Latest Jobs News Continues to Paint Bleak Picture as Struggles Mount

William Asher
Published May 16, 2024



The US Federal Reserve released a new report on Thursday detailing a grim picture of the jobs situation. More than 36 million Americans filed jobless claims over the past two months. The record-breaking claims are a result of the far-reaching COVID-19 global pandemic. Here are a few new developments on the US job scene.

Hardest Hit Demographics



According to the Economic Well-Being of US Households report, almost 40% of people with a household income under the $40,000 range reported a job loss in March. Of this group, black and Hispanic people are particularly bearing the brunt of the dire economic situation. These low-income workers are more likely to work in industries such as food services.

According to the Fed report, 19% of American adults said that they lost a job, experienced a furlough, or suffered a reduction in hours during the time period of early March through early April 2020. Over one-third of the people who experienced job difficulties said that will have challenges paying all of their bills in April.

People with college degrees were the least affected demographic in large part because of their ability to telecommute. Approximately 63% of workers with at least a bachelor's degree reported working entirely from home during the pandemic. This compares to only 20% of those with a high school education being able to telecommute.

Surprising News



The good news out of the Fed report is that most adults report having the income and savings needed to pay current bills during the first few weeks of the pandemic. Whether that ability will be sustained is yet to be seen. Also relatively unchanged over the last month was the number of people who reported the means to pay off an unexpected $400 emergency expense. This indicates that workers are not having to dig as deep into savings as a result of the economic uncertainty as some may believe. 9 out of 10 people who lost a job recently are confident that they will return to work at the same position eventually, reflecting a sense of optimism that the setback is only temporary.

News Out of Delta Air Lines



Also on Thursday, the details of an internal memo by leaders at Delta Air Lines were made public. In the memo, Delta said that it would be overstaffed by approximately 7,000 pilots in the fall. This number accounts for over half of its current pilot workforce. Although the memo did not officially state that it would cut positions or furlough workers, Delta executives had previously warned that staff cuts would be necessary to counteract the significant drop in air travel. Delta's April operating schedule was slashed by 80% as a response to the massive decrease in demand for air travel. The memo also laid out plans to shutter its Cincinnati pilot base and permanently ground 18 of its Boeing 777 jets. These moves will force the airline to take a charge of approximately $1.4 billion to $1.7 billion in the second quarter.

New Look for Uber Drivers



Starting this Monday, Uber drivers will be required to put on a mask before they pick up passengers. The rideshare giant made the announcement about the new mask policy on Monday. Drivers will be required to take a selfie in the app to verify that they are complying with the new rule. As part of the new regulations, drivers will also need to confirm that they are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and that their vehicles have been sanitized prior to each pickup. In addition, Uber is asking riders to also wear masks. Uber has also added a new tag to its rider and driver review parameters so that participants can mark if the other party was not wearing a mask or face covering. Uber is also recommending that riders do not sit in the front passenger seat and that they boost ventilation in the vehicle by opening a window. Lyft is expected to announce similar directives shortly.

As the virus continues to make its presence known in the job market, workers should expect many changes in this rapidly evolving situation. While most states have begun the slow reopening process, the job recovery will not happen overnight.


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