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Tuesday, May 07, 2024

We’re Still Outsourcing Computer Jobs

image: unhappy i.t. guy

With all the TALK of cybersecurity fears of hacks and a hot jobs market - you have to wonder what’s next.

There’s a couple of other things to think about besides paying slave wages to, and/or outsourcing the talent of Americans overseas.

The official government jobs numbers.  They’re as worthless as a three dollar bill.  The 40% or so of us that actually make enough to pay our bills probably don’t follow - or care about - those reports.

National security.  How can so many companies - and the government - outsource critical work like maintaining and administering computer systems to our political adversaries and countries off American soil?

The Great Replacement.  If you’re one of those 40% or so not living paycheck to paycheck, or watch cable news like MSNC and FOX for truth, you probably think the “great replacement” is a theory.


Jobs Being Outsourced
May 3, 2024

I work for a pretty large MSSP in SOC in the U.S. I’m closing in on almost 3 years here, a couple months ago I was promoted to senior security analyst. I noticed a trend starting early last year, the company starting doing layoffs at first for the tier 1 soc roles and helpdesk, not all of them but a good amount, then after a week or so we were introduced to NEW TEAM MEMBERS FOR THE SAME ROLES THAT WERE LAID OFF BUT THEY WERE BASED IN INDIA. Then in Sept of last year, layoffs again, this time tier 2 where I was at, at the time. Same thing a week later more teammates from India. Finally once I was promoted a couple months ago to a senior I thought I would be safe. 2 weeks ago, again layoffs announced, this time some of our security engineers and software engineers, you can see the cycle here, surprise, the following week those roles were replaced by people in India.

Now almost 40% of my team is based out of India in the SOC, I know with our helpdesk the figure is higher, and with engineering its probably somewhere in the 20%. To be honest without disrespecting anyone, ever since the arrival of the employees from India, our quality of work has declined drastically, I am continually having to intervene on tickets worked by them, which is taking more time from myself having to work on high priority situations, we are constantly having miscommunication issues and it has made work much more difficult then it needs to be. Customers are filing more complaints then ever, some of our application projects for engineering that were due to be released months ago have been pushed for a further timeframe of 5 to 6 months. We had some of our biggest clients telling us that they will have to think carefully if they will want to renew their contract with us.

One of the main reasons I went into cybersecurity and spent so much time on education and certifications was because I was being told and led to believe this is a secure field for job risk. I understand a corporation’s main goal is to generate profit. But I thought roles in this industry would be more inclined to not be outsourced due to the nature of security data that US companies would be inclined to not have that data accessible overseas.

So I can see the writing on the wall, either the company will start laying off the seniors and replacing us for cheaper labor or they will want us to stay here to oversee the environment. Doesn’t matter to me though because I don’t want to work at this company anymore due to the reasons I stated above. I am continually seeing headlines of these tech layoffs but one of the main backings of these that isn’t talked about enough in my opinion is outsourcing.

So as I brush up my resume to start looking for another job, which sucks to think about because I genuinely enjoyed working at this company previously. I think to myself and hopefully I can gain some insight from all of you, what roles in the security field are less prone to outsourcing? I am mostly experienced in blue team/defense security and incident response, should I start looking at red team? cloud security? application security? or a specific industry in security? Etc. security is a vast field so I would love any input from you.



Same job, $16 less per hour: Frustrated job hunters cant find roles that pay as well as their old ones
The latest jobs report shows the labor market is still strong, but some workers say theyve been forced to take jobs that pay almost half what they earned before

By Zoe Han
May 4, 2024

Martin-John Rubio had been job hunting for a year when he saw a posting in early 2024 for a role in talent acquisition that was similar to his previous job, which he had left after his contract ended. But instead of the $33 an hour he’d been earning before, the listed pay was $17 an hour.

Rubio was flummoxed, so he sent the job poster an email.

“I said, ‘Hi there. I was just curious - was this a typo? Did you mean to put $27 or $37? Because it says $17.  It’s located in Silicon Valley. There’s no way that anybody would take that job,’” he told MarketWatch.

He didn’t get a response.

“I wasn’t trying to be a smart-ass,” Rubio said. “Because $17 an hour? I mean, Christ, the fast-food people earn more than that nowadays.”

California fast-food workers started earning $20 an hour this year, and throughout the U.S., LOW-WAGE WORKERS HAVE SEEN THEIR PAY RISE FASTER than any other group since 2019. But some white-collar workers say the current job market is the most difficult they’ve ever experienced.

For jobs in industries like mortgage lending, marketing and human resources, some companies are offering salaries that are lower than what new hires had been making at their previous jobs, often for the same type of role - and especially for those in mid-level to senior-level roles. Some job seekers say they’ve had to accept that lower pay or leave their field entirely.

What’s going on? “After a hiring spree in 2021 and 2022, when some companies had to offer higher salaries to fill roles for which workers were in high demand, many of those same companies are now trimming the pay they offer new hires,” said Paaras Parker, chief human-resources officer at the human-capital-management platform Paycor.

“The math would tell you, then, they would have to pay less for other types of roles,” Parker said. “Because there;s just not more money available.”

For most of 2023, the average new hire across the board in the U.S. was paid less than the average new hire in 2022, according to data provided byGUSTO, a payroll platform for mostly small and medium-size businesses. 

A ‘wait and see’ economy

Marilyn Driscoll, who lives in the Chicago area, was making $115,000 a year, or about $55 to $60 an hour, as a senior technical RECRUITER. After her contract expired in August 2023, she expected to find a new position within a month or two. But as that stretched into half a year, she found that most of the roles she was applying and interviewing for were paying about 30% to 40% less than she had been making.

“You look at the jobs on the [job boards] and you just have to laugh,” she said.

A recruiter for one job told Driscoll in an interview that the pay was $20 per hour. “This has got to be a mistake,” she responded. She said in an interview with MarketWatch that she would not take a job like that one, which came with entry-level pay but senior-level responsibilities.

“Its soul-crushing,” she said.

Brett Jansen worked as a chief growth officer before being laid off in November. In an interview for a similar role, a recruiter told her that nobody was getting paid as much as she had been making before. The job market was going through a reset after salaries got inflated during the pandemic, Jansen was told.

She thought that was unacceptable. “You can’t pay people less when the cost of living is what it is right now,” Jansen told MarketWatch. “You can’t pay people less to do the same job that they were doing previously.”

The overall labor market looks strong, but the latest government data shows scattered signs of a slowdown. While unemployment remains low, job openings in the U.S. fell to 8.5 million in March, THE LOWEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN THREE YEARS. Most new jobs were in three areas: GOVERNMENT, HEALTHCARE, AND LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY.

“Many employers are hesitant to recruit new workers because of economic uncertainties and rising costs,” according to Liz Wilke, the principal economist at Gusto, who called it a “wait and see” economy.

The finance industry has seen the biggest decline in pay levels over the past four years, with new hires earning 7% less in 2024 than new hires did in 2019, according to Gusto data.

“That’s partly because there are fewer jobs for loan officers now,” Wilke said. A series of interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve that started in 2022 has made borrowing money more expensive, which means fewer people are taking out loans.

