Fears of not having enough money are pushing more people to take on side jobs


The groundbreaking AI provisions in the Hollywood actors' union contract are a sign of the big changes coming across all kinds of jobs, thanks to the fast rise of AI technologies.

 The AI issue is urgent in the entertainment industry, which has created digital replicas of actors. But with the tech moving so fast, all of us will likely face disruptions soon enough, economists said at a Brookings panel this week.

  • That could mean AI is on the agenda in more union contract negotiations — or unions use the threat it poses to organize new workforces.
  • For nonunionized workers, big changes are coming, too — particularly among white-collar folks — and experts urged policymakers and employers to pay attention.
  • "We need to be prepared for a range of scenarios for how AI will continue to affect labor in the coming years and decades," says Anton Korinek, an economist at the University of Virginia and nonresident fellow at Brookings.

 The 118-day Hollywood actors' strike took longer to resolve than the writers' strike — not because of a fight over pay or even streaming — but because of the union's demands around AI.

  • "[W]e held firm and that's why we were on strike for so long," says Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director and chief negotiator of SAG-AFTRA, which represents actors.
  • "[O]ur members are some of the first people to really deeply feel the effects of generative AI," he adds, noting that some have had their images manipulated in deepfake pornography.

AI wasn't something they could punt to a contract a few years down the line, since Hollywood's eager to use digital replicas, he says.

  • Crabtree points to Carrie Fisher's posthumous return in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," and Paul Walker's, in "Furious 7."
  • The new contract, which still needs to be officially ratified by SAG-AFTRA members, contains specific provisions around consent and compensation for digital "replicas" used in films and TV shows.

If you'd asked any economist three years ago what jobs are most exposed to automation, they would have said blue-collar work, says Korinek.

  • But the fast adoption of generative AI has meant the most disruption in the white-collar space.

"There are jobs that are already almost fully replaced, like translators. Copy editors are getting there," he says. Software engineering is changing fast.

  • "Even economists like myself see that a growing number of the things we do in our daily work are suddenly being automated," Korinek adds.
  • Jobs that require writing are also threatened (author's note: erm, gulp). A paper released last month found a 14% decrease in the number of listings for freelance jobs associated with writing — including electronic engineers, accounting research, and web development — after the introduction of ChatGPT.
  • "Every white-collar worker will be affected to some extent," Korinek says.

 It's hard to predict if AI will replace these jobs or just augment them, changing the way people work.

Hollywood actors — they're just like us — only they got here first.

Certainly! Based on the provided context, here's a revised version:

Are you finding that your lifestyle requires a higher income? If you reside in the United States, chances are the answer is yes. A significant 75% of Gen Z individuals struggle to pay their bills on time, and in New York City, around 50% of residents lack the funds to rent an apartment. Additionally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 76.1 million American workers (55.8% of the total workforce) were paid hourly in 2021, making it challenging to earn a living wage. Overall, nearly two-thirds of Americans live from one paycheck to the next. If you relate to this financial stress, you are among the 58% experiencing similar pressures.

Moving closer to financial security may necessitate exploring additional income sources, potentially even a third or fourth. An overwhelming 87% of surveyed individuals have taken on at least one side job in the past six months, according to a study by ResumeNow. Heather O’Neill, a career expert at ResumeNow, highlights the strong impact of improved financial well-being on overall mood, job satisfaction, and family relationships.

A recent survey of 1,100 U.S. workers sheds light on the most common financial stressors and challenges. Findings include that 65% fear running out of emergency savings and being unable to maintain their current lifestyle within six months. Moreover, 41% are actively searching for higher-paying jobs in their field, 40% have attempted to negotiate higher salaries with their current employers, and 35% are seeking new jobs in different fields. It's worth noting that last year, approximately 4.8% of the entire U.S. workforce held a second job, and by July, 438,000 workers had two full-time jobs, accounting for 0.27% of the total working population.

Despite being employed in knowledge-based roles, workers spend only 36% to 39% of their office time on tasks related to their primary job, according to Future of work consultant Gleb Tsipursky. The rest is often spent on personal calls, social media, or seeking/working on additional employment. This behavior might be attributed to stagnant wage growth compared to inflation rates, as evidenced by the survey findings which showed that only 37% of respondents could cover a $400 unexpected expense and 58% couldn't afford to purchase new shoes on the spot.

O’Neill emphasizes the lifelong partnership between individuals and their connection with money, stressing that financial fears can lead to heightened psychological distress.  

Amazon is dialing up the pressure on corporate employees who haven’t complied with the company’s return-to-office mandate. 

Staffers who don’t adhere to the policy, which requires employees to be in the office at least three days a week, may not get promoted, according to posts on Amazon’s internal website that were viewed by CNBC.

“Managers own the promotion process, which means it is their responsibility to support your growth through regular conversations and stretch assignments, and to complete all the required inputs for a promotion,” one post says. “If your role is expected to work from the office 3+ days a week and you are not in compliance, your manager will be made aware and VP approval will be required.”

