August Jobs Numbers: A 40-year high in inflation and an uptick in interest rates by the Federal Reserve weren’t enough to dampen the optimism of employers, who added 315,000 new jobs this August to their payrolls, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The pandemic’s hardest-hit sector, leisure & hospitality, slowed a bit for the last month of summer, adding only 31,000 jobs, but professional and business services, health care, and retail all led the report. Despite the strong job growth, sectors like tech and housing have announced hiring freezes, at least in the short term, with some tech companies shedding jobs altogether. Tesla, TikTok, Twitter, Lyft, Netflix, and Coinbase have all announced recent layoffs. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.7 percent.
Sources: BLS, Bloomberg
‘Quiet Quitting’ Becomes the Latest Internet Trend: Is quiet quitting the inevitable next phase of the Great Resignation? If you haven’t heard of the fad, which was made popular by TikTok, it can be boiled down to the effort of employees to set boundaries at work, either because of burnout or the perception of being taken advantage of by their employer. Proponents say they are still doing their job to the fullest—but are no longer going above and beyond for anything that doesn’t net additional compensation or promotion, while opponents worry that it means a lack of investment in the job or company and could lead to a disengaged workforce. Although this has been rising among younger workers, previous generations have had their own rebellious attitudes toward work-life balance in the past. Judging by the modest increases in pay and high productivity rates over the past 50 years, save for the recent post-COVID bumps, it should be interesting to see if it’s a flash in the pan like their predecessors, or something that employers should take seriously for overall job satisfaction moving forward—especially as unionization has become a hot topic again. At least one productivity company, Zapier, thinks employers should lean in.
Sources: BLS, CNN, Zapier, NPR
Complaints Tick Upward for Air Travel: You likely already know how frustrating this summer has been for passengers experiencing delayed or cancelled flights, which has largely been blamed on lack of airline and airport crews, so it’s no surprise that grievances are sky-high. According to the US Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report, passengers lobbied more than 5,800 complaints against airlines in June alone, which was up nearly 35 percent over May 2022, and a whopping 270 percent over June 2019. Topping the list were flight problems (delayed or cancelled flights), having to fight for refunds, and mishandled baggage, although issues of discrimination, disability, and bumped overseas flights also made the cut. You can read the report here. Did you experience your own delay or cancellation? The DOT has published a "dashboard" that links you to your rights as a passenger for the 10 major US carriers.
Could Prepaying for a Flight Be a Thing of the Past?: Speaking of passenger complaints for ticket refunds, you may be able to do something about it—well, if you live in Germany, that is. The German state of Lower Saxony has floated the idea of Pay as You Fly (PAYF) ticketing where you are charged only when you check in the day of travel to ensure that the airline hasn’t oversold your seat and the flight is still on schedule. Lufthansa—Germany’s flagship carrier, of course—debuted the program for its business class customers last year, but the idea isn’t a new one. Spurned passengers and corporations have been cautious about paying upfront since the bankruptcy of Air Berlin in 2017, where companies lost thousands in unused tickets for their business travelers. The downside? Ticket prices might be a bit higher. No word on whether domestic US carriers are considering, although a 2021 study conducted for travel company Amadeus found that more than 60 percent of flyers would embrace PAYF if available for their travel.
Sources: Yahoo, Amadeus