could be useful in the workplace, such as computer coding. Online courses can be found for free from sites like Microsoft Learn MSFT, +0.58% , Coursera, Codeacademy and Udemy. Learning new skills has taken on a new importance given that many white-collar workers who were laid off might be looking for lower-level jobs. “Word-of-mouth vetting by someone who’s already employed somewhere is going to serve you exponentially better than you sending out 50 resumes,” she added. Kohut recommended seeking out local job clubs. Many job clubs have taken to hosting virtual meetings over Zoom or Google Hangouts GOOGL, +1.10% , and people can get leads on who is hiring through these, she said. After getting laid off, your gut instinct might be to keep the news to yourself and slog through the hiring process alone. But tapping into your network will give you a leg up. “No one is going to be shocked if they receive a phone call from someone they haven’t heard from in a while saying, ‘Hey, like many others, I lost my job. This is what I’m looking for. Do you know anyone that I should talk to?’” Sanders said.
Yogi for investment, job-oriented policies
08 May 2020
  • Yogi Adiyanath
  • Government Policies
  • Covid-19
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said necessary amendments should be made in the state government’s policies to boost industry, attract investment and create more jobs in Uttar Pradesh.Yogi Adityanath was viewing a presentation about Industrial and Employment Promotion Policy 2017, UP Warehousing and Logistics Policy, UP Electronics Manufacturing Policy 2017 and UP Electronics Policy 2020. He also viewed a presentation about job scenario and stressed on providing jobs to migrant labourers in various sectors, including in 90 lakh micro, small and medium enterprises in UP.He said problems of investors should be resolved expeditiously. The chief minister said UP could be a potential destination for investment in the changed world scenario. He also said the UP Warehousing Logistics Policy 2018 should be amended to bring down limit for land needed for logistics parks.Earlier, he held a video conference with Buddhist monks and conveyed his good wishes to them on Buddha Purnima. He expressed confidence that Buddhist monks would take message of Lord Buddha to people and prepare them in the fight against Covid-19.
U.S. job-cut announcements surge in April to record, outplacement firm Challenger says
08 May 2020
  • Facebook
  • usa
  • Job cuts
Facebook icon Twitter icon Linkedin icon Flipboard icon Print icon Resize icon Job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers spiked to 671,129, the highest single-month total on record, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Challenger began tracking job-cut announcements in January 1993. April's total is 202% higher than the 222,288 job cuts announced in March and 1,577% higher than the 40,023 cuts announced in the same month last year. Read Next Pelosi signals support for massive new payroll subsidies as small-business loan fund nears expiration. The speaker stresses that Congress should be for “expanding support beyond PPP to provide more resources” to the tens of millions of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, signalling support for a sweeping Paycheck Guarantee Act that would reimburse employers of all types and sizes for payroll and benefit costs. More On MarketWatch This troubling chart might change your mind about lockdown restrictions Two doctors dead, one in intensive care after mysterious incident at Russian hospital Jobless claims jump 3.2 million in early May, but historic rate of layoffs is slowing ‘Professor Lockdown’ loses job after breaking the rules by seeing married lover — then Elon Musk piles on
Opinion | How covid-19 has rewritten CEO job specifications
08 May 2020
  • Covid-19
  • CEO
  • Job
Our post-covid CEO needs to be a disruptive transformer for sure, but also tech-savvy, fully engaged, ready to rally teams, and equipped with a crystal ball to answer existential questions. Chief executive officer (CEO) search projects were simpler a decade ago. Client organizations sought “strategic" CEOs. A demanding board I recall once asked us for a perfect balance of strategic mindset and executional rigour, setting off ripples of panic within our research teams working on this corner-office recruitment. Much has changed since, as CEO hiring has pivoted from an art to a science, but covid-19 has complicated our lives enormously. Conversations since March seek CEOs who can deal with a massively disrupted world. Our post-covid CEO needs to be a disruptive transformer for sure—that’s a hygiene factor now. The CEO must also exercise great caution, sifting through a dozen seemingly plausible business scenarios, suitably armed with “Let me tell you about 2008" wisdom. Placing bets, the CEO is expected to don a battle face and rally the team, all with newfound poise and certainty. This is a CEO job specification. Plus, our leader must know when to boogie and when to introspect. The CEO will be asked questions that are deeply existential, worthy of a top-quality crystal ball. All this, within a tight horizon. Purposeful and charismatic, the CEO must helm Zoom chats, straddling teams, geographies and markets. And yet, the CEO must stay engaged, lest it be seen as false and farcical. The galvanizer must also connect.The answers CEOs seek from recruiters have also evolved. Questions range from the strategically sublime (“How will technology as a horizontal change the operating model?") to the logistically prosaic (“That commute model I signed up for suddenly doesn’t seem so viable, does it?"). Life in the leadership recruitment business has changed considerably. Irreversibly, it feels. Sample these trends. One, we learnt last week that multiple multi-crore hires can be closed—from first interview to job offer—without a single in-person meeting between the potential employer and employee. Is this a massive risk, or just the new normal? A bit of both, actually. Technology-based interviewing, deep and wide market references and diligence—on both sides—now alleviate the risk that such an online marriage entails. Two, new psychometric means to establish “role fit" will get deployed more and more in search of CEOs. Tools that assess candidates at multiple levels—experience and competence, but increasingly personality and cultural fit as well—are getting validated. That esoteric “aloofness" CEO derailer that psychologists warned us about is emerging as the tie-breaker between two perfect fit-to-spec candidates. Does this mark the end of the “need to look her in the eye" interview format? Perhaps not, but the online-dating equivalent of the CEO recruitment world just took a giant step forward. Three, we’ll have not-so-global talent pools. Recently, we estimated that about every seventh major CEO appointment in India involved either talent returning from overseas or with meaningful foreign work experience. This trend now bears the scars of covid-19. Top talent has turned highly cautious about moving countries (in either direction). Business uncertainty, coupled with personal or family anxiety, is showing up in an instinct to “nest" in one place. All this is without even starting to factor in any geopolitical considerations. Spun positively, this implies that top local CEO talent keen to bet on the India story, with its opportunity for value and personal wealth generation, is more easily available to us. Four, covid-19 has probably drawn a distinct line in the sand between tech-adapted CEOs and the rest. If top talent in these times can be roughly segmented into the less focused, fear-driven leaders who seem overwhelmed by circumstances, versus those calmly focused on the transformations ahead, there are no prizes for predicting which pool the next CEO will come from. Industry verticals have blurred beyond recognition in India. Leaders in sectors like healthcare and financial services are emerging as “tech transformers", gearing their business for upswings during and after the current crisis. Five, we’re talking a lot more to company boards. Once just polite overseers of CEO appointments and functioning, directors today are more active than ever. They convene frequently, well above and beyond the quarterly-meeting cadence, and their experience is collectively and individually—the latter increasingly—being drawn upon by companies to guide CEO and other talent-related decisions. Nuanced interviews and the sharing of feedback in structured formats mark a decidedly higher level of involvement by corporate boards—both qualitatively and in terms of the sheer hours they put in. All said, the toolkit to bridge special talent with organizations is evolving dramatically. Today, more than ever, CEOs seek answers from us to questions of sustainability and the “higher purpose" of their prospective employers. How well candidates and employers are matched is not always obvious in these turbulent times. As Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan wisely quipped, “I accept chaos, I’m not sure whether it accepts me!" Sachin Rajan is managing director and country manager, Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search firm
Essential workers still lack basic safety protections on the job
08 May 2020
  • Essential Workers
  • Job
  • Oklahoma City
Whenever a “code purple” is announced at the Walmart Sam Carroll works at in Oklahoma City, it’s a covert signal for employees to wash or sanitize their hands that customers aren’t supposed to pick up on. “But when the customers see us clean our hands, they usually put their hands out and I give them a little bit,” Carroll says. “I even joke with them, I say, ‘That’ll be $10.’” Carroll, 57, like millions of essential workers across the country, finds himself on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. Walmart has been taking measures to protect him, but he thinks they could be doing more. Walmart made masks mandatory for associates on April 17 and provides workers a new one every time they come in. But just 19 percent of essential workers across the country said the same of their workplaces, according to a new survey from the Shift Project out of the University of California Berkeley and UC San Francisco. The report examines how essential food, grocery, retail, and delivery workers are being protected by their employers. Researchers surveyed 8,000 workers from nearly 50 big service-sector companies such as Walmart, McDonald’s, Costco, Amazon, UPS, and Walgreens between March 7 and April 9 to find out what sort of health and safety measures are being taken in their workplaces. They asked them whether cleaning has increased, whether they’re being provided gloves and masks, and whether they’re being required to wear them. About two-thirds of employees said cleaning in their workplaces had improved, but in terms of providing protective equipment such as masks and gloves, companies have a long way to go. And while some companies might have improved their sanitation and PPE regimes since the survey was taken, essential workers say there are still big gapsCarroll, for instance, is the main provider for his family, including his wife and three sons, and as they depend on him to protect them, he is depending on Walmart to protect him. His store has hired a third-party cleaning company, but he feels they could do more. “They haven’t done a real thorough cleaning in the store,” he says. The store has always had gloves because they need them for people who work with meat in the deli, but they’re not required. Carroll, who is also a member of workers’ rights organization United for Respect, doesn’t have much use for them — after a while, you wind up poking a hole in them or tearing them. The global pandemic has placed a new focus on how workers are treated, especially as millions of people who work in low-paid service jobs have suddenly been deemed vital to the American economy. And while some of the conversation has centered around how much they’re paid, at the very basic level, it’s also important to talk about how they’re protected. Going to work during a global pandemic, they’re at high risk of getting sick. “There’s been a lot of attention to the lack of personal protective equipment in health care settings, but if we think about grocery stores and pharmacies and how much traffic is going through there, it’s really important to think about the essential workers who are continuing to staff these places,” said Kristen Harknett, an assistant professor at UCSF and one of the researchers behind the project. “We can’t hold onto the illusion that these jobs aren’t important, because they’re designated as essential.” How protected you are depends on where you work Most workers say they’ve seen new cleaning procedures at their jobs, which makes sense — cleaning your surroundings and washing your hands have been some of the most prominent and earliest pieces of advice from experts when it comes to combating the coronavirus. Overall, 65 percent of workers surveyed said their workplaces had started requiring additional cleaning, 56 percent said gloves had been made available, and only 19 percent said masks had been made available. Just because equipment is available doesn’t mean it is required: Just 18 percent of workers said they were required to wear gloves and only 7 percent were required to wear masks.And it varies. Three-quarters of drugstore and pharmacy workers and two-thirds of big-box superstore workers say they’ve seen changes in cleaning, but less than half of warehouse workers and a quarter of delivery workers say the same. About one-third of workers at restaurants, fast food stores, and coffee shops said cleaning policies hadn’t changed. To be sure, a lot of food-handling companies have pretty strict guidelines around cleanliness already. More than half of workers in those types of establishments said they had access to gloves, and they were likeliest to say gloves were required. The researchers also note that only around half of warehouse and fulfillment center workers had access to gloves, which is notable, given that so many people are ordering online to stay safe. Within industries, different companies are caring for their workers and customers at varying levels. For example, three-quarters of McDonald’s employees reported new cleaning procedures; less than half of Burger King employees did. “Among big-box stores and warehouse and fulfillment centers, Costco and Home Depot stand out and Walmart, Amazon, and UPS lag in terms of cleaning, gloves, and masks,” the report reads. “In grocery, larger shares of workers at Aldi report cleaning, gloves, and masks, while workers at Publix and Safeway report the fewest new protective measures. In pharmacy, CVS workers report less new cleaning, but more access to and requirements to use PPE.” Costco workers have also reported poor working conditions and concerns about their health. Kory Lundberg, a spokesperson for Walmart, told me that the company has continued to “evolve on this as the situation has gone on.” He noted that the retailer has implemented health screenings and temperature checks for employees before they start their shifts, installed plexiglass at checkout lanes and in other areas, and provides hand sanitizer to workers and customers. It has also put in place an emergency leave policy that is currently set to last through May. “We continue to look and work with public health officials and understand what are the steps we can take to help keep people safe,” he said. But for many workers, their employers’ efforts aren’t good enough. Some workers have been speaking out about the conditions they’re working under, including at Amazon, which has seen a rise in employee activism in recent years. Workers are worried the company isn’t doing enough to protect them and in March began petitioning for it to take additional steps and staging walkouts in protest of their conditions. Hibaq Mohamad, who works at an Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, told me she’s worried about the lag time on getting gloves and masks and doesn’t think the company is doing enough to clean. “It’s scary,” she said. In a statement to Vox, Amazon spokesperson Rachael Lighty said ensuring the health and safety of its employees is the company’s “top concern.” She highlighted that it has implemented more than 150 “process updates” and expects to spend more than $800 million on coronavirus-related safety measures in the first half of the year. “Our focus remains on protecting associates in our operations network with extensive measures including distributing face masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, implementing temperature checks, operating with strict social distancing protocols, and recognizing their contributions with additional pay and leading benefits,” Lighty said. “We encourage anyone interested in the facts to compare our overall pay and benefits, as well as our speed in managing this crisis, to other retailers and major employers across the country.” On Monday, Amazon said that a worker at its fulfillment facility in Staten Island had died of Covid-19, and on Tuesday, it confirmed an employee in Illinois had died. The first known coronavirus death of an Amazon worker happened on March 31. As Vox’s Anna North recently noted, at least 18 Walmart employees had died as of April 18, and workers at Trader Joe’s, Safeway, and Kroger stores have died as well. Essential workers didn’t sign up for this The Shift Project’s survey was conducted from early March to early April as the gravity of the pandemic was beginning to take hold in the United States. Companies may have tightened protective guidelines since then, but they’ve been slow to act. At the start of April, the New York Times reported that Home Depot employees said they had been told not to wear masks, and Walgreens workers had been discouraged from wearing them. Some companies’ efforts to better protect their employees and their customers have encountered pushback from the public. One Oklahoma city reversed its mask requirement rule for shoppers after workers reported they were being threatened by customers, and a Family Dollar worker in Michigan was fatally shot after trying to enforce the store’s mask policy. The way these service workers are being treated now is emblematic of the way they’ve always been treated, said Danny Schneider, an assistant professor at UC Berkeley and one of the researchers behind the project. “We really have a large part of the labor force that was laboring under crummy job conditions for a long time, with low wages and unstable, unpredictable, and insufficient work hours,” Schneider said. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, there was a sense around many jobs now deemed “essential” that they were somehow less important. They were low-skilled and low-paid. But now, that illusion is over, or at least it should be. “We can now plainly see how difficult and important these jobs are,” Schneider said. “But it’s more of the same.” On a policy level, there are things the government can do to make sure essential workers are protected and compensated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put out coronavirus guidelines for workplaces, and workers who feel their workplace is unsafe can report it, though how effective that will be is unclear. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) have pushed for an essential worker “bill of rights” in Congress that would include health and safety protection, universal paid leave, and child care support. Some Democrats and Republicans have put forth plans for essential worker hazard pay. Schneider said that people can also ask employers to do better. “The data that we show, employer by employer, shows that some employers are doing better,” he said. It doesn’t have to be an inevitable race to the bottom, and everyone can do better. Carroll, the Walmart worker, has been with the company for 11 years and makes $11.96 an hour. He collected a one-time bonus the company offered workers in March — $300 for full-time employees, $150 for part-time. Walmart said it also moved up a quarterly payment to April that would usually be made in May. I asked him what more he would want for the retailer to do. “I would ask for hazard pay. I would ask them to back pay that hazard pay from when it started until now,” he said. I asked him how much he thinks would be adequate. “I would like it at least to be at $14 or $15 an hour,” he said, then qualified his response, chuckling with a bit of discomfort. “That sounds a little greedy, though.”
