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Millennials value social impact over profit

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Would you quit your job if you discovered that you and your boss didn’t see eye to eye on social issues? If so, count yourself among a growing cohort of workers who believe their employers’ values should match their own, according to a new survey of employees in the United States and Australia.

The research, commissioned by software firm Atlassian Corporation and carried out by PwC Australia, reveals that 80% of U.S. workers say companies should be taking action to address society’s problems—that’s up 6 percentage points from the same survey last year—and more employees than ever would rather look elsewhere than work at a firm they’re not proud of.

The findings come from Atlassian’s second annual Return On Action Report, which was released on Monday. They show that younger employees, millennials in particular, are more likely believe that a company’s values should align with their own. Even as 51% of millennial employees surveyed said they were worried about future employment prospects, 60% of those who expressed such concerns still indicated that they would leave a job over a clash of values.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian’s cofounder and co-CEO, says employers should be put on notice: Inaction on social and cultural issues may no longer be a tenable option for companies seeking to attract the best and brightest talent—even though balancing the diverse range of perspectives among employees can be tricky.

“People have lots of different views,” Cannon-Brookes tells Fast Company. “You can’t cater to every single view and every individual employee, but there is a generalized movement and direction that one must be aware of.”

He cites climate change and racial justice as two issues on which more employees expect the companies they work for to take a firm position. And even though younger employees are more likely to demand such stances from their employers, Cannon-Brookes says this shift in expectations is happening among workers across age groups.

“Last year, people were sort of like, ‘oh, yeah, this is a millennial thing,’” he says. “Actually no. It goes across a huge amount of these demographic groups that people are willing to make a change, or that they’re consciously considering these facets when choosing a job.”

[Atlassian]

The survey adds to a growing body of research showing how workplace expectations have shifted since the start of the pandemic. Here are some of the other key findings:

  • 67% of U.S. respondents said companies should be as concerned with their social impact as they are with their bottom line.
  • 77% said companies should take responsibility for their environmental impact.
  • 45% of U.S. respondents “would consider changing jobs to get more access to remote work.” For millennials, that jumps to 56%.
  • 38% said they would quit a job “if an employer acted in a way that didn’t align with their values.” That’s up 6 percentage points from last year.

[Atlassian]

Wellness and work-life balance also factored prominently in the survey results, with 64% of respondents saying they would “consider turning down a job promotion to preserve their mental health.” Younger workers were significantly more likely to say they had experienced distress over the last year: 29% of Gen Z workers, compared to 26% of millennials, 20% of Gen X, and 16% of baby boomers.

“Mental health and well-being have jumped massively up employees’ priorities,” Cannon-Brookes says. “Things like career goals have really taken a back seat, as you’d expect. . . . Obviously a lot of employees have had mental health issues and distress over the past 12 months.”

You can check out the full survey results here.

Post-pandemic inflation fears are overblown

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Too much in our market system revolves around the short term. That certainly holds true for the debate about inflation. Last week’s data showed US prices rising at their fastest pace in 13 years. That has led everyone from top investors to restaurant and hotel owners, who are now finding that they may have to pay more for previously low wage service staff, to fret about an overheating economy.

But the hand-wringing is premature. These early signs of rising prices are more reflective of a predictable, post-lockdown surge in animal spirits than any longer term trend. Supply chain bottlenecks will soon ease, as they did in 2020 with, say, personal protective equipment. Purchases of cars and vacations will subside as the post-pandemic spending splurge passes. And waiters commanding high salaries today may be replaced by automated systems tomorrow: just notice how many summer travellers already tap their pre-flight cocktail orders into an iPad.

What we aren’t talking enough about — and what will surely prove far more significant and harder to predict — is how technology, changing demographics, and their combined effect on real estate, will affect secular trends in inflation. This is what really matters for workers, companies and asset prices.

Consider first the change in how and where Americans want to live and work. Some of the cheaper parts of the southern and western US have seen an influx of people who used to live in expensive coastal cities but are no longer tethered to their offices. But this is still a nascent shift. Most of the people leaving pricey New York or Bay Area apartments are relocating to slightly cheaper adjacent metro areas, or nearby suburban and rural areas — not to the US interior.

It’s anyone’s guess how long these shifts will last. If bankrupt cities can’t fix public services or education, some urbanites — especially those with children — may leave cities permanently. But others are already moving back now they can go maskless to the theatre or a favourite restaurant.

Either way, this “migration mania” has led to a 24 per cent year-on-year rise in home prices. Before the pandemic, housing inflation as measured in rents and rent-equivalents accounted for the lion share of US inflation. As Daniel Alpert of Westwood Capital notes: “While home prices could fall if inflation persists and interest rates rise, eventually the higher prices paid for homes from mid-2020 on will be reflected in rents and rent equivalents.” This, as he told me, would “backfill” any decline in the price of other goods and services.

The Fed has told us not to worry about inflation: things will calm down in six months or so, when stimulus payments are tapped out and the summer surge is over. But another surge may be beginning, as retiring baby boomers holding $35tn in assets start giving money to their children.

