SMB News Weekly Rundown

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

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Small Business News Highlights:

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Weekly new jobless claims stay at pandemic-era low

“Initial claims for unemployment insurance were little changed over the past week, hovering around pandemic-era lows as the jobs market shows further signs of healing.

New unemployment claims clocked in at 353,000 last week, just a bit higher than the previous week’s 349,000 claims.

A revised estimate showed the GDP growing at 6.6%, indicating that the economy continues to grow despite the concerns raised by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Older workers create unexpected retirement surge

“I wish I could say that I could embrace retirement, but it scares me — not being a part of something.”

Nearly 2 million more people retired than expected during the pandemic. And data indicates that this number is due in large part to older workers leaving the workforce.

Prior to vaccines becoming available, older workers cited their increased susceptibility to severe disease as a significant factor in their decision.

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Delta variant could drive extension to unemployment benefits

“If Florida has to shut down — let’s say the numbers continue to climb in the next week or two, and it gets to the point where people are just afraid to go outside their front door, then there’s gonna have to be a safety net there for the families that can’t go to work because their industry shut down.” 

Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has indicated that the Delta variant and spiking infection rates in certain parts of the country might force states that ended enhanced jobless benefits to reconsider.

According to Secretary Walsh and Treasury Secretary Yellen, states can use funds in pandemic relief funds to provide additional support to unemployed workers.

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New stores opening at rapid pace despite labor shortages

“We did see enough of life coming back to normal (summer 2020) that gave us the sense that people are pretty set in their habits, people are going to go back to shopping malls.”

In June of this year, 632,000 workers quit retail jobs. Yet this drop in the labor force hasn’t stopped retailers from opening new locations. As many old companies go out of business, new retailers are taking over and opening up shop.

In addition to a shortage of workers, retailers are facing increasing pressure to raise wages.

Job posts requiring COVID-19 vaccinations jumped significantly

“Employers in several industries have already obliged; Tyson Foods, Walmart and Microsoft are among those that have instituted vaccination requirements for certain workers returning to in-person work.”

New data from Indeed indicates that employers are increasingly choosing to take a hardline approach when it comes to vaccination status.

According to the company’s data, new job postings requiring COVID-19 vaccination increased by 90% from July to the first week of August.

The Latest from Workest

Does your office celebrate Women’s Equality Day? If not, here are some tips from Andrea Curry on how to recognize this important day.

Employee turnover costs companies a lot of wasted time and money. If you have employees who might be eyeing the door, Grace Ferguson has some insights on How to Reduce Employee Intention to Quit.

Finally, before we say goodbye for the week, here are 3 things you should know:

  1. Delta Airlines has announced that it will raise health insurance premiums by $200 for unvaccinated employees.
  2. After months of continually changing policies, HR workers are experiencing skyrocketing levels of burnout.
  3. Remote work can be a big barrier to creating a cohesive office culture. Learn how 3 small businesses are creating culture despite the distance.
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