What We’re Reading: New Skills, Talent and Employment

Corporate Learning and Development News
A lack of talent with necessary skills may be the reason Amazon is considering splitting their new headquarters between two cities, according to The Wall Street Journal. (The Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
 
Forbes contributor discusses the importance of using leadership and talent development as tools to improve outcomes for the organization. Another op-ed in Forbes shares best practices for implementing effective training, including regularly assessing retention, retraining accordingly, and budgeting for learning.
 
HR Dive emphasizes the importance of having buy-in from frontline managers when it comes to learning and development strategies. The author argues that as the ones most familiar with the needs – and deficits – of employees, frontline managers should be involved in planning the direction of the learning that takes place.
 
73% of executives in the clothing and apparel industry view employee learning and development as a top business challenge, according to a new report.
 
Credentials, Hiring, and Applicant Tracking News
The Wall Street Journal discusses the impact of digital technology on the labor market, suggesting that the increased demand for talent with digital skills is further narrowing the talent pool. (The Wall Street Journal, subscription required)
 
The latest report from Upwork, Freelancing in America, finds that the number of freelancers in the country has increased to 56.7 million, up from 53 million in 2014. Researchers also found that the number of people freelancing by choice has increased by 8 percentage points in the same time frame.
 
A new report commissioned by CareerBuilder and SilkRoad found that 1 in 5 job seekers spend less than 10 minutes and no more than 2-3 pages on a mobile device for a job application before moving on. Researchers suggest that employers take note of the new trend amongst job seekers and adjust accordingly.
 
Colleges are responding to projections that automation could displace as many as 30% of workers worldwide over the next 15 years by looking to shorter-term credentials in place of, or as a part of, traditional degree programs, according toHR Dive.
 
BCG suggests that former employees and women returning from time off to care for a family are an important and often overlooked source of talent that can be especially valuable as the labor market continues to tighten.
 
General HR News
A piece in HR Technologist aims to dispel the myths that surround the impacts of adopting AI in the workplace. The author argues that the value of the outcomes is worth the investment.
 
HR Dive shares insights into key legislation that will impact policies in the workplace, including those on minimum wage and legalization of marijuana.
 
Employer Partnerships/Company Innovation
The White House recently released a progress update on the National Council for the American Worker (created via executive order in July). The update notes that private sector companies have pledged to provide 6 million Americans with educational and training opportunities thus far.
 
This week the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced a $1 million Notice of Grant opportunity to provide employmentopportunities for women entering construction trades.
 
Startups, Innovation, and Investment News
Handshake, the online platform that connects university students and employers, raised $40 million in a Series C round, backed by organizations like Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Omidyar Network and Reach Capital. Handshake intends to use the funding to expand into European markets, partnering with new universities and continuing to address issues of diversity and underemployment for students.
 
Artificial intelligence talent solution Eightfold announced the launch of the of a new career site, the Eightfold Personalized Career Site. The new candidate-facing platform will use AI to match job openings to the candidates’ experiences, and guide the application process with resources like a chatbot as well as a one-click application.
 
Macroeconomic Trends and Public Policy
The latest jobs report saw an increase of 250,000 for non-farm jobs in the month of October, exceeding the prediction of 190,000 jobs. Additionally, the month saw a unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest since 1969, and a wage increase of 5%.
 
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that reducing immigrationcould slow down the economy in the long run in a letter written to  Nevada Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.

Older Americans are joining the workforce faster than their younger peers and senior citizens are replacing teenagers in fast-food chain positions, Bloombergreports. These restaurants are recruiting in senior centers, churches and through organizations like AARP as they push to hire someone with years of experience for the same wages.

Voters in Arkansas and Missouri approved increases to their state minimum wages, putting them among the highest minimum wages in the country. Arkansas voted to gradually increase its current minimum wage of $8.50 to $11 by 2021 while Missouri voted to go from $7.85 to $12 over the next five years. (The Washington Post, subscription required)
 
Other
More than 1,500 Google employees across the globe participated in an organized walkout, protesting Google giving a $90 million exit package to Android co-creator Andy Rubin despite credible sexual misconduct accusations made against him. Employees read a list of their demands, which included an end to forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment as well as an end to pay and opportunity inequity.