Posts tagged with "Bureau of Labor Statistics"

Chipotle raises wages amid expansion plans, as companies compete for workers

May 11, 2021

The fast-casual food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill announced on May 10 that it is raising wages for workers amid a big hiring push based on expansion plans.

The move comes as restaurants nationwide debate worker availability and pay levels, The Washington Post reports.

 The company said it plans to hire 20,000 new workers and open 200 new locations this year. In line with those ambitions, Chipotle will institute a wage increase of about $2 an hour per employee—meaning that salaries for its crew will average $15 an hour by the end of June, although entry-level wages at the company will remain at $11 an hour.

The company joins the ranks of many others offering incentives and higher pay to lure workers back into the workforce after the pandemic year, including Costco, Target, and Walmart, among others.

The Post notes that many businesses, particularly those offering lower-wage, hourly positions, like restaurants, have complained that they are having trouble finding workers—even with high levels of unemployment—which has raised concerns that a worker shortage could hamper the economic recovery.

Job growth in April came in well-below expectations, with only 266,000 jobs added as the country seeks to regain the more than 8 million more jobs it had in February 2020. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the wage increases found in the survey reflected the increased demand for labor.

Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol told CNBC on Monday that the current labor market was among the tightest he’d ever seen in his career—saying the company was hoping to highlight the appeal of the brand and the employee growth potential. Workers also are being offered a $200 referral bonus for employees and a $750 referral bonus for managers.

 “We are sharing with people that it’s not just a job right now, but it’s actually a job that can lead to a meaningful career,” Niccol told the outlet. “I’m glad that we’re a company that’s got the growth, and frankly the strength, to increase wages and start talking more about how the job leads to your future growth with our company.”

In Washington, D.C., lawmakers have seized on the matter for political purposes, with Republicans complaining that the labor supply issues are the direct result of overgenerous stimulus measures passed by Democrats earlier this year.

But labor economists, worker advocates and some business groups say the issue is far more complicated, with many workers forced to juggle child-care with many schools yet to fully reopen, lingering questions about workplace safety for vaccine-avoiders and others with complicated health considerations, and many workers having moved on or rethinking career plans.

“Chipotle is committed to providing industry-leading benefits and accelerated growth opportunities; and we hope to attract even more talent by showcasing the potential income that can be achieved in a few short years,” Marissa Andrada, a company executive said in a statement Monday. “We’re looking for people who are authentic, passionate and want to help cultivate a better world through real food and real personal development.”

CFO Jack Hartung told investors earlier this year that raising its salary average to $15 an hour would cause menu prices to spike at least 2%  to 3%. The company did not respond to an immediate question from the Post about whether it would raise its menu prices to pay for the voluntary wage hike.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

‘Do dust bunnies eat kibble?’ Turns out a lot of quarantined rich people have no idea how to clean

May 13, 2020

Among the life lessons that some people are learning under quarantine are how to use the clothes washer and where to find the toilet cleaner. In fact, a friend of this writer recently wailed on Facebook, “I’ve never done the laundry before! Not once in my life!” One week later, she griped, “My clothes are dirty again.”  She misses her maid more than anyone else.

Indeed, .according to a May 2019 report published by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 100,490 maids and housekeeping cleaners working in “buildings and dwellings” nationwide—47,990 of whom are employed in New York. That number includes hotel workers and does not include those paid off the books; but basically, many people pay someone else to clean up their mess.

And for those sheltering in place without their help, the day of reckoning has come Bustle reports.

What’s more, it’s little surprise that some domestic workers (when they aren’t worrying about their lost income) are finding the quandary that their erstwhile employers are in both piteous and slightly funny.

For example, Marcella (who doesn’t want her last name used in this story) tells Bustle that—five days a week for 22 years—she has been taking the number 6 train from her apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where she works as a full-time housekeeper. She’s witnessed a lot over the course of her tenure: the graduation of two children, the election of five United States presidents, a nasty fight with the co-op board. One thing she never saw? Her employer clean her own apartment. Until, that is, the pandemic hit. “She called and asked where I keep the vacuum cleaner, how to turn the washing machine on,” Marcella tells Bustle. “The lady doesn’t have a clue.”

