A Closer Look

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US – 44 percent reported participating in some informal paid work during 2011–2013

“Informal” work refers to temporary or occasional side jobs from which earnings are presumably not reported in full to the Internal Revenue Service and which typically do not constitute a dominant or complete source of income. Perhaps the most important reason for undertaking informal work is to offset negative income and employment shocks, such as … Continue reading

Ignore economists at your peril – The case of the Internet economy

Forget about equations and forecasts. Powerful economic concepts have given rise to companies and transformed industries. Ignore economists at your peril.  As business leaders seek to stay ahead of the curve, they should ensure that somewhere in their range of view are the ideas of economists. Not forecasts or models or the dry parade of … Continue reading

What’s going on in the global job market for the mining industry?

Economists estimated that there would be around 245,000 jobs added to the U.S. market, however recent tabulations from the March report indicated that their predictions were too optimistic. Only 126,000 jobs were added last month, and while most industries did their part to offer more employment opportunities, the mining industry had to make further cuts. … Continue reading

US Demographics – The “diversity explosion”

Brookings Senior Fellow William Frey estimates that by the year 2044 whites will no longer be a majority in the U.S. In his book, “Diversity Explosion,” Frey highlights that this demographic shift will have a profound impact on U.S. society, politics, and economics. In the latest Brookings Essay, former Brookings Fellow Jennifer Bradley tackles whether … Continue reading

The Global Talent War – US is far behind Business Roundtable finds

Most Americans agree that the future of the U.S. economy depends on the ability of its businesses to compete globally. One of the key factors that allow U.S. employers to grow their businesses and create new jobs is their ability to recruit and retain talent from other countries. How well does the current U.S. employment-based … Continue reading

Middle Class in US – A map of the shrinking

The struggles of middle-class American families and growing income inequality have risen to the top of the national agenda. A new Stateline analysis shows that in all 50 states, the percentage of “middle-class” households—those making between 67 percent and 200 percent of the state’s median income—shrunk between 2000 and 2013. The change occurred even as … Continue reading

Immigration in Canada – Express Entry: two months into the launch

We are two months into the launch of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC”) Express Entry system for managing certain applications for permanent residence. The new system has come under serious fire and there is pressure on the government from the Canadian Bar Association and affected stakeholders to change the way the system works and impacts … Continue reading

Workers’ Compensation in US – Since 2003, legislators in 33 states have passed laws that reduce benefits or make it more difficult to qualify

Over the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year, a ProPublica and NPR investigation has found. The cutbacks have been so drastic in some places that they virtually guarantee injured … Continue reading

US – The unemployment rate with the labor force droputs

So what does the unemployment rate picture look like if you take into account all of the labor force droputs since the end of the recession in June of 2009? Not pretty. If you take those labor force dropouts into account, the U.S. does not have an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent. Instead, it has … Continue reading

Japan – Three measures of slack in labor markets

How likely are Japan’s workers to see a bumper salary increase? The latest labor market data — showing a 1.3 percent annual increase in wages in January — is a hopeful sign. A more detailed answer comes from examining alternative measures of slack in the labor market. Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole … Continue reading

Canada – Job quality is now at a record low CIBC finds

Job quality in Canada is now at a record low and showing little sign it will turn around in the near future, finds CIBC’s latest Canadian Employment Quality Index. The index, which measures the quality of employment from a compensation perspective, shows declines in all measures and indicates the drop in Canadian job quality is … Continue reading

HR Software – Western European businesses spent a vast €2.5 billion on it

Technology is something that HR needs to embrace, given current HR tech adoption rates. According to consultancy Towers Watson, western European businesses spent a vast €2.5 billion on HR software systems last year, with the market showing a compound annual growth rate of 7%. This figure is expected to stay stable for the next five … Continue reading

OK – Old displace young on income ladder

When I was a kid old people weren’t very well off. The words poor and pensioner often went together. I remember a poster (presumably by one of the age charities) which I used to pass on the way to my swimming lesson. It said something like, “Poverty and loneliness, the punishment for old age.” That would have … Continue reading

Charlie Hebdo – There is one big element missing from the discussion: unemployment

The deaths of those working at Charlie Hebdo have resulted in a great deal of soul-searching in Europe. Here in Brussels, which had its own moments of anxiety following Charlie Hebdo, there is a focus on what causes radicalization and what can be done to prevent it. A lot of the discussion is on better … Continue reading

US – The Wage Stagnation in charts

Wage stagnation for the vast majority was not created by abstract economic trends. Rather, wages were suppressed by policy choices made on behalf of those with the most income, wealth, and power. In the past few decades, the American economy generated lots of income and wealth that would have allowed substantial living standards gains for … Continue reading

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