Topic: Employment
Report

Labor market conditions tightened further, and upward wage pressure intensified in most parts of the District. Shortages of software engineers, particularly those with experience in cloud computing, boosted wages in the technology industry. Robust labor demand in the online retail sector boosted hiring in the Seattle area. Shortages of skilled labor somewhat restricted production in the manufacturing sector. While employee levels were unchanged in the pharmaceutical industry, contacts noted that some large companies began to move some production facilities to lower cost locales outside of the District. Wages in the construction sector continued to climb due to shortages of qualified contractors. Investments in automation in the agriculture sector picked up further, as labor shortages persisted and businesses sought to increase production efficiency. Legalization of cannabis increased demand for low-skilled workers in parts of the District.

News
Sept. 6, 2017

Teachers’ union leaders hoping to discount the runaway academic success of charter schools have claimed charters lure the best-performing kids, leaving traditional, union-run public schools to handle poor-performing and struggling students. In its statement launching the anti-charter “Kids Not Profits” campaign, for instance, the California Teachers’ Association claimed that charters “cherry-pick the students … weeding out and turning down students with special needs.”

Now a series of reports in California and elsewhere show the opposite is true. In one case, educators in the San Diego Unified School District have been counseling their students with low grade-point averages to transfer into charter schools, especially online charters, according to a Voice of San Diego report last month.

News
Sept. 6, 2017

Teachers’ union leaders hoping to discount the runaway academic success of charter schools have claimed charters lure the best-performing kids, leaving traditional, union-run public schools to handle poor-performing and struggling students. In its statement launching the anti-charter “Kids Not Profits” campaign, for instance, the California Teachers’ Association claimed that charters “cherry-pick the students … weeding out and turning down students with special needs.”

Now a series of reports in California and elsewhere show the opposite is true. In one case, educators in the San Diego Unified School District have been counseling their students with low grade-point averages to transfer into charter schools, especially online charters, according to a Voice of San Diego report last month.

News
Sept. 5, 2017

The brick-and-mortar retail swoon has been accompanied by a less headline-grabbing e-commerce boom that has created more jobs in the U.S. than traditional stores have cut. Those jobs, in turn, pay better, because its workers are so much more productive. This demonstrates something routinely overlooked in the anxiety about the job-destroying potential of robots, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation. Throughout history, automation commonly creates more, and better-paying, jobs than it destroys. The reason: Companies don’t use automation simply to produce the same thing more cheaply. Instead, they find ways to offer entirely new, improved products. As customers flock to these new offerings, companies have to hire more people.

News
Sept. 1, 2017

The pace of hiring slowed in August, while the U.S. unemployment rate edged up.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 156,000 in August from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% from 4.3%, though the level remains historically low. Wages maintained a modest growth rate.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 179,000 new jobs and a 4.3% unemployment rate last month.

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