The Daily Rundown

SMB News Daily Rundown: Update for October 22

Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.

Man fills in Unemployment benefits application form.

Small Business News Highlights for October 22: 

  • Unemployment hits lowest number since March
  • Unemployed look for new careers as pandemic drags on
  • HR functions increasingly becoming automated

Lowest jobless claims number since mid-March

“We’re happy to see continuing claims fall, but the decline — even allowing for the PEUC/extended benefits effect — does not map one-to-one onto rising payrolls.”

The number of new unemployment claims totaled 787,000 after seasonal adjustments last week, reflecting one of the lowest number of new filers for jobless benefits since March. The number of continuing claims dropped by more than a million.

Unemployed seek new careers

“My industry is not going to be the same. I can’t sit here making $25 a shift.”

For some unemployed workers, the writing is on the wall: It’s time to look for another job in a different industry.

As the pandemic continues, workers from the hospitality, retail, and travel sectors have come to terms with the fact that their industry may never be the same and have decided to look for work in new fields.

Bartenders, waitstaff, and retail associates are retraining to find jobs in industries that have thrived during the pandemic: technology, healthcare, real estate, banking, warehousing, and delivery.

The number of applications to business schools has also skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic.

HR automation

“The beauty of it is that it’s impersonal, everyone accepts the judgment of the computer, there’s no tendency to argue.”

A recent global study of 12,000 staffers found that 88% of people want artificial intelligence solutions. And many of these tools are related to HR functions.

Already, many big companies are using tech to help support employee mental health, run classes, and make complicated decisions usually left up to HR professionals. This reflects the growing trend toward automation for many functions of HR and other departments.

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