May jobs report surprise ‘isn’t solace’ to unemployed workers

Enhanced unemployment benefits are set to expire this summer, even as millions of Americans remain unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do next. 

As part of the CARES Act, lawmakers added an extra $600 per week to unemployment benefits, but that extra boost is currently scheduled to expire on July 31. 

“What I’m afraid of is that August 1 will come and we will have millions of Americans who just simply won’t have any pathway whatsoever,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ). “You don’t wait until then to figure it out.”

Menendez spoke to Yahoo Finance ahead of Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia’s testimony on Capitol Hill, about unemployment insurance amid the pandemic.

“Our economy has turned the corner against the coronavirus,” said Scalia in his opening statement. “We celebrate it…not because we think the job is done, but because we

Read More

What workers can expect back at the office as coronavirus lockdowns ease

The days of crowded elevators, open floor plans and communal lunch tables may be gone for good — or at least for a while.

As companies expand work-from-home arrangements, others are preparing for the return of workers in ways that spell an end to the daily rituals that punctuated office life before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

From the moment of arrival, changes like limiting the number of people allowed to ride the elevator and employee health checks could become standard practice.

New infections are leveling off around the country, and slowly but surely, cities are declaring themselves open for business. That is shifting the focus to the safe return to work, with commercial real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield at the forefront of those efforts.

Recently, the company released a design for office reconfiguration. Called the Six Feet Office, Cushman’s concept serves as a constant reminder for employees to

Read More

Black workers are facing greater health and economic difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Economic Policy Institute

Black workers are facing greater health and economic difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study done by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Elise Gould, senior economist at EPI, joined Yahoo Finance to discuss how the coronavirus has disproportionately affected black communities and people of color. 

“What we’re seeing is that there are underlying health and economic conditions that have magnified the problems for African American workers and their families in this country,” she said.

“Black workers are often, when they’re compared to white workers, are least able to weather the storm because they don’t have the same kind of safety net that some other workers have. They’ve suffered higher unemployment rates for a lot longer.”

chef prepares food in commercial kitchen

Gould highlights that many black workers don’t have the wealth or liquid savings to be able to help them get through the pandemic period.

Read More

Amazon to subsidize child, adult care for workers as coronavirus recovery takes shape

Amazon (AMZN) will start offering emergency childcare and adult care as a new benefit this summer for employees across its corporate offices, warehouses, and Whole Foods Market stores, Yahoo Finance has learned. 

With many companies gearing up for the gradual relaxation of coronavirus lockdowns, Amazon — whose worker policies have been under extreme scrutiny during the outbreak — is helping employees offset the loss of schooling and care options.

From June 1 until October 2, the tech giant is expected to substantially subsidize up to 10 days, or 100 hours, of backup childcare and senior care for its more than 650,000 U.S. workers. That adds up to a total of 65 million hours across the company, Amazon said in an internal memo.

Amazon partnered with (IAC), a website that connects families with caregivers, and both full-time and part-time employees will be eligible for the benefit.  

An Amazon distribution center

Read More

Taxation of nonresident workers in coronvirus-hit states becomes ‘a million dollar question’

It’s a given that widespread coronavirus lockdowns are costing cities and states billions in tax revenues, but experts say that areas that rely heavily on nonresident workers to balloon their coffers are particularly vulnerable to growing fiscal stress.

For key states and cities, COVID-19 orders keeping non-essential workers at home, are also likely to keep a good portion of taxable income out of reach. Yet in places like New York — which imposes a tax on workers from other states and has a large number of people who came to the state to help relief efforts — it’s unclear how authorities will treat income earned by people now doing their jobs across borders.

“That is the million dollar question,” said Katie Quinn, a partner who specializes in state and local tax law at McDermott Will & Emory.

According to Quinn, taxpayers normally required to fork over taxes to a state

Read More