PERMANENT LAYOFFS? WOMEN HIT HARDEST

#coronavirus #COVD19 #FlattenTheCurve #JobLosses #women
During the recession of 2008, men were hit harder than women.
Most of the job losses were in manufacturing and construction.
Samantha Schmidt tackled this subject in an article for the Washington Post. It was also published May 17, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That same edition of the Atlanta paper also carried a story that said many of the so-called temporary layoffs could become permanent.
Schmidt writes that 70 percent of those laid off in the 2008 recession were men.
This pandemic has forced the layoffs mainly of restaurant servers, day-care workers, hairstylists, hotel housekeepers and dental hygienists – professions dominated by women, she writes.
“Women have never experienced an unemployment rate in the double digits since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting data by gender in 1948, until now. At 16.2 percent, women’s unemployment in April was nearly three points higher than men’s,” Schmidt writes.
Her article also points out that women held some of the lowest-paying jobs – cashiers, hotel clerks, office receptionists, hospital technicians and teachers’ aides.
The pandemic wiped out job gains women had made over the past decade, just months after women reached the majority of the paid U.S. workforce for only the second time in American history, her article says.
Meanwhile, employers who early on expected to rehire all their workers once the pandemic crisis abated now would be lucky to hire back 75 percent, the other article says.
It tells the story of Britney Ruby Miller, co-owner of a small chain of steakhouse restaurants. Her quote: “I’m being realistic. Bringing back 75 percent of our staff would be incredible.”
Some large companies won’t have enough customers to justify bringing back all their employees. And, despite federal aid, some small businesses won’t survive at all, the second article says.
If you’re a laid-off employee, you’ve probably been looking for work in the companies that have continued to hire, like pizza delivery companies.
Indeed, job fairs are starting to be scheduled for companies looking to hire.
Other employees may have been looking at other ways to make a living. Actually, there are many vehicles out there that allow anyone, regardless of skills, experience or background, to supplement or even replace their working income. As a bonus, when necessary, the work can be done remotely from home.
Want to hear about one of the best such vehicles? Message me.
The main take-away from the two articles is that the pandemic may inflict permanent economic damage, particularly in the service sector.
If you can escape unscathed, or have only a temporary setback, consider yourself lucky. Remember, despite phased-in economic reopening, not everyone will feel comfortable venturing out. Many who do will do so in a restricted fashion.
The days of safe, large gatherings are still a long way away.
So this might be a great time to take stock of your future. How do you see it? Is the job you had even worth going back to? If not, the time to look at other options may be upon you.
Peter

WHAT IS NORMAL? WHAT WILL NORMAL BECOME?

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #TheNewNormal #normal
We all want to get back to normal.
But what IS normal, and what will it look like months from now, after adjustments to mitigate the coronavirus?
Gracie Bonds Staples, in her “This Life” column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, tackled the subject in the May 7, 2020, edition.
“Indeed,” she writes, “a lot of us will return to what we were doing before the pandemic struck. Work.”
Yet, for others, she continues, “life will never be the same.” Some businesses will reopen, others will never reopen, she adds.
“Normal” differs by culture, nation, age and era, Staples quotes Usha Haley, the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in International Business and a social scientist at Wichita State University in Kansas.
“There was a time when slavery was normal in the South,” Staples quotes Haley. “Our first president had slaves; but it’s rightfully considered abhorrent now, and we see it as our original sin,” she quotes Haley. “There was a time when women couldn’t vote, and, in several societies, they still can’t,” she adds.
Technology and immigration, among other factors, have accelerated change in our society, Staples writes.
“The idea of normalization never has meant much,” Staples quotes Haley. “ It’s much better to ask who is affected, who benefits, and who doesn’t. Everybody is not affected the same way. Normal isn’t what we should strive for. We should strive for a better society,” Staples quotes the professor.
No matter when it happens, “normal” will be different for most of us. Businesses and individuals have had to innovate during this time to find ways to do things while minimizing physical contact among people.
Undoubtedly, that will have corporate and other thinkers looking for ways to do things differently. Usually, that means analyzing how work got done during the paramedic, and determining whether it can get done the same way, or better, in the future.
When people stay home en masse, it means less traffic, less spending on necessities like gasoline etc., and those can be good things. But physical interaction with others cannot be eliminated entirely. How do two people have a date – a successful, pleasure-filled date – without getting near each other? Also, we all long to have group gatherings, parties, weddings etc., without worrying about keeping physical distance.
So what will your “normal” look like, presuming it won’t look the same as it did before. If you are concerned how you are going to make a living, know that there are many ways out there to do so without having a traditional job.
Though these programs involve work, and physical closeness might be preferred, they can be done remotely if necessary.
If you believe your economic future may be in peril, or you just don’t want to go back to what you were doing before, and have an open mind, you can check out one of the best of these vehicles by messaging me.
Meanwhile, “normal” WILL change, at least in the short term. Perhaps, in some cases, it will change forever. Instead of wishing for what was, embrace what will be – whatever that becomes. For the only thing certain in life, besides death and taxes, is change.
So, don’t just wish change away. Work for a better life, regardless of the new “normal” circumstances.
Peter