As New Yorkers continue to shelter at home, the upper crust are quarantined away in million-dollar apartments and Bridgehampton houses, with closets full of cleaning products they have no idea how to use.

“I got an email from a client asking what lightbulb is used in the chandelier in her family room — I guess she’s spending more time there,” Sue, an interior designer who has catered to wealthy Upper East Side clientele for 30 years, tells Bustle. “I walked her through ordering from the manufacturer’s website, but couldn’t actually teach her how to change it. I told her to go to her super.”

Sue has also heard from clients who are panicking over how to clean their floors. Their questions range from what vacuum setting to use to what soap is best for mopping limestone. “They’re noticing what needs to be done to take care of their own households,” she says.

Those who won’t dial the phone for help are turning to Google. Alejandra Costello and Nikki Boyd, organizational coaches and YouTubers who specialize in cleaning tutorials, say traffic has spiked since stay-at-home orders were issued across the world. Costello’s is 123% over what it was this time last year, and Boyd’s has tripled. “How to Mop” and “How to Turn on Vacuum” both have spiked in Google searches since February, per Google Trends

According to Laura Schocker, editor-in-chief of Apartment Therapy, page views on the site’s cleaning vertical have nearly doubled. “We have seen that content explode over the past couple of months,” she tells Bustle.

And when the Internet won’t suffice, you can always turn to your mom. That’s the position Emily, a 25-year-old wealth management advisor, has found herself in. After moving into a studio apartment in Soho last fall, she promptly hired a bi-weekly maid service. “I didn’t tell my friends,” she tells Bustle. “I worried they’d judge me.”

But now that Emily’s daily routine has been confined to four walls, she’s coming to the realization that she never learned how to properly clean her space. So, she’s been pestering her mother with every little question. “I did not go into finance to deal with this sh*t,” she says.

On March 10, Michelle, an Upper East Side resident who has been quarantined with her husband for 58 days, gave her housekeeper of 30 years the option of social distancing with the couple. Her housekeeper preferred to isolate along with her own daughter, and declined Michelle’s offer. “I live in quite a large apartment, and maintaining a big household is a lot of work,” she tells Bustle. “Would I love her to come and live with us? I’d love it. I’ve always appreciated her, but I appreciate her even more now.”

. Instead of calling her housekeeper for help, she’s found herself Googling “soap scum marble?” in confinement. But, she says, her husband is even more clueless. “He’s usually at work, and doesn’t know how to use the vacuum, or where the sponges are kept, or where we store extra detergent or a rag. He ruined my stuff by washing the darks and the whites together, but loves doing laundry.”

Therein lies the risk. What if the rich were to become overnight Lysol enthusiasts — Marie Konheads, drunk off of the joy of tidying up—and render an entire industry of service workers obsolete?

Such concerns are top of mind for Grace, a Polish immigrant, who has cleaned for the same four families since the 1990s and relies entirely on word-of-mouth for employment. She tells Bustle that between her 30 days out of work and her bosses texting her cleaning questions, she’s worried that, come quarantine’s end, she could be out of a job.

“I’m afraid that if [they] like cleaning, I may lose my work,” she says.

We beg to differ. We think that, when sheltering in place is over, maids will be welcomed back with the same enthusiasm that healthcare workers are invoking now.

Research contact: @bustle

Average American child earns $30/week in allowance

October 7, 2019

Add another factor into the high cost of raising children in the United States—the formerly humble (and now very generous) allowance.

About 66% of parents give their offspring a weekly stipend, based on findings of a telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. adults conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA).

And not only are the amounts high—at an average of $30 per week—but they are rising more quickly than the average U.S. salary.

Indeed, while most parents require their children “to earn their allowances” by doing chores around the house, the number of hours of “elbow grease” expected per week have not gone up significantly since 2016 (from 5.1 to 5.3 hours) , but the hourly pay rate has seen a dramatic 38% increase—rising from an average of $4.43 in 2016 to $6.11 in 2019

Across the same time span, the average hourly pay rate for all Americans increased by 10.5% ($25.43 in 2016 vs. $28.11 in 2019) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How are children using their weekly windfall? Three-quarters of Americans (75%) say the most important purpose of providing an allowance to children is to teach the child about the value of money and financial responsibility. However, the survey found, allowance money is rarely saved. Parents say most of their kids’ allowance is spent on outings with friends (45%), digital devices or downloads (37%), or toys (33%).

