from the world's big
Data from LinkedIn suggests soft skills will be the most in-demand as the economy begins to rebuild and 2020 grads look for work.
Soft skills in demand<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3MzMxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjMxMjk3OX0.FjLhT9mh5zbWdpxxpyDSfRz6jNp-wE9MqDa4G72i2kI/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C108%2C0%2C108&height=700" id="1d46c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4b57a037eb0b6516db62b60eb89c6195" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Today's graduates face the worst job market since the Great Depression, one new influx of job seekers will further burden.
Six skills for your career toolkit<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3MzMxMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjQ5MDIxMX0._XVD_BO6BoxjCp8A7wM33FonrzCJJ1P9PZ417lr7n-o/img.jpg?width=980" id="3b8a1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dd903b2732ad0d6f90a5d5482c111c7b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
A graph showing U.S. unemployment skyrocket in April 2020 among the economic shutdown.
A future-proof investment?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="MmMrDhv7" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="4fa8eb8bd5939e337c24511dd776f11e"> <div id="botr_MmMrDhv7_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MmMrDhv7-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/MmMrDhv7-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/MmMrDhv7-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p><strong></strong>Poague is not alone in her valuation. Even before novel coronavirus, many experts and think tanks argued job seekers should prioritize soft skills to prepare for future job markets.</p><p>LinkedIn's "<a href="https://learning.linkedin.com/blog/learning-thought-leadership/most-in-demand-skills-2020" target="_blank">2020 Workplace Learning Report</a>" surfaced data from more than 660 million professionals and 20 million jobs. Its findings showed soft skills to be "foundational" and ones "every professional should be working to build."</p><p>In a report on <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2017/05/03/the-future-of-jobs-and-jobs-training/" target="_blank">the future of jobs</a>, the Pew Research Center canvased the opinions of more than 1,000 experts. A majority suggested that future workers should learn to "deeply cultivate and exploit" those skills that cannot easily be replicated by machines or artificial intelligence.</p><p>As Simon Gottschalk, a sociology professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told the Pew Research Center: "The skills necessary at the higher echelons will include especially the ability to efficiently network, manage public relations, display intercultural sensitivity, marketing, and generally what <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/JavedIqbal105/emotional-intelligence-by-daniel-goleman" target="_blank">author Dan Goleman</a> would call 'social' and 'emotional' intelligence. [This also includes] creativity, and just enough critical thinking to move outside the box."</p><p>Finally, the World Economic Forum's "<a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/09/future-of-jobs-2018-things-to-know/" target="_blank">Future of Jobs Report 2018</a>" found that such attributes would retain or increase in value by 2022. Of the top 10 growing skills, eight were soft skills such as leadership, creativity, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence. The only two hard skills in the category were "technology design and programming" and "systems analysis and evaluation."</p><p>The consensus between all these reports points to a silver lining: If today's graduates and job seekers make growth and lifelong learning a foundation of their careers, they can better support their careers in tomorrow' job market.</p>
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods find a greater foothold in the market as demand for plant-based meats rises.
Where's the beef?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI2NDEzOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzA3MTI3Nn0.4iJJr5OUv0Hx-WC1rxPzoSk4zCMyMlGGBAK1VjlNzMM/img.jpg?width=980" id="a36a7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6641198555a5cfb434656e86aeae3248" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Smithfield Foods pork processing plant, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was closed indefinitely after its workers caught and spread the coronavirus.
The plant-based industry takes root<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI2NDE0NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5ODEwNjEzOH0.nMlZXJAI1qRCf_m2pEOYLlWEbnIW9Ed6Wv75DvK1ESk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C895&height=700" id="a6960" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="19055729ecdfb6cd5f0b50330e629043" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Beyond Meat's plant-based patties on store shelves at Costco.
