Quit central — Merrill brokers exit — Facebook's rep

 
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INSIDER WEEKLY
 
 
 
 

Welcome back to Insider Weekly! Hope you're having a relaxing holiday weekend. I'm Matt Turner, the editor in chief of business at Insider. 

The labor shortage has been one of the defining trends of 2021. 

To understand why, and what it might take to solve it, Insider's economy team zoned in on Kentucky, the epicenter of the Great Resignation. They spoke with workers, business owners, economists, and local lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. 

Based on their conversations, they identified four distinct and often overlapping factors driving the labor shortage. A Kentucky Democrat said the labor shortage was "cultural." A Kentucky Republican recommended temporarily suspending unemployment benefits to get people back to work.

While the series makes clear that the labor shortage hits differently wherever you are, it's also clear that what's happening in Kentucky reflects a national story affecting businesses, workers, the economy, and politics. And it's not going away anytime soon. Read on for a Q&A with Executive Editor Josée Rose and Deputy Editor Nick Lichtenberg on the series. 


Also in this week's newsletter:

Let me know what you think of all our stories at mturner@insider.com.


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Inside the epicenter of America's Great Resignation

Katie Rubin

Nick Lichtenberg and Josée Rose take us behind the scenes of a sweeping series of reports looking at the labor shortage in Kentucky — and what it means for the rest of America.

Why did the economy team home in on Kentucky?

Nick: The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report is the data story of the year. It showed more Americans quitting their jobs than ever before, as well as more job openings than ever before. 

In October, it showed Kentucky's quit rate was way higher than the rest of the country. Two editors on the economy team, Bartie and Andy, immediately suggested investigating.

Our resident JOLTS expert, Madison, looked into it. She found the thesis was correct: Kentucky was a microcosm of the Great Resignation and the labor shortage. It's the epicenter.

How do these reports work together to show the impact of the Great Resignation?

Nick: We really wanted a diversity of voices: economists, workers, business owners, and the politicians who represent Kentucky. Madison, Hillary, and Juliana canvassed the state trying to find the stories of real people who are struggling to hire or find good jobs. Ben and Joseph landed interviews with politicians.

We got all these perspectives in three connected articles: the Republican who represents a rural district, the Democrat in thriving Louisville, and the workers and employers on the ground across the state.

What should readers take away from this package? 

Josée: Depending on where you live, the hiring problems can affect you differently and hit you harder. By using real people in a hard-hit state, and then talking to the politicians who help make decisions, we're showing the big disconnect between the governments (state and federal) and everyday people. We want readers to come away with better insight. These problems aren't going away anytime soon, and for some, they'll get worse.

Read all three reports here:


Facebook's souring reputation

MZ   Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD:AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's reputation has taken so many hits. Scandals and missteps have forced the company to pay out more generous compensation to hire and retain workers, according to former employees, industry recruiters, and data reviewed by Insider.

The tech giant is giving larger equity awards than Google, and compensation for Facebook engineers has jumped since 2020. Still, some tech workers worry that a job at Facebook will follow them for the rest of their careers.

Here's what ex-employees say about the Facebook's 'brand tax.'


The future leaders in healthcare and biotech

healthcare startups taking off in 2022 2x1

Insider asked top investors to select the healthcare and biotech startups most likely to take off in 2022. 

Some startups that made the cut: 54gene aims to address the knowledge gaps that have made it harder to develop drugs, specifically for people from Africa; Babyscripts created software that lets medical professionals remotely monitor pregnant and postpartum patients; and Artios Pharma is developing a class of therapies geared toward sabotaging cancer cells.

See the full list of 34 companies.


Behind the scenes of Merrill Lynch's evolution

Collage of the Merrill Lynch bull with President Andy Sieg on the right and CEO Brian Moynihan on the left 2x1

The legendary brokerage is setting records and training a new generation. But at the same time, Merrill Lynch is losing longtime advisors who were once its "thundering herd."

Former staffers remember a bygone era at the firm, and many expressed pride and loyalty in working there — one even launched a "Mother Merrill" website dedicated to company nostalgia.

Merrill is facing a reckoning as it adapts to a new era of Wall Street.


More of this week's top reads:


Compiled with help from Phil Rosen.

 
 
 
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