ECONOMIC PAIN COULD LAST A WHILE

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #EconomicPain
Walter Isenberg has seen revenue at his hotel and restaurant group in Denver drop from $3 million a day to $40,000 a day.
“It’s just going to be a very long and slow recovery until such time as there is a therapeutic solution (to the coronavirus) or a vaccine,” Isenberg was quoted in an economic explainer published April 19, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Companies affected by the shutdowns say restarting the economy will not be easy, the article says.
Even after certain shuttered restaurants and other businesses reopen, as some have already, stay-at-home orders and other restrictions resulting from the pandemic have added a good bit of fear in consumers and workers. In short, people are afraid of getting really sick and dying, so, even as the businesses open – many with modifications to keep disease mitigation in place – some still will be afraid to venture out, the article says.
The employees of the businesses, too, will be, in many cases, afraid to go back to work even if they can get their jobs back. There’s a carrot-and-stick approach here: The carrot is regaining a paycheck. The stick is potentially losing jobless benefits, some of which pay more than their working salaries. Thus, employers, thus, have leverage in getting folks back to work sooner than they feel comfortable going back.
As for the fear among consumers and patrons of those businesses, while the businesses may reopen, they run the risk of no one coming in, out of fear.
“Returning to work will be gradual” and phased in, the article quotes Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s going to be the opposite of a green light. It’s going to go from red to yellow and then green,” she said.
A few other stats quoted in the article:
• A National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, by economists from Northwestern, Stanford, the University of Chicago and Boston University predicts that the economy will shrink 11 percent at year’s end from the same period the year before. That would be the sharpest contraction since 1946.
• Many economists warn that rushing back to normal life without the safeguards needed to prevent a second wave of outbreak could worsen the economic damage further.
• A survey by Seton Hall University found that seven in 10 Americans would not feel comfortable attending a sporting event until a vaccine for the virus was developed.
• Polling by the Sports and Leisure Research Group Engagious and ROKK Solutions finds that only about a third of Americans would fly, see a movie or go to a theme park, even if they were allowed.
To quote from the movie “Field of Dreams,” “if you build it they will come. “ Relating to this situation, if you open, will they come?
If you find yourself fearful to go back to the job you had, and are looking for different ways to make money, even if you don’t want to leave your home, there are many vehicles out there that can allow you to do that. To learn about one of the best, message me.
Officials have said recently that we cannot flip a switch and have the economy roar again immediately. It will be a long, slow process that will not be without economic casualties – companies going out of business, companies not rehiring all the workers they had prior to the pandemic, among others.
You’d be wise to prepare for all eventualities. You’d be wise to develop an economic Plan B, should the worst befall you.
Peter

