Today’s News & Commentary — July 13, 2016

Published July 13th, 2016 -  - 07.13.16


The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS report), showing that the number of available job openings in May dropped to a five-month low of 5.5 million. The report specifically tracks job openings, hires, and separations. Manufacturing openings dropped more than 11%, while vacancies in financial activities were down nearly 21%. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector lost nearly 11% of its openings. One bright spot, however, is that the number of layoffs and discharges in May fell to a 10-month low of 1.67 million. According to U.S. News and World Report, while there’s no guarantee May isn’t simply an aberration in the government’s data, slowing openings, hires, and quits all in the same month likely suggests neither employers nor workers are comfortable with the state of the domestic economy.

Yesterday, David Cameron hosted his last Cabinet meeting before leaving 10 Downing Street. Today, he will travel to Buckingham Palace and formally hand Queen Elizabeth his resignation, and at sundown, Theresa May, the home secretary, will take over as Prime Minister. According to TIME, May paid tribute to Cameron during Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, noting that he had “led the country through a difficult time” and “always put the country first”.

An NLRB administrative judge ruled that AT&T acted legally when it prohibited union employees from wearing pins reading “WTF AT&T”. As reported in POLITICO, while the board had, in a separate decision, ruled the pins were acceptable, Judge Muhl focused on the union’s consistent failure to accept management’s offers to bargain over the pins, thus forfeiting its right to bring an unfair labor practice charge.

Lining up with Tuesday night’s All Star Game, the The New York Times covered MLB’s collective bargaining agreement which expires after this season. While no one expects a strike (no pun intended) or a lockout during negotiations, both parties are considering changes such as more transparency for international drafts, tweaking the free agency system, expanding rosters, and shorter schedules.

Starbucks announced all store employees and managers in the U.S. will receive a raise starting in October as part of a series of workplace changes. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that the wage increase combined with the new stock award policy means compensation will increase between 5% and 15%. The changes come amid a nation-wide fight for a $15-an-hour minimum wage for retail and restaurant workers.  Schultz also outlined coming changes to the company’s dress code, benefits, and scheduling practices. However, just a day after Starbucks unveiled this plan to raise wages in the U.S., prices on select sizes of Starbucks brewed coffee, espresso and tea latte drinks went up by 10 to 30 cents. The company expects the increases to raise the average customer ticket by about 1%.

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