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Employers wary of "immunity" tests for workers

U.S. employers have cooled to the idea of testing workers for possible immunity to the coronavirus as they prepare to reopen factories and other workplaces......»»

Category: videoSource: reutersMay 15th, 2020

U.S. employers wary of coronavirus "immunity" tests as they move to reopen

U.S. employers have cooled to the idea of testing workers for possible immunity to the coronavirus as they prepare to reopen factories and other workplaces......»»

Category: topSource: reutersMay 15th, 2020

Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs

"Workers are burned out. They're fed up. They're fried." If April 2020 was the month of pink slips—as the rapid spread of COVID-19 resulted in the loss of 20.5 million jobs—then Fall 2021 is the dawn of their revenge. A record-breaking 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs in August across an array of industries, according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s the highest level since the agency started tracking such data in 2000, and the sixth consecutive month of sky-high quitting rates. Meanwhile, the 7.7 million people who remain unemployed aren’t, for the most part, jumping at the roughly 10.4 million job openings—leaving business after business with ‘Help Wanted’ placards in their windows. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Those stats may seem puzzling. After months of economic- and pandemic-fueled uncertainty, things are finally looking up: schools are reopening, the vaccine is widely available, businesses are expanding, and the economy is broadly resurgent. But, labor experts say, that rosy picture doesn’t take into account the national mood. Americans, they say, are simply burned out—and emboldened by the current labor market. “[Employees] don’t want to return to backbreaking or boring, low wage, sh-t jobs,” Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, tells TIME. “Workers are burned out. They’re fed up. They’re fried. In the wake of so much hardship, and illness and death during the past year, they’re not going to take it anymore.” Read more: How COVID-19 is Decimating the Daycare Industry Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says that the conditions are good for workers to exert pressure on their employers. “For at least two generations, workers have been on their back heels,” he explains. “We are now seeing a labor market that is tight and prospects are becoming increasingly clear that it’s going to remain tight. It’s now going to be a workers’ market, and they’re empowered. I think they are starting to flex their collective muscle.” More from TIME There’s no single factor driving workforce behavior, economists add. It’s more of a grab bag of diffuse burdens. Wages aren’t keeping up with surging prices. Low-wage jobs often lack opportunities for career growth. A crumbling childcare industry is driving up daycare costs, making work unaffordable. Those who have remained in jobs face increasing responsibility and grueling work conditions punctuated by fears of the next variant of COVID-19. And then there’s just plain old vanilla pandemic fatigue. Data from big employers across the country suggest that vaccine mandates aren’t playing much of a role. Roughly 99% of Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System’s 33,000 employees complied with its vaccine mandate, according to the local NBC affiliate. In Washington State, University of Washington hospitals reported 97% of staff were vaccinated by the end of September, according to local NPR station KUOW. More than 90% of Tyson Foods’ 120,000-person workforce were vaccinated in the same time frame. Read More: U.S. Workers Are Realizing It’s the Perfect Time to Go on Strike Tuesday’s numbers also offer further proof that expanded unemployment insurance was not a significant factor in keeping people out of work—since more people are quitting their jobs now than they did before the expanded benefit ended in September. “I’m sure that some economist, some day, digging through some data will be able to prove that there was some effect on the margin of the supplemental UI. But it’s really on the margins,” argues Zandi. “On the top 10 list of reasons why people have been slow to get back to work, that might be number 10.” The ‘Great Resignation’ Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M who coined the term the “Great Resignation” to describe this budding labor market says the trends may have a silver lining. They may force companies not only to raise wages and increase benefits, but also to offer more flexibility to attract and retain an in-person workforce. “There’s all this talk about people wanting more flexibility post-pandemic,” says Klotz. “There’s an opportunity here for organizations to get together with workers who have to be in person and say, ‘Within the constraints of our business, let’s obviously raise wages and benefits, but let’s also think about flexibility more innovatively.’” That’s especially the case for people working in the food service and retail industries. In August, some 892,000 workers quit accommodation and food services jobs and 721,000 quit retail positions, according to BLS data. The healthcare sector also took a hit: 534,000 U.S. workers resigned or quit from health care and social assistance positions. Read more: Women’s COVID-Fueled Exodus From the Workforce Hurts Us All In both June and July, the rate of voluntary quits was 2.7% of the U.S. workforce. In August, the turnover rate was 2.9%. Those numbers mark unprecedented churn: the 4.3 million people who quit in August 2021 was roughly 20% higher than the number of resignations in August 2019, and more than 40% higher than the number who quit in August 2020. A workers’ market When a current employer is unable or unwilling to make a job more attractive, numbers on job openings suggest that burned out workers in many sectors can easily find new ones. “Workers have more bargaining power than they have had in the immediate past or the recent past. If you look at the ratio of unemployed workers, job openings, or just even just the quit rate itself, that does suggest that there’s more power for workers in the form of exiting,” says Nick Bunker, economic research director for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab. “If they don’t like the situation they’re in now, they can leave.” That’s what 35-year-old Amy Minas of Illinois did. Frustrated by limited senior staff and insufficient training at her medical lab assistant job, she felt overwhelmed and overworked at the hospital she started working at in May 2019. Things got even worse when the pandemic hit. “It was very difficult to know you were doing such an important job with basically no training and not feeling your employer appreciated your concerns,” Minas says. “With COVID, it just made it that much worse, because of staffing issues and having to do all these COVID tests.” Like many other Americans, Minas has completely switched professions, now providing science tutoring at a local community college. Read More: Pandemic Fuels Union Interest Among Frontline Workers Recent months have seen a rise in labor activity, including October strikes facilitated by school bus drivers in Maryland and janitors at a Denver airport, and threats of strikes among film and television producers and John Deere employees. Reich says the current BLS numbers already point at a nationwide walk-out. Workers, after all, don’t have to picket to flex their power in today’s job market. “People are quitting and they’re not taking jobs,” he says. “That’s tantamount to a strike. American workers have, in effect, called a general strike.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 13th, 2021

How the Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Can Work Together

While the transitions to WFH may have appeared to have been smooth-ish (in hindsight), coming back to work will be all the more anxiety-driving. One apparent challenge is how to get vaccinated and unvaccinated people to work together. While vaccinations are a personal choice, in trying to implement policies, you don’t want to offend anyone, […] While the transitions to WFH may have appeared to have been smooth-ish (in hindsight), coming back to work will be all the more anxiety-driving. One apparent challenge is how to get vaccinated and unvaccinated people to work together. While vaccinations are a personal choice, in trying to implement policies, you don’t want to offend anyone, jeopardize anyone, or get sued in the process. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more As an employer, you now find yourself in new and volatile territory. In fact, while you did nothing to ‘find yourself’ in this position, you have a very active role – to chart this territory for your organization, clear a path in the ever-changing terrain, and guide your employees along with as few casualties as possible. How then can you navigate this task? I’ve been studying medical decision-making, publishing academic papers about it, and consulting within the industry for nearly two decades now. Health and medical choices raise ethical issues for everyone. My guiding principle—based on my education and the knowledge that I bring in psychology and behavioural economics—is to make sure that information is conveyed clearly so that people can understand it. As an employer, I suggest you solve the foggy ethical issues by using safety as your guiding principle. This, followed by principles that consider the complexity of the matter, will empower you to maximize health and minimize grudges. The ABCDEF model I developed suggests that you: Acknowledge beliefs and concerns. Be transparent about your policy. Cite the law. Do not get into medical arguments. Enforce. Form alternatives, where possible. But safety first. The only way an employer can tread there safely is by making employee safety their North Star. Actual safety, in the physical sense, is, therefore, the first item on my list. Ironically, the Safety First movement was formed in the early 20th century to protect employees from hazardous working conditions. Now the hazard to employees comes from their own choices, which they are free to make, as long as safety isn’t compromised. This goes for vaccinations, as well as for masking and other protective measures. Though people are free to make decisions, their choices affect others, and the consequences can be harmful. The only person that is safer when you get vaccinated is yourself. Yes, you supposedly decrease viral load with vaccines which then decreases the number of people you infect if you get it, but the best way to really decrease infecting others is to not be in super spreader situations with them. Or to take the proper precautions if you must be in those situations. With that in mind, you should make your workplace into a non-super-spreader event (open windows, good air filtration, meetings outdoors, etc.). That’s actually practicing safety first. However, such precautions are not always possible. Good luck having an outdoor meeting, or keeping the windows open, when it’s 12 degrees. Good luck being an unvaccinated nurse who needs to measure blood pressure while maintaining social distance from the patient. This is why, as an employer, vaccinations are your best, most consistent line of protection. Some employers, like the City of New York, are now enforcing vaccination mandates, such as for school workers. But not every employer can or wants to take such steps. How then can you keep everyone safe and everyone’s emotions (more or less) intact? Acknowledge Beliefs And Concerns Employees’ emotions cannot be wrong, even if their fears are unfounded. It’s a fine line, and you’d better not cross it. People need to be heard, so hear them out, merely reflecting back their words, a technique taken from Imago Relationship Therapy. Acknowledging helps maintain the employer-employee relationship that can definitely be trying when at this point, as employers navigate legal demands, safety concerns, keeping the business going, and employee preferences. This is what acknowledging sounds like: “I hear you. You believe that you eat organic food and work out, and you think this will protect you from COVID, so you do not need to vaccinate.” Mind you, acknowledging does not mean agreeing. Be Transparent About Your Policy Trust is the foundation of all relationships, including our relationships with institutions and governments and lack of transparency. When there isn’t reasoning behind decisions, trust is eroded. Create a policy that is founded on the law, and make it known to all, with no exceptions. If the COVID terrain changes and the policy needs to change, then, by all means, change it, but again, make it crystal clear what the changes are based on. Cite The Law You are not arm wrestling with your employees when you ask that they vaccinate or that if they choose not to vaccinate, they maintain social distancing,  mask up at all times, and provide negative proof of testing once a week. You’re merely following the law. Companies have a legal right to require employees to get vaccinated unless they have a conflicting disability or religious belief. That is one strong argument. In fact, if you neglect to follow the law, you might expect backlash from employees. There have been lawsuits against employers for being COVID-negligent, especially when employees got sick. Do Not Go Into Medical Arguments Chances are you are ill-equipped to deal with arguments like, “I have endometriosis, and the vaccine will hurt my fertility even further,” or, “My entire family was sick; my father died from COVID, and I was near him the whole time. So, for sure, I have antibodies or some natural immunity and do not need the vaccine.” These are conversations that you do not want to have or even need to have. Because there is no winning here. As I suggested above, you can acknowledge concerns by reflecting them back, even if you find no medical evidence that they are valid. And in any event, it is not your role to determine the validity of medical claims or to change employees’ views with data. Enforce Rules are worthless unless followed. Remember, COVID vaccination and other rules are meant to protect employees and to allow them to work together. Once you cut corners, such as allowing your most essential employee to show up unvaccinated and unmasked, you compromise safety and throw transparency out the window. That said, enforcement needs to be done both firmly and politely. The employer can say, “Our policy, based on the law, is for unvaccinated employees to bring negative COVID testing. You failed to do so, and I ask you to leave the premises right now.” Insults are unacceptable in any context (such as “are you so stupid that you don’t want to vaccinate against a disease that killed over 700,000 Americans?!). But so is neglecting to follow up on the company COVID policy you’ve outlined. Form Alternatives For example, is it possible for employees to work from home? This would remove the friction between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. If so, offer this possibility to both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, so you’re not discriminating against anyone. Act within reason, all the while remembering that this is a workplace, so it’s problematic if people cannot do their jobs. For example, if a nurse won’t adhere to the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, she cannot phone in an ER shift. Indeed, the State of New York has mandated vaccinations for healthcare workers because safe alternatives could not be found. But it did so with legal backup and allowed time for employees to meet the requirement. Conclusion These steps should allow you to keep everyone’s emotions intact: both yours and your employees’ - vaccinated and unvaccinated. And, above all, to keep everyone healthy. Keep everyone productive because when teams are also comprised of friends, they perform better. And most importantly – follow this model to keep everyone safe. About the Author Dr. Talya Miron-Shatz is a keynote speaker, consultant, and researcher at the intersection of medicine and behavioral economics. She is the author of the new book, Your Life Depends on It: What You Can Do to Make Better Choices About Your Health. She is full professor at the business school of the Ono Academic College in Israel, senior fellow at the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest in New York, and a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge. Miron-Shatz was a post-doctoral researcher at Princeton University, and a lecturer at Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of over 60 academic papers on medical decision-making. She is CEO of CureMyWay, an international health consulting firm whose clients include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Samsung. Updated on Oct 12, 2021, 5:06 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkOct 12th, 2021

