Sep 11, 2019

Help (really, really) wanted

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Just this week, Amazon, Target and Wendy's have announced plans to hire a combined 180,000 new workers or temps, adding to the swelling number of jobs that so far outpaces the number of people who are available to work.

Why it matters: The tight labor market — and the scarcity of workers — may come in the way of those ambitions.

Driving the news: On Monday, Amazon said it had 30,000 open jobs — a record for the company — that it's seeking to fill before the beginning of next year.

  • Wendy's announced it needed to add 20,000 people to its workforce to support the fast food company's foray into breakfast.
  • And retailers are starting to ramp up hiring for the holiday rush: Target wants to add 130,000 temporary workers — more than last year, a sign the company is confident in its ability to find that many workers, even though the unemployment rate has drifted lower since then.

The bottom line: Companies still see ample business demand, despite heightened economic uncertainty, that require troves of workers.

Yes, but: Job openings have exceeded the number of unemployed workers for 17 consecutive months — a dynamic never before seen since the government began tracking the data.

  • August’s jobs report — while soft on the headline number — showed that more people out of the labor force were continuing to come off the sidelines. Economists aren’t sure how many more of those workers are willing to jump back into the labor force, though higher pay, discounts and other perks may help.
  • The weakness in the jobs report had more to do with “a shortage of workers rather than weakening demand for them,” Ed Yardeni, a former New York Fed economist, wrote in a note this week.

Go deeper: America's worker deserts

Go deeper

Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Seattle police declared a riot late Monday, tweeting: " Crowd has thrown rocks, bottles and fireworks at officers and is attempting to breach barricades one block from the East Precinct."

2 hours ago - Technology

Civil rights leaders blast Facebook after meeting with Zuckerberg

Screenshot of an image some Facebook employees used as part of their virtual walkout on Monday.

A trio of civil rights leaders issued a blistering statement Monday following a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top executives to discuss the social network's decision to leave up comments from President Trump they say amount to calls for violence and voter suppression.

Why it matters: While Twitter has flagged two of the president's Tweets, one for being potentially misleading about mail-in ballot procedures and another for glorifying violence, Facebook has left those and other posts up, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying he doesn't want to be the "arbiter of truth."

3 hours ago - Technology

Cisco, Sony postpone events amid continued protests

Screenshot: Axios (via YouTube)

Cisco said Monday night that it is postponing the online version of Cisco Live, its major customer event, amid the ongoing protests that have followed the killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: Cisco joins Sony, Electronic Arts and Google in delaying tech events planned for this week.