THE TECH INDUSTRY is also seeing a drop in pay for new hires”, said Rahul Yodh, vice president of talent acquisition at New Western, a real-estate investing company.

‘You look at the jobs on the [job boards] and you just have to laugh.’Marilyn Driscoll, a former senior technical recruiter

Two and a half years ago, he said, tech was the most candidate-driven market out there. Job offers were “more than generous,” and many of them were open-ended - meaning that if a candidate declined the offer but went back to the company a year later, the company would still be open to hiring them, Yodh told MarketWatch. “That would never happen today.”

As Driscoll, the former technical recruiter, described it: “People were throwing stupid money at us.”

Doing more work for less pay

U.S. employers have announced more than 322,043 job cuts since the start of 2024, according to the latest figures from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Along with those layoffs, workers looking for new jobs not only saw lower pay, they also saw roles that required them to do more.

Driscoll saw one posting for a job in Austin, Texas, that paid $115,000 to $125,000 a year. The role involved managing recruiters along with marketing recruitment efforts and other duties. “This is easily five different roles,” she said, adding that the pay for such a job should be more than $200,000.

Companies have also had to recalibrate remaining employees’ responsibilities after layoffs, Yodh said, noting that unless a company decides to eliminate a project, the work still needs to get done.

Increasingly, beaten-down job seekers are saying yes to lower-paying jobs after months of unemployment.

After working 17 years in the mortgage industry, Janice Hernandez was laid off twice in 2023 - first from her $90,000-a-year job as an account-relationship manager. Six months later, Hernandez accepted the only job she was offered, as a senior loan partner earning $54,000 a year. She was later laid off from that job, too.

“I had no choice but to take it because I needed [it] to work financially,” Hernandez told MarketWatch. “I said, ‘It’s better than nothing.’”

Andrea Dean recently found herself in a similar situation. Dean, who lives in Melbourne, Fla., had 22 years of industry experience under her belt and was making $35.50 an hour as a conventional mortgage-loan underwriter before she was let go in August 2022. She started working a $19-an-hour logistics job last July. “I didn’t care. I just needed to make money,” she said.

“When more workers are willing to take less money, that can drive pay levels down further,” Yodh said. And many rounds of layoffs have resulted in a candidate pool filled with more-experienced white-collar workers. “In today’s job market, there’s no shortage of good quality candidates,” he said.

Rubio hasn’t given up on his search for a good job in human resources.

“You’ve got to look every day,” he said. “The one day you don’t look, that’s the one day the job that you want is going to come out. Trust me.|


Posted by Elvis on 05/07/24 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section Job Hunt • Section Preying On The Job Seeker • Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

The Awakening Part 18 - The Great Replacement Redux

image: u.s. immigration 2023
The Bush administration and the leadership of the Democratic Party are preparing to take another legislative leap at imposing a massive illegal alien amnesty on American citizens.
- Big Media Hides Truth About Immigration, 2007
THERE IS A RIGHT-WING CONSPIRACY THEORY called the great replacement, which says that white people are being overtaken by minorities and that this is going to cause a loss of rights for white people. It used to be on the fringe. It’s been around a long time, but whats special now is that that theory is embraced in full-throated fashion by major political leaders and also by major media figures. If you live in an area that’s losing white population, you can start yourself to connect the dots to the spinning that’s going around with these narratives.
- The Expendable White Male, 2022
The OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT) program, in which the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT pays American employers to discriminate against American workers has grown rapidly in recent years, and during FY 2017 it used nearly $2 billion swiped from trust funds for the elderly to favor 240,000 alien college grads over an equal number of U.S.-resident grads.... It is hard to believe, but true; employers of FOREIGN STUDENTS who have a degree from a U.S. institution are given an 8.25 percent tax break if they hire an alien, rather than a U.S. college grad with the same skills, and paid at the same salary, as we described in some detail in a recent posting.
- Big Media Hides Truth On Immigration II
Our goal is not to find a qualified U.S. worker.
- Cohen & Grigsby, Jobs Who Won’t Do?, June 2007
What happened at Disney is not an accident; it was clear statutory design,” testified attorney and former computer programmer John Miano, co-author of a recent book about the H-1B visa. “In 1998, Congress made it explicitly legal to replace Americans with H-1B workers,” he said. Then, in 2004, Congress changed the H-1B prevailing wage system to allow employers to pay these workers extremely low wages.” Normally, the prevailing wage is the median wage, the 50th percentile, but for the H-1B program, the normal prevailing wage is the 17th percentile. In normal-wage areas, this creates a wage differential with domestic workers of about $20,000 per worker, and in high-wage areas like Silicon Valley, it creates a differential of about $40,000, with predictable result[s], he said. The law, he added, is needlessly complicated and this complexity seriously hinders enforcement.
- Can’t Find a Qualified Worker, Redux 6
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about American capitalism,” Anne Helen Petersen writes, “it’s the skill and swiftness with which it translates resistance into personal, moral failure - which is precisely what so many of these business owners and politicians have done.”
- There Is No Worker Shortage
WE will be a leading company whose objective is to hire people from the third-world, and eventually train them in order to enable the assistance to people within the first-world. That way the employee with the employer through GT Connections; this bond will generate benefits for both ends, it means, we will generate jobs to people in need. They will be properly guided by GT Connections in order to develop high standards of both customer and employer satisfaction. On the other hand, THE EMPLOYER OBTAINS THE ACTUAL BENEFIT of an aid for his business in progress involving a monthly low investment saving time when delegating whatever it takes for the furtherance of his business.
- Immigrants As Pawns, 2022
The Biden administration - and Biden - was one of the principal architects of the policies that fleeced the working class and made war on the poor - is nothing more than a brief coda in the decline and fall, set against which is China’s rising global economic and military clout.
- Imagining A Real American Rescue, 2021


I think the GREAT REPLACEMENT of the American workforce started with that GIANT SUCKING SOUND Ross Perot talked about in the NAFTA days. Then GLOBALIZATION opened the door to all kinds of shedding of good US jobs.  While some unions like the CWA let it happen without striking or pushing back, techies got replaced with TEMPS AND CONTRACTORS from local staffing companies. Then it expanded to shipping our jobs overseas with outsourcing and offshoring to India and others countries with cheap labor, then expanded to foreign workers visas, so instead of outsoucing to India, we BRING THE FOREIGNERS HERE under the pretense they’re doing jobs American’s don’t want to do, TRAIN THEM, and give the American employers a tax break for doing so.  Today we’re bringing in IMMIGRANTS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS by the droves, and ripping societies apart in the process.  What’ll probaly happen is the old propagandazing that the immigrants are doing jobs Americans don’t want to do.

Politicians will scapegoat the displaced Americans who join the unemployed in poverty as LAZY BUMS, or DRUG ADDICTS.

The best work USELESS Americans may able to get are GIG JOBS.


Tyson Is Hiring New York Immigrants for Jobs No One Else Wants

By Simone Foxman and Ella Ceron
March 11, 2024

For politicians in Washington and New York City, an unprecedented stream of asylum seekers presents an intractable problem with no easy answers. For companies like Tyson Foods Inc., struggling to fill unpleasant jobs with a US unemployment rate of 3.9%, this new population presents an alluring opportunity.