Lessons from 2008 crisis to weather covid-19 storm
08 May 2020
  • Covid-19
  • Crisis
  • Finance
These precarious times can help you realize how savings can come to your rescueDealing with one recession does prepare you emotionally and financially for another one to a certain extent A report by the ministry of labour and employment states that about half a million people in India lost their jobs between October and December 2008 because of the global financial crisis. But Kolkata-based Chandan Kumar Modi, who’d started working in 2008, faced the real consequences of the crisis in 2009. He worked in the sales and development department of an IT firm, but was asked to leave within a year because he was unable to secure any deals. “To recapitulate, the job and all the pressure impacted my physical and mental health," said Modi, 35, an IT professional. It took Modi about six months to get another job and even that came with a 50% pay cut. Since he’d been working only for a year, he didn’t have enough savings to fall back on. It took him two years to recover from the 2008 crisis. Though Modi does fear another job loss in the current situation, he has sufficient savings this time around to weather the storm. “My wife works too, so from a financial point of view we are better equipped and can survive a couple of months in case of extreme circumstances," he added. The ongoing slowdown has pushed Modi to rework his priorities. His long-term investments have taken a backseat and the focus is now on ensuring that there’s enough liquidity to sail through the next few months. In a way, the crisis early on in his career helped him take a different view of his money life. One of the major takeaways was saving aggressively. He opened a Public Provident Fund (PPF) account and started investing through mutual funds once he was back on track after the 2009 crisis. He also invested in real estate for diversification. Another lesson for him was to invest in learning an additional skill.2008 Vs NOWCovid-19 has brought the world to a standstill and though the ramifications of the crisis could be similar to the 2008 recession, the scale of the impact is still not quantifiable. “What we witnessed in 2008 was a liquidity problem and what we see today is an insolvency problem. Zero revenues yet full cost. We haven’t experienced anything in the past, which could have remotely prepared us for the current pandemic," said Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive vice-president, TeamLease, an HR solutions provider. “Therefore, it’s difficult to model covid’s impact on unemployment and its tenure." However, a survey conducted by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that India’s unemployment rate rose to 24.48% as of 5 May 2020, from 8.7% in March . For many Indians working abroad, the 2008 crisis meant losing jobs and getting back home. Mufazzal Arif, now 43, too was taken aback when one afternoon he was informed that it was his last day in his California-based company. The job loss came at a time when he and his wife were expecting their first child. Though he managed to find another job in the next 30 days (in Mumbai), it came with a deep pay cut. “To ensure our financial life doesn’t go off track we restricted our expenses to the bare minimum and directed our savings towards better financial planning. But it took us five years to recover from the setback," said Arif, a banking analytics professional.The ongoing crisis is mind-numbing but Arif feels he is better prepared now. But given the market volatility, his goals have taken a considerable hit. “Our investments have dipped drastically and our short-term goals which we wanted to achieve within the next five years have been postponed indefinitely," he added. The 2008 crisis helped Arif realize the importance of building a contingency fund. He started following a budget. Levying luxury tax on himself was another habit he inculcated. If he splurged in a particular month, he covered up for it in the next by restricting his spends. Deepali Sen, founder partner, Srujan Financial Advisers, said it’s difficult to compare the ongoing crisis with the 2008 recession, as there’s great uncertainty with no light at the end of the tunnel. “I think it will take five to six months for the economy to show signs of recovery," said Sen. “If there’s one thing that’s common between 2008 and 2020, it is the lack of market confidence in debt funds."MONEY STRATEGIES A Mumbai-based financial services professional, who didn’t want to be named, took over a year to find another job after being laid off in 2008. Due to the lack of options, the 35-year-old was open to opportunities in other areas such as tutoring students as well. However, nothing materialized. He had to cut down on his expenses drastically for a year and depend on his family for financial support until he found another job. Yet it took him about four years to fully recover from the fallout of recession. With more responsibilities now, he feels he may not be completely prepared to face another job loss. His biggest learning from the 2008 crisis was to build an emergency corpus. Though he managed to save three months of expenses, he fears it may take him longer to recover in case he indeed loses his job. He, however, has health and life insurance policies with adequate cover. For investments, the one rule that he follows is listening to everyone but deciding based on his own analysis. Mint recommends consulting a financial planner if you are overwhelmed with how to go about investing.Sen said her clients who faced the 2008 recession are not panicking as much about the ongoing crisis. “Investors are continuing with investments, especially in equities. I think their past experience with market volatility is helping them remain calm this time around," she said. Financial planners said the 2008 crisis taught people a few key lessons. First, to build an emergency corpus. This is often neglected until one faces a serious liquidity crunch. Second, having an independent health insurance policy. “Depending on the employer-provided policy is a mistake people realize only after they lose their jobs," said Vishal Dhawan, certified financial planner and founder, PlanAhead Wealth Advisors. Third, to never cross the limit when it comes to liabilities. Make sure EMIs don’t exceed one-third of your net income. Fourth, keep away from high-cost debt such as personal loans and credit cards. Fifth, keep a check on your lifestyle expenses. “Controlling lifestyle inflation through careful rational decisions on upgrades supported by appropriate increase in income is important," said Dhawan. And finally, disciplined investing to ensure you invest systematically towards long- and short-term goals.ACT WITH CAUTIONChakraborty said there is always an upside to having gone through a crisis, which threatens livelihood, and learning to save for a bad day is just one of the many realizations. “A lavish lifestyle makes it difficult for people to deal with financial uncertainty because it hits them like a meteor," she said. “Another byproduct of witnessing a crisis is embracing up-skilling in a big way and having a flexible outlook towards employment." While dealing with one recession does prepare you emotionally and financially for another one to a certain extent, it’s always advisable to take precaution and not be over-confident. Human memory is short-lived but that doesn’t mean you forget how a crisis can dent your financial life. “Even if you feel you’ve provisioned for a rainy day, now is not the time to be greedy and go overboard with anything. Save as much as you can especially if you’re in an industry that’s vulnerable to job cuts," said Melvin Joseph, founder, Finvin Financial Planners.It’s precarious times like these that help you understand how loans and outlandish lifestyles can hurt, whereas savings and investments can come to your rescue.
Over 33 million Americans lost their job during the pandemic. 77 percent believe they’ll get it back, Post-Ipsos poll finds.
08 May 2020
  • America
  • Job Loss
  • Job
Even if a large share of workers do get called back, millions of Americans are still likely to remain jobless. The nation’s unemployment rate is widely expected to hit 20 percent this spring and drop only to about 10 percent by the end of the year, meaning one in 10 workers would still be out of work at the holidays.The Washington Post-Ipsos poll was conducted April 27-May 4 through Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, a large online survey panel recruited through random sampling of U.S. households. Results among the sample of 928 people who were laid off or furloughed during the coronavirus outbreak have a margin of sampling error of error margin of 3.5 percentage points.Optimism is high among workers that they can return to their pre-pandemic jobs, but economists warn over 40 percent of job losses could become permanent.Jose Mogna of Miami has been checking his phone constantly for a text or call from his manager telling him it’s time to return to his job at a construction supply company. Mogna was furloughed at the end of March, making him one of more than 30 million Americans suddenly without a job during the pandemic, but he’s hopeful he will be called back soon.The vast majority of laid-off or furloughed workers — 77 percent — expect to be rehired by their previous employer once the stay-at-home orders in their area are lifted, according to a nationwide Washington Post-Ipsos poll. Nearly 6 in 10 say it is “very likely” they will get their old job back, according to the poll, which was conducted April 27-May 4 among 928 workers who were laid off or furloughed since the outbreak began. But there’s concern that many of these workers are too optimistic about being rehired given how much uncertainty remains about health and business conditions in the year ahead.And the scope of the problem keeps mounting. The Labor Department reported on Thursday that 3.2 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, bringing the seven-week total for people seeking jobless benefits to more than 33 million. The unemployment rate has jumped from around 3.5 percent earlier this year to close to 20 percent now, many economists believe.The United States is facing its biggest unemployment crisis since the Great Depression, as many firms have been quick to let employees go. Economists say the best chance for any sort of recovery is to get as many workers as possible back into their old jobs. Much of that will depend on how reopening goes.“I figure they might call me at the end of this month to start again in June. But I don’t know,” said Mogna, 54, who sells materials to construction sites. “If I worked in a restaurant, I probably wouldn’t be that optimistic. But construction is still going.”Going back to a prior job is typically much easier — and faster — than searching for an entirely new job. It also gives laid-off workers a greater sense of comfort about their finances. Studies show that workers who believe they are only a few weeks away from a steady job again are less likely to spiral into a depression or stop paying major bills.But economists warn the optimism could be misplaced. The longer people are out of work, the less likely they are to be called back. In an alarming trend, companies such as General Electric and Nordstrom initially announced they were furloughing employees, a temporary layoff where workers aren’t paid but usually keep their health insurance. But now some of those furloughs are becoming permanent layoffs. MGM Resorts just warned it might make its furloughs permanent as well if businesses does not rebound this summer.A new report from the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago predicts 42 percent of the recent layoffs from the pandemic will result in permanent job losses. There are two big issues: First, many companies are going bankrupt or shutting down permanently, so they won’t need workers. Second, even after parts of the economy reopen, many people will be hesitant to shop, travel and go out to eat as they did before. Businesses operating at half capacity or switching to online or takeout don’t need nearly as many workers.“Even if a miracle cure falls out of the sky in July, it’s going to take demand a while to pick back up,” said Betsey Stevenson, an economics professor at the University of Michigan. “There’s no way travel or retail look the same and brings everybody back.”Typically, fewer than half of laid-off workers expect to return to their previous job, but there’s hope this time could be different, since many business shutdowns are likely to be temporary, said economist Till von Wachter of the University of California at Los Angeles.“Helping workers keep attached to their prior employers could speed up the recovery,” said von Wachter.Economists have urged companies to furlough workers instead of laying them off, since a furlough allows for some sort of employer-employee relationship to remain even though a worker is no longer going to the job. Mogna has been able to keep his employer-sponsored health insurance. He has had to make his monthly payments, but it’s been a big help to know he has the same insurance during a global pandemic.Layoffs and furloughs skyrocketed in mid-March and have kept climbing as some businesses that initially tried to stay open found it was impossible. Americans still widely oppose reopening most businesses and remain hesitant to go to stores and restaurants.Unease is rising among many of these jobless workers as they approach nearly two months out of a job. Roughly 1 in 4 laid-off workers say they will be in “real financial trouble” in less than a month if nothing changes. Among those laid off, 43 percent say the outbreak has been a “serious source of stress” in their life, compared with 29 percent among other Americans, the Post-Ipsos poll finds.Chauncey Davis is worried about losing his place in Memphis. The 44-year-old father has struggled to pay his rent since he lost his job as a cook at Checkers in March as business slowed during the pandemic. He has been trying to input his information on the Internal Revenue Service website in the hope of getting a $1,200 relief payment to tide him over until he can find a new job, since he doesn’t think it’s likely he’ll be brought back.“Right now, I’m struggling just to pay for meals,” Davis said. “I’ve applied for unemployment twice but gotten no answer.”Congress has enacted $2.5 trillion in aid for struggling businesses and workers who have been hard hit by the mandates to stay at home to try to stop the spread of covid-19. Most of those laid off — 61 percent — say they have received a $1,200 or more relief check from the federal government to help offset expenses, but 38 percent have not.It’s a similar story regarding unemployment insurance. Congress bumped up weekly unemployment checks by $600, meaning many workers are eligible for about $1,000 a week in unemployment compensation. But they have to be able to complete their application and receive the aid, a process that has been extremely slow in some states. In Florida, fewer than 30 percent of the 1.8 million people filing unemployment claims have been paid so far because of problems with the filing system. In other states, such as New York, many jobless workers had to call dozens of times a day for weeks to finalize their application.Half of the laid-off workers say they have been able to apply for unemployment, but under 3 in 10 have received money so far, the Post-Ipsos poll finds. Of those who tried to apply but were unsuccessful, 4 in 10 report that they could not complete the application because phone lines were so busy that they could not get through or their state’s unemployment website wasn’t working.The coming weeks are likely to be critical to see how many unemployed workers begin to transition back to work. The new Small Business Administration loans and grants — known as the Paycheck Protection Program — require firms to rehire employees by the end of June.
Job losses in April likely topped 20 million and the unemployment rate hit a post–World War II high
08 May 2020
  • Job Losses
  • Unemployement
  • April
Unemployment forecast to soar to 15% from 3.5% two months ago The United States appears to have lost more than 20 million jobs in April, but even such a shockingly large increase might understate the destruction wrought by the coronavirus on the labor market. The large payroll processor ADP on Wednesday reported a 20.2 million decline in employment in April among the nation’s privately run companies. Small businesses, hotels, restaurants and retailers were especially hard hit. The government is expected to report a somewhat larger wipeout on Friday with the official employment summary for April. The data come out at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Economists polled by MarketWatch predict 22.1 million jobs were eliminated last month, at least temporarily. And the unemployment rate is seen rocketing up to 15.2% from a 50-year low of only 3.5% two months ago.Yet whether the government gets the numbers right, or is even close, probably won’t be known until well after the crisis has passed and experts can dig deeper. A separate report that counts the number of people who’ve applied for unemployment benefits has already topped a record 33.5 million in seven weeks. Initial jobless claims increased another 3.2 million in early May — and even more if newly eligible workers who applied through a federal program are counted. Read:The record number of people applying for jobless benefits is even worse than it looks Not all of the people who sought benefits are necessarily out of work. An untold number — potentially adding up to several million — have returned to their jobs and more are going to get the call, particularly in states such as Georgia, Florida and Texas that are slowly reopening. Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, estimates that as many as 5 million people may have already returned to work. Other economists put the number at several million. Millions of other workers, meanwhile, have been added back to their company payrolls even though they are not working. Washington has approved almost $3 trillion in federal aid to help stabilize the economy, including a special program for small businesses that offers forgivable loans if they keep paying idled employees. Millions of Americans who work in industries such as retail, for example, have been furloughed without pay. They are collecting unemployment benefits while they wait to be recalled from their furlough and aren’t actively looking for work as is typically required. Whether these people are included in the government’s calculation of the unemployment will help determine just how high it goes. Estimates range from a low of 12% to a high of 22%. Normally they would be classified by government bean-counters as having dropped out of the labor force and thus not be included in the unemployment rate, making it look artificially lower. Some economists contend the Labor Department will adjust their formula and accurately count them as unemployed and part of the labor force. If they do, chief economist Chris Low of FHF Financial, predicts the unemployment rate could surge to as high as 22%. That’s not far off from the all-time high of 25% during the Great Depression in the 1930s. The economy was much different then, but the magnitude of unemployment then and now merely punctuates how badly the economy has deteriorated. A more accurate picture of the stress on the labor market might be visible in another measure used by the government known as the U6 unemployment rate, economists say. That rate includes discouraged job seekers, those forced to work part-time and other people on the fringes of the labor market. The U6 rate could soar to as high as 30% from less than 7% before the crisis. Another oddity that’s likely to show up in the April employment report is a surge in wage growth. The pandemic and resulting shutdown of much of the economy has been especially devastating to workers in lower-paying industries such as leisure, hospitality and retail. Higher earners have been less harmed. “Average hourly earnings are likely to rise sharply, but this is only because low-wage workers are bearing the brunt of the job losses,” economists at Credit Suisse wrote to clients in a note. ReaD:Why the U.S. economy’s recovery from the coronavirus is likely to be long and painful All the estimates, in any case, should be taken with a grain of salt. There’s no question the labor market and the economy as a whole is going through its worst crisis in almost a century and no number can fully capture that reality. Many companies have already closed or gone out of business, making it even harder for the government to tally up the damage in real time. “None of us has any reasonable way of forecasting ‘the’ number given all of the variables in play,” acknowledged chief economist Richard Moody of Regions Financial.
What Colleges And Graduating Seniors Need To Do To Find Jobs During These Tough COVID-19 Times
08 May 2020
  • colleges
  • Graduation
  • Seniors
This is the season when college seniors are getting ready to graduate. The COVID-19 virus outbreak forced schools to close and sent students back home. It's disappointing that they had to spend the last part of their educational careers participating in glitchy, online Zoom classes held by professors who don't understand technology and haven't taken the time nor effort to translate their in-person methods to a conducive online-learning structure. It's also discouraging that they won’t have a traditional graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements in front of family and friends. Young adults will be thrust into the worst job market in modern history. It's reported that roughly 33 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. This doesn't include people who were out of work before the COVID-19 outbreak started and those who gave up looking for work because they couldn't find anything. What’s arguably worse is that students had to pay up to $70,000 per year to attend their colleges. This translates to heavy debt burdens for the students who will have to carry it around like an anchor for years to come. When the graduating class of 2020 hits the market with few job opportunities, they won’t be able to afford paying back their loans or moving out of their parents’ homes to embark upon a new life.  You’d think that colleges would provide intensive interviewing and career coaching for their students, in light of unprecedented circumstances, but they aren’t. The bastions of higher learning will pay lip service through career centers. The traditional methods, such as bringing companies and graduating seniors together, won’t work now.   Over the last number of years, I’ve hired summer interns paying them above minimum wage. Interviewing them was an eye-opening experience. Most—if not all—of the seniors lacked proper interviewing skills. They were unable to carry on a phone conversation, make eye contact in an in-person interview and incapable of articulating their experience and coherently discussing what they’d like to do next. Colby College, a small Maine-based liberal arts school, comprehends the urgency of the times and set a goal to have a 100% success rate at securing jobs for its graduating seniors. Colby College president David Greene pointed out, “Wages are often depressed for 15 years or more when they come out in a substandard job. One of the ways that they often catch up is by job-hopping. So if we can avoid that for this graduating class—and I think we can—then it’ll make a huge difference for them.” Greene added, “We’re calling on all 30,000 of our alums and families to help out with all of this. We’ve surveyed all of our seniors to understand the type of jobs that they need. And then we’re turning our entire advancement team—they usually are raising money for us, but now they’re all job seekers, 45 of them are just focused on finding jobs for our seniors. And then we’ve got another 50 people on campus who are doing the same.” At this time, every university and college should follow Colby’s lead. There should be an immediate all-hands-on-deck approach to helping graduates find jobs. This could include reaching out to alumni and asking them to hire instead of contributing to the already-large endowment. The schools should implement a boot camp drilling the students with everything they need to start and succeed in a job search, including building a résumé and LinkedIn profile, how to search for jobs online, interview strategies and appropriate ways to interact with recruiters and human resources professionals. The schools need to reach out to companies directly to get them interested in their students. For the graduating class, here’s what you could do now. Start with a game plan. Figure out the type of job and the companies you’d like to work for, so you’ll have a focused and organized approach.  If you’re fortunate enough to get an interview, it will be via phone or online video. Recent graduates are not as accustomed to using the phone compared to the Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers conducting the interview. Since the hiring managers will use the phone call instead of an in-person meeting due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you’ll need to build up your phone skills. You can achieve this by role playing and practicing with others. One positive aspect of a phone interview is that you can have notes in front of you while you talk. This can help you get your selling points across and keep you from getting thrown off of your game.   Graduating seniors will likely feel more comfortable with video interviews. Since they have experience with this medium; they may even have the upper hand compared to the older managers conducting the interview. Keep in mind that even though it's a video, treat it as important as an in-person interview. Don’t get discouraged if it's hard to land your first real job. The job market will be the worst since the Great Depression. Smartly use your time to network. Ask your parents and extended family to offer leads. Make yourself known to your school’s career center. It's okay to take a job under what you feel you deserve just to get started. A part-time job is fine too, as it will keep you busy. You won't have to sit at home ruminating over your situation and it will also put a few dollars in your pocket.  Stay active on social media to call attention to your search, especially on LinkedIn. Clean up anything in your digital footprint that could come back and haunt you. Scour career sections on corporate websites, job aggregator sites and other sites that cater to recent college graduates. Send out résumés to jobs listings that make sense and politely, but persistently, follow up. If you’re brave, you can cold call companies that you would like to work with.   One of the most important things to do is stay strong. It won’t be easy. Try to keep positive and don’t give up hope. Tough times make tough people. You’ll find a job. It may not be tomorrow, but it could be next week or a few months from now. Consider your job search a marathon and not a sprint. After you find a job in the toughest job market since the 1930s, the mental and emotional strength you build will enable you to take on any—and all—future challenges.
