Opportunities in Education, Just Not for Schools

Education institutions are in a bad way, and the pandemic has made it worse. A new story in The New York Times describes how state funding for colleges has changed in recent years, with the above graphic summarizing the news. In short, colleges are in a pinch. So, what happens when the pandemic slows state funding, which very well may be the case? Moody’s Analytics projects a 20% decline in state receipts next fiscal year. Add on top of that viable alternatives to formal education. Ed tech companies like Degreed, Coursera, and Khan Academy—not to mention subject-specific bootcamps like General …

CFOs’ Uneasy Street

Both Gartner and PwC ran CFO surveys recently, and both had similar things to say: CFOs are feeling uneasy (to put it mildly). Many financial leaders plan to cancel or pause planned investments, 74% (Gartner) or 49% (PwC) will permanently shift some workers to remote work arrangements, and many will reduce their corporate real estate footprints. PwC’s results show that a third of CFOs expect layoffs next month. This data gives work tech leaders some insight into what finance chiefs see coming down the road. However, those of us on this pirate ship think there’s plenty more to be positive …

I can't prove it, but I can say it. — Stephen Colbert

“Quiet Time” and Four-day Work Weeks

This message is for our past, current and future clients (and anyone else who may find inspiration in our approach to employee experience during COVID-19). I sent this message as an email earlier today to all of our client contacts. We love our clients. I mean it. They put food on our table. But they also help us derive a deep sense of purpose and satisfaction because by helping them, we feel like we’re helping improve the world of work. And we are so very grateful to be navigating COVID-19 with our family of clients.  I mean it. We love you. …

Returning to work: Employers are “making it up as they go.”

Businesses must get going again, but people must be safe. It’s a delicate balance. Government officials and employers are trying to figure out what that looks like, hoping to set proper expectations about the inevitable return to the job. However, as a new article in The Wall Street Journal explains, no one really knows what to do. Employers are, for the most part, “making it up as they go.” It seems temperature checks, rubber gloves, and masks are common place, as American businesses follow the examples of China and Germany. But employees lack confidence, with some walking off the job. …

During COVID-19, customer experience (CX) is eating marketing’s lunch.

(and Stealing Its Milk Money While Smashing Its Glasses) COVID-19 has brought many things that were previously fuzzy into sharp focus. For example, the employee experience matters more than anything else in business. Leadership is different (and more important) than management. And (one of my personal favorites) talking to people is more important than processes, policies, and plans. But when it comes to B2B tech marketing, one revelation trumps all others. Customer Experience (CX) is on the way in and traditional, metrics-dominated marketing is on the way out. Let me explain by starting with CX and then circling back to …

Buy the ticket, take the ride. ― Hunter S. Thompson

5 million more unemployed

The department of labor data from this morning confirmed that 5.2 million more workers filed for unemployment last week, bringing the four-week grand total to 22 million. If you couldn’t tell by the chart above, that’s a lot. Here’s how The New York Times reported the figures: Even as political leaders wrangle over how and when to restart the American economy, the coronavirus pandemic’s devastation became more evident Thursday with more than 5.2 million workers added to the tally of the unemployed. In the last four weeks, the economy has lost about 22 million jobs, roughly the net number created …

IMF: Worst economic slump since Great Depression

Everyone is wondering what the economy will look like on the other side of this whole thing. As time goes on, the picture is becoming a little clearer, and many economists are offering their forecasts. Starkest of all perhaps is the IMF’s latest projection. Here’s what the New York Times reported this morning: In its World Economic Outlook, the I.M.F. projected that global growth will contract by 3 percent in 2020, an extraordinary reversal from earlier this year, when the fund forecast that the world economy would outpace 2019 and grow by 3.3 percent. This year’s fall in output would …

Another 6.6M down, totaling ~17M job losses this month.

Job losses continue to mount. This morning’s Department of Labor figures via The New York Times showed 6.6 million more filed for unemployment last week, bringing this month’s total to nearly 17 million. This is by far the sharpest decline on record. Stay tuned for the official unemployment rate to rise significantly over the next few weeks. In related news, it appears the market has already priced in these figures, even though the jobless claims were higher than forecasts. The S&P 500 is trading up 1.67%, with work tech companies scoring big this week (below).

The labor market may lose 29.7 million jobs through May.

In this morning’s newsletter from The Wall Street Journal’s Real-time Economics, analysts estimate that the US may have a 16% unemployment rate by the time summer shines its bright and smiling face. This morning’s BLS data shows job losses mounting to over 700,000 in March, with the unemployment rate rising to 4.4%. So, you might have to revise all those content marketing assets that begin with “In a tight labor market …” Together we’re going to stay afloat in these troubled waters ahead.

I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too. — Mitch Hedberg

Record unemployment claims: 6.6 million

According to jobless claims data from officials released this morning, 6.6 million people filed for unemployment last week. The week before that? Over 3.3 million. That means in just the last two weeks we’ve had 10 million people apply for unemployment benefits. A New York Times story covers the widening toll on jobs due to COVID-19. These are staggering numbers, but if there’s one industry that can help stop the bleeding, it’s work tech.