Business News & Trends – Feb/March 2022

Updated: Mar 3



Hey there, Insiders!


May you find your pot of gold! Did you enjoy last month’s inspirational quotes? Check out the new quotes to inspire your day, the Insiders Career Club Podcast schedule; business updates on a 4- day work week, predictions, and the future of work from Forbes, and a brief update on Putin’s aggressive actions against the Ukraine.


Best!

Your Insider, Sindy


Inspiration:


“The ego always wants something from other people or situations. There is always a hidden agenda, always a sense of “not enough yet,” of insufficiency and lack that needs to be filled. .” Eckhart Tolle


“This a beautiful thought: that we are fed from the table of the Universe, whose board is ever spread with blessedness and peace; Whose loving-kindness has never been fathomed; Whose grace and truth are the cornerstones of Reality.” Ernest Holmes


“Make each day your masterpiece.” John Wooden


“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Martin Luther King


Insider’s Career Club Podcasts – Coming Up!


Insider’s Career Club Podcasts go LIVE on 2/19/22 & 3/2/22 Be sure to join us!


Season 2, Episode 3, Working Remotely – Stay Visible at Work, hosted by Sindy Thomas

Working remotely and like it?   But your yearly review suffered because you weren’t onsite in the office?  It doesn’t have to negatively affect your career.  Join us! Learn to stay visible at work.


Listen: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1448059/10082742 or here: www.insiderscareerclub.com. Or wherever you get you get your podcasts.


Season 2, Episode #4, Sonseeahray Tonsall, Broadcast Journalist, hosted by Sindy Thomas

Sonseeahray Tonsall has travelled the world for work:  to the field where the space shuttle Columbia crashed; to New Orleans’ 9th ward after hurricane Katrina; and to China’s Great Wall.  Stay tuned for a peek into the busy life of a Broadcast Journalist.


Listen: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1448059/10102233 Or here: www.insiderscareerclub.com Or wherever you get you get your podcasts.


Business News


Considering a 4 Day Work Week


Well, we certainly hope so! Iceland and Spain have already made the change to a 32 hour/4-day work week. The UK too recently decided to start researching the benefits of a shorter work week. They are doing a study with 30 companies participating. Can the US be far behind? In a recent LinkedIn article, Joe O’Conner a Research Scholar at Cornell University and 4-day Work Week Global Pilot Program Manager says, “a 4-day work week challenges our current model of work.” That may be considered an understatement. The 4-day work week could be the impetus needed to get companies to focus on what workers produce as a finished product, project, report, etc., versus the actual hours spent at work.


One more thing. The US is also behind on vacation time. For years companies in Europe have had a standard vacation time of 4 weeks. The change to longer vacations as a standard hasn’t happened in my lifetime, yet. However, I’m still hopeful. Most companies in the US start with 2 weeks’ vacation time with some sick leave which is usually about a week. There are some companies who combine sick leave and vacation in Paid Time Off packages where their employees can use the time accrued in any way they need. And some tech companies have unlimited vacation time. A very cool benefit. The only problem here is in those tech companies you’re often too busy to take that unlimited vacation. However, unlimited vacation is not business as usual case for most US based companies.


Good News


Nomination for Supreme Court Justice


President Biden just announced his long-awaited nominee for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson today. Justice Jackson has been previously approved 3 times by the House and Senate. We wish her well during her confirmation hearings.


The Future of Work


In a Forbes article by Jack Kelly a Harvard & Stanford predict the future of work. We are already seeing the adaptation of remote work by companies, and they predict it will stay.


Predictions include:


40% workers will have a hybrid work schedule with 3 days in office and 2 offsite. These workers may self-select to come into the office to make their presence known or to socialize.


Flexibility and technology will allow some workers to be “digital nomads” moving about either in a “RV lifestyle” or just working from different cities and countries.


Some employees will relocate to lower cost cities and towns with lower taxes, affordable homes, and lower crime rates.


Office space will be reappropriated into living spaces, apartments, co-ops, or condos; retail space for restaurants and shops; and redesigned office spaces that are more open.


