Tag Archives: employment

The Changing Consumer Spending

Consumer spending drives the U.S. economy, accounting for roughly 68% of the GDP. The spending includes everything we buy: food, services, entertainment, groceries, haircuts, and more. From the beginning of the year (when the economy was up), the nation has seen rising unemployment, and that means less wages to spend.

The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are changing consumer behavior – what we spend our income on as well as how much we spend. As consumers have weathered the coronavirus pandemic and states have enforced lock-downs for shopping and entertainment, our spending and saving habits have shifted.

Interestingly, personal income rose 10.5% in April, the result of a rise in government rescue programs and household stimulus payments. But consumers also cut their spending on restaurants and hotels, as well as cut health care expenditures. In regards to large purchases, spending on autos declined 30% and furniture and appliance spending cut by 20%.

The first few weeks of the pandemic brought consumers out in mass to stock up on pantry items including toilet paper, soup, macaroni, beans, and other comfort foods. The next few weeks saw consumers buying more basic ingredients as they cooked more meals at home.

What’s next for consumer shopping changes?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: In the past month, roughly how much money have they spent? What items have they purchased?
  2. Is this spending different than what they experienced before the coronavirus pandemic? How is it different?
  3. Show video from WSJ about spending: https://www.wsj.com/video/consumer-spending-slid-in-april-here-why-that-matters/14661D9B-8251-43EB-B082-EDDE09187E2F.html
  4. Discuss trends in items being purchased.
  5. How should companies be using these changing habits to their advantage? Should marketing campaigns change?

Source: Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Employees Tell the Best Places to Work

Looking for a job can be intimidating and confusing. Companies (just like prospective employees) try to put their best foot forward to convince you that they are the best place for you to grow and deploy your talents. But, that is not always true. Working for a company that isn’t a good fit can be a miserable and negative experience for employees.

So, where should I job candidate look for information about a company? Try asking a companies’ current (and previous) employees for information. One such source for this type of information is the Employees’ Choice Awards from Glassdoor. These awards are based on the input from at least 75 employees at a company, and covers topics such as work environment, pay, and more. The list covers the best 100 companies to work for in 2019, as well as best cities for jobs, and highest paying jobs.

This year’s top companies to work for include:

  1. Bain & Company
  2. Zoom Video Communications
  3. In-N-Out Burger
  4. Procore Technologies
  5. Boston Consulting Group
  6. LinkedIn
  7. Facebook
  8. Google
  9. Lululemon
  10. Southwest Airlines

Where do you want to work?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Suggestion: For this discussion, invite someone from the campus career services center to attend class and moderate the discussion.
  2. Discuss what makes a job and company rewarding. What companies are they interested in working at?
  3. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a list of the 10 things they want from a job.
  4. Build the list on the white board. Where are the common themes?
  5. A brief video can be found at: https://youtu.be/s5BuPaNCbiE
  6. The full report is at: https://www.glassdoor.com/Award/Best-Places-to-Work-LST_KQ0,19.htm
  7. Give students time to explore the site and companies. Now, where are they interested in working?

Source: Protalinksi, E. (4 December 2018). Glassdoor: Zoom dethrones Facebook as the best tech company to work for in the U.S. Venture Beat.

 

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Using Social Media in Job Search

Here’s the truth – absolutely no one likes looking for a new job. Nope. Not one single person on earth gets up and says “gee, can’t wait to look for a new job today!” So, you are in good company if you are (reluctantly) facing a job search. But, on the plus side, there are now more tools than ever to help you search out and find a great position and company. And, you can even do this using social media tools with which you are already familiar. Today, social media is part of how people get in touch not only with each other, but also with companies

Estimates are that more than 80% of Americans have social media accounts. Social media is a great way to connect with others, bring attention to your work, and develop new ideas. The top social media platforms to explore in a job search:

  1. LinkedIn – A professional social network with 500 million members. Focus on people you already know, and people you would like to know. LinkedIn has search features that let members know about job postings and companies.
  2. Twitter – Provides instant connections for sharing ideas with 328 million users. It is conversational, giving real-time information about areas of interest and connects users beyond people they already know. For job hunting, build lists of influencers to follow.
  3. Facebook – A powerful social network with more than two billion users worldwide. Facebook can help you connect with influencers, shape what others think of you, and share things that help show your interests and breadth. Use Facebook to follow companies and get ideas about job opportunities.
  4. Instagram – This platform revolves around illustrations and has grown to roughly 800 million users. These users love great photos and videos. Use this platform to interact graphically with companies and people who interest you.
  5. Snapchat – While this platform is changing, it has 250 million users and can provide insights into trends, people, and companies.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students to define how they currently use social media platforms.
  2. What limits their use of the platforms? Do they use these for job search?
  3. Review the New York Times ariicle: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/business/social-media-for-career-and-business?em_pos=small&emc=edit_ct_20171116&nl=technology&nl_art=0&nlid=65703977&ref=headline&te=1&redirect=true
  4. Students can explore various links within this article to learn more about the different platforms.
  5. Divide students into five teams. Have each team explore a different social media platform and provide guidelines about the platform for job search.
  6. Build a shared document with the information.

Source: Sreenivasan, S. (2017, November). How to use social media in your career. New York Times.

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