Some believe this will have a profoundly inflationary effect, to the extent that it’s money coming out of financial markets and into real economy spending — be that on homes, cars, healthcare or education. Others think this wealth transfer will be an inflation non-issue: longer boomer lifespans will eat up more retirement savings, and most of what’s left will go to the wealthiest who can only consume so much.

What, if anything, could dampen inflation over the longer term? One way is if more workers produce more goods and services for people to consume. Without that, you have greater demand than supply, so inflation rises. Those jobs must also pay sufficiently well to support consumption.

This leads us to one of the trickiest long-term trends of all: the future of work. The pandemic has sped up the digitalisation of everything. I think that’s going to create a major disinflationary force in the global economy.

Corporate investment in “intangible” goods such as intellectual property and software rose sharply during the pandemic. An executive survey last year by McKinsey, the consultancy, found that three quarters of respondents in North America and Europe expected to accelerate such investments over the next four years. That is up from 55 per cent between 2014 and 2019.

These kinds of investments increase productivity but at the cost of jobs, and fewer jobs translates into less demand. Combined with digitisation, this could drive down the prices of goods, plus services such as healthcare and education. Alongside housing, these services are generally the most inflation-generating categories among OECD countries, including the US.

Such technology-driven productivity would therefore be deflationary. So too if there were more workers able to leverage these new technologies in their work. Ideally, government investment in reskilling will do just that. By converting low paid care work into higher skilled middle income jobs, consumption could rise even as prices might fall in sectors such as healthcare. Demand for that is rising sharply as boomers age, yet the jobs currently on offer are neither productive nor well paid.

Such investment in the “caring economy” is the focus of much of Joe Biden’s administration’s proposed stimulus. Let’s hope it gets through. Otherwise, if nothing changes, we may see more digitalised businesses employing only a few highly paid people — and the cost of consuming the goods and services that constitute middle class living will continue to rise.

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Why the biggest job wage boom post-pandemic is blue collar

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Companies are in desperate need of workers across the country as the economic reopening collides with a tight labor market, but the boom in manual labor job wage growth pre-dates the pandemic.

Donna Kauffman, co-owner of a landscaping design and construction company in Colleyville, Texas, said a tightened labor market has pushed her starting wage up to $13.75 per hour, compared to lower wages in previous years.

Economic forecasters like Gary Shilling have been watching blue-collar and manual service wages trend upwards for the last several years, growing at a faster rate than wages for white-collar jobs and reversing a trend that had been in place throughout the past 30 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“In general, on the blue collar level, you’re probably going to see higher real incomes,” Shilling recently told CNBC.

Shilling says “labor share” — the amount of GDP paid out in wages, salaries, and benefits — which has been in decline for decades is trending higher, while “capital share” — the amount of national income from invested capital — is trending down.

For workers in blue-collar industries such as construction, transportation and manufacturing, and workers in manual service sectors including food service, leisure, hospitality and beauty and health-care services, they’ve seen the highest jump in wages in recent years. Those wages continue to increase post-pandemic.

A “Now Hiring” sign is posted in the drive thru of a McDonald’s restaurant on July 07, 2021 in San Rafael, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

The economy will depend on manual labor jobs to reopen, according to Gad Levanon, head of the Labor Market Institute at the Conference Board, and the recent rise in wages is due to the supply constraint of workers in these industries, as the country continues to face repercussions of the ongoing pandemic.

The June nonfarm payroll report showcased a rise in average hourly wages across all industries, with a 343,000 employment increase in leisure and hospitality jobs, with over half being food service workers. But employment in areas like construction, transportation and manufacturing remained low. 

Levanon says it is taking longer to find workers for these industries, despite the rise in wages, because these positions are usually filled with workers from lower socioeconomic statuses, who continue to be impacted by pandemic. These jobs require face-to-face interaction and hands-on abilities that pose potential health risks to workers, and many of these workers either will not or cannot return to work due to factors like inaccessibility to child care and continued federal unemployment benefits.

Discussion around why workers are not returning to work remains highly contested. Some say unemployment benefits deter workers, others say benefits don’t play a role. Some say increasing vaccination rates will encourage workers back, but others feel risks are still high among vulnerable populations.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Some experts think the wage gains are here to stay, and it will be up to companies to offset the cost of wages as more workers return.

“America is first and foremost a service economy,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor. “So as the economy reopens, I do expect to see more demand for in-person services and this factors into the coming boom in service roles and work.”

Sports apparel company Under Armour is boosting its minimum hourly wage for its retail and distribution workers from $10 to $15, while restaurants like McDonald’s and Chipotle are hiking up their wages, and in April, the White House increased the minimum wage to $15 for federal contractors, including jobs for construction workers and mechanics.  

Zhao says when companies like McDonald’s and Chipotle raise their minimum wages, it means they perceive labor shortage and wage inflation as long-term problems.

“If they perceived this as just a temporary, pandemic-time shortage, then they would just rely on one-time bonuses or hiring bonuses,” Zhao said. “But the fact that they’re raising wages indicates there are these employers who believe challenges in finding workers will last for a significant amount of time.”

Workers willing to do manual jobs declining 

While every industry is currently suffering from labor constraints, Kauffman said she’s seen the steady decline of workers willing to do hands-on labor for the last 20 years.

