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Labor Report 2023

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This document provides news and reports relating to workforce readiness, vocational training, layoffs, wages, unions, unemployment, and the availability of jobs. Most of the information relates to jobs in the United States, but international news that impacts the U.S. is also provided. Entries below are in chronological order with the source and date as the header.

There is a teacher shortage of about 300,000 positions with classrooms of students unattended for extended periods of time. For more about the education crisis, read “Education Report 2023.”


NBC News (8 Jun 2023)

“Companies push to fill empty offices, as some city centers sit empty” — Google is stepping up enforcement of its three-day-a-week in-office policy for hybrid workers, joining companies like Meta, according to memos obtained by CNBC. NBC News’ Jacob Ward has details on how the work-from-home era many enjoyed continues to evolve. [Source]

60 Minutes (8 May 2023)

“Slaughterhouse cleaning company employed children: How hiring went wrong” — A slaughterhouse cleaning company hired 102 children in violation of the law to help sanitize dangerous equipment. Scott Pelley reports on how the hiring went wrong. [View]

ABC News (29 Apr 2023)

“Apprenticeship versus a college degree” — Monday is the deadline many students are facing to accept their college of choice but more and more students are opting for an education alternative or an apprenticeship. [Source]

CNBC (22 Apr 2023)

“How Robots Could Help Retailers Save Billions” — Outfitted with cameras and sensors, autonomous inventory robots can verify price signs and look for out-of-stock items. Inventory is one of the biggest challenges retailers face. Missed sales from empty shelves and out-of-stock items cost U.S. retailers $82 billion in 2021, according to NielsenIQ. But an army of inventory robots is being deployed that could help retailers appease angry customers, boost sales and respond to the ongoing worker shortage. [Source]

CNBC (15 Apr 2023)

“Why So Many Amazon Workers Are Getting Hurt” — For years, Amazon warehouse workers have been speaking up about unsafe conditions and the risk of injury they say they face while churning out millions of packages every day. Now their claims are being backed up by federal investigators who cited Amazon for “failing to keep workers safe” and new 2022 facility-level injury data that shows Amazon workers get injured at a rate of 6.9 for every 100 workers. CNBC spoke with Amazon workers who’ve been hurt and asked the government, and Amazon, what’s being done to make warehouses safer. [Source]

CNBC (7 Apr 2023)

“Why ‘Maximum Employment’ Feels Impossible In The U.S.” — The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate to both promote maximum employment and keep prices stable. Yet, the central bank cannot influence employment directly and it is notoriously hard to measure. [Source]

KPIX CBS (7 Apr 2023)

“Tech layoffs, inflation place new challenges on Bay Area food banks” — Amid rising inflation and layoffs in the tech industry, food banks in the Bay Area are facing new challenges. Len Ramirez reports. [Source]

Fox 11 Los Angeles (7 Apr 2023)

“Ports of LA, Long Beach closes for 2nd day amid labor shortage” — The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are closed for another day as they deal with worker shortages. [Source]

KTLA 5 (7 Apr 2023)

“Worker shortage closes Los Angeles and Long Beach ports” — A dock worker shortage has shut down the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports for a second day in a row. The shortage comes following months of labor negotiations between the union that represents dockworkers and the industry group representing maritime shippers. Many industries and retailers rely on the ports and are feeling the effects of the shutdown. Kimberly Cheng reports on April 7, 2023. [Source]

Insider News (3 Apr 2023)

“How Tech Layoffs Could Affect The Economy” — Tech companies went on a hiring spree when the pandemic hit and people were spending more money on digital services and goods. Now those same companies are slashing their workforce in mass layoffs. Hugh Langley, tech reporter at Business Insider, tells us why. [Source]

Fox 5 New York (28 Mar 2023)

“NYC Migrant day laborers struggle to find American Dream” — Dozens of migrant day laborers gather on the streets of Woodside, Queens every day, hoping to find work for the day. FOX 5 NY spoke with some migrants about their struggles of finding stable work and making ends meet, despite risking everything to come to the United States. [Source]

CNBC (17 Feb 2023)

“Why Amazon, Google and Microsoft Laid Off Thousands Of Tech Workers” — Tech giants like Amazon, Google and Microsoft have laid off tens of thousands of workers in the past few months. After going on a hiring spree during the Covid-19 pandemic, tech giants now face several headwinds. Higher interest rates and persistent inflation are making the cost of doing business more expensive for high-growth industries like technology. What’s more, the rise of buzzy new generative A.I. tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT3 have caused companies like Google and Microsoft to to shake up their old search strategies. So, what do the widespread tech layoffs mean for the wider U.S. economy? [Source]

CNBC (3 Feb 2023)

