WBEZ | Labor http://www.wbez.org/news/labor Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Millennials Lagging Behind Boomers in Entrepreneurhsip http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-02-09/millennials-lagging-behind-boomers-entrepreneurhsip-114774 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/mmillennials.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Millennials may be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/" target="_blank">surpassing Gen X</a>&nbsp;in the workforce, but a new government&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/Millenial_IB.pdf" target="_blank">report&nbsp;</a>says they&#39;re not opening their own businesses quite yet.</p><p>The Small Business Administration&#39;s advocacy office found less than 2 percent of people born between 1982 and 2000 said they were self-employed, compared to 7.6 percent of Gen X-ers and 8.3 percent of baby boomers, according to 2014 census data. As the portion of employed millennials expanded steadily over the past 15 years, the portion of self-employed millennials only saw modest gains.</p><figure><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chart via Small Business Administration" sizes="(max-width: 543px) 90vw, (max-width: 879px) 60vw, 900px" src="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployedmils.jpg" srcset="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployedmils.jpg 646w" style="height: 378px; width: 540px;" title="(Chart via Small Business Administration)" /></p><p>But how many entrepreneurs under 30 do you know? The Administration report notes there are many baby-faced business owners in Silicon Valley, but entrepreneurship generally doesn&#39;t peak until a generation reaches its 40s, and workers have had time to build a career. The report also compares past reports to look at how self-employment changed by age for each generation.</p><p>Though there&#39;s only data for millennials aged 32 or under, they seem to be starting their own businesses less often than previous generations did at their age. At 30 years old, less than four percent of millennials said they were self-employed, compared to 5.4 percent of Generation X and 6.7 percent of boomers.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Chart via Small Business Administration" sizes="(max-width: 543px) 90vw, (max-width: 879px) 60vw, 900px" src="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployed30.jpg" srcset="http://cms.marketplace.org/sites/default/files/selfemployed30.jpg 646w" style="height: 378px; width: 540px;" title="(Chart via Small Business Administration)" /></p><p>So it appears that fewer millennials are becoming entrepreneurs, but does that mean snake people are less entrepreneurial? That&#39;s less clear. The report notes it&#39;s possible millennials could eventually match or surpass prior generations over the next few decades.</p><p>There&#39;s also a big caveat around methodology here: the study looks a surveys in which people said their primary source of income over the past year came from self-employment, which could leave out new opportunities for entrepreneurship. The<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/style/this-is-her-face-this-is-her-face-in-bread-any-questions.html" target="_blank">&nbsp;copywriter with a successful Instagram account&nbsp;</a>might make some money on the side, but she&nbsp;doesn&#39;t qualify unless she quits her day job. And what about the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/current_issues/ci20-1.pdf" target="_blank">distressingly high number</a>&nbsp;of underemployed millennials who turn to the sharing economy for money? Ride-share services insist drivers are self-employed contractors, but a recent college graduate who drives Uber to make ends meet might not see himself that way.</p><p><em>Follow&nbsp;Tony Wagner&nbsp;at&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/tonydwagner">@tonydwagner</a>.&nbsp;</em></p></figure></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/marketplace/2016-02-09/millennials-lagging-behind-boomers-entrepreneurhsip-114774 How to Get Dads to Take Parental Leave? Seeing Other Dads Do It http://www.wbez.org/news/how-get-dads-take-parental-leave-seeing-other-dads-do-it-114762 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/dads2.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="storytext"><p>Facebook founder <a href="https://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-23/zuckerberg-take-2-months-parental-leave-mayer-take-2-weeks-113897">Mark Zuckerberg may have taken an extended paternity leave</a> after the birth of his daughter, but generally, American men do not take more than a few days.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/centers/cwf/pdf/BCCWF%20The%20New%20Dad%202015.pdf">Ninety-six percent of American men</a>&nbsp;are back to work within two weeks of a baby&#39;s birth.</p><p>&quot;There might be some stigma attached,&quot; says Gordon Dahl, an economist at the University of California, San Diego. &quot; &#39;What if I take paternity leave, will I not get the next promotion? Or will people think I&#39;m not as connected to the workplace? Am I kind of signaling that I don&#39;t care about work enough?&#39; &quot;</p><p>Dahl studied leave policies in Norway, where a generation ago men took long paternity leave at the same rate as American men. Then, in 1993, Norway changed the law. After every birth, working parents still got 8 months of paid leave to split among themselves but 4 weeks were added just for dad.