Bullish Jobs Prediction: Bank Of America Says Employment Will Return To Pre-Pandemic Levels By Year’s End

Daily Life in New York City Around The One-year Anniversary of The COVID-19 Shut Down

Following blockbuster data showing the U.S. added 917,000 jobs in March, analysts from Bank of America said they expect jobs to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year if that pace of improvement continues.

It’s a much more aggressive prediction than other experts, including the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, have taken so far this year.

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell has said that while he’s optimistic that hiring will pick up in the coming months, it’s “not at all likely” the U.S. will reach maximum employment this year.

In a hearing before Congress last month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she believes the economy may return to full employment next year.

Bank of America’s analysts said they expect “considerably more job creation” in the leisure and hospitality sectors—two areas hit hardest by the pandemic—in the months ahead as the U.S. economy reopens.

The growth Bank of America is predicting also comes with a risk, the analysts said: jobs could continue to accelerate beyond pre-pandemic levels right as trillions of dollars in stimulus spending kick in and the economy reopens in earnest.

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Employment Lawyer Alex Lucifero answers questions about Employee Rights When Businesses Reopen during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Canada. Can my employer discipline or fire me if I don’t feel safe returning to work when the business reopens? Can my employer recall me from work and put me in a different job, or give me different responsibilities? Can my employer recall younger employees before older employees, in an effort to protect the latter from COVID-19? Lucifero, an Ottawa employment lawyer and partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP, joined Annette Goerner on CTV Ottawa Morning Live, where he answered those questions and more.

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All those factors could lead to dangerous overheating and inflation, which could destabilize an already fragile economic recovery and rattle investors.

Crucial Quote

“We saw the economy gain traction in March as the American Rescue Plan moved and got passed, bringing new hope to our country,” President Biden said during prepared remarks on Friday. Biden’s flagship pandemic relief bill authorized another $1.9 trillion in federal stimulus spending.

Big Number

9.7 million. That’s how many people are now unemployed across the country, according to the Labor Department, down from 22 million at the onset of the crisis last spring.

Key Background

Biden unveiled his next legislative effort, the $2+ trillion American Jobs Plan, earlier this week. That plan is designed to revitalize American infrastructure and manufacturing and  jumpstart the transition to clean energy and industry. The Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce estimated that the plan would create or save 15 million jobs over a decade and that three-quarters of the infrastructure jobs it creates would be for workers with no more than a high school diploma.

Further Reading

The U.S. Added 916,000 Jobs In March As Labor Market Comes Roaring Back (Forbes)

The Economy Doesn’t Need The Fed’s Easy Monetary Policy To Keep Booming, BofA Says (Forbes)

$1,400 Stimulus Checks Are Already Working As Credit, Debit Spending Surges 45%, BofA Says (Forbes)

Powell And Yellen Praise Aggressive Stimulus Spending, Acknowledge Incomplete Economic Recovery In Congressional Testimony (Forbes)

I’m a breaking news reporter for Forbes focusing on economic policy and capital markets. I completed my master’s degree in business and economic reporting at New York University. Before becoming a journalist, I worked as a paralegal specializing in corporate compliance.

Source: Bullish Jobs Prediction: Bank Of America Says Employment Will Return To Pre-Pandemic Levels By Year’s End.

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Why Companies Should Let Employees Work Remotely And Travel More

Caroline Pinal is the Cofounder of Giveback Homes.

“While working remotely and employee volunteer programs are both on the rise, there are still many companies and leaders that haven’t realized the value of letting your employees commute less and travel more, especially for social good,” says Caroline Pinal, the cofounder of Giveback Homes. The social good real estate company has built hundreds of homes for people in need across the U.S., in Puerto Rico, Nicaragua and Mexico.

Through Giveback Homes, Pinal works with real estate agents and brokerages across the country to provide them with impactful volunteer opportunities and projects to donate to and support. The company also offers its community with marketing and communication tools to help share their philanthropic endeavors with their clients, friends and family. “My favorite part of the gig is leading a group of realtors to Nicaragua to help build homes for families in need,” Pinal says. “We do it once or twice a year and it’s always so cool to see people experience that for the first time.”

Like many people, Pinal always had it in her heart to travel abroad and do good in the world, but she didn’t have the resources, funds, or time off to make it happen. It was just something she dreamed of doing “someday” when she was older and more established. And then she found a job at TOMS. The company, which pioneered the “buy one, give one” business model with its shoes, sent Pinal on a giving trip to El Salvador where she helped distribute shoes to children in need. “I look back on that experience and think how incredible that my job not just encouraged, but provided that opportunity to travel and give back to me and every employee? And why is that so still rare?”