Forty-four percent of companies currently have openings for skilled workers, according to a June survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, and 66% of construction companies reported not having enough skilled or qualified workers to hire.

One reason worker aren’t returning to these jobs quickly is because they have bargaining power, says Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. Employers have to continue to meet higher wage requirements and employment conditions in order to attract these workers back.

A member of the Ironworkers Local 7 union installs steel beams on high-rise building under construction during a summer heat wave in Boston, Massachusetts, June 30, 2021.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

The labor market for manual labor jobs has been shrinking from the years before the pandemic started, according to Levanon, as older generations retire and there are less people to work these jobs. That trend will remain in place in the years ahead.

“Baby boomers that are retiring are people with less education who work these blue-collar and manual service jobs,” Levanon said. “And most of the young generation that is replacing them is more educated and less willing to work in those types of jobs.”

Kauffman said her landscaping company used to hire young adults, either high school students or young adults who didn’t pursue college, but gradually, as high schools in her area started pushing college onto more students and started shutting down agricultural education programs, she has lost potential workers.

Daco says that while desire among workers to perform these tasks is an issue, there are more direct reasons for the labor shortage and wage gains in blue-collar and manual service jobs. There are enough people, on average, to work these jobs, he says, looking at the 6.4 million people who are not currently working but would like a job, according to the June nonfarm payroll report.

Skills gaps and a lack of jobs being located in the places where workers live contribute to hiring difficulties.

“You have workers, but they may not be in the right place at the right time,” Daco said. “You may have rural areas that need people to work in the service, leisure or hospitality sector but fewer people want to live there.” 

Infrastructure spending can push wages higher

While debate continues within Congress and the White House about a tentative federal spending and infrastructure bill, bipartisan support for bolstering physical infrastructure across the country, including additions and expansions to roads, bridges and highways, should keep demand high for blue-collar work and wage pressure on employers.

The details of any specific plan passed by Congress are key, but Levanon says companies will continue to face extremely difficult recruiting barriers for construction workers and manual laborers.

As federal spending plans become clearer, Daco expects increased pressure to fill these jobs pushing wages up, but not suddenly. He forecasts a more gradual increase happening closer to the middle of 2022, as infrastructure plans become reality. And while current wages are a starting point for the future, he does not see the as the starting point of prolonged spike in the blue-collar wage boom.

“I don’t think this is the onset of a wage inflation spiral, in that wages will continue to increase at the same pace as it has been indefinitely,” he said.

CNBC’s MacKenzie Sigalos contributed to this report

Teen volunteers get a foot in the door for nursing home careers

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The advantages of the program are also evident for the New Jewish Home, which operates two nursing homes, senior housing and assisted living facilities and a home care business in the New York City area. By familiarizing young people with geriatric care careers, the system aims to address its growing need for workers as the tide of baby boomers enter their later years.

Six of the top 10 fastest-growing jobs in the decade leading up to 2029 are projected to be in health care, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, including home health and personal care aides.

“One of our biggest challenges is that there aren’t enough people who want to work in this industry,” said Dr. Jeffrey Farber, president and CEO of the New Jewish Home system. “People don’t want to work with older adults.”

ExploreEmployment opportunities for nurses this summer

The New Jewish Home began its career development program for teens 15 years ago with the idea of training and hiring them as nursing assistants, Farber said.

But it has become more than that. Working a few afternoons a week for three years with older adults, students gain insights into aging and develop relationships with residents, some of whom are assigned as mentors. It also gives students assistance with figuring out career goals and putting the pieces in place to get there.

“I think the students would be successful without us, but we provide the structure and resources to help them succeed,” said John Cruz, senior director of workforce initiatives at the New Jewish Home, who oversees the program.

Students generally must devote two afternoons after school every week and several weeks during the summer, said Cruz. The program curriculum, developed with Columbia University Teachers College, initially teaches students basics about patient privacy, Medicare/Medicaid and overcoming stereotypes about older people. By the time they’re seniors in high school, students can train as certified nursing assistants and work as paid interns supporting the residents on the days they spend at the facility.

As part of the program, students may also become certified in other jobs, including patient care technician, phlebotomist, EKG technician, and medical coding and billing staff.

The pandemic, however, changed things. The New Jewish Home in Manhattan was hit hard, with dozens of COVID-19 deaths at the 514-bed facility.

Since volunteers weren’t permitted inside the facility, the home instead hired many of them as part-time employees so they could continue to help seniors. This also gave students a chance to complete the clinical training portion of their certified nursing assistant coursework.

In addition to the program for high school students, the health system created a program in 2014 for people ages 18 to 24 who are unemployed and out of school, training them to become certified home health aides and nursing assistants. Nearly 200 have completed the program and the New Jewish Home has hired three-quarters of them, at a starting wage of $15 to $19 an hour.

Both programs are supported primarily by grants from foundations.

Explore6 nonclinical jobs for nurses looking to change career paths

In February, the state announced that nursing homes could accept visitors again, following federal guidelines. But many nursing home residents still rely on virtual visits, and during the spring Jasmine spent her time helping them connect with their families and other loved ones by iPad or phone.