<br /><br />&quot;Overnight, paternity leave take up went from about 3 percent to 35 percent of fathers,&quot; Dahl says.<br /><br />It was a nice boost, mostly among men working union and government jobs.</p><div id="con465747752" previewtitle="Related links"><div id="res465747627"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><p>What puzzled Dahl was the change that he saw over the next two decades. &quot;This is where the story gets more interesting, because over time, it gradually crept up to about 70 percent of fathers taking leave,&quot; Dahl says.<br /><br />He found the secret was seeing a dad come back to his job, especially in the private sector, without any problems.<br /><br />&quot;If you had a coworker take leave, then you&#39;re 11 percentage points more likely to take leave yourself when you have your child. If you have a brother who took leave, you&#39;re 15 percentage points more likely to take leave,&quot; Dahl says. &quot;These are not small effects. These are big increases in how many people are willing to take leave.&quot;<br /><br />Something similar may be brewing in California,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/labor-and-employment/state-family-and-medical-leave-laws.aspx#2" target="_blank">where paid leave has been available</a>&nbsp;to working parents since 2004. Consider Facebook. A combination of factors is tipping the culture toward men actually taking their paternity leave.<br /><br />Tom Stocky, a vice president, had a daughter in 2012 and took the full four months that Facebook offers new parents. &quot;Most of my friends were really surprised and had a lot of questions about what happened when you were away, and what did the rest of your team do, and things like that,&quot; Stocky says.<br /><br />Three years later, Stocky believes the leave he took is having a big impact. The men he manages are much more likely to inquire about and take a long leave.<br /><br />&quot;I probably meet with a new dad every month or two. And it seems like there&#39;s kind of a peer group now that is encouraging and supporting each other and more people are taking it now as a result,&quot; Stocky says.<br /><br />Among them is Tom Whitnah, an engineering manager at Facebook. &quot;I saw Tom Stocky taking his leave right as I joined the Search Team, and it just was really clear that it was something that he thought was really important,&quot; Whitnah says.<br /><br />Whitnah&#39;s two kids arrived 17 months apart, and he took full leave with each one.</p><div id="res465727555"><div id="responsive-embed-paternity-leave-20160203"><iframe frameborder="0" height="801px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/paternity-leave-20160203/child.html?initialWidth=774&amp;childId=responsive-embed-paternity-leave-20160203" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="620px"></iframe></div></div><p>&quot;I had just become a new manager, and I felt like I wasn&#39;t sure how a team goes without their manager for one or for three months, and he made it really clear this is something that we accommodate. Just made me feel so much less nervous,&quot; he says.<br /><br />The number of California dads taking a break from work to spend time with a new child is beginning to pick up. Seventeen percent of men in California took leave the first year it was offered; 26 percent did five years later.</p><p>Stocky is now taking another long parental leave. He begins three months of caring full time for his son, at the same time that his boss, Mark Zuckerberg, comes back to work from paternity leave.</p><p>Does what happens at Facebook have anything to do with the rest of the country? Maybe. But if there&#39;s one thing that the folks at Facebook understand, it&#39;s the power of friends.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/02/08/465726445/how-to-get-dads-to-take-parental-leave-seeing-other-dads-do-it?ft=nprml&amp;f=465726445"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/how-get-dads-take-parental-leave-seeing-other-dads-do-it-114762 Britain to Foreign Workers: If You Don't Make $50,000 a Year, Please Leave http://www.wbez.org/news/britain-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50000-year-please-leave-114730 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ukjobs.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Britain&#39;s Prime Minister David Cameron promised back in 2010 to bring net migration down to 100,000 people a year. Six years later, it&#39;s more than three times that number.</p><p>That&#39;s one reason the government&#39;s Home Office decided that non-Europeans on skilled worker visas &mdash; known as Tier 2 visas &mdash; are not welcome to stay unless they are making at least 35,000 British pounds (about $50,000 a year).</p><p>The message is aimed at slashing migration to Britain and goes into effect in April. But critics call the new rule discriminatory and say it will strip Britain of lower-paid artists, health care workers and tradespeople.</p><p>&quot;The estimates put the GDP loss at 181 million [pounds, equivalent to $264 million] to 761 million [pounds, equivalent to $1.1 billion], so that&#39;s a massive blow in the first year alone, for starters,&quot; Joshua Harbord says.</p><p>Harbord, who rattles off facts and figures about why he thinks this move will hurt Britain, might sound like an expert on immigration. But he&#39;s not. Harbord performs at kids&#39; birthday parties as a pirate. And when he heard his friend Shannon Harmon might be forced to leave, he got angry.</p><div id="res465451252" previewtitle="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U."