Labor

The people who work in the communications industries.

Creating Opportunity: New Jobs Require Digital Skills and Broadband

About one-third of the U.S. job market is made up of middle-skill jobs, which do not require four-year college degrees. Data indicate that the number of these jobs exceeds the supply of available workers. The skills needed for these jobs include facility with the internet and computers.

Do We Still Care About Diversity?

On Wednesday, January 15, the House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing on diversity in the media market. In announcing the hearing, Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr.

Digital Skills and Broadband Adoption

Anne Schwieger, Boston’s broadband and digital equity advocate, explains: “Broadband is best understood as an ecology that allows places and people to adapt, evolve, and create.” But for too many people, the digital skills needed to use broadband effectively are too elusive. Governments—with nonprofits, private broadband providers, and community support—are working to ensure that broadband is not just deployed but used. That’s a multifaceted effort that depends on trust and resources.

News Blues

I have a bad case of news blues. Journalism is fast becoming a vast wasteland. Newsrooms across the land are hollowed out, or in many cases shuttered.

The Latest Round of FTC Competition and Consumer Protection Hearings

The Federal Trade Commission this week held another set of hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. The hearings and public comment process this Fall and Winter will provide opportunities for FTC staff and leadership to listen to experts and the public on key privacy and antitrust issues facing the modern economy. The hearings are intended to stimulate thoughtful internal and external evaluation of the FTC’s near- and long-term law enforcement and policy agenda.

Employment and the gender digital divide in Latin America: A decomposition analysis

There is a vast literature that examines the determinants of the gender digital gap in developing countries, and puts forth policy recommendations to mitigate it. However, few studies examine how gender differences in labor force participation and employment patterns affect ICT adoption in general, or Internet use in particular.

Senate Commerce Committee Advances Broadband Bills

The Senate Commerce Committee approved a number of bills and nominations in executive session including two of particular interest:

AT&T lands in union crosshairs

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union took note of AT&T’s report that showed “robust first quarter earnings,” with net profit up 60% year over year. But the company continues to cut jobs and reduce retail operations, which does not sit well with the union. AT&T has closed 549 corporate retail stores over the past year, and even though it has converted many stores into dealer stores, that shrinking corporate retail footprint results in lower wages for wireless retail workers, according to CWA.

Tipping is taking over the internet

Nearly every major social platform has recently introduced some form of tipping, allowing users to directly support their favorite personalities in real time. The popularity and availability of payment platforms such as Venmo, CashApp and Stripe are making it easier for tech companies to enable peer-to-peer payments on their platforms. For creators, getting money from users directly is critical because platforms are not financially incentivized to pay out most people directly.

The nation needs President Biden's bold, futuristic infrastructure plan

To make the most of technology’s future, the United States again needs a bold infrastructure plan that will create a springboard for new jobs, sustained competitiveness, and broader prosperity. While many details and the need for compromise lie ahead, we believe President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, or AJP, points in the right direction. Broadband has become the electricity of the 21st century, providing the lifeblood for jobs, healthcare, and education. But like electricity in the 1930s, it hasn’t reached tens of millions of people.