15 questions to ask about perks and benefits before accepting a job offer

Besides the basics like health insurance, ask your potential new employer if they offer mentorship programs or tuition reimbursement. Job seekers should always understand perks and benefits before accepting a job. Getty Images When you're interviewing for a new job, be sure to learn what perks and benefits the company offers. Ask about healthcare coverage, dental and vision insurance, and remote work flexibility. Some employers offer on-the-job training, while others even offer tuition reimbursement for continuing education. See more stories on Insider's business page. Once you've found a job and company that you're really excited about, salary might top your list of priorities. But while salary is important, it's only part of the overall offer. To get the full scope of what you'll really earn at a job, you need to factor in the perks and benefits that a company offers, too."Look at it as more of a package than just a job with a paycheck," said Leslie Slay, senior vice president of employee benefits services at Woodruff Sawyer, an insurance brokerage and consulting firm.Compensation traditionally includes non-salary benefits like health insurance and retirement plans. And many companies also offer perks - including flexible schedules, educational opportunities, and wellness programs - to support employees in other ways. "More and more, perks and benefits are becoming integrated together" to support employees in a more holistic way, said Bobbi Kloss, director of human capital management services at Benefit Advisors Network.On average, a benefits package makes up about 30% of an employee's total compensation in the US. So it's definitely worth paying attention to the perks and benefits a company offers as you're looking for a job in addition to the salary.Employee benefits and perks can be confusing, though. In fact, about a third of all workers and 54% of millennials said they don't understand the employee benefits they signed up for, according to a 2020 survey by Voya Financial. So as a job seeker it's often up to you to ask a prospective employer plenty of questions to make sure the benefits they're offering meet your needs.Better understanding the benefits and perks you're offered will help you make the best choice about which job offer to accept. To help guide you, here's an overview of 15 common employee perks and benefits you might come across as you look for your next job:1. Health insuranceHealth insurance pays (or helps pay) for your medical expenses as they come up in exchange for a premium, or money paid - by you and/or your employer - to the insurance provider each month. Health insurance plans typically cover doctor visits, prescription drugs, emergency care, and certain medical procedures.Health insurance plans vary from company to company and you'll likely have a few to choose from. Some companies pay the full premium on their employee's behalf, but usually, you have to contribute to the cost with a certain amount that comes out of your paycheck before taxes. You may have some other out-of-pocket expenses, too, such as copays when you visit your doctor. Many insurance plans also have a deductible, which is an amount of money you're responsible for paying before your health coverage kicks in. Make sure you're aware of these costs before you choose a plan to enroll in.And to ensure a company plan meets your needs, Kloss suggests checking that it covers treatments for any medical conditions you have or prescription medications you take and that your preferred doctors are in the plan's network.If you have dependents (most commonly children or a partner you support financially) or plan to soon, you should also check that the plan will cover everyone and how much it will cost you. For example, a company may pay 100% of your health insurance premium but you may be stuck paying the full premium for everyone else in your family (which can add up fast). Read more about what all those health insurance terms mean here.Find jobs at companies that offer health insurance2. Dental and vision insuranceDental and vision insurance cover your dental and eye-care needs. Dental insurance typically covers routine exams, cleanings, x-rays, and some portion of procedures like root canals and fillings. Vision insurance generally covers eye exams and prescription lenses.Many employers offer dental and vision insurance, either as part of health insurance or as separate benefits. But whereas some employers cover a portion or all of the costs of health insurance, most companies require you to pay in full for dental and vision insurance, Slay said.Just as you would with health insurance, check if the plans will let you keep your dentist and eye doctor (if you'd rather not switch) and cover any pre-existing conditions or treatments that you need.Find jobs at companies that offer dental insurance, vision insurance, or both3. Flexible spending accountA flexible spending account (FSA) allows you to put pre-tax money aside to pay for the year's out-of-pocket healthcare costs, like over-the-counter medications, copays for doctor visits, medical devices like crutches or blood sugar tests, or vision and dental care needs like glasses or contacts.Your employer may also contribute up to $500 to your FSA without you contributing anything (they can match you dollar for dollar on top of the $500), so be sure to check if a company will pay into your account before determining your own contributions. Total FSA contributions are capped at a certain amount each year (for example, they were capped at $2,750 for 2021).Find jobs at companies that offer FSA accounts4. Life insuranceLife insurance is an insurance policy that pays a set amount of money to your chosen beneficiary (or beneficiaries) when you die. If you're just starting your career and don't have any children or others who depend on you financially, life insurance may not seem necessary. But it's still something you should consider, Slay said - especially if your company covers your full premium.You decide who you want to leave the money to, such as your parents or another family member, to help cover funeral costs, for example. You could even name your favorite charity as the beneficiary.Find jobs at companies that offer life insurance5. Disability insuranceDisability insurance offers compensation or income replacement when you're unable to work because of an injury or illness that's not job-related. "I can't tell you how critical disability insurance is; it protects your paycheck," Slay said. Disability insurance is usually optional, but worth looking into, she said - just find out what your employer offers and what it will cost you. Some policies are fully paid by an employer and others require you to pay some of the costs in the form of a paycheck deduction, Slay said.There are two types of disability insurance: short term and long term. Short-term disability insurance varies according to your plan, but typically covers you if you're out of work for less than six months and on average pays about 60% of your regular salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most long-term disability insurance lasts for 10 years or less (but some policies last until you reach retirement age) and covers about 60% of your annual earnings.Find jobs at companies that offer short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, or both6. 401(k)sA 401(k) is a retirement-savings plan that's commonly sponsored by your employer. Plans can vary, but generally, you contribute to the fund as a pre-tax paycheck deduction and pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it during retirement. Many companies match employees' 401(k) contributions, either dollar for dollar, where they put in what you put in, or with a partial match - for example, adding 50 cents for every dollar you contribute, up to a certain percentage of your salary. Yearly employee 401(k) contributions are capped (the limit is $19,500 for 2021), but the employer match doesn't count toward the limit.Retirement may seem like a long time away. But Slay urges early-career employees to contribute as much as they can to their 401(k), especially if there's an employer match. The match can help you grow your savings faster and if you're not taking advantage of it, you're essentially leaving money on the table that your employer is offering to give you. Plus, in an emergency, you may be able to pull money out of your 401(k) before retirement (and without paying a tax penalty) for certain expenses, like buying a home or paying medical bills.Some companies have taken a new approach to employee retirement benefits recently to meet their workers' current needs, Slay said. For example, some help employees pay down student loan debt by making direct payments to their lender, while others make a larger 401(k) contribution to employees currently paying off student debt.Find jobs at companies that offer 401(k)s or 401(k)s with company match7. Paid time offPaid time off (PTO) can include paid holidays, sick leave, federal and state holidays, personal days, and vacation days.Typically, the amount of PTO offered by your company is based on how long you've worked for them, and you accrue more PTO over time (for example, if you get 15 days of PTO per year, that means you accrue about 0.058 hours of PTO for every hour you work, or roughly 10.5 hours of PTO per month). If, say, you're looking to start a new job right before a holiday or planned trip, you might want to ask the company if it has a policy about using PTO before you've technically accrued it.How a company offers PTO varies, too. For example, some designate a separate number of personal, sick, or vacation days, which is sometimes required by state law. But, Slay said, more employers are lumping all PTO in together to make taking off easier for employees. Some companies even offer unlimited PTO.Time off is an important factor in your overall compensation, so make sure to ask about how many PTO days you get. Often, you can negotiate your PTO, Slay said, particularly since the pandemic has shown more companies the benefits of giving their workers more time off. "PTO is one of those areas where you can ask for things that are a little different and you might get them." Also, be sure to check if you can carry over unused PTO into a new year and whether you'll be paid for any unused days when you leave the company.Find jobs at companies that offer paid holidays, paid vacation, personal and sick days, or unlimited vacation8. Family and medical leaveThe Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a US law that enables employees to take unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons. Employees can take up to 12 weeks off for the birth or adoption of a child, a family member with a medical condition who needs care, their own health condition that prevents them from performing job functions, and other reasons.Under this law, your job is protected and your health insurance continues during this leave. Companies with more than 50 employees are required to comply with the law and you're eligible if you've worked for the company for at least 12 months and meet other requirements. If you're considering going to work for a smaller company, be sure to find out their policies for family and medical leave.Find jobs at companies with more than 50 employees9. Parental leaveParental leave enables employees to take off following the birth of a child, an adoption, or the arrival of a newly placed foster child, or for a child otherwise needing parental care, according to the US Department of Labor. Though the FMLA requires some employers to offer unpaid leave in these instances, there's no broad guarantee of parental leave in the US - which means it comes down to the employer.More than half of US employers offer paid new child leave to women, and 45% offer paid new child leave to men, according to a 2020 study by the Society for Human Resource Management and Oxford Economics. However, specific policies vary for the companies that do offer parental leave, so find out about a prospective employer's rules if you plan to start a family soon, Slay said. Ask whether the leave is paid or unpaid, whether your job will be there waiting for you when you return, and how much time off you're allowed.Find jobs at companies that offer maternity leave, paternity leave, or both10. Remote work optionsRemote work gives employees the freedom to work from home or anywhere else outside of a traditional office setting, either full-time or part-time in a hybrid schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic made remote work a necessity, and it was such a hit with workers that many have said they'll quit their jobs rather than go back to the office. Employers realize that remote work has benefits for them, too, such as opening up a much broader, more diverse talent pool to hire from, so many organizations plan to allow remote work in some fashion post-pandemic.While more employers will be offering fully or partially remote positions after the pandemic off the bat, the ability to work from home is something you can likely negotiate, Kloss said. "I think employers are recognizing after COVID that they can be more flexible in those areas than they ever thought possible." So find out whether you'll be able to work remotely some or all of the time and what the company's policies are for remote work schedules, virtual meetings, and communication. Also ask whether they provide equipment or stipends for internet, phone, or other expenses for remote workers.Find jobs at companies that offer remote work opportunities11. Flexible schedulesA flexible schedule is when your employer allows you to work hours and days outside of the traditional nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday schedule. For instance, you might work 10 hours a day, four days a week or set core hours when you're available, such as 9 a.m to 1 p.m, and have flexibility the rest of the day to complete your work whenever you'd like. Like with remote work, the pandemic led more companies to offer flexible schedules to accommodate different work styles and time zones as well as employees who have children or other caretaking responsibilities. Flexible schedules are another perk that you can likely negotiate - just make sure you and your employer both come away with a clear idea of which days and times you'll work.Find jobs at companies that offer flexible work hours12. Wellness programsWorkplace wellness programs aim to improve an employee's mental and physical health and offer more resources beyond health insurance. Wellness programs have traditionally included health screenings and tools to help people lose weight or stop smoking, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.But organizations have taken a broader, more holistic approach to their wellness programs in recent years by offering individualized supports that take into account an employee's emotional, social, physical, and financial needs, Kloss said. Wellness-based perks-such as fitness subsidies, meals, and access to mental wellness apps and counseling - are becoming more common.Even more so than with other perks and benefits, wellness program offerings vary widely, so find out the specifics of what a company offers and consider how it meets your needs.Find jobs at companies that offer wellness programs, fitness subsidies, on-site gym, and meals13. Education benefitsMost companies offer some type of education benefit, including access to online courses, on-the-job training, tuition reimbursement for continuing education, and learning and development stipends to cover educational expenses.If you're just starting your career, these programs can help you succeed long term by keeping your skills fresh, which could increase your chances for promotions or raises, Slay said. Education benefits and perks also signal that a company values and invests in its employees and their growth. So be sure to ask what a company you're planning to work for offers if education is important to you.Find jobs at companies that offer access to online courses, tuition reimbursement, or learning and development stipends14. Mentor programsMentor programs pair you with someone at your company who's more experienced and can answer questions and offer guidance to help you advance in your career. "Mentorship is huge," Slay said. Mentors can serve as advocates to help you navigate the technical and political parts of a job as well as you build and expand your network.Mentorship programs help employees feel valued, create a culture of learning and increase job satisfaction and productivity, Slay said. So find out whether a company provides formal or informal mentoring and what their programs entail.Find jobs at companies that offer mentor programs15. Diversity, equity, and inclusion programsDiversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives encourage the representation and participation of different and often underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community. The programs may include mentorship opportunities, targeted recruitment efforts, and employee resource groups (ERGs).As with many employee benefits and perks, some DEI programs are more robust than others. So it's a good idea to find out the specifics of what a company offers and how it aligns with your values and needs, rather than just noting that they've ticked the box in offering a DEI program.Find jobs at companies that offer diversity and inclusion programsBefore you accept a job offer, make sure you have a good grasp of the company's benefits and perks and how they fit into your overall compensation structure. Ask plenty of questions to get all the details of how each benefit and perk aligns with your needs and negotiate to get what you want. Keep in mind, too, that when you're searching for open jobs on The Muse, you can set filters so you'll only see open positions at companies that offer the benefits and perks that matter most to you.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 6th, 2021

