5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: June 9

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience.

1. Payroll Jobs Rose by 390,000 in May

A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 390,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added in the U.S. in May, which outpaced the 328,000 economists thought would be added. 

The creation of new jobs was lower than previously reported in March and April by 22,000 jobs. Employment has risen by approximately 2 million jobs since the beginning of 2022. 

The unemployment rate in May was at 3.6% for the third month in a row with the number of unemployed people essentially unchanged at 6 million. 

When looking at the major worker groups, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for Asians during the month decreased 2.4%. The jobless rate for other worker groups saw little to no change during the month and are as follows:

  • Adult men: 3.4%
  • Adult women: 3.4%
  • Teenagers: 10.4%
  • White people: 3.4%
  • Black people: 6.2%
  • Hispanic people: 4.3%

The number of people who have seen permanent job loss among the unemployed remained at 1.4 million. The number of people on temporary layoff also saw little change during the month at 810,000. 

2. Michigan Prosecutor Set To Make Decision on Whether To Charge Police Officer in Killing of a Black Man During Traffic Stop

The Kent County prosecutor’s office in Michigan announced that the judge reviewing the death of Patrick Lyoya, who was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer following a struggle during a traffic stop on April 4, is set to decide Thursday on if he will file criminal charges against the officer, CNN reports. 

Lyoya, a 26-year-old Black man, was pulled over in April for an allegedly unregistered license plate by Grand Rapids officer Christopher Shurr, who is white. According to CNN, “Lyoya got out of the car and ran resisting Schurr’s attempt to arrest him. Schurr shot him while the two were on the ground as Schurr wrestled for control of Lyoya, and Schurr said Lyoya had his taser.”

Lyoya had three outstanding warrants at the time he ran from Schurr and his autopsy showed his blood-alcohol concentration was three times the legal limit. The prosecutor reviewing the case sought outside guidance from experts before deciding to charge the officer. 

Lyoya’s death has led to protests in Grand Rapids. Other interactions between police and residents have garnered media scrutiny as there is a history of tension between Black residents and police in Grand Rapids. 

CNN reports that “shooting led the state’s civil rights agency to renew a request for a pattern-and-practice investigation by the Justice Department into the Grand Rapids Police Department, just one month after a new police chief took office.”

3. Cigna Study Shows Loneliness Impacts Employees’ Health, Productivity at Work

A study conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by Cigna (No. 24 on Fair360, formerly DiversityInc’s 2022 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) shows that employers prioritizing employees’ mental health should pay attention to feelings of loneliness.

The survey of 2,500 people found that employees experiencing feelings of loneliness were more likely than other employees to say they had trouble working efficiently and performing to the best of their abilities. Cigna said these employees feeling lonely also said they felt they were “mentally somewhere else” during the past three months while at work.

Those experiencing feelings of loneliness and being less productive at work also were more likely than their peers to say they felt dissatisfied with their jobs and felt unwell or sick over the past three months while at work.

These feelings of loneliness aren’t unique to remote workers. A pre-pandemic survey conducted by WebMD Health revealed that 56% of women working in the office felt either isolated sometimes or always as compared to 44% of working men.

To combat feelings of loneliness among employees, Cigna provided three things employers could do. The company suggests:

  1. Organizing activities that bring employees together, whether in-person or virtually.
  2. Providing employee benefits to support mental health.
  3. Creating a safe and welcoming environment for employees through diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

4. Martin Luther King Jr’s Granddaughter to Kick Off Boston Juneteenth Celebration

Yolanda Scott King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King will kick off Boston’s first five-day Juneteenth celebration on June 13 during the Embrace Ideas Festival.

King Boston, a nonprofit organization that honors the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King through “The Embrace” memorial being constructed in Boston Common, will have Yolanda kick off the week under the guiding vision of “Building a New Boston Together.”

The week will celebrate Black culture through music performances, art, a block party and more.

5. Preparing Your Workforce for a Recession

While the U.S. has passed the COVID-19-related recession, news outlets are reporting that another recession is looming. And while this recession isn’t likely to be as bad as the 2008 recession, it is coming, and employers should think of ways to prepare for these events.

For companies to survive, they should look at how others fared in past recessions. Those who made it through did so because of how they operated their business.

Factors that determined how companies weathered the economic storm during the Great Recession include:

  1. Strong cash position
  2. Diversified customer base
  3. Strengthened operating systems
  4. Creating a Diverse workforce

Click here to read more about preparing your workforce for a recession.


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