Italy bans ChatGPT and US Amazon drivers unionize: Your April working-world recap

Apr 27, 2023

2 mins

Italy bans ChatGPT and US Amazon drivers unionize: Your April working-world recap
Rozena Crossman

Journalist and translator based in Paris, France.

The year 2023 is slated to be as hectic as its recent predecessors. The economy seems to have taken on a mind of its own and changes in the working world are happening so fast we can barely count the shifts of last year. So while trying to decode the job market will remain a mental ride on Space Mountain, we’ve decided to enumerate the news for you in a monthly report.

That means 1 update a month with 6 things you should know so you’ll be 12 times more informed about the professional world.

Birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the job market hasn’t collapsed yet. April has heralded in the spring, new studies about remote work and a slap on the wrist for ChatGPT’s creators. Read on to find out what happened this month.

1 day before April began, Italy banned ChatGPT.

According to Italian regulators, the chatbot that’s changing work for employees everywhere may be misaligned with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which makes it illegal for the bot to collect and store personal data to train its algorithms. The country now considers allowing the bot to be available by the end of the month if its creator, OpenAI, takes “useful steps” to address their concerns.

236,000 jobs

were added to the American economy in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced earlier this month. The number is lower than February (310,000) and January (517,000). Yet unemployment is at a low 3.5% and, as the president of the Economic Policy Institute told Vox, “There are just no signs of recession to me in this report. It’s very strong.” Hopefully the April report will bode just as well.

10,000 jobs

were cut in April, however, between layoffs at both Disney and 3M, an office supply manufacturer. This month also saw job cuts and downsizing announcements at Red Hat, Lyft, Deloitte, Whole Foods, Meta, Opendoor, Ernst & Young, David’s Bridal, Best Buy, Redfin, Walmart, McDonald’s and Hyland Software. So cross every finger for April’s jobs report.

84 Amazon drivers and delivery personnel

have joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a union for drivers and warehouse workers. While the employees work for the contractor Battle Tested Strategies, and not for Amazon directly, the tech giant decides their wages, schedules, and can even fire drivers. So while a new contract for these workers was recognized and negotiated by Battle Tested Strategies, Amazon still had to sign off. So far, however, Amazon’s statement maintains: “This situation is more about an outside company trying to distract from their history of failing to meet their obligations.”

3 economists

from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the University of Iowa and Harvard released a working paper that found remote work detrimental to younger employees. They found the lack of feedback and mentorship that comes from in-office collaboration made younger workers more likely to leave, especially women employees. While the researchers only studied one technology firm, it furthers the ongoing discussion around the “power of proximity.”

2021 has come back to haunt us

in a new report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the report, 1 in every 37 working adults experienced so much psychological stress that year that it impaired their social or work life and required treatment. To no one’s surprise, “Rates of serious psychological distress were significantly higher among workers who did not have paid sick leave than among those who did.” Night shifts, inflexible schedules and inconsistent pay also contributed to severe stress.

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