With pay cuts and job loss, Coronavirus pandemic might set back your career by 3 years or more!
08 May 2020
  • Job Loss
  • pay cuts
  • Coronavirus
Coronavirus pandemic might set back your career by 3 years or more!Among the plethora of health risks that the coronavirus has exposed us to, our career too is at a very vulnerable state. As per recent data, unemployment in the US has gone up from 3.5% to 15% since the pandemic started and the country was under lockdown. The rate of unemployment has since been increasing. In India too, many people across industries were subjected to salary cut ranging anywhere from 5% to 60% and more. And a few unfortunate ones even lost their jobs. Media and IT employees fear the worst in IndiaAs per a Linkedin survey, "More than two in five media professionals said their companies will fare worse in the next six months, exhibiting a bleak outlook towards the short-term future. One in four manufacturing professionals and more than one in five IT professionals felt the same." The overall findings showed that one in three Indians have reported a decrease in their personal incomes, whereas 48 per cent of active job seekers and 43 per cent of full-time professionals anticipate fewer job openings in the next two weeks, stated a report by IANS.There was been salary cut across industriesWhile announcing the lockdown in March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested employers to not cut salaries of their employees and also forbade them from sacking employees. Unfortunately, the Prime Minister's request had fallen on deaf ears and there had been unprecedented incidents of salary cuts ranging from 5% to 60% and above. What's even more surprising is many organisations are doing that without even formally informing the employees through emails or letters so that their notorious actions do not come under the radar. Some media organisations had even asked their employees to go on indefinite leave without pay and a well-known hotel chain had offered employees a chance to opt for voluntary retirement from service with just a month's pay!How the situation has set back employees career by 3 years and moreIt came like a bolt from the blue when Nimisha Sindhu (name changed) got a call from her manager one fine afternoon. "My manager called and informed that an amount of Rs. 9,560 will be deducted from my salary until the company recovers. Plus, our yearly bonus, which was for last year, will be delayed and there will be no increment and all. She also told me curtly that I am lucky it was just a salary cut and not a job loss. I stay in a rented house and if that kind of amount is deducted, I will be living hand to mouth. And I plan my entire year's investment around the yearly bonus, which is a part of my CTC. Unfortunately., I work in a sector (she requested not to reveal it) where the workload had increased during the lockdown and unlike others, we are working from home round the clock," said Nimisha.Huge pay cut is more than just loss of moneyThere are thousands like Nimisha who had to take a huge pay cut. Given the fact that increments and appraisals had been stalled, people would be working with a pay that they were perhaps drawing three years back or more. There are also people who had to let go of more than 60% of their salary. Even if the situation reverses after the pandemic is over, employees would have to negotiate their pay package from a very low amount in case they decide to change their job or career.Word of adviceSince the economic condition is very unstable, it would be wise to take some precautionary measures. First and foremost, try avoiding unnecessary expenses and don't spend money on anything you do not need. Also, refrain from making risky investments and put your money in a place you know is safe and there is no risk of sufferin
Great Depression-like U.S. job losses, unemployment rate expected in April
08 May 2020
  • usa
  • Job Loss
  • Unemployement
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy likely lost a staggering 22 million jobs in April, in what would be the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression and the starkest sign yet of how the novel coronavirus pandemic is battering the world’s biggest economy. A report that is closely watched in any given month but especially so now with non-essential businesses in mandatory shutdowns nationwide to contain the coronavirus, the Labor Department’s monthly employment report on Friday is also expected to show the jobless rate surging to at least 16% last month. That would shatter the post-World War Two record of 10.8% touched in November 1982. The numbers will likely strengthen analysts’ expectations of a slow recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic. It would add to a pile of bleak data on consumer spending, business investment, trade, productivity and the housing market in underscoring the devastation unleashed by lockdowns imposed by states and local governments in mid-March to slow the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. The economic crisis spells trouble for President Donald Trump’s bid for a second term in the White House in November’s election. After the Trump administration was criticized for its initial reaction to the pandemic, Trump is eager to reopen the economy, despite a continued rise in COVID-19 infections and dire projections of deaths. “Our economy is on life support now,” said Erica Groshen, a former commissioner of the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. “We will be testing the waters in the next few months to see if it can emerge safely from our policy-induced coma,” added Groshen, who is now a senior extension faculty member at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. The historic dive in April nonfarm payrolls predicted in a Reuters survey anticipates job losses in nearly all sectors of the economy, with larger layoffs in the leisure and hospitality industry - mainly restaurants and bars. It would follow the shedding of 701,000 jobs in March, which ended a record streak of employment gains dating to October 2010. Estimates in the survey ranged to as much as a loss of 35 million. Forecasts for April’s unemployment rate, which was at 4.4% in March, were as high as 22%. There is great uncertainty surrounding last month’s estimates because of the nature and speed of the job losses. A total of 26.5 million people had filed claims for jobless benefits and 16.2 million were on unemployment rolls through the week of April 12, when the government canvassed establishments and households for payrolls and the unemployment rate. Eligibility for unemployment benefits has been greatly expanded to include contractors and gig workers among others, overwhelming local employment offices with applications and leading to backlogs. Economists believe the numbers of people applying for unemployment aid and those continuing to receive benefits are understated. Meanwhile, some people might be filing more than one claim, and workers whose hours have been cut because of COVID-19 can also seek unemployment benefits. GREAT UNCERTAINTY Some workers who have filed claims have likely since found employment, with companies like Walmart and Amazon hiring workers to meet huge demand in online shopping. Truck drivers are also in demand, while supermarkets, pharmacies and courier companies need workers. According to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles the employment report, a person has to be looking for work and available to do it to be considered unemployed. “This means many workers who lose their job as a result of the virus will be counted as dropping out of the labor force instead of as unemployed because they are unable to search for work due to the lockdown, or because they are not available to work because they are, for example, caring for children whose school has closed,” said Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Labor Department. Furloughed workers and others who expect to return to their jobs within 6 months are counted as unemployed on temporary layoff. A drop in the labor force participation rate, or the proportion of working-age Americans who have a job or are looking for one, could blunt some of the anticipated surge in the unemployment rate in April. To get a clearer picture, economists will focus on a broader measure of unemployment, which includes people who want to work but have given up searching and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time employment. April could, however, mark the trough in job losses as more small businesses access their portion of an almost $3 trillion fiscal package, which made provisions for them to get loans that could be partially forgiven if they were used for employee salaries. The Federal Reserve has also thrown businesses credit lifelines and many states are also partially reopening. Still, economists do not expected a quick rebound in the labor market. “Given the expected shift in consumer behavior reflecting insecurities regarding health, wealth, income, and employment, many of these firms will not reopen or, if they do reopen, hire fewer people,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at TS Lombard in New York. “This is one reason why we see the underlying recession extending through the third quarter.” Economists say the economy entered recession in late March, when nearly the whole country went into COVID-19 lockdowns. The National Bureau of Economic Research, the private research institute regarded as the arbiter of U.S. recessions, does not define a recession as two consecutive quarters of decline in real gross domestic product, as is the rule of thumb in many countries. Instead, it looks for a drop in activity, spread across the economy and lasting more than a few months.
Indian companies' job creation levels on rise in UK: Report
08 May 2020
  • Britain
  • Jobs
  • annual
The ‘India Meets Britain Tracker 2020', collated annually by Grant Thornton and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to weigh up the contribution of Indian businesses to the UK economy, found that these firms generated 110,793 jobs in Britain – up from 104,783 in 2019.Indian companies in the UK created 110,793 jobs this year, over 6,000 more than 2019, and paid 462 million pounds in corporation tax to the country's economy, according to the latest analysis of 842 firms operating in Britain.The ‘India Meets Britain Tracker 2020', collated annually by Grant Thornton and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to weigh up the contribution of Indian businesses to the UK economy, found that these firms generated 110,793 jobs in Britain – up from 104,783 in 2019.The total turnover of these companies added up to GBP 41.2 billion, with corporation tax payments of GBP 462 million over the past year.“The report showcases the continued strength of UK-India trade and the importance of India as one of our most critical bilateral investors and job creators, supporting over 110,000 jobs, with half of them outside London,” said Lord Gerry Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment, at a virtual online launch of the report.“More trade is essential if the UK is to overcome the unprecedented economic challenge posed by coronavirus. Investment will be key to ensuring a strong economy in the years to come, boosting productivity and creating jobs, and it is our strong trade relationships with partners like India that will support this,” he said.While the total number of Indian companies operating in the UK remained similar to last year's Tracker at 842, new companies did enter the scene in the seventh edition of the publication this year while others restructured.The technology and telecom sector remains at the forefront of Indian interests in the country, followed by pharmaceuticals and chemicals, and engineering and manufacturing.“These are unprecedented times for us as Indian industry, globally. As we navigate through the challenges posed by this sudden disruption caused by the pandemic, it is a useful reminder to note and underscore the valuable contribution of the Indian industry in the economy, especially as we launch the ‘India Meets Britain Tracker 2020' mapping fastest growing Indian investments in the UK,” said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.Anuj Chande, Partner and Head of South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK LLP, added: “As we rebuild the UK economy in the months to come, Indian owned businesses already operating here will continue to play an important role.“We anticipate new Indian investments as both the UK and Indian economies start to re-emerge from the shadow of this pandemic. The most successful Indian businesses look at their UK investments from a long-term perspective and not for short-term gains.”The report also provides a tracker of the fastest growing Indian companies on the list, as measured by those with turnover of more than GBP 5 million, year-on-year revenue growth of at least 10 percent and a minimum two-year track-record in the UK.This year, 72 companies met the qualifying criteria and feature in the 2020 Tracker, achieving an average growth rate of 40 percent, compared with 36.83 percent in 2019.An annual award ceremony to mark this growth story was also shifted to an online webinar setting due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, with a green energy sector firm grabbing the dual awards of New Market Entrant and Fastest Growing Company of the Year. EESL EnergyPro Assets Ltd, a joint venture founded by India's Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), won the two awards as a result of several acquisitions in 2019 giving it a growth rate of 715 percent.Route Mobile UK came in at No. 2 with 202 percent growth, with Dhoot Transmission UK Ltd (186 percent), Evolutionary Systems Company Ltd (142 percent) and BB (UK) Ltd (120 percent) completing the top five for the year.Lakshmi Kaul, Head & Representative – UK, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said: “The ‘India Meets Britain Tracker' is a reminder of the value that Indian companies add locally, not just in investment terms but more importantly in jobs terms.“In the recent weeks, one has seen how India has stepped in and stepped up, beyond its usual business remit to support on ground in dealing with the pandemic. Whilst the urgent need has now become to address the pandemic, Indian industry will continue to be the UK's ally in navigating its way past Brexit.”London remained the dominant base for Indian companies in 2020, a position the UK capital has held since 2015. However, the north of the UK also improved its showing in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Fed's Kashkari says monthly jobs report likely to understate COVID job losses: NBC
08 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Kashkari
  • Covid-19
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Labor Department’s monthly employment report to be released on Friday is likely to understate the number of jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic because many people are not actively looking for new work, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said Thursday. Kashkari, asked what the jobs report might show during an interview on NBC’s Today Show, said the reported unemployment rate could be as high as 17%, but the true unemployment rate may be as high as 23%. “That bad report tomorrow is actually going to understate how bad the damage has been,” he said. Despite the stark forecast, Kashkari said he was hopeful policymakers could avoid a depression scenario for the U.S. economy after learning lessons from the Great Depression of the 1930s. “The Federal Reserve is acting aggressively, we will continue to act aggressively,” he said. Still, Kashkari said the economic rebound was likely to be “gradual” until there was the development of a vaccine or therapy to treat the virus. It could be a while before consumers feel comfortable sitting in a full movie theater or a crowded restaurant, he said, and many restaurants may struggle to make ends meet if they are only serving half as many customers. “Unfortunately, the recovery looks like it is going to be slow,” he said.
April employment report is expected to show more than 20 million lost jobs and depth of pain as US economy shut down
08 May 2020
  • Employement
  • Lost Jobs
  • usa
April’s jobs report will be horrific, and with the worst job losses ever, it should provide a critical look into the depths of the crater the economy has fallen into.Economists expect a record 21.5 million jobs were lost last month, sending the unemployment rate sharply higher to 16% from just 4.4%, according to Dow Jones. But economists concede that unemployment rate could be as low as 11% or higher than 20%, because of the way the government collects the data in its survey.At 16%, it would be the highest rate of unemployment since 1939, the tail end of the Great Depression and just before World War II. The April employment report will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET Friday.“This is the biggest and most acute shock that we’ve seen in post-war history. It’s a dramatic loss of output in a very short period of time,” said Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America. When states began to shut down in March, among the first casualties were jobs in the restaurant and leisure industries, retailers, and at airlines.Economists say the job losses in Friday’s report could mirror what was in ADP’s April payroll report, released Wednesday. Of the 20.2 million private-sector jobs that were lost, ADP said 8.6 million were in leisure and hospitality, more than double the losses in the next biggest category. The next largest decline was the loss of 3.4 million jobs from trade, transportation and utilities, which would include airline workers.The government data should reveal the breadth of the job losses and detail the demographics of those who are now out of work, even if it is just temporarily.“It’s understood leisure and hospitality and retail have seen a large displacement of workers, and that’s apparent in the claims numbers. The extent that has spread across the economy will tell us a lot, and the more it has spread, the more challenging it will be to return to normal,” said Meyer.“I think it will be concentrated in those industries, but I think it will be fairly broad-based. It’s hard to escape this recession,” she said.Meyer expects a decline of 22 million nonfarm payrolls and an unemployment rate of 15%.Economists are watching wage data, and Morgan Stanley economists predict average hourly earnings will rise 0.75% in the largest monthly increase ever, simply because many of the layoffs are among lower-paid workers and overall wages will average higher. Leisure and hospitality industry workers average the lowest hourly earnings of any industry, followed by retail employees.But Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said it may turn out that wages are falling for those who are working because many companies are seeking pay cuts to avoid layoffs. He said there’s a chance average hourly earnings could decline, and job losses have still not peaked.“Even in the financial crisis, businesses held wages steady. Now it appears they’re cutting. People are willing to take a wage cut to hold onto their jobs,” he said. “So far, most of the damage to the economy has been the business shut down, the supply side ... As business reopens it’s going to be a demand side story. The lost jobs, the lost wages, the lost wealth that will cut into spending, consumer spending.”  Zandi expects that the job losses will peak in the next couple of weeks, and the unemployment rate could climb to about 20% in May, when he expects to see another 5 million or so jobs lost.“Then we’ll get a bounce if we don’t get a second wave [of infections] in the summer months,” he said, adding unemployment could drop to about 10% by fall. “The unemployment rate will be cut in half by Election Day. Then we go nowhere fast until there’s a therapy we all feel good about — not only a vaccine but one that’s widely distributed.”Meyer also expects a bumpy recovery. She expects sharp job losses and a steep 30% contraction in second quarter gross domestic product. She expects a slightly negative third quarter, but by the fourth quarter, she expects a rebound of 25% . She forecasts the economy will contract by 6% this year.This is the first recession led by the service sector so there is no road map of how it will emerge from the deep trough. “In recession, the service side tends to be a lot more resilient. This time around, the services are in the epicenter, given how the Covid pandemic has impacted the economy,” she said.  “Usually it’s the cyclical, more  externally oriented parts of the economy. There’s a question of how quickly the service sector can come back after this.”Meyer said cyclical companies that manufacture can bounce back quickly once they come back on line. “You’re producing widgets. With services its very different. The amount of workers you need can be evaluated once companies come back on line. They think differently about their workers,” she said.Economists say after an initial come back , it could take a long time for the job market to recover, since many companies will be pressured to restructure or downsize. “It’s just the pervasive uncertainty. The virus is still out there and can come roaring back. People just won’t be traveling, business won’t be investing.There won’t be the same kind of global trade. People just won’t get back to normal. People will be distancing,” said Zandi.Some small businesses may never reopen. “There’s going to be a lot of business failures and bankruptcies. You can already see it. They’re going to be in such a weakened state they aren’t rehire the people they had before,” Zandi said.Economists say the unemployment rate may not reflect the true number of unemployed because of the way it is determined. Individuals are surveyed on whether they are actively seeking employment. Because many workers expect to go back to their jobs, they may end up reporting they are not looking for work, and therefore won’t be measured in the unemployment rate. That would also affect the participation rate, which would likely fall.Morgan Stanley economists expect the participation rate to fall by 10 basis points to 62.6%. It fell by 60 basis points in March, when the economy lost 701,000 payrolls.Zandi said a second measure of unemployment in the report may be more practical. He said U6 includes people who are not actively looking for work but would take a job if they could.“That might be the better number to look at to gauge the stress,” he said, adding it could spike to a rate of 25%.Meyer said the unemployment rate could be 9% or 20%, even if the job losses are the 22 million she expects. It will be better for the consumer’s psyche if it comes in lower rather than higher.“There are a few metrics that Main Street pays attention to. 0ne is the S&P 500, and the second one is what is the unemployment rate," she said.
