Business Report: Job growth, changing worker attitudes, utility bills, eviction ban

April job numbers came in slightly under economists’ forecasts

Private companies in the U.S. added hundreds of thousands of workers in April, according to New Jersey-based ADP, which says that 742,000 positions were added — a strong showing, but slightly under economists’ forecasts. Nearly a third of the jobs were in the hospitality industry.

More than a year into the pandemic, working conditions and workers attitudes have changed dramatically, based on the findings of a report from ADP’s Research Institute. Workers have more fears about job insecurity and that has prompted more than 75% of the respondents to take on extra tasks or to work longer hours. Some were compensated for the extra work but many were not. Unpaid overtime has jumped sharply, according to Nela Richardson, the chief economist at ADP.

There’s a big push in New Jersey now for energy efficiency and it could lead to lower utility bills. The state’s gas and electric utilities are spending a total of $1.6 billion over the next three years to encourage their customers to reduce their energy use. Each utility is offering different incentives, such as rebates for installing energy efficient appliances.

A federal judge Wednesday overturned a national ban on evictions, according to reports. The ban, issued by the CDC, was designed to protect those who have fallen behind on their rent. But even with this ruling against a federal ban