LAEDC Economic Update for Los Angeles County, unemployment, industries and housing

In this LAEDC economic analysis webinar, Shannon Sedgwick, director of LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics offers perspective and analysis of the latest labor market and jobs data from California EDD, published 8-24-20. In addition LAEDC economist Tyler Laferriere discusses housing prices and the stock and bond market relative to the economic recession. LAEDC CEO Bill Allen introduces the speakers and provides an overview.

AFL-CIO to Host Labor Web Conferences Friday-Monday of Labor Day Week-End

Join AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for a conversation with union members who are serving on the front lines as we battle COVID-19. From teaching our kids to caring for the sick to serving our communities, these workers will share their personal journeys and discuss why we need to pass the HEROES Act to protect and support those on the job.

LABOR LIVE: FRONT-LINE WORKERS AND COVID-19 – Friday Sept 4, 3pm PT

LABOR LIVE: THE ONGOING ECONOMIC FALLOUT OF COVID-19 – Sat. Sept 5 9am PT

LABOR LIVE: PROTECTING THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE AND VOTE BY MAIL Sunday Sept 6 3pm PT

LABOR DAY LIVE: A CONVERSATION WITH VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN, Monday, Sept 7, 1:15p PT

Click Here to go to Labor Day Live

Prop 22 Lets Voters Weigh in on the Gig Economy of Uber & Lyft

Uber and Lyft drivers use their own vehicles and are paid by the ride, giving rise to the term “gig economy.”

Uber and Lyft contend that they give drivers opportunities to voluntarily supplement their incomes by working whenever it suits them. But, this business model has is unsettled unions and many in government, who contend that it deprives workers of rights and benefits of being on the payroll, such as contributions for Social Security and Medicare benefits and overtime pay. As independent contractors, gig workers also cannot be union members.

Two years ago, the state Supreme Court declared gig work illegal, and the Legislature followed up with measure, Assembly Bill 5, which put the decision into law. Uber and Lyft, responded with a ballot measure, #22 on Nov 3, 2020 ballot, that would exempt them from the Assembly Bill 5 legislation while offering gig workers some employee-lite benefits.

Voters will decide whether gig work is an appropriate new model or an illegal denial of worker rights and counter to state labor law, when they vote on Prop 22 in November.

The Pro Proposistion 22 coalition is comprised of companies employing gig workers, and the anti-Proposition 22 coalition is comprised of unions and many in government. Attorney General Becerra and some city attorneys have now also sued Uber and Lyft for continuing to classify their drivers as independent contractors despite the passage of AB 5.

Recently , San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman ruled against the companies. Judge Schulman said the companies’ employment practices are depriving drivers “of the panoply of basic rights to which employees are entitled under California law.”

California’s Powerful, But Obscure, Answer to the Covid Jobs Crisis – Workforce Development Boards

Zocalo Public Square, by MICHAEL BERNICK | JULY 10, 2020

You May Never Have Heard of Your Local Workforce Development Boards, but They Know How to Move the State Forward

A “Now Hiring” sign at a CVS Pharmacy during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco. California’s unemployment rate nearly tripled in April because of the economic fallout from coronavirus pandemic. Courtesy of Jeff Chiu/Associated Press.

We can bring jobs back to California, and we can do it right now. The latest employment numbers should provide the sense of urgency. An additional 287,354 new unemployment insurance claims were filed just for the week ending June 20, bringing the total to more than 6.7 million claims filed in California since mid-March, and $33.5 billion in unemployment benefits paid. Our California economy is now surviving in good part on unemployment insurance payments.

To understand how to respond to the current predicament, Californians should turn to the front lines of employment: California’s network of 45 local workforce development boards. Though these boards are not well known, they represent the heart of the public workforce system in California. Overseen by locally appointed business and labor representatives, workforce development boards administer the bulk of the federal and state job training and placement funds in the state, totaling more than $1 billion. They interact daily with job seekers and local businesses. 

Fresno’s board is one of the larger bodies, with a budget of nearly $19 million, 31 direct staff, and more than 200 contractors involved in job training and placement. It serves an area population of just under 1 million, with unemployment and poverty rates that have been well above the state average for decades. Blake Konczal, the board’s executive director since 2002, started his career during the economic downturn in 1992, providing placement services to laid-off Southern California aerospace workers. He has experience with several other downturns since then and is active in current Central Valley recovery efforts.

In my recent conversations with Konczal and other board directors, they emphasize that there is no silver bullet for recovery. Rather, their experiences with the current and previous downturns point to a series of five strategies to bring back California jobs. click here for full story at Zocalo Public Square

Stream online! Tuesday, April 14, 2020 — 6:30 PM How Can We Make Farmwork Healthier?

A Zócalo/The California Wellness Foundation Event

Farm work is vital to our society—and dangerous for the people who do it. Farmworkers are exposed to a variety of health hazards: noise, heat, harmful chemicals, and musculoskeletal injuries, to name a few. Farmworkers’ struggles with long hours, low wages, polluted air, overcrowded housing, and frequent relocations often add to their challenges, especially in mental health. What do Californians owe to the laborers who put fruits, vegetables, nuts, and milk on our tables? How are changes in technology and immigration enforcement reshaping the nature of farm work and its health concerns? What progress has been made in protecting the health of farmworkers, and what important steps are regulators or the agricultural industry refusing to take? Organic farmer and artist Nikiko Masumoto, Huron Mayor Rey León, health researcher Chia Thao, and Tania Pacheco-Werner, co-assistant director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, visit Zócalo to consider how to make farm work healthier.

Click here to register and obtain information for streaming this on your computer live.

Workforce Matters in Manufacturing

Here are the top stories on manufacturing from 2019. The changing workforce led coverage of manufacturing.

The Landscape of Industrial Manufacturing and Warehouse Robots; Prepping the Workforce for Smart Automation ; Rise of the Augmented Worker ; Manufacturers Turn to Automation to Combat Labor Shortages ; Retiring Knowledge Workers May Get Replaced with Technology ; Industrial 5G: Impact on Factory Automation ; The Industry 4.0 Blueprint Is Being Rewritten by Startups 

10 tech companies transforming retail for 2020 and beyond

From robots that do inventory to stores with no employees – policy makers need to keep an eye on some of these innovations

According to the Commerce Department online only accounts for about 12% of sales, leaving the rest to be made up by physical stores. Technology is bringing some big changes to retail in the coming years. And policy makers need to keep an eye on some of these innovations.

Do we want stores with no employees? AiFI a Calif. startup is using artificial intelligence to fully automate the retail experience. Being able to walk into a market, pick up what you want and leave – while AI tracks you and everything you leave with, charging your credit card post-departure – may provide great convenience, but what about consumer privacy and what about the loss of retail jobs ? Bossa Nova is a robotics company that provides stores like Wal-Mart with a robot that roams the aisles checking inventory. San Diego’s Brain Corp provides robotic janitors for retail spaces. Other companies, like Pixvana are embracing workers and developing software to help in their job training, while RocketFuel another new company is working on ways to enhance the security of consumer online payments.

link to an article about this in Design News