Coronavirus links: pandemic preparedness

A coronavirus-focused linkfest is still a weekly feature here at Abnormal Returns. Please stay safe and find a vaccination site near you.... VaccinationsWhy boosters for the elderly are so important. (nymag.com)Side effects from booster shots are similar to those experienced after a second shot. (statnews.com)The dangers that unvaccinated pregnant women have faced. (scientificamerican.com)How America lost its vaccination lead. (theatlantic.com)Vaccine mandatesCalifornia is the first state to require Covid vaccines for school age children. (cnbc.com)James Surowiecki, "That employer mandates are effective is not, to be honest, all that surprising: given the choice between a safe, effective, and free vaccine and losing your job, one would expect most people to take the first option." (surowiecki.medium.com)In reality, few workers are willing to quit or be fired for not getting vaccinated. (scientificamerican.com)New York state mandates got health care workers to get the shot. (nytimes.com)Company mandatesSome 99% of United Air ($UAL) workers chose to get vaccinated. (npr.org)91% of the employees of Tyson Foods ($TSN) are now fully vaccinated. (nytimes.com)At this point, the NBA is going to have to live with unvaccinated players. (rollingstone.com)AntiviralsMerck's ($MRK) antiviral pill cuts the risk of hospitalization by 50%. (statnews.com)We are months away from a antiviral pill to treat Covid. (pbs.org)Ideally, an antiviral would treat people with Covid and prevent illness in those exposed. (ft.com)Why the U.S. needs to help produce antivirals for the rest of the world. (washingtonpost.com)MaskingJoseph G. Allen, "A lot of things have to line up for someone to be exposed and get covid-19 in a fully vaccinated environment." (washingtonpost.com)Two studies that show the efficacy of masks in school settings. (wsj.com)Surgical masks work and people will wear them if provided for and asked. (nytimes.com)Why aren't more people wearing better masks? (scientificamerican.com)N95 masks make a big difference. (bloomberg.com)TestingWeekly testing is not compatible with good mitigation. (theatlantic.com)An antibody test doesn't really tell you how strong your immunity is. (slate.com)What to do if you test positive with an at-home antigen test. (nytimes.com)TreatmentsMonoclonal antibodies are not a substitute for vaccination. (scientificamerican.com)Repurposed drugs have been the front line treatments for Covid. (statnews.com)ResearchResearchers are investigating the link between Covid and the olfactory bulb. (scientificamerican.com)Researchers have found more bat viruses that are similar to SARS-CoV-2. (nature.com)A new study shows that air filtration and UV disinfection can greatly reduces SARS-CoV-2 in hospital wards. (marginalrevolution.com)Health careDelta cases are waning but ICUs are still full in hard-hit areas. (washingtonpost.com)Covid-19 could very well push young physicians out of medicine. (statnews.com)Health care workers are increasingly under threat from patients and visitors. (arstechnica.com)Public healthPublic health officials have become targets of the Covid-denial crowd. (hcn.org)Why are doctor spread misinformation not be disciplined? (buzzfeednews.com)We can't prepare for the next pandemic without buttressing the public health system. (theatlantic.com)IvermectinPro-Ivermectin groups are flourishing on Facebook ($FB) (nytimes.com)Veterinarians are struggling to find ivermectin for their animal patients. (nytimes.com)StatesEven in Maine where nearly 70% of adults are vaccinated, the state saw a Delta surge. (wsj.com)Covid death rates are becoming more pronounced based on the political divide. (nytimes.com)The death rate in rural areas is twice that of urban areas. (nbcnews.com)Which states are still vulnerable to Covid, i.e. unvaccinated nor infected. (bloomberg.com)GlobalWhy Israel has been on the forefront of Covid vaccines. (wsj.com)Some evidence that social distancing worked in Germany at the outset of the pandemic. (sciencedaily.com)Australia is set to drop some restrictions on international travel. (wapo.st)Q&AsA Q&A with Larry Brilliant on why we need to have children vaccinated. (wired.com)Andy Slavitt talks with Katherine Wu about updating our beliefs about Covid. (omny.fm)A Q&A with former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb and author of "Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic." (statnews.com)Earlier on Abnormal ReturnsCoronavirus links: flu season. (abnormalreturns.com)There's only one way through the pandemic tunnel. (abnormalreturns.com)Why we are eventually going to need digital health passes, i.e. vaccine passports. (abnormalreturns.com)The 'Swiss cheese model' and the importance of avoiding single points of failure in pandemic and life. (abnormalreturns.com)On the challenge of holding two competing thoughts on the pandemic in your head a the same time. (abnormalreturns.com)Mixed mediaFront-line worker are still being put at-risk by customers and their employers. (nytimes.com)Covid has kicked off a surge in research into viruses. (wsj.com)Just assume everyone is struggling as they deal with a post-Covid world. (washingtonpost.com).....»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsOct 2nd, 2021

Biden"s Vax Mandate To Be Enforced By Fining Companies $70,000 To $700,000?

Biden's Vax Mandate To Be Enforced By Fining Companies $70,000 To $700,000? By Adam Andrzejewski, CEO/Founder of OpenTheBooks.com; originally published in Forbes President Joe Biden didn’t just announce a Covid-19 vaccine mandate on companies employing 100 or more people, he plans to enforce it. On Saturday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House quietly tucked an enforcement mechanism into their $3.5 trillion “reconciliation” bill, passed it out of the Budget Committee, and sent it to the House floor. Buried on page 168 of the House Democrats’ 2,465-page mega bill is a tenfold increase in fines for employers that “willfully,” “repeatedly,” or even seriously violate a section of labor law that deals with hazards, death, or serious physical harm to their employees. The increased fines on employers could run as high as $70,000 for serious infractions, and $700,000 for willful or repeated violations—almost three-quarters of a million dollars for each fine. If enacted into law, vax enforcement could bankrupt non-compliant companies even more quickly than the $14,000 OSHA fine anticipated under Biden’s announced mandate. The Biden Administration has already started implementing its vaccine mandate enforcement blueprint: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set precedent this summer and published an emergency Covid-19 rule in the Federal Register taking jurisdiction over and providing justification for Covid-19 being a workplace hazard for healthcare employment. Early in September, Biden announced his 100-or-more employee Covid-19 vaccine mandate and tasked OSHA with drafting an enforcement rule to exert emergency vaccine compliance authority over companies with 100 or more employees. The legislative provision that passed the Budget Committee raises the OSHA fines for non-compliance 10 times higher – and up to $700,000 for each “willful” or “repeated” violation. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not announced when the House will vote on the reconciliation bill that includes the new OSHA fines. If the legislation is enacted, OSHA could levy draconian fines to enforce Biden’s vaccine mandate, a move that could rapidly bankrupt non-compliant companies. The Biden mandate affects employers collectively employing an estimated 80 million workers. The Democrats are playing hardball.                       President Biden embraced an aggressive stance earlier this month when he challenged Republicans who are threatening lawsuits over what they decry as his federal overreach: “Have at it. … We’re playing for real here. This isn’t a game.” The Legislation The provision tucked in the House reconciliation budget bill (on page 168) that increases OSHA fines reads: SEC. 21004. ADJUSTMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES. (a) OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT OF 1970.—Section 17 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 666) is amended— (1) in subsection (a)—   (A) by striking ‘‘$70,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$700,000’’; and (B) by striking ‘‘$5,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$50,000’’; (2) in subsection (b), by striking ‘‘$7,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$70,000’’; and (3) in subsection (d), by striking ‘‘$7,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$70,000’’ That provision would change existing law relating to OSHA’s enforcement fines, the very same section of law whose fines OSHA referenced in its June Covid-19 healthcare worker rule and is likely to use again to enforce its forthcoming vaccine compliance rules. The Existing Law 29 U.S.C.§ 666 lays out OSHA enforcement fine levels. The 1970-enacted law reads: 29 U.S. Code § 666 - Civil and criminal penalties (a) Willful or repeated violation Any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of section 654 of this title, any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 655 of this title, or regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $70,000 for each violation, but not less than $5,000 for each willful violation (b) Citation for serious violation Any employer who has received a citation for a serious violation of the requirements of section 654 of this title, of any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 655 of this title, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this chapter, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to $7,000 for each such violation [emphasis added]. Each year, OSHA adjusts these penalties for inflation, so for 2021, the fines are not actually capped at $70,000 and $7,000, but $136,532 and $13,653 per violation. If House Democrats get their way, by enacting the page 168 changes, those fines would increase to $700,000 for willful and repeated violations and $70,000 for serious violations.   Section 654, cross-referenced in the OSHA enforcement penalty code, outlines the law requiring workplaces to be “free from recognized hazards” causing harm or death: 29 U.S. Code § 654 - Duties of employers and employees (a) Each employer— (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this chapter. (b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this chapter which are applicable to his own actions and conduct [emphasis added]. OSHA has already published a rule this year claiming Covid-19 is a workplace hazard, and the agency is using this provision of law to assert and enforce its authority. It is likely the new rule to enforce Biden’s mandate will also use this authority, and by extension use the fines upon enforcement. Huge Crippling OSHA Fines, Likely By Design The crippling change described on page 168 of the Democrats’ bill isn’t a typo or a clerical error. It was inserted by design and, likely, with the hope that no one would notice before Democrats ram the bill through Congress. If enacted, it could bankrupt a whole host of companies that do not believe they should have to comply with the Biden administration’s mandate or harbor the cost of intrusive, weekly tests. In its June 2021 emergency rule affecting health care workers, OSHA complained it was having a hard time motivating employers with its paltry $13,653 fine: “OSHA has been limited in its ability to impose penalties high enough to motivate the very large employers who are unlikely to be deterred by penalty assessments of tens of thousands of dollars, but whose noncompliance can endanger thousands of workers …” The Critics Some have openly discussed businesses defying the mandate and taking their risks with OSHA fines. For example, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) tweeted that businesses “should openly rebel” against any OSHA rule. It’s one thing to defy a $14,000 fine. It’s quite another to risk incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. One or two disgruntled employees, for example, could bring an employer $70,000-$140,000 in OSHA fines. If considered “willful,” as per Rep. Roy’s tweet — just three “violations” could quickly become a $2.1 million OSHA fine. Conclusion: If its provision becomes law, the Biden administration may force American businesses to choose between vaccinating their employees, testing them weekly for Covid-19, or going bankrupt under crippling OSHA fines. In September, Biden warned the tens of millions of Americans who have declined vaccination against Covid-19, “We’ve been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.” Now the Democrats in the House are hoping to make employers foot the bill for that “cost” in the form of fines and bankruptcy. Republicans might want to read page 168 of the Democrats’ bill. After all, as we like to say at OpenTheBooks.com, the text of the bill is online in real time. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/28/2021 - 22:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 29th, 2021

