Jobs

The big picture

The aging future of work

The tightening labor market is opening up new opportunities for American workers over age 50.

Feb 12, 2020
Unemployment fell to 50-year low in 2019 but wages stagnated

Wages grew by 2.9%, the lowest rate in a year and a half.

Jan 13, 2020
Americans are moving less

The traditionally mobile young are hemmed in by housing costs.

Dec 31, 2019
An unsettling future for millions of American jobs

For decades, the job market has seen steady polarization.

Dec 19, 2019
America's worker deserts

The "good news" story of the strong labor market has a big downside.

Aug 30, 2019
Deep Dive ... The new gig: America's hidden economy

A growing number of them aren't 9-to-5 employees.

Apr 27, 2019

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The private sector added 2.4 million jobs in June

A worker wears a face mask in a supermarket in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The private sector added 2.4 million jobs in June, according to ADP's national employment report released on Wednesday. The report also included a massive revision to its May data, saying there were 3.1 million jobs added that month rather than 2.8 million lost (as initially estimated).

Why it matters: The labor market slowly continued to heal in early June, after historic job losses during the coronavirus pandemic. The ADP report is closely watched for what's to come in the official jobs release from the government (out tomorrow), though it's far from a perfect proxy.

The big divide over the next stimulus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As lawmakers turn their attention to another coronavirus stimulus package, Republicans and Democrats each say they’ve learned many lessons from the $2 trillion CARES Act. The problem is, they can’t agree on what those lessons were.

Why it matters: With just an 11-day window in late July to act, and without the market free-fall of March to motivate them, Congress may choke on a compromise package that many economists see as necessary to keep the economy upright.

Why Corporate America’s diversity trainings fall short

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death have started conversations about racism in workplaces across America and prompted companies to bring in educators and experts to lead trainings.

Yes, but: These trainings often fail to bring about the necessary transformation.

Microsoft aims to prep 25 million people for the future of work — for free

Microsoft president Brad Smith at the White House. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Gerry Images

As the pandemic erases millions of jobs and transforms millions more, Microsoft is aiming to provide free digital skills training to 25 million people around the globe this year.

Why it matters: Around half the U.S. population is currently out of work, and the unemployment numbers are similarly high in other countries.

Mnuchin says leftover PPP funds should go to hardest-hit industries

Mnuchin prepares to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. Photo: Asos Katopodis/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a congressional hearing on Tuesday that the $134 billion in leftover funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) should be repurposed and extended to businesses that have suffered the most during the coronavirus pandemic, including "restaurants and hotels."

Why it matters: Today is the last day small businesses can apply for loans via the PPP, as coronavirus cases spike and some states are pausing or rolling back reopening plans. The prospects for small businesses, many of which have already seen significant revenue drops, are devastating.

Almost half of the U.S. population does not have a job

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The percentage of Americans who are employed sits at just over 50%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' employment-population ratio. The figure plunged to 51.3% in April (the lowest level on record) and edged up to 52.8% in May.

The backdrop: The ratio was as high as 61.2% in January, but has fallen precipitously since coronavirus-induced lockdowns shuttered businesses across the United States.

Updated Jun 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Another 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Another 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The number of newly filed jobless claims has steadily dropped since peaking in March, but the pandemic is still forcing more than a million workers to the ranks of unemployment each week — over twice the all-time record seen before the coronavirus hit.

A $5 million prize for putting people back to work

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

XPRIZE, a nonprofit organization that holds grand competitions to inspire innovation, announced this week that it would launch a $5 million contest to help retrain workers who lost employment to automation.

Why it matters: The pandemic has only accelerated the job-destroying effects of automation. As the U.S. looks to put tens of millions of people back to work, truly big solutions will be needed.

Second-tier cities vie for telecommuters

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Lingering post-pandemic remote work could redistribute some New York City and Silicon Valley jobs to the American heartland, and smaller cities are already competing to attract talent — but it won't be so easy.

The big picture: Although U.S. workers will have the option to scatter and get out of the crowded and expensive metros, the pull of those places may be too strong for the second-tier cities to win out.

How the pandemic will reshape the job market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A shock to the job market as massive and as sustained as the coronavirus will leave lasting change — and damage — in its wake.

The big picture: We jumped from the best labor market in 60 years, before the coronavirus, to the worst, in April. As the country comes back, millions of jobs lost during the pandemic will never come back, and there will be massive reallocations of jobs from some parts of the economy to others.

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