During that time, Pinal also met her now best friend, Blake Andrews, who worked at TOMS with her. A few years later, the two had the idea of applying the TOMS model to the real estate world, and together they founded Giveback Homes. Part of their business model involves giving employees the opportunity to work remotely and travel, which she feels is her life purpose. “We take realtors from all over the country on social impact experiences. We’re building homes, getting people out of their comfort zones, and connecting them with people from other countries in a way that will impact them forever and inspire them to do more,” Pinal explains.

“It’s obviously standard for companies to give vacation days or paid time off, but most people (understandably) use that time for vacation,” Pinal says. “What if in addition to vacation, companies offered paid opportunities to travel and volunteer abroad? Salesforce, Timberland, Patagonia, and IBM are among the companies that currently offer paid volunteer abroad opportunities to their employees. What if every Fortune 500 company – and even smaller companies like TOMS – did the same? Imagine the impact that would have on the countries and people they’d be helping around the world and in the lives of the employees.”

Pinal offers these reasons why more companies should offer their employees paid opportunities to volunteer and more flexibility in their everyday work:

  • Engagement increases: Everyone wants to be part of something bigger than themselves. Employees come back feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and more engaged at work.
  • Employee retention improves: Schedule flexibility and work from home opportunities play a major role in the decision to take or leave a job, especially for Millennials who are seeking more rewarding and unconventional lifestyles.
  • Networking happens on another level. One of my favorite things to do is wander a city, any city, and find a spot to eat a meal at a bar and chat it up with my waiter, my taxi driver, the local merchant. I’ve met amazing people and connections have had unexpected benefits to my business.
  • The work still gets done! Gallup reports that workers who spent 60-80% of their time away from the office had the highest rates of engagement. They become more productive in unlikely places. Working at a desk under florescent lights isn’t always the most inspiring or motivating environment. I am most productive and creative while flying on planes. Most of my ideas, writings, or reading happens in the air. And I make it a goal of mine to always come back with an outline of a project or the start of a new idea for our company.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

MeiMei Fox is a New York Times bestselling author, coauthor and ghostwriter of over a dozen non-fiction books and hundreds of articles for publications including Huffington Post, Self, Stanford magazine, and MindBodyGreen. She specializes in health, psychology, self-help and finding your life purpose. Fox graduated Phi Beta Kappa with honors and distinction from Stanford University with an MA and BA in psychology. She has worked as a life coach since 2009, assisting clients in developing careers that have meaning and impact. At present, she lives in Paris, France with her twin boys and the love of her life, husband Kiran Ramchandran. Follow @MeiMeiFox

Source: Why Companies Should Let Employees Work Remotely And Travel More

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British Airways Pins Hopes On Friendly Court As Pilot Negotiations Unravel​

British Airways has gone to court to seek an injunction to prevent its pilots from striking after union members voted, by an overwhelming majority, to strike rather than accept the airline’s proposed pay increase.

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) members voted 93% in favor of a strike on 90% turn out. British Airways is offering pilots a pay increase of 11.5% spread over three years, and said that both Unite and GMB trade unions—which represent almost 90% of BA staff—have recommended the airline’s offer to their members.

The three unions made a joint claim for better compensation in November of last year. They cited the airline’s improved financial performance —from a £230 million ($238 million) operating loss in 2009 to a £1.8 billion ($2.24 billion) profit in 2017 — as justification.

BA has said the threat of a pilot strike could disrupt summer holiday travel for thousands of its passengers. However, BALPA have not set dates for the strike and the airline has yet to make any changes to its schedule.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, claims the aim is not to disrupt summer holidays and blames the airline for the timing of the breakdown in talks.

“We have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November – it is BA who has regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months,” he stated.

Headed to court

British Airways went to court today for an injunction against industrial action by BALPA members, but the court has decided against the airline.

The airline claimed that the union had failed to comply with balloting rules. This claim has previously brought BA success in court, but has also caused controversy with the decision reversed on appeal.

The decision to go to court had put a halt to negotiations, though both parties said they would like to avoid strike action through negotiations.

Brian Strutton, general secretary of the BALPA union, indicated they would like to return to negotiations after the court’s decision. “Although legally clear to do so, we have still not set any strike dates to give BA one last chance to commit to negotiating on pilots’ pay and rewards with us,” he said in a statement.

British Airways said it will return to negotiations but seems unwilling to compromise.

“We will continue to pursue every avenue to protect the holidays of thousands of our customers this summer,” the airline said in a statement. “Our proposed pay offer of 11.5% over three years is fair.”

