Topic Category: Labor

(UPDATED) Before slightly rising in May, the U.S. unemployment rate consecutively declined from 7.9 percent in January to 7.5 percent in April. Good news, right? Unfortunately, the overall declining trend does not capture what’s actually happening. For example, the unemployment rate does not count those who become frustrated and stop looking for work, or account for those whose hours have been cut back to make way for more part-timers not receiving benefits.

Topic: Labor
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The senior members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family have avoided taking any overt steps to begin grooming princes from the third generation of the Al Saud dynasty to eventually rule the kingdom. Once initiated, this move could potentially trigger a destabilizing power struggle among the dozens of grandsons of Ibn Saud, the country’s founding monarch, who for whatever reason perceive themselves to have a legitimate claim on the throne.

Topic: Labor
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After thirty years in the leadership business, first as an executive and then as a leadership consultant, I am frequently asked ‘What makes a leader great?’ I’ve had years to observe and correlate competencies and behaviors to leadership effectiveness. While many competencies are essential, one that comes before all others is self-awareness.

Topic: Labor
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One of the hottest topics among people interested in either international trade or manufacturing is the apparent trend in backshoring: moving manufacturing back to the United States from abroad. This is exactly the opposite of the offshoring trend that took hold more than 20 years ago and resulted in the movement of production of many familiar products  from the United States to lower-cost countries.

Topic: Labor
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By April 1st, the U.S. government began accepting   applications for the H-1B highly skilled worker visa program. This year’s 85,000 H-1B slots were expected to be filled by April 5th. If industry experts, immigration attorneys, and government spokesmen are right and the annual H-1B cap is hit within a week of applications being made available, it will be the first time that has happened since 2008.

Topic: Labor
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President Barack Obama wants to give low-wage Americans a raise. Actually, he wants to force other people to give them a raise. It’s a bad idea. In his State of the Union speech President Obama proposed hiking the minimum wage to $9 an hour, a 24 percent jump.

Topic: Labor
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China continues to suffer a labor shortage in its key coastal manufacturing regions. This, no doubt, is impacting U.S. and other foreign companies operating in China. But the labor shortage is not due to a lack of available workers. Instead, it is prompted by Chinese government policies, as well as prevailing work and living conditions in affected regions.

Topic: Labor
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Most Americans have recognized the valuable contributions of veterans and members of our military services ever since the founding of the Republic. What’s surprising to many is this: veteran entrepreneurial accomplishments also create tremendous economic value not only for themselves, but also for American cities and towns. Their leadership in the re-newel of American communities needs to be recognized and supported.

Topic: Labor
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Executives often ask me what the latest trends I see developing in the leadership field are. One trend I always point to is a widespread shift to “applied leadership.” Applied leadership is the practical and tangible implementation of leadership skills specific to a given work environment or business initiative. It is based on actual, hands-on experience instead of abstract knowledge.

Topic: Labor
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With Michigan becoming the 24th state to adopt a right-to-work law, the hand writing is on the wall: if you want to attract investment and create jobs, unions are a barrier not a benefit.

Understanding why Michigan chose the right-to-work path isn’t difficult to analyze when you consider the state has an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. In Detroit, the state’s largest city, 34.5 percent of its citizens are on food stamps, 45.7 percent aren’t in the workforce and 99,702 of the city’s 363,000 homes stand vacant.

Topic: Labor
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