Welcome to the Small Business Rundown. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Small Business News Highlights for September 16:
- Biden backs raising minimum wage, Hobby Lobby takes action
- CEOs voice concern over slipping productivity of WFH employees
- WFH trend leaves blue-collar workers behind, exacerbates disparities
Biden backs raising minimum wage
“We have always worked hard to be a retail leader when it comes to taking care of our people.”
The minimum wage is in the headlines again as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reaffirms his support for raising the minimum wage, Hobby Lobby announces it will pay its employees $17 per hour and the citizens of Florida prepare to vote on the issue.
Earlier this month, Biden tweeted that he would back a federal mandate to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and to do away with the tipped minimum wage entirely.
Hobby Lobby announced its intention to pay all employees a starting wage of $17 per hour beginning on October 1. Earlier this year, Target raised its starting wage to $15 an hour.
CEOs voice concern over WFH employees
“…the WFH lifestyle seems to have impacted younger employees…”
As some companies move to make WFH a permanent part of their workforce, others are not so sure. The CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon recently indicated that his company had seen a slowdown in productivity related to their remote workforce while Netflix’s CEO went on record saying there is nothing positive from employees working at home.
Despite these concerns from the C level, many American workers are still reluctant to return to the office, with 42% reporting that they view working from home as preferable and two-thirds of workers believe they are more productive when working from home.
WFH trend leaves blue-collar workers behind, exacerbates disparities
“As a result, we are likely to see an even more bifurcated economy after the pandemic, in which a disproportionate number of wealthier White people work from home while disproportionate numbers of poorer people of color work on-site.”
Unfortunately, the debate about working from home too often fails to take into account the ways that the trend is impacting blue collar workers and further exacerbating income and other disparities for minority workers.
Officials estimate that at least 20% of workers will work at least 2 days per week from home even after the public health threat clears. People who work in blue-collar jobs such as construction, manufacturing, nursing, retail and food services, however, will still be forced to work on site. Additionally, a study from the University of Chicago found that people who had jobs that can’t be done from home had lower income and wealth and were more likely to be non-White than those who had jobs that could more easily be done remotely.