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Work Force

WNYC News

Many Foster Children End Up Homeless: Report

Thursday, September 08, 2011

New York is not doing a good job preparing its foster children for the workforce, charges a new report.

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The Takeaway

Checking In On the Long-Term Unemployed

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

As Washington battles it out over the deficit and the August 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling, there is another important economic discussion happening across the country. Last week, the unemployment rate reached 9.2 percent, and by the end of this year money for many jobless benefits will disappear. As lawmakers haggle over the debt ceiling in Washington, are they failing to address the jobs crisis?

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The Takeaway

A Small Time Business Owner Competes with Unemployment Benefits

Friday, September 24, 2010

Anthony Fraccia hoped that offering a job in Michigan at his small business — a part-time position that would become full-time depending on performance — he'd get plenty of applicants. But one potential employee who called told him they wouldn't take the job because "I make more on unemployment." It took a minute for it all to sink in, but it left Fraccia wondering if extending unemployment benefits was actually bad for business.

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The Takeaway

Listeners Respond: Getting a New Job...With a Serious Pay Cut

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Yesterday we spoke about the growth in low-wage and low-skilled jobs in the U.S.  Listeners weighed in, sharing their own experiences with taking jobs for which they're either overqualified or underpaid...or both.  

John from New England wrote in to give us this response:

At the present moment I am contemplating a job offer of $37k after negotiating up from $30k. My previous job was $50k. I am grateful for the offer but feel like (at this stage of my career) I should be considering a higher salary rather than a lower one.

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The Takeaway

CEOs Get Rich With Layoffs; Those Laid Off Get New, Worse Jobs

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." —Winston Churchill

We talked yesterday about how the income gap may have caused, at least in part, the financial collapse. Today we get two new studies that shed even more light on the cataclysmic forces currently moving our nation. Here's the first headline: The Institute of Policy Studies says that executives at the 50 firms with the most layoffs during the economic crisis took home nearly $4 Million more than a typical CEO. The worst offenders include the CEOs of Johnson & Johnson and Hewlett-Packard. And here's the second: The National Employment Law Project says the jobs that were lost in 2008-2009 were in higher wage industries, but job growth in 2010 has been disproportionately by industries with lower wages.

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The Takeaway

Low-Paying Jobs on the Rise

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

With the unemployment rate over nine percent, many people are being forced to do just about any job, even if that means taking a serious cut in pay. This is part of a trend toward growth in low-skilled and low-wage jobs, according to a new study by the National Employment Law Project, which found that job expansion so far has been skewed toward industries whose median wages fall below $15 an hour. Some fear it is a trend that is likely to continue, even as the economy improves.

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The Takeaway

Listeners Respond: College Graduation Shortage

Friday, June 18, 2010

On yesterday's show, we discussed a new report which finds that, by 2018, 63 percent of the jobs in the Unites States will require a post-high school education. The problem is, at the current rate of college and high school graduations, there will not be enough workers with higher educations to fill these jobs.  We wanted to know if you think colleges are properly preparing its students to enter today's workforce.

 

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The Takeaway

Study Shows Colleges Don't Prepare Us Well for Jobs

Thursday, June 17, 2010

At a time when we have a 9 percent unemployment rate, a new study shows we may soon face a shortage of 3 million qualified workers. There are plenty of people to fill those jobs, but there won't be enough educated people trained for the positions, according to the study published by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The report finds that by 2018, 63 percent of the jobs in the United States will require post-high school education. At the current rates of high school and college graduations, there will not be enough workers with higher education degrees. And colleges aren't doing enough to emphasize the importance of employability. 

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The Takeaway

Union Yes! President Takes His Message to Workers

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

President Obama is traveling across the nation to rally people behind health care reform. One of this biggest stops happened yesterday, with a speech in Pittsburgh before hundreds of members of the AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor union. The labor movement was one of now-President Obama's biggest supporters during his campaign. How does the group feel about the president, and his policies, eight months in? We talk with Cecil Roberts, the president of the United Mine Workers of America, and labor journalist Philip Dine about the current relationship between the president and workers.

If you missed the president's speech at the AFL-CIO convention, here it is:

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The Takeaway

Electronic Footprints: What Your Messages Say about You

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Call it Big Brother or call it being a conscientious employer, but there's a new kind of software that monitors your use of email and online messaging: how many messages you send, how often, and when. It's called Cataphora and it also looks at instant messaging, word processors, and keycard use, to find out how useful an employee you are. We talk with Cataphora's CEO, Elizabeth Charnock, along with Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner, author of Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties.

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The Takeaway

Staying Abroad: Migration and the Recession

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

One year ago, the collapse of financial giant Lehman Brothers was just the first domino in a string of banking failures that culminated in the financial crisis that has now reverberated around the world today. A new report [1.2 MB, PDF] commissioned by our partners, the BBC World Service, looks at the effect of this crisis on migration patterns around the world. One myth the report debunks is that immigrants are returning home in greater numbers than before the recession; instead, the MPI determined that immigrants are choosing to stay in their adopted countries despite the lack of jobs. For more myth-busting, we talk to the BBC's Economics Correspondent Andrew Walker, and Michael Fix, co-author of the Migration Policy Institute's report.

Takeaway Extra! Report co-author Michael Fix discusses the surprising lack of success with newly-implemented pay-to-go programs, where countries pay immigrants a fixed amount of money to return to their countries of origin.

For more, read the BBC article on the report itself, as well as several graphic highlights.

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The Takeaway

Bosses and BFFs? Rules for Mixing Friends and Work

Thursday, September 03, 2009

When are you friends with somebody at work — and when are you just friendly? Sometimes it's hard to tell. And when it comes to office friendships, how much do you have to watch what you say or do with your colleagues, both face-to-face and online? We try to figure out the rules of mixing friends and family with work by talking with Kate Dailey, who writes The Human Condition blog for Newsweek, and Tina Wells, CEO of Buzz Marketing, who has employed a number of her siblings over the years. 

