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Archives: November 2012

Good News! Unemployment Claims Fell Last Week

Here’s some good news to report although there’s a caveat.

According to the Labor Department, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits last week dropped by 8,000. Maybe the job market’s picking up?

Um, not quite.

Officials are chalking the drop to Hurricane Sandy and not only for last week but for three additional weeks. For instance, as per The New York Post, applications declined in one state as a result of power outages. This clearly made it challenging for officials to receive applications. Although the state wasn’t identified by the spokesperson, experts are anticipating anticipations to increase. Read more

If HR Were President: Four Policies That Would Improve America’s Workforce

President Barack Obama edits his remarks in the Oval Office

Thankfully no matter which way you swing politically, the election is now over and Americans will be granted a reprieve from election cycle news until AT LEAST a week from now. (Honestly, it’s like Christmas music in department stores–starting sooner and sooner each year.)

But that hasn’t stopped Fistful of Talent blogger Andy Porter from wondering, what if a president took HR issues to heart? What would our nation’s leader tackle?

Porter says the four issues he’d tackle are paid parental leave, the minimum wage, student loans to encourage STEM careers, and immigration reform.

He writes:

“Paid Parental Leave – We live in the country with the highest standard of living in the world and the best we can do is 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave?? Seriously?… I propose all parents (mothers and fathers) be given up to 12 months of job-protected, paid leave that they can divide up between each other as they see fit. The only requirement is they must have worked for their company for at least one year. Companies who offer this benefit would get a tax credit for the total amount of salary they paid to employees on leave every year.”

As far as minimum wage goes, it should be pegged to both the cost of living and the income of the company paying it, Porter said. “Walmart, for example with 2011 net income of $14.5B shouldn’t pay anyone the federal minimum wage.” Intriguing, but not likely to ever happen.

Finally, he suggests that student loans be forgiven for those who graduate with a STEM degree and work in a related field for five years, and that foreign nationals with hard-to-find skills get a much easier time entering the country to work.

Porter’s day job is in HR with a pharma company, which may explain the focus on STEM, but both major presidential candidates talked about how science and technology was going to be the driver to create jobs and reboot the American economy, so there may be something to these proposals.

What do you think? Any chance of happening? Should Porter be flown out to the White House to meet with Barack and co.?

Reuters Sent Memo to Employees Regarding Social Media Guidelines During Election Night

Since social media is a constant part of our lives, soon it’ll be hard to imagine an election without its presence, right?

As such, it’s no surprise that media giants like Reuters reminded staffs about social media rules during election night. As pointed out by JimRomenesko, the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post recently sent reminders and as per his site yesterday, Reuters was the latest employer to issue a reminder as well. Read more

What If You Could Re-Elect Your Boss?

On the heels of an exciting election night, here at MediaJobsDaily, we couldn’t help but ponder something.

A while ago a boss of yours truly quipped, “This is not a democracy.”

That is, to put it into context,  several managers were making a hiring decision on a new managerial colleague and one of our direct reports provided us with her unsolicited thoughts.

That prompted the director to rebuke her comment even though the employee did indeed point out something insightful the managers had missed. Read more

Hurricane Sandy Victims May Be Eligible for Job-Related Disaster Assistance Payments

Residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut may be eligible for disaster assistance payments if a job was lost due to Hurricane Sandy.

As reported by CNN Money, people must be unemployed specifically due to the storm. Another qualification is that they’re ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits.

Payments may last up to 26 weeks and range from $405 per week in New York to $648 in Connecticut. Again, in order to be eligible unemployment must reflect a direct result of the natural disaster.

As for people this who fall into the category of being ineligible for “regular” unemployment assistance, that includes freelancers who lost their business completely or experienced a significant interruption of work as a direct result of Sandy.

Another grim note is unemployed people who had to become the head of the household due to the death of the former head of the household as a direct result of the storm.

This list also includes workers who are unemployed as a result of a disaster-related injury, workers who can’t reach their employer physically as a result of the hurricane. It also applies to people who received a job offer and were scheduled to start but abruptly became unemployed because the job was lost as a result of the storm.

For more information, visit the National Unemployment Law Office.

Looking for a New Job? Two Media Savvy Political Career Paths Pay More Than $70k

In the spirit of Election Day, a piece on Monster caught our eye.

That is, it rounds up several politics jobs which rake in over $70,000 per year. Imagine our surprise when two media-related career paths were included!

High five.

For starters, speechwriters rake in approximately $136,000 (that’s the median annual salary). Although it could be a lucrative path for writers, it is quite competitive. Read more

Should Election Day Become a National Holiday (As in Paid Time Off)?

When we read this piece on AOL Jobs, it made us smile.

After all, what better way to ensure everyone will get to the polls by making a national holiday during Election Day? Translation: Paid time off from the office job.

As per the piece, approximately 50 to 60 percent of the voting population will have cast ballots during the presidential election. Read more

How to Get Back to Business After Natural Disasters

As priorities are instantly put into place amidst a natural disaster such as the case here in the northeast, the checklist is simple:

Family. Check.

Roof over our heads. Check.

Heat, hot water, electricity, food. Check, check, check. And yes, check.

Well, as time marches on and situations resume to somewhat normal routines after the storm has come and gone (assuming and hoping there was minimal devastation and power outages), it’s time to get back to work, right? Read more

Meredith Xcelerated Marketing Staffs Up

Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM) has brought on four new hires from the media and agency worlds, MinOnline reports.

The new hires are Tom Donnelly, formerly of CQ Roll Call, Gail Weiswasser (pictured), social media VP at Discovery Communications, James P. Clark of Mindshare and Megan Malli of AKQA.

Donnelly will be VP, public affairs at MXM. Weiswasser’s new title is VP of engagement. Clark, who led integrated paid and earned social media programs for Sprint’s digital presence at Mindshare, will be strategy director, and Malli will be senior account director.

MXM is an arm of Meredith, the media company that publishes Better Homes & Gardens among other titles. But MXM takes that experience and turns it into marketing wins for clients like Kraft Foods, Acura, and Lowe’s.

Martha Stewart Omnimedia Announces Layoffs

Unfortunately, on the heels of the monthly jobs report there will be more job seekers pounding the pavement and they include employees of Martha Stewart Omnimedia.

Late yesterday The New York Times announced the company is going to layoff about 70 employees and will cut back two of its four publications. This equates to almost 12 percent of the total number of its employees.

For instance, Everyday Food will scale back its magazine and publish five issues each year instead of 10. Plus, it won’t be sold as a publication by itself and instead, subscribers to Martha Stewart Living will receive it as a supplement.

In addition, Whole Living Magazine, is looking for a buyer. According to the newspaper, execs are in talks to sell the publication, they already plan to stop printing it by the end of this calendar year if it hasn’t been sold.

As a result of the cutbacks, Martha Stewart’s business will now rely on its two flagship publications, Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Technically, when looking at the company’s history the lay offs and reductions in publishing shouldn’t be a total shock. Income has steadily decreased across its publishing, merchandising and broadcasting arms.

Plus, the company slashed $12.5 million in broadcasting costs when it cut daily programming with the Hallmark Channel. The Martha Stewart Show ended its live audience on that channel and soon announced a new weekly show, Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, was going to air on public television.

Sadly though we’ve had to report more than enough layoffs recently; hopefully next week and in the weeks to close out the year there will be an uptick in media companies expanding in the digital and broadcasting space.