Today’s News & Commentary — July 4, 2017

Published July 4th, 2017 -  - 07.04.1715


“We have… formed the preliminary view that all employees should have access to unpaid family and domestic violence leave.”  This declaration from the Australian Fair Work Commission acknowledges that medical, legal, housing, childcare, and financial needs might arise or change in the wake of violence.  Although the announcement comes as part of the Fair Work Commission’s rejection of a bolder proposal, unions hail the announcement as a world-first.

Young men’s working hours dropped more sharply than older men’s between 2000 and 2015, and young men spent a huge portion of their new leisure time playing video games.  Modeling demand for leisure, the National Bureau of Economic Research comes to a surprising conclusion:  video games are not just a time-filler for the un- and under-employed;  video games are actively enticing young American men away from work.  The New York Times recaps the working paper.

Starting with the class of 2020, students in Chicago public schools will have to prove that they have a job, college acceptance, apprenticeship, commitment to the military, or other plan in order to graduate from high school.  Critics of this new requirement point to Chicago’s tight labor market.  They also highlight that the mandate comes with no monetary support—Mayor Emanuel calls for philanthropic and business funding—and might position for-profit colleges to benefit at students’ expense.

JD Supra surveys conflicting data about the impact of increased minimum wage on earnings, and then conjectures that minimum wage hikes are pushing restaurants towards mechanization.  Shake Shack offers some support for this assertion:  the burger joint’s new CFO seems focused on technology as a way of addressing rising labor costs, among other challenges.

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