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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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On Thursday, May 27, Axios future correspondent Bryan Walsh and business reporter Erica Pandey unpacked how institutions are preparing students and workers of all ages for a post-pandemic job landscape, featuring Handshake CEO and co-founder Garrett Lord and Ford Foundation Future of Work(ers) director Sarita Gupta.

Garrett Lord described how the pandemic has changed the ways companies recruit recent graduates and the long-term impact of normalizing education outside of the four-year undergraduate model.

  • How companies have evolved in their approach to recruitment: "Companies are proactively reaching out at scale to students based on skills and capabilities and looking at more inclusive measures of what talent is other than just what school we go to."
  • On online recruitment fairs for students: "We're really proving that going virtual is more inclusive, is more effective and more cost-efficient. We think that this category will never look the same."

Sarita Gupta discussed how the pandemic has impacted the future for workers, the job landscape, and the importance of having stronger care infrastructure.

  • On how the pandemic is an opportunity to rethink how we understand and value work: "There's been a disproportionate toll on workers and low wage jobs, mostly impacting black and brown communities, women, poor urban and rural communities and people with disabilities...Are we as a society going to create opportunities for working people or are we going to continue to have working people live with tremendous insecurity?"
  • How this moment presents an opportunity for policymakers and workers alike: "[Essential workers] have reflected on these really important questions: Is this job worth it being provided an adequate salary or wages? This is coupled with policymakers who are trying to figure out how to build the economy back stronger, which means they're considering pathways to create good jobs and more opportunities and to address the broader set of needs that working people face."

Axios Chief People Officer Dominique Taylor hosted a View from the Top Segment with University of Phoenix president Peter Cohen on the impact of social capital in helping recent graduates find jobs and inequities for first-generation students.

  • "People who grew up in a family...who have degrees and successful careers automatically have an edge because they have strong social capital and a vast network built in that they can tap into when they're starting their careers. But for first-generation college students, people from underprivileged backgrounds, or simply people who come from families were the first ones to work at a corporate job, they're sometimes starting directly from scratch."

Thank you University of Phoenix for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Biden: "No question" Delta variant is to blame for poor jobs report

President Joe Biden speaking at the White House on Sept. 2. Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

There is "no question" that the Delta variant is to blame for the disappointing August jobs report, President Biden said in remarks on Friday, a fact that he argued underscores the importance of continuing to vaccinate Americans and passing his economic agenda.

Why it matters: The U.S. economy added only 235,000 jobs last month, significantly lower than what economists expected in part because of the surge in new coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant.

One-on-one with Goodwill Industries CEO Steve Preston

Steve Preston. Photo: Goodwill Industries International

“We are going to see a very different economy down the road, and ensuring that we can tool people to move into those better jobs will be essential, ” Goodwill Industries CEO Steve Preston tells Axios.

Why it matters: Today’s labor mismatch isn’t just about COVID fears and unemployment insurance. Steve Preston would know — as the CEO of Goodwill Industries, which runs more than 650 career centers across the country, he’s been on the front lines of getting people back to work.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated Sep 3, 2021 - Economy & Business

U.S. added 235,000 jobs in August, a massive slowdown

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added a meager 235,000 jobs in August, while the unemployment rate fell from 5.4% to 5.2%, the government said Friday.

Why it matters: It's the first jobs report to factor in the extent of the COVID-19 surge driven by the Delta variant — showing a massive slowdown in the recovery after July's blockbuster jobs report. Economists had expected 725,000 jobs to be added.

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