AIR POLLUTION MAKES THE CORONAVIRUS WORSE

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #AirPollution
Air pollution makes the novel coronavirus more lethal.
So says a study by Harvard University.
Long-term exposure to polluted air makes the virus more deadly because pollution worsens complications of respiratory illness, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes the study. The newspaper published an explainer on this April 18, 2020.
But here’s the irony: because the virus has kept many people in their homes, thereby minimizing human activity, many cities around the world are reporting cleaner air, the article says. By not driving much, and with businesses not churning as much pollution into the air, one can actually see mountains in the distance from some cityscapes that were clouded with smog prior to the outbreak.
U.S. Environmental Protection chief Andrew R. Wheeler said the agency would not tighten controls on particle pollution, known as PM2.5, because of insufficient scientific evidence, the article says. The PM2.5 standards were enacted in 2012.
In fact, the article says, PM2.5 – small lung-damaging particles generated by power plants, cars, airplanes and burning – levels have dropped by 39 percent between 2000 and 2018. However, data has shown an uptick in some regions since 2016, according to the article.
Americans now see less pollution and have gained 1.5 years of life expectancy since 1970, the article says.
This information puts our lives into perspective. We need economic activity to live. But economic activity means pollution. It’s up to us as humans to try to maximize – we can’t really eliminate all pollution – our air quality.
This viral outbreak has taught us a lot about how to do things differently. Something as simple as minimizing trips to the grocery store can put savings back in our pocket, and minimize the particles we put into the air.
Though it would be impractical over time to live lives secluded at home, perhaps this stay-at-home life can teach us to value things we had put little value on before.
Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders also mean no income coming in for many people. What if you could make money by staying home? There are many vehicles out there that allow you to use technology to help you generate income while you, and everyone else, is staying home. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
As progress is made on alternative energy sources, we will see less pollution over time.
Decades ago, the hum of engines and factory machines meant industrial progress. They were the sounds of money being made.
As we continued to make progress, we, in turn, made our air quality worse. As we look forward to a cleaner, perhaps quieter, world, it will mean some jobs could disappear.
If you are among those for whom the sound of internal combustion engines or factory machinery means money, you may eventually have to rethink how you earn a living.
Peter

THINK BEFORE TAPPING 401K

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #retirement #savings #401ks
You’ve been laid off or furloughed.
You have no income, at least for the moment.
Federal stimulus, unemployment insurance etc. will help, but it may not bail you out entirely.
You haven’t got much, if anything, in savings, except, perhaps your 401(k).
You’d like to save it until retirement, but things are desperate now.
Carla Fried, from Rate.com, suggests you consider four things before you tap that retirement nest egg.
Her article was published April 16, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Fried’s first suggestion: try reducing your monthly bills. Some people have subscriptions, or belong to things, they don’t use much. If that’s the case with you, cut some of those expenses.
Fried points out that the stimulus bill allows you to stop payments on student loans until Sept. 30. Most landlords will work with you on rent. Remember, many landlords have mortgages on the place you live in, and they are hurting, too.
Fried’s second suggestion is to understand the taxes you will owe if you tape that 401(k) early. Congress has allowed those tax payments to be made over three years, but you should not tap that money unless absolutely necessary.
If you have a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k), withdraw that first, she suggests, since you can do so without a tax penalty.
Thirdly, Fried suggests taking a few minutes to think about the future. “Before you tap retirement savings, try to slow down your racing brain. Imagine yourself at 65. At 70. At 90. That’s why you save,” the article says.
Finally, Fried suggests not rushing to make that, or any, decisions because you are laid off. Know that this crisis is temporary, and if you can weather it without drastically impairing your financial future, you’ll be better off for it.
Also, take a moment to think outside the box. There are many vehicles out there that allow you to spend a few, part-time hours a week to generate an income that could ultimately dwarf whatever you would make at a job.
They can allow you to rebuild your retirement savings over time, if you desperately need to tap into it now.
To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
In summary, take a breath. Consider everything now and in the future before making decisions. These times will test our patience, but steel yourself to be up to the test.
Remember, too, that this situation is temporary, albeit indefinite. Some states are looking to open up certain businesses at the end of April or early May. Remember, too, that “normal” may not look like the normal you remember. Some jobs may not come back. Employers will learn from this experience, and find ways to do things that may save them money, and, perhaps, cost jobs.
For you, it’s best to wait before tapping your retirement savings, if you can, and look for other ways to generate income, if you need to.
Peter

