We are failing Americans without college degrees. Research shows that up to 30 million workers without four-year degrees are drastically underpaid, and have the skills to earn 70 percent more than what they’re currently making. What accounts for this failure of the labor market? One problem is that traditional resumes don’t show or verify the full range of a worker’s skills—including those gained in the military and volunteer work, not to mention family businesses and caretaking. But there’s a promising digital fix that could help: learning and employment records. LERs are digital profiles that allow individuals to document their knowledge and skills, no matter how they were acquired—and have the potential to transform hiring while fueling innovation. What is an LER, and how can it be used to record everything you’ve ever learned? How can this technology be designed and implemented to create more jobs with good wages? And what will it take to design and implement LERs that make the labor market fairer to all workers instead of reinforcing existing social, educational, and digital divides?
Workcred senior director of research Isabel Cardenas-Navia, co-author of a new essay on LERs, and Issues in Science and Technology editor-in-chief Lisa Margonelli visit Zócalo to talk about reconstructing credentialing around a system that recognizes—and even encourages—non-traditional learning and diverse career paths.
September 4, 2021, federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefit programs created under the CARES Act will expire in California and across the states.
Three million+ California workers impacted by expiration of these critical federal programs were notified by the Employment Development Department (EDD). In an effort to support these Californians, EDD is partnering with Covered California, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Department of Social Services to promote other vital state-run benefit programs and that can help Californians in need. These include low-cost health care, rent relief and utility aid, and access to food assistance, which have been significantly expanded by the American Rescue Plan and California Comeback Plan.
For example, these workers are entitled to over $234 per person per month for food via CalFresh (GetCalFresh.org). They are also eligible for 100 percent rent and utilities via Housing is Key (HousingIsKey.com), as well as free or low-cost coverage for as low as $1 per month for workers who received unemployment benefits through Covered California and Medi-Cal (coveredca.com). EDD recently posted links to these benefits to the on-line accounts of UI recipients, including to GetCalFresh.org, which boosted CalFresh (i.e., SNAP) applications by 108,000 people this summer.
A new pact between Hollywood unions and studios allows producers to require that actors and crews on some sets be required to have a COVID-19 vaccination.
The deal comes as cases again begin to spiral upward in Los Angeles and across the nation as the highly contagious delta coronavirus variant spreads.
The agreement, reached between the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and several Hollywood unions including those representing actors and directors, expires Oct. 1 unless extended, The Wrap said.
It allows producers to mandate COVID vaccines for actors and crew who work on sets with the most close contact, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
From 2015 to 2019, Iceland ran the world’s largest trial of a shorter working week. An analysis of the results was finally published this week, and surprise! Everyone was happier, healthier, and more productive. Please pretend to be surprised. . . . “This study shows that the world’s largest ever trial of a shorter working week in the public sector was by all measures an overwhelming success,” said Will Stronge, Autonomy’s director of research. “It shows that the public sector is ripe for being a pioneer of shorter working weeks — and lessons can be learned for other governments.” . . . . Productivity either remained the same or actually increased, and worker wellbeing was considerably improved. Perceived stress and burnout went down, while health and work-life balance went up, as employees were given more time for housekeeping, hobbies, and their families. Both managers and staff considered the trials a major success . . . . full story at Mashable here
Sawmills, veterinary clinics and psychologists’ offices are among the businesses gripped by escalating worker shortages, as employers in a few pockets of the economy step up competition for workers and sharply increase wages. . . . Compare restaurant and hotel openings to a sector such as manufacturing of nondurable goods — things that don’t last — such as pants and pancake mix. Before the novel coronavirus hit, those manufacturers sometimes drew a new worker for every job opening posted, similar to what restaurants are seeing now, meaning their labor market was tight but there was no shortage. As of April, the same companies were able to hire only one worker for every two job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a strong sign that workers are in short supply. . . . full story at Washington Post
Companies that made it through the pandemic in one piece now have a major new problem: more than a quarter of their employees may leave. Workers have had more than a year to reconsider work-life balance or career paths, and as the world opens back up, many of them will give their two weeks’ noticeand make those changes they’ve been dreaming about.
“The great resignation” is what economists are dubbing it.
Surveys show anywhere from 25% to upwards of 40% of workers are thinking about quitting their jobs.
“I don’t envy the challenge that human resources faces right now,” says Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University.
A number of colliding trends are driving the resignation boom, experts say.
University of Michigan economist Betsey Stevenson tells Axios, “People have had a little more space to ask themselves, ‘Is this really what I want to be doing?'” So some are deciding they want to work fewer hours or with more flexibility to create more time for family or hobbies. . . . full story at Axios
The employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s about the same as the average for all occupations. But this only shows one dimension of the employment picture for mechanical engineers. The profession continues as one of the top job placement careers. When you get out of college you’re almost certain to get a job.
The states and districts that pay mechanical engineers the highest mean salary are New Mexico ($114,420), District of Columbia ($112,240), Maryland ($109,800), California ($107,920), and Alaska ($103,360).
We’ve listed some of the top employers in the slideshow. Some of them are a bit surprising: While we might not think of these companies as mechanical hardware companies, indeed, they employ an army of MEs . . . . full story here
To Prosper in a New Era, Eateries Will Have to Reckon With Issues Left to Simmer on the Back Burner
Thousands of restaurants have closed for good across America since WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic last March. Many others remain temporarily shuttered; the remainder limp by with sales a fraction of what they were. Even with the arrival of a new administration and new vaccines, millions of restaurant workers continue to be out of work today, as the pandemic rounds its second year.
But the current disruption in the restaurant industry, for all the pain and economic loss it’s caused, provides an opening to disrupt the established models, and reckon with both the decline of hospitality and the reality of restaurant inequality. To recover and thrive in the years ahead, this essential American business will need to bring its time-honored cultural traditions into greater alignment with the social movements that define our times.
To start with, consider the slew of new options to purchase commercially prepared food that have flooded the marketplace in the last year. These options include delivery platforms, meal subscriptions, and online storefronts with offsite “ghost kitchens.” Takeout and delivery sales have skyrocketed, as have lines at the local drive-thru. Clearly, those who can afford to eat out occasionally are still buying and consuming food that they do not make themselves.
A shadowy army of workers has sprung up to staff these operations. Many are precariously employed, armed with some combination of a vehicle, a mobile app, a mask, and hand sanitizer. By connecting people to food through wordless hand-offs or drop-offs of plastic-wrapped edibles, these people are doing the human labor that Silicon Valley would rather automate than improve. It’s paying work, but we should be alarmed by this trend, which represents the decline of hospitality . . . . full article at Zocola Public Square
The digital transformation of healthcare has already begun, but there is still much work to do.
Attendees of the Virtual Engineering Week keynote, “Mayo Clinic 2030: Hospital of the Future,” got a glimpse of healthcare’s future. Mark Wehde, chair, Mayo Clinic Division of Engineering, explored the increasing digitalization of healthcare and how it could lead to more patient-centric care. Mayo Clinic’s 2030 Bold Forward plan is one such effort. “The plan recognizes that digital transformation is the key to our future, and digital platforms will be crucial to enable us to provide better care to more patients. We are well into the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution—this is the digital platform revolution. Healthcare is shifting from a traditional hospital-centric care model to a more virtual distributed care model that heavily leverages the latest technologies around artificial intelligence, deep learning, data analytics, genomics, home-based healthcare, robotics, and 3D printing of tissues and implants.” full article here