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What Job Sites Reveal About the Economy

Career websites are seeing a mismatch between what employers and the rest of us want in jobs.

When the pandemic hit and millions of Americans left physical workplaces, some employers left blank the location fields in online job listings or filled in “remote.” Career websites’ computer systems still went through the motions of tying a do-from-anywhere job to a city and state.

In the last year, Pollak said, the most common job search term by far on ZipRecruiter has been — you probably can guess — remote work or similar terms. There has been a big increase. For every 100 searches for remote work before the pandemic, now there are 330, Pollak said.

To give job hunters what they were looking for, ZipRecruiter completely reprogrammed its computer systems to try to parse whether job listings that offered remote work were intended to be jobs from anywhere temporarily or permanently.

That means three-quarters of American workers aren’t doing their jobs from home, and working from anywhere will not be the reality for most Americans. (The added wrinkles are whether remote work means doing a job away from the workplace five days a week or occasionally, and whether employees or companies make that choice.)

But for the types of work that might be done remotely, there is a mismatch. A significant percentage of job hunters are saying that they want to work remotely. Employers aren’t sure they want that. Career websites are seeing this tug of war firsthand.

Job postings have indicated that while initially many employers didn’t want to commit to letting people work from anywhere forever, that’s starting to change. “We’re seeing a gradual shift to more and more jobs that can be done remotely that are listed as such,” Pollak said.

ZipRecruiter now classifies about 8 or 9 percent of job postings as permanent work from home jobs, up from about 2 percent before the pandemic. The job listing websites Monster and LinkedIn also told me that remote jobs are still a fraction of open positions but have sharply increased.

The career sites’ computer systems are starting to adapt to job seekers’ desire for more flexible work. The human bosses will still have the last word.

Some people have long complained that copyright law is being abused to protect people and companies from accountability.

This is one of the longest running debates over the internet, and I don’t know how to resolve it. But I wanted to chew it over as an example of the high-stakes fights over internet expression that most of us don’t often think about.

This is all in response to a 1998 law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which requires online companies to remove copyrighted material. There are many gripes about how the law has played out.

Big entertainment companies in particular frequently say that the law and the ways that internet companies enforce it are too lax about pulling down material that they believe is improperly posted online. They also don’t like having to make so many requests to enforce their copyrights.

Writing laws is difficult. The DMCA shows that it’s even harder for laws related to the internet to both keep up with people’s fast-changing habits and get enforcement right.

Category: Technology

Source: New York Times

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