Tyson is joining the nonprofit TENT PARTNERSHIP FOR REFUGEES, which was founded by Chobani yogurt magnate Hamdi Ulukaya, with a plan to hire some of the 181,400 migrants that have come through New York City’s intake system over the past two years. The meatpacker already employs about 42,000 immigrants among its 120,000-strong US workforce.

“We would like to employ another 42,000 if we could find them,” said Garrett Dolan, who LEADS Tysons efforts to eliminate employment barriers such as immigration status or the need for childcare.

On a cold day last month, Tyson officials met with immigrants at Chobanis offices in Manhattan and hired 17 asylum seekers from Venezuela, Mexico and Colombia for jobs at its plant in Humboldt, Tennessee. Last week, it hired 70 more.

It’s a tiny drop in the bucket when compared with the surge in new arrivals, but could point the way toward a partial solution to address companies’ labor shortages as well as the challenge of finding work for eligible immigrants. Tent is also working with four other companies seeking to hire migrants, including the airline food packager Gategroup Holding AG, which is backed by Singapore wealth fund Temasek. Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has partnered with Tent to support refugee populations.

Asylum hopefuls are typically eligible to receive work permits 180 days after they apply for the legal status, though some can receive them sooner. Many will wait years before their first immigration hearing due to court backlogs, but the’ll be allowed to work in the meantime.

Tyson is constantly in search of workers to fill jobs in its factories tasks like washing meat, placing the cuts into trays and doing a final inspection for bones. Dolan says the company expects about 40% of the 100,000 people in these roles will leave each year, a statistic he says is standard across the meatpacking industry. To meet this need, he said, Tyson plans to hire about 52,000 people at that wage class - which starts at $16.50 an hour, plus benefits - in 2024 alon.

“We’re recognizing theres not a lot of people that are going to be working labor-manufacturing jobs that are American,” Dolan said. A large portion of new hires “are going to come from refugees and immigrants, so we’re now in the business of strategically thinking that through.”

The food industry has long been a destination for immigrants, and it carries a checkered past of employment and workplace safety violations. Last year, Tyson and Perdue Farms Inc. were among food producers that came under investigation from the US Department of Labor after a New York Times report found contractors illegally employed migrant children at companies plants. The company says it has zero tolerance for child labor and doesn’t allow the employment of anyone under the age of 18 in any of its facilities.

Tyson is also investing in retaining immigrant workers, having earmarked $1.5 million a year for legal aid services in 2023 and 2024 and providing paid time off for workers to attend court hearings. Last year, Tyson paid for 1,317 workers to become US citizens.

The migrant hires and other new entry-level workers receive on-site childcare and transportation, as well as English classes for those who want them. The company is providing its new employees from New York with temporary housing, a relocation stipend and paid time off to better acclimate to their new lives in Humboldt.

“They’re very, very loyal,” Dolan said. They’ve been uprooted and what they want is stability - what they want is a sense of belonging.”



While inequality, homelessness and poverty keep growing for Americans born and raised here:

New York Starts Distributing Debit Cards to Migrants, Despite Uproar

By Emma G. Fitzsimmons
NY Times
March 25, 2024

New York City officials on Monday began handing out debit cards to migrant families to pay for food and baby supplies at grocery stores.

The program has FACED A BACKLASH over concerns about potential fraud or abuse, and about whether migrants were being given preferential treatment over other people in need.

But with 180,000 migrants having entered New York over the last two years and 65,000 still in shelters, the city is struggling with mounting housing and food costs and the administration of Mayor Eric Adams is eager to try a new approach.

A family of four is expected to receive up to $350 per week under the program, which will last six weeks, city officials said. The program will begin with 10 families on Monday, expanding to about 115 families, or roughly 450 people, over the next week.

Mayor Adams, a Democrat, has repeatedly defended the program, arguing that it will bring down the costs of feeding migrants, put money back into local businesses and help the city avoid wasting uneaten meals.

The city’s deputy mayor for health and human services, Anne Williams-Isom, said in an interview on Monday that she did not understand the outcry over allowing a group of vulnerable people to buy their own food, noting that other programs like cash assistance and food stamps are available to New Yorkers who are not migrants.

“I do struggle with why people are being so negative when it comes to providing something so basic for families with children,” she said, adding: “It’s not putting groups against each other.”

The cards will be distributed at the city’s arrival center, the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan, to migrant families who are staying at hotels that are being used as emergency shelters under a 28-day voucher program. City officials said the cards would be loaded with one week of funds at a time, and that their use would be monitored before the program was expanded to more families.

Joseph Borelli, the City Councils Republican minority leader, acknowledged that offering debit cards might be cheaper than providing boxed meals, but he said the city was still spending too much money on migrant services.

“A lot of New Yorkers are going to take this as something that’s fundamentally unfair,” he said. “There are plenty of New Yorkers struggling to pay their bills.”

The most vehement criticism of the program has come from conservative leaders and commentators, including on Fox News, where GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT OF TEXAS SAID THE IDEA WAS INSANITY at a time when migrants were being accused of committing crimes.

Questions have also been raised about the contract to provide the cards, which was awarded on an emergency basis to Mobility Capital Finance without competitive bids from other companies. The Adams administration has been faulted for entering into a NO-BID, $432 MILLION CONTRACT with DocGo, a medical services company whose work on the migrant crisis has BEEN MARRED BY SCANDAL.

The cost of the contract with Mobility Capital Finance, a company known as MoCaFi that FOCUSES ON PROVIDING FINANCIAL SERVICES TO LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES, could rise to as much as $53 million, with about $2 million possibly going to MoCaFi and the rest being distributed to families, city officials said. The city has spent about $570,000 on the contract so far, including a $125,000 starting fee for the company, advance funds to be placed on cards and $3 per card to create them.

The company’s chief executive, Wole Coaxum, said that MoCaFi had worked on universal basic income cards in other cities, including Los Angeles and Newark, N.J., and that they were not abused.

“What we’ve found in each of these instances is that people spend the money on the intended purpose,” he said in an interview.

Mr. Coaxum said that digital coding in the cards ensures that they will work only at supermarkets and bodegas. Participants must also sign an affidavit saying they will use them only for food and baby supplies or risk removal from the program, and the families are being asked to save their receipts.

The city has the ability to remove money from the cards or to permanently turn off a card, Mr. Coaxum said, and the city is working with supermarkets and bodegas to make the rules clear.

The city intends to collect feedback before expanding the program. Ms. Williams-Isom said officials would examine whether the program is meeting its goals.

“We’ll be looking at where they’re actually being used, what the card is being used for and feedback from migrants themselves to see whether this is something that is worthwhile,” she said.



Over in the windy city:

City and state quickly moves thousands of migrants from shelters into homes across the South and West sides. But will they stay?

By Nell Salzman
Chicago Tribune
March 1, 2024

Migrants across the city are leaving shelters in droves, their belongings stuffed in trash bags they load into Ubers or Lyfts, which the’ve often arranged themselves to head to new homes.

