Web developers and engineers on the spammy economics of tech recruitment.
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The Atlantic's video team, behind videos on why handshakes are disgusting and explaining what exactly money actually is, is looking for a video producer to join the team. You’ll be working with the other producers creating, filming, and editing in-house videos related to topics written about in The Atlantic.
Interested? Apply here.
After five years of bitter partisan combat, President Obama warned Congress Tuesday that he will move forward on his economic agenda with or without their help, threatening to make an end run around legislative gridlock through a series of new executive actions designed to lay the groundwork for liberals’ newly declared war on income inequality.
Although he didn’t mention them by name in last night’s State of the Union address, one of the president’s more ambitious ideas to address economic instability is a plan to create “Promise Zones” in low-income communities, where the government would target federal investment to reduce poverty in select neighborhoods.
Obama actually introduced the initiative in last year’s State of the Union address, but earlier this month, he finally got around to selecting the first five zones—in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The plan, he said, is to expand the program to 20 neighborhoods by the end of his second term. “Your country will help you remake your community on behalf of your kids,” he told a White House audience on January 9. “Not with a handout, but as partners with them every step of the way.”
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If you hate performance reviews—and the “if” in that clause is ceremonial; you do hate them—don’t blame your boss. Blame the Wei Dynasty.
Historians aren’t sure who officially invented the annual ritual of grading our colleagues’ performances (technically, a post-hunt slap on the back from a Neanderthal would qualify), but one of the earliest examples of formal appraisal comes from China’s Wei Dynasty, around 230 AD, when an Imperial Rater invented a nine-grade system to evaluate members of the official family. History’s first formal review wasn’t much more popular than its recent iterations. “The Imperial Rater seldom rates men according to their merits, but always according to his likes and dislikes,” Chinese philosopher Sin Yu once lamented, futilely.
Eighteen centuries and several million futile laments later, performance reviews are alive and well. They peaked, perhaps, in the 1980s, when GE’s Jack Welch used the rank-and-yank method to cull the worst-performing 10 percent of his workforce. Today, evals might be less draconian, but are they any less pointless?
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There will be work. But who will do it?
The Atlantic's video team, behind videos on why handshakes are disgusting and explaining what exactly money actually is, is looking for a web video junkie to join the team. Responsibilities include curating and writing about great web videos, and helping out the rest of the team.
Like to watch videos online? Enjoy writing? Addicted to social media? Apply.
It is an invisible force that goes by many names. Computerization. Automation. Artificial intelligence. Technology. Innovation. And, everyone’s favorite, ROBOTS.
Whatever name you prefer, some form of it has been stoking progress and killing jobs—from seamstresses to paralegals—for centuries. But this time is different: Nearly half of American jobs today could be automated in “a decade or two,” according to a new paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, discussed recently in The Economist. The question is: Which half?
Another way of posing the same question is: Where do machines work better than people? Tractors are more powerful than farmers. Robotic arms are stronger and more tireless than assembly-line workers. But in the past 30 years, software and robots have thrived at replacing a particular kind of occupation: the average-wage, middle-skill, routine-heavy worker, especially in manufacturing and office admin.
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The college graduate fresh off campus and stuck working as a barista has been a sort of stock tragic figure of these post-recession years. But how many B.A.’s are really out there toiling in dead-end jobs? A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York offers us an answer this week, which I think can be summed up as: Fewer than you probably think, but definitely more we’re used to.
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The standard argument against raising the minimum wage is that it kills jobs by making workers more expensive to hire. Whether or not that’s true has been the subject of century-long economics debate, which probably won’t be resolved any time soon. But lately, some liberals have been attempting to flip the old criticism on its head. Higher minimum wages, they say, don’t destroy jobs. Higher minimum wages create jobs!
This week, for instance, the Economic Policy Institute released a report estimating that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, up from $7.25 today, would add an additional 85,000 jobs to the economy, a finding that’s been covered in liberal-leaning outlets like The Huffington Post.
It’s not an entirely crazy notion. But it’s also less exciting than you might think.
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"Obamacare’s rollout will be great."
"Anthony Weiner will win."
"Life will be found on Mars."
These were among the worst predictions of 2013, Blake Hounshell decreed in Politico Magazine today. Predictions are hard, especially about the future, goes the saying. But predictions are also easy and, more importantly, they are free—both to the reader (they’re effortless to read) and to the prognosticator (outside of meteorology, there is no cost to being a relentlessly bad forecaster in journalism). But it’s not just the fourth estate that’s biased toward future forecasting. Government can’t get enough of it, either.
This week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published its own opus on the future, predicting the next ten years in jobs.
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