‘Last Hired, First Fired’: Seven People Who Lost Work in the Virus Recession
08 May 2020
  • People
  • Work
  • Virus
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- The U.S. is in the midst of an historic crisis that’s turned back the clock on more than a decade’s worth of labor market gains for workers across several demographics
Protect poor by creating jobs in formal sector
08 May 2020
  • Health
  • Economic
  • Business
The health and economic crisis we are currently in is giving us insights into what is and isn’t working well in India, and how we should prepare for a better tomorrow. Yes, we have been able to reach India’s marginalised population better using our public distribution system and direct benefits transfers through the digital infrastructure we built over the last decade. But at the same time, the plight of the migrant worker and the huge economic setback of the urban and rural daily worker is also becoming painfully transparent. As we come out of the crisis, we will need to make some big changes. More than 80% of India’s labour works in the informal sector. This percentage needs to come down drastically. This would require removing the incentive to stay in the informal sector and creating powerful incentives to move workers to the formal sector. The informal sector provides many advantages for businesses. Pay is flexible, businesses have complete flexibility in hiring and firing workers, and in reorganising the production processes swiftly to suit changing business conditions. The regulatory cost and burden of hiring workers is also low. For example, no provident fund (PF) contributions are made, nor are other benefits provided. After all, this would increase the cost of hiring each worker, which neither the business owners nor the workers—by accepting lower wages in exchange for these mandatory benefits—are willing to bear. Currently, the employer is required to contribute 12% of the worker’s salary and the employee also deducts and contributes another 12% from their salary towards PF. What if the government were to bear this cost instead? For example, the government can offer to contribute the entire 24% of workers’ salaries, up to a maximum limit of say Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per month. The Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) made a step in this direction in a limited way by offering to contribute 12% of the employer's portion for three years (with some conditions). Since the PF contribution is a future liability, there will be no immediate budgetary impact for the government and as the economy grows, so would the tax revenues collected by the government that would allow it to fulfil these obligations in the future. The government can also contribute a small amount per month towards health, accident, disability and life insurance provided through mandatory group insurance plans. That India has a large population in the workforce that is young would make this plan feasible. This would greatly alter the incentives to provide jobs in the formal economy, away from the informal sector, if labour laws for hiring and firing were also relaxed—something that economists have been advocating for decades. The spillover effects of the transition to a formal workforce are immense. First, it has become increasingly transparent that it is jobs in the formal sector that provide better economic security to workers. China managed to increase the per capita income of its workforce multi-fold after the 1980s, not by microfinance or entrepreneurship in small informal sectors, but by creating hundreds of millions of jobs in the formal economy. Second, workers in the formal sector acquire marketable skills due to their jobs and importantly, create a record of it that is credible, verifiable and portable. They can carry this with them to other jobs—even if they get fired at one business. Workers in the informal sector, on the other hand, struggle to update their skills and have no verifiable credentials that are useful beyond their small limited circle, impeding their mobility and security. Some innovative solutions in the gig economy are trying to address this market failure by creating a verifiable, digital “skill passport” that will also go a long way towards creating more jobs in the formal economy. Third, because the worker is more protected with jobs in the formal economy, due to better health, disability and life insurance and with a cushion of savings in his or her PF account against which he or she can be allowed to borrow in emergencies, the labour laws can be relaxed to make hiring and firing easier and simpler. Firms could be provided further incentives, for example a lower tax rate—which would be partially offset by income taxes paid by employees—if they create and add jobs as measured by their total PF contributions. The government has introduced a scheme providing a lower tax rate only to new manufacturing firms. We recommend that tax incentives be broadened to all firms if they add to employment as verified by increased PF contributions linked to Aadhaar. Similarly, relaxation of labour laws could be initially tied to job creation in the formal sector. This will allow the firms to grow to an economically efficient scale and size rather than stay as “pygmies” as the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian said in his 2019 Economic Survey. We now have plenty of international evidence that suggests that engines of economic growth roar only after the small innovative firms grow large, creating prosperity for the rich and the poor alike. Wealth creation and protection of the poor go hand in hand.  
Kanjikode can solve Kerala's job woes caused by COVID-19
08 May 2020
  • Covid-19
  • Job Loss
  • Palakkad
Palakkad: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a major crisis in the economic sector of Kerala. Many industries are in trouble and several people are staring at job loss. Worsening the situation, the return of non-resident Indians who lost their livelihood abroad following the global crisis would add to the number of unemployed people in the state. However, to overcome these difficulties, Kanjikode has been offered as a solution by even the Chief Minister, among others. An industrial area in Palakkad district bordering Tamil Nadu, it has the potential to rise to the occasion as it has infrastructure to manufacture low-cost ventilators and also rehabilitate people who have lost jobs.According to experts, the 2,000-acre Kanjikode industrial area beside the Salem - Kochi national highway is indeed the solution for the unemployment crisis looming over Kerala. Apart from the present industrial area another 1,500 acres would be added as part of the proposed industrial corridor. However, in order to fully tap the potential, effective administrative decisions, legal framework and economic support are needed. From missiles to bottle caps At present, industrial units in Kanjikode manufacture products ranging from advanced Tatra trucks that can launch missiles to bottle caps. There are single-worker units to large Central public sector industries like BEML. In fact, Kanjikode can host large, medium as well as small-scale industries. Already, around 50,000 people are directly employed in the 792 industries here and another 50,000 indirectly. About 50 per cent of them belong to other states. The advantages of Kanjikode are, availability of land; three international airports within 150 km at Coimbatore, Kochi and Kozhikode; access to national highway; availability of technical experts and workers; availability of raw materials at relatively low cost; and presence of the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) and its expertise. Challenges ahead Even when the potential is large, most industrialists in Kanjikode face several problems. While some have shut their units, others are on the verge of doing so. It is pointed out that only the support of political and labour leaders and the government could help the units come out of their crisis. The industrial area here comprises an industrial development area, new industrial development area, Wise park - industrial and textile park, mega food park and light engineering park of KSIDC at Attappallam. Meanwhile, facilities are being set up to store and process paddy from Palakkad, pineapple from Ernakulam and banana from Wayanad at KINFRA’s Food Park in Kanjikode. Over 90 per cent of the Rs 119-crore project has already been completed. It is estimated that 2,000 people would be employed directly and another 10,000 indirectly at the park, extending to 79.42 acres. In the second phase, another 20 acres would be acquired. Cold-storage facilities, warehouses and other facilities have been built and around 50 units are planned. Many investors have booked slots at the park.
COVID-19 pandemic hammers job market, but there are 'opportunities,' say analysts
06 May 2020
  • Victoria
  • Canadians
  • Jobs
VICTORIA — In the worst employment market in decades, job hunters need to prepare for what will inevitably be a video interview, say employers and job market experts who suggest there are opportunities out there.Statistics Canada reported more than one million Canadians lost their jobs at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in March, which is eight times worse than the previous one-month record during the financial meltdown in January 2009.Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate jumped 2.2 percentage points to 7.8 per cent in March, the highest since October 2010. April's unemployment numbers are due within days.But it's not all doom and gloom, says Jessica Hodgson, human resources director at Later, a visual marketing platform in Vancouver with more than two million users."There are jobs to be had," she said in a telephone interview. "The tech sector for sure is well positioned to handle this. There are also industries where they're looking for more people. Anybody that's involved in shipping, logistics, supply chain manufacturing, those people are still operating and still expect to be operational."Hodgson acknowledged the struggles of many companies. She said her company had 1,500 job applications in March for about 15 openings, but that number increased to 3,500 in April.Hodgson said after conducting numerous video job interviews on Zoom with potential candidates she's come up with a preparation sheet. Many companies, including Later, are working remotely, she said, adding that conducting meetings and interviews online will not end with the pandemic.Hodgson said her top tips for a successful Zoom job interview include letting the people where you live know that you will be on an important call to prevent distractions; turning off other devices that use a wireless network to minimize the chances of a choppy signal; and trying to schedule interviews in the morning because Wi-Fi signals are stronger earlier in the day.Setting up a professional looking space that is well lit and uncluttered are a must for a Zoom interview, as is dressing properly."Looking sharp, looking presentable, making sure your hair is straight, your clothes are straight, will go a long way to not just looking presentable but also making you feel like you are absolutely in an interview and not just in your home," Hodgson said.Jason Kipps, managing director of employer-branding firm Universum Canada, said his most recent data shows almost 50 per cent of companies are reporting decreases in hiring due to COVID-19, but the door on new employees has not slammed shut.Almost 70 per cent of companies offered potential new employees deferred start dates rather than rescinding jobs offers as was the practice during the 2008 global financial crisis."What we're not seeing is a lot of those companies saying, 'We're not going to be hiring after all,' " Kipps said in a telephone interview from Orangeville, Ont.He said companies that are hiring and will be hiring soon are looking for people who can thrive in various conditions and can quickly adapt to a virtual team environment."I think about candidates succeeding in this market and it's those candidates who are able to demonstrate their self-management skills," said Kipps.Companies that demonstrate loyalty and empathy to employees during the pandemic stand better chances of strong returns to the market once the turmoil subsides, he said."That's what employees are going to remember through this is how they were treated throughout this whole crisis."Catherine Holt, chief executive officer at the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said the pandemic has decimated the city's tourism and hospitality sectors, but she's surprised at the number of available jobs being posted by employers."I've been saying it's a strange experience where it's almost like two parallel economies going on side by side," she said in a telephone interview. "We've had about 200 jobs posted just since the distancing measures and the direction from the province to work from home. It's a fascinating array of jobs."Holt said there are postings for obvious jobs at grocery stores, pharmacies, seniors' homes and for health services, but employers are also looking for cooks, trucker drivers, mechanics, cleaners and sales people in electronics, building and garden supplies."I don't think it's top of mind when everyone's hearing so much about the layoffs," she said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2020.Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Lockheed creates new VP job to push sales in Central, Eastern Europe
06 May 2020
  • Lockheed
  • Job
  • Sales
Dennis Göge is Lockheed Martin's new vice president in charge of the company's Central and Eastern European business. He previously worked for the German Aerospace Center, DLR, where he oversaw defense research programs. (Photo: DLR, CC-BY 3.0) COLOGNE, Germany – Lockheed Martin has appointed Dennis Goege to the newly created job of vice president for operations in Central and Eastern Europe, according to a company statement. The move comes in response to what Lockheed foresees to be a “growing presence” in the region. Based at the company's Berlin office, Goege is responsible for business in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and the Baltics. Goege previously worked for the German Aerospace Center, DLR, based in Cologne, where he oversaw defense and security research programs. According to the Lockheed announcement, he also “acted as an advisor” to the Germany defense ministry and the Munich Security Conference. The new VP job consolidates a smattering of director-level country leads, overseen by Jonathan Hoyle, vice president and chief executive for Europe. “I am pleased to welcome Dennis in his new role as vice president to support our organization of Lockheed Martin in Europe,” Hoyle was quoted as saying in the statement. “This new post has been created in response to significant business growth in Central and European markets and to set out a path for building on business opportunities in the region.” Goege's portfolio includes a few high-profile programs and prospects in Germany alone. Lockheed is going against Boeing in a bid to deliver a new heavy-transport helicopter to the Bundeswehr. A move by the German government to request a final offer is expected late this year or early next. In addition, the TLVS missile-defense program has been languishing in uncertainty for months. Lockheed, in concert with local contractor MBDA, and the German government so far have failed to agree on a price and risk structure for an eventual contract. The defense ministry has yet to announce whether the contractor will be invited to submit a new offer. The company also has not yet given up on selling F-35s to the German air force should another opening present itself, though the jet is formally out of the race with Berlin's recent pick of Eurofighters and F-18s to replace the aging Tornado fleet by 2030. Switzerland is in the market for new fighter jets, too, and the F-35 is still in the running.
How to ace a virtual job interview, according to a career coach
06 May 2020
  • Virtual Job
  • Interview
  • Career
With the government’s furlough scheme now paying a quarter of Britain’s wages, you might be thinking that it’s not the ideal time to be looking for a new job or to switch careers.  “I think that’s a very common strategy. A lot of people think ‘I'll just wait for it [the current, global coronavirus pandemic] to blow over’ but I personally don't think that’s the best approach for a couple of reasons,” London-based career coach and consultant Hannah Salton says.  “Firstly, it’s not all going to blow over quickly, and secondly - when things do get ‘back to normal’, many others will have the same idea and the job market could get very busy.” Salton, who has a background in corporate recruitment, adds that while now is not the time to quit your job without a new offer, there’s certainly scope for those looking to develop their career.  She continues: “If you’re employed, there is still a lot you can do proactively, for example reviewing your LinkedIn profile, developing your CV, reflecting on your achievements, and getting clear on what that next move is. And, most importantly: expanding, nurturing and developing your network.” How to expand your network virtually When you’re looking for a new job, Salton says the most important thing you can do is network - not in the schmoozing attending every event for the sake of it-way, but networking in the sense of fostering genuine authentic professional relationships with people in your industry and other industries you’re interested in.  Read more The best jobs for work-life balance in the UK “Now could be a great time to try and kind of reconnect with old friends or colleagues, or try and build up new connections in your areas of interests,” Salton says.  “I try and avoid being totally prescriptive on how to expand your network because I do think it’s a very personal thing. For some people, it may be texting previous colleagues and asking them for a virtual coffee - catching up with their professional world and getting a bit more of a feel for other people's roles or employers. It can almost be a social reconnect.” Salton also encourages all of her clients to be proactive about networking on LinkedIn.  “LinkedIn is brilliant for being visible and for sharing content,” she says. “A lot of people aim to create a really shiny profile and hope to get headhunted. In my experience, that's not the reality or the usefulness of LinkedIn, it's much more useful to use as a platform to outreach and to have conversations with people.  “This could be reaching out to people at companies that you might be interested in working at, asking for a virtual coffee over Skype to learn a little bit more about that person's career journey, and learn about their challenges. I would recommend doing this in the spirit of connection and building a community. Sometimes people feel a bit funny about reaching out ‘cold’ to people, so do it with the right intention - to learn, gain insights, expand your network – rather than to pester them asking for a job. In my experience, the more you put yourself out there and make efforts to connect, learn, and network, the more opportunities come back to you.” How to ace a virtual job interview Once you’ve secured a job interview, Salton says the process would be like any normal application, but the main interview will take place virtually instead of in person.  “In certain industries, people have been using virtual interviews for a really long time, using telephone and video interviewing. So it's quite well used anyway but obviously now it’s the default,” Salton says.  “I would say the biggest risk is candidates being more self conscious or getting a bit flustered and nervous about using technology. So candidates should be reassured, that in terms of how they approach it, and the type of answers they give, a lot of that doesn't change.” Read more The age most adults land their dream job Salton adds that the basics you need to get right before going into a virtual job interview are making sure you have a strong internet connection, making sure your household knows that you have an interview so you’re less likely to be interrupted but also if your kids do burst in, to not let it affect you too much and know that the interviewer understands the current tricky circumstances.  How you are placed on your screen is another factor, and Salton says it should be like a passport photo.  She continues: “Not being too far away or too close to the screen, with all of your head and maybe the tops of your shoulders and make sure the angle is okay. It doesn’t have to be super flattering, but making sure that you're seen head on, rather than tilted. What you can do if you have a laptop is just try raising it a little bit with books so that your laptop is at eye level.” What to wear during a virtual job interview Salton recommends making the environment of the at-home interview as similar to an in-person interview as possible - which means wearing clothes you would regularly wear to a job interview She adds: “You could argue that as long as you’re in a suit from the waist up, wear wherever you like, but I personally think from a mindset perspective, it helps you get in the right frame of mind. “If you're fully dressed how you would normally be, I think it puts you in more of a sophisticated, professional mindset." Body language is important, too. Think natural arm movement, looking at the person speaking on the screen instead of eyeballing the camera and allowing for natural silences. “Knowing yourself and being able to confidently and clearly communicate your strengths, your skills, your experience - be that on an application form a CV, or your LinkedIn profile - is really key,” Salton adds. “The ability to build relationships - whether that's through an interview or through networking - will always continue to be important.”