The isolation was hard on the residents, and students provided sorely missed company. Asked how the students helped her, resident Dominga Marquez, 78, said, “Just talk.”

“We are lonely,” said Marquez. “I have a lot of friends that used to come every week to visit but, with the pandemic, nobody came.”

ExploreCOVID cases, deaths plunge at Georgia senior care homes in February

Kennedy Johnson, 17, said helping seniors experience virtual visits with their families during the pandemic made him realize how much he takes for granted.

“With the pandemic and doing the virtual calls, seeing how these families don’t get to interact with their loved ones every day, that really opened my eyes,” he said.

Working at the New Jewish Home was the first time Kennedy had ever been in a nursing home or seen the kinds of work that staff members do.

In the fall, he will start at Morehouse College in Atlanta and plans to major in political science. His goal: “I want to be a health care attorney so I can represent people … like this.”

For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.

Kaiser Health News is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at Kaiser Family Foundation. KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

Majority of Women and Millennial Workers Want to Stay Remote

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A new survey by The Conference Board reveals a notable shift in employees’ greatest return-to-work concerns.

Once dominant fears of contracting COVID-19 or exposing family members to it now lag behind anxieties about returning at all, dropping by nearly half in the last nine months. Moreover, a clear divide among workers emerged, with lower-level employees, women, and millennials questioning the need to return to the office at higher rates than their counterparts, despite expressing more concern about mental health.

Conducted between May 28–June 4, the online survey examines plans and opinions on reopening the workplace. More than 3,600 US workers participated, representing a cross-section of people across industries. It is a follow-up to similar surveys conducted in late 2020 and early 2021. Key findings include: 

Workers question the wisdom of returning to the workplace given high productivity.

  • The belief that productivity remained high while working remotely has 43 percent of respondents questioning the need to return to the workplace at all. This is a significant increase from the 31 percent who felt that way in January.
  • The lower the employee level, the more they question the need to return to the workplace:
    • Individual contributors: 56 percent.
    • CEOs: 18 percent.
  • Women question the wisdom of returning more than men:
    • Women: 50 percent.
    • Men: 33 percent.
  • Millennials are more likely to question the wisdom of returning than other generations:
    • Millennial: 55 percent.
    • Gen X: 45 percent.
    • Baby Boomer: 36 percent.
  • While exposing family members to COVID-19 or contracting it personally were of greatest concern in September 2020, those concerns dropped by nearly half in June, to 28 and 24 percent, respectively.
  • One-quarter of respondents also noted concerns over the deterioration of mental health, up from 13 percent in September and January.
  • These mental health concerns were also greater among individual contributors, women, and millennials.
  • CEOs, men, and baby boomers were the largest cohorts to have no concerns about returning to the workplace.

 

Stress/burnout is the top well-being concern among workers, particularly among women, millennials, and individual contributors.

  • Worker level:
    • Individual contributors: 61 percent.
    • CEOs: 30 percent.
  • Gender:
    • Women: 62 percent.
    • Men: 43 percent.
  • Generation:
    • Millennials: 70 percent.
    • Gen X: 59 percent.
    • Baby Boomers: 42 percent.

 “What’s striking is that the same workers who question returning to the workplace given high productivity while working remotely have also expressed greater concerns about mental health, stress, and burnout,” said Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President, Human Capital at The Conference Board. “This reinforces the need for companies to pay close attention to the well-being of their people in remote and hybrid work arrangements.”

On average, respondents believe that more than half of their organization’s full-time workers will have a hybrid work arrangement.

  • Almost 40 percent will work 2 to 3 days remotely.
  • 13 percent will be remote 1 day per week and on-site 4 days.
  • Another 30 percent will be in the office 5 days per week.

“While there are many difficulties surrounding a move to a hybrid work arrangement, most workers want the flexibility to choose what’s right for them,” said Amy Lui Abel, PhD, Vice President, Human Capital Research at The Conference Board. “For companies, the challenge in getting this right will entail policies that are inclusive, technologies that can support the movement of workers, and leaders that can guide and manage a different workforce model.”

More than one-third of respondents report that their level of engagement has increased.

  • More than one in ten say it has increased significantly.
  • Around half report that their level of engagement stayed the same compared to pre-pandemic.

Respondents believe their employers have acted on their concerns throughout the last year.

  • 87 percent agree to some degree, with 35 percent agreeing, and 52 percent agreeing strongly.

Comfort returning to the workplace has drastically increased in the last 6 months.

  • Nearly 40 percent of respondents are very comfortable or even want to return, compared to only 17 percent in September 2020.
  • This level of comfort increases based on seniority:
    • CEOs: 66 percent are very comfortable/want to return.
    • Individual contributors: 23 percent.
  • Men are more comfortable returning than women:
    • Men: 49 percent are very comfortable/want to return.
    • Women: 31 percent.
  • Older generations are also more comfortable returning than younger ones:
    • Baby Boomer: 43 percent.
    • Gen X: 38 percent.
    • Millennials: 24 percent.

 

Two-thirds of workers will be back in the office in the next 3 months.