Balancing the books

The union says that one day of strikes would cost BA more than BALPA members are asking for, and the airline industry faces a critical shortage of pilots, but labor is a significant portion of airline costs and European airlines face pressures on yields. IATA estimates that the European airline industry generated $12 billion in operating profits during 2018, with an average operating margin of only 6%.

Ryanair isn’t budging either

The court’s decision is still welcome news for BALPA, as they negotiate with BA competitor and European low-cost behemoth Ryanair.

The pilots’ union has also warned of potential industrial action against Ryanair and those talks are going worse than talks with British Airways.

Strutton said, “We have not been able to make any progress with Ryanair at all on any of our areas of concern. As usual with Ryanair, it’s their way or the highway, and we are not prepared to put up with that.”

Ryanair has a history of tackling industrial actions by adjusting service as needed, even if it means shutting down bases, but the airline has a strong base at Stansted Airport that is critical to its operations.

BALPA will issue a ballot to its members to decide on a strike tomorrow, and the results will be announced on August 7. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I worked in aviation from 1994-2010 before turning my experience to writing about airlines and airports for leading industry and consumer publications in 2013. I’ve spent months in the hangars of airlines and aircraft manufacturers, dressed aircraft seats by hand, and worked with crew at training centres around the world. I’ve negotiated with airline CEOs and worked with buyers, engineers, leading design firms, suppliers and aircraft manufacturers on the launch of new programs. I was the executive responsible to international regulators on the approval of cabin equipment, with oversight of production facilities, product testing laboratories, a maintenance center, and a certified hazardous materials repair station. I even hold a patent for a military-spec life raft. Now, I translate “aviation speak” into English, breaking barriers of acronyms and jargon to make the beautiful business of flight easier to value. I also really, really love being on a plane—even in the middle seat.

Source: British Airways Pins Hopes On Friendly Court As Pilot Negotiations Unravel​

What Employers And Employees Need To Know Today About Raises – Kathy Caprino

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During my 18-year corporate career in marketing, research and product management, I felt that raises were an important way that the leadership at my organizations demonstrated their recognition for what I contributed in my role and in the enterprise as a whole. Interestingly, the conversations that took place leading up to the actual raise or promotion were at least as impactful as the raise itself.

If I found that my manager communicated effectively both praise and constructive, thoughtful feedback and indicated an understanding of how I personally contributed to the team, those interchanges helped build trust, loyalty and commitment, often as much (if not more) than the additional money in my paycheck. But if the conversations around raises and promotions weren’t clear, honest and supportive, inevitably I’d feel less positive and engaged in my role.

Turns out, this is an extremely common experience. In working now as a career and executive coach with professionals around the world, I’ve heard from thousands of people about their deep challenges in trying to figure out how to ask for a raise, the best way to build a case for it, and how to deal with their disillusionment when they didn’t receive the raise they believed they deserved.

To learn more about how employers and employees should approach handling raises, I was excited to catch up this week with Lydia Frank, who is vice president of content strategy for PayScale, the leading compensation data and software provider, helping employees and employers understand market pay and have more open and mutually beneficial conversations about compensation.

The recent PayScale Raise Anatomy study examines which workers are asking for raises, which workers are receiving them, what is preventing certain workers from asking and how the raise conversation – whether the outcome is positive or negative – can impact employee engagement and retention.

Here’s what Frank shares:

Kathy Caprino: Why did PayScale feel it was important do this research into pay raises now?

Lydia Frank: We’re in an extremely tight job market currently in the U.S. with unemployment under 4%, and oddly, wages have not grown to the degree that we’ve seen historically when similar positive conditions have been in place in terms of the economy and labor market.

And, while 59% of employers are saying that talent retention is a major concern, according to the results of PayScale’s most recent Compensation Best Practices survey, most organizations are not addressing that concern with higher base pay increases. This places more burden on individual employees to proactively manage their own earning potential by asking for raises and making a solid business case for more than the standard 3%.

We also knew from past studies that a good portion of employees don’t proactively ask for raises. We know that wage gaps do exist for women and people of color. So, we wanted to really understand the dynamics at play and provide guidance for both employees and employers to ensure that every worker has equal opportunity to make a fair wage for the work they’re doing.

Caprino: What were the most interesting findings? Were these surprising to you?

Frank: Only 37% of workers have ever asked for a raise from their current employer, which is lower than I’d expect with it being an employee’s job market right now, but of those who did ask, 70% received some type of raise, even if it wasn’t for as much as they requested. It’s a good reminder for employees that the outcome of a raise conversation has a high likelihood of being favorable for you.