More than eight months after state and city leaders said they WANTED TO HELP THOUSANDS OF MIGRANTS FIND HOMES IN CHICAGO, the government assistance program covering their initial months of rent is moving faster than ever.

Migrants are now mostly settling on the South and West sides, where they say rent is more affordable with the approximate $1,500-a-month rental assistance they say they receive from the state. Working in partnership with the city, nonprofit organizations in Chicago and case managers from Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, the state has spent $41.4 million so far to resettle more than 5,000 households, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services.

In the past month, the number of migrants residing in city shelters has decreased dramatically due to a combination of MIGRANTS LEAVING THE CITY to connect with family and friends in other cities and states and a change to the rental assistance program that allows migrants to find their own apartments without the assistance of a case manager, according to officials.

“There were good things and bad things about the shelter,” said Angelica Beltran, 44, from Maracaibo, Venezuela who has settled in Englewood. “But I didn’t want to stay.”

Officials are trying to scale back the number of migrants living in the nearly two dozen makeshift shelters in abandoned buildings, in turn easing the financial burden for the city and state of caring for migrants.

But as the number of migrants in the city’s remaining 23 shelters has shrunk to approximately 12,000 - down from a peak of more than 15,000 in 27 city-run shelters in mid-December - some migrant advocates are questioning whether the rapid resettlement plan is in the best interest of asylum-seekers.

Meanwhile, community leaders and advocates wonder about the long-term effect it will have on the neighborhoods they are moving into.

In a city of more than 2.6 million, routinely considered among the most segregated in the country, the resettled migrants are finding themselves isolated, untethered from a support system with familial and cultural ties. Unlike waves of immigrants before them, there is no established community for the mostly Venezuelan migrants to settle.

“How the process of integration into neighborhoods will work is anyone’s guess,” said Sylvia Puente, president and CEO of the Latino Policy Forum.

“I don’t think anyone can predict the future, but I know that it’s definitely going to be challenging,” she said.

While most migrants say they are grateful for the help moving out of the cramped living conditions at shelters, they face new challenges in their new homes: unheated and unfurnished apartments, hostility from neighbors, unfamiliar and sometimes dangerous surroundings, and an uncertain future.

Franzo Lira, 42, from Caracas, Venezuela, sat on an upside-down bucket in his living room in Auburn Gresham on a recent Sunday.

He said he had been staying at his apartment with sparse furniture since late December. His wife and two daughters made the trip to the United States after he did, but they ended up in Phoenix. He was saving up money to buy them airplane tickets to come to Chicago.

“Im working every day,” he said. “But I don’t have the money to buy furniture.”

Officials say shutting down shelters is cost-effective. State, county and city officials PROJECT $321 MILLION IS NEEDED TO KEEP THE MIGRANT OPERATION AFLOAT THROUGH THE END OF 2024. The five shelters that have closed down since Feb. 9 will save the city at least $19 million, city spokesperson Mary May told the Tribune in a statement.

A few months ago, resettlement paid for by the state was more thorough but slower. Families received six months of rental assistance, full furnishings and help from a case manager. But as of Nov. 17, THAT AID WAS CUT OFF. Most migrants in shelters were told then they would only receive three months of rental assistance, and those who arrived after mid-November didn’t qualify for rental assistance at all.

In mid-January, migrants began to resettle through what Mayor Brandon Johnsons deputy chief of staff Cristina Pacione-Zayas called a “fast track.” This means migrants can find an apartment without a case manager - who would typically help them find a good location in the city to settle and provide basic information about how to pay bills and plug-in utilities and gas.

Pacione-Zayas said city officials have no plan to assist migrants in their new neighborhoods. A state spokesperson said once migrants move into units of their own, they are connected to other community-based organizations, such as Illinois Welcoming Centers, who can help make connections with additional services, as needed.

But advocates who work with migrants on the ground are concerned about the city;s strategy.

“ItҒs a logistical problem without a real logistical solution,: said Annie Gomberg, a lead volunteer helping migrants.

Every day, migrants bring their suitcases to empty houses in neighborhoods around Chicago they can’t pronounce. They arrive with their personal belongings and the pillows and blankets they’ve accumulated at the shelter.

New Life Centers is a nonprofit in Little Village helping to ease the moving process. It provides furniture for as many as 55 households of asylum-seekers a day, said Connie Marquez, director of inventory and warehouse. Migrants receive bed frames and a welcome basket with towels, dish soap, plates, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

The organization has provided furniture for more than 13,000 people in over 3,000 apartments, according to data provided to the Tribune.

We canӒt do it fast enough. Theres such a huge need,Ҕ Marquez said.

Because of the fast-tracked resettlement process, some migrants don’t know how to plug in their utilities and experience a delay in getting their furniture, according to Jennifer Torres, a volunteer with Refugee Community Connection. She said she has received a flood of requests over the past few weeks from families who needed more assistance.

“If they don’t know a volunteer, theyre just floating. They don’t know what to do,” she said.

Andre Gordillo, director of the New Vecinos Program at New Life Centers said migrants choose whatever housing option they can find that is the least expensive and readily available. Migrants are desperate to get out of shelters, Gordillo said, so they will sign leases quickly.

“They don’t want to be in the shelter, he said. ԓBut they might not know exactly where they’re moving into and the dynamics of the neighborhood.”

Iris Britit, 39, said she had been sleeping on the floor of the gym at a shelter in the West Loop before moving.

She had spent a month touring apartments before she found one in North Lawndale that would accept her application. Her 2-year-old twins hugged her legs as she stood in her new home.

“We were looking every day,” she said. “Calling and calling and nothing.”

Britit worked in retail in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, and her husband worked at a bakery. The bakery shut down due to economic instability, she said.

She said her husband now works at Walmart. The apartment is $1,600 a month, and Britit eventually also wants to work to meet rental payments.

Last week, two movers for New Life Centers brought mattresses up the stairs of Britits home. Her daughter Aliss wore pajamas and played with a plastic figurine while Milena Gallego, a New Life Centers mover, went through the inventory of furniture.

“Say ‘Chicago!’” Gallego said as Britit and her daughter posed for a photo in front of the new items wrapped in plastic.

Britit didn’t know anything about her new neighborhood, but said she loved Chicago.

“I really like it here. It’s all beautiful. The houses. All of it,” she said. “Well make it. Little by little. Poco a poco.”

But while a new apartment might represent full of promise for some, others have encountered hostility - and even violence in their new living situations.

Earlier this month, A MASS SHOOTING IN LITTLE VILLAGE left six migrants injured, said Matt DeMateo, pastor and executive director at New Life Centers. The dispute happened in front of a home that migrants had moved into last summer.

DeMateo said his staff worked to move the migrants into hotels and provide them with food. He said none of the injured migrants had died.

DeMateo, who has worked in violence prevention in Little Village for years, said violence against migrants so far hasn’t been a massive issue, though there have been a few concerning incidents.

“Some of them are wrong place wrong time, some of them are not understanding the dynamics of the streets, some of them are road rage incidents gone bad and then some of it is just random acts of violence which they’re caught up in,” he said.

Several of the migrants who were shot in Little Village had children already settled in school, DeMateo said. Five family units were affected, he said, and those living in Little Village don’t want to move back to the neighborhood.

