The JUST Report: The Numbers Aren’t Adding Up For American Workers

(Justin Sullivan – Getty Images)

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m Chief Strategy Officer for JUST Capital, filling in for Martin while he’s out on a well-deserved vacation. 

Gone are the summer months where the news slows down and we all take a collective deep breath. This week was no exception. Wednesday’s CPI report showing that inflation hit its highest point since 1981 in June is the latest in a series of economic and news reports that just don’t stop. That’s after last Friday’s jobs report, which continued to show job growth. It’s hard to get a grasp on the full picture.

One thing we do know though: the American public is navigating tough times. As prices are going up, wages aren’t keeping up. And the reality is that job growth is very different from quality job growth. We know people are feeling negative about the economy, the country, and the future. And we’ve got a lot of work to do to identify and understand the types of measurements that indicate a healthy economy and healthy families. 

As noted by my colleagues in their writeup of the Department of Labor and Families and Workers Fund’s Good Jobs Summit, there’s a cross-sector effort underway, from government to business (we’re honored to be co-leading the business measurement work), to determine how to identify and signal quality job growth vs job growth – where quality meets quantity and metrics reflect lived experience. 

We’ve been speaking with business leaders and the public as we continue to develop tools and resources to help leaders navigate this moment, from financial securityequity, and more, and we’ll continue to share our learnings and highlight leading practices from businesses that are finding success in navigating the churn of today’s economy by doubling down on stakeholder capitalism. 

One thing that’s clear though: Listen to your workers. Really work to understand what people are experiencing, and what you can do to support them, and then come up with a plan to implement it. In the coming months, we’ll be developing a series of playbooks to help business leaders navigate this space. We’re here to talk more about that if you’re interested. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

Alison Omens

This Week in Stakeholder Capitalism 

Exelon, PG&E, PSEGand others are pushing for Congress to pass a major clean energy spending package.

Google is mirroring other tech companies in slowing hiring and preparing for a tougher economic outlook. 

Twitter has laid off one-third of its recruiting team as it deals with increasing acquisition pressures. 

Uber is revealed to have employed deceptive and dangerous business practices to aggressively expand its business in a new leak of hundreds of thousands of company documents. 

The Forum


“We said, do we want to go make a public stand and lead on it? It doesn’t help us with our customers. I said we don’t sell health insurance. And, you know, there’s a wide range of opinions. We don’t really know that much about it…we cover it in our health care plans, as we always have. And if they can’t get that kind of treatment where [they are]…we pay for them to go someplace else. But we chose not to lead on that one.”


“Inflation has effectively increased 14.5% since June 2020. If you have received no raise since then, you’re making 14.5% less. If you’ve received a 3% raise since then, you’re making 11.5% less. If you received a 6% raise since then, you’re making 8.5% less. Obviously, budgets are different for every person, and these aren’t precise or technical terms. But the real world impact is that your purchasing power, and ability to thrive or survive, is decreased by that much.

Must-Reads of the Week

While the U.S. added 372,000 jobs last month, inflation has dampened the impact of those numbers, rising 9.1% in June, over the initial 8.8% estimates, putting a massive squeeze on Americans. The impact is even spreading to those with higher salaries, with a new poll by Morning Consult and CNBC showing that inflation is the number one concern of most Americans, even those making six figures, and research finds that those on the lower end of the economic ladder are experiencing homelessness in greater numbers than last year.

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. is about to pass the electric-vehicle tipping point, with 5% of cars going fully electric. In other countries Bloomberg analyzed, this is the threshold when electric car adoption began to accelerate.

NPR reports that some employees are taking lower paying jobs that allow them to work remotelyrather than a higher salary with forced office hours. With gas the price it is, seems like a sound move. 

The knives continue to come out for ESG investing. This week, the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed on the “scam of ESG”, and Insider highlights 10 prominent Republican lawmakers who are looking to clamp down on the industry. 

Chart of the Week 

This chart comes from a Quartz report on Amazon worrying that it  will soon run out of workers to hire, showing the explosive demand  for warehouse and delivery workers over the last year alone. 

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