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However, not every employee has the same chance for that positive outcome. We saw no difference by gender or race in terms of who says they have asked their current employer for a raise. We did find, though, that people of color are far less likely to receive a raise when they ask for one than their white male peers (women of color are 19% less likely and men of color are 25% less likely).

There was weak evidence showing that white women may be receiving raises less often, but the findings were not statistically significant. We controlled for job title, job level, experience, geography, industry, etc. so we could really isolate the effect that the gender and race of the employee might be having on raise decisions. This runs counter to a common narrative, especially in the tech industry, around the workplace being a meritocracy. This may not feel like a surprising finding to many, but there’s a difference between suspecting something is true and knowing it for sure.

Another key finding in this report is that how the raise conversation unfolds can have a critical impact on employee engagement and retention. It really comes down to how much employees trust the organization and their managers. If an employee is denied a raise, 33% are provided no rationale for the denial.

Of those who do receive some type of rationale, only 23% of employees believe it. If they don’t believe it, their satisfaction with the employer takes a serious hit, and they are far more likely to be seeking a new job in the next six months. What was interesting, however, is that when employees did believe the rationale when denied a raise, they had similar levels of employer satisfaction as employees who received a raise.

They were also much more likely to stay with the organization than employees who received no rationale or didn’t believe the one they were given. For employers, the takeaway here is that you don’t necessarily have to grant every raise request to retain your best employees, but you do have to ensure they understand how compensation decisions are made and feel fairly treated. Treating employees fairly isn’t necessarily the same as them feeling fairly treated, so communication strategy around pay is important to get right as well.

Caprino: Why do you think people of color are more often denied a raise when they ask than white men?

Frank: With more than 160,000 survey respondents for this most recent PayScale study, we can say with certainty that there is clear bias at work in pay raise decisions in the workplace – whether unconscious or overt. Unconscious bias has been something employers have been trying to combat for a while, from hiring practices to organizational culture. I think this is just more evidence that it is difficult to eradicate bias when people are involved. We all have biases, whether we’re aware of them or not.

Caprino: I noticed that women cite being uncomfortable negotiating as a reason for not requesting a raise far more often than men. What can be done to ensure women feel more comfortable initiating pay negotiations?

Frank: Yes, 26% of women cite being uncomfortable negotiating as their reason for not asking for a raise vs. 17% of men, while men are slightly more likely than women to say they didn’t ask because they received a raise before needing to or they’ve always been happy with their compensation.

There are systemic issues at work that chip away at women’s confidence levels. For example, based on research from linguist and Textio founder and CEO Kieran Snyder, not only do women receive more criticism in their performance reviews, it’s less constructive and more personal. In Snyder’s analysis, she found that character critiques – words like “abrasive” – showed up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women and was completely absent from reviews received by men.

There’s also research on unconscious bias showing that women pay a social cost in the workplace for initiating negotiations. Essentially, we as a society are conditioned to have different expectations of how women and men behave, and when our expectations are not met, it creates cognitive dissonance. We don’t like it. In many ways, I think the fact that some women feel uncomfortable initiating negotiations is a learned behavior. If you do it and don’t get a positive outcome, you’re more hesitant to try again. Unfortunately, women are more likely to be met with resistance.

Alternatively, there’s newer research from Boston Consulting Group showing that ambition levels in women are impacted significantly by how progressive their workplace is in terms of gender equity.

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The key is to fix the systemic issues. Employers can ensure they’re digging into workforce analytics to understand the obstacles to advancement women are facing within their organization, whether that applies to pay or promotion. They can also proactively address underrepresentation of women in leadership. Take a look at your board of directors, your executive team and your most senior managers. Are you demonstrating that women are valued members of the organization?

Caprino: What can employers do to ensure every employee is given equitable consideration when requesting a raise?

Frank: When compensation decisions are data driven and there is clarity around what’s required to advance within your pay range, there is less opportunity for pay inequities to emerge. I’d encourage employers to think about setting up a process for how all raise requests are treated. If there are multiple checkpoints and transparency around the process, one person’s bias is less likely to impact the final outcome of an employee’s raise request.

Caprino: Asking for a raise can be scary for most employees. What guidance do you have for anyone thinking about asking for one?

Frank: Again, I’d point to the data point that of those who ask, 70% receive some kind of raise, with 39% getting exactly what they asked for and another 31% receiving a smaller raise than requested.

The key for employees is to be data driven in your approach to the raise conversation as well. Ensure you’ve done your homework and know what the market is paying for roles like yours. PayScale has a free employee compensation survey, for example, at http://www.payscale.com, where you can receive a precise pay range that takes your background and skills, the talent market you’re competing in and the job role into account.

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