“How ‘Quiet Hiring’ Became The Workplace of 2023” — Remember ‘quiet quitting?’ It described the trend of employees choosing not to go above and beyond in the workplace. Well, that was 2022. This year there’s a new vogue practice — “quiet hiring.” [Source]

CNBC (30 Jan 2023)

“What’s going to happen to Big Tech’s laid off workers?” — Technology is part of our everyday lives and necessary for most societies to function. This increasing dependency has led to massive growth in the tech sector and, with it, a proliferation of high paying jobs. Following the industry’s recent struggles, those exorbitant salaries are now being scrutinized like never before. [Source]

Deutsche Welle (17 Jan 2023)

“Why have tech firms fired 200,000 people?” — The biggest names in tech are planning major layoffs as they shift their strategies to react to new realities. Since the start of 2023 alone, thousands of workers at Microsoft, Google and Amazon have been told they’re losing their jobs. Over 200,000 tech job losses have been announced since the start of 2022. [Source]

Yahoo Finance (27 Jan 2023)

“Tech layoffs the result of ‘magical thinking’ in the industry, professor says” — San José State University Professor and Tech Expert Ahmed Banafa and University of Michigan Professor Betsey Stevenson join Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the state of the tech industry, ongoing layoffs across the sector, growth, and the outlook for the tech industry. [Source]

CBC News (24 Jan 2023)

“Mass layoffs and the future of tech” — Globe and Mail tech reporter Josh O’Kane breaks down why industry giants like Microsoft and Meta are seeing mass layoffs and what this means for the economy. Plus, tips on how to pivot when you’ve been laid off from career transition coach Kadine Cooper. [Source]

BBC (20 Jan 2023)

“Google’s parent company Alphabet to cut 12,000 jobs worldwide” — Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has announced it will cut 12,000 jobs across its teams worldwide. It follows a trend by big tech firms, including Microsoft, who are citing pressures facing the global economic climate for a rise in the number of redundancies. In a memo to staff Alphabet’s chief executive said the mass hiring of staff across its network over the last two years was for a different economic reality. [Source]

NBC Bay Area (20 Jan 2023)

“Silicon Valley Giant Google to Lay Off 12,000 Workers” — Google is laying off 12,000 workers, or about 6% of its workforce, becoming the latest tech company to trim staff as the economic boom that the industry rode during the COVID-19 pandemic ebbed. Bob Redell and Scott McGrew report. [Source]

KENS 5 (20 Jan 2023)

“Google facing mass layoffs. Here’s why.” — Google joins other tech companies such as Amazon and Microsoft facing mass layoffs. [Source]

PBS NewsHour (18 Jan 2023)

“Massive tech layoffs, slowing growth boost fears of possible recession” — The job cuts in big tech are piling up. Microsoft said it’s laying off 10,000 employees and Amazon started a fresh round of job cuts in what’s expected to become the largest workforce reduction in its 28-year history. It all follows recent layoffs by Twitter, Meta, Lyft and other tech companies. Roben Farzad joined Geoff Bennett to discuss the fears of a possible recession. [Source]

WBIR 10 (17 Jan 2023)

“Labor shortages continue across the US” — 3 million fewer Americans are working today compared to February 2020. Experts say a major contributor: generational differences. [Source]

CNBC (10 Jan 2023)

“Will Robots Replace Fast Food Workers?” — This robot named Flippy runs the fry station at a White Castle outside of Chicago. With a mechanical arm and using computer vision technology Flippy can cook everything from french fries and onion rings to cheese sticks. White Castle said it plans to add 100 Flippy’s to its kitchens’ nationwide. Up to 82% of restaurant positions could, to some extent, be replaced by robots. Automation could save U.S. fast food restaurants over $12 billion in annual wages. And restaurants are also struggling to find workers. American restaurants are down more than 560,000 jobs or about 4.6% of its workforce from their pre-pandemic levels. So what impact will robots have on the fast food industry and the livelihood of its workers? CNBC got a behind the scenes look at restaurant robot maker Miso Robotics to find out. [Source]

Wall Street Journal (10 Jan 2023)

“A White-Collar Recession? Why Layoffs Are Hitting Professional Workers” — As interest rates rise and companies tighten their belts, white-collar workers have taken the brunt of layoffs and job cuts, breaking with the usual pattern leading into a downturn. WSJ explains why many professionals are getting the pink slip first. [Source]

Forbes (1 Jan 2023)

“‘Nervous Climate’: Will 2023 Mean More Layoffs In The Tech Industry?” — Sarah Doody, Founder + CEO of Career Strategy Lab, joins “Forbes Talks” to discuss layoffs in the tech industry. [Source]

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com