><div><div><p>&quot;It was scaring Shannon and everybody it was affecting, and it felt like a massively mean policy that was apparently convincing my friends that they were worthless and unwanted,&quot; Harbord says.</p></div></div></div><p>Since no one else was doing anything about it, Harbord started a petition,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stop35k.org/">Stop 35K</a>, to try to change the government&#39;s mind. Harmon, who is from Chicago, has a work visa and has been in the U.K. more than seven years. But she makes less than the amount needed to stay under the new rules.</p><p><img alt="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/03/british-1-5fa81121fdccc114834ac5d1a4d5c5071a02511a-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 232px; width: 310px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Joshua Harbod started a petition opposing the new rules that would set a minimum income requirement for workers from outside the E.U. (Leila Fadel / NPR)" /></p><p>&quot;It feels pretty horrible and unfair; that&#39;s why we&#39;re trying to fight it,&quot; she says. &quot;I don&#39;t think we should be valued on an arbitrary number that they&#39;ve made up. I mean, not that many people make that much money.&quot;</p><p>Harmon works for a nonprofit and says charity workers, who aren&#39;t paid well, contribute more than those in the finance industry. The changed rules will also affect health care workers, public transport workers and the many artists, musicians and actors who are drawn to London as a cultural hub.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s just going to make places like London less dynamic, less cultural; it&#39;s just going to change the whole atmosphere,&quot; Harmon says. Come April, she will very likely have to leave her British life partner, her career and the U.K.</p><p>&quot;I leave everything, my whole life,&quot; she says.</p><p>Harbord and Harmon spend their nights brainstorming, working on their website and checking on the electronic petition. Every few minutes, the signatures increase. They are approaching the 100,000 they need for Parliament to consider debating the issue.</p><p>At present, immigration is a hot-button issue in Britain. There is another petition calling on the government to completely close the U.K.&#39;s borders. And last weekend, rival protests supporting and opposing immigration turned violent.</p><p>David Metcalfe, chairman of a committee that advises the government on immigration, recommended the plan that is scheduled to take effect in April.</p><p>&quot;It seems to me absolutely right,&quot; he says. &quot;They&#39;ve been here five years. If they&#39;re going to settle, they should be making a proper contribution in terms of productivity, which will be reflected in their pay.&quot;</p><p>Asked about critics who say it&#39;s an arbitrary measure that values money over other contributions to British society, he says: &quot;Pay, in my view, is the best measure of skill and contribution, but you are right, it&#39;s not a perfect measure.&quot;</p><p>Metcalfe says there will be temporary exceptions for people with skills such as nursing, because there is a shortage in the U.K.</p><p>Susan Cueva, however, has been trying to stop the new rules. She works with UNISON, a trade union that represents the public sector &mdash; people who work in education, health care and transport.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a policy that is not really based on sound judgment,&quot; Cueva says. &quot;I think from our point of view as a union, we always look at migrant workers as an asset and a resource in the country.&quot;</p><p>She says migrant workers make up at least 15 percent of the public sector workforce. And without them, she says, services will decline.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/02/03/465407797/britain-to-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50-000-a-year-please-leave?ft=nprml&amp;f=465407797"><em>&mdash; via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 14:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/britain-foreign-workers-if-you-dont-make-50000-year-please-leave-114730 Obama Celebrates 'Durable Economy' as Unemployment Drops Below 5 Percent http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-celebrates-durable-economy-unemployment-drops-below-5-percent-114726 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/jobs2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The U.S. economy added just 151,000 jobs in January while unemployment dropped slightly, to 4.9 percent, according to the latest figures from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>.</p><p>Economists had expected to see about 190,000 new jobs.</p><p>The unemployment rate, which has held steady at 5 percent the past few months, dropped slightly to 4.9 percent. It&#39;s the first time unemployment has fallen below 5 percent since the recession.</p><div id="res465704391"><div id="responsive-embed-unemployment-20160205"><iframe frameborder="0" height="562px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160205/child.html?initialWidth=556&amp;childId=responsive-embed-unemployment-20160205&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fthetwo-way%2F2016%2F02%2F05%2F465686010%2Fu-s-added-151-000-jobs-in-january-unemployment-dropped-to-4-9-percent%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D465686010" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="620px"></iframe></div></div><p>President Obama celebrated that benchmark by making a statement on the economy, noting that not only had unemployment returned to its lowest level in 8 years, but that the private sector had also seen 71 straight months of private-sector job growth. The growth of the economy is also &quot;finally starting to translate into bigger paychecks,&quot; the president said.