Jobs Market Still Booming, Wages Still Low
Nothing new, nothing changed when it comes to the jobs market. The economy added 225,000 new jobs last month, but wage growth is low and falling. In the last 12 months, wages and salaries have risen 2.9%, that’s a decline from 3.1% in 2018. In fact, wage growth for typical American workers has been extraordinarily weak over the last 40 years, with middle income hourly wages growing only 12% between 1979 and 2018 when adjusted for inflation.
NASA Seeks Astronauts
If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming an American astronaut, then get ready, destiny is calling. NASA is looking for its next generation of astronauts to take part in the agency’s Artemis program which will put the first woman on the moon and the first humans on Mars. In order to qualify, candidates must have a Master’s in a STEM subject or be working towards a PhD in a STEM field. Alternatively, you can be a medical doctor or a real life pilot. Brace yourself, there's more. Candidates are also required to have two years of experience in their profession, and pass NASA's long-duration spaceflight physical. The space agency is accepting applications between March 2 to 31. May the odds be ever in your favor!
First Applicant Gets the Job
The Body Shop is taking a completely novel approach to hiring. If you want a retail position at the cosmetics store all you have to do is apply, answer three questions, and you’re hired. That’s it. No interviews, no background checks, no drug tests. It’s part of a philosophy called open hiring that aims to eliminate bias and barriers of entry so that positions are available to a wide group of people, including those with criminal records. While the approach might seem a bit extreme, Greyston Bakery, a brownie distributor to Whole Foods and Ben & Jerry’s, implemented the practice and it has worked out marvelously. Open hiring has increased retention massively, allowing the company to funnel recruiting funds into training, employee benefits, and other programs all while logging in $22 million in revenue.
SpaceX Lands a Big Hire
SpaceX confirmed that it snagged NASA's former chief of human spaceflight, William Gerstenmaier, to join the company as a consultant as it prepares to launch astronauts for the first time. This is a big deal considering Gerstenmaier led NASA's space shuttle, ISS, commercial crew, and exploration programs for more than a decade. SpaceX owes its continued existence to Gerstenmaier since it was he who, in December 2008, saved a cash-strapped SpaceX with a Commercial Resupply Service contract to the ISS. Gerstenmaier was also the deciding official who split NASA's Commercial Crew contract in two, giving a portion to SpaceX even as Boeing lobbied for the whole shebang. Considering Boeing’s Starliner misfortunes, that turned out to be a smart move.
Astranis Needs SpaceX to Beat SpaceX
When it comes to satellite broadband internet service, SpaceX (Starlink), Amazon (Kuiper), and OneWeb aren’t the only players in town. Astranis, a Y-Combinator startup, just raised a cool $90 mil to launch its first commercial satellites into orbit. The tickets are already booked for a one-way launch aboard, get this, one of SpaceX’s very own Falcon 9 rockets later this year. Astranis’ technology is a bit different than the current crop of operational internet satellites circling the globe. The startup uses smallsats that are 20 times smaller than legacy models. This is possible thanks to proprietary radio tech that not only saves space, but can be built and launched in months rather than years.
Want to procrastinate a little longer? Check out last week's Weekly Roundup.