Tech companies keep asking employees to take pay cuts to work remotely, but workers are rejecting the idea they should be paid differently based on where they live

Tech workers don't buy location-based compensation, and most say they won't take a pay cut. The industry is redefining how they should be paid. A man works from home next to a bicycle. Getty Images Tech workers do not buy into the idea of geography-based wages. Yet one in 10 technologists say they have been asked to take a pay cut if they don't plan to return to the office. The industry is disrupting the traditional compensation model with a new way to measure output. Art Zeile is the CEO of DHI Group, which operates Dice, the leading tech career marketplace connecting employers with skilled technology professionals. This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author. See more stories on Insider's business page. In a hyper-competitive job market that favors specialized workers like those focused on technology, it is shortsighted for companies to consider cutting salaries of those who want to make permanent remote work arrangements prompted by COVID-19.But a new Dice survey finds that one in 10 technologists say they have been asked to take a pay cut if they don't plan to return to the office. Facebook and Twitter have reportedly reduced salaries for employees who've moved to less expensive areas, and Google is considering a similar plan. On the flip side, Reddit and Zillow are among employers encouraging workplace flexibility, and a separate Dice survey found that 28% of companies have increased salaries to attract technologists from high cost-of-living tech hubs.The pay-by-location model may be diverting our attention from a more interesting shift taking hold. Hybrid and remote work for tech workers seems to be a durable trend, and within that concept, companies are looking for new pay-for-performance models tied more closely to output and experience - without the overlay of location.The tech sector will need to innovate in how it manages talent, especially since the market for technologists has long been tight, with unemployment in the sector hovering at just about 1.5%.Companies are searching for tech workers nationwide - and globally - with a growing preference for candidates in countries with the same or similar time zones, and candidates increasingly demand compensation based on their output, not where they choose to sleep at night. The smartest companies are using this trend as a tool to hire talent, regardless of where technologists are "based."As one recruiter told us in response to our survey: "It's a tough market. Everyone wants remote. Our company is having a hard time filling roles that refuse to allow remote, and losing those candidates to the competition that will allow 100% remote."Not surprisingly, professionals already employed are put off by salary cuts based on location, as well. Our latest survey shows that four in 10 technologists would refuse to take a pay cut based on geography. In fact, in three separate surveys spanning the second quarter of 2020, only 3% said they'd be willing to take a 15% salary cut to be allowed to work remotely, while just 1% would take a 25% cut for such an arrangement.Technologists do not buy into the idea of geography-based wages, and they are helping to shift the pay conversation from where they work to how they work.Location-based compensation is a thing of the pastIn the 20th century, companies with national footprints paid employees based on the cost of living where they were based, and countless employers throughout the economy began to tether compensation to a particular region's cost of living.But the pandemic and the surge in remote work turned these policies on their head.The debate about location-based compensation intensified this summer as financial services companies summoned employees back to the office. "If you want to get paid New York rates, you work in New York," Morgan Stanley CEO James Gormansaid. Penalizing remote work became the proverbial stick amid concerns about team collaboration in all-remote and hybrid work environments.;Results may suffer when knowledge transfer and moment-to-moment collaboration rest heavily on physically working together, such as on trading floors. There are concerns about maintaining organizational culture when employees are remote, as well. But team dynamics in the technology industry are very different. A developer's key interaction with a team is often as streamlined as a quick 10-minute morning meeting - a standup that is often over video, followed up with periodic direct messages when needed. These technologists will typically work at their screen for most of their day. All that to say, a developer sitting in Des Moines can be as productive as one sitting in Silicon Valley. How should tech companies evaluate compensation? The challenge is that there has never been a great set of metrics to evaluate technologists' output. The industry has been through several iterations in search of the ideal way to measure job performance. ​​More than a decade ago, managers would look at the total number of lines of code to measure productivity. But no modern-day CTO would measure it that way, because nowadays more lines often means less-efficient code.  The next evolution in measuring performance was focused on story points, which are how technology teams measure the effort needed to solve a specific requirement. This idea is being questioned because effort can be put toward projects of less business value than those that generate revenue and customer loyalty. One current theory - popularized by Google since it was founded in the late 1990s - tracks objectives and key results, giving technologists and teams credit for achieving set goals. An overarching sticking point, though, is that there is no consistency in how the industry determines experience. Job titles and salary bands at Microsoft are different from Oracle's or Geico's. Although results can be measured objectively, there is no uniform way to determine experience levels.   We've observed that the industry is moving toward solving this dilemma by creating a certification path to assess technologists' skills and paying them accordingly. The thinking is that standardized tests are a smart option because most programming challenges are essentially math problems. Just as we assess high school students using the SAT or the ACT, we may be able to determine where technologists stand compared to their peers. It is unclear if other professions and industries could adopt a similar approach. Standardizing softer skills - creativity, communication, critical thinking, people management - may be difficult, if not impossible. But in the last few decades, the tech industry has driven change for the broader economy by disrupting traditional systems and introducing new business models and organizational practices. Now, as more and more industries grapple with adapting traditional compensation structures to a new world of work, tech is once again disrupting traditional practices and leading the way toward what comes next. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 27th, 2021

The COVID Vaccine Pass Slippery-Slope

The COVID Vaccine Pass Slippery-Slope Authored by Eva Vlaardingerbroek via TheAmericanConservative.com, Beginning Saturday (September 25), everyone in the Netherlands above the age of 13 will need a “Digital Covid Certificate” in order to be allowed into restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, and concert halls. Basically, the things that make life enjoyable for most people, will be limited to those who are in possession of a Q.R. code that indicates they are either vaccinated, tested, or have recovered from Covid-19 within the past 160 days. What is interesting—and, in my view, incredibly telling—about the Dutch situation in particular is that a whopping 85 percent of the Dutch population is currently already fully vaccinated. More than a year and a half into the Covid-crisis, it is estimated that 95 percent of the population has antibodies, and currently only 200 people are in the ICU. Yet it is at this very moment that our government decides to introduce the most far-reaching and invasive measure the Dutch have seen to date. This is only the beginning. Apparently, the last 15 percent of the Dutch population needs to be jabbed—whatever it takes. The ones who, for whatever reason, choose not to be vaccinated are either doomed to the social life of a hermit or have to travel, sometimes quite far, to a certified test location to get a Q-tip shoved up their noses every single day. That is, if they want to ‘’earn back’’ their right to partake in everyday activities. So even though people are not yet physically forced to be vaccinated, what the government is doing now is something that can only be called coercion. Since there is no official or legal end-date tied to the enforcement of the Covid pass, there is no reason to believe that the Q.R.-society that we’re turning into won’t become more restrictive, let alone that it will disappear. Just take a look at other European countries, like France, Germany, and Italy. I went to Germany recently, where I experienced first-hand what it felt like to be denied entry to a restaurant for being unvaccinated; the negative test results I had on me didn’t suffice. This will undoubtedly become the case at some point in Holland as well. Although highly inconvenient and time consuming, testing is currently still an option in the Netherlands and it is still “free” (i.e., paid for by taxpayers’ money). But not for long. The Dutch government has already announced that, sooner rather than later, people will have to start paying for their own tests, making it impossible for most people, especially children and people with low or no income, to do it on a regular basis. It is also a given that the Covid pass won’t remain only used for “non-essential social and cultural facilities.” The Dutch government is currently looking for legal pathways to enforce vaccine passes in the workplace and for health care facilities, as is already the case in countries like France and Italy. As a result of this, many Italians who still refuse to get vaccinated are forced to take unpaid leave; it is a true Kafkaesque nightmare. Legally, the enforcement of these Covid passes and the far-reaching consequences that they already have clearly form a grave breach of constitutional rights and civil liberties such as bodily integrity, the non-discrimination principle, and freedom of movement. It is often argued that these breaches do not technically form a legal ‘’violation’’ of our constitutional rights, because the breach is justified in view of public health. In my opinion, however, this is simply wrong. First of all, if this line of argumentation would carelessly be accepted, any constitutional right could be set aside when the definition of a “justification” such as public health is stretched out far enough. This is something most people, especially legal scholars, are usually very wary of. Due to fear, behavioral manipulation, and a general fatigue when it comes to the Covid measures (‘’I just want my freedom back’’), a substantial group of people seem to accept or even want vaccine passports. In other words, people accept this drastic measure for all the wrong reasons. Let’s start with fear. The Dutch government insisted on classifying the much less dangerous Covid-19 as a so called ‘’A-label disease’’—the same category as Ebola—as this provided them with a legal basis for far-reaching measures like lockdowns, curfews, and now the Covid pass systems. No wonder the government has often been accused of instrumentalizing the virus to enlarge its own legal competences and powers. After all, to most people the virus is not life-threatening at all, especially not to young people, who make up a very large part of the 15 percent of the Dutch population that is not vaccinated. Although of course some people can get very ill from Covid, the mortality rates are nowhere near as high as in the case of a virus like Ebola, which has a mortality rate of 50 percent. No one will deny the fact that fear forms a great basis for inducing people to abstain from rational thinking and to accept disproportional government control. The Covid pass will not in any way slow down transmission of the virus, since both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can carry and transmit Covid. Yet only unvaccinated people are obliged to take a test in order to gain entry to public facilities. The system doesn’t just make a legally unjustified distinction between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated—discriminating between citizens on the basis of their medical data, which for privacy reasons should not be asked for in the first place—but it is also ineffective. Although our government is of course well aware of the fact that vaccinated people can still get Covid and pass it on, they still aim to ostracize unvaccinated people and mark them as the enemies of public health. Just like President Joe Biden told American citizens that the government has “been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” the Dutch minister of public health, Hugo de Jonge, stated that “the freedom of one group [those who do not wish to be vaccinated] cannot continue to threaten the freedom of another group [those who are vaccinated],” reminiscent of John Stuart Mill’s utilitarian harm principle. This type of divisive rhetoric by the government is incredibly dangerous. Our minister puts forward a completely false dilemma: These two groups do not threaten each other’s freedom. It is actually the government and the government only, here, that poses a fundamental threat to both groups’ freedom. These losses of freedoms are imposed by policy. The vaccine does not protect anyone but the person who takes it. Nevertheless, plenty of people who aren’t afraid of the virus at all, or maybe have already had it and have natural immunity, have taken the vaccine because they fear the government and the social consequences of not being vaccinated more than they do the virus itself. Since when did we start to regard such behavior or choices as ‘’normal’’? Frustratingly, only a very limited number of people in the West see what is really at stake here. Most fail to see that, once these Q.R. systems are enforced and people have become accustomed to them, these systems can be used for a variety of other purposes as well. It is most likely not a coincidence that a couple of weeks ago, suddenly, a nationwide poll was conducted to enquire how the Dutch viewed the possibility of a “personal carbon credit” system. Nevertheless, a large majority seems to believe—or want to believe—that all of this is for the common good, or that it is at least all temporary and won’t “get that far.” I hope they are right, but I cannot help feeling that Tocqueville hit the nail on the head, as he often did, when he wrote that the type of despotism democratic people have to fear will in no way look like the despotism and tyranny our ancestors endured: “It would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them,” he wrote in 1840. And, in a way, the fact that it happens more gradually is what makes it arguably even more dangerous. After all, a people that do not realize they are losing their freedom will not fight for it. They will simply let it slip through their fingers. Tyler Durden Mon, 09/27/2021 - 03:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 27th, 2021