Will Beyond Meat go, well, beyond meat?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="ClRRdKXm" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="24ebdf58c2c4cfb04f42281bd59f8382"> <div id="botr_ClRRdKXm_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ClRRdKXm-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/ClRRdKXm-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/ClRRdKXm-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Will the pandemic shift America away from meat and toward <a href="https://bigthink.com/natalie-shoemaker/what-the-world-would-look-like-in-2050-if-we-ate-less-meat" target="_self">more sustainable alternatives</a>? Probably not. At least not any time soon.</p><p>A <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2016/12/01/public-views-about-americans-eating-habits/" target="_blank">Pew Research Center</a> found that only 9 percent of Americans consider themselves vegan or vegetarian, meaning 298 million of us can enjoy a juicy burger. That's a lot of hearts and minds, and shifts in cultural eating habits can be geologic in their timeline. But it may prove <a href="https://bigthink.com/technology-innovation/livestock-disruption" target="_self">a tipping point</a>. </p><p>Both <a href="https://impossiblefoods.com/mission/" target="_blank">Impossible Foods</a> and <a href="https://www.beyondmeat.com/about/" target="_blank">Beyond Meat</a> list limiting suffering and sustainability on their mission statements, and their products do sport <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/02/beyond-meat-uses-climate-change-to-market-fake-meat-substitutes-scientists-are-cautious.html" target="_blank">a reduced carbon footprint</a> compared to meat—though higher than other vegetarian alternatives such as bean patties.</p><p>Those values are in line with younger generations and <a href="https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2015/green-generation-millennials-say-sustainability-is-a-shopping-priority/" target="_blank">their shopping habits</a>. It's also no coincidence that Pew found young people the most likely to identify as vegan or vegetarian, while other research has shown the cohort to be the <a href="https://www.globaldata.com/millennials-are-the-most-experimental-consumers-with-seniors-least-likely-to-try-new-products/" target="_blank">most experimental in their shopping</a>.</p><p>"People don't like to be contributing to climate change and biodiversity collapse and pandemics. It feels icky, so we try not to talk about it," Rachel Konrad, Impossible Foods' COO, <a href="https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/5/5/21247286/plant-based-meat-coronavirus-pandemic-impossible-burger-beyond" target="_blank">told <em>Vox</em></a>. "But it's in these moments when the gruesome reality of animal agriculture pierces into our consciousness—because of COVID or whatever else—that we start to wake up."</p>
Price gouging is prohibited in 34 US states and Washington D.C. But two scholars ask whether that's the way it should be.
- Paper products, hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning wipes—all are in high demand and short supply during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Price gougers are viewed as villains in this crisis—but two scholars argue that price gouging is, in most cases, morally permissible.
- Increased prices prevent unnecessary hoarding. Buyers purchase only what they need when they need it. Also, producers are incentivized to make more. When the supply rises, prices will fall.
Unfortunately, it's getting easier to predict what might happen to cryptocurrencies when the economy takes a nosedive.
- Born in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Bitcoin hasn't yet faced a downturn like we're starting to experience.
- Based on the developments of recent weeks, some crypto market trends are starting to emerge.
- Bitcoin's relationship to gold is strong, futures and options are losing their lure, and stablecoins are on the rise.
1. Bitcoin shows a higher correlation to gold<p>The idea of Bitcoin as "digital gold" has been around for a while. It's true that <a href="https://bigthink.com/new-study-on-cryptomining-energy" target="_self">the two assets share some similarities</a>: a price driven by the forces of supply and demand and limitations on supply, for example. However, whether or not investors would treat Bitcoin as a "safe haven" investment during times of turmoil in the stock market hadn't been proven.</p><p>On March 12, as the global stock markets plummeted and <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/stock-futures-hit-a-limit-down-trading-halt-for-a-second-time-this-week-heres-what-that-means.html" target="_blank">circuit breakers halted</a> trading on the NYSE, the price of cryptocurrencies also took a nosedive. Bitcoin <a href="https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitcoin/" target="_blank">lost</a> more than 40% of its value – the biggest single-day percentage drop in price since 2013.</p><p>However, on that day, gold held its price. Critics were quick to point out that the "digital gold" theory had been debunked, but perhaps they were a little too quick. Over the days that followed, gold recorded its sharpest drop in a single week, losing <a href="https://www.jmbullion.com/charts/gold-price/" target="_blank">around 12%</a> of its price.</p>
2. Open interest in futures and options takes a hit<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjkxNDEzNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5Njc3ODk3MH0.0zhIKg5fbX7_YWK8sqNyClvLTGreKGsQAmLUO8xeiNA/img.png?width=980" id="296fe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7c7356f86e2f3d8c0d604913bf6a221a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>March 12 was a pivotal moment on the cryptocurrency markets across derivatives, too. Before the coronavirus started to take hold, Bitcoin futures had been enjoying something of a moment. According to Skew, total open interest had more than doubled from around $2.2 billion in November 2019, to $5 billion in mid-February.</p><p>On March 12 and 13, as the price of Bitcoin dropped precipitously, crypto exchanges liquidated millions of dollars' worth of long positions.</p><p>Market leader BitMEX came under particular fire, as it had <a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitmex-takes-a-hit-community-cries-foul-play-following-market-crash" target="_blank">experienced two 25-minute outages</a> meaning traders had no access to their accounts to top up margin or take any actions to hedge their positions. Traders on BitMEX saw over $1.5 billion of positions liquidated in the space of two days.</p>
3. Demand for stablecoins skyrockets<p>Stablecoins were another asset class that was burgeoning before panic surrounding COVID-19 took hold. Because they're pegged to fiat currencies such as the USD, stablecoins had become the go-to currencies for traders entering and exiting positions. In 2019, the most popular stablecoin, Tether (USDT), had <a href="https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/tether/" target="_blank">doubled its market cap</a> from $2 billion to $4 billion, and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-01/tether-not-bitcoin-likely-the-world-s-most-used-cryptocurrency" target="_blank">overtaken Bitcoin</a> as the most traded cryptocurrency.</p><p>During the market turmoil in March, while the rest of the market tanked, Tether came out smelling of roses. The market cap of USDT gained a further $1.5 billion in the second half of March alone, as Tether Limited attempted to mint enough stablecoins to meet the demand of investors keen to convert their gains or losses to a more predictable asset.</p>
Stock markets may be plummeting, but that doesn't mean the spread of COVID-19 is hurting everyone's bottom line.