WE WANT THINGS TO BE OPEN AGAIN; DOES THAT INCLUDE YOU?

coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #OpenTheCountry #AloneTogether
Open.
We so want the country opened back up again, but don’t know yet when that can happen safely.
Close and close.
We hated to see the country close. We long for the days when we can get close again.
As much as we’d like to see the country reopen, let’s look at ourselves.
Do WE want to be more open?
It’s not an easy answer. It may take some effort to think about. But we SHOULD think about it.
Inevitably, when the country reopens completely, things are going to change.
Some companies, indeed some individuals, will have to adapt to new ways of doing things.
It’s been reported that as many as 50 percent of the jobs lost because of the pandemic will not return. Some businesses will not survive this short-term closure. Some companies will re-examine what they did during this time, to stay up to speed without violating guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of course, they will want plans in place to combat another pandemic.
Don’t underestimate the innovation and creativity taking place during this time. Parents who work from home also had to help school their kids from home. So much communication took place without face-to-face meetings. There is potential for great savings for companies, schools and other organization if they can perfect remote communication practices.
Restaurants, bars and other businesses will need to get back up and running as they previously did. But even they may change practices as a result of this take-out-only time. For example, some restaurants allow ordering and paying online prior to pickup. What if you could order your meal, pay for it and have your food already prepared when you arrive to dine in?
All of these things will likely mean that they will eventually need fewer people.
Here’s a way, even before the country reopens, that you can be more open: consider checking out something that could give you a potentially great income without having to worry about whether a pandemic will cost you your job.
There are many programs out there that enable a person to work from home, whether there is a pandemic or not. (As a bonus, when the pandemic is over, you can work face-to-face, if you prefer that.)
If you’d like to be more open, and want to check one of the best such programs, message me.
Remember, as we long for things to be open again, we have to do it safely. That may mean remaining closed for a bit more time.
But while things are closed, why not think about being more open yourself?
What you know, and are content to pursue, may disappear very quickly. One day, you could be forced to find alternatives, some of which may be much less desirable than what you know or are content to pursue.
While we wait for the time to open the country, open yourself.
You won’t know what’s out there for you unless you open up to find it.
Peter

EVEN LONERS MISS SOMETHING DURING SOLITUDE

#coronavirus #COVID19 #FlattenTheCurve #solitude #loneliness
Even introverts eventually tire of solitude.
In this period of social distancing, even if you don’t consider yourself a “people person,” there will be things you will miss.
Leonard Pitts, columnist the Miami Herald, misses his Wednesdays, when new comic books come out.
In a column also published April 5, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he discusses not only his introversion, but also the pleasures he’s missing.
Pitts writes that he thought the quarantine period would be easier for him than many of us.
It is, but …
Everyone has SOMETHING they enjoy that’s no longer part of their routine during this period.
For Pitts, it was the conversation at the comics store with other aficionados. That conversation, he points out, was about nothing serious. But, he still misses it.
So what are you missing?
Your job? Your office conversations?Hugs for friends and family? Meeting new people? Shaking their hands?
We know – at least most of us know – that distance from others is needed right now, lest the coronavirus spread worsens. We also know – at least most of us do – that it is temporary.
How temporary it is remains to be seen.
On the other hand, maybe you DON’T miss work. Maybe for you, your job is a necessary evil. Maybe you don’t have a job to go back to.
If you are among those who feel that way, and are willing to look at something that is so different you never would have considered doing anything like it, there are many programs out there that allow you to earn an income without a necessarily evil job.
If you have an open mind and are willing to check out one of the best such programs, message me. (As a bonus, you can even do it remotely from home, when necessary).
For Pitts, staying at home may have proved easier for him than others. However, he writes, “easier” is not “easy.”
Again, what’s not “easy” for you?
For some, who are trying not to go to the grocery store, it may be fresh fruits and vegetables.
A good piece of advice is if you must go to the grocery store, get in, get what you need and get out. Don’t linger. Stay away from others. Don’t browse.
In other words, to quote Moe Howard of The Three Stooges, “spread out!”
In normal situations, getting close would be a good thing. But until the pandemic passes, as the government repeats daily, “Do your part. Stay apart.”
Peter

