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Talent Sourcing Trends

How Women Fared As Obama Grew Jobs

The final Obama administration jobs report, released last Friday, marked 75 consecutive months of growth for American workers, but much work remains, especially for women’s employment. Positive numbers abound for the general public, unless you believe President-Elect Trump’s lines that nothing good happened on the hiring front under Obama. Obama’s jobs report may paint a rosy picture, yet it excludes the fact that working women are still struggling in three key areas: the gender pay gap, affordable child care and effectively matching opportunity with skill.


First, the good news.

According to the report, 156,000 jobs were created in December 2016, a final contribution to the tally of just over two million jobs added throughout 2016. While the number keeps positive momentum heading in the right direction, unemployment did increase by .1% to 4.7%. Job growth also missed the projected mark, as leading economist’s held expectations of 183,000 jobs being added in December.

Two million jobs certainly sounds like a lot, but one way to quantify these results are to put them in historical perspective: the U.S. labor market faced record-high unemployment when Obama took office in 2009, the highest since the recession in the early ‘80s. The month Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the economy lost 791,000 jobs. By December 2016, the U.S. experienced 75 consecutive months of job growth, adding about 11 million jobs during that time.

Wages have also grown. For example, in 2016, average hourly wages rose by $1.24, from $24.76 in January to a high of $26.00 in December. That’s the most growth we’ve had since the height of the recession in 2009.

Now, the bad news.

While jobs and wages increased, labor-force participation dropped in December 2016; 38% of workers identified as being able to work elected not to. That rate only improved by about .6% over the past eight years.

While the historical perspective paints one of resounding economic recovery, when reading the jobs report, three troubling issues come to mind, including the reduction in labor-force participation. While many claim the past eight years have been the job growth era, has this really been the job growth era for working women?

  1. If wages have grown over the past eight years, why are we not making any improvements in pay inequality, especially as related to gender? American women are being paid $.80 to the $1.00 men are earning for performing the same work. There hasn’t been any real movement on closing the pay gap since 2007.
  2. Can the drop in labor-force participation be linked to the troubling disdain American industry has for American families, as proven by inflexible workplace policies as well as the growing expense of childcare? While half of these non-participants can be linked to retiring baby boomers, the other half are in the 25–55 age group, many of whom may very likely be parents.
  3. The American workforce lacks the technical skills necessary to fill the demands of American industry. Simply put: we don’t have the right people with the right education or proficiencies to fill the right jobs. A recent ADP study found that 80% of employers believe their top challenges stem from a shortage of skilled labor. Or — perhaps companies are not recruiting efficiently, or haven’t set proper policies to attract diverse talent?

At PowerToFly, the fastest growing platform to connect skilled women with companies that value their employees both in and out of the office, we deal with these issues everyday. That’s why we only work with organizations that share our pledge and work in tandem with us to make the situation better for working women across the U.S.

Let’s make tomorrow better. Together, we can change the world.

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How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

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That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.

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"There are an extensive amount of things that have to go perfectly at the same time," says the former engineer (and current product manager at live event ticketing platform SeatGeek).

It was that interest in understanding how things actually worked that drove Anuja to study engineering—first electrical, during her undergrad in India, and then computer science, during her master's program in the U.S.

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The Secrets to Balancing Work and Family Life

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Being fully committed to work and family is a challenge that many working parents have to take on. It can be exhausting and thankless pursuing a fulfilling full-time career, while taking an active role as a parent. Achieving a healthy balance can help keep you motivated and productive at work, while allowing you to be fully present when you're home.

We recently chatted with working moms at technology skills platform, Pluralsight, about their best advice for striking that elusive work-life balance. Here were their key points:

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How to Make the Most of Being on a Growing Team: 3 Tips from Plex’s Adriana Bosinceanu

When the startup Adriana Bosinceanu was working for got acquired, things changed fast.

She went from being one of eight engineers on a small team building a streaming service to joining a company that was five times larger and had a much bigger scope.

That company was Plex, where Adriana has been working remotely as a software engineer for the last four and a half years.

As her team grew from two people to ten, Adriana decided to lean into the opportunity to grow; along the way, she found herself deepening her technical skills, her self-confidence, and her relationships. We sat down with Adriana to learn exactly how she did that, and to hear the tips she has for other engineers experiencing growth opportunities on their team.

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What These Companies Are Doing to Celebrate Juneteenth 2021

*Updated on June 17th, 2021 to reflect Juneteenth officially being named a Federal Holiday in the U.S.*

Juneteenth has been celebrated by African-Americans since the late 1800s, but in recent years (particularly in response to global protests over police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans), there has been a surge in interest in the day that celebrates freedom.

Before it became an official federal holiday, many businesses shifted toward marking June 19th as an annual company holiday, creating different initiatives around the holiday and offering employees opportunities to learn, reflect, and take action toward racial equality.

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