Connect with us


These Are the Best U.S. Economic Sectors to Work in During a Pandemic




*Unless you’ve won the lottery and are now independently wealthy, or your job so disgusts you that you’d rather be without it, getting fired or laid off is never a good experience. But some sectors of the U.S. economy are hurting more than others, and some seem insulated from the blood-letting.

Tens of millions have been weathering the Covid-19 pandemic without work. Entire cities virtually shut down for months, with large and small companies struggling. American and Delta airlines, shipping mall owner Brookfield Properties, and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have announced layoffs.

About 24.2 million people said they couldn’t work in August because their employers closed or lost business, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But BLS data, separated by industry category, show where it’s smart—and safe—to work during an extended public health emergency.

Unemployment rates have risen across the entire U.S. economy this year because of Covid-19, but some industries seem better-protected than others, making them safer fields to work in. (Erik Sherman/Zenger)

The top choice for those who would prefer to continuously be gainfully employed? Jobs in the finance sector, where unemployment this August only reached 4.2%. That’s half the national average of 8.4%.

That shouldn’t be a shock, says Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst for personal finance site He names three criteria that might separate the safe from the pink-slipped: flexibility about working remotely, the need for customers to do business in person and the pandemic’s effect on demand in a given sector.

The success of finance “is not surprising,” Barrington said, because people in that field can tele-work, customers can do business online or at ATMs, and demand has remained steady.

“[Financial services] were the easiest activities to move online,” said Aleksandar Tomic, associate dean for strategy, innovation and technology and program director for the master in science of applied economics at Boston College. “How often do you stop at your branch anyway? And then, you do have a lot of activity in real estate. If you right now are trying to refinance or buy a house, the delays in mortgage processing are phenomenal because of the demand.”

The demand for food, too, has continued unabated, so the agriculture sector’s pandemic-year unemployment rate of 5.6% makes sense.

Then there is government, with an overall 5.7% unemployment rate.

“It’s not surprising that in government is such low unemployment,” Tomic said. “Government is counter cyclical. They might or might not reduce their numbers [at other times], but they are not going to during a recession. They leaned into it and provided a lot of stimulus and probably have not done any furloughs or layoffs.”

And existing layoffs may largely affect state or even local governments, not Washington, D.C.

“State governments are a different story because they are subject to cyclical pressures,” Tomic said. And both county and local governments are struggling with how, and when, to open schools. “Just anecdotally, we see a lot of people taking a leave of absence because they don’t feel safe in the classroom,” he said. Leaves of absence would likely not register as people being unemployed, so the figure may be under reported.

Still, 4.2%, 5.6%, and 5.7% are far better than 21.3% employment in the leisure and hospitality sector. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction saw 12.4%—more than a ten-fold jump from a year ago—while transportation and utility unemployment hit 11.3%.

Some of the differences stem from how directly the pandemic has hit industries. Leisure and hospitality workers like waiters, hotel maids and concert tour staff couldn’t avoid the impact.

“That’s the number one industry affected, and it remains the highest unemployment rate,” said Ernie Goss, a professor in the department of economics and finance at Creighton University. “Businesses tightly linked to leisure and hospitality will likewise have higher rates of unemployment.”

Companies that have restaurants and hotels as major customers will also likely feel pain, for example, as will the landlords leasing space to hospitality companies.

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction have felt the heat from a lack of travel and previous shutdown of businesses the energy industry has supplied. But the picture quickly gets complicated. Oil and gas production in the U.S. have faced decline in fracking production as prices fell because those types of wells are more expensive to drill, for example.

“In some of these industries you have pressures that are just there and then they have been hit hard by the pandemic in top of that,” said Tomic. “The pandemic has been an accelerant for things that have been there for a long time.”

Broader categories can mask differences between subsectors. “Transportation and utilities are grouped like one super sector, but they’re very different things,” said

eecceBarrington, who noted that unemployment in utilities is only 2.2%, versus the 11.3% of the overall category. “You really have to look at the specifics,” he said. “When people talk about the unemployment rate, that is very different, depending on where you live and what you do for a living.”

The big question left is what must happen going forward. Apparent improvement in the employment situation presumes that the pandemic will wind down. Data from Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows an upward trend of daily cases at a pace similar to that of July before a summer peak that exceeded 71,000 cases a day.

There may be other unpleasant surprises coming as well. “Some of the unemployment rates have yet to hit [a high] because of the CARES act and the PPP program,” Goss said, first citing the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief stimulus spending bill that sped theough Washington.

Agriculture might feel a future impact “that’s related to imports,” Goss said. Transportation in the form of airlines and retail could see more intense unemployment as layoffs pile up.

For government employment, “a lot of the damage hasn’t hit yet,” Goos said. Even the safest-seeming sectors could see hard times ahead: Citigroup and Wells Fargo are rebooting their stalled layoffs. .

If you are one of the many working, be thankful for that job—while you have it.

The post These Are the Best U.S. Economic Sectors to Work in During a Pandemic appeared first on Zenger News.



Quibi is No Mo’! – $2Billion Streaming Service Shutting Down After Six Months





*(Via – Quibi, the shortform mobile-focused streaming service, is going bust just six months after it launched.