And, speaking of office friends, here's The Office, Friends-style:

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The Takeaway

Worker Productivity Up, but Worker Morale?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

New economic indicators are out this morning. Worker productivity grew at the fastest pace in almost six years—up 6.6%. Labor costs showed the biggest drop since 2000. New York Times reporter Jack Healy explains why these numbers are great for corporations, but may not be such good news for workers.

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The Takeaway

Report Shows Surge in Wage and Workplace Violations

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

With Labor Day right around the corner, we speak with Annette Bernhardt, one of the authors of a report showing a surge in wage and workplace violations: Confronting the Gloves-Off Economy: America's Broken Labor Standards and How to Fix Them. The report compiled interviews with more than 4000 low-wage workers in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. What they described was an astounding number of violations — from unpaid overtime to employers not paying minimum wage — and an overall lack of enforcement.

Bernhardt is the policy co-director for the advocacy group National Employment Law Project. We also hear from Amy Carroll, an attorney at a community center in Brooklyn, New York: Make the Road New York.  The group represents thousands of workers who have seen workplace violations firsthand.

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The Takeaway

Why Are We Afraid to Call in Sick?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

From acetaminophen to gargling with salt water, most people we know will do anything to recover from being sick... except skip a day of work. But this attitude won't jibe with the H1N1 virus: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that Americans who catch swine flu take at least 3-5 days off of work to prevent the illness from spreading. Even the thought of one hour of isolation from our cubicles gives us the jitters, so today, we're sitting down with clinical psychologist Robin Kerner to try to understand exactly why it is that Americans have such a hard time just staying home.

Need additional proof that Americans just don't vacation? Read Why we don't vacation like the French in the American Prospect, Please don't make me go on vacation in the New York Times, and Money vs. Time Off: Why we don't take vacations from The Digerati Life.

Read Robin Kerner's blog post

 

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The Takeaway

A Little Less Bad: Unemployment Numbers

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Labor Department released unemployment numbers this morning and the numbers may indicate the beginning of a turnaround for the U.S. economy. Employers cut back on layoffs in July, trimming 247,000 jobs; that's a substantial number, but it's the smallest monthly job loss in a year. Additionally, the overall unemployment rate dipped from 9.5 to 9.4 percent. The Wall Street Journal's economics reporter Kelly Evans joins The Takeaway to talk us through the numbers.

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The Takeaway

Take Two (Weeks of Vacation) and Call Us in the Morning

Monday, August 03, 2009

Eric Jones, director of IT at iPass in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, hasn't taken a vacation in a long time. That wouldn't be the case if he worked for Eric Berridge, co-founder and CEO of Bluewolf, a global IT services company, because his company offers unlimited vacation. The company doesn't even track the number of days. As long as work is done, the company is happy. Is that the wave of the future? Kari Henley thinks so. She's director of the board at the Women and Family Life Center in North Haven, Connecticut. Only 14 percent of Americans took two weeks of vacation last year and the number of Americans taking family vacations has dropped by a third in the past generation. Are we just too busy to take a break?

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The Takeaway

The Nation's New Take on Immigration

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Obama administration seems to be taking a softer approach to illegal immigrants than the Bush White House did. Gone are the days of Federal Agents swarming a warehouse and making mass arrests. Force is being replaced by fees. The White House said yesterday that they would focus on fines and civil sanctions and not criminal charges when business are suspected of employing large numbers of illegal immigrants. Joining us this morning is New York Times national immigration correspondent Julia Preston.

For more, read Julia Preston's article, U.S. Shifts Strategy on Illicit Work by Immigrants, in The New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Dining 'Al Desko'

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's a recipe for frustration. In tough economic times, many people are working too hard to take off for an hour-long lunch. And who wants to leave your desk empty when the threat of layoffs is looming? So we dine "al desko": a sandwich in one hand and the mouse in the other. The culinary cost of "just grabbing a sandwich" everyday quickly adds up. But the task of making lunch the night before can be daunting, and boil-in-bag food can be dull. Is there anything you can do at your desk to prepare or pep up your midday meal? New York Times food writer and friend of The Takeaway Melissa Clark has some tips.

What should be in your food pantry at work? Here are Melissa's suggestions for the must-have items for the cubicle gourmet: Red wine vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, good olive oil, Tabasco sauce or other Chili Sauce, sharp mustard (no need to refrigerate!), pepper grinder with fresh pepper, good salt (kosher or coarse sea salt), block of good, dark chocolate (much more satisfying than the vending machine - and cheaper, too!), a bag of roasted salted almonds, and peanut sauce.

Have access to your office fridge? Melissa suggests keeping a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, feta or goat cheese for salads, bagged spinach, and jars of olives and anchovies.

Don't forget to store in your pantry a fork and a sharp knife for cutting an avocado, tomato or zucchini (or for fending off lunchroom thieves).

Have your own ideas for eating al desko? Tell us!
The trouble with al desko Is that it leaves al messko. Your desk is not a tomb; Why not walk around the room? Two meals pack sufficient punch -- Forget the goddamn lunch.
-- Leon Freilich, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY

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The Takeaway

How to close the racial wealth gap

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In 2004 the typical black family had twelve cents for every dollar held by the typical white family. By 2007, that number had dropped to ten cents. Why is the gap getting wider? Today the Color of Wealth 2009 Policy Summit in Washington will bring scholars, policy experts, and advocates together with lawmakers to analyze the reasons for the growing gap and devise ways to close it. Meizhu Lui, Director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, joins John with a look at some of the issues addressed at the conference.

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