Weekend News & Commentary — July 9-10, 2016
Job growth is slowing. Although recent numbers have been strong — 287,000 new jobs were added in June, exceeding expectations — job growth in 2016 has been lower than in previous years. But economists, including U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, believe that this is good news. In an interview with The Atlantic, Perez noted that job growth tends to slow the economy approaches full employment. He added that certain policy measures — such as mandating paid leave and raising the minimum wage — could help boost growth even more.
Many tech start-ups rely on the gig economy — which allows fast and flexible staffing at cheaper cost — to keep their businesses running. But some start-ups have gone another route. The New York Times reports on the recent success of Redfin, an online real estate start-up that eschews the gig economy model, hiring full-time employees instead of independent contractors.
The big headline in this week’s sports news was Kevin Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, making the strongest shooting team in the league even stronger. The New Yorker suggests that Durant’s move (and that of other superstar players) could be an unintended consequence of the N.B.A.’s collective-bargaining agreement with its players, which establishes relatively low salary caps and “diminishes the importance of money in the best players’ free-agency decisions” — sending talented players to already-talented teams, instead of leveling the playing field.
And lastly, in workplace innovations, Amazon has decided to help its employees relieve stress by giving them greenhouses in the office.