The endgame of the pandemic is giving both employers and workers a chance to create a more humane relationship — both in the office and out of it.
The big picture: Companies need workers, but many employees aren't ready to go back to the way things used to be. A hybrid setup could provide the best possible way forward, if both sides are willing to give.
About two-thirds of service-sector workers said they could not take leave, or took less leave than they wanted, when they experienced a major life event, according to a Harvard and UC San Francisco study released today. Within this group, 71% said the reason was they couldn’t afford to.
Why it matters: Part of President Biden’s American Families Plan provides 12 weeks of guaranteed paid family and sick leave to workers, marking the first time that a U.S. president has introduced a national-level paid leave program.
The acting administrator of the Transportation Security Administration issued an internal memo on May 30 warning that 131 of the largest U.S. airports will face staffing shortages as in June, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The state of play: The memo asks TSA office workers to volunteer for up to 45 days to help run queues and perform administrative tasks, with summer travel expected to ramp up, per the Post.
Small business owners' optimism pulled back slightly during May.
Why it matters: Small businesses were hit hard during the pandemic, but optimism had grown in each of the prior three months. The slight pullback last month appears to stem largely from hiring challenges — offering yet another data point on how labor issues are playing out across the country.
Economic inequality has been exacerbated by the pandemic and left Black women — and potential growth for the broader U.S. economy — even further behind, according to a new report today from S&P Global.
Why it matters: Black women have been hindered by economic disparities in nearly all aspects of American life, particularly when it comes to wage growth and opportunities in school and at work.
Last week’s economic data dump was nothing if not consistent. Spanning the May jobs report, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book and business activity indicators, the picture that emerged was one of an economy in recovery — albeit slower than some expected, and jammed with labor and supply shortages.
Why it matters: Taken together, the data gives the Fed cover from making any big monetary decisions or changing its course over the next few months.
The pandemic has recalibrated the power dynamics between employers and would-be employees in favor of workers, and this shift "could persist for years," the New York Times reports.
Why it matters: With workers having the upper hand, employers are trying to lure them into the workforce by offering higher wages and more benefits, as well as loosening up the stringent requirements for potential applicants.
The U.S. economy added 559,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.8% from 6.1%, the government said on Friday.
Why it matters: Vaxxed America isn't surging back to work as quickly as economists, who had predicted 670,000 new jobs, hoped it would. Still, the total number of jobs in the U.S. rose by a reasonably healthy amount in May — much faster than the anemic growth of 278,000 we saw in April.
Democrats and Republicans are preparing to seize on today’s jobs numbers to argue for — or against — Biden’s proposal for $4 trillion in infrastructure and social safety net spending.
Why it matters: Like early in the Obama administration, the job report is serving as a monthly assessment of the president's economic policies.