New Life Centers has organized six welcome events for migrants in different neighborhoods on the South and West sides. They try to introduce migrants to core churches and nonprofits in their communities.

ғHow do they get connected? How do they know whats there? How do we walk with them?Ҕ DeMateo asked.

Two days after the Feb. 11 shooting, Maritza Canales, 68, who was working in a corner store nearby, said she didnt know exactly what had happened, but that there had been tensions between Venezuelans and Mexicans in the neighborhood.

“It is embarrassing to us. All Latinos now face racism as a result of the Venezuelans,” she said.

She laments the fact that migrants are receiving help to get work permits, while some in the Latino community who have lived there for decades are being ignored.

Social workers helping the migrants involved in the shooting said it can be hard to know how to maneuver around the streets in Little Village. Migrants don’t know what to wear to avoid being targeted by gangs.

Beltran, of Venezula, is staying in a bare two-bedroom apartment in Englewood with her husband, 8-year-old son and four other family members.

Like hundreds of others, she said she found the apartment through the “va rapida” or fast-track.퓔 Once she heard it was an option to leave without a case manager, she found a housing option as fast as she could.

A family of Venezuelans from Caracas - or “Caraceos” as Beltran calls them - lives in the apartment above, but Beltran said she still feels out of place in their neighborhood. They have barely left their house since they’ve arrived except to get food, she said.

Their relative, Angel Prela, was kidnapped in Mexico for 12 days on his way to the United States, she said. He arrived in Chicago in early February and now sleeps in the kitchen on a single bed with a headboard made out of cardboard. His commute to work at a kitchen in Chinatown is over two hours.

“Walking in the back door at midnight can be terrifying for him,” said Beltran.

Katherine Shank, chief executive officer and executive director of Legal Aid Chicago said migrants who don’t qualify for rental assistance, like P᭭rela, may become part of the “hidden homeless,” or those who don’t have stable housing and opt to sleep on the floors or couches of families and friends.

“Rental support is going to expire, and so when that happens it’s very easy to predict there will be an increase in evictions,” she said.

According to data provided by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, there were 22,777 students in temporary living situations enrolled in public schools at the end of January - a 57% increase from the previous January and more than ever recorded.

Alyssa Phillips, the organizationҒs education attorney said having the appropriate resources to support students in temporary living situations has always been a concern for Chicago Public Schools. She said the thousands of migrant students who have enrolled in CPS schools around the city greatly exacerbate this need.

“Were advocating for funding so that schools have the resources they need to adequately and appropriately support (migrant) students,” she said.

The elementary school where BeltranҒs 8-year-old son Engerberth had been going was hours from their new home in Englewood. Beltran decided to register him at Wentworth Elementary, just a few blocks from their new apartment.

“But there is hardly anyone there who speaks Spanish,” she said. “He doesnt want to go.”

Outside his new school in Englewood at the beginning of last week, Engerberth held onto the railing of the stairs outside so he wouldnҒt have to enter. Beltran grabbed his jacket and he shrugged her off, snot dripping from his nose.

“I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go,” he repeated.

Beltran pulled him inside, but he was so miserable she and her husband decided to take him home. As they walked back to their apartment, Beltran said she hoped to move again after her state rental assistance ran out, but she didnt know where she would go.

A security guard working at the school’s welcome desk watched the family leave.

“HeҒs just not ready,” the woman said.



Chicago’s inhumane migrant evictions are a symptom of a bigger problem
They point to much deeper holes in US immigration policy.

By Liz Zhou
March 27, 2024

Chicago’s decision to move forward with a controversial migrant eviction proposal is underscoring ongoing gaps in IMMIGRATION POLICY that continue to exist across the country - and the inhumane quick fixes that are being used in the meantime.

Earlier this month, Chicago began evicting migrants from homeless shelters after MAYOR BRANDON JOHNSON instituted a policy stating that people must leave these centers after 60 days. The goal, Johnson has said, is to incentivize migrants to find permanent housing and to free up space in these shelters, WHICH HAVE BECOME OVERWHELMED PAST THEIR BREAKING POINT IN RECENT MONTHS.

Migrants can apply for extensions if they have an extenuating circumstance, or if they are in THE PROCESS OF MOVING to permanent housing. Those who don’t have housing lined up can also return to the city’s migrant “landing zone,” a center established to process new migrants, and reapply for a shelter spot.

Advocates and progressive lawmakers have criticized the policy for being inhumane. As newcomers to the US, many migrants don’t have existing funds for housing and are waiting on work permits. Those who don’t have families or other social networks in the US are often struggling to find a place to stay as well as a way to remain afloat financially.

“New arrivals may be offered the opportunity to go to the landing zone, but many will likely end up living on the streets and parks near the shelter they were displaced from,” the Progressive Caucus of the Chicago City Council WROTE IN A RECENT STATEMENT.

Chicago’s response points to challenges affecting a number of cities - including New York - as they’ve grappled with an influx of thousands of migrants, MANY OF WHOM have been bussed or flown there from the southern border by Republican governors like Texass Greg Abbott. It also highlights holes in federal immigration policy when it comes to both funding and migrant resettlement that leave local leaders grasping for a temporary patch.

“We have literally built an entire infrastructure for an international crisis that Congress hasn’t figured out,” Johnson said in January, regarding the construction of new shelters.

Chicago’s policy, briefly explained

Johnson first announced this policy last November as the city tried to stem the growing number of migrants arriving there, navigate concerns from existing residents, and assist the migrants who had already arrived. As of late March, THERE WERE 10,555 MIGRANTS living in the cityҒs 23 homeless shelters, a decrease from earlier in the year. SINCE 2022, Chicago has seen a large jump of more than 37,000 migrants arriving in the city, A NOTEABLE UPTICK relative to recent years.

Following the surge in migrant arrivals in August 2022, Chicago began setting up emergency shelters in order to accommodate this increase, DUBBING ITSELF “THE WELCOMING CITY” As a SANCTUARY CITY, it’s committed to providing services for migrants regardless of immigration status, and it’s pledged not to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport people.

The investments the city has made in the months since include setting up numerous shelters in parks, schools, and hotels; establishing a “landing zone” center where migrants can go when they initially arrive; and providing social services and a caseworker for each new arrival. IN TOTAL, this effort cost Chicago AT LEAST $138 MILLION IN 2023, and its expected to cost at least another $150 MILLION this year.

“The City’s goal is to provide short-term emergency shelter to new arrivals as they are connected to resources including public benefits,” a Chicago mayors office spokesperson, told Vox via email.

But as this month’s changes make evident, Chicago and other cities weren’t really prepared for the long term.

The city’s POLICIES - and residents’ reactions - to the incoming migrants have also changed as more people have arrived. At first, city officials emphasized Chicago’s welcoming history, but as the number of migrant arrivals grew in 2023, and shelters and services became overwhelmed, local leaders both sounded the alarm for federal support and introduced proposals like evictions.

Under the new shelter policy, migrants who have been in a shelter for 60 days must leave or reapply for a spot. Several exemptions also exist for families with school-age children, pregnant people, and those who are ill, buying the majority of migrants staying in these shelters more time. In the initial two days of evictions, EIGHT SINGLE MIGRANTS were forced to leave, while ROUGHLY 2,000could be required to do so by the end of April.

