Job News Roundup

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

Week of December 20, 2021

  • Health experts recommend getting vaccinated and boosted before attending holiday parties. Additional precautions they suggest in order to slow the spread include wearing masks inside and getting tested before an event.
  • President Biden signed an executive order to improve 36 customer experiences across federal agencies. The executive order aims to improve government services such as filing taxes and claiming retirement benefits through a more streamlined process over the next couple of months.
  • Apple’s CEO Tim Cook postponed the company’s return to office plan indefinitely, due to the rise in coronavirus cases. The company has been persistent about returning to the office at least part-time, which has raised issues with employees.
  • As companies raise wages to compete for talent in the tight labor market, salaries for recruitment roles have jumped by 14%.
  • Spiderman: No Way Home made $260M in the U.S. during its opening weekend, making it the second-biggest domestic debut of all time, and the first movie to open with over $100M domestically since the pandemic began.
  • Up to 15M Americans are in danger of losing their Medicaid coverage, which had been protected under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, unless the White House extends the act to prevent states from removing Medicaid recipients from the program’s rolls.
  • Sears is considering a sale or redevelopment of its Chicago headquarters, which spans 273 acres and once employed over 4,000 workers.

Week of December 13, 2021

  • A new study shows that among younger generations, Gen Z reports experiencing the most difficulty pursuing education or a career, pursuing romantic relationships, maintaining good friendships, and maintaining their mental health in the midst of the pandemic.
  • DoorDash is hiring full-time workers in order to offer an “ultra-fast,” 10-15 minute delivery option in New York City. The food delivery platform has historically enlisted gig workers, but now plans to expand its permanent workforce amid tight labor markets.
  • With Americans returning to work, traffic congestion is getting worse again. Commuters’ overall time spent in the car is higher than it was in 2020 but still hasn’t fully returned to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Progressive Congressman Mark Takano introduced a bill for a four-day work week, citing the model’s success in trials in Ireland and Iceland.
  • Many American companies are planning for large payroll increases in 2022. They are under pressure to raise wages to recruit and retain workers in a tight labor market, especially now that inflation is relatively high. 
  • Largely driven by an increase in expenses such as gas and groceries, consumer inflation has risen to 6.8% 
  • A Starbucks in Buffalo, New York recently became the corporation’s first-ever unionized location.

Week of December 6, 2021

  • Two courts temporarily blocked President Biden’s vaccine mandates; in Louisiana, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has been blocked from enforcing vaccines for healthcare workers, and in Kentucky, the Biden administration has been blocked from enforcing a regulation that requires contractors’ employees to get vaccinated. 
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all private sector employees will be required to implement a vaccine mandate starting December 27.  Children between the ages of 5-11 will also be required to show proof of at least one vaccination dose before entering indoor dining, entertainment venues, and more indoor activities. 
  • According to US health officials and Dr. Anthony Fauci, early information on the coronavirus Omicron variant shows it may be less dangerous than the Delta variant. 
  • With the share of American workers voluntarily quitting their jobs each month at a record high, a new trend is emerging. “Quittoks” and Reddit’s forum R/antiwork showcase the growing trend of publicizing one’s resignation
  • A global chip shortage is making it harder to purchase smartphones and video game consoles for the holidays. 
  • Major League Baseball owners unanimously voted to trigger a labor stoppage, the league’s first since 1994, in an attempt to sign a new collective bargaining agreement between the MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) ahead of the upcoming season. The MLBPA opposes the shutdown arguing that it is unnecessary and imposes a hardship on players, who now cannot sign with new teams or be traded until the lockout ends. 
  • Vishal Garg, the CEO of mortgage company, laid off more than 900 employees (about 9% of its staff) via a Zoom call. He cited efficiency, performance, and productivity as the reasons for the layoff. 

Week of November 22, 2021

  • The F.D.A. approved coronavirus vaccine booster shots for all adults. 
  • The House passed President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Plan, which would provide for programs designed to curb climate change, child-care subsidies, a one-year extension of the enhanced child tax credit and universal pre-K. The Senate is likely to approve it later this year.
  • Premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage rose 4% for plan year 2021, topping $22,000.
  • CVS announced that it will close 900 stores over the next three years. Employees will be offered jobs at nearby locations.
  • Starbucks employees in Buffalo, NY and Mesa, AZ have started mounting efforts to unionize.
  • Airlines are on a hiring spree ahead of holiday peak season travel. They also anticipate the release of pent-up demand for travel in 2022.
  • Costco and Starbucks have announced plans to increase starting pay to $17 and $15 respectively.
  • Colorado is raising the starting pay for government employees to $15 per hour to overcome staffing shortages.
  • William Paterson University plans to resolve budget shortfalls amid declining enrollment by laying off dozens of faculty and staff.

Week of November 15, 2021

  • The economy added 531,000 payroll jobs in October, with all major industries contributing job gains, except the public sector. Unemployment fell to 4.6%, and annual wage growth rose to 4.9%, but the labor force participation rate remained flat.
  • Inflation hit 6.2%, outstripping average pay gains. Gasoline prices rose about 50% over the year.
  • California gas prices hit a new record high. 
  • A record 4.4 million workers quit their jobs amid historically high job openings and wage growth.
  • Despite strong job growth and wage growth, consumer sentiment fell to the lowest level in a decade, largely driven by concerns about inflation. 
  • China’s real-estate giant Evergrande averted a default, but the firm’s debt problems sparked concerns over possible financial contagion.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) new rules requiring Covid-19 vaccinations or weekly testing for all employees at companies with at least 100 workers were blocked again by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which said that the mandate “grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority.”
  • Iowa will allow workers who are fired for failing to abide by Covid-19 vaccination mandates to collect unemployment benefits.  
  • Amazon announced it would offer workers greater schedule flexibility, and Starbucks started testing a scheduling app that gives employees greater control over their hours, following similar recent moves by Walmart and other companies with large numbers of low-wage employees. 

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At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

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