30 Facts You Need To Know: A COVID Cribsheet

30 Facts You Need To Know: A COVID Cribsheet Authored by Kit Knightly via Off-Guardian.org, You asked for it, so we made it. A collection of all the arguments you’ll ever need. We get a lot of e-mails and private messages along these lines “do you have a source for X?” or “can you point me to mask studies?” or “I know I saw a graph for mortality, but I can’t find it anymore”. And we understand, it’s been a long 18 months, and there are so many statistics and numbers to try and keep straight in your head. So, to deal with all these requests, we decided to make a bullet-pointed and sourced list for all the key points. A one-stop-shop. Here are key facts and sources about the alleged “pandemic”, that will help you get a grasp on what has happened to the world since January 2020, and help you enlighten any of your friends who might be still trapped in the New Normal fog: “Covid deaths” – Lockdowns – PCR Tests – “asymptomatic infection” – Ventilators – Masks – Vaccines – Deception & Foreknowledge *  *  * PART I: “COVID DEATHS” & MORTALITY 1. The survival rate of “Covid” is over 99%. Government medical experts went out of their way to underline, from the beginning of the pandemic, that the vast majority of the population are not in any danger from Covid. Almost all studies on the infection-fatality ratio (IFR) of Covid have returned results between 0.04% and 0.5%. Meaning Covid’s survival rate is at least 99.5%. * 2. There has been NO unusual excess mortality. The press has called 2020 the UK’s “deadliest year since world war two”, but this is misleading because it ignores the massive increase in the population since that time. A more reasonable statistical measure of mortality is Age-Standardised Mortality Rate (ASMR): By this measure, 2020 isn’t even the worst year for mortality since 2000, In fact since 1943 only 9 years have been better than 2020. Similarly, in the US the ASMR for 2020 is only at 2004 levels: For a detailed breakdown of how Covid affected mortality across Western Europe and the US click here. What increases in mortality we have seen could be attributable to non-Covid causes [facts 7, 9 & 19]. * 3. “Covid death” counts are artificially inflated. Countries around the globe have been defining a “Covid death” as a “death by any cause within 28/30/60 days of a positive test”. Healthcare officials from Italy, Germany, the UK, US, Northern Ireland and others have all admitted to this practice: Removing any distinction between dying of Covid, and dying of something else after testing positive for Covid will naturally lead to over-counting of “Covid deaths”. British pathologist Dr John Lee was warning of this “substantial over-estimate” as early as last spring. Other mainstream sources have reported it, too. Considering the huge percentage of “asymptomatic” Covid infections [14], the well-known prevalence of serious comorbidities [fact 4] and the potential for false-positive tests [fact 18], this renders the Covid death numbers an extremely unreliable statistic. * 4. The vast majority of covid deaths have serious comorbidities. In March 2020, the Italian government published statistics showing 99.2% of their “Covid deaths” had at least one serious comorbidity. These included cancer, heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, kidney failure and diabetes (among others). Over 50% of them had three or more serious pre-existing conditions. This pattern has held up in all other countries over the course of the “pandemic”. An October 2020 FOIA request to the UK’s ONS revealed less than 10% of the official “Covid death” count at that time had Covid as the sole cause of death. * 5. Average age of “Covid death” is greater than the average life expectancy. The average age of a “Covid death” in the UK is 82.5 years. In Italy it’s 86. Germany, 83. Switzerland, 86. Canada, 86. The US, 78, Australia, 82. In almost all cases the median age of a “Covid death” is higher than the national life expectancy. As such, for most of the world, the “pandemic” has had little-to-no impact on life expectancy. Contrast this with the Spanish flu, which saw a 28% drop in life expectancy in the US in just over a year. [source] * 6. Covid mortality exactly mirrors the natural mortality curve. Statistical studies from the UK and India have shown that the curve for “Covid death” follows the curve for expected mortality almost exactly: The risk of death “from Covid” follows, almost exactly, your background risk of death in general. The small increase for some of the older age groups can be accounted for by other factors.[facts 7, 9 & 19] * 7. There has been a massive increase in the use of “unlawful” DNRs. Watchdogs and government agencies have reported huge increases in the use of Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNRs) over the last twenty months. In the US, hospitals considered “universal DNRs” for any patient who tested positive for Covid, and whistleblowing nurses have admitted the DNR system was abused in New York. In the UK there was an “unprecdented” rise in “illegal” DNRs for disabled people, GP surgeries sent out letters to non-terminal patients recommending they sign DNR orders, whilst other doctors signed “blanket DNRs” for entire nursing homes. A study done by Sheffield Univerisity found over one-third of all “suspected” Covid patients had a DNR attached to their file within 24 hours of hospital admission. Blanket use of coerced or illegal DNR orders could account for any increases in mortality in 2020/21.[Facts 2 & 6] *  *  * PART II: LOCKDOWNS 8. Lockdowns do not prevent the spread of disease. There is little to no evidence lockdowns have any impact on limiting “Covid deaths”. If you compare regions that locked down to regions that did not, you can see no pattern at all. “Covid deaths” in Florida (no lockdown) vs California (lockdown) “Covid deaths” in Sweden (no lockdown) vs UK (lockdown) * 9. Lockdowns kill people. There is strong evidence that lockdowns – through social, economic and other public health damage – are deadlier than the “virus”. Dr David Nabarro, World Health Organization special envoy for Covid-19 described lockdowns as a “global catastrophe” in October 2020: We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of the virus[…] it seems we may have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition […] This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe.” A UN report from April 2020 warned of 100,000s of children being killed by the economic impact of lockdowns, while tens of millions more face possible poverty and famine. Unemployment, poverty, suicide, alcoholism, drug use and other social/mental health crises are spiking all over the world. While missed and delayed surgeries and screenings are going to see increased mortality from heart disease, cancer et al. in the near future. The impact of lockdown would account for the small increases in excess mortality [Facts 2 & 6] * 10. Hospitals were never unusually over-burdened. the main argument used to defend lockdowns is that “flattening the curve” would prevent a rapid influx of cases and protect healthcare systems from collapse. But most healthcare systems were never close to collapse at all. In March 2020 it was reported that hospitals in Spain and Italy were over-flowing with patients, but this happens every flu season. In 2017 Spanish hospitals were at 200% capacity, and 2015 saw patients sleeping in corridors. A paper JAMA paper from March 2020 found that Italian hospitals “typically run at 85-90% capacity in the winter months”. In the UK, the NHS is regularly stretched to breaking point over the winter. As part of their Covid policy, the NHS announced in Spring of 2020 that they would be “re-organizing hospital capacity in new ways to treat Covid and non-Covid patients separately” and that “as result hospitals will experience capacity pressures at lower overall occupancy rates than would previously have been the case.” This means they removed thousands of beds. During an alleged deadly pandemic, they reduced the maximum occupancy of hospitals. Despite this, the NHS never felt pressure beyond your typical flu season, and at times actually had 4x more empty beds than normal. In both the UK and US millions were spent on temporary emergency hospitals that were never used. *  *  * PART III: PCR TESTS 11. PCR tests were not designed to diagnose illness. The Reverse-Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is described in the media as the “gold standard” for Covid diagnosis. But the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the process never intended it to be used as a diagnostic tool, and said so publicly: PCR is just a process that allows you to make a whole lot of something out of something. It doesn’t tell you that you are sick, or that the thing that you ended up with was going to hurt you or anything like that.” * 12. PCR Tests have a history of being inaccurate and unreliable. The “gold standard” PCR tests for Covid are known to produce a lot of false-positive results, by reacting to DNA material that is not specific to Sars-Cov-2. A Chinese study found the same patient could get two different results from the same test on the same day. In Germany, tests are known to have reacted to common cold viruses. A 2006 study found PCR tests for one virus responded to other viruses too. In 2007, a reliance on PCR tests resulted in an “outbreak” of Whooping Cough that never actually existed. Some tests in the US even reacted to the negative control sample. The late President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, submitted samples goat, pawpaw and motor oil for PCR testing, all came back positive for the virus. As early as February of 2020 experts were admitting the test was unreliable. Dr Wang Cheng, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences told Chinese state television “The accuracy of the tests is only 30-50%”. The Australian government’s own website claimed “There is limited evidence available to assess the accuracy and clinical utility of available COVID-19 tests.” And a Portuguese court ruled that PCR tests were “unreliable” and should not be used for diagnosis. You can read detailed breakdowns of the failings of PCR tests here, here and here. * 13. The CT values of the PCR tests are too high. PCR tests are run in cycles, the number of cycles you use to get your result is known as your “cycle threshold” or CT value. Kary Mullis said: “If you have to go more than 40 cycles[…]there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.” The MIQE PCR guidelines agree, stating: “[CT] values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported,” Dr Fauci himself even admitted anything over 35 cycles is almost never culturable. Dr Juliet Morrison, virologist at the University of California, Riverside, told the New York Times: Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive…I’m shocked that people would think that 40 [cycles] could represent a positive…A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35″. In the same article Dr Michael Mina, of the Harvard School of Public Health, said the limit should be 30, and the author goes on to point out that reducing the CT from 40 to 30 would have reduced “covid cases” in some states by as much as 90%. The CDC’s own data suggests no sample over 33 cycles could be cultured, and Germany’s Robert Koch Institute says nothing over 30 cycles is likely to be infectious. Despite this, it is known almost all the labs in the US are running their tests at least 37 cycles and sometimes as high as 45. The NHS “standard operating procedure” for PCR tests rules set the limit at 40 cycles. Based on what we know about the CT values, the majority of PCR test results are at best questionable. * 14. The World Health Organization (Twice) Admitted PCR tests produced false positives. In December 2020 WHO put out a briefing memo on the PCR process instructing labs to be wary of high CT values causing false positive results: when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinction between background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain. Then, in January 2021, the WHO released another memo, this time warning that “asymptomatic” positive PCR tests should be re-tested because they might be false positives: Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology. * 15. The scientific basis for Covid tests is questionable. The genome of the Sars-Cov-2 virus was supposedly sequenced by Chinese scientists in December 2019, then published on January 10th 2020. Less than two weeks later, German virologists (Christian Drosten et al.) had allegedly used the genome to create assays for PCR tests. They wrote a paper, Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR, which was submitted for publication on January 21st 2020, and then accepted on January 22nd. Meaning the paper was allegedly “peer-reviewed” in less than 24 hours. A process that typically takes weeks. Since then, a consortium of over forty life scientists has petitioned for the withdrawal of the paper, writing a lengthy report detailing 10 major errors in the paper’s methodology. They have also requested the release of the journal’s peer-review report, to prove the paper really did pass through the peer-review process. The journal has yet to comply. The Corman-Drosten assays are the root of every Covid PCR test in the world. If the paper is questionable, every PCR test is also questionable. *  *  * PART IV: “ASYMPTOMATIC INFECTION” 16. The majority of Covid infections are “asymptomatic”. From as early as March 2020, studies done in Italy were suggesting 50-75% of positive Covid tests had no symptoms. Another UK study from August 2020 found as much as 86% of “Covid patients” experienced no viral symptoms at all. It is literally impossible to tell the difference between an “asymptomatic case” and a false-positive test result. * 17. There is very little evidence supporting the alleged danger of “asymptomatic transmission”. In June 2020, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said: From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” A meta-analysis of Covid studies, published by Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in December 2020, found that asymptomatic carriers had a less than 1% chance of infecting people within their household. Another study, done on influenza in 2009, found: …limited evidence to suggest the importance of [asymptomatic] transmission. The role of asymptomatic or presymptomatic influenza-infected individuals in disease transmission may have been overestimated…” Given the known flaws of the PCR tests, many “asymptomatic cases” may be false positives.