</p><p>&quot;The United States of America right now has the strongest, most durable economy in the world,&quot; Obama said. But when asked by reporters, he acknowledge that many Americans are still feeling the effects of the recession &mdash; and that the labor force participation rate, 62,7 percent, is still comparatively low, indicating many Americans aren&#39;t actively looking for work.</p><p>Obama explained his position on the economy by way of a workout analogy:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;We should feel good about the progress we&#39;ve made, understanding that we&#39;ve still got more work to do.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s sort of like, you know, I&#39;m 54 now so I&#39;ve got to work out harder to stay in shape. And you know, if I&#39;m feeling good in the gym I want to acknowledge that what I&#39;m doing is working. Because otherwise I&#39;ll just go off and have a big double bacon cheeseburger or something, because I&#39;ll think, well, this isn&#39;t working.</p><p>&quot;No &mdash; if it&#39;s working then we should be staying on that same path. That doesn&#39;t mean that I&#39;m where I&#39;m where I necessarily want to be, it doesn&#39;t mean that I stop doing some hard work to get where we need to go.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>The January jobs report also revised the more-robust job growth during the end of 2015, shifting the overall total downward: November&#39;s job gains were changed from 252,000 to 280,000, the BLS says, and in December, the economy added 262,000 new jobs, rather than 292,000.</p><p>One bright spot on the report: Wages. Average hourly earnings rose by 12 cents in January, to $25.39. The report says that over the year, wages have risen 2.5 percent overall.</p><p>Retail, restaurants, healthcare and manufacturing all gained jobs, the BLS says. But jobs were lost in transportation, warehousing, private education services and mining.</p><p>Meanwhile, NPR&#39;s Yuki Noguchi reports for our Newscast unit that other reports suggest layoff activity has increased:</p><p>&quot;The Labor Department said claims for new jobless benefits increased last week. And outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas said planned layoffs spiked last month because of cutbacks in retail and energy,&quot; Yuki says. &quot;Last month, Walmart and Macy&#39;s both announced plans to pare down their workforces.&quot;</p><p>And last month, the Commerce department reported that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-29/economic-growth-cools-as-american-consumers-temper-spendinghttp://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/gdpnewsrelease.htm">GDP growth had slowed to 0.7 percent</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/05/465686010/u-s-added-151-000-jobs-in-january-unemployment-dropped-to-4-9-percent?ft=nprml&amp;f=465686010"><em>&mdash;via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-celebrates-durable-economy-unemployment-drops-below-5-percent-114726 U.S. Economy Added a Robust 292,000 Jobs in December http://www.wbez.org/news/us-economy-added-robust-292000-jobs-december-114720 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/getajob.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="storytext"><div id="res462364817" previewtitle="A job seeker views a business card during a Giant Job Fair last month in Detroit. During 2015, employers created 2.65 million new jobs."><div data-crop-type="">The U.S. economy added 292,000 jobs in December while unemployment held steady at 5 percent, according to the latest figures from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>.</div></div><p>The number of new jobs was higher than many economists had anticipated; NPR&#39;s John Ydstie says experts had expected about 200,000 new jobs.</p><p>In November, the BLS initially said the economy added 211,000 jobs &mdash; a &quot;healthy pace,&quot; as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/05/458511046/more-jobs-cheaper-gas-and-rising-stocks-help-the-economy-look-up">NPR&#39;s Marilyn Geewax put it</a>.</p><p>That number has now been revised upward, to 252,000. The job gains for October have also been revised up, from 298,000 to 307,000.</p><p>With the revised numbers, the past three months have seen an average of 284,000 new jobs each month. The unemployment rate has held at 5 percent all three months.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Professional and business services, the restaurant industry, health care and construction showed some of the strongest job growth in December, the Bureau says, while mining jobs declined and manufacturing jobs stayed stagnant.</p><div id="res462371741"><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">The economy added 292,000 jobs in December&mdash;a record-breaking 70 consecutive months of private-sector job growth.</p>&mdash; Barack Obama (@BarackObama) <a href="https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/685471723915837440">January 8, 2016</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p>The labor participation rate was little changed in December, and average wages fell by a penny.</p><p>Over the year as a whole, average wages rose 2.5 percent, the BLS says &mdash; the fastest rise since 2008. But a healthy growth rate for wages would be &quot;in the 3-4 percent range,&quot; writes&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2016/01/08/december-jobs-report-everything-you-need-to-know-2/">The Wall Street Journal</a>.