The Troubling Persistence of Youth Unemployment

I had been away from the keyboard for a while, and thought, what better time to get back to it than Labor Day weekend. So, all motivated and ready to go, I opened Twitter and saw this Tweet.

And, there went my Labor Day weekend. Keep reading …

Get back to work!

There was a bit of seemingly good news on the labor front today: unemployment claims were lower than expected. As described at, “Fewer Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, a sign labor market momentum continues to strengthen.” After the scorched earth of post-2008 employment, this is a pretty good lead, right? It looks like a lot more of us are getting back to work … or at least not being asked not to come back to work.

There is no question that the pace of firings and layoffs has declined, and that more people are finding jobs. And those are unquestionably good things. Still, there is some unease out there. Hirings have increased but wage growth has not yet followed on, Keep reading …

Mach the Knife

"Watch your back." Not something you want to hear about a co-worker, but we've all been there. The co-worker who will smile to your face, but stick an "organizational knife" in your back as soon as it's convenient. As it turns out, these types of organizational backstabbers don't just ruin a good day at work, they can cause some very serious side effects to the objectives of the whole organization.

Many of these individuals are exhibiting a behavior trait known as Machiavellianism. Patterned after Machiavelli's classic treatise on politics and power, The Prince, Machiavellianism is a personality trait evidenced by a willingness to use whatever means necessary to accomplish one's objectives. It is the classic "end justifies the means" argument in the realm of personal power. When this plays out in organizational settings, we see individuals using guile and deceit in order to manipulate co-workers to advance one's own career. The "organizational knife" in the back. Keep reading …

"America has added over a million new jobs so far in 2015"

CATS Fireworks 2 Web cropped
What a great headline from CNN's summary of the May jobs report. A million new jobs so far, and American Pharaoh still hasn't finished winning the Triple Crown.

Let's face it, it’s hard not to get excited about a headline like that … 1 million new jobs in less than half a year. And, indeed, the May jobs report was chock full of good news: Keep reading …

The American Worker Goes 0 for 3 Today

I was reading through my Twitter feed today and noticed three alarming tweets, all of which painted the U. S. as far behind comparable nations in three key areas: cost of health care relative to service, access to public wi-fi, and work-life balance. Three key areas in a worker's life … three swings and misses. Let's take a look at each. Keep reading …

Insidious Robots

OK, I admit it. I never saw this coming. I used to think that the ultimate battle against the intrusion of robotics would be kind of like a Texas Death Match, man against robot. You know, kind of like this:

But I was wrong. The robots, it seems, have fooled us all. Rather than bait us into battle or some Luddite-like burning of robots, it seems the little buggers snuck in when we weren't looking and just kind of took over. Keep reading …

The robots are coming ... faster than we thought!

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In our earlier blog, we jokingly invoked the Paul Revere line about “the robots are coming.” Maybe we shouldn’t have joked about it. Under a startling headline, “Robots could take half of German jobs,” the USA Today has offered a startling image of what the workplace could look like in one of the leading economies of the world. And, the article suggests the effect could be the same in the U.S. Keep reading …

Be afraid of your office Christmas party ... be very afraid!

Image: Getty Images

It looks like you should just stay away from the office party this holiday season. It seems like they’re really not that good after all - just a fetid swamp of power dynamics, alcohol, unwanted sexual advances, alcohol, racial segregation, and more alcohol. At least, that’s what seems to be the roundup from a recent article at

The annual Christmas party should be a great combination when you think of it. Your company is actually trying to do some good here; they throw down some cash for free food and drink, you get to mingle with some of your co-workers, everyone’s in the holiday spirit … I mean, what could go wrong in a setting like this? Keep reading …

Cheaper Gas ... Fewer Jobs?

Fracking in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale Basin: Getty Images

I have to admit, it feels great to fill up the gas tank these days and not have to take out a loan to pay the gas station. Gas prices have collapsed in the past year, accelerating to a current national average of $2.73 per gallon.

What’s a person to do with all the money they are saving at the pump? Well, pump it back into the economy by buying more Christmas presents, of course. That’s what many retail analysts have been expecting. But it hasn’t played out that way yet. Sales in the retail sector have been disappointing at best, and cause for despair at worst. It makes one wonder why much of the savings hasn’t been recycled into retail purchases. Keep reading …

The robots are coming ... the robots are coming!


Well, maybe it’s not the clarion call of Paul Revere … no one if by land, two if by sea melodrama. But, the invasion of robotics in the workplace might be just as important a revolution, at least with respect to future jobs and career choices. Will the “robots lower the number of jobs we have on the planet?”
Keep reading …