  • Nearly half of workers surveyed (43 percent) expect to return to the office by the end of September.
  • Only 12 percent have already returned to the workplace as of June 2021.

(Charts provided by The Conference Board: www.conference-board.org .)

Are You Ready for Changing Worker Demands?

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As CPAs accept that artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a thing of science fiction, they also must become mindful of the impact it will have on the workforce and the workplace. A two-year McKinsey Global Institute study suggests intelligent agents and robots could replace 30 percent of the world’s current human labor by 2030. However, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely accelerate the adoption of technology and automation tools as it pressures organizations to embrace new and more efficient ways of working.

For instance, PwC’s June 2020 COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey found that 52 percent of global corporate finance leaders are planning to improve the remote working experience and make it a permanent option for the roles that allow it. And when it comes to CPA firms, Arizent’s June 2020 COVID-19 Pulse Survey found that 82 percent of all firms are “very or somewhat likely” to allow employees to work from home permanently.

Long term, the automation and displacement of so many jobs promises to reshape CPAs’ firms and the organizations they serve—and so will the social and generational changes unfolding before us.

Consider the “silver tsunami” gathering strength. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 10,000 baby boomers reach age 65 each day and that number will grow to nearly 12,000 a day by 2024. By 2031, the youngest of the estimated 73 million baby boomers will reach full retirement age.

Now consider how many leadership positions in CPA firms and companies are held by baby boomers. Can you see how dramatically different the workforce will look—and act—when Gen Xers and millennials step in to fill those roles?

Looking ahead to 2027, the Society predicts baby boomers will mostly be retired; Gen Xers who have proactively upskilled will lead organizations alongside millennials, whose sheer volume as the largest generation in the workforce dominates workplace culture; and Gen Zers—the largest, most diverse generation in the U.S., and the first to have never lived in a world without the internet—will begin to enter and change the professional workforce.

As a result, workers will mostly be agile digital natives who demand greater flexibility, participate in a much larger project-based and gig economy, and are more socially conscious than ever before—and they’ll expect their employers and the brands (i.e., companies and organizations) they support to be the same.

This is driving unprecedented change. According to GlobalWebIndex’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, 68 percent of online consumers in the U.S. and UK would consider not using a brand because of poor or misleading corporate social responsibility, and close to 50 percent would pay a premium for brands with a socially conscious image. They also found that 66 percent of Gen Zers feel it’s important to contribute to the community they live in, matching a Facebook for Business report stating 68 percent of Gen Zers expect brands to contribute to society.

On a deeper social level, Facebook for Business also reports 77 percent of Gen Zers feel more positive toward a brand when it promotes gender equality, and a survey by Morning Consult found that 82 percent of Gen Zers appreciate it when companies and business leaders make public statements about movements such as Black Lives Matter, but still believe that actions speak louder than words. Speaking of actions, Gartner found that nearly half of Gen Zers plan to work with businesses and institutions that demonstrate corporate social responsibility.

In short, CPAs must brace for the future impact of not only a tech revolution but a social revolution that’s going to push both modern organizations and the CPA profession to resolve many long-standing cultural issues in order to attract and retain talent, customers, and clients.

This article was originally published on the Illinois CPA Society’s website as part of a seven-part special feature offering insights into the future of the accounting and finance profession.

The war for talent: How employers can use ‘rightskilling’ to grow and flourish

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Help Wanted sign Employers across the country are finding themselves in a talent predicament, with open positions available but the right talent becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to find. (Photo: Shutterstock)

As the country continues to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic, so too is the job market. According to the most recent jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than seven million open jobs right now in America. This is good news.

Yet at the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated certain workforce trends, leaving the job market with record low labor force participation. Analytics firm Emsi, which specializes in labor market data, calls this the Demographic Drought. The massive retiring of Baby Boomers, which was accelerated by the pandemic, has taken a huge portion of the working population out of the market. According to Pew Research Center, more than 3 million Baby Boomers decided to retire in 2020 – a historic high. And many individuals who are able to work are choosing not to due to varying effects of the pandemic.

Related: ‘Become an employer of choice’: How HR Leaders can navigate the tech talent deficit

The pandemic has also changed the talent market in several ways. Many in-person or public-facing roles have diminished as we move towards remote delivery of goods, services and information. Due to the changing nature of these roles, along with furloughs and lay-offs, the pandemic has forced many employees to be retrained so that they can move into new roles. And as the divide between those with in-demand skills and those without continues to grow, employees are hungry for growth.

Additionally, as technology continues to create disruption and as companies continue to innovate, create and transform – there are exciting new skills employers can develop in their workforces. According to The World Economic Forum, 44% of the skills that employees will need to perform their roles effectively will change by 2025.

For all of these reasons, employers across the country are finding themselves in a talent predicament, with open positions available but the right talent becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to find.

But what if we looked at this predicament not as a challenge or difficulty, but rather embraced it as a way to change the fabric of our workforces? What if the very things we are seeing as problems right now are the means for solving the challenges we’ve been trying to solve all along? What if we could cultivate the right skills and build the talent we’ve been looking for?

