News

Labor and Employment

AP News | Equities.com |

The number of people seeking unemployment aid soared last week to 965,000, the most since late August and a sign that the resurgent virus has likely escalated layoffs.

The latest figures for jobless claims, issued Thursday by the Labor Department, remain at levels never seen until the virus struck. Before the pandemic, weekly applications typically numbered around 225,000. They spiked to nearly 7 million last spring, after nationwide shutdowns took effect. Applications declined over the summer but have been stuck above 700,000 since September.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Dropbox plans to lay off 11% of its workforce, a reduction that the cloud-based file sharing service said was "painful, but necessary" in order to stay afloat during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a message shared on Dropbox’s website on Wednesday, CEO Drew Houston said the decision – which will impact about 315 employees – is one of the toughest he’s had to make in 14 years at the helm of the company.

Houston noted that the layoffs were partially prompted by the company’s virtual work policy that was implemented in October 2020 that allows all employees to work from home permanently. 


AP News | Equities.com |

A printing company in Maryland saw the photo on Twitter Wednesday night: an employee roaming the halls of the U.S. Capitol with a company badge around his neck. He was fired the next day.

Others are facing similar repercussions at work for their participation in Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. Some business owners are being trashed on social media and their establishments boycotted, while rank-and-file employees at other businesses have been fired.

The printing company, Navistar Direct Marketing, declined to name the worker but said it can’t offer employment to people “demonstrating dangerous conduct that endangers the health and safety of others.”


AP News | Equities.com |

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell slightly last week to 787,000, a historically high number that points to a weak job market held back by the viral pandemic.

Thursday’s figure from the Labor Department, a slight decline from the previous week, shows that even with the pandemic recession in its 10th month, many businesses are still laying off workers. Before the recession, weekly jobless claims typically numbered around 225,000.

The renewed surge in virus cases has caused millions of consumers to avoid eating out, shopping and traveling. And states have imposed new restrictions on restaurants, bars and other businesses. Economists at TD Securities estimate that more than half of states are now restricting gatherings to 10 people or fewer, up from roughly a quarter in September.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday it would spend $2 billion to create affordable homes in regions where three of its major U.S. employment hubs are located.

The company said it intends to create at least 20,000 affordable housing units in Puget Sound area of Washington State, Virginia’s Arlington and Nashville in Tennessee.

Amazon and other tech companies have faced criticism for driving up home prices in places such as the San Francisco Bay Area due to an influx of workers over the past decade, prompting Alphabet Inc and Facebook Inc to invest in affordable housing.


Reuters | Equities.com |

More than 200 Google employees in the United States have formed a workers’ union, the elected leaders of the union wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on Monday.

The "Alphabet Workers Union" aims to ensure that employees work at a fair wage, without fear of abuse, retaliation or discrimination, the union heads wrote here.

Google has been under fire here from the U.S. labor regulator, which has accused the company of unlawfully questioning several workers who were then terminated for protesting against company policies and trying to organize a union. Google has said it was confident it acted legally.


AP News | Equities.com |

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits last week fell by 19,000 to 787,000, still a historically high level as a resurgent coronavirus maintains its grip on the U.S. economy.

While at the lowest level in four weeks, the figures released Thursday by the Labor Department are nearly four times higher than last year at this time before the coronavirus struck. Employers continue to cut jobs as rising infections keep many people at home and state and local governments re-impose tighter restrictions on businesses and public activities.


AP News | Equities.com |

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 89,000 last week to a still-elevated 803,000, evidence that the job market remains under stress nine months after the coronavirus outbreak sent the U.S. economy into recession and caused millions of layoffs.

The latest figure, released Wednesday by the Labor Department, shows that many employers are still cutting jobs as the pandemic tightens business restrictions and leads many consumers to stay home. Before the virus struck, jobless claims typically numbered around 225,000 a week before shooting up to 6.9 million in early spring when the virus — and efforts to contain it — flattened the economy. The pace of layoffs has since declined but remains historically high in the face of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.


Reuters | Equities.com |

In 2021, Amazon.com Inc is poised to face a renewed challenge from groups it has long countered: unions.

Energized by protests at Amazon’s U.S. warehouses and a more labor-friendly administration assuming office, unions are campaigning at the world’s largest online retailer to see if its warehouse or grocery workers would like to join their ranks.

A major test is expected early next year when workers at one warehouse decide whether to unionize. The company has not faced a union election in the United States since 2014, and a “yes” vote would be the first ever for a U.S. Amazon facility.


Reuters | Equities.com |

American Airlines is beginning the phased return of furloughed workers after the U.S. Congress passed a pandemic aid package with $15 billion in payroll support for airlines, its executives said in a staff memo on Tuesday.

“While pay and benefits will be restored right away, people will be asked to return to the operation in phases,” Chief Executive Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said in the memo, released by American.

Air passenger traffic is down by about 70% versus a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the travel industry. U.S. airlines furloughed tens of thousands of employees when an initial $25 billion in federal payroll support that banned job cuts expired in October.