Best First/Last Job; Culture Clarification; Zuckerberg and Scrabble; Econ Recon: Search for Recession

Armistice Day (Traditional Veterans Day) was Sunday, November 11th
Veteran’s Day (Celebrated) is today, Monday, November 12th

“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world. A veteran doesn’t have that problem.”

Ronald Reagan
40th President of the United States

America’s First Best (and Last?) Job

If you needed evidence that the economy is at full employment, check this out. For over a generation,  the fast food industry has been the gateway to first time employment for many teenagers. McDonald’s is currently running commercials proudly reminding us: McDonalds:  America’s first best job  hoping to lure Millennials and Gen Z.

The chains, however, are hedging their employment bets by reaching out to the other end of the age spectrum as well. If successful,  McDonald’s might well change this tag line to “America’s best last Job.”  The chains are appealing to the graying Boomer cohort to fill the staffing gap by aggressively recruiting them through non-traditional channels like the AARP web site, senior centers and churches. This is really significantA short article and video from Bloomberg offers additional info that may lead you to reconsider your hiring profile.

Another interesting employment metric may bode well for the economy: the number of people quitting jobs. Check out the short article and video to understand why.

Culture Clarification

Few topics in management have received more attention than the importance of company culture. While it’s a huge topic, there are ways to unpack it. Here are a few articles that may help: the first holds that your culture is reflected in who you hire, fire and promote.”  Related to that are two other articles available at this same link which dissects the “Anatomy of a Workplace Jerk” and offers one explanation of “Why Good People Become Bad Bosses.”

While we’re on the topic of culture, in a tight labor market, the perception of company culture is becoming an ever more important criteria by job seekers enjoying a seller’s market. Fast Company offers ten questions that job seekers should ask about culture before accepting a job.   How will you answer these when a prime candidate asks you?

Zuckerberg and Scrabble

A recent excellent HBR article that suggests  “business does not need the humanities, but humans do.“ This short HBR blog posting makes the case that we are creating a culture where “big data begets small minds “ and we run risk of favoring the “unprepared overachiever.”

The writer makes a compelling case for this by sharing a story of Mark Zuckerberg’s struggle with a game of Scrabble against a teenager, and his ultimate coping strategy. Maybe a little less technology and a little more liberal arts might be a better strategy. Check it out and see if you agree.

Econ Recon:

Searching for Recession:  ITR Economics is well known for their use of leading indicators. They’ve even devised a new one and it is  that is truly remarkable! One of ITR’s  young economists wondered if the frequency of the word “recession” as a search term on Google might have any predictive power. It turns out that it does, providing a 16 month lead time to an important economic metric. Check out ITR CEO Brian Beaulieu’s recent blog post for happens when Search” Becomes a Leading Economic Indicator” and what it portends in the near term for your business.

Three Things to NOT  Worry About?:  The day before the Elections this past week, economist Brian Wesbury shared a Wesbury 101 video in which he pointed out many business people are worried about China (i.e. tariffs), Elections and the Stock Market. Dr. Wesbury isn’t worried about any of them.   Find out why by clicking here.



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