A chief concern regarding such policies is that they effectively leave migrants with nowhere to go. The city has urged migrants to apply for state rental assistance so they can find permanent housing, but it’s not guaranteed that they will qualify or that they’ll receive it in time. Similarly, it could take awhile for any applications for work permits to be approved, and only a fraction of the newcomers in Chicago likely qualify for such approvals.

“It really stresses me out. What am I going to do? Where am I going to go?” Daniel Vizcaino, a 20-year-old Venezuelan asylum-seeker with an April move-out date, TOLD NBC NEWS.

The implementation of this policy has already been delayed multiple times because of outcry from city council members and others, as well as freezing cold weather in the city. “We need an end to this policy, as it doesnt solve our challenges, it merely exacerbates and displaces them,” Alderman Andre Vasquez HAS WRITTEN IN A LETTER.

Other policies that Chicago has put in place include coordinating transportation for migrants to other destinations if they have a family member or secondary place to go.

Chicago’s not alone in struggling to find long-term solutions for large influxes of migrants it initially welcomed. New York City also saw a surge of migrant arrivals over the last year, and spent an estimated $1.45 BILLION IN FISCAL YEAR OF 2023 to provide shelter and support. This past January, NEW YORK CITY ALSO BEGAN ITS OWN WAVE OF EVICTIONS OF MIGRANT FAMILIES, capping their stays in shelters at 60 days. And IN MID MARCH, IT ANNOUNCED THAT IT WAS LIMITING SINGLE ADULT MIGRANTS to 30-day stays in the city’s shelters.

These crises are due to deeper problems in the US immigration system

Right now, cities are moving from one short-term solution to the next.

Regional leaders, including Chicago Mayor Johnson and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, have stressed that the current situation is not sustainable for them and that they’re in desperate need of more federal funding, as well as policy changes on issues like work permits.

The federal government has provided millions in grants to both CHICAGO and NEW YORK, but those funds arent seen as sufficient to help address the scope of the problem. Similarly, the White House has STREAMLINED APPLICATIONS FOR SOME WORK PERMITS, but those changes are likely only a fraction of what is needed.

According to Kathleen Bush-Joseph, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute (a think tank that’s opposed Trumps immigration policies in the past), it can take months for migrants to get a work permit depending on their immigration status.

While those with parole status or temporary protective status (TPS) can try to apply for a work permit right away, asylum seekers must wait for their asylum applications to be approved before they can even start that process. And application processes for these permits can be complicated for newcomers as they navigate language barriers and bureaucratic documents. Larger changes to the work permit system are ONE OF THE MORE SUBSTANTIVE SOLUTIONS that regional leaders have also urged, but they’d likely require more federal action.

Beyond responses to the immediate crisis, public officials, including Johnson, note that more immigration reforms are needed from Congress in order to build a better system for resettling migrants. AS VOX’S ABDALLAH FAYYAD HAS WRITTEN, the US has established an effective federal policy for resettling refugees that helps place people across the country and provides access to social services. No comparable system currently exists for asylum seekers, leaving cities and states who are receiving these arrivals to develop ad hoc policies on their own.

The prospect of approving such reforms, however, seems like a long shot as lawmakers have struggled to coalesce on even the most limited immigration proposals.

About the author: Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.


Posted by Elvis on 03/26/24 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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Wednesday, December 13, 2023


image: robot lawyer
The specter of Robolawyers is nothing new - a quick Google search uncovers no fewer than 7.5 million results. However, this month, that Artificial Intelligence-powered phantasm becomes much more a reality, because in New York, “the world’s first robot lawyer,” powered by startup DoNotPay, is making its courtroom debut.
- Robolawyers Are Here


RoboLawyer: The Innovative Legaltech Firm Redefining Legal Aid

By Pecunio VC
July 26, 2023

In July 2023, the legaltech world saw a new entrant, RoboLawyer - a groundbreaking project from Quantum AI Labs FZCO, Dubai, that offers specialized AI lawyers from multiple countries and legal domains, providing immediate, affordable, and trustworthy legal assistance. Its mission? To revolutionize legal aid, leveraging AIs power to make it accessible, personalized, and instant for everyday individuals and businesses.

Legal Tech is a multi billion dollar market

Just two years prior, another legaltech company, LegalZoom, had its moment in the spotlight, going public and attaining a valuation of $7.35 billion. LegalZoom’s success stemmed from automating legal documentcreation, such as wills, trusts, business formations, copyright registrations, and trademark applications. This approach catapulted LegalZoom into the league of top legal services organizations by value, an impressive feat considering the companys relative youth.

Looking into the future of Legaltech

Like LegalZoom, RoboLawyer employs disruptive innovation, taking legaltech a step further. Where LegalZoom offers a self-service model for legal documentcreation, RoboLawyer delivers an even more innovative solution - a diverse roster of AI lawyers for instant, specialized, and affordable legal consultation. This model serves to address a wider range of legal needs, providing not just documentcreation but also legal advice tailored to individual cases.

RoboLawyerҒs Strengths

Personalized, Instant Legal Consultation: RoboLawyer\s AI lawyers deliver immediate advice based on each user’s unique situation, ensuring a tailored solution. Unlike traditional legal documentservices, the AI lawyer model delivers a more comprehensive and personalized service.

Global Reach & Specialized Expertise:

With a wide array of AI lawyers from multiple countries and legal domains, RoboLawyer provides specialized legal advice across different jurisdictions and legal fields. It transcends geographical boundaries, providing a more inclusive solution.


By leveraging AI, RoboLawyer makes legal consultation more affordable for everyday people. The cost savings over traditional lawyer fees open up access to legal advice to a much broader segment of society.

Data Protection & Privacy:

RoboLawyer ensures user data security, a critical aspect in the legaltech sector. Its robust encryption and stringent privacy policies guarantee that user information is handled with the utmost care and confidentiality.

RoboLawyer’s Edge over LegalZoom

While LegalZooms disruptive innovation lies in automating documentcreation, RoboLawyer takes the disruption a step further. By offering personalized AI legal consultations, RoboLawyer fills a crucial gap in the market - providing immediate, specialized legal advice to a wider range of users, anywhere, anytime. ItҒs not just about creating legal documents, but about enabling people to navigate complex legal scenarios with a trustworthy AI ally.

RoboLawyer’s success thus represents a natural evolution of the legaltech sector, expanding on the lessons from LegalZooms rise. It embodies the principle that good enough is often just that - good enough. By automating legal consultation processes, RoboLawyer keeps the cost to serve low, making legal advice more accessible and freeing individuals from the constraints of traditional legal help.

The story of RoboLawyer is a testament to the potential of AI in disrupting the legal industry, taking the benefits of legaltech beyond documentcreation to a holistic, personalized legal consultation experience. While LegalZoom demonstrated the power of automating traditional legal procedures, RoboLawyer highlights the further potential of AI - providing specialized legal advice thatҒs accessible, immediate, and affordable.