Coronavirus: Job scheme 'should be extended for airport staff'
06 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Coronavirus
  • Airport Staff
DUP MPs have suggested the government's job retention scheme should be extended for airport ground staff to allow the aviation sector more time to recover.The scheme, which allows companies to keep staff at home with the government paying 80% of normal wages, is due to expire at the end of June.In a letter to the Chancellor the MPs say if it ends in June, ground handling firms would have to lay off most staff.That would make it more difficult for Northern Ireland to restart air routes.Airports and airlines are grappling with how to reopen and work safely but are likely to be operating at reduced levels of capacity for some time.The MPs say: "The combination of the time taken for the airline industry to pick up and the cost of holding on to staff while no revenue is being earned had the real potential to put these firms out of business."Without their input the challenge of having the ability to speed the national recovery will be much greater."The MPs suggest the job retention scheme could be extended for some industries into October.They also suggest the level of payments could be tapered as staff gradually increase the hours they work.'No cliff edge'The Treasury is considering what to do with the job retention scheme which has saved millions of workers from redundancy but at significant cost.The first month of the scheme is estimated to have cost £8bn.On Monday the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, told employers there would be no "cliff edge" when the initial version of the scheme expires at the end of June.He said he was working to find "the most effective way to wind down the scheme and ease people back into work in an effective way".However, he said the same level of support could not continue: "Some scenarios have suggested we are potentially spending as much on the furlough scheme as we do on the NHS, for example. Now clearly that is not a sustainable situation."
UK retail job vacancies plummet 79.7% in April
06 May 2020
  • UK
  • Job
  • Vacancies
The latest job market data for the UK retail industry has shown a continuing decline in job vacancies last month due to the coronavirus crisis, plummeting by almost 80 per cent.According to data from CV-Library, job vacancies plummeted by 79.7 per cent in the retail sector in April on a month-on-month basis.Year-on-year, retail job numbers nose dived by 78.5 per cent.“We’re trying to support UK businesses as much as possible right now, but everyone is feeling the financial effects of the current crisis,” CV-Library founder Lee Biggins said.“Thousands of companies have put a pause on their hiring plans until there’s more certainty in the market and the pandemic is having an impact on all sorts of industries – most notably the retail sector.“All we can do now is prepare for the recovery and hope that business confidence picks up over the next few months when lockdown restrictions eventually ease.“Unfortunately, there’s no light at the end of the tunnel at this stage, especially as we move into the thick of the spring/summer period, which tends to be quieter for hiring anyway.”Despite more Brits being out of work or placed on furlough in April, CV-Library’s data shows that retail job application numbers also dropped significantly last month – down 28.1 per cent month-on-month and down 47.6 per cent year-on-year.In addition to these findings, the online jobs site found that the application to job ratio increased by 253.4 per cent in the retail industry in April, compared to the previous month.This means there is more competition among candidates for the roles available, with an average of 37.02 applications per retail role last month, as opposed to just 10.47 in March.“Unfortunately, organisations have had to make some tough decisions over the past six weeks, with ONS figures revealing that two thirds of businesses have placed staff on furlough,” Biggins said.“While these professionals might not be actively looking for work right now, especially at a time when there’s so much uncertainty, we do expect application figures to pick up in the coming months and clearly there is already increased competition for jobs.”
Some States Let Vulnerable Workers Turn Down Jobs
06 May 2020
  • Businesses
  • Chicago
  • Unemployement
A man walks by a closed store in Chicago last week. As businesses begin to reopen, states face pressure to clarify whether people can stay on unemployment if they’re afraid of catching the coronavirus at work. Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press Read Stateline coverage of the latest state action on coronavirus. DENVER — As governors start to allow businesses to reopen, they’re under pressure to clarify whether people can refuse a job offer and stay on unemployment if they’re afraid of catching the coronavirus at work. States generally cut residents from their unemployment insurance rolls if they turn down a job offer that matches their skill set and work history. But the coronavirus pandemic has raised new questions about whether it’s safe for people — particularly older, sicker people — to return to work, and what employers must do to keep workers safe. “We’re kind of in uncharted territory here,” said Rachael Kohl, director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School. She noted that there’s not yet any case law on unemployment benefits and COVID-19.  As confusion swirls, worker advocates are urging state officials to spell out policies and legal aid groups are gearing up to defend workers in court.  Some state labor departments, such as Missouri’s and Iowa’s, have announced that workers will lose unemployment benefits if they refuse a job, except in certain circumstances set by Congress in March when it approved emergency unemployment aid. Under that law, people can refuse to return to work if they are ill with the coronavirus, caring for a family member ill with the virus or unable to find child care because of the virus. Many state labor departments also are telling employers that they must report workers who turn down job offers. Fear of getting sick isn’t a sufficient reason for someone to refuse to work, the U.S. Department of Labor has said and states such as Georgia have reiterated. But some lawmakers argue that at this stage of the pandemic, the danger of infection remains so high that fear of getting sick should be a valid reason for anyone to stay on unemployment. No governor has gone that far, though some are allowing people to stay on unemployment if they have a health condition that makes them vulnerable to a serious infection and have been offered an unsafe job. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, told state regulators in April to make sure that people over age 65, people who have certain chronic diseases and other vulnerable people won’t be forced off unemployment if they turn down a job that’s likely to put their health at risk. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment last week issued emergency rules for determining whether a person refused a suitable offer of work or quit because of hazardous conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Regulators must consider the person’s vulnerability to the coronavirus, their health and safety risk in returning to work or remaining on the job, and the normal level of risk in the industry before the pandemic.More states likely will follow Colorado’s lead, said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank. “If you have legitimate fear that you are going to a job that is unhealthy, puts you at risk, puts your family at risk of getting sick with a possibly fatal infectious disease — I think a lot of states are going to accept that that’s a legitimate reason for not going back,” he said.  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, took a step in that direction last week, announcing that workers 65 or older and people living with an elderly household member will not be kicked off unemployment if they refuse a job offer. Workers who have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, have a family member ill with the virus, are in quarantine after exposure to the virus or have no access to child care also will be excused, he said. The Texas Workforce Commission will review other situations case by case.  "This flexibility in the unemployment benefit process will help ensure that Texans with certain health and safety concerns will not be penalized for choosing not to return to work,” Abbott said in a statement. Some worker advocates say Abbott’s announcement doesn’t go far enough. There are still outstanding concerns around people who are immunocompromised or are at higher risk because of a health condition, and around workplaces not providing enough safety protections, said Jonathan Lewis, senior economic opportunity policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based nonprofit, in an email to Stateline. Lewis’s group and 13 other unions and worker-friendly organizations sent the Texas Workforce Commission a letter last week asking it to clarify what jobs are suitable and what reasons workers can give for quitting a job. Nationwide, workers have some protections in place under existing state and federal law. Although people generally must be out of work involuntarily to qualify for unemployment benefits, they also can qualify after quitting an unsafe job, Kohl said. To do so, they need to document their health and safety concerns and prove that they talked to their employer but couldn’t agree on a reasonable solution. What workers can’t do — but some businessowners and state officials fear they’ll try to do — is turn down a job merely because they’d prefer to receive unemployment benefits. Congress has approved an additional $600 weekly benefit for workers through the end of July, which means many low-paid workers will make more money on unemployment than they would on the job. People who earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, for instance, earn $290 in a typical 40-hour workweek. The U.S. Department of Labor says that workers who turn down a job will lose some federal benefits, except in the limited circumstances set by Congress, such as when the worker is ill with the coronavirus. Georgia state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick and 20 other House Democrats in late April asked the state labor department whether Georgians who turn down job offers out of fear for their safety will lose unemployment benefits, what precautions employers are required to follow and how to ensure unemployment claims are promptly processed. Kendrick told Stateline that in her view, all Georgians have a legitimate reason to fear returning to work because Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has asked businesses to reopen before it’s safe. “Even the president thinks that Georgia is moving too fast,” she said. “It’s not like we’re in the mean of states that are opening up. We’re essentially one of the last to close and the first to open.” Allowing only medically vulnerable people to refuse job offers penalizes young, healthy people, she said. “There are still a lot of [coronavirus] cases where people are not in those categories.” The agency responded to Kendrick’s letter with a statement reiterating federal guidelines for coronavirus-related unemployment claims, such as being ill with the virus or caring for a sick family member. In such cases, the agency said, workers can refuse a job offer and stay on unemployment. Georgia employers and employees should work together to figure out whether a given person can be safely called back to work, Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said last week on a conference call with reporters. He noted that regulators are allowing workers to earn up to $300 a week without reducing their unemployment benefits.  With so many people struggling to get unemployment benefits, let alone keep them, some workers will end up taking their complaints to court, said Anne Carder, a managing attorney for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, which offers free civil legal aid to low-income residents of the metro area.  “All of these things that we’re talking about,” Carder said, “we expect that we’ll have to litigate at some point.”
When the Mask Comes Off: Job Hunting in a Post Pandemic World
06 May 2020
  • Business
  • Covid-19
  • Job Hunting
May 6, 2020 – Search professionals continue to adjust to new ways of doing business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite growing unemployment numbers, recruiters are finding new pathways to work through the crisis. From the jobseeker standpoint, however, many mid- to senior-level professionals are unsure how to proceed with their job searches. A new report by Russ Riendeau, senior partner and chief behavioral scientist with New Frontier Search Company, and Tim Tolan, managing partner of The Tolan Group, provides strategies for job hunting during a crisis and offers some questions to ask yourself before you start your job search.“The number of calls and emails we both get daily is over the top in terms of volume,” said Dr. Riendeau. “And some of these calls are from great people we know very well who have been impacted by COVID-19. We feel compelled to address these concerns and offer some ideas and thoughts to the candidate market as a whole. We don’t have all of the answers, but we do have expertise on this topic we want to share with those impacted. We’ve both experienced other downturns as executive recruiters so our feedback is real and our suggestions are (intentionally) very direct.”State of the Industry Report – Part 2 Forecast & Recovery Strategies The nation’s vast executive search community and their clients are quickly adapting to the new realities of Covid-19 – and what it means for hiring in 2020 and beyond. Hunt Scanlon’s latest executive recruiting industry sector report series will be available in 30 days. Hunt Scanlon Media will offer its two-part ‘Executive Recruiting State of the Industry Report’ focused on the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. Part 1, ‘Adapting in Uncertain Times’ will examine how executive recruiters are resetting expectations in the midst of an unprecedented interruption to their business. The part 2 installment, ‘Forecast & Recovery Strategies’ is our aftermath report – and provides critical data to guide your decisions and inform you on forward-thinking recovery strategies. Industry experts from across the talent and recruiting spectrum offer up their wide-ranging opinions, definitive viewpoints, and expert forecasts. Many expect a significant pause in business, followed by a sharp rebound later this year. We talk to the experts, uncover the opportunities, pick the sectors and reveal how search firms and talent organizations are navigating and adapting in uncertain times. Buy Both Reports Now To create some context and perspective around jobs and unemployment as of today, said Dr. Riendeau, consider these data points: More than 4.4 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week as job cuts escalated across an economy that remains all but shut down. More than 30 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the five weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began forcing millions of employers to either furlough their workers or close their doors. About one in six American workers have now lost their jobs since mid-March, by far the worst string of layoffs on record. According to economists, the unemployment rate stands at nearly 19 percent. Sadly, more pain is coming this month and next. “Of those impacted, we understand that a high percentage of jobs lost are in food, hospitality, retail and transportation services,” said Mr. Tolan. “It is a challenging time for all of us. And for those individuals looking to replace a lost job, make a career shift or new graduates entering the workforce, each of you have a unique set of challenges.” Economic recovery and returning to the “new normal” of daily life in a safe society will take another six to eight months or more, by some estimates. “If you have been let-go, laid-off, right-sized, downsized, furloughed or your income has been significantly reduced in this pandemic, there are self-assessment questions you want to ask yourself,” Mr. Tolan said. “And be prepared to be asked tougher questions by a hiring manager, as you seek a new job in your current field or if you decide to change careers altogether.”Russ Riendeau Ph.D., is senior partner and chief behavioral scientist with New Frontier Search Company, a retained search practice specializing in senior leadership, sales & sales management. The author/co-author of 11 books, numerous TEDx Talks, and a highly regarded keynote speaker, he also consults and writes about behavioral science topics and peak performance.“Asking yourself the tough questions now will give you both time to prepare truthful responses to ensure a better outcome, as well as educate yourself to be qualified to secure a better job offer,” Dr. Riendeau said. “While the reality is this pandemic triggered job losses, it won’t last as a permanent excuse to advancing your career and job search should you not do all you can to upgrade your skills to compete in this post-pandemic world. And eventually, the world will go back to a new normal.” “As longtime executive search professionals in the world of pay-for-performance, all of our colleagues know the importance of proactive behavior and ongoing education demonstrated by the best candidate receiving great job offers,” Mr. Tolan said. “Metrics measure reality. Every CEO, hiring executives and HR leaders we work with understand this as well. They too, watch for evidence that job applicants for the best jobs are working as hard on skills training on their own personal time, to gain a competitive advantage on the field to secure the better offer and higher compensation.” Related: Conducting Executive Searches During a Pandemic The search consultants said that if you are serious about securing a job or making a career shift you have to commit—really commit—to secure job leads and stand out above the competition. And while this pandemic is stressful and creating hardships for every American, you have the resilience to persevere; you have a choice to dedicate your energies to creating opportunities for yourself. There’s no room for excuses as to why your strategy or research is lacking evidence of commitment; why your resume has formatting issues; why your references won’t return a call; why your LinkedIn profile is not current and focused; why you’re too tired/busy/pre-occupied with the pandemic, kids, family, etc.Tim Tolan is managing partner and CEO of The Tolan Group (TTG), a retained search firm in St Augustine, FL. The Tolan Group was founded in 2005 and is part of the Sanford Rose Associates network of 100+ offices across the U.S. and abroad. TTG is primarily focused in multiple sectors, including healthcare services, healthcare technology, behavioral health, substance abuse and human and family services. “We’re all in similar predicaments, so it could mean you staying up late, getting up early, forgoing a binge of Tiger King (yes, a tough choice),” said Dr. Riendeau. “If your family depends on you, if you are looking to build your skills and career path, it is your responsibility to make changes that will improve your marketability. And if you are anxious about the future, feeling stress like you never have before—then you are self-aware, and please note, this is normal, healthy and appropriate emotions for right now. You will come out of this experience a stronger person. We all will – but only if we forge ahead with steadfast determination. Lastly, we must do so with a positive outlook and attitude as you look to the future. Focus on the good. It will get better!” Ask Yourself These Questions To provide some specific ideas to move you further ahead, Dr. Riendeau and Mr. Tolan offer a number of critical questions chief executives, hiring managers and HR professionals will ask you or will be listening/watching for your responses in this competitive job market. Ask yourself, they said, how your responses to these questions will hold up in a job interview: During this pandemic, what evidence can you show that you have researched new career tracks, read specific books, articles, webinars, meetings, etc. that are directly related to improving your skills to compete? What goals, ideas, timelines, possible career tracks have you documented and researched to determine if you are a viable candidate in these roles you’ve targeted? What does your job search plan, spreadsheet of contacts, targeted companies and phone calls per day reveal about your commitment, time management, work ethic and self-awareness? Are you targeting a job or career that maximizes your skills and energy? Do you actually have a file to demonstrate your homework? How many hours are you investing in your job search each and every day? Related: The COVID-19 Impact on Executive Search When asked why you were laid off, terminated or furloughed in this pandemic, how will you explain? You must be specific when answering why you no longer have a job. It’s perception: How are you taking command of your future by ramping up your skills and goals into a new career? (Remember: This question is intended to help you think differently about your future, not criticize anyone.) How much time have you dedicated to self-analysis with a pen and paper to document your skills and weaknesses related to your job and desire to secure a new career? What have you learned about yourself right now that you can begin to improve or concentrate on? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Have you targeted a new job, new industry, new profession that you believe will be more self-sufficient and profitable? What research are you doing to prove this choice is rationale, logical, viable? How is your LinkedIn profile? Does your profile look like, sound like the professional you believe you are? Will your profile hold up to the pressure of job interviews and secure you a great job offer? How many LI groups do you belong to? How many connections do you have in the market segment in which you have the most expertise? Does your profile match your resume with dates of each career transition? If your profile is not current or missing data, lacking evidence of your success, how do you expect others to see you as a successful, in-demand professional? (LinkedIn is your chance to showcase your value and successes to the business world.)Conducting a Job Search During a Global Pandemic A new report by Koya Leadership Partners points the way to finding a new job in the toughest economic climate in years. Start by accepting that you’re not alone, says author Amanda Sonis Glynn. Networking, pro bono work and developing new skills are just some of the approaches that will pay dividends in the long run. Compensation goals: Do you know what you are worth in the marketplace right now? $75,000 $150,000 $250,000 or more? What determines your value? How will you demonstrate your value proposition in 15 seconds or less? Do you know what your living expenses are and what you want to earn and invest each year to create your own FID—Financial Independence Day? Are you studying your investment habits to ensure you have good advice to make good investment decisions? Do you appear successful? Perception of effort and personal appearance: The research and effort others see you attempting enforces their perception that you are being proactive in your personal and professional development. This perception can be the difference in a great job offer or finishing second. Your appearance—physical appearance around clothes, grooming, written materials and your professional demeanor such as, online appearance (LinkedIn images, resume, social media content do impact perception, believability and trust. Act and dress like the professional you say you are. One chance meeting can create a career lead—especially now with social distancing and isolation.) Related: Conducting Executive Searches During a Pandemic Seeking accurate advice: Who do you turn to when you need impartial, truthful feedback on your skills, decisions and career tracks? Do you even seek out advice? Have you considered investing in professional coaching to realize your true potential? Do you have mentors/role models that ask you tough questions, deep questions that make you sweat– scare the hell out of you–because the question is dead-on to where the holes are? “If these questions and options resonate, make you defensive, scare you—even intimidate you—then you already know what you need to start now to improve your options and securing a great job offer,” Mr. Tolan said. “To secure a great job or change careers requires specific actions to prove you are doing the heavy lifting to ensure your success. Be prepared every day for a conversation.” Dr. Riendeau said that “when a potential hiring manager, mentor or colleague that could refer you a job lead reads your resume, checks out your LinkedIn profile, looks you in the eye, asks you what your game plan is, what will they be thinking? What if she asks you what specific action steps you have engaged in to improve your life situation while confined in-part to your home in this pandemic, what will you say? Masks help protect you against deadly viruses. Masks won’t protect hiring managers from excuses of why you’ve not been more strategic and proactive in your personal and professional development knowing change was coming.” “The harsh reality of this crisis is that it reveals vulnerable weaknesses in us as humans and in our decision-making,” Mr. Tolan said. “You and you alone have the choice in how you use your time and energy.”