[fact 14] *  *  * PART V: VENTILATORS 18. Ventilation is NOT a treatment for respiratory viruses. Mechanical ventilation is not, and never has been, recommended treatment for respiratory infection of any kind. In the early days of the pandemic, many doctors came forward questioning the use of ventilators to treat “Covid”. Writing in The Spectator, Dr Matt Strauss stated: Ventilators do not cure any disease. They can fill your lungs with air when you find yourself unable to do so yourself. They are associated with lung diseases in the public’s consciousness, but this is not in fact their most common or most appropriate application. German Pulmonologist Dr Thomas Voshaar, chairman of Association of Pneumatological Clinics said: When we read the first studies and reports from China and Italy, we immediately asked ourselves why intubation was so common there. This contradicted our clinical experience with viral pneumonia. Despite this, the WHO, CDC, ECDC and NHS all “recommended” Covid patients be ventilated instead of using non-invasive methods. This was not a medical policy designed to best treat the patients, but rather to reduce the hypothetical spread of Covid by preventing patients from exhaling aerosol droplets. * 19. Ventilators killed people. Putting someone who is suffering from influenza, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or any other condition which restricts breathing or affects the lungs, will not alleviate any of those symptoms. In fact, it will almost certainly make it worse, and will kill many of them. Intubation tubes are a source of potential a infection known as “ventilator-associated pneumonia”, which studies show affects up to 28% of all people put on ventilators, and kills 20-55% of those infected. Mechanical ventilation is also damaging to the physical structure of the lungs, resulting in “ventilator-induced lung injury”, which can dramatically impact quality of life, and even result in death. Experts estimate 40-50% of ventilated patients die, regardless of their disease. Around the world, between 66 and 86% of all “Covid patients” put on ventilators died. According to the “undercover nurse”, ventilators were being used so improperly in New York, they were destroying patients’ lungs: This policy was negligence at best, and potentially deliberate murder at worst. This misuse of ventilators could account for any increase in mortality in 2020/21 [Facts 2 & 6] *  *  * PART VI: MASKS 20. Masks don’t work. At least a dozen scientific studies have shown that masks do nothing to stop the spread of respiratory viruses. One meta-analysis published by the CDC in May 2020 found “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks”. Another study with over 8000 subjects found masks “did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection.” There are literally too many to quote them all, but you can read them: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Or read a summary by SPR here. While some studies have been done claiming to show mask do work for Covid, they are all seriously flawed. One relied on self-reported surveys as data. Another was so badly designed a panel of experts demand it be withdrawn. A third was withdrawn after its predictions proved entirely incorrect. The WHO commissioned their own meta-analysis in the Lancet, but that study looked only at N95 masks and only in hospitals. [For full run down on the bad data in this study click here.] Aside from scientific evidence, there’s plenty of real-world evidence that masks do nothing to halt the spread of disease. For example, North Dakota and South Dakota had near-identical case figures, despite one having a mask-mandate and the other not: In Kansas, counties without mask mandates actually had fewer Covid “cases” than counties with mask mandates. And despite masks being very common in Japan, they had their worst flu outbreak in decades in 2019. * 21. Masks are bad for your health. Wearing a mask for long periods, wearing the same mask more than once, and other aspects of cloth masks can be bad for your health. A long study on the detrimental effects of mask-wearing was recently published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Dr. James Meehan reported in August 2020 he was seeing increases in bacterial pneumonia, fungal infections, facial rashes . Masks are also known to contain plastic microfibers, which damage the lungs when inhaled and may be potentially carcinogenic. Childen wearing masks encourages mouth-breathing, which results in facial deformities. People around the world have passed out due to CO2 poisoning while wearing their masks, and some children in China even suffered sudden cardiac arrest. * 22. Masks are bad for the planet. Millions upon millions of disposable masks have been used per month for over a year. A report from the UN found the Covid19 pandemic will likely result in plastic waste more than doubling in the next few years., and the vast majority of that is face masks. The report goes on to warn these masks (and other medical waste) will clog sewage and irrigation systems, which will have knock on effects on public health, irrigation and agriculture. A study from the University of Swansea found “heavy metals and plastic fibres were released when throw-away masks were submerged in water.” These materials are toxic to both people and wildlife. *  *  * PART VII: VACCINES 23. Covid “vaccines” are totally unprecedented. Before 2020 no successful vaccine against a human coronavirus had ever been developed. Since then we have allegedly made 20 of them in 18 months. Scientists have been trying to develop a SARS and MERS vaccine for years with little success. Some of the failed SARS vaccines actually caused hypersensitivity to the SARS virus. Meaning that vaccinated mice could potentially get the disease more severely than unvaccinated mice. Another attempt caused liver damage in ferrets. While traditional vaccines work by exposing the body to a weakened strain of the microorganism responsible for causing the disease, these new Covid vaccines are mRNA vaccines. mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines theoretically work by injecting viral mRNA into the body, where it replicates inside your cells and encourages your body to recognise, and make antigens for, the “spike proteins” of the virus. They have been the subject of research since the 1990s, but before 2020 no mRNA vaccine was ever approved for use. * 24. Vaccines do not confer immunity or prevent transmission. It is readily admitted that Covid “vaccines” do not confer immunity from infection and do not prevent you from passing the disease onto others. Indeed, an article in the British Medical Journal highlighted that the vaccine studies were not designed to even try and assess if the “vaccines” limited transmission. The vaccine manufacturers themselves, upon releasing the untested mRNA gene therapies, were quite clear their product’s “efficacy” was based on “reducing the severity of symptoms”. * 25. The vaccines were rushed and have unknown longterm effects. Vaccine development is a slow, laborious process. Usually, from development through testing and finally being approved for public use takes many years. The various vaccines for Covid were all developed and approved in less than a year. Obviously there can be no long-term safety data on chemicals which are less than a year old. Pfizer even admit this is true in the leaked supply contract between the pharmaceutical giant, and the government of Albania: the long-term effects and efficacy of the Vaccine are not currently known and that there may be adverse effects of the Vaccine that are not currently known Further, none of the vaccines have been subject to proper trials. Many of them skipped early-stage trials entirely, and the late-stage human trials have either not been peer-reviewed, have not released their data, will not finish until 2023 or were abandoned after “severe adverse effects”. * 26. Vaccine manufacturers have been granted legal indemnity should they cause harm. The USA’s Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP) grants immunity until at least 2024. The EU’s product licensing law does the same, and there are reports of confidential liability clauses in the contracts the EU signed with vaccine manufacturers. The UK went even further, granting permanent legal indemnity to the government, and any employees thereof, for any harm done when a patient is being treated for Covid19 or “suspected Covid19”. Again, the leaked Albanian contract suggests that Pfizer, at least, made this indemnity a standard demand of supplying Covid vaccines: Purchaser hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Pfizer […] from and against any and all suits, claims, actions, demands, losses, damages, liabilities, settlements, penalties, fines, costs and expenses *  *  * PART VIII: DECEPTION & FOREKNOWLEDGE 27. The EU was preparing “vaccine passports” at least a YEAR before the pandemic began. Proposed COVID countermeasures, presented to the public as improvised emergency measures, have existed since before the emergence of the disease. Two EU documents published in 2018, the “2018 State of Vaccine Confidence” and a technical report titled “Designing and implementing an immunisation information system” discussed the plausibility of an EU-wide vaccination monitoring system. These documents were combined into the 2019 “Vaccination Roadmap”, which (among other things) established a “feasibility study” on vaccine passports to begin in 2019 and finish in 2021: This report’s final conclusions were released to the public in September 2019, just a month before Event 201 (below). * 28. A “training exercise” predicted the pandemic just weeks before it started. In October 2019 the World Economic Forum and Johns Hopkins University held Event 201. This was a training exercise based on a zoonotic coronavirus starting a worldwide pandemic. The exercise was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and GAVI the vaccine alliance. The exercise published its findings and recommendations in November 2019 as a “call to action”. One month later, China recorded their first case of “Covid”. * 29. Since the beginning of 2020, the Flu has “disappeared”. In the United States, since Februart 2020, influenza cases have allegedly dropped by over 98%. It’s not just the US either, globally flu has apparently almost completely disappeared. Meanwhile, a new disease called “Covid”, which has identical symptoms and a similar mortality rate to influenza, is supposedly sweeping the globe. * 30. The elite have made fortunes during the pandemic. Since the beginning of lockdown the wealthiest people have become significantly wealthier. Forbes reported that 40 new billionaires have been created “fighting the coronavirus”, with 9 of them being vaccine manufacturers. Business Insider reported that “billionaires saw their net worth increase by half a trillion dollars” by October 2020. Clearly that number will be even bigger by now. *  *  * These are the vital facts of the pandemic, presented here as a resource to help formulate and support your arguments with friends or strangers. Thanks to all the researchers who have collated and collected this information over the last twenty months, especially Swiss Policy Research. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 07:00.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 26th, 2021

With workers and employers feeling ghosted, it"s clear that the hiring process is not working. Here"s how companies can improve.

