Workplace Issues Today
Daily News for Friday, March 7, 2014
Selected by the Catherwood Library Reference Staff each Monday through Friday, excluding University holidays, WIT is a free alert service, providing abstracts and links to workplace-related news stories covered in the major media. Subscribe to WIT »
Established in 1999, this service also includes a searchable archive.
Canada loses in total jobs, but gains “good” jobs
In February, Canada gained 18,900 full-time positions, but lost approximately 25,900 part-time jobs. The loss of 7,000 jobs overall did not have a significant effect on the unemployment, which remained steady at 7.0%. Although in sum, Canada experienced a job loss, some economists are optimistic because of the gain in full-time work, because the gain was mostly in the private sector, and because the jobs were mostly “good” jobs. Year-over-year, average wages continue to rise, although slightly less than seen in January.
See “Canada Sheds Jobs in February,” by Nirmala Menon, The Wall Street Journal, Mar 07 2014 (BCS)
U.S. initial jobless claims drop to 3-month low
The number of weekly jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted three-month low of 323,000. Department of Labor officials were quoted as saying that weekly jobless claims “returned to a more normal level.” This drop greatly exceeded economists’ predictions, leading some economists to predict that the extreme weather throughout the U.S. has masked the true strength of the labor market, and with a change in the weather, hiring is likely to pick up. The weather did, however, have a real impact on new home building and retail sales, both of which have secondary effects on manufacturing gains. New manufactured goods orders declined for two months straight and by more in January than in December.
See “WRAPUP 3 – Three-month low in U.S. jobless claims offers hope for labor market,” by Lucia Mutikani, Reuters, Mar 07 2014 (BCS)
Boeing moves non-union employees to defined contribution retirement plan
Only months after it secured an agreement with its largest union to end traditional pension plans, Boeing has announced that it will end pensions for all non-union employees as well. The 68,000 employees, including executives, were notified on Thursday, that the traditional defined benefit plan would be frozen in place at the end of 2015, and starting in 2016 all non-union employees would be switched over to a defined contribution plan. The move will not affect employees already drawing pensions. The new defined contribution plan will function almost identically to a common 401(k), with the company contributing 9% of the employee's eligible income to the plan each year on top of employee contributions, which will both be invested in a vehicle of the employee’s choice.
See “Boeing to end traditional pension plans for non-union employees,” by John Gillie, The News Tribune, Mar 07 2014 (BCS)