Today’s News and Commentary — May 3, 2018
The New York Times reported on a 2013 trip to Costa Rica by the Washington NFL team, where cheerleaders were forced into uncomfortable sexual situations with male sponsors. According to the report, the team invited sponsors to attend a photo shoot where the women would be topless. Later, the women were expected to act as escorts for the sponsors, though no sex was exchanged. Cheerleaders interviewed for the story say they felt the team prioritized the sexual desires of rich sponsors over their safety. The story comes on the heels of similar allegations of sexual impropriety by NFL teams. Cheerleaders in the NFL are not represented by a union.
Amazon told the City of Seattle that it may nix a planned expansion in protest of a proposed city tax to fund affordable housing and fight homelessness. The tax would charge large employers in the city $500 per employee to fund the construction 1800 affordable housing units and services for the homeless. Seattle has the third-largest homeless population in the United States after New York and Los Angeles, and like many large coastal cities is facing a serious housing shortage. Amazon’s response to the tax’s consideration puts 7000 jobs in jeopardy.
The Wall Street Journal published an analysis yesterday suggesting that wage inflation may encourage the Federal Reserve to more aggressively increase interest rates in 2018. The Labor Department announced last week that wages and salaries rose 2.7% in the first quarter from a year earlier, driven largely by a labor shortage. Firms added 204,000 new jobs in April, according to an ADP survey released this week.
An Upshot report published today showed a sharp decline in the proportion of teenage workers in fast-food restaurants. The decline reflects lower teenage labor force participation rates as well as growth in the number of “limited service” restaurant jobs. The article details how lack of access to teenage labor has contributed to labor shortages, pushing up wages and consumer costs.