- The novel coronavirus has so far infected more than 110,000 people and killed nearly 4,000.
- "Stay-at-home" companies — like Netflix and Amazon — seem to be uniquely poised to weather the outbreak.
- Media companies also appear to be profiting from surges in coronavirus-related traffic.
Samuel Corum / Stringer<p>Amazon, in particular, is a complicated case. It's reasonable to assume that more people will be staying home and ordering products online, but it's unclear whether the e-commerce giant will be able to control the integrity of its supply chain. As the outbreak has prompted some factories in China to slow or close, Amazon has been stocking up on popular Chinese exported goods, in some cases ordering twice as much as usual, according to a New York Times <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/business/amazon-coronavirus-supplies.html" target="_blank">report</a>.</p><p>Besides entertainment and consumer goods companies, digital media companies also seem to be profiting in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Data compiled by the <a href="https://www.gdeltproject.org/" target="_blank">GDELT Project</a> compared the amount of online searches for coronavirus with the amount of mentions the outbreak received on the websites of CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. The results <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/03/02/media_coverage_and_coronavirus_panic_what_the_numbers_show_142539.html" target="_blank">showed</a> that both measures increased sharply in late January, when the first case of coronavirus hit the U.S., and again in late February as the outbreak intensified.</p><p>There's currently a debate over how the wall-to-wall media coverage of coronavirus might be fueling irrational panic, but it might be social media that's most fueling the panic — while also revealing some especially malicious and opportunistic attempts to profit from the chaos.</p><p>The Washington Post recently <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/29/twitter-coronavirus-misinformation-state-department/" target="_blank">reported</a> that the State Department identified more than 2 million tweets containing misinformation and conspiracy theories about the outbreak, and that many of those tweets appeared to be "inauthentic and coordinated activity." The goals of these campaigns aren't exactly clear. </p>
<p>The cybersecurity firm Check Point Software recently <a href="https://blog.checkpoint.com/2020/02/13/january-2020s-most-wanted-malware-coronavirus-themed-spam-spreads-malicious-emotet-malware/" target="_blank">issued a report </a>detailing how scammers set up the website vaccinecovid-19.com, which purported to sell "the best and fastest test for Coronavirus detection at the fantastic price of 19,000 Russian rubles (about US$300)."</p><p>"...cyber-criminals are exploiting interest in the global epidemic to spread malicious activity, with several spam campaigns relating to the outbreak of the virus," the firm wrote.</p><p>Check Point Software also noted how people in Japan had received emails that appeared to contain official information on the spread of coronavirus, sent from a Japanese disability welfare service provider. But when they opened the email attachment, they unwittingly downloaded a trojan virus.</p>
Billy H.C. Kwok / Stringer
Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images<p>Still, this isn't to suggest that online platforms are having a mostly negative effect during the outbreak.</p><p>"Social media presents a mixed bag," Samuel Scarpino, a business professor of network science at Northeastern University College of Science, told <a href="https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-social-media-b56326b6-ab16-4c8a-bc86-e29b06e5ab2b.html" target="_blank">Axios</a>. "We know social media is promoting panic, and people are taking advantage of that by spreading misinformation, but it's also helping to spread good, reliable information that empowers people to make the right decisions."</p>Ultimately, the people who stand to profit most from the coronavirus outbreak will likely be investors who follow Warren Buffett's famous bit of investing advice: "be greedy only when others are fearful." Just beware that grifters may also heed this advice.