People on both sides of the table are frustrated. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains how companies can do better in the hiring process. Getty The current labor market has a serious matching problem, as evidenced by the ghosting phenomenon. Workers are looking for jobs, but employers can't seem to find them - or keep them. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has solved similar problems before. See more stories on Insider's business page. In careers as in romance, a happy and successful relationship depends on finding a good match - and one match is not the same as another.The labor market, as Insider's Juliana Kaplan writes, is seeing a major mismatch of skills, geographies, and expectations, which is leading companies across the US to complain of a labor shortage as millions of people actively look for work.One result of this matching problem is a phenomenon that's familiar to anyone who's tried to find a romantic partner in the past decade or so: ghosting. Instead of having an uncomfortable "it's you not me" breakup conversation, a person quietly stops responding and disappears.While job applicants say employers have a long history of ghosting them instead of offering a clear rejection, employers have more recently begun to worry about ghosting by prospective and newly hired employees.Regardless of how things got to this point, it's a complicated problem that is having very real financial and psychological consequences for the people on both sides of the bargaining table, not to mention the wider circle of coworkers, families, and customers who rely on these jobs getting done.Long before Daniel Kahneman was a Nobel Prize-winning psychology professor, he was a lieutenant in the Israeli army in the 1950's, where he was tasked with finding a better way to assign new recruits to suitable teams.In short, he was a matchmaker.Recently, Kahneman shared his insights on hiring practices with the Wall Street Journal, saying that the traditional approach most organizations have been using is "not the best way of doing things."With the caveat that "I am not an expert," Kahneman shared several ways companies could do a better of hiring for roles at all levels from entry-level to CEO.The first aspect of Kahneman's approach is to focus on the attributes that are relevant and necessary for the job, giving those attributes a numeric score, such as a ten-point ranking."Pick maybe half a dozen traits needed to succeed, whether punctuality, technical skill, even anger management. Then think of questions that can help you determine if candidates have these attributes," he said.In addition, while cognitive intelligence is clearly a valuable trait, Kahneman says what matters more is whether someone can actually do the work. For that, he recommends including tests or samples of the kinds of tasks that will be part of the job.By emphasizing consistent metrics and tests that are relevant to the actual work, recruiters are able to compare applicants more evenly. Kahneman also recommends hiring managers keep an open mind throughout the process until they've gathered the necessary data to make an informed decision, at which point they should act decisively."Simon would tell you to hire the first candidate to pass your criteria," Kahneman said, in reference to economist and psychologist Herbert Simon. "You're not really looking for the absolute best because that would take too long."A more systematic and focused approach can help hiring managers make better decisions more quickly, Kahneman says, but there's still an inherent risk that simply cannot be avoided."Good interviews might improve the likelihood you'll be right say from 50% to 60%. If you can go to 65%, it is wonderful," he said. "Doing better may be impossible."Check out the full interview with Kahneman at the Wall Street Journal.Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-lastRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 26th, 2021

Amazon Presses On U.S. Government To Legalize Marijuana

Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) has urged the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, as the e-commerce giant is prompting Congress to pass a federal law to decriminalize its use. With this, the company intends to ease the employee screening process amid the labor shortage. Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Marijuana Screening According to CBC […] Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) has urged the U.S. government to legalize marijuana, as the e-commerce giant is prompting Congress to pass a federal law to decriminalize its use. With this, the company intends to ease the employee screening process amid the labor shortage. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Marijuana Screening According to CBC News, Amazon is pursuing the legalization of marijuana, as “screening job applicants for cannabis makes it hard for the company, the nation's second-biggest private employer, to expand its workforce.” Beth Galetti, Amazon's senior vice president of human resources, wrote on the company’s blog on Tuesday: “We strongly believe the time has come to reform the nation's cannabis policy, and we are committed to helping lead the effort.” “Today's status quo is unfair and untenable,” she added, as retailers are facing difficulties to come up with cannabis rules for workers due to inconsistencies between local statutes and the federal law. The e-commerce giant reported that conducting interviews and tests with future employees could be reduced by up to 30% due to the application of marijuana detection tests. As a result, Amazon announced in June that it would stop conducting marijuana toxicology screenings on those who apply to work for the company. Other Interests Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the U.S. after Walmart (NYSE:WMT). The e-commerce firm is changing its hiring policy, as states continue to legalize the use of marijuana and change the laws that prohibit employers to carry out cannabis tests. “Pre-employment marijuana testing disproportionately impacts people of color and acts as a barrier to employment," Galetti wrote. "We've found that eliminating pre-employment testing for cannabis allows us to expand our applicant pool.” Still, Amazon conducts toxicological tests on workers for other drugs and carries out "impairment checks." The company also said that some positions in the company may require a cannabis test according to Department of Transportation guidelines. However, another compelling reason for Amazon and other big companies to push for cannabis legalization through pressure on the federal government is the business potential. It is estimated that the legal marijuana products industry could reach $100 billion annually by 2030. This market generates more than 300,000 full-time jobs, a figure that even exceeds the number of dentists in the U.S. Amazon and Walmart are part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families. Updated on Sep 22, 2021, 9:28 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkSep 22nd, 2021

Quest Diagnostics" (DGX) COVID-19 Test Demand Up in Q3 Months

The "Path Out of the Pandemic" plan of the U.S. Government, while emphasizing more on a magnified access for testing, comes as a major breakthrough for Quest Diagnostics (DGX). Last week, Quest Diagnostic DGX issued its periodical media statement on the company’s COVID-19 testing-related business performance. Following a dull second-quarter performance in terms of testing due to the declining case counts, this time the company noted about a dramatic increase in testing demand through July to September, as the United States is seeing a surge in the Delta variant-led cases.Let us delve deeper.On a cumulative basis, as of Sep 14, the company has performed and reported 48.7 million molecular diagnostic tests. The test capacity per day remained at 300,000.For the same period, antibody (serology) tests performed and reported were 6.9 million on a cumulative basis. For this test, the test capacity per day was 350,000.The average turnaround time of both types of tests mostly remained at 1 day.COVID-19 Testing Trajectory Through Q3 MonthsIn July, the company first reported about an increase in the testing demand and positivity rates owing to the emergence of the Delta variant. The company claimed that its molecular diagnostic tests are effective in detecting individuals infected with this new dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in the United States, as well as other known circulating strains.Following this, the company increased the number of sites for individuals to access the $0 out-of-pocket COVID-19 diagnostic test option through its online consumer-initiated testing platform, QuestDirect, in order to include approximately 700 of Quest Diagnostics patient service centers.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIn August, with a further surge in cases, the company stated about a difficulty in pooling specimens due to the steady increase in the average positivity rate. However, Quest Diagnostic confirmed that it continued to perform and report the majority of COVID-19 diagnostic tests within 1 day.Same month, it also announced that it has become one of the core laboratory providers for K-12 COVID-19 school testing in Pennsylvania, through its collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks. Further, under its partnership with eMed, the company is now offering clinician-guided rapid COVID-19 antigen testing to employers for a safer workplace environment.In September, the Biden Government launched its “Path Out of the Pandemic” plan, which, while emphasising more on an enhanced access for testing, has came as a major breakthrough for Quest Diagnostics.As per the plan, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will develop a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or else it will require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. The OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement.Once the OSHA rule is implemented, the company expects demand for its testing to rise significantly. Currently, Quest Diagnostics is evaluating opportunities to scale its laboratory testing capacity and rapid antigen test inventory.Raised Outlook for 2021Earlier this month, Quest Diagnostics noted that since its second-quarter earnings release on Jul 22, the COVID-19 molecular testing volumes have been higher than anticipated on the Delta variant spike. Going by the current situation of the daily increase in case count, Quest Diagnostics raised it guidance for the full year.The full-year net revenues are currently estimated in the range of $9.84-$10.09 billion, up from the earlier band of $9.54-$9.79 billion, indicating an improvement of 4.3-6.9% (earlier growth expectation was 1.1-3.7%) from 2020.The adjusted earnings per share (EPS) too has been raised to the range of $11.65-$12.35 from the previous projection of $10.65-$11.35.Share Price PerformanceShares of the company have gained 31% in a year’s time as against the industry’s 26.8% slump.Zacks Rank and Key PicksCurrently, Quest Diagnostics carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).A few better-ranked stocks from the Medical-Products industry include VAREX IMAGING VREX, Envista Holdings Corporation NVST and BellRing Brands, Inc. BRBR, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.VAREX has a long-term earnings growth rate of 5%.Envista Holdings has a long-term earnings growth rate of 27.4%.BellRing Brands has a long-term earnings growth rate of 29.1%. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (DGX): Free Stock Analysis Report VAREX IMAGING (VREX): Free Stock Analysis Report Envista Holdings Corporation (NVST): Free Stock Analysis Report BellRing Brands, Inc. (BRBR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Bet on Dividend ETFs to Ride Out Market Uncertainties

Dividend aristocrats are likely to perform well and are attractive investment options for an impressive finish to 2021, especially at a time when the Delta variant is rapidly spreading. The month of September has been dull so far for the Wall Street. Considering the period being historically weak, all three major indices are negative for the present month. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average witnessed three consecutive weeks of losses for the first time since September 2020.Investors keep a close watch on the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting that will begin Sep 21. It is being speculated that the rising inflation levels may build more pressure on the Fed to tighten its monetary policies. They are concerned about the Federal Reserve’s chances of tapering the fiscal stimulus support, which includes the $120 billion a month bond-buying program. The withdrawal of the stimulus package might slow down the U.S. economic recovery achieved so far from the pandemic-led slump.Several economic data releases are also weighing on investors’ minds. The U.S. economy added only 235,000 jobs in August 2021 (the lowest in seven months). The metric was far behind the forecast of 750,000 as the surge in COVID-19 infection prevented companies from hiring and workers from actively looking for a job. Consumer confidence in the United States slipped to a six-month low in August.Raymond James’ chief investment officer Larry Adam noted that “Factors to build a ‘wall of worry’ are present (i.e., China, supply chain issues, Fed policy, debt ceiling, infrastructure/tax bill), though markets are not too disturbed for now. Normal pullbacks and volatility are to be expected, and we would use these periods as opportunities,” per a CNBC article.President Joe Biden outlined a very effective plan to increase the vaccination rate and control the coronavirus outbreak. He made it mandatory for the federal employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination, per a CNBC article. The Biden government will also issue guidelines to the Labor Department for imposing vaccine mandates on the employers with more than 100 employees or run weekly tests.The latest retail sales data pleasantly surprised investors. The metric rose 0.7% sequentially in August 2021 against the market expectations of a 0.8% decline, per a CNBC article.The U.S. consumer sentiment marginally improved despite the growing concerns about the surging coronavirus cases and the rising inflationary levels. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment inched up to 71 in September from 70.3 last month. The metric, however, lagged the market’s forecast of 72 per a Bloomberg’s survey of economists.Why Invest in Dividend Aristocrat ETFs?Dividend aristocrats are blue-chip dividend-paying companies with a long track record of increasing dividend payments year over year. Moreover, dividend aristocrat funds provide investors with dividend growth opportunities in comparison to other products in the space but might not necessarily have the highest yields.‘Dividend aristocrats’ or ‘dividend growers’ are mostly deemed the smartest way to deal with the market turmoil. The inclination toward dividend investing is rising on account of easing monetary policy on the global front, and the market uncertainty triggered by the pandemic and deceleration in global growth. Demand for these funds is mostly driven by their characteristic of being the major source of consistent income for investors when returns from the equity markets are uncertain.These products also form a strong portfolio with a higher scope of capital appreciation against simple dividend-paying stocks or those with high yields. As a result, these products deliver a nice combination of annual dividend growth and capital-appreciation opportunity and are mostly beneficial to risk averse long-term investors.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some ETFs that investors can consider:Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF VIGThis is the largest and the most popular ETF in the dividend space with an AUM of $65.99 billion. The fund follows the S&P U.S. Dividend Growers Index. It charges 6 basis points (bps) in annual fees (read: Tax Hike Worries Drive Last Week's Inflows: 5 Hot ETFs).SPDR S&P Dividend ETF SDYThis fund seeks to provide investment results that before fees and expenses correspond generally to the total return performance of the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index. The index screens companies that consistently increased their dividend for at least 20 consecutive years. The fund has an AUM of $19.40 billion. It charges 35 bps in fees per year (read: Dividend Aristocrat ETFs Investing Guide).iShares Select Dividend ETF DVYThe fund provides exposure to broad-cap U.S. companies with a consistent history of dividends and tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index. The fund has an AUM of $18.31 billion. It charges 38 bps in fees per year (as stated in the prospectus).ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF NOBLThis fund seeks investment results before fees and expenses that track the performance of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index. It is the only ETF focusing exclusively on the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, which are high-quality companies that not just paid out dividends but also raised the same for at least 25 consecutive years with most doing so for 40 years or more. NOBL amassed $8.96 billion in its asset base. It has an expense ratio of 0.35%.iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF DGROThis fund provides exposure to companies boasting a history of sustained dividend growth by tracking the Morningstar US Dividend Growth Index. The fund has an AUM of $21.28 billion. It charges 8 bps in fees per year. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG): ETF Research Reports ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL): ETF Research Reports iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY): ETF Research Reports iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Will ETFs Gain as US Consumer Sentiment Improves in September?

