New data shows both the promise and peril of the White House push to speed deployment of renewables while also accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels.

 A report on energy industry wages across sectors shows that they're far above the national median and more likely to provide healthcare and retirement benefits than the national average.

  • However, average hourly compensation in the fast-expanding wind and solar sectors is below oil and natural gas-related positions, and far below nuclear.
  • The chart above is from the report published by the Energy Futures Initiative, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and the BW Research Partnership.

The report arrives as the White House is pushing a massive infrastructure package that's heavy on clean energy initiatives — and promoting it as a way to create large numbers of jobs.

-International Monetary Fund officials on Wednesday endorsed U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan to raise corporate income taxes and negotiate a global minimum tax, adding that companies and wealthy individuals that have prospered during the pandemic can afford to pay more.

“The IMF has been calling for a minimum global corporate income tax rate as a way to interrupt the race to the bottom in corporate income taxation,” IMF Fiscal Affairs Director Vitor Gaspar told a news conference. “And that is something which is important to ensure that governments have the resources needed to the various spending priorities that they have to serve.”

Biden’s tax plan, which is expected to be discussed by G20 finance officials on Wednesday, seeks to deter multinational companies from shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions by setting a broadly agreed global minimum.

Paolo Mauro, the IMF deputy fiscal director, said there was an opportunity for wealthier countries to reverse the erosion of their revenues by adding a COVID-19 tax “surcharge” for wealthy individuals and corporations.

“In advanced economies, there is an opportunity to reverse some of that erosion through action, both on the corporate income tax, and also other taxes such as personal income taxes or closing loopholes in capital income taxation, property taxes, inheritance taxes so there’s a whole menu of options available to policymakers,” Mauro said.

A corporate tax surcharge would recognize that “some corporates have done very well and have done very well in terms of stock market valuation” during the pandemic, Mauro said.

The IMF’s Fiscal Monitor report, released separately, recommended that despite rising debt levels, countries continue targeted support, especially for vaccines, which could accelerate their economic and fiscal recoveries.

Gaspar said that it was important for some countries to start to build medium-term fiscal credible frameworks for more balance between spending and revenues. He did not specify a specific time period, but this could take longer for many countries.

“The medium-term is getting longer. And most countries will face growth and development challenges that require quite a long time frame,” he said, adding that Biden’s U.S. infrastructure investment plan is spread over a decade and new UK budget projections are spread over a long period.

Those armed with a newly minted diploma are entering a job market that suddenly looks a lot more promising than it did a year ago.

Employers project hiring 7.2% more new college graduates from the Class of 2021 than they did from the Class of 2020, according to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

While the rebound does not bring college hiring back to pre-pandemic levels, it does suggest some newfound optimism, thanks, in part, to increased coronavirus vaccine distribution, the reopening of businesses, and steady improvement in the job market, the association said.

Early projections also found that the average starting salaries for Class of 2021 graduates earning bachelor’s degrees are expected to rise, particularly for computer science majors. 

The average salary projection for these graduates is now $72,173, up 7.1% from last year’s $67,411 for the Class of 2020.

“Of course, this is due in large part to the greater need for technology in the new ‘virtual world’ we live and work in as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” NACE executive director Shawn VanDerziel said in a statement.

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5 tips to ace video job interviews

Not only are jobs increasingly remote, but hiring is as well. Interviews set up by chatbots more than tripled in 2020, and 2.7 million people used text messaging to apply to a job, according to iCIMS, a talent acquisition software company.

“It’s the new norm to be interviewed virtually,” said Amanda Nachman, author of ”#Qualified: You Are More Impressive Than You Realize.”

Practice virtual interviews with a friend, she suggested, and test out your lighting, sound, and background. “If you can, show a little bit of your personality,” she said — such as books, art, or your music collection — “that can be a conversation piece.”

Then, dress as you would for an in-person meeting, she said, right down to the shoes.

When it comes to following up, considering going offline, Nachman advised. “You can still write a handwritten note; you will 100% stand out.”

Finding work is never easy, but for students entering an uncertain job market with little to no experience, this process can pose additional challenges, said Kyle Elliott, a career coach who also works with recent college graduates.  

“Job seekers have to look at their job search differently,” he said.

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Grads who may have missed out on valuable internship experience over the last year should highlight the accomplishments they had in school, Elliott said, such as class projects or research reports.

Accentuate whatever it is that sets you apart, he advised. For example, “if you’ve done a side hustle or grown a huge social media following.”

“That may not be exactly what the organization is looking for, but that’s an amazing accomplishment.”

There are also more online classes and training programs than ever before. Due to the pandemic, many of these skill development courses are even free or available at a low cost.  

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Your resume and LinkedIn profile should include these skills or certifications, as well as any of those other accomplishments that demonstrate success.

Finally, tap your support system, which may be more substantial than you think, Elliott said. Parents, professors, family friends, and an extensive alumni network can all provide a leg up.  

“People are willing to help students, you just have to ask,” he said.