June 22, 2018

The Roundup: Unemployment is down, but not for people with disabilities. And, what execs worry about

In this week's Roundup, unemployment is down, but people with disabilities are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as compared to the general population. Plus, industry leaders on what keeps them up at night.

Danielle Ng-See-Quan

Dani is the Managing Editor, Content Marketing at Ceridian.

Unemployment is way down

CNBC reports that the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week.

“Though unemployment benefits claims are not a perfect measure of layoffs, they highlight the strength of the labor market and suggest the unemployment rate has nowhere to go but lower,” economist
Maria Cosma said in CNBC’s story.

Unemployment in the U.S. is at an 18-year low, with the jobless rate currently sitting at 3.8%.

According to CBS News, the Labor Department’s May 2018 jobs report (released June 1) showed that wages grew 2.7% year over year, with other evidence showing that workers are getting hired faster.

CBS highlighted how employers need to rethink how they are responding to the changing labor market, quoting Peter Harrison, CEO of job-search site Snag, who said, “The speed with which employers need to respond has changed a lot in the past year or year and a half In the past, employers would probably dip into their applicant pool once a week. Now they find that if they don’t get back to workers within 24 to 48 hours, those workers have moved on.”

However, that’s not the case for people with disabilities

Unemployment may be down, but people with disabilities are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as compared to the general population, according to FastCompany, reporting on new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2017, the unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 9.2%, compared to 4.2% for the general population.

As FastCompany points out, the numbers indicate that people with disabilities who want to work are taking it upon themselves to make it possible. The BLS report states, “Persons with a disability were also more likely to be self-employed than those with no disability (10.6% versus 6%).”

These numbers point to a need for employers to continue to re-evaluate and shift thinking around “hiring non-traditional employees,” as FastCompany notes, which could be “the new route to finding talent, especially as the pool of available employees gets more shallow.”

What keeps industry leaders up at night?

LinkedIn asked leaders across the entertainment, finance, and technology industries what keeps them up at night. Leaders including Ellevest’s Sallie Krawcheck, Headspace’s Andy Puddicombe, and GE’s Chief Innovation Officer Sue Siegel were amongst those who answered the question.

While these leaders work in very different industries, their answers were similar – and focused on the future. Some execs talked about the pace of change, including the implications of technology, such as artificial intelligence.

Execs also said that they were concerned about ensuring their children, and students worldwide, are equipped to handle the challenges facing humanity, and ensuring an inclusive and safe world.

 “I think the biggest challenge we have in our country today is an inability for folks to listen to another’s opinion,” said Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan. “We don’t always have to agree, but to be successful, we have to work together.”

Watch the full video below:

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