The U.S. consumer sentiment slightly improved in early-September amid rising concerns about surging coronavirus cases and inflationary levels. The U.S. consumer sentiment has marginally improved amid rising concerns about surging coronavirus cases and inflationary levels. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment inched up to 71 in September from 70.3 last month. The metric, however, lagged market’s forecast of 72, per a Bloomberg survey of economists.The measure of current economic conditions slipped to 77.1 in September from August’s 78.5. Meanwhile, a gauge of consumer expectations edged up to 67.1 in September from 65.1 in the previous month.Moving on, one-year inflation expectation increased to 4.7% (the highest since 2008) in September from 4.6% in August. Meanwhile, the survey's five-year inflation outlook remained steady at 2.9% in September.In this regard, Surveys of Consumers chief economist Richard Curtin, said that “The steep August falloff in consumer sentiment ended in early September, but the small gain still meant that consumers expected the least favorable economic prospects in more than a decade," (per a Reuters article).Notably, consumers seem to be disturbed about the rising prices of homes, vehicles and household durables. In fact, the buying attitude for vehicles and homes is contracting.Current U.S. Economic ScenarioInvestors have their eyes on the minutes from the Fed’s two-day policy meeting that will begin on Sep 21. Fears surrounding the rising inflationary levels have aggravated as the producer price index witnessed the largest annual surge since November 2010 (per a CNBC article). The metric rose 0.7% in August and 8.3% year over year. It is being speculated that rising inflation levels may build more pressure on the Fed to tighten monetary policies.Several economic data releases are also weighing on investors’ minds. The U.S. economy added only 235,000 jobs in August 2021 (the lowest in seven months). The metric lagged the forecast of 750,000 as a surge in COVID-19 infections kept companies from hiring and workers from actively looking for a job. Consumer confidence in the United States slipped to a six-month low in August.The latest update on U.S. industrial output looks disappointing as the damages from Hurricane Ida and the ongoing health crisis took a toll on the metric. The consistent crunch in raw material supplies and labor as a result of the pandemic has been a serious concern. Per the Fed’s recently-released data, total industrial production rose 0.4% in August versus an increase of 0.8% in July.There are still certain positive developments that can help stimulate a market rally. President Joe Biden has outlined a very effective plan to increase the vaccination rate and control the outbreak. He has made it mandatory for federal employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination, per a CNBC article. The Biden government will also issue guidelines to the Labor Department for imposing vaccine mandates for employers with more than 100 employees or run weekly tests.The latest retail sales data has pleasantly surprised investors. The metric rose 0.7% sequentially in August 2021, comparing favorably with market expectations of a 0.8% decline, per a CNBC article.The latest ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data for the United States is painting a rosy picture for the industrial sector. The metric rose to 59.9 in August  from 59.5 in July and surpassed forecasts of 58.6, per a Reuters article. Any reading above 50% indicates expansion in U.S. manufacturing activities. Notably, the manufacturing sector, which makes up 11.9% of the U.S. economy, saw the reading expanding for the 15th consecutive month.ETFs That Might GainThe nominal improvement in consumer sentiment might support the consumer discretionary sector, which attracts a major portion of consumer spending amid rising inflation levels. Here we have highlighted the four most popular funds that target the broader consumer discretionary sector (see all Consumer Discretionary ETFs):The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund XLYThis is the largest and most popular product in the consumer discretionary space, with AUM of $19.94 billion. It tracks the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index. The fund charges 12 basis points (bps) in fees per year and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy), with a Medium-risk outlook (read: ETF Areas to Gain From the Upcoming Holiday Shopping Season).Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF VCRThis fund currently follows the MSCI US Investable Market Consumer Discretionary 25/50 Index. VCR charges investors 10 bps in annual fees. The product has managed $6.70 billion in its asset base and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy), with a Medium-risk outlook (read: Will ETFs Gain on Starbucks' Q3 Earnings Beat Amid Pandemic?).First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX Fund FXDThis fund tracks the StrataQuant Consumer Discretionary Index, which employs the AlphaDEX stock-selection methodology to select stocks from the Russell 1000 Index. FXD has AUM of $1.99 billion. It charges 63 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold), with a Medium-risk outlook.Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF FDISThis fund tracks the MSCI USA IMI Consumer Discretionary Index. The product has amassed $1.62 billion in its asset base. It charges 8 bps in annual fees from investors and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2, with a Medium-risk outlook (read: ETFs to Rise on Full FDA Approval for Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine). Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF (VCR): ETF Research Reports Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF (FDIS): ETF Research Reports First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX ETF (FXD): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Cuomo orders employers to provide essential workers with masks

New York City is in danger of running out of swabs for Covid-19 tests and should only test ho… patients, the city health department said in a memo to health care providers over the weekend. “As the... To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkApr 15th, 2020

Low Unemployment Rate Leads to Less Testing for Marijuana Use

As the U.S. unemployment rate continues to fall, employers looking for new workers have been quietly dropping drug tests for marijuana usage......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstMay 6th, 2018

Retail workers tested positive for drugs at the highest rate last year, Quest study shows

Retail had highest rate of positive drug tests in 2017 as more employers waive screening in the tight labor market. He.....»»

Category: topSource: usatodayDec 19th, 2018

U.S. job growth jumps; unemployment rate rises to 4.0 percent

U.S. job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite a darkening outlook that has left the Federal Reserve wary about more interest rate hikes this year......»»

Category: topSource: reutersFeb 1st, 2019

U.S. job gains largest in 11 months; unemployment rate rises

U.S. job growth surged in January, with employers hiring the most workers in 11 months, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite an uncertain outlook that has left the Federal Reserve wary about more interest rate hikes this year......»»

Category: topSource: reutersFeb 1st, 2019

Trump-backed Republican, eyeing bid for Pennsylvania governor"s office, falsely suggests COVID-19 vaccines are not true vaccines

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who pushed false claims about the 2020 election, said, "I guess I shouldn't call it a 'vaccine.'" Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin. Julio Cortez/Associated Press Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano was first elected in a 2019 special election. His 33rd state senate district is located in the south-central part of the state. He was reelected in 2020 with 68.6% of the vote. He says Pennsylvania's election that year was fraudulent. A Pennsylvania Republican who tried to block his state's votes from being counted in the 2020 election held a fundraiser at a church on Thursday at which he mocked the notion of "herd immunity" and falsely suggested the vaccines against COVID-19 are not really vaccines at all.At a political fundraiser hosted by the tax-exempt, evangelical Time Ministries Church in central Pennsylvania, Mastriano appeared to gear up for a potential run for governor in 2022, having previously claimed that former President Donald Trump personally asked him to do so. His remarks, aired live on Facebook, touched on opposition to vaccine mandates - a bill he introduced prohibits requiring any immunization - and rehashing claims that the 2020 election stolen."So now the healthcare workers, you're in a bad spot there," Mastriano said, blasting "Joe Biden's edicts" that "you need to get the shot.""I guess I shouldn't call it a 'vaccine,'" Mastriano continued, a reference to false claims and disinformation that mRNA vaccines, such as the ones from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are not true vaccines because they rely on a new medical technology to spur antibody production. The inoculation from Johnson & Johnson is a more traditional vector vaccine.The vaccines, one of which has full FDA approval (Pfizer), and two others that have FDA emergency authorization (Moderna and J&J), are safe and effective at staving off severe cases of COVID-19, per Johns Hopkins. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Mastriano, who also campaigned against mask-wearing and other public health measures during the pandemic, was himself infected with COVID-19 last year, learning of his positive test during a post-election meeting with Trump at the White House."And who ever heard this idea that you need to get the shot to protect other people?" Mastriano asked the small audience at the church. "You know when I was deployed overseas, and then you get all of these things shoved into your body, like any veteran does, it's not there to protect the Afghans or Iraqis, it protects you. This is not even reasonable or logical," he said.Despite Mastriano's suggestion that the benefits of mass inoculation are a novel argument for the COVID-19 vaccines, it is a basic tenet of modern immunology and a reason why, for example, schools in Pennsylvania require all students to be vaccinated against diseases such as polio, with few exemptions for medical and religious reasons.As the Defense Department's Military Health System explains, "When a vaccine is given to a significant portion of the population, it protects those who receive the vaccine as well as those who cannot receive the vaccine. This concept is called 'herd immunity.' When a high percentage of the population is vaccinated and immune to a disease, they do not get sick - so there is no one to spread the disease to others."Vaccines provide significant protection against infection, though there are sometimes breakthrough infections. That is why the military and schools have mandated many vaccines: to limit the chance that an unvaccinated person - far more likely to be carrying a virus - is in a position to test a vaccinated person's immunity and cause a breakthrough case. Time Ministries Church encouraged attendees to donate to state Sen. Doug Mastriano's political campaign. Facebook At Thursday's fundraiser, the state senator also pushed false claims about the 2020 election. Although Pennsylvania Republicans actually passed a ballot measure this year, limiting Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's ability to issue public health orders during a pandemic, Mastriano insisted the state's elections are fraudulent, citing a debunked story about ballots being trucked in from New York reiterating his demand for a "forensic audit" like that carried out in Maricopa County, Arizona, which he witnessed over the summer."They had magnifying glasses on one of the machines, they could tell - apparently photocopies are pixelated…. it's very clear that's a compromised ballot," he claimed.But the partisan review in Arizona, commissioned by the state's Republicans, did not find any such "compromised ballots," despite being led by a group, Cyber Ninjas, that was committed to finding them. A third-party review of results in Pennsylvania's Fulton County, pushed by Mastriano, likewise found no evidence of fraud.Mastriano is no stranger to making inaccurate and incendiary claims about the last presidential election, a fact that has won him support from the loser of the contest.As detailed in the interim staff report from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mastriano - who was outside the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection, and chartered buses to bring protesters to Washington - last year urged acting Attorney General Richard Donoghue to investigate a slew of readily debunked claims of fraud.For example, the state senator claimed more votes had been cast than there were voters in Pennsylvania, an assertion that failed to account for residents from Philadelphia, among other counties. Mastriano also took part in hearings organized by Rudy Giuliani, supporting the Trump campaign's efforts to have Pennsylvania's election results invalidated.But Mastriano's event on Thursday ended - at least online - not with talk of election fraud but with a question from the audience about his opposition to vaccine requirements. When a woman asked about the status of that effort in the state legislature, Mastriano made sure no one at home could hear his response."Kill my live feed back there," he told an aide.Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider8 hr. 13 min. ago