Lost your job amid pandemic? Here's how you can withdraw your PF money
06 May 2020
  • PF Money
  • pandemic
  • Job Loss
You can file a PF withdrawal claim using your UAN on the EPFO portal. In order to raise the claim, make sure that the UAN has been activated and bank details, KYC documentation has been updated.New Delhi: The coronavirus crisis has cost many people their jobs. Several people are either dealing with salary cut or are being laid off. In fact, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recently warned that 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy, nearly half of the global workforce, is in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed. People in the organised sector are also suffering due to COVID-19 due to job losses and pay cuts. Because of the sudden salary cut or unemployment, people are struggling financially. Some are not able to pay their rent, EMI and utility bills. Necessary expenses have also become a financial burden for many. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) allows subscribers to withdraw money from their PF account prematurely for several reasons such as medical requirements, house construction, educational needs, etc. It also allows subscribers who have become unemployed, to withdraw funds from their PF accounts.  PF withdrawal rules: This is to help those financially who are hit by job losses. This also helps those people financially who have taken a sabbatical from work. As per general EPFO rules, individuals who are terminated from their job are allowed to make a withdrawal of 75% of their accumulated corpus after 1 month from when they are terminated. If they remain unemployed for two months, they can withdraw 100% of their PF money and close terminate the account. If you lost your job amid the pandemic, here's how you can withdraw your PF money: How to withdraw from EPF account: Raising a PF withdrawal claim is very easy. You can file a withdrawal claim using your UAN on the EPFO portal. In order to raise the claim, make sure that the UAN has been activated and that the bank details and KYC documentation has been updated on the PF portal.Step 1: Log in to EPFO's unified portal with your UAN and password.Step 2: On the ‘Our Services’ tab, select the ‘Claim’ option from the drop-down list.Step 3: You will find three types of withdrawal claim — full withdrawal, partial withdrawal, or pension withdrawal — in ‘I Want to Apply For’ section. The drop-down box with types of withdrawal will be displayed only if you are eligible to avail it.Step 4: The PF amount will be credited directly to your bank account after it is approved.Income tax on PF withdrawal:It is worth mentioning that in case of EPF withdrawal after 5 years of continuous service, the amount withdrawn (both principal and interest) is exempt from tax. If the withdrawal happens before completion of 5 years of continuous service, it is fully taxable.
Qatar Airways planning substantial job cuts: Company notice
06 May 2020
  • qatar
  • Qatar Airways
  • Jobs
Qatar Airways is planning to cut a significant number of jobs because travel has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, and told cabin crew to prepare for redundancies, according to a company notice seen by Reuters. The state-owned airline, one of few global carriers still operating scheduled services, said in March it was burning through its cash reserves and would eventually seek government aid.“We have to face a new reality, where many borders are closed, rendering many of our destinations closed and aircraft grounded as a result, with no foreseeable outlook for immediate, positive change,” Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said in the notice to cabin crew.“The truth is, we simply cannot sustain the current numbers and we need to make a substantial number of jobs redundant - inclusive of Cabin Crew.”A Qatar Airways spokesman confirmed a number of roles were being made redundant due to the impact of COVID-19. “The unparalleled impact on our industry has caused significant challenges for all airlines and we must act decisively to protect the future of our business,” the spokesman told Reuters.Neither the notice or the spokesman said how many jobs would be cut.A Qatar Airways spokesman had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters outside of normal business hours on Tuesday.Affected employees would be paid their contractual dues and any owed overtime, the notice said, and those who are not able to immediately return to their home countries would be provided with housing and a living allowance until such a return was possible.The airline said last month some staff would have their wages halved for at least three months though would be later paid back.Qatar Airways Group, which counts the airline among its assets, had 46,684 employees at the end of its last reported financial year in March 2019.Rivals Emirates and Etihad Airways have temporarily slashed wages as they try to weather the crisis, while budget carrier Air Arabia earlier on Tuesday said it had laid off 57 employees.
These coronavirus job losses will be permanent
06 May 2020
  • Job
  • Job loses
  • Coronavirus
A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business' Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.London (CNN Business)The wave of job losses that has come crashing down in the past six weeks has had one silver lining: Many economists and investors think that a good portion of the layoffs are temporary, and people will be able to head back to work once government lockdowns start to ease.That may be true in some sectors. But for the airline industry, which has been battered by plunging demand as people hunker down at home, changes to its workforce will be more permanent.See here: General Electric (GE) said Monday that it is cutting as many as 13,000 jobs in its jet engine business for good. The move is designed to cope with an "unprecedented" and "deep contraction" of commercial aviation, according to the company.GE said the job cuts will help the company save $1 billion. Orders for jet engines and parts have plunged as Boeing and Airbus have slashed production of new planes. Demand for servicing jets has also collapsed.Meanwhile, a top executive at United Airlines (UAL) is urging employees to consider leaving the company voluntarily.In a memo to staffers, Chief Operations Officer Greg Hart said the airline will need to "right size" its workforce. "We recognize that this is painful news, but it provides what we believe is the most accurate assessment of what lies ahead for our company," he said.The airline is precluded from laying off staff for the next six months under terms of a US bailout that will provide it with about $5 billion, but it's preparing to cut staff as soon as October, according to a letter sent to staff in April by CEO Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby.These announcements underscore the gravity of the crisis facing the aviation industry, which is expected to take years to recover from the coronavirus shock. Ryanair, Europe's top budget airline, said Tuesday that traffic plunged 99.6% in April. Just 40,000 passengers flew last month compared to 13.5 million in 2019.Investor insight: Shares of airlines reflect this turmoil. Stock in United, Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and American Airlines (AAL) all fell at least 5% on Monday after legendary investor Warren Buffett said he'd dumped his holdings, calling it a mistake to invest in the industry.But what's happening in the sector also casts doubt on the notion that the US unemployment rate will reach its high point in April before coming down to 10% by the end of the year.James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, told clients Tuesday that he sees the US unemployment rate spiking as high as 22% in May, from an expected 15.8% in April, pushed up by layoffs in the services sector and the oil and gas industry.Some retailers may be too broke to file for bankruptcy J.Crew is the first major US retailer to file for bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it's unlikely to be the last.On the radar: Attention is now on J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus, which have reportedly come close to filing for bankruptcy in recent weeks.Some retailers can't afford to file until stores reopen because they need money from liquidation sales, my CNN Business colleague Chris Isidore reports. The "everything must go" blowouts help get products off shelves and fund operations through bankruptcy proceedings. "We probably would have seen more file by now if stores were open," Reshmi Basu, an expert in retail bankruptcies at Debtwire, told Chris. "We're clearly seeing a lot of companies engage [bankruptcy] advisors. But it's not a great time."Some stores have started to reopen with restrictions in place. Simon Property Group is reopening 49 malls this week, while Macy's is reopening 68 stores. Others, including Nordstrom and Gap, remain shut.But it's not clear shoppers will return, and conditions remain difficult. On Monday, the owner of Victoria's Secret called off its plan to take the lingerie brand private after sparring with its private equity partners on the deal.Investor insight: Looming bankruptcies aren't limited to the retail. Bloomberg reports that Hertz, which was scrambling Monday to get lenders to extend a grace period on missed debt payments, could file for bankruptcy as soon as Tuesday. Shares of the rental car company are down 29% in premarket trading.A crucial court decision sends the euro lowerA decision by Germany's constitutional court on Tuesday on the legality of the European Central Bank's stimulus efforts hit the euro as investors scrambled to parse its ramifications for the common currency.What's happening: The court said that Germany's central bank will have to stop buying government bonds as part of the European Central Bank's long-standing stimulus program if the ECB can't prove the purchases are necessary.The central bank has three months to show its work, but the ruling doesn't apply to 750 billion euros in bond purchases authorized to fight the effects of the pandemic. Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank, said he is confident that the ECB "can handle such an audit."But if the German court isn't satisfied, it could spell the end of a crucial part of the central bank's stimulus toolkit."Will this change the ECB's behavior for the time being? Unlikely," Nomura analyst Jordan Rochester told clients Tuesday. "But it will have set off a debate that most folks this morning were not expecting."
How Can You Find a Job During a Pandemic?
06 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Find Job
  • pandemic
Since mid-March, more than 30 million people across the United States have lost their jobs. As the COVID-19 pandemic takes its toll on the economy, many organizations are also eliminating vacant positions and placing a freeze on new hires. That can be scary for students in the Class of 2020, who are graduating into a job market with the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. But according to Sierra Mathews, a Career Advisor in Butler University’s Office of Career and Professional Success (CaPS), there are a few ways job seekers can take more control of their careers.   Q: How should students approach the job search during this time? Sierra Mathews: First, have compassion for yourself. Whatever you’re feeling, whether it be anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, or panic, allow yourself to feel those emotions fully. Don’t feel like you have to put on a face of “I’ve got this all together,” because nobody does right now. My second piece of advice is to explore. Think about where your skill set might be valuable outside the career you’ve been planning for. For instance, our arts majors have learned so much when it comes to creativity, adaptability, and collaboration. Those skills are so useful, even outside the arts realm. The same goes for our liberal arts and sciences students. There are so many applications for those critical thinking and writing skills, even if the jobs you want aren’t hiring right this second. To determine which companies are still hiring, and therefore provide clearer resources for students, CaPS has been working closely with our network of employers. This has helped us steer job seekers more toward industries such as healthcare, pharmacy, business analytics, software development, nonprofit work, and others that have been least affected by the pandemic.  Students can also consider options they might have never thought of before. For some, that means pursuing fields outside their majors. For others, it might mean taking a gap year to do something like the AmeriCorps VISTA program, or accepting a paid internship instead of a full-time job. Finally, I talk to students about exploring their networks. Who do you know, and who do they know? Use tools like LinkedIn and Bulldogs Connect to find people who work in the fields you’re interested in. Ask them about how they got to where they are, or what they love about that industry. Right now, everyone is craving human interaction. Reaching out and building those relationships will pay off later. Once applications open back up, they’ll know who you are.   Q: When it comes to the actual application, how can students stand out? SM: Networking is the most important thing you can do to stand out, but there are a few other ways to make yourself a more appealing candidate. Most of us know we’re supposed to tailor cover letters for each job, but you should really be doing the same with your résumé—especially now. Look closely at job descriptions, and pay attention to how companies describe themselves. What keywords do they use? Implement those into both your résumé and cover letter. For applicants in creative fields like marketing, communications, arts, and so on, you might even think about incorporating some of the company’s fonts and colors.   Q: How can the CaPS Office help? SM: If you are still figuring out what you want to do, we can help with discovering careers that best match your interests and skills. During the application process, we can assist with building stronger résumés, cover letters, and LinkedIn pages. We also provide interview training. But our office does more than just individual coaching: We also host workshops and fairs designed to help all students and alumni advance in their careers. While these events are currently held virtually, they provide great opportunities to engage directly with employers who want to work with Butler students and alumni. To view upcoming events and available jobs, check out our online portal through Handshake. All of our services are free for Bulldogs for life. If you’re a current student who doesn’t have a résumé, we’re here for you. If you’re an alumnus who has lost your job or been furloughed, we’re here for you, too. Our office is here to help, wherever you are, every step of the way.
86% fear job losses as coronavirus scare mounts: Survey
06 May 2020
  • Coronavirus
  • Job Loss
  • Job fear
Worries about job losses are the highest in the country as 86 percent being worried about losing their jobs and livelihood post-COVID-19 lockdowns. A survey has found a vast majority of the citizens -- 86 percent of those polled to be precise -- are worried about losing their jobs and livelihoods due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Also, a vast majority of those polled (84 percent) not only believe that the epidemic is still in its early stages and also rapidly accelerating, while those in the US, which is the worst hit with over 68,000 deaths and over 1.3 million infections, Britain and Australia believe the pandemic is tapering off. Hongkongers believe the virus is already tamed.Worries about job losses are the highest in the country as 86 percent being worried about losing their jobs and livelihood post-COVID-19 lockdowns. In comparison, this is only 31 percent in Britain, 33 percent in Australia and 41 percent in the US and a high 71 percent Hongkongers fear job loses, says the survey.According to the fourth leg of a five-country (the US, Britain, India, Australia and Hong Kong) online opinion poll by the British research firm Crosby Textor (CT) Group, carried out between April 23 and 27, as much as 84 percent of Indians polled are very satisfied with the way government has been dealing with the crisis so far, as against on other countries where the popularity of their governments have been plunging.According to Atul Jhamb, chairman of Crosby Textor India, a part of the London-based parent that specialises in opinion polls, strategic communications and a corporate and political advisory, "despite being satisfied with the government efforts to contain the virus, as much as 86 percent Indians have a high level of concern of losing their livelihood and employment due to the pandemic, which is higher than their peers elsewhere. While 84 percent Indians are very happy with government handling the pandemic, this is a low 43 percent in the US, 56 percent in Britain, and 53 percent in Hong Kong while 71 percent in Australia.Also, despite many Chinese test kits being useless, 68 percent Indians agree that the government is taking the right steps in handling medical equipment. In comparison, this is a (-) 17 percent in Britain, a low 3 percent in the US, 22 percent in Hong Kong and a high 60 percent in Australia.On their expectation of return to normalcy, vast majority of them are optimistic and believe normal life will return in two to four months.