NO LAYOFFS, FOR NOW, AT SOME COMPANIES

#coronavirus #covid19 #jobs #layoffs #FlattenTheCurve
Employers of all sizes are in a bind.
Many have to stay closed to keep up with social distancing in the age of Covid-19.
Yet, they don’t want to lose the workers that made them successful prior to the spread of the virus, and will want them back when things open up again.
Jena McGregor looked at this issue in an article for the Washington Post. It was also published April 3, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We don’t want our teammates to worry about their jobs during a time like this,” the article quotes Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan. “We told them there’s no issue; you’re going to be working now through year end. No layoffs, nothing. We’ll continue to pay everybody,” Moynihan continued.
Meanwhile, Salesforce.com Chief Executive Marc Benioff pledged March 25 “not to conduct any significant layoffs over the next 90 days” and to continue to pay hourly workers while offices are shut down, McGregor writes.
The article points out that large corporations with big cash reserves are better able to avoid layoffs during the current crisis than small companies or those in hard-hit sectors.
Companies that were scrambling to hire people just weeks ago may also worry about getting caught without them once the worst is over, McGregor quotes Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford University’s business school.
Again, it’s a tough spot for employees, but also a tough spot for their employers.
Federal aid for both appears to be on its way, but may not arrive for weeks.
It’s clear not all of the businesses that were up and running before the pandemic hit will be able to recover quickly. Some may not recover at all, and will go out of business.
If this crisis brings uncertainty to your life, as it does for many, know that you have several options out there that allow you to make an income by not only working remotely, but also avoiding a lot of personal contact. And the bonus is that once the crisis is over, you can work these programs in a more face-to-face manner.
To learn about one of best of these programs, message me.
Meanwhile, above all, stay safe, stay in as much as possible and presume you are a carrier of the virus, even if you feel good.
The slowness and selectivity of testing may leave many carriers out there who may never know they are carriers.
Wash your hands frequently, and clean surfaces you touch thoroughly.
At the same time, stay in touch with folks, even if you can’t see them. Know that those you love, even if you can’t see or touch them now, appreciate hearing your voice or seeing your face through the various technical options for video conferencing.
It’s a tough time at the moment, but it will pass. We just don’t know when. And, we don’t know whether this virus, or some other, will shut us down again.
Staying free of illness and helping others do the same is all that matters right now. You can deal with the uncertainties later.
Peter

