By Sydney Ember
How productive was your day?
It’s a complicated question, especially for some remote workers over the past year and a half.
Part of the problem is the definition of productivity. As a macroeconomic measure, it means the total output per hour of work. That is, the number of, say, frying pans a worker can make in an hour. The data is reported on a quarterly basis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and economists use it to determine a society’s efficiency and whether its standard of living is rising.
On a deeper level, measuring productivity is much…
By Priya Krishna
Caroline Young was thrilled to be hired two years ago as a host at Café Poêtes in Houston. She was pursuing an undergraduate degree in hospitality, so she thought the experience in fine dining would be invaluable. She wanted to be the first person to greet arriving diners.
Initially, she said, most guests seemed glad to see her. Since the pandemic, not so much.
“I have been screamed at. I have had fingers in my face. I have been called names. I have had something thrown at me,” she said. One customer hurled a water glass at…
By Katrin Bennhold
STUTTGART, Germany — The small silver star at the tip of Aleksandar Djordjevic’s Mercedes shines bright. He polishes it every week.
Djordjevic makes combustion engines for Daimler, one of Germany’s flagship carmakers. He has a salary of around 60,000 euros (about $70,000), eight weeks of vacation and a guarantee negotiated by the union that he cannot be fired until 2030. He owns a two-story house and that E-class 250 model Mercedes in his driveway.
All of that is why Djordjevic polishes the star on his car.
By Ben Smith
This past winter, Goldman Sachs was closing in on a $40 million investment in Ozy, a digital media company founded in 2013, and there seemed to be a lot of reasons to do the deal. Ozy boasted of a large audience for its general interest website, its newsletters and its videos, and the company had a charismatic CEO, Carlos Watson, a onetime cable news anchor who had worked at Goldman Sachs early in his career. And, crucially, Ozy said it had a great relationship with YouTube, where many of its videos attracted more than 1 million views.
By Jack Healy, Michael Wines and Nick Corasaniti
PHOENIX — After months of delays and blistering criticism, a review of the 2020 election in Arizona’s largest county, ordered up and financed by Republicans, has failed to produce any evidence that former President Donald Trump was cheated of victory, according to a draft version of the report.
In fact, the draft report from the company Cyber Ninjas found just the opposite: It tallied 99 additional votes for President Joe Biden and 261 fewer votes for Trump in Maricopa County, the fast-growing region that includes Phoenix.
The full review is set to…
By Jane Black
Long before the pandemic persuaded so many restaurant employees to abandon the business, Corrinna Stum chafed at the illogic of the pay.
She started as a server at age 15, and quickly discovered how stressful it could be to earn only the federal minimum wage for tipped employees (now $2.13 an hour) and hope that tips would make her whole. Her husband, Matt, a cook, was never entitled to a share of diners’ largess.
So last spring, when the couple opened Ruby’s West End, a cafe in Portland, Maine, they decided that every aspect of their restaurant…
By Carl Zimmer
Ancient human footprints preserved in the ground across the White Sands National Park in New Mexico are astonishingly old, scientists reported Thursday, dating back about 23,000 years to the ice age.
The results, if they hold up to scrutiny, would rejuvenate the scientific debate about how humans first spread across the Americas, implying that they did so at a time when massive glaciers covered much of their path.
Researchers who have argued for such an early arrival hailed the new study as firm proof.
“I think this is probably the biggest discovery about the peopling of America…
By Corina Knoll
NEW YORK — They are small figures moving through a subway station on a Saturday in Manhattan — a mother and her son speaking softly to each other in Burmese.
Than Than Htwe, 58, is a homebody, content to stay at her family’s Brooklyn apartment on the weekend meditating or simmering fish in a pot of lemon grass and ginger. But she scheduled a doctor’s appointment for this morning so it would not conflict with her job stitching custom aprons.
By Htwe’s side is her only child, Kyaw Zaw Hein. At 22, he carries the hopes of…
By Noam Scheiber
The money would help ensure “that these vehicles are affordable for all families and manufactured by workers with good jobs,” the White House wrote at the time.
Now, as Biden’s plan wends its way through Congress, a liberal think tank has tried to flesh out the number of jobs to be gained or lost in the transition away from internal-combustion vehicles.
The report, released Wednesday by the Economic Policy Institute, concluded that…
By Sarah Kliff
Brittany Giroux Lane gave birth to her daughter, Alexandra, a few days before Christmas in 2018. The baby had dark eyes and longish legs. She had also arrived about 13 weeks early, and weighed just 2 pounds.
Alexandra initially thrived in the neonatal intensive care unit at Mount Sinai West. Lane, 35, recalls the nurses describing her daughter as a “rock star” because she grew so quickly. But her condition rapidly worsened after an infection, and Alexandra died early on the morning of Jan. 15 at 25 days old.
A flurry of small medical bills from neonatologists…