UK grapples with phasing out job furlough scheme
06 May 2020
  • UK
  • Grappels
  • Job
Much of the UK’s labour market is on life support. Official figures show that around a fifth of the workforce has been furloughed at the state’s expense, while more than 2m individuals have applied for unemployment benefits since the start of the coronavirus lockdown. The rapid creation of the government’s job retention scheme — which allows employers to furlough workers on 80 per cent of regular pay — has been crucial in keeping smaller businesses afloat and preventing a steeper rise in unemployment, employers say. But with the scheme covering 6.3m jobs, Treasury officials are locked in intense discussions as they try to work out how to phase it out without triggering a wave of redundancies. “We want ways to wean people off and get this right,” said one government figure. Norman Lamont, the former chancellor, warned that “part of the consequence of the furloughing scheme . . . is to lull people into a false sense of security”. Speaking on Behind the Story, a podcast, on Wednesday, he said: “Some people sitting at home may not realise . . . that their jobs have disappeared or are about to disappear or that their firm is in serious trouble.” A survey conducted by the CIPD, the body for HR professionals, suggested that over half of employees who had been furloughed would have been made redundant in the scheme’s absence. Chart showing uounger workers and women have been hardest hit in shut-down sectors Giving businesses certainty on the conditions under which they operate as the economy reopens, and the level of support they can expect, will be crucial to avoid a wave of job losses across the UK, say business groups. Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, assured employers on Monday that there would be no “cliff edge” when the current version of the job retention scheme expires at the end of June, saying he was working to find “the most effective way to wind down the scheme and ease people back into work in an effective way”. But he also made it clear that the cost of the programme — in some scenarios comparable to the cost of the NHS — was not sustainable. The challenge facing the chancellor is adapting the scheme — originally intended to preserve jobs until the economy could bounce back from the lockdown — for what now looks like a slow, protracted recovery in which many businesses will be unable to operate at capacity for months — and from which some sectors may never fully recover. The main demand from employers, echoed on Tuesday by Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is to extend the scheme in a more flexible form, allowing furloughed staff to work part-time — for example, working a few hours a week to clear invoices or update social media. The Treasury initially resisted this — saying it would be impossible to tell whether employers were cheating the system — but now it is looking at ways around the problem. We want to facilitate the reallocation of workers from sectors that are going to shrink to ones that are going to grow Stuart Adam, Institute for Fiscal Studies The chancellor will also need to decide how quickly to taper the proportion of wages the government covers and whether or not to offer support for longer to the worst-affected sectors. “There’s nothing to stop us doing various ways of cutting it . . . we want ways to wean people off and get this right,” said one government figure. This will involve some difficult trade-offs. Although the first goal will be to reduce the risk of a sharp rise in unemployment, the government will not want to pay to keep workers idle for months on the payroll of companies that do not have a future. “We want to facilitate the reallocation of workers from sectors that are going to shrink to ones that are going to grow,” said Stuart Adam, senior research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies — but he added this must be set against the advantages of keeping workers in firms where they already had knowledge and experience that would be hard to replace. Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation, a think-tank, also argued that while companies in hard-hit sectors, such as tourism and hospitality, might need support for longer, the ultimate aim should be to help the people working in them to move into jobs with better long-term prospects. “We owe it to those people to help them make the adjustment,” he said. Charts showing accommodation and food services have seen the largest proportion of workers furloughed Tapering the support available through the job retention scheme is one way to encourage companies to adjust in the short term. But with unemployment set to rise and remain high for some time, think-tanks and unions argue that the government will need to play a much more active role in the labour market, giving long-term support for employment, for some time. The Trades Union Congress has called for the government to fund a “jobs guarantee”, providing work and training at the national living wage for a minimum of six months — with the priority being to help young people who now face big hurdles to entering the labour market. “Many jobs will not be available again immediately, or perhaps ever,” the Institute for Fiscal Studies said in a report published this week. The think-tank called on the government to play a more active role in helping to move furloughed workers into areas that were struggling to recruit. Recommended Coronavirus Live Q&A: Should I take a pay cut? The IFS said there would still be some areas where unemployed people would struggle to find jobs that matched their skills and argued that there was a stronger case than usual for the government to “consider public investments that would employ these people in the interim to do productive work that will pay off later, such as improving national infrastructure”. Interventions of this kind would be a radical change of approach for officials in the UK, where labour market flexibility has often been seen as the key to helping people into work. “A striking success of British policy in the last three decades was creating a labour market that clears easily at low levels of unemployment,” said Giles Wilkes, a former No 10 adviser and fellow at the Institute for Government think-tank. “They won’t give that up easily.”
Stranded, 500 Indians with German resident permits fear job loss, future
06 May 2020
  • Indians
  • german
  • Residents
Nearly 500 Indian nationals with resident permits in Germany have been stranded across the country ever since the COVID-19 lockdown. As many as 107 of them are in Bengaluru, concerned that their permits will soon expire and their children’s education in Germany would be in serious jeopardy.Germany had operated special flights to fly back German nationals from the Kempegowda International Airport and other airports countrywide. However, those with resident permits residing in Germany for years were not allowed in those flights.“We had come to India on vacation and got stuck here. Eighty per cent of us have jobs in Germany. But the companies have said that the work from home (WFH) facility will be available only for the next two weeks. There is a big fear of losing jobs,” Sushma, one of the 107 stranded in Bengaluru told DH.Asked to Reach DelhiThey had approached the German embassy, which offered to accommodate them in two special flights departing from Delhi on May 3 and 5. “They said if you can reach Delhi, we have no problem taking those with resident permits. But with the lockdown, we are unable to go anywhere,” said Sushma.The first priority in repatriation flights were given to German nationals and those from the European Union. “Though stranded here, we are all paying hefty rents back there. We have tried to reach out to the embassy and the PMO, but all our efforts have been in vain."Among the stranded, Ranjan Chowdhary had arrived in India on March 5, with plans to take his family back. “I have a job in Hanover in an Indian firm. Now, they are saying if I cannot return, they will pay me only Indian salary, around 400 Euros. My rent alone is 1000 Euros" he said.Chowdhary is also concerned about his educational documents and other certificates stuck in his house in Germany. “I tried reaching out to an Indian group there, but everyone seems helpless. The lockdown announcement was so sudden that I could not make any arrangements,” he lamented.Of the 484 stranded, 107 each are in Bengaluru and Delhi, 61 in Hyderabad, 56 in Mumbai, 43 in Chennai, 36 in Kolkata, 24 in Ahmedabad, 21 each in Kochi and Pune, eight in Lucknow and three in Dhanbad. Eighty per cent of them are employed in various companies based across Germany, while the rest are dependents, mainly spouses and children.
Coronavirus Layoffs - Job Losses And Furloughs Are Even Impacting ‘Safe’ Jobs
06 May 2020
  • Coronavirus
  • Coronavirus Layoffs
  • Jobs
Over 30 million workers have filed unemployment claims in the last six weeks. That represents approximately 23% of the workforce. Many of the newly unemployed workers came from industries you would expect to be hit hard in a pandemic, such as the hospitality industry and small businesses.  But very few job sectors have escaped the wrath of the COVID-19 virus. Even jobs that are typically seen as “safe” are being hit. This includes government jobs at the state and local levels, jobs in healthcare, and jobs that require a significant amount of technical skill and training. In most cases, it is rare for workers in these industries to ever file for unemployment benefits. Yet, many of these employees find themselves out of work, and while some of these layoffs may be temporary, some of these jobs may never return. State & Local Governments Are Laying Off Thousands Nationwide Government jobs are often considered to be a “safe” choice for employment. What you give up in maximum earning potential is usually made up for with increased job stability, good benefits, and a decent pension. But that idea if being flipped upside down by the COVID-19 response. Today In: RetirementKissing Through Glass: Coping With Separation From FamilyIncome Annuities: The Guaranteed Stream Of Income In RetirementPayment Protection Program: An Existential Threat To Business Owner Retirement And What To Do About ItA recent survey by the National League of Cities shows that 96% of municipalities anticipate budget shortfalls this year due to revenue decreases caused by the COVID-19 response. Many state and local governments are feeling the pain caused by social distancing requirements and shuttered businesses. Closed businesses don’t bring in revenue which means they aren’t collecting sales tax and they aren’t paying employment taxes. As a result, cities and municipalities are dealing with decreased revenue streams. Municipal coffers are running dry and many government agencies have already announced unpaid furloughs and layoffs. PROMOTED In Los Angeles, the mayor has called for thousands of city employees to take 26 unpaid days of leave this year, which basically amounts to a 10% pay cut. Detroit, facing a $348 million budget deficit, is laying off over 200 part-time workers, cutting hours for full-time workers, freezing pay, and cutting some salaries by 5%. The city also expects additional cuts to services. These are just two small examples of how municipalities are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Experts estimate that thousands of state and local government employees will be forced into filing for unemployment benefits. Even Healthcare Workers Are Being Laid Off According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry has been one of the hardest-hit since the coronavirus response started in March, with the industry being in the top 5 for most jobs lost.  It seems unimaginable that healthcare workers would be laid off or furloughed during a pandemic. But it is becoming increasingly common among medical workers who are deemed “non-essential.” While the focus is on taking care of patients who are critically ill or who have COVID-19, other non-essential medical procedures have been placed on hold. This has forced thousands of healthcare employees across the nation to be furloughed.  Thousands of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff have been laid off in California due to the coronavirus outbreak. Cookville Regional Hospital, in TN, recently furloughed approximately 400 employees, or about 16% of its staff, and reduced hours for several hundred more.  These stories are becoming more common in many regions of the United States. While many of these job losses are temporary, it’s not guaranteed that all of them will return. MORE FROM FORBESSome Earning More Money On Unemployment Than While Working - What Is Their Incentive To Return To Work?By Ryan Guina Airlines and Related Industries are Planning Massive Layoffs - Including Highly Skilled Pilots and Technicians For the last several years, airlines couldn’t hire enough pilots. There have even been concerns that they wouldn’t have enough pilots in the next few years, as airlines increased routes and older pilots were forced to retire due to FAA age regulations. To address this need, the airlines were recruiting heavily from the military ranks, offering sizable signing bonuses, and offering excellent pay and benefits. That has changed in the last two months as the COVID-19 response has decimated travel, leading airlines to cancel close to 95% of their flights. Under the terms of the recent government bailouts, the airlines can’t lay off employees for 6 months. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning now for the inevitable. United Airlines UAL , for example, recently announced they will be laying off at least one-third of their pilots as soon as October 1st. That amounts to over 4,400 experienced pilots hitting the unemployment lines.  Until two or three months ago, this would have been unthinkable. These are not easily replaceable employees. Commercial airline pilots require years of training and thousands of hours of flight time before they are eligible to fly commercial routes. But the airline industry has been hit harder than many industries and it may be years before the industry recovers. Even Warren Buffett showed his concern by selling Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B’s portfolio of airline stocks. And it’s not just airline employees that are losing their jobs. Boeing BA will lay off over 16,000 employees, or approximately 10% of its workforce. GE is cutting 13,000 jobs in its jet engine division. Again, these are jobs that require highly skilled employees. Which Jobs Are Safe Going Forward? Several popular memes have floated around the Internet telling high school and college students to look at which employees are considered essential - those are the jobs you should strive for. That seems like excellent advice in the current environment. But one could have easily made the same argument three months ago for jobs at state and local governments, the medical field, and even with the airlines.
Govt job aspirants face ‘uncertain’ future as recruitments get delayed due to Covid
06 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Government Jobs
  • Recruitment
The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown have pushed lakhs of aspirants of government jobs into a state of uncertainty. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has postponed the Civil Services Preliminary Exam; besides, large-scale recruitment for bank jobs, examinations being conducted by Staff Selections Commission (SSC) for various Central government posts and tests of various State public service commissions, are scheduled from this month onwards.“But now there is uncertainly, given the lockdown and social distance norms,” CS Vepa, Director of Vepa Academy, and former director of National School of Banking, told Business Line.The Institute for Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) has given a calendar for examinations scheduled during the year, and many are worried about the possible delay in the wake of Covid19.Final results delayedThe IBPS was supposed to announce the final results of some exams conducted last year in the first week of April. In a notification on its portal, IBPS attributed the delay in results to “unforeseen circumstances due to Covid-19”, and did not give any new date for the announcement of results. Even though IBPC announced a recruitment exam for posts in Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to be conducted on August 1, it has not commenced the process so far and this is also expected to be delayed. The UPSC has not given any new date for preliminary exam, which was originally scheduled for May 30.About five lakh students apply for Civil Services Examinations (CSE) every year for 700-800 posts, including IAS, Indian Foreign Service and the Indian Police Service. This year’s exam is scheduled to be held from May 31.“The results of last year’s exam have been delayed as the interview process is not completed due to the lockdown,” said a BTech graduate who attended the interview.The Staff Selection Commission (SSC), too, postponed exams, including those for junior engineer and stenographers, and said it will review the situation on May 18. Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission, too, has postponed main examination of Group I services.Apparently, many aspirants are worried. “I quit my job in software MNC and preparing for Civils staying in hostel. It will be tough for many like me to bear expenses if the process gets delayed,” said Rohan Roy, a graduate from BITS Pilani.
Job openings declined for six consecutive weeks, but now moderating
06 May 2020
  • Jobs
  • Job Openings
  • Declined
More than 1 in 4 job openings closed as an economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping to levels unseen since 2014, reports Glassdoor researchThe dramatic decline of job openings--28% between early March and April 27--is finally somewhat leveling out, a new report from Glassdoor indicated. Supported by figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the latest data shows job openings across the country have declined 27.7% since the beginning of March, out-matching 2009's Great Recession. However, the weekly job opening decline-rate has moderated from March 23 (-7.8%) to April 27 (-2.8), a fact independent of the rolling waves of decline, which are affected by the effects COVID-19 has on different  industries. For example, the most dramatic decline in job openings was consumer services (due to the shutdowns), while more recent declines in job openings have been predominantly white collar and health care jobs. Job openings are industry-specificBut the hiring rate, spread among employers, does distinguish between industries. Two in three employers had fewer job openings on April 27, than in mid-March, and nearly one-in-four pulled down all job openings. Between Feb. 3 and March 16, job openings increased 34%, 26% reflected no change, 28% reduced openings, and 12% halted all openings indefinitely.SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic) From March 16 to April 27, though, there was an 11% increase in job openings, 23% had no change, 42% showed reduced openings, and 25% paused all job openings.Increase in job openings There's light at the end-of-the-tunnel (and it's not a train): 11% of employers are still increasing job openings, a "small pocket pocket of companies that have had to ramp up hiring to accommodate the massive shift in demand," the report said."With data showing 28% of job openings gone since early March, the prolonged impacts of the coronavirus may soon outmatch the rate of job posting declines seen during the Great Recession," said Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao. Jobs hardest hit due to the coronavirusConsumer jobs that feature employees interacting with customers in person were hardest hit, as were travel and tourism, retail, food services, business facilities, and private security.Shelter-in-place orders in most parts of the country forced companies to immediately make changes to their workforce, and there was a deep decline in job openings in the first full week of the pandemic.Declines in job openings slowed in industries like manufacturing, energy, and production industries--the pace was less frantic because the declines in job openings "took longer to ripple through employers," according to the report.How healthcare is faringThere's been a steady decline in job openings in the healthcare industry, starting to accelerate through April 5, and today remains pretty much unchanged. Health care is one of the US' largest job providers, but accounts for one-third of the weekly decline in the last two weeks.Tech job openings may be on the upswingThe report said, "Tech may however be turning the corner, with job openings rising 4.9 percent from April 13 to April 27. The shift in demand to online services, combined with a highly mobile workforce, may help tech weather the crisis better than other industries. While the small increase is not enough to offset the total declines over the duration of the crisis, it is a reason for optimism." The steadiest jobs in hiring are at supermarkets.The April job report from BLS is expected to report tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, and the unemployment rate spiking above 10%--notably, though, the BLS report will cover April 12 to May 1. The referenced Glassdoor report which chronicles data post-April 12, "signals that while the labor market is still reeling, we may begin seeing green shoots of recovering labor demand in the weeks ahead. The pace of the decline in job openings is slowing, and some industries like tech may be turning the corner."Will industry return to normal?It concluded, "The ultimate question is how quickly can the labor market return to normal once the worst of the crisis has passed. If the decline in job openings continues to slow, job openings could bottom out soon. While any economic recovery will depend largely on the effectiveness of the public health and government response, Glassdoor data shows that there may be signs for optimism around the bend."Despite an abundance of grim news these days," Zhao said, "Glassdoor data reveals there may be glimmers of optimism ahead as certain industries see hiring declines steadying or turning a corner. The ultimate test will be how quickly the labor market can return to normal once the worst of the crisis has passed."
Coronavirus pandemic | Qatar Airways warns of 'substantial' job losses
06 May 2020
  • qatar
  • Qatar Airways
  • Coronavirus
The Gulf airline, which flew to more than 170 destinations with 234 aircraft as of March, has been hit by airport closures and travel bans imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.Qatar Airways has warned its employees of "substantial" redundancies amid a collapse in demand for air travel caused by the coronavirus, according to an internal memo seen by AFP on Tuesday.The Gulf airline, which flew to more than 170 destinations with 234 aircraft as of March, has been hit by airport closures and travel bans imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.The International Air Transport Association warned last month that air traffic in the Middle East and North Africa would plummet by more than half this year."The truth is, we simply cannot sustain the current staff numbers and will need to make a substantial number of jobs redundant -- inclusive of cabin crew," Qatar Airways chief executive Abkar al-Baker wrote in a memo to cabin crew dated Monday. related news Sanofi to enroll thousands for its coronavirus vaccine trials Goldman Sachs CEO says staff back at offices in Asia, but not New York, London Karnataka cancels all special trains for migrant workers. The note did not specify how many of its more than 30,000 staff were at risk of redundancy, although the airline has had to slash its passenger services to just 35 destinations."The unparalleled impact on our industry has caused significant challenges for all airlines and we must act decisively to protect the future of our business," the airline said in a statement."As a result, Qatar Airways can confirm that the airline will make a number of roles redundant due to the impact of COVID-19. Any job loss is regrettable and we will be working closely with all affected employees to offer our full support during this difficult time.