Robot “Lawyer” Defeats Illinois Law Firm in Federal Court

By T. Evan Eosten Fisher, Esq.
Find Law
December 6, 2023

DNP advertises itself as the world’s first robot lawyer” and sells subscription-based legal help through its website. A small law firm in Illinois, MillerKing, took several issues with DNP’s service and sued. The lawsuit, which alleged false advertising, unauthorized practice of law, and deceptive trade practices, was dismissed by a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois just before Thanksgiving.

Legal Services or Illegal Service?

The suit raised some novel questions about THE INTERSECTION OF AI AND THE PRACTICE OF LAW. The plaintiff firm alleged that many of DNP’s “clients” were dissatisfied with the service and had suffered from adverse outcomes after using the AI to help them with legal matters. As a result, they argued, the “robot lawyer” was injuring the goodwill associated with the services provided by legitimate lawyers. Moreover, the plaintiff firm properly pointed out that the DNP website’s AI is not licensed to practice law anywhere (and specifically not licensed in Illinois, where MillerKing doees its business).

The plaintiff firm alleged that DNP’s business activities violated the LANHAM ACT by creating a false impression that the robot” lawyer was actually affiliated with licensed attorneys or with the authorities that license attorneys to practice law. The lawsuit also alleged that much of the business that DNP claims to undertake, such as fighting traffic tickets and handling small civil claims, is work that would otherwise be performed by licensed attorneys, such as those who work at MillerKing.

In DNP’s defense, it claimed to provide only AI-based legal services and not legal representation, so it could not be considered a true competitor with a law firm like MillerKing. Readily admitting that the “robot lawyer” was not a licensed practitioner, DNP argued that it could not really be classified as an alternative to hiring a lawyer (regardless of how their services are advertised).

According to the pleadings, the AI-based legal services offered by DNP have generated big business. Using the claims of DNP and statements from its CEO as ammunition in the complaint, MillerKing argued that the company boasted of having a quarter-million subscribers and a valuation of over $200 million.

Litigator 3: Rise of the Machine Learning?

The federal court victory was not really a triumph of artificial intelligence of humans, however, because the AI “lawyer” was savvy enough to hire real lawyers to defend its case. DNP was represented by experienced attorneys from prestigious firms based in California and Missouri, and those actual humans made the argument that MillerKing failed to show that DNP’s service had caused any injury that would grant the firm standing to sue in federal court.

Although the judge did not endorse the use of robot lawyers or even conclude that such a service did not cause any harm, she did not find that MillerKing had suffered any particularized injury from the operations of DNP. Her decision noted the lack of evidence that any person chose DNP’s service instead of hiring a real attorney from MillerKing or that reputational damage to the legal profession as a whole had caused any damage to MillerKing.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that the Constitution prevents litigants from sustaining lawsuits in federal courts without first showing that their claims have “standing,” a viable case or controversy that can be redressed by the court, and one requirement for standing is an actual or imminent injury. Essentially, regardless of whether the allegations of MillerKing’s suit were true, the case WARRANTED DISMISSAL because the plaintiff firm lacked standing to bring the suit without showing it faced a concrete harm.

DNP’s legal troubles are not necessarily over, however, as the company faces a separate federal lawsuit in California from a user who experienced poor results. One can be fairly certain, however, that DNP will not be litigating these matters on its own behalf; even a robot lawyer knows that any lawyer who represents themselves has a fool for a client.


Posted by Elvis on 12/13/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace • Section Science
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Tuesday, December 12, 2023

13 Million Layoffs

image: layed off

Since January 2022, prices have gone up 9.7% based on the CPI. And you should know that THE CPI is designed to UNDERESTIMATE RISING PRICES. They changed the formula in the 1990s. If we were using the CPI formula they used back then, CPI would be double what it is today.
- Economic Ignoramus, Schiff Gold, December 7, 2023


Worried about job cuts heading into 2024? Here’s how to prepare for layoff season

By Bailey Schulz
USA Today
December 4, 2023

It’s December, which means more than just cooler weather and holiday celebrations. It’s also layoffs season.

Job cuts tend to spike in December and January as companies prepare for structural changes heading into the new year, as shown by data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“A lot of firms are reaching their fiscal year-end,” said Rachel Sederberg, senior economist at labor markets analytics firm Lightcast. “They’re taking a hard look at what’s going on their balance sheets as well as how the business is performing, and they make decisions along those lines. And sometimes that has implications for workers.”

Just this past week, TWILIO said it would lay off about 5% of its workforce. While the labor market is still strong, experts say there will likely be an uptick in layoffs in the coming months.

Here’s WHICH INDUSTRIES experts say are at-risk and what employees can do to prepare.

Which industries are cutting jobs?

The first nine months of the year saw over 13 million layoffs and discharges across the U.S., according to seasonally adjusted data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up slightly from the same period in 2022 and 2021 but still below the 2019 pre-pandemic rate of 16 million

“Layoffs are expected to tick up in the coming months, but the numbers are expected to be well within the norm,” according to Sederberg.

“My overall takeaway is that the sky is not falling,” she said, adding she’s “not expecting broad swaths of layoffs because companies are still really trying to hire.”

But certain jobs are more at risk than others. The tech industry, which saw an influx of layoffs last year, is still slashing jobs, with LAYOFFS.FYI tracking more than 250,000 tech layoffs so far this year.

· ByteDance, the Chinese tech company behind TikTok, is IS CUTTING HUNDREDS OF JOBS as it winds down its gaming unit, Nuverse, according to CNN.

· Microchip manufacturer Qualcomm is LAYING OFF MORE THAN 1,200 ROLS IN CALIFORNIA.

“The industry was really hiring at such a rapid pace for two years, that as the economy started to come down a little bit, cool a little bit, they really started to do layoffs quickly,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

He added that while certain industries are getting hit harder, “we’ve seen a very clear cooling trend in the labor market this year with an increase in layoffs across every sector we track.”

Media is another industry still experiencing layoffs. Challenger, Gray & Christmas in October reported more than 19,000 cuts in the industry between January and September, up 550% from the same period last year.

· Conde Nast, which owns The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, last month said it would CUT ABOUT 5% OF ITS WORKFORCE.

· Vox Media is CUTTING ABOUT 4% OF ITS WORKFORCE, its SECOND ROUND of layoffs this year.

· The Washington Post is reportedly BRACING FOR LAYOFFS after it secured just half of the job reductions needed before the end of the year, according to The Hill.

“That’s an industry that’s really struggling against the internet content that’s increasingly available for free. Newspapers are going out of business all the time, so that trend is not likely to slow down,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

A RECENT REPORT from Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows retail, health care and products manufacturers (including hospitals) and financial firms are also some of the leading industries to announce job cuts this year.

Affected employees may have a harder time finding work now compared to those who went through layoffs last year. Continued jobless claims have been rising and hit 1.93 million in the week ended Nov. 18, according to the Labor Department. It’s the highest rate in about two years, which indicates hiring is slowing and people are staying unemployed longer.

Advice for employees

So what’s an employee to do?

Challenger said this time of year is a good time to network, which can help boost workers’ chances of securing a new job should they get laid off.

