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The labor beat

Friday, Dec 2, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune

The nation’s employers kept hiring briskly in November despite high inflation and a slow-growing economy — a sign of resilience in the face of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes.

The economy added 263,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate stayed 3.7%, still near a 53-year low, the Labor Department said Friday. November’s job growth dipped only slightly from October’s 284,000 gain.

* WBEZ

So far, just three years after Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana use, Illinois cannabis workers have voted in 30 elections and reported a healthy 88% win rate, much better than the 61% of elections won by unions across the country in fiscal year 2021. […]

Illinois is one of the nation’s most lucrative cannabis markets, with about 110 dispensaries grossing $160 million in sales each month. Until recently, it has been growing at a frenetic pace, with another 192 dispensaries and 77 small growers — all licensed under the law’s “social equity” provisions — in the pipeline. […]

A second union — Teamsters Local 777 — has joined the party, winning 15 elections in a row and signing contracts with a company that owns two Chicago dispensaries.

“We can’t keep up with all the calls,” said Teamsters Local 777 President Jim Glimco said. At his union hall in suburban Lyons, bus drivers now mingle with budtenders.

* Meanwhile, Fox 32

The city’s transit authority plans to fill 650 positions for bus operators and mechanics, and they say thousands have applied.

CTA President Dorval Carter says the key to improving service on the CTA is more employees. There has been a shortage since the pandemic. The agency hopes to fill 30 positions every two weeks to bring staffing up to normal levels.

Candidates got to hear from CTA employees talk about the jobs, benefits and increased wages. A full time driver can make $28.42 per hour, while a mechanic can make $39.42 per hour.

At that rate, hiring all 650 people will take almost 11 months, if the CTA can keep up the pace. And last month , and also back in September, the CTA said it had about 1,000 vacant positions. So, that hiring won’t solve the problem, even if they follow through.

Speaking of the CTA…


* Crain’s

Illinois’ public health departments are receiving a funding infusion from the federal government, a move aimed at strengthening the state’s public health workforce and infrastructure.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention is providing $86 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health through the American Rescue Plan Act, according to a statement from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office and IDPH. Some of those funds will be shared with other local health departments in Illinois. Chicago’s Department of Public Health got its own allotment: $28 million.

The money will be used to recruit, retain and train public health workers, like epidemiologists, contact tracers, laboratory scientists, community health workers and data analysts. The grant is intended to address public health needs in economically depressed areas, as well as in communities with people from racial and ethnic minority groups.

       

1 Comment
  1. - very old soil - Friday, Dec 2, 22 @ 4:10 pm:

    If only we could get local politics out of local health departments.


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