</p><p>All told, employers created 2.65 million new jobs last year &mdash; not as strong as 2014&#39;s 3.2 million total jobs, but enough to make 2015 the second-best year for U.S. job growth since 1999, The Associated Press reports.</p><p>The news comes during a week of turmoil in the international stock markets. Chinese stocks plunged this week, while the S&amp;P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial average had their worst-ever start to a year.</p><p>Last month, the Federal Reserve&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/12/16/459989461/federal-reserve-announces-hike-in-short-term-interest-rates">raised interest rates</a>&nbsp;in the U.S. by 0.25 percentage point, signaling confidence in the American economy. It was the first change in the interest rate since 2008, and the first&nbsp;increase since 2006.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/08/462362534/u-s-economy-added-a-robust-292-000-jobs-in-december?ft=nprml&amp;f=462362534"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:24:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/us-economy-added-robust-292000-jobs-december-114720 Working Shift: Ask a Hairstylist http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-04/working-shift-ask-hairstylist-114705 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Working-Shift-Hairstylist-Flickr-ICG_Com_Ge.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This week, we started our &ldquo;Working Shift&rdquo; series where we interview people with interesting jobs and ask them about their day-to-day lives. Today we continue the series with two local hair stylists.</p><p>Joining us are John Flemal, Owner of Urban Lift Salon, and Keisha Carter who&rsquo;s salon Ardeur &amp; Beauty will be opening soon.</p></p> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 14:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-04/working-shift-ask-hairstylist-114705 Working Shift: Ask A Firefighter http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/working-shift-ask-firefighter-114685 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ask a firefighter-commons.wikimedia.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Our &quot;Working Shift&quot; series continues with a Chicago Firefighter. They put their lives on the line for fellow residents by extinguishing fires, making rescues from buildings, trees, vehicles and much more. But what do they do in between waiting for that next call?</p><p>Fireman Eric Washington tells all. If his name sounds familiar it&#39;s because he was on the show last week to discuss his request for water donations for Flint, Michigan. He collected 4,500 cases of water for the town in crisis.</p></p> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 16:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/working-shift-ask-firefighter-114685 What's Being Done For The Unemployed Blind? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/whats-being-done-unemployed-blind-114682 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/blind employment-robarna.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">In America, &ldquo;blind&rdquo; and &ldquo;out of work&rdquo; go together too often. According to the National Federation of the Blind, about 60 percent of blind folks are unemployed.</p><p dir="ltr">We talk with Colleen Wunderlich of the Hadley School for the Blind about what&rsquo;s being done to address that statistic, including encouraging more blind people to start their own businesses.</p></p> Tue, 02 Feb 2016 15:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-02/whats-being-done-unemployed-blind-114682 Why Some Still Can't Find Jobs as the Economy Nears 'Full Employment' http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-02-01/why-some-still-cant-find-jobs-economy-nears-full <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/gettyimages-185743197_wide-ca2aa052aea1cad8bc4df14edd823add15e92ad5-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res464870357" previewtitle="Economists use the phrase &quot;full employment&quot; to mean the number of people seeking jobs is roughly in balance with the number of openings."><div data-crop-type="">&quot;Full employment&quot; is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. We&#39;ll be hearing this phrase a lot as the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Labor Department</a>&nbsp;releases the latest jobs data on Friday. It&#39;s expected to show that employers added even more workers in January.</div></div><p>But the phrase doesn&#39;t tell the full story for millions of Americans either still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work.</p><div id="res464898219"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p><strong>What is full employment and what does it mean?</strong></p><p>To economists, it&#39;s when the number of people seeking jobs is roughly in balance with the number of openings. It doesn&#39;t mean the unemployment rate is zero because that&#39;s not realistic. There will always be some unemployment. Companies have to close down obsolete operations, individuals have to quit their jobs to move with a spouse, or they might move to look for something better with higher pay.</p><p><strong>If the economists don&#39;t mean zero unemployment when they use the phrase &quot;full employment,&quot; what do they mean?