That’s a mistake, according to Gregory Anton, chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, who says that “ “Simply handing money over to a child without guidance is a missed opportunity. By making an allowance a teachable moment, parents will help instill money management skills in their child at a young age that will help prepare them for the important financial decisions they’ll have to make when they’re older.”

The AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission recommends that parents who choose to provide an allowance use it to help their children understand the value of money. For parents looking to teach their children about financial responsibility using an allowance, here are some tips:

  1. Start early
    “Once your child expresses a want, discuss the foundations for budgeting—delayed gratification and saving for a goal. Give them small jobs to earn their own money to pay for toys or other wants and help them see their efforts grow with a chart on the fridge showing the progress they are making towards their goal.
  2. Set clear parameters
    “If you decide to provide an allowance, make sure your children understand why they are getting it, how they can earn it, and how they can lose it. Some may choose to base an allowance on the completion of chores and make deductions for any chores that aren’t finished. Others may set a base allowance and provide opportunities to earn additional pay for extra chores that are completed. Bottom line, earning money helps to teach children the value of money.
  3. Use an allowance to talk about budgeting
    “Rather than giving your child money to spend freely, consider an allocation process that rewards them for both short- and long-term thinking. Encourage them to set aside a percentage of the money they earn each week for certain spending categories-such as outings with friends, short-term savings; and long-term savings (e.g., a college fund). Encourage even more savings by offering to match their long-term savings stockpile dollar for dollar
  4. Discuss impact of impulse purchases on goals
    Let your child set his or her own goals and provide guidance to help reach them. Along the way, teach the principles of saving and budgeting. If a new game console is on their want list, show them how to calculate the amount that needs to be saved each week to reach that goal. For instance, if he or she receives $30 a week, but wants a $240 gaming system, help your child understand that reaching the goal requires eight weeks of allowance. Then, if there is temptation to splurge on a spontaneous item, like candy in the check-out aisle, ask whether it fits into their budget. This will help teach how skipping short-term wants can help them reach their long-term goals.

Research contact: @AICPA

Left holding the baby: What it takes to be a $200,000-a-year nanny

June 20, 2019

Childcare isn’t usually a high-paying position. However, today wealthy and celebrity parents are seeking nannies from a higher echelon—nursemaids with all of the skills of Mary Poppins and then some.

Indeed, they will beat the bushes to find a nanny that is trained in newborn care, child development, technology, and languages. And they are willing to pay six figures, when they find her (or him).

In demand, according to a recent CNN report, are top-tier, career nannies who have specializations, certifications, and loads of experience. They can make from $150,000 to nearly $200,000 in big cities like New York, Los Angeles, and London. And sometimes even more.

Families are paying over $220,000 a year in San Francisco,” says Anita Rogers, president and founder of British American Household Staffing, which has offices in all three cities. “There’s a value in paying well for your employees, especially in your household.”

“We’ve seen a lot of requests for Mandarin and French speakers in the nanny role,” Keith Greenhouse, chief executive of the New York City-based household staffing company Pavillion Agency told the network news outlet. “Lately more than ever people want someone who is tech savvy and nannies who can move into a family assistant role.”

“Many of our families don’t want any screen time for the kids,” Ryan Jordan, founder of Educated Nannies, a staffing agency in Los Angeles. “So that’s the time the nanny needs to bring in preschool curriculum and adventures.”

At Educated Nannies, childcare providers need to have college degrees and families appear to be most interested in candidates with backgrounds in child development

But while a preschool teacher makes $13 to $15 an hour, or around $30,000 a year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, skilled nannies are commanding more than double.

Heidi Joline has worked as a nanny for nearly 20 years. But she wasn’t always so sure childcare was the right career for her, she told CNN. “Saying you’re a nanny doesn’t get that ‘Oh! You’re a nanny? That’s so exciting!’ reaction from people,” she says. “It’s like “Oh, you’re a nanny. When are you going to get a real job?”

But after trying office work for a bit, she returned to being a nanny and realized she could grow in a way that was interesting to her, valuable to her families—and a lot more lucrative than teaching preschool.