Which leads us to the age-old question of build versus buy. The conversations we’re having at Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions with our clients are showing an increased appetite for building and cultivating internal talent pipelines. There simply isn’t enough talent, or enough talent with the right skills, to buy out there.

Additionally, according to analyst Josh Bersin, it costs six times as much to recruit a new employee than to develop one internally. External hires are also 61% more likely to be laid off from their jobs than those who were promoted from within the organization.

Employers looking to cultivate their talent from within should consider the following approach:

1. Start by identifying growing and declining roles in your organization. Utilize data to identify which occupations are growing within your industry, which are declining, and which skills are associated with those roles. Determine the overlapping and transferable skills between these roles. Getting a lay of the land will be critical to determining where your organization should focus first.

2. Define educational paths to deliver skills needed for in-demand roles. Determine how to solve for building these skills within these occupations. What are the learning programs and opportunities? Which partners and schools provide these learning opportunities? Are there internal learning programs that can be leveraged to build those skills? Putting all of these pieces together into a comprehensive and guided user experience for employees will help them be successful in their learning journey.

3. Publicize the program and effectively transition employees at scale into new roles. Generate some buzz. Give your employees a sense of the skills you value as a company. Communicate these learning opportunities, and encourage employees to participate by showing them the possible outcomes.

This approach is called ”rightskilling,” and is a purposeful and intentional way to look across your workforce and skill a large number of employees in critical focus areas in a way that is mindful of your investment. From no-cost and low-cost options to tiered investments for more senior or specialized roles, there are many ways to create skilling programs that are within your budget and provide the return you need as a business.

As companies start to flex this muscle now, they are building the internal processes and capabilities to be able to continuously rightskill their workforces. This means that down the road, as roles and skills continue to change, they will have talent at the ready to fill those positions, and they won’t have to fight for talent in the same way.

One company we work with that has been focused on reskilling their workforce is Raytheon Technologies, which provides up to $25,000 annually towards employees pursuing degrees or certificates. To ensure the program is accessible to both full and part-time employees, Raytheon has established partnerships with a large network of universities to offer discounts to employees and provide learning opportunities across a variety of skill areas. Raytheon pays tuition upfront on an employee’s behalf to remove any financial barriers to participation. This year, the company also expanded its non-degree offering for non-credit bearing certificates, certifications and MOOCs to allow for additional credentials and short-form learning options across skill areas.

An employer in a different industry–T-Mobile–established a tuition program in 2017 to better support all of their employees, with a focus on frontline employees in particular who may be interested in growing within the company. The program enables full-time and part-time employees to use their tuition benefits at their choice of a number of accredited schools around the country and covers their tuition, fees and books, leaving employees with no out-of-pocket costs. As a result of the program, the company has seen a 92% retention rate for education program users.

Employees today are very motivated by these types of employer-provided skill development and workforce education opportunities. According to a recent research report, the majority of American workers say they would feel more motivated, more secure and better equipped to do their jobs if they had access to education opportunities offered by their employer. Employees want to learn and they want to flourish. Employers want a workforce with the right skills to execute on their business strategy. Rightskilling is the path to both – it’s good for employees, and it’s good for employers too.

Suzanne Krause is head of workforce education strategy at Bright Horizons.

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Joseph Simone, President of Simone Development Companies Sees Aging Baby Boomers Behind Healthcare Real Estate Growth

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Real estate developer Joe Simone says that a recent U.S. Census report demonstrates how aging Baby Boomers are driving growth in healthcare real estate and jobs.

BRONX, N.Y., July 12, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Real estate developer Joe Simone says that a recent U.S. Census report demonstrates how aging Baby Boomers are driving growth in healthcare real estate and jobs.

“The expansion of healthcare complexes nationwide is partly due to the aging Baby Boomers, who as they age require more medical services,” said Joseph Simone, President of the Simone Development Companies, a leading developer of healthcare facilities. “The oldest Baby Boomers are now 75. I foresee the demand for nursing homes, assisted living, rehabilitation centers and ambulatory facilities to quickly grow to accommodate a surge in the elderly population.”

U.S. Census reported last month that from 2010 to 2019, the percentage of the population 65 and older grew nationally (from 13.1% to 16.5%) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This growth in the elderly population is affecting the national job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth. Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

“All these new nurses will find employment in new or expanded healthcare complexes. Real estate developers will be very busy over the next decade delivering new buildings where the growing ranks of health practitioners will work,” said Simone.

Healthcare providers are already positioning themselves to receive the aging Baby Boomers, who demand convenience and amenities. Simone Development Companies renovated Mount Sinai Doctors’ 80,000-squar-foot facility in Greenlawn, NY to create a modern physical plant that conforms to current design standards and provides a high-quality patient experience.

“Healthcare real estate developers must take the Census and BLS numbers seriously and identify new building sites,” said Simone. “Yesterday’s doctors’ offices are not equipped to handle the coming wave of aging Baby Boomers.”

Simone Development Companies is a fully integrated private real estate investment and development company that acquires and develops healthcare, mixed-use, commercial, industrial, retail and residential properties. Headquartered at the Hutchinson Metro Center, it boasts a portfolio of over seven million square feet throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, Orange and Fairfield Counties and New Jersey. With services spanning acquisition, development, construction, finance, asset management, accounting, leasing and property management, Simone Development Companies is set apart by its creatively oriented management team, long-term asset ownership and its pursuit of visionary development.