STUDENT AID: THE PITFALLS

#StudentAid #CollegeLoans #scholarships #FamilyContribution
When a family applies for federal student aid, the application process spits out an expected family contribution.
When the student chooses a school, the school may tell the family what ITS expected family contribution will be. Often, that number is higher than the federal number – often considerably higher and potentially unaffordable for the average family.
Tara Siegel Bernar tackled this subject in an article for The New York Times. It was also published Nov. 24. 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“For a long time, there has been this growing chasm between the need-analysis formula and accurately reflecting a student and their family’s ability to pay for college,” the article quotes Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which has members at nearly 3,000 schools.
“The gap has grown wider not just because of the exponential rise in college prices, but also because of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) formula itself,” Siegel Bernar writes.
The EFC formula often assumes families have more income available for college than they actually do, the article quotes financial aid experts. “The reason lies in its basic assumptions: that a family of four, for example, can subsist on less than $30,000, no matter where they live,” Siegel Bernar writes.
There are certainly differences in the cost of living among various areas of the country. The East Coast and West Coast areas are generally expensive to live in, because that’s where where many job and career opportunities lie.
There are also different family circumstances. A family may have an elderly parent living with it, for example.
The point here is that formulaic calculations don’t always add up for everyone. Also, college is expensive. When a family sends a student to college, and may have trouble affording to pay for it, there had better be lots of thought: what will the student study, will that study pay off in terms of a lucrative career, is it worth incurring debt to make it happen etc.
First, college is not for everyone. Second, not every field of study will necessarily lead to a good-paying job. If a job is hard to find at the end, and the student is saddled with a big debt, it may be a long time before he or she gets on his or her feet as an adult.
Parents, meanwhile, need to have a nest egg for retirement. Sacrificing one’s retirement to send a child to college may not always be the best option for families.
Finally, there are many programs out there that allow a person, regardless of background or education, to earn a potentially lucrative income, if he or she puts his or her mind to it and follows a system. To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
In sum, the cost of college is likely to be more than you originally thought it would. As with health care, colleges have to find economies, efficiencies etc., to make higher education more affordable.
Students have to think about not only which school to attend, but also what they will major in. Will that major likely produce a payoff that will make it worth it to mortgage one’s self, or family, for many years?
Certainly, no education is wasted. But there is a difference between payoff and waste. Think long and hard, and get good family and educational input, before deciding where to go to college, what to study or even whether to go to college.
Peter

4-DAY WORKWEEK; IN OUR DREAMS?

#4DayWorkweek #work #jobs #layoffs
Since the 1970s, it’s been predicted that the economy would adopt, even embrace, the four-day workweek.
Some have experimented with it. Nursing, as an example, tried the Baylor plan that even cut the workweek to three days at 12 hours each.
Niraj Chokshi has discussed this concept in an article for The New York Times. It was also published Nov. 17, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Just recently, Microsoft Japan inspired a flood of stories after reporting that, in a trial, shortened weeks had boosted productivity by about 40 percent,” Chokshi writes. But the four-day workweek is “a profound advancement that has seemed just around the corner for decades,” the article says.
In fact, the article says, famed economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that the trend toward shorter workweeks would continue. Keynes imagined that by 2030 or so, people would work just 15 hours a week.
Of course, Keynes’ prediction came shortly after Ford introduced the five-day workweek decades ago, the article says.
Alas, today’s employers are often unwilling to experiment with the four-day workweeks. Adam Grant, and organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, attributes employers’ reluctance to a lack of three things: interest, faith in employees and understanding of the benefits a shortened workweek can offer, the article says.
One of those benefits is appropriate for today: less exposure to others as a disease circulates.
In recent times, it’s been said that people are either overworked or unemployed. Many are time-broke, because of work demands. Employers want to get every bit out of every employee to get their money’s worth.
With all the emphasis on work today, many feel fortunate to have a job. However, if you are overworked, time-broke or unemployed, there may be a solution for all those conditions outside the traditional job market.
There are many vehicles that allow people to spend a few, part-time, off-work hours enhancing their incomes, without having to take a second traditional job.
The vehicles require only an open mind, a willingness to be coached and the desire to help other people. No other experience or education is required.
To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, technological advancements and other efficiencies are enabling companies to do more with fewer people.
Your job, if you have one, may not be there for as long as you want it. The ability to change jobs has gotten a bit better, but you have to ask yourself whether you are changing jobs for the right reasons.
People have a tendency to view themselves as a necessary component to their employer’s success. Know that no matter how “necessary” you are, your employer will not hesitate to let you go if he or she sees a better, cheaper way to do what you do. Or, the could let you go if they believe they can get along without you.
It’s a nice idea to be able to work at a job you love, for as long as you want to work. For most, that is a dream – literally.
The reality: you go to work every day not knowing whether it will be your last. Be on the lookout for something that can enable you to smile as you are being laid off.
Peter