She has passed the International Nanny Association Exam, taken Yale courses on child rearing and Stanford courses on health across the gender spectrum. She has studied child psychology, newborn care, and resilience following trauma.

Currently working with a family in Los Angeles, Joline prepares a curriculum every month for the preschooler for whom she is responsible. This month’s theme is bugs, and she has planned a lineup of songs, stories and activities along with learning words in Spanish, French and Mandarin. She and the child even released 3,000 ladybugs into the wild.

“In this field, things change all the time,” Joline told the network news outlet. “What we did with our children five years ago is not what we’re doing now with regard to nutrition, socialization, education, and overall well-being. You have to keep up with that to help inform the parents.”

And her skills have not gone unnoticed: she was named 2019 Nanny of the Year by the International Nanny Association.

“As a nanny you have to have those specialties and you have to continue your education,” Joline says. “In other places, it may be fine to just have CPR training, but if you’re in the bigger markets, where you are expecting higher pay and working with higher-profile people, you need specialized skills to stand out.”

Research contact: @CNN

Who’s hiring in America—and who’s not

March 16, 2018

U.S. employers added 313,000 jobs in February, and the nation’s unemployment rate stayed the same, at 4.1%, according to data released on March 9 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics—which, each month, surveys about 149,000 businesses and government agencies, representing roughly 651,000 individual worksites.

In line with those findings, Bloomberg has compiled a list of the industries with the highest and lowest rates of employment growth for the most recent month—among them:

  • Support activities for mining, up 15% (+6,900 jobs);
  • Petroleum and coal products, up 1.57% (+1,800 jobs);
  • Facilities support services, up 1.36% (+100 jobs);
  • Mining , up 1.31% (+8,600 jobs);
  • Mining and logging, up 1.13% (+8,000 jobs);
  • Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores, up .46% (+2,700 jobs);
  • Logging, down .59% (-300 jobs);
  • Textile production, down .62% (-700 jobs);
  • U.S. Postal Service, down 1.03% (-6,300 jobs); and
  • Motion picture and sound recording, down 2.37%(-9,700 jobs).

The good news is that February marked the 89th straight month of U.S. job growth—the longest such streak on record. Still, gains since the 2007–2009 recession have been far from evenly spread across industries.

Indeed, for many Americans, the jobs available were too far afield—for example, mining and logging—to offer much realistic hope of employment.

Research contact: @jordan_yadoo

56% of Americans plan to work during ‘retirement’

December 14, 2017

One in seven workers (14%) plans to live to age 100 or older, according to findings of the poll, Wishful Thinking or Within Reach: Three Generations Prepare for “Retirement,” released on December 13 by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS). However, unless they come from “old money,” they don’t know how they will pay for living expenses.

The median age that respondents predicted they would reach was 90, the researchers said. With that in mind, among all workers, only 18% are very confident that they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.

“Today’s workers are expecting to live long lives and, in doing so, they are disrupting retirement as we once knew it. Many are envisioning retirement as a new chapter in life that involves continued work but with more free time to pursue personal interests,” said Catherine Collinson, president of TCRS. “The big question is whether their vision is wishful thinking or within their reach.”

In the extra free time, they envision traveling (70%), spending more time with family and friends (57%), and pursuing hobbies (50%).

According to the researchers, a noteworthy 30% cite some form of paid work as a retirement dream, including pursuing an encore career (13%), starting a business (13%), or continuing to work in the same field (11%). Twenty-six percent of workers dream of doing volunteer work in retirement.

The survey finds that more than half of workers (53%) expect to retire after age 65 and 56% plan to continue working at least part-time in retirement. Among them, 83% percent cite financial-related reasons for doing so, while 75% cite healthy aging-related reasons, such as “being active,” and “keeping my brain alert.”

As part of the 18th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey, one of the largest and longest running surveys of its kind, workers across generations , 57% of Generation X and 55% of Baby Boomers cite outliving their savings and investments as one of their greatest retirement fears.