Simone Development Companies is a fully integrated private real estate investment and development company that acquires and develops healthcare, mixed-use, commercial, industrial, retail and residential properties. Headquartered at the Hutchinson Metro Center, it boasts a portfolio of over seven million square feet throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, Orange and Fairfield Counties and New Jersey. With services spanning acquisition, development, construction, finance, asset management, accounting, leasing and property management, Simone Development Companies is set apart by its creatively oriented management team, long-term asset ownership and its pursuit of visionary development.

Media Contact

Dean Bender, Thompson & Bender, 0147621900, [email protected]

SOURCE Simone Development Companies

Investment firms on cutting age of dementia problem

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A big swath of baby boomers is approaching their 70s and the investment companies are worried. Not because their primary market – boomers hold more than half of the estimated $50 trillion in total U.S. household financial assets – is retiring, but because of the rise in dementia.

How big is the problem? Boomers are now between the ages of 57 and 75. Beginning at 70, 12% of people will see a mild cognitive decline and dementia. That increases to 45% for people between the ages of 80 to 84.

Even a slight cognitive decline can lead to impaired judgment about finances. A boomer suffering from dementia could lose, through one imprudent investment, a lifetime’s worth of savings.

Compounding the cognitive decline problem is the complexity of handling asset allocations and retirement account withdrawal rates. It gets more difficult to figure out investments as you get older. Toss in major tax law changes and you have a recipe for disaster.

An additional worry: About 25% of boomers handle their own investments, instead of going through a wealth adviser. While that may have worked out well in the past, it leaves no safety net. A boomer who calls the shots alone could start on a mental decline and no one would notice.

Big investment companies like Vanguard Group, Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab Corporation are taking this seriously. They have software that keeps track of their clients’ requests for password resets or difficulty working through their security protocols. Some companies track client-call recordings for signs of trouble.

Brokerage firms are required to ask customers to give them a trusted contact they can notify in the event of a problem. This rule has been in effect since 2018.

Brokerage firms have a rule that gives them the power to temporarily halt disbursements, but only when fraud is suspected. Texas also has a law, found in Texas Finance Code Section 281, which allows a financial institution to freeze an account for 10 days if exploitation is suspected. But a client’s dementia does not neatly fall under the definitions of fraud or exploitation, so it is unclear how often those safety measures are actually deployed.

Happily, boomers can take some proactive steps.

First, give your brokerage firm your trusted contact information. Right now, 75% of brokerage clients have not done that. This is an easy way for you to take advantage of the auto-trackers your firm has in place.

Second, make things easy for yourself. You don’t need 20 different accounts in 10 different financial institutions. You might even make money; many brokerage firms have built-in incentives like free financial advice and higher savings rates when you invest more money with them. Investigate low-cost advisory services or a single fund that already has a mix of investments.

Third, identify the person or service provider who can help manage your financial affairs. If possible, give that person your power of attorney or authority under a trust. Compile your internet passwords, financial information and important bills and share the location of it with your agent.

Fourth, be open to investigating your cognitive level. If your physician recommends a consult with a geriatric psychologist or the like, do it. Take a look at the cognitive apps, if any, offered by your bank or investment group.

Finally, realize that the very nature of cognitive decline makes it almost impossible to recognize it in yourself. The need for a safety net is real. Just ask the investment firms.

Virginia Hammerle is an attorney with Hammerle Finley Law Firm. She is an accredited estate planner and has been board-certified in civil trial law for 25 years. She blogs regularly on senior issues and the law. Email [email protected] for her monthly newsletter. This column is for general information only and does not constitute legal advice.

Real Estate newsletter: Hollywood eyes a comeback

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Welcome back to the Real Estate newsletter, which this week documents a Southern California market where a half-finished mansion fetched a fortune and a university set a record selling its president’s stately home.

The half-finished mansion belonged to none other than NBA star Kevin Garnett, who never got around to completing the 11,000-square-foot showplace that occupied his scenic spread in Malibu. That didn’t stop him from selling the place for $16 million, though.

And the record-setting mansion belonged to the University of Southern California, which used the famed Seeley Mudd Estate to house its presidents for the last 40 years. The pandemic forced the school to make some cutbacks, and the 14,000-square-foot home had to go. The good news is that USC got its money’s worth, selling it for $25 million and setting a San Marino price record in the process.

Two other estates made headlines over the last few days. On the resort peninsula of Coronado, a 134-year-old Victorian that resembles the iconic Hotel del Coronado a few blocks away hit the market for $24 million. And in the Arizona desert, action star Steven Seagal hauled in $3.55 million for his ultra-private compound in a guard-gated community complete with bulletproof windows and lifelike statues.

As L.A.’s commercial sector continues its post-pandemic thaw, many eyes are on one of the city’s most recognizable neighborhoods: Hollywood. The area saw a few casualties over the last year, including the Paley restaurant and ArcLight Hollywood, but it’s aiming for a comeback as foot traffic slowly returns.