</strong></p><p>Economists say a healthy job market has an unemployment rate somewhere between 4.6 percent and 5 percent. Some people are quitting, some people are getting hired &mdash; there&#39;s churn but no despair.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/08/462362534/u-s-economy-added-a-robust-292-000-jobs-in-december">In December</a>, the national rate was 5 percent and now many predictions have the rate gliding down to 4.6 percent by July. So bingo, we&#39;re basically there at full employment. If all goes as expected in 2016, people who want jobs will be able to find them, and employers who need workers will be able to attract them.</p><div id="res464897368"><div id="responsive-embed-unemployment-20160108"><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/unemployment-20160108/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script></div></div><p><strong>Is it really fair to use the term &quot;full employment&quot; when that doesn&#39;t seem to match the reality that a lot of people are experiencing?</strong></p><p>Those words can hit hard and they can hurt because it sounds like you must be doing something wrong. But really, unemployment is very regional. In West Virginia, there are counties today with unemployment rates of 12 percent or even 13 percent. But in California&#39;s Silicon Valley, the rate is virtually zero, with companies battling each other for workers. So geography matters!</p><p>And there are big differences based on age. For black teenagers nationwide, the unemployment rate is 21 percent. For women of any color, if you&#39;re 50, studies show you have a tough time getting back to the workforce. You become long-term unemployed. Besides age and location, more than anything, education determines your unemployment rate. For college graduates, it&#39;s 2.3 percent unemployment; for high school dropouts, 7 percent.</p><p><strong>Is &quot;full employment&quot; something that a lot of Americans are still going to experience as something very unsatisfying?</strong></p><p>If you&#39;re a 30-year-old with a college degree and a U-Haul, you&#39;re all set, you can find jobs. If you want to go to night school and you want to move, you can be part of that full employment economy. But the reality for a lot of people is that it is very hard. About 7.9 million people remain unemployed because they may not fit that demographic description. Like women in their 50s who may actually be at the center of a whole financial and emotional ecosystem, taking care of aging parents, as well as children and grandchildren, it can be very hard to move.</p><p><strong>Is this sort of a new normal in that what we call &quot;full employment&quot; is really not at all &quot;full&quot; but very uneven?</strong></p><p>Yes, we can say now that for younger, tech-savvy, well-educated people, jobs abound. The recession truly is over. And&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/08/462410820/the-employment-outlook-for-2016-is-looking-much-brighter">2016 should be a great year</a>&nbsp;for job hunting. But for people in their 50s with rusty skills or teenagers with relatively little education, the phrase &quot;full employment&quot; is a painful taunt.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/31/464856256/why-some-still-cant-find-jobs-as-the-economy-nears-full-employment?ft=nprml&amp;f=464856256"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 01 Feb 2016 15:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-02-01/why-some-still-cant-find-jobs-economy-nears-full Where Will the Sharing Economy Go Next? http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-27/where-will-sharing-economy-go-next-114631 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0127_phone-pixabay-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s been 20 years since the founding of eBay kicked off the online peer-to-peer marketplace&nbsp;that has become known as the sharing economy. In the years since, we&rsquo;ve seen the rise of Zipcar, Lyft, Uber and Airbnb, not to mention hundreds of smaller services that will board your pets, deliver your meals, find you a handyman or lend you a bicycle.</p><p>But it hasn&rsquo;t all been rosy. The car-for-hire service Lyft announced today it was paying $12 million to settle a class action suit. It will also extend some benefits for drivers and reimburse them for expenses. Uber and Airbnb have also faced lawsuits over employee benefits and customer safety.</p><p>Meanwhile, Airbnb recently released a&nbsp;<a href="http://publicpolicy.airbnb.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Airbnb-Community-Compact.pdf" target="_blank">community compact</a>&nbsp;vowing to work within all government and community regulations. It came after cities like San Francisco started placing restrictions on the short-term rental market.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/nakedculturebh">Billee Howard&nbsp;</a>is founder and chief engagement officer of <a href="http://brandthropologie.com/">Brandthropologie</a>, a New York-based communications consulting firm. She&rsquo;s written extensively about the sharing economy, including the book &ldquo;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/We-Commerce-Collaborate-Succeed-Sharing-Economy/dp/0399173625?tag=wburorg-20" target="_blank">We-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy</a>.&rdquo;</p><p>She joins&nbsp;<em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Robin Young to share her insights about new trends and the future of the sharing economy, as we head into 2016.</p></p> Wed, 27 Jan 2016 14:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-27/where-will-sharing-economy-go-next-114631