Forty-seven percent of Millennials fear that they will be unable to meet the basic financial needs of their family when they retire. Seventy-six percent of all workers are concerned that Social Security will not be there for them when they are ready

“Many workers are not saving enough to amass the financial resources required to support their vision of retirement, while others are at risk of poverty,” said Collinson. “Given increases in longevity, working as long as possible is a practical solution. However, it’s unclear whether employment opportunities will be available. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only one in five Americans age 65 and older was employed in 2016.” 1

“Despite the all-too-real challenge of saving, many workers are overlooking opportunities that may help them improve their long-term financial prospects,” said Collinson. Specific missed opportunities include:

  • Resisting procrastination. Forty percent of workers prefer not to think about or concern themselves with retirement investing until they get closer to their retirement date, a finding which is highest among Millennials (54%), followed by Generation X (34%) and Baby Boomers (25%).
  • Calculating retirement savings needs. Forty-seven percent of workers who provided an estimate for their retirement savings needs did so by guessing, a survey finding that is consistent across the three generations of workers. Only 7% have used a retirement calculator.
  • Formulating a written strategy for retirement. Sixteen percent of workers have a retirement strategy in writing. Ironically, Baby Boomers (12%) and Generation X (15%) respondents were less likely than Millennials (20%) to have a written strategy.
  • Taking steps to be able to continue working past 65 or in retirement. Less than half of workers (46%) are keeping their job skills up to date, a finding that is consistent across the three generations. Only 18% are scoping out the job market and opportunities available, a finding that is higher among Millennials (22%) than Generation X and Baby Boomers (both 15%).

The researchers said that success also will be highly dependent on an employment market that embraces older workers, employers’ offering of retirement benefits along with other health and welfare benefits, adoption of phased retirement programs by employers, and the preservation of safety nets such as Social Security and Medicare.”

The analysis in Wishful Thinking or Within Reach: Three Generations Prepare for “Retirement” was prepared internally by the research team at TCRS. The 25-minute online survey was conducted within the United States. by The Harris Poll on behalf of TCRS between August 9 and October 28, among a nationally representative sample of 6,372 workers, including 2,593 Millennials (born 1979-2000), 1,586 Generation X (born 1965-1978), 2,076 Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and 117 workers who were born prior to 1946.

Research contact:

Baby Boomers are ‘aging out’ of tech industry

November 9, 2017

How old is too old for the tech industry? The employment site, Indeed, recently conducted a national study of 1,011 currently employed U.S. tech workers to dig deeper into the issue and here’s what the researchers found.

“While stories about anxious tech workers in their 30s getting plastic surgery to conceal their age make good headlines,” the pollsters said, “ we don’t need to look to such extremes to find evidence of the problem; It’s there in the cliched, but widespread, perception that employees need to be young to have a good grasp of the latest technology. And it’s there in startup cultures that push for long hours and low pay, which are hardly friendly to older workers with families. And as firms battle to attract young talent with ever more extravagant perks, they can unintentionally create an environment and culture that excludes older workers.”

In fact, 29% of survey respondents say that the average employee age at their tech company is between 31 and 35. Millennials, yes—albeit at the older end of that demographic. A further 17% say that the average age of company employees is between 20 and 30.

By contrast, 27% of  respondents say that the average age of employees at their company is 36-40 years old, making them members of the younger end of Generation X. The over-40s (Gen X and Boomers, alike) have to share the remaining 26%.

In other words, close to half of employees (46%) are Millennials. And yet, only 23% of survey respondents think that this demographic is over-represented at their workplaces. By contrast, under one-fifth (18%) of respondents believe that Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1965) are under-represented at their company.

The researchers note that, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that 25% of workers should be 55 and over by 2019, it’s clear that these numbers don’t reflect the diversity of the population when it comes to age.

In fact, not only do employees witness an imbalance in age representation, but it is also causing anxiety among some workers.The recent survey found  that close to half of respondents (43%) worry about losing their jobs because of their age. Even more troubling, nearly one-fifth (18%) say they worry about it “all the time.”

More than one-third of workers surveyed (36%) report experiencing at least one instance during which they weren’t taken seriously by colleagues and managers due to age.

And yet, most respondents (78%) still consider older tech workers (those aged 40+) to be highly qualified, and over 83% state that these workers have good experience and can share wisdom.

The solution for Baby Boomers is not an easy one: The study found more Boomers showing  interest in cities such as Minneapolis (home to 3M) and Durham, North Carolina, which don’t appear on the top ten list for Gen X or Millennials.

Research contact: Raj Mukherjee @rajatism