While catching up on the latest, visit and like our Facebook page, where you can find real estate stories and updates throughout the week.

Athlete passes a half-built home

An aerial photo of a large white home with a pool in a big lawn.

The coastal estate combines three parcels across seven acres, centering on an 11,000-square-foot home.

(Hilton & Hyland)

Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett scored $16 million in Malibu, selling a half-finished mansion that he’d been shopping around for the last three years.

That’s $3.9 million shy of the price he was asking but still a sizable improvement over the $6.4 million he paid for the property in 2003.

When Garnett bought the coastal spread, it held a six-bedroom villa. Now, it holds an 11,000-square-foot showplace that’s still under construction. The structure itself is there, but Garnett left the interiors unfinished to allow the buyers to complete it with their own personal style.

USC presidential mansion makes history

A photo of a large two story house surrounded by grass and trees.

The seven-acre grounds center on a 14,000-square-foot American Colonial-style mansion surrounded by sprawling lawns and English rose gardens.

(Compass)

The USC presidential mansion, which housed the university’s presidents for more than 40 years, traded hands for $25 million. That’s $500,000 more than the asking price, making it the priciest home sale in San Marino history.

When the residence surfaced for sale earlier this year at $24.5 million, it was the first time it had ever hit the market. Records show it went under contract less than a month after listing.

The piece of Trojan history is also a piece of American history. Named the Seeley Mudd Estate after the man who commissioned it, the compound sits on seven acres of land donated by U.S. Army Gen. George Patton and railroad mogul Henry Huntington, who established San Marino’s Huntington Library a few miles away.

It served as the home of USC presidents since 1979, and the grassy lawns and rose gardens surrounding the 14,000-square-foot mansion were the setting for many of the school’s dinners, galas and holiday parties.

A Victorian built in 1887

A photo of a large Victorian home with gardens and two palm trees

Built in 1887, the Queen Anne Victorian is navigated by an architectural staircase that spirals through four levels of living spaces.

(Brenda Sienkiewich / Model Image Media)

One of San Diego County’s finest examples of Victorian architecture is up for grabs on the resort peninsula of Coronado, where the 134-year-old Baby Del hit the market for $24 million.

The 19th century residence is built in the same style as, and sits a few blocks away from, the famous Hotel del Coronado, a historic beach resort that claims the title of the second-largest wooden structure in the country.

The Queen Anne Victorian was built by Harriett Livingston in 1887, a year before the Hotel del Coronado was erected. It was located in San Diego’s Sherman Heights neighborhood until 1983, when architect Christopher Mortenson scooped it up and moved it by truck and barge to its current spot near the beach in Coronado.

One of the largest private properties on the peninsula, it has been declared a historic landmark in San Diego and enjoys property tax reductions through the Mills Act.

Martial artist sells his dojo

A photo of a two story mansion in a desert landscape

The 12-acre estate centers on a 9,000-square-foot home made of stone, copper and glass.

(Stephen Garner)

Steven Seagal accomplished his mission in the Arizona desert, selling a 12-acre bulletproof compound outside Scottsdale for $3.55 million. That’s $150,000 more than he was asking.

The martial artist-turned-action star — whose credits include films such as “Above the Law,” “Hard to Kill,” “Driven to Kill” and “Today You Die” — owned the home for about a decade. Records show he shelled out $3.5 million for the property in 2010 and put it back on the market two years later, dangling it for sale every few years before finally finding a buyer.

Built into a hillside, the modern home is secured in the guard-gated community of Carefree Ranch Homesteads. For extra protection, the floor-to-ceiling windows are bulletproof with a clear vantage point of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

Hollywood prepares a comeback

A photo of a man taking a picture of a woman posing with a street performer with people walking behind

Alex Cannon, left, from Houston, photographs friend Emilee Williams, from Victoria, Texas, posing with a street performer dressed up as Freddy Krueger on Hollywood Boulevard.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Hours before “Hamilton” was set to open at the Pantages Theatre last year, performances of the Broadway hit were canceled as edicts to prevent the spread of a highly contagious new coronavirus set off a cascade of woes for the Hollywood neighborhood, writes Roger Vincent.

More than a year later, boom, bust and hope for another boom tell the story of Hollywood today as the neighborhood labors to spring back from the pandemic and its economic fallout.

High-profile COVID-era casualties include upmarket Paley restaurant in Columbia Square on Sunset Boulevard and ArcLight Hollywood, the cinema complex that included the landmark Cinerama Dome theater.

Many others have hung on. “Somewhat miraculously, a lot of the mom-and-pop shops survived,” said Kris Larson, president of the Hollywood Partnership business improvement district.

What we’re reading

Wondering where all the houses went? Baby boomers have a lot of them, and they’re not letting go. The New York Times reports that aging boomers, wary of nursing homes, are holding on to their homes far longer than the generation that preceded them, causing inventory shortages and price increases across the country.

The Hearst Castle is still closed to the public, but if you’re dying to get inside, Airbnb is offering virtual tours of the iconic estate. For $20, a California State Park guide will lead you through a 75-minute stroll of the grounds, according to CBS Los Angeles.