Job vacancies plummet across the UK as COVID-19 damages hiring
05 May 2020
  • Job
  • Vacancies
  • UK
The latest job market data shows that job vacancies plummeted across all corners of the UK last month.Job vacancies fell by a huge 60% in April, according to CV-Library, as companies stopped hiring new recruits.The most drastic drops in vacancies were seen in Aberdeen, Leicester, Leeds, Bristol, and Manchester — all down by more than 50%.  Sectors worst hit included the car industry, recruitment, sales, marketing, retail, and construction.But while the private sector has been hit hard, the public sector has faired better. Job vacancies have spiked by 39% with opportunities in the social care industry jumping 16%.  Lee Biggins, chief executive of CV-Library, said: “Thousands of companies have put a pause on their hiring plans until there’s more certainty in the market and this clearly isn’t limited to one pocket of the UK.READ MORE: Coronavirus: UK economic shock to be 'deeper than anything in living memory'“As our data shows, job numbers have dropped in all locations and sectors, bar a couple that we know are playing a massive part in the fight against COVID-19.” The survey also revealed increased competition among applicants for the jobs that are available. Birmingham was the most competitive with 47 applications per job, up 92% year-on-year. London was second with 41 applicants per job, a rise of 79% year-on-year.It comes as wages for more than 6 million UK workers is now covered by the government’s furlough scheme. It means that more than a fifth of UK employees are being paid by the scheme.  “Unfortunately, organisations have had to make some tough decisions over the past six weeks, with ONS figures revealing that two thirds of businesses have placed staff on furlough. This means there is a lot more competition for the jobs that are being advertised right now,” said Biggins.
86% fear job losses as coronavirus scare mounts: Survey
05 May 2020
  • Coronavirus
  • Job Losses
  • Covid-19
Mumbai: A survey has found a vast majority of the citizens -- 86 per cent of those polled to be precise -- are worried about losing their jobs and livelihoods due to the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Also, a vast majority of those polled (84 per cent) not only believe that the epidemic is still in its early stages and also rapidly accelerating, while those in the US, which is the worst hit with over 68,000 deaths and over 1.3 million infections, Britain and Australia believe the pandemic is tapering off. Hongkongers believe the virus is already tamed. Worries about job losses are the highest in the country as 86 per cent being worried about losing their jobs and livelihood post-COVID-19 lockdowns. In comparison, this is only 31 per cent in Britain, 33 per cent in Australia and 41 per cent in the US and a high 71 per cent Hongkongers fear job loses, says the survey. According to the fourth leg of a five-country (the US, Britain, India, Australia and Hong Kong) online opinion poll by the British research firm Crosby Textor (CT) Group, carried out between April 23 and 27, as much as 84 per cent of Indians polled are very satisfied with the way government has been dealing with the crisis so far, as against on other countries where the popularity of their governments have been plunging. According to Atul Jhamb, chairman of Crosby Textor India, a part of the London-based parent that specialises in opinion polls, strategic communications and a corporate and political advisory, "despite being satisfied with the government efforts to contain the virus, as much as 86 per cent Indians have a high level of concern of losing their livelihood and employment due to the pandemic, which is higher than their peers elsewhere. While 84 per cent Indians are very happy with government handling the pandemic, this is a low 43 per cent in the US, 56 per cent in Britain, and 53 per cent in Hong Kong while 71 per cent in Australia. Also, despite many Chinese test kits being useless, 68 per cent Indians agree that the government is taking the right steps in handling medical equipment. In comparison, this is a (-) 17 per cent in Britain, a low 3 per cent in the US, 22 per cent in Hong Kong and a high 60 per cent in Australia.
Top AWS engineer Tim Bray quits $1m-plus job over Amazon firing employees
05 May 2020
  • Amazon
  • Firing Employees
  • Engineer
Tim Bray, a VP and distinguished engineer at Amazon Web Services (AWS), has quit his $1m-plus a year role at the cloud giant over Amazon firing a group of employees who publicly protested conditions at Amazon warehouses during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Bray joined AWS at the end of 2014, following a four-year stint at Google as its Android developer advocate. Before that, he was the director of web technology at Sun Microsystems, where he played a key role in the development of Java and its open-sourcing under GPL.He left Sun a month after Oracle completed its acquisition, which of course gave Oracle Java the ammunition to launch its decade-long legal battle with Google over how the search company used Java in Android. SEE: IT jobs in 2020: A leader's guide (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)Bray has previously praised the culture at AWS, saying in a 2017 blogpost: "I don't really need the money, but I haven't quit." He still admires AWS and its leadership, but handed in his resignation May 1, a few weeks after Amazon fired several US employees who'd publicly raised concerns about worker safety and lack of testing at its distribution warehouses. "May 1 was my last day as a VP and distinguished engineer at Amazon Web Services, after five years and five months of rewarding fun. I quit in dismay at Amazon firing whistleblowers who were making noise about warehouse employees frightened of COVID-19," he wrote on his personal blog.  Amazon was in the headlines in January for allegedly threatening to fire climate activists working at the company. Then in April, amid the coronavirus outbreak in the US, the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, reported that Amazon had fired several employees who were in the group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) and who had called for safer working conditions and more protections while working at its warehouses.     Bray notes that he was one the 8,702 signatories to the AECJ's open letter calling on shareholders to support a resolution for Amazon to take action on climate.  He says the "point I snapped" was when Amazon in mid-April fired two AECJ leaders, Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa, immediately after they'd helped internally promote a petition demanding coronavirus protections for warehouse workers. The pair had also organized a video call for April 16 featuring Amazon warehouse workers from around the world and prominent social activist Naomi Klein.  "The justifications were laughable; it was clear to any reasonable observer that they were turfed for whistleblowing," he writes. "Management could have objected to the event, or demanded that outsiders be excluded, or that leadership be represented, or any number of other things; there was plenty of time. Instead, they just fired the activists."Bray says he escalated his concerns through the proper channels because a VP shouldn't go publicly rogue. He doesn't disclose discussions he had but says he made many of the same arguments detailed in his blogpost. "Remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised. So I resigned."However, Bray also notes that he believes Amazon has been "prioritizing this issue and putting massive efforts into warehouse safety".But he also argues that Amazon firing employees who complained is symptomatic of modern capitalism.  "And at the end of the day, the big problem isn't the specifics of COVID-19 response. It's that Amazon treats the humans in the warehouses as fungible units of pick-and-pack potential. Only that's not just Amazon, it's how 21st-century capitalism is done," writes Bray. For that reason, Bray also argues that regulators need to impose rules on Amazon. "Amazon is exceptionally well managed and has demonstrated great skill at spotting opportunities and building repeatable processes for exploiting them. It has a corresponding lack of vision about the human costs of the relentless growth and accumulation of wealth and power," he writes.  "If we don't like certain things Amazon is doing, we need to put legal guardrails in place to stop those things. We don't need to invent anything new; a combination of antitrust and living-wage and worker-empowerment legislation, rigorously enforced, offers a clear path forward." SEE: Jeff Bezos tells Amazon shareowners: "Take a seat" as COVID-19 eats into profitsHe makes a distinction between Amazon and the way it treats warehouse workers and AWS, which employs well-paid tech workers. AWS "is a different story", he writes, and "treats workers humanly, strives for work/life balance, struggles to move the diversity needle (and mostly fails, but so does everyone else), and is by and large an ethical organization." "I genuinely admire [AWS's] leadership," he says. "Of course, its workers have power. The average pay is very high, and anyone who's unhappy can walk across the street and get another job paying the same or better." Amazon declined to comment on Bray's resignation.
Elon Musk’s tweet could lose him job as Tesla CEO
05 May 2020
  • Elon Musk
  • Tesla
  • CEO
Tesla CEO Elon Musk may soon lose his job owing to the bizarre tweets sent out by him, which led to Tesla’s market value drop by $14 billion in just a few hours. On Friday he tweeted, “Tesla stock price is too high imo.” Just before the tweet, he had tweeted that he was selling all his possessions, including his house. Right before Musk’s tweet, Tesla stock was trading at 760.23 just before Musk tweeted and then fell to a session low of 717.64, before falling even more. This is not the first time Musk has put his company under the public lens. In August 2018, Musk tweeted, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” The company later covered up by saying Musk had talked to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund about potential funding. The US Securities and Exchange Commission sued Musk for misleading investors with his tweet. But in September, after Musk and Tesla paid $40 million in penalties, the matter was settled. And the company hired a lawyer to monitor all of Musk’s communications including his tweets.  Musk is supposed to seek pre-approval of his tweets including anything regarding the company's securities, his acquisition or disposition of shares, nonpublic legal or regulatory findings or decisions. In February 2019 he tweeted, “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019. He quickly followed with a tweet that read, “Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for the year are still estimated to be about 400k.” Musk also has been ranting on about stay at home orders from the US government. On Wednesday he tweeted, “Give people their freedom back.”
The Many New Indicators of an Epic Job Collapse
05 May 2020
  • Epic Job
  • Jobs
  • Government
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The job market is deteriorating rapidly, but no one knows by how much because government statistics are produced with a lag. Fortunately, several economists have created measures to light the darkness. While they disagree on some specifics, their overall conclusion is the same: The U.S. is experiencing an economic catastrophe.The best “real time” government measure available for this unique circumstance is a weekly count of initial claims for unemployment insurance. The latest data were released this morning, and confirm that the labor market is deteriorating rapidly — 3.8 million workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week. But data on most key U.S. labor market indicators is not as timely. The most recent data available for the unemployment rate and the workforce participation rate come from a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of households about their activities during the week of March 8. The next snapshot will arrive on May 8, and will describe job-market activity in mid-April.During normal times — or even during a normal recession — this regime of monthly updates that describe the labor market as it was a few weeks past is more than adequate. But the rapid rate of decline during the pandemic means we need something closer to real-time updates to understand economic conditions. Economists Lisa B. Kahn, Fabian Lange and David Wiczer analyze data from Burning Glass Technologies, which collects information on job vacancies that are available online. They find a 30% collapse in vacancy postings, reflecting a massive decline in companies’ demand for workers.Employers in all states pulled back, regardless of how hard they have been hit by the pandemic or how early they imposed lockdown orders. Labor demand held firm for nurses over this period, and increased significantly for essential retail stores like groceries and pharmacies. (Though not discussed in their paper, press reports suggest demand for delivery drivers and at distribution centers is increasing, as well).According to the researchers’ data, demand is in retreat in all other industries. Surprisingly, perhaps, occupations that lend themselves to telework saw a larger drop-off in vacancy postings than those that don’t.Three key job-market indicators are the employment rate, defined as the share of adults with a job; the unemployment rate, which includes people who don’t have a job but are actively looking for one; and the combination of the two – the fraction of adults who are currently employed or who are unemployed but searching for jobs. What does RPS tell us about these measures?The most recent government data are for mid-March, and report a 72.7% employment rate for 18- to 64-year-olds. As of mid-April, according to RPS, this rate dropped to 55.8%. That stunning 23% decline marks the lowest employment rate for the U.S. since 1962. According to the government, 4.5% of workers ages 18-64 were unemployed the week of March 8. Three weeks later, RPS reported a Depression-level 20.2% unemployment rate for this group of workers. By the week of April 12, the survey found that this unemployment rate had dropped to 16.2%. The RPS survey shows 76.1% of people ages 18-64 were participating in the workforce — they were either employed, or they were unemployed and looking for a job — during the week of March 29, the same rate as the government reported for the week of March 8. This suggests that the entire drop in employment during that period was picked up by an increase in unemployment — in other words, workers who got laid off didn’t leave the workforce entirely.But between the weeks of March 29 and April 12, millions of people left the workforce, according to RPS. The labor force participation rate dropped by 12%, to 66.6%. RPS finds that employment declined more sharply for women than for men from mid-March to mid-April. People ages 50-64 have seen their employment rate fall by 30%, while the decrease for those ages 18-29 was 11%.Across all age categories, the pandemic is hitting every type of worker, but the less educated are bearing the brunt. Employment among college graduates has fallen by 18%. People without college degrees have had their employment rate fall by 30%. The Kahn, Lange and Wiczer results suggest that white-collar employment declines could accelerate if fewer vacancies translates into additional employment declines could accelerate if fewer vacancies translates into additional employment cuts. The government’s weekly count of initial claims for unemployment insurance released this morning highlights the speed of decline. In the six-week period ending last week, over 30 million workers filed for unemployment benefits for the first time. To put that in context, the worst six-week period during the Great Recession ended on March 28, 2009, with 3.9 million initial benefit claims.A survey by Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko and Michael Weber finds millions more job losses than the government’s data on new unemployment claims would suggest. This is unsurprising, as the count of unemployment benefits reflects workers who successfully had their claims processed. State unemployment offices have been flooded with requests, and many can’t keep up with the historic volume. Coibion, Gorodnichenko and Weber’s results suggest the unemployment rate in early April had only increased by 2 percentage points. If people are not actively looking for work, then they are not technically counted as unemployed by government statistics. In line with this, the three researchers also find a dramatic increase in the share of adults who are not in the workforce. These patterns reinforce that this is not a typical downturn. Their findings imply that the official unemployment rate will be much lower than Bick and Blandin seem to think based on their RPS. Who will be right? It will depend on how households answer the government’s questions. If you’re not at work but expect to be recalled, you should nonetheless be classified as unemployed. The last government report showed a large increase in this category of workers in March. But it also showed a large increase in the number of employed people who are absent from work. If this pattern repeats itself for April’s report, the official unemployment rate will be lower than actual job-marketing condition suggest.Another statistical challenge could come from people who have separated from their employer and want a job, but aren’t looking for work because they don’t want to get sick and many employers are temporarily shuttered. These people should be counted as out of the workforce, yet may show up in the unemployment figures. Adding to the complications of figuring out who fits in what category, the pandemic has affected how surveys are conducted in the first place. The Census Bureau suspended in-person household interviews on March 20 and has relied only on telephone interviews to conduct the survey, rather than using both methods as is normally the case. The response rate for March fell substantially, from the low 80% range to 73%. This could distort the official statistics. Congress and the Federal Reserve have performed admirably during this crisis, anticipating economic need before the official statistics reflected it. To continue crafting sound policy, they can’t be flying blind. Fortunately, they won’t be. But their dashboard will likely have many more indicators than they’re used to, and some will be harder to interpret than normal. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Michael R. Strain is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is director of economic policy studies and Arthur F. Burns Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of “The American Dream Is Not Dead: (But Populism Could Kill It).”
Covid impact: Job search portals see increase in work from home offers
05 May 2020
  • Covid Impact
  • Job Search
  • Work From Home
Amid the ongoing challenges where people are unable to commute to work, India’s largest job search portal Naukri.com has seen WFH jobs posted by recruiters increase two fold and jobseekers are increasingly searching for WFH jobs in their portal.Topics Work From Home BENGALURU : Job search portals are seeing an increase in work from home (WFH) postings by recruiters, as the covid-19 crisis has balanced the demand-supply equation. The demand for WFH was always high, but many employers were reluctant to extend this option to the employees, leading to a low supply of such jobs, say industry executives. Amid the ongoing challenges where people are unable to commute to work, India’s largest job search portal Naukri.com has seen a two-fold rise in WFH jobs postings by recruiters. “WFH jobs have gone up by 2x in the third week of April as compared to the first week of March’20. WFH jobs as a jobseeker search keyword ranked number 2 on our platform in the third week of April as compared to the first week of March’20 when it was at rank 33," said Pawan Goyal, chief business officer, Naukri.com. JobsforHer, a job portal targeted at women, has witnessed a 30% growth in the number of applicants for WFH jobs as compared to March 2019. Started five years ago to help women restart their careers after a break, today JobsforHer has evolved to help women enhance their careers. “A lot of women were always looking for WFH job opportunities as they had constraints to work full-time in office," said Neha Bagaria, founder and chief executive, JobsforHer. “But the supply has traditionally been bigger than the demand and we received hundreds of job applications the moment a WFH job was posted. Now, we are seeing a rise in the demand side as employers have realised it is possible to allow remote working without impacting productivity." Although the demand for WFH jobs was always high for roles such as content writing, design, telesales, and recruitment, today the playing field has expanded to core information technology (IT) roles like software developers, technical writing, SAP consultants, automation, UI/UX (user interface/experience) engineers, Bagaria said. Employers are also willing to pay more today for remote working jobs. “WFH jobs with CTC (cost to company) greater than ₹5 lakh per annum has doubled on Naukri.com’s platform in April’20 as compared to Feb’20," said Goyal. As WFH becomes the new normal, focus on reskilling has narrowed down, especially in the digital space, according to staffing firms. “This is the beginning of a fundamental transformation in how we work. But remote working will also bring to the fore that the future of work i