Job Relocation On The Decline For U.S. Workers

In today's NY Times, reporter Patricia Cohen looks at recently published data from several studies indicating that American workers have sharply reduced their mobility and desire to change jobs and transfer over the last 10-15 years. 

The article states that " In recent years, economists have become increasingly worried that a slide in job turnover and relocation rates is undermining the economy's dynamism, damping productivity and wages, while making it more difficult for sidelined workers to find their way back into the job market" 

A soon to be released study by The Brookings Institution and authored by University of Notre Dame economist Abigail Wozniak and other economists, looks into magnitude of this problem and the root causes of this trend, which could soon be a major issue for employers nationwide who rely on moving key executives and promising new talent to different locations, both at home and abroad, to build their managerial experience and prepare them for more senior roles at the company. Among the areas of inquiry is why people are not moving out of what are typically entry level and temporary jobs, preferring to stay where they are, as well as the issue of a decline in social capital, or what use to be referred to as trust in others and confidence in moving to a new area or region and being able to adapt. People simply do not have the same number of family, friends and professional contacts that other generations seemed to have. 

Another interesting finding is that the prevalence of social media is possibly curtailing job opportunities as it has made background checks, determining potential character flaws and other issues employers find questionable, easy to determine by checking social media accounts. This coupled with a fear of moving and job stability seem to have sharply curtailed a willingness to relocate and move up the economic ladder. 

The report, once published should be of key interest to employers, multi-national corporations and to premium corporate relocation experts who look to determine the best means of helping people change jobs, cities and provide transition services for those looking to build their careers. 

Bill Cosby To Stand Trial In 2004 Sexual Assault Case

A Pennsylvania court today held a pretrial hearing in a case against Bill Cosby involving accusations by Andrea Constand. He is facing three counts of felony indecent assault against the employee of Temple University, Cosby’s alma mater. The alleged assault occurred in 2004. According to CNN, the prosecution is relying on a statement Constand gave 11 years ago in which she describes visiting Cosby’s home where she was given pills and wine what made her barely conscious. This was the first public accusation of alleged sexual assault by Cosby, and the police declined to charge him.

Although Cosby and Constand reached a civil settlement in 2006, the criminal case was reopened in response to the other accusers coming forward and a 2005 deposition made by Cosby that was unsealed in recent years.

Cosby denies all allegations and sued Constand in February claiming she violated the terms of the 2006 settlement. His request this week to stay court proceedings was denied by the judge.

The comedian and television star is currently being accused of sexual misconduct by over 50 women.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe Being Investigated For Campaign Contributions

News of an investigation of Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe broke today after US officials were briefed by the FBI and the Justice Department’s public integrity unit, according to CNN.

The investigation is focused on donations to his gubernatorial campaign last year, one being a $120,000donation from a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, through his US businesses. Wang, who previously was a delegate to China’s National People’s Congress, has also pledged up to $2 million for the Clinton Global Initiative, of which Governor McAuliffe was a board member. US election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to US elections, but Wang allegedly holds permanent resident status in the US.

Officials are keeping more details from being released, and neither the Governor’s camp or Wang and his companies have been contacted by the investigators about the probe. McAuliffe is the second consecutive Virginia governor to be investigated by the FBI and Justice Department.

Supreme Court Sides With Black Death Row Inmate

The Supreme court ruled today in favor of Timothy Foster, a black man on death row in Georgia, with the conclusion that prosecutors unlawfully excluded black potential jurors when selecting an all white jury. Foster, now 48, was convicted of murdering an elderly woman in 1987 when he was 18 years old. Reuters reports that he could still face a re-trial since his conviction has been thrown out.

During jury selection on the cast, all four black members of the juror pool were removed by the prosecution, citing reasons not related to race. In 2006, Foster’s lawyers obtained access to the jury selection notes and found that each black potential juror was highlighted, marked with a B, and circled the word “black” next to the race question on questionnaires, indicating to Foster’s legal team an explicit reliance on race.

The supreme court made a ruling in 1986 that it is unlawful to take race into account when excluding potentials jurors from a trial.

Freddie Gray Case: Police Officer Edward Nero Found Not Guilty

The first verdict in the Freddie Gray case has been reached in Baltimore. CNN is reporting that Officer Edward Nero has been found not guilty of all charges for his part in the events leading up to the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. He is one of six officers charged in the death of the 25-year-old prisoner. Nero, one of the bicycle cops who was part of the initial encounter with Gray, had been charged with second-degree intentional assault, two counts of misconduct in office, and reckless endangerment after Gray died from injuries sustained while shackled in a van without a seatbelt.

The defense argued that Nero acted within the law when handcuffing someone who ran from the police and also that the state had failed to show he had a duty to secure Gray in the van. Securing van passengers is allegedly the responsibility of the van driver. The prosecution argued that Nero did not act with probable cause in the initial arrest and that he ignored a general order for officers to secure suspects in vans with seat belts, according to CNN.

Four of the other officers await their trial. The trial of the first defendant, William Porter, ended in a mistrial last December when the jurors could not agree on a verdict. 

Officials and community leaders are calling for calm and to let the process of justice continue.