The Wall Street Journal broke the news Wednesday. A short time later, Quibi founders Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman confirmed in a Medium post that the platform would be going out of business.

“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that today we are announcing that we are winding down the business and looking to sell its content and technology assets,” Katzenberg and Whitman wrote in their open letter to employees, investors, and partners.

GOOD READ: Black Woman Dubbed Trump’s ‘Nodding Lady’ Claims Trolls Are Targeting Her Employees


Quibi, short for quick bites, launched in April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The streamer offered a free trial, with subscriptions costing $4.99 with ads or $7.99 without ads.

The platform was filled more than 100 original programs, including #FreeRayshawn [shown above]. The drama starring Laurence Fishburne, Stephan James and Jasmine Cephas just won two Emmy Awards.

This article continues at

Continue Reading


Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel: It’s ‘Very Rewarding’ Being An African American NASCAR Team Owner



Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel1
Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel

Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel

*“The more you know NASCAR. The more you love NASCAR,” declares Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel.

She was a recipient of the Industry Ambassador award at the recent virtual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards.

Satterfield-Siegel says it is “super cool” to currently be the only African American woman NASCAR race team owner. Other words came to her mind when she describes how she’s accelerated into the fast lane with her husband, Max Siegel, who is the exclusive manager of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program.

“It’s very rewarding. I love the space that we are in with helping to develop drivers for the sport. I love that,” the pediatric dentist maintains adding there is a strong support system for her race team.

Growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the over a century old Indianapolis Motor Speedway, she has fond memories of going to the city’s iconic racetrack.

“Ever since I was a little girl my family we always went to the Indy 500 every year which was Memorial (Day) weekend. So, here in Indianapolis racing it’s just who we are,” the Circle City native said. “I never thought I wanted to be a race car driver. I wasn’t interested in it on that level when I was younger. Basically the exposure happened when my husband was the president of Dale Earnhardt Inc. and then I got the bug.”

READ THIS: Dr. Dre’s Wife Nicole Young Calls Him Out on ‘Ironclad Prenup’

Max Siegel and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel, own Rev Racing, part of NASCAR's diversity program.

Max Siegel and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel, own Rev Racing, part of NASCAR’s diversity program. (Getty)

No surprise Satterfield-Siegel would catch the racing fever when her husband ran the NASCAR-related organization started by seven-time Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt. Sadly, Earnhardt’s life came to a tragic end in 2001 when in the final lap of the Daytona 500 he crashed into a retaining wall and died instantly.

She and her husband co-own and manage Rev Racing. As NASCAR continues to diversify its landscape, Satterfield-Siegel looks for ways to increase opportunities for diverse drivers and pit crew members.

They strive for excellence with their race team she says, “It’s just we’ve done our best to get the best, that includes drivers and our head of athletic performance.”

Dr siegel with family -

Dr. Siegel, her husband, Max and their three children

Another team that makes Satterfield-Siegel and her husband even more wildly enthusiastic is their three children. They are all on the fast track to success.

“Our oldest is a junior at (The University of) Notre Dame and he’s a football player. Then we have a son who is in L.A. and he is at the L.A. Film Academy. Then we have a daughter who is a junior in high school and she is a scholar and an amazing volleyball player,” Satterfield-Siegel said.

She jokes that she never thought any of their children would pursue a career as racecar drivers because of the size of the stock cars used by NASCAR and other professional racing leagues.

“Our kids are big. There is no way they could fit in a (stock) car,” Satterfield-Siegel admitted with a laugh. “When they were little, they would go go-karting and that kind of thing. They’re interested in the business side, the development side, but I wouldn’t say they’re those athletes who are going to go around the track.”

She offers this advice to women who want to be winners, “Go for it. I think it’s so important that we dream and that we dream big. Women don’t allow people, places or things to define them or to stifle them.”

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards are an annual event, this year held on October 8, and were established to honor the NASCAR industry’s diversity leaders as well as recognize top achievements.

By Tené Croom

Continue Reading


Ohio Business Owner Says His ‘White Lives Matter, Who Else Will Pay for Welfare’ Sign is Not Racist (Watch)




*The owner of a tire shop in Bethesda, Ohio has put a sign outside his door that has been labeled as racist, although he claims it wasn’t his intention.

“My sign states white lives matter, who else will pay for welfare. That is a question, not a statement, it doesn’t have a question mark at the end because I don’t have one to put there,” said Mike of Mike’s Tires, who also placed “Trump 2020” on the sign and defends the whole gesture as freedom of speech.

The president of the Belmont County chapter of the NAACP says the sign should be taken down as it promotes false information.

“We actually all pay for welfare recipients to receive their benefits,” said Belmont County NAACP President Jerry Moore. “When you just take facts out of thin air and put them on a billboard and call them facts, when they are your opinions, that becomes a problem.”

The business owner says the community is blowing it out of proportion.

“If you want to call it racist, you have that right, but I also have the right to put out on my sign, in my yard, what I want,” said Mike. “I’m not a racist person, I have black customers, black people deliver tires to me, I have nothing against them.”

Watch an interview with Mike and Jerry Moore in this news report below:

Continue Reading

TV Calendar: Coming to Small Screens