“When a post gets put online and there’s 1,000 resumes for it in five minutes, it’s really hard to stand out. But if you can meet somebody at a company you want to work for and ask for a referral, you get put to the top of that pile,” he said. “That’s a great way to give yourself more opportunities.”

“Employees should also update their resumes and browse job postings, even if they’re comfortable in their current position,” according to Pollak.

“It’s not a bad idea to know WHAT’S OUT THERE and to know what your value is on the market and what your alternatives are,” she said.

For those who do find themselves affected by layoffs, Sederberg said they should approach their job search with an open mind and see if their SKILLS are OTHER to roles in other industries.

“Just thinking more creatively, a little bit outside of the industry box, and lean into all those really valuable skills that you have to look for your next opportunity,” she said. “Because as we know, there’s still a very, very high number of job openings within the U.S. economy. I think they’re still going very strong in that sense.”


Posted by Elvis on 12/12/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Rise of the Temp Workers Part 17 - Gig Work Is Getting Less Profitable

Gig work is getting less profitable

By Jacob Zinkula and Noah Sheidlower
Business Insider
December 10, 2023

Americans are flocking to the GIG ECONOMY for extra cash - but it’s not working out for all of them.

While its unclear how many people work as FREELANCE WRITERS, or one of many other gig jobs, experts told Business Insider that the NUMBER IS GROWING - and that there’s no sign of it slowing down.

While these workers are likely happy to have extra income in their bank accounts, the gig economy might not be the solution to people’s finances that some think it is. That’s because gig work can come with UNPREDICTABLE PAY that’s at the mercy of customer demand, WORKER SUPPLY, and SECRETIVE COMPANY ALGORITHMS.

The gig economy is a roughly $1 trillion industry in the US, ACCORDING TO RESEARCH published earlier this year by Robert Peterson, the John T. Stuart III Centennial Chair in Business Administration at The University of Texas at Austin, and John Fleming, who wrote the book “Ultimate Gig: Flexibility, Freedom & Rewards.” It’s expected to grow between 16% and 17% each year, four times faster than the traditional economy, their research shows. By 2027, the research projects nearly 100 million Americans roughly 40% of the ADULT POPULATION - will participate full-time or part-time in the gig economy.

“The economy has changed so much in that people used to drive for Uber for nine hours so they could have $100 so they can go to the bar this weekend with their friend,” Charles Rosenblatt, president of fintech company PayQuicker, which helps facilitate payments to gig workers, told Business Insider. “Now, I’m going to drive because my electricity bill went up and I don’t have the money to pay my bills anymore and need to supplement my income in a separate way.”

Business Insider spoke with experts about the state of the US gig economy, where it’s heading, and what people should know before diving in.

Benefits of gig work

Across all demographics, gig workers are looking to have GREATER FLEXIBILITY, diversify their income stream, meet new people, and explore interests in their free time. But many who have replaced their office jobs with various gig jobs haven’t quite figured out how to make it work for them. Many have gone into gig work thinking they can make ends meet by working one or two gigs, but have struggled to make enough to pay bills or plan for the future.

Among gig workers, 60% work multiple gigs - 23% work three or more - spending around four to eight hours per week on a job, according to the research. Additionally, less than 10% of gig workers make over $2,000 a month.

“The great majority of people are looking at how better to LEVERAGE THEIR TIME,” Fleming told BI, referring to gig workers.

The house always wins

“Some gig workers don’t realize how little they’re earning,” Alexandrea Ravenelle, assistant professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina, told Business Insider. “That’s because it can be difficult for gig workers, particularly ride-hailing and delivery drivers, to calculate their true profits.”

When Ravenelle speaks with students who work as gig drivers, she said they typically don’t realize how little they take home once expenses like gas, depreciation, maintenance, and insurance are tallied up. VEHICLE EXPENSES can amount to between $4 to $8 per hour, gig drivers previously told Business Insider, compared to HOURLY PAY from as low as $9 to $12 an hour to as high as $23 to $28 an hour.

“I end up pointing out that they would quite frankly be better off getting a job at McDonald’s,” Ravenelle said.

In addition to uncertain pay, gig workers can face fluctuating customer demand and COMPETITION, along with tweaks to PLATFORM ALGORITHMS that can change the rules of the game. It’s why gig workers should be careful of growing too reliant on any single platform, experts told Business Insider.

“When it comes to the gig economy, the house always wins,” Ravenelle said. “You might think that you’re making plenty of money, but at some point, you’ll have something that goes wrong. You will get deactivated from that platform, you’ll move down in the queue, or you’ll get impacted by a change to the algorithm.”

About 43% of gig workers surveyed by Peterson and Fleming said that less than 10% of their annual household income came from gig work.

Workers also need to be MORE STRATEGIC about seeking out opportunities, particularly those that offer upward mobility or better pay and bonuses, as opposed to just settling on one or two gig jobs, Rosenblatt said. This could entail taking up gig work at a traditional company - Fleming estimates over 50% of traditional companies are engaging gig workers.

Workers also need to be MORE STRATEGIC about seeking out opportunities, particularly those that offer upward mobility or better pay and bonuses, as opposed to just settling on one or two gig jobs, Rosenblatt said. This could entail taking up gig work at a traditional company - Fleming estimates over 50% of traditional companies are engaging gig workers.

Peterson told BI as the gig economy grows, it becomes increasingly unclear who will train these workers. For example, many companies won’t invest the time and resources into training a worker who will only work for eight hours a week and colleges don’t frequently inform students on how to best navigate gig work, Fleming said.

Peterson said he anticipates more companies adopting internal talent platforms to get employees to bid on jobs to make extra money, instead of having to train and keep track of outside employees. This potentially could lower the number of gig employees working in more traditional sectors.

Still, such shifts in the gig economy could push workers more into building their own brands or products, Rosenblatt said.

Where gig work is heading

The experts Business Insider spoke to said that they expect increasingly more people to work three to five gigs that touch on their passions. For example, people don’t need to work 40 hours a week for a ride-hailing company when they can devote 10 hours to that and reserve the other 30 for writing, photography, or real estate.

“Part of that is the income piece, but part of that is people basically curating their life,” Rosenblatt said. “It’s a lot easier for someone to go and do 10 extra work hours driving for Uber or DoorDash or selling Tupperware than going to your boss and asking them for a 20% raise so you can feed your family.”

“What’s more, people are increasingly looking to gig work for instant pay gratification,” Rosenblatt said. About 83% of gig workers surveyed stated that when looking for new gigs, it’s important to be paid immediately for performance, the report found.

Rosenblatt anticipates affiliate sales and other influencer-type work that can be done from home will grow over the next few years, coupled with a pivot away from gig jobs like delivery driving that require extra expenses like vehicle upkeep. He also expects an increase in direct selling, whether it’s for coffee or CBD.

“I don’t see gig work disappearing,” Ravanelle said. “I see it continuing to grow, and I think that we are going to need to really rethink our strategy as a society in terms of ensuring that workers have economic stability and then have access to benefits if their only income is coming from 1099 work.”

Are you struggling to navigate - or have had success navigating - the gig economy? Reach out to these reporters at nsheidlower[@] and jzinkula[@]


Posted by Elvis on 12/10/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

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When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix


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