The Economy & Jobs


As of this writing Putin is impending an invasion into the Ukraine. Strike that, Russia started bombing the Ukraine late on Wednesday 2/23/22. President Biden and NATO allies have put economic sanctions into place against Russia. The Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the UN Wednesday that “a full-blown war with Russia would spell the end to the world order.” He urged the UN and the international community to give Russia a severe, swift, and decisive response now in the hope of stopping the impending war. Putin has added more, troops, a military hospital and heavy artillery. Putin is trying to go back in time and restructure the former Soviet Russia. It is widely felt by President Biden and NATO that Putin will continue to look at smaller countries like Slovenia, Slovakia, and Poland to expand Russia’s borders. This is a grave time indeed and the world order as we know it is hanging in the balance. No such aggression like this has been made since WWII.


Marty Walsh, US Secretary of Labor reports an 4% unemployment rate for January. He said that he felt workers were staying out of work due to fear of the pandemic; because childcare needs to be addressed; and because the of the lower numbers of immigrants are contributing to the shortage of workers in the US.


Other news includes the Fed is expected to raise interest rates at their next meeting.


At this writing President Biden has announced that he thinks Russia will invade the Ukraine in a couple of days. I pray this doesn’t happen but think Putin has boxed himself in and has no way out but to attack Ukraine. What a sorry situation. It’s looks like we’ll be pulled into committing more troops to fulfill our NATO Alliance.


The unemployment rate is 4% nationally. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Blacks 6.9%

  • Whites 3.4%

  • Asians 3.6%

  • Hispanics 4.9%

Employment in leisure and hospitality expanded by 151,000+ jobs in January


In January, professional and business services rose. Job gains were in management and technical consulting services, computer systems design and related services, architectural and engineering services, and other professional and technical services.


Employment in temporary help services continued to trend up.


Retail trade employment rose in January.


Employment in transportation and warehousing increased in January.


Employment in health care continued to trend up over the month but is down by 2.3 percent, from its level in February 2020.


There was little change in employment in mining, construction, manufacturing, information, financial activities, and other services for January.


Nearly Half a Million Healthcare Exits


Nearly half a million healthcare workers have left their jobs since February 2020, according to the US Labor Department reports the WSJ. There is a call to employers from RN’s and other healthcare workers to fix the staffing shortages. The labor staffing shortages are making jobs that were already intense in the best of situations even more stressful. The situation is taking a physical and heavy mental toll on healthcare workers who are working longer hours and even longer weeks. Quite frankly I’m surprised the number isn’t higher.


Healthcare workers are dealing daily with critically ill patients many of whom they know will die due to the virus. Can you imagine dealing with someone daily and trying to keep hope when you think that person is going to die? Clearly this is tough stuff and weighs heavily upon the shoulders of healthcare providers. No one could foresee the heavy strain the pandemic would put on the healthcare system. The unending waves of strains hit states again and again over running the healthcare system. The crisis has been a never-ending one.


While the death tolls rose our healthcare worker numbers declined. Something clearly needs to be done to provide relief for healthcare workers. But what? Do we open more RN Training Programs? To train a RN in the early 2000’s cost the healthcare employer I worked for 90K. This large HMO was the next step for new grad nurses after 4 sometimes 5 years of college. They hopefully took jobs in one of the hospitals specialty training programs like the NICU or ICU or went to train to be a Medical Surgical RN. Depending on which program they were accepted into these newbies trained in for 3 months or longer before meeting muster and went on to take the test to get a CA RN license. A few years back, though they were few far and in-between, some hospitals revived onsite RN training programs. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like a viable option now. So, what are we to do?


Clearly a new solution to ease the rising RN shortage is needed. But it’s hard to fight a war and make plans at the same time. What we know now is in the interim healthcare workers are experiencing heavy burnout, depression and employers are seeing resignations increase.


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Inflation consumer price index is up to 7.5% a 4 year high. Americans are paying more for gas which is at an all time high across the nation. Price increases are also noticeable at the supermarket were compared from January 2021 to January 2022 prices are up for:

  • Dairy products 3.1%

  • Electricity 10%

  • Fruit & vegetables 5.6%

  • Gas utilities 23.9%

  • Energy 27%

  • Used cars & trucks 40.5%

  • Gasoline 40%

  • Alcoholic beverages 2.7%

This information is from TED: The Economics Daily see complete list at:

Consumer prices up 7.5 percent over year ended January 2022 : The Economics Daily: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)


Forbes U.S. Top Big Employers 2022


Company Name - Business Name - State


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