A separate post on Amazon’s internal career platform for employees says, “In accordance with Amazon’s overall approach to promotions, employees are expected to work from their office 3+ days/week if that is the requirement of their role.”

The post goes on to say that managers are working with Amazon’s human resources group to “monitor adherence” to the in-person work requirement, and “this will continue as we evaluate promotion readiness.”

Some details of the new guidance were previously reported by Business Insider.

Brad Glasser, an Amazon spokesperson, confirmed the announcement in an email.

“Promotions are one of the many ways we support employees’ growth and development, and there are a variety of factors we consider when determining an employee’s readiness for the next level,” Glasser told CNBC. “Like any company, we expect employees who are being considered for promotion to be in compliance with company guidelines and policies.”

Tensions have flared between Amazon and some of its roughly 350,000 corporate employees since the company began its return-to-office push. In May, the company began requiring that staffers work out of physical offices at least three days a week, shifting from a Covid-era policy that left it up to individual managers to decide how often team members should be present.

Following the mandate, a group of employees walked out in protest at the company’s Seattle headquarters. Staffers also criticized how Amazon handled the decision to lay off 27,000 people as part of job cuts that began last year.

Employees circulated an internal petition urging CEO Andy Jassy to drop the return-to-office requirement, but the company hasn’t budged. In recent months, Amazon informed some staffers they must relocate to central office hubs in different states if they want to keep their jobs, prompting some to quit, CNBC previously reported

Amazon’s stance has changed multiple times since the start of the pandemic in 2020. At first, the company said it would return to an “office-centric culture as our baseline.” But as other tech companies leaned toward more flexible work arrangements, Amazon relaxed its position.

The company later announced the RTO mandate, which CEO Andy Jassy said would lead to a stronger company culture and collaboration between employees. Amazon has a remote work exception in place and considers requests on a case-by-case basis.

“Teams tend to be better connected to one another when they see each other in person more frequently,” Jassy said at the time. “There is something about being face-to-face with somebody, looking them in the eye, and seeing they’re fully immersed in whatever you’re discussing that bonds people together.”

Having just one open role costs business, on average, nearly $25,000 per month in output, according to research by talent platform Fiverr International Ltd.

Fiverr argues that with so much money on the line, businesses should consider options such as hiring freelancers.

“The data begs the question — can businesses really afford to lose out on this much potential growth simply because they can’t fill open positions? Businesses must be smarter about their hiring strategy moving forward,” Shai-Lee Spigelman, general manager of Fiverr Pro, said in a press release.

Open positions in highly skilled professions cost businesses even more, according to Fiverr. Legal unfilled positions cost businesses $48,902 monthly, followed by “computer and math” positions and “engineers and technicians” at $42,458 and $37,173 monthly per open role, respectively.

The research was based on findings from Fiverr Pro, the company’s solution aimed at midsize to large businesses. The research was done in partnership with Lightcast, a provider of labor market data, analytics, and expert guidance.

Other recent data from a report by Fiverr and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 51% of business leaders surveyed agreed their organizations will use more freelance workers in the future.

Hotels have been through the wringer since the start of the pandemic. 

The leisure and hospitality industry lost 8 million jobs in the first two months of the pandemic—more than any other industry. While hotels have seen a steady hiring recovery in recent years, hospitality employment remains below February 2020 levels. Employers in the sector are creating new talent pipelines for recruiting and retaining workers in the high-turnover industry.

Hotel company Hyatt, which employs more than 130,000 workers across 70-plus countries, is relying on a program first established in 2018 that hires youth for entry-level roles. The initiative, called RiseHY, recruits “opportunity youth,” young adults ages 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor working, through community-based organizations.

“When we started to experience real challenges with staffing, we were really happy that we started the work of figuring out how [to] access these folks, introduce our industry, and bring them on board,” says Malaika Myers, Hyatt’s chief human resources officer. 

So far, she’s hired more than 5,300 people through the program and aims to hit 10,000 hires through the program by the end of 2025.

The program boasts a strong retention rate for the industry, with more than 40% of RiseHy hires still with the company. For comparison, the hospitality industry saw an 82% turnover rate in 2022, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

“The retention rate for these hires is higher, certainly, than the norm. And some of that, I think, is because of the support system that we put around them,” says Myers. 

Before being hired, RiseHy candidates can get a glimpse of a day in the life at the company through a virtual reality presentation. Many of the hires likely haven’t stepped foot in a hotel before, Myers says, and the VR demonstration helps them understand various roles and responsibilities. 

Hyatt also created a buddy system for program hires, as well as training for managers on how to best support these workers. Other support programs include providing ride services to RiseHy employees in their first month of work if they can’t immediately afford a car or other means of transportation to get to work.

In addition to lower attrition, Myers says that talent sourced through the program has shown great potential for development, and more than 900 RiseHy hires have since been promoted or moved laterally and transferred to other Hyatt properties.“That proves the point that…you can come in an entry-level job in this industry and work your way up,” Myers says. It’s far more about what you bring to it, how you bring our purpose to life, how you care for our guests, and skills that you can be trained on than what degree you’ve got.”

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post