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Uber, After Buying Postmates, Lays Off More Than 180 Employees

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber on Thursday laid off roughly 185 people from its Postmates division, or about 15 percent of Postmates’ total work force, said three people with knowledge of the actions, as the ride-hailing giant consolidates its food delivery operations to weather the pandemic.Most of the executive team at Postmates, including Bastian Lehmann, the founder and chief executive of the popular food delivery app, will leave the company, said the people, who spoke on condition they not be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Uber bought Postmates last year for $2.65 billion.Some Postmates vice presidents and other executives …

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Continuing Job Losses Put Spotlight on Economic Relief

Mr. Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that would include $1,400 in direct payments to individuals, expanded unemployment benefits and money for hard-pressed states and cities.In written testimony released Thursday as part of her Senate confirmation process, Janet L. Yellen, Mr. Biden’s nominee for Treasury secretary, reiterated the urgency of renewed aid.“Unemployment remains troublingly high, and millions of families are facing hunger or the risk of eviction,” Ms. Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chair, told a questioner. “Additional relief is needed to strengthen the economy, address our public health challenge and provide relief to communities that have …

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Jobless, Selling Nudes Online and Still Struggling

Savannah Benavidez stopped working at her job as a medical biller in June to take care of her 2-year-old son after his day care shut down. Needing a way to pay her bills, she created an account on OnlyFans — a social media platform where users sell original content to monthly subscribers — and started posting photos of herself nude or in lingerie.Ms. Benavidez, 23, has made $64,000 since July, enough not just to take care of her own bills, but to help family and friends with rent and car payments.“It’s more money than I have ever made in any job,” …

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December Jobs Report: Recovery Goes Into Reverse

The already sputtering economic rebound went into reverse last month as employers laid off workers amid rising coronavirus cases and delayed government aid.U.S. employers cut 140,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday. It was the first net decline in payrolls since last spring’s mass layoffs and followed five straight months in which hiring had slowed.The report was a grim capstone to a year in which the economy lost more than nine million jobs, the worst on a percentage basis since World War II. It also means that President Trump will be the first chief executive …

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The December Numbers Were Awful, but the Economy Has a Clear Path to Health

It seemed appropriate that the jobs numbers for the final months of 2020 would be as nasty as the year as a whole was.It is fair to say that the loss of 140,000 jobs in December indicates a backsliding of the economic recovery that took place in the summer and fall. Other numbers in Friday’s report confirm that basically gloomy picture, such as the continued depressed share of adults who are in the labor force. In the debate over which letter of the alphabet best describes the pattern of the 2020 economy, the December numbers pretty much rule out “V.”But. …

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‘A Slap in the Face’: The Pandemic Disrupts Young Oil Careers

HOUSTON — Sabrina Burns, a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, had thought she would be launching a lucrative career in the oil and gas industry when she graduated in a few months.But the collapse in the demand for oil and gas during the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted her well-laid plans and is forcing her to consider a new path.“We got a slap in the face, an entirely unforeseen situation that rocked our entire mind-set,” said Ms. Burns, who is studying petroleum engineering. “I have applied for every oil and gas position I’ve seen, like all …

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Unemployment Claims Dipped but Remained High During Christmas Week

The labor market remains in distress as the pandemic limits consumer activity across the country.Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped modestly last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, though they remained very high by historical standards.The Christmas holiday likely affected filings because of the shortened workweek, a phenomenon that also occurred during Thanksgiving week. “They bounce up and down a lot during the holidays,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh.There were 841,000 new claims for state benefits, compared with 873,000 the previous week. Another 308,000 people filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federally funded …

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What 2020 Was Like for People in the Retail Industry

The retail industry was in the midst of a transformation before 2020. But the onset of the pandemic accelerated that change, fundamentally reordering how and where people shop, and rippling across the broader economy.Many stores closed for good, as chains cut physical locations or filed for bankruptcy, displacing everyone from highly paid executives to hourly workers. Amazon grew even more powerful and unavoidable as millions of people bought goods online during lockdowns. The divide between essential businesses allowed to stay open and nonessential ones forced to close drove shoppers to big-box chains like Walmart, Target and Dick’s and worsened …

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Kentucky Hurting While Awaiting Federal Pandemic Aid

In Perry County, Ky., the local government is cutting back on garbage pickup. Magoffin County is laying off public safety workers. And in Floyd County, where food pantries are reporting that demand has tripled over the past month, officials are trying to figure out how to avoid cuts to a program distributing food to families.“A lot of these kids, this is the only meal they get in a day,” said Robert Williams, Floyd County’s judge-executive, the chief elected official. “I can’t ask a kid to sit on a computer all day with nothing to eat.”In cases …

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As Bills Pile Up, Many Anxiously Keep Tabs on the Stimulus Bill

“It’s the worst thing I could possibly imagine,” she said. “If you told me a year ago that the entire country would be suffering the way it is now, with no help from the government, I would have told you that would never happen. We live in America.”More than 20 million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits and the unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent. A year ago, before the pandemic hit, the jobless rate touched 3.5 percent, tying a 50-year low.For those living on the edge, the recent political gamesmanship has been infuriating.“We don’t have time for them …

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