Most Important Developments for 5/21

A major player in the security services industry is going on a hiring spree. Or at least, it hopes to. Security and facility services company Allied Universal is looking to hire more than 35,000 workers in the next two months. Despite a 6.1% unemployment rate in April and the U.S. economy still missing more than 8 million jobs compared to February last year, filling the positions might not be an easy task. The unemployment rate ticked up in April from 6% in March as more people reentered the labor force. And while that’s good news, some industries are still struggling to hire workers. “I think it’s going to be challenging for certain,” said Morgan Price, senior vice president of recruiting and talent acquisition at Allied Universal. “Not only is just finding the people to come to us a challenge, but we are battling a lot of other companies that are also in the same position so it’s going to be a tight race to the candidate. Demand for workers has been on the rise as the economy recovers, said Nick Bunker, an economist with employment website Indeed. Restaurant operators and manufacturers report that they have not been able to fill open positions and McDonald’s announced last week that it’s increasing wages for some staff to help attract workers. CNN


Over the past year, CEOs were confronted with a reality many of their workers have long known: Holding down a job without access to childcare is incredibly difficult. The months that leaders went without their usual caregiving support during the coronavirus pandemic helped many to realize the imperative to address the problem in their workforces. Now more than 200 businesses have signed on to join the new Care Economy Business Council, a group organized by the nonprofit Time’s Up. Companies that have joined the council range from major public companies — McDonald’s, Google, Uber, Spotify — to businesses that work on caregiving full-time, like and the startup Helpr. Other signers include JPMorgan Chase, Levi Strauss, Patagonia, and Pixar. The problem this group is aiming to address goes beyond business. The United States is one of few wealthy countries without a significant caregiving infrastructure, and lawmakers in Congress as well as Biden administration officials have put forward proposals to rectify that, calling for solutions from subsidized day care to the recent extended child tax credit. But business has a role to play in pushing for these changes, says Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen. Fortune

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Bank of America announced Tuesday it will raise the minimum hourly wage for its employees to $25 by 2025. The banking giant based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the latest U.S. corporation to increase the minimum wage paid to its workers as the country rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic that caused massive layoffs last year. The Biden administration is pushing for a national $15-an-hour minimum wage, and McDonald’s, Walmart, Starbucks, and Amazon also announced that they will increase hourly pay. Sheri Bronstein, Bank of America’s chief human resources officer, said the company wants to provide “strong pay and competitive benefits” to help employees’ families and to attract and retain the best talent. “A core tenet of responsible growth is our commitment to being a great place to work, which means investing in the people who serve our clients,” Bronstein said. USA Today


Employers have had to find innovative ways to help employees deal with mental health challenges during the pandemic. Telehealth, virtual wellness programs, and online therapy programs have all skyrocketed in popularity and utilization during COVID-19, yet a large percentage of employees are still struggling with increased rates of anxiety, depression, stress, and burnout. What else can employers do to help employees take care of their mental well-being and bring their best selves to work? Benefits professionals and workplace experts share their wisdom on these topics for Employee Benefit News’ Views column. Topics include: How to spot depression and anxiety in remote workers, addressing stress and burnout in women, how employee sleep can impact the bottom line, addressing addiction, and empathy. Employee Benefit News


In this important podcast’s second season premier, scholar and activist Devon Lee joins Race at Work host Porter Braswell, the CEO and co-founder of Jopwell, a technology platform that helps companies build diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures. They’re asking questions like “What is privilege?”, “Can people of color be racist?” “Can white scholars and consultants be experts on race?”, and more in the context of race at work. HBR Podcast: Race at Work

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