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Be honest: How much do you feel like you belong at work?

It might sound like an odd question, but the answer is important.

Feeling like you’re part of the team and you’re being seen and supported at work is a big part of being happy in your career, reports CNN Business’ Jeanne Sahadi. Employees that have a sense of belonging are more likely to stay and succeed — which is good news for employers.

But a new study found that White workers report a higher sense of belonging than their Black, Hispanic and Asian colleagues.

“Employees who belong to groups that have not traditionally been represented in the workplace step into their careers at a disadvantage, and begin a journey riddled with reminders that they’re outside the norm; that they are ‘other,'” the report notes.

So what can employers do to help promote a better sense of belonging?

To start, they should proactively and regularly check in with employees given all the stresses of the world right now, Sahadi writes. The key is to listen to their concerns and identify ways you can help address some of the worries.

Providing regular feedback is also important — this allows workers a chance to adjust their performance to meet expectations. But it needs to be honest and specific in order to be helpful.

Increasing accessibility to senior leaders can also lead to a better sense of belonging in the workplace.

Click here to read more.

Saving more American jobs

Here’s a title that no country wants: Home of the largest increase in unemployment of any major economy.

But here we are.

And now it’s time for Congress to act in order to restore and preserve US jobs, writes Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics; Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Antonio Weiss, a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, for CNN Business’ Perspectives.

The coronavirus is a worldwide problem, but other countries, like Germany and Australia, have employee retention programs that have kept a lid on unemployment rates, they note.

The plans provide government funding to companies in order to keep employees on the payroll during times of economic uncertainty. They help families make ends meet and also put less stress on the country’s unemployment insurance system.

Additionally, having workers stay connected to their employers can lead to a smoother and stronger recovery, according to the trio.

But there could be some drawbacks to retention programs if they remain in place too long, including higher unemployment and lower economic growth. And, of course, there is also the cost to consider.

Read more about how retention programs could work here.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/07/perspectives/employee-retention-programs-us-economy/index.html

Don’t hold your breath

It’s going to be a long time before we see unemployment fall back to pre-pandemic levels.

In February, the unemployment rate was 3.5%. The Congressional Budget Office said last week that it estimates the rate will remain well above that level until after 2030.

What’s more, the 10-year average unemployment rate is projected to be 6.1%, a big increase from the 4.2% rate that was predicted in January, reports CNN Business’ Anneken Tappe.

But given that so much is still unknown, including shifts in consumer behavior (what changes will stick and what are temporary?) and even the virus itself (how and when will it go away?) the agency warned the forecast hinges on a lot of uncertainty.

Read more about the CBO’s projections and what it means for the US job market and the economy.

Generation Z’s rough entry into working life

Internships. First jobs. Gearing up for college.

For many Gen Z’ers, this was supposed to be a big summer.

But then the pandemic hit. And everyone’s plans came to a screeching halt.

The pain of the Covid Recession is widespread, but for the younger generation, the scars are going to run deep.

Members of Gen Z had the potential to narrow the inequality gap in America, writes CNN Business’ Jazmin Goodwin. Their earning potential was promising, and the labor market was tight, resulting in companies widening their applicant pools. All good news for young job seekers and closing the economic disparity gap.

Oh what a difference a few months can make.

Now, Gen Z’ers could face a permanent decline in earnings. And Black youth could be hit particularly hard. This group faces higher unemployment and often earns less than their White peers with the same levels of education, reports Goodwin.

And while the current economic climate can be detrimental to all young workers, it’s even harder for young Black workers to overcome.

Click here to read more about the impact of the pandemic on Gen Z.

Tracking the recovery

The jobs are coming back. But not every state is seeing the same pace of recovery.

Curious how your state is faring when it comes to long-term joblessness?

Check out this interactive graphic that provides updated information on unemployment claims by state, along with other useful economic indicators like mortgage rates, personal savings rates and consumer loans.

Coffee break

Virtual meeting fatigue is real. Just ask your brain.

A study from Microsoft found that brainwave markers that indicate overwork and stress are higher during video meetings than other work tasks.

To help, Microsoft is breaking us out of the confines of our own separate boxes during meetings and putting us all together.

The company announced Together mode in its Teams video meetings that puts all the participants’ images in a shared background (an auditorium to start with) in an effort to make everyone feel more connected.

If only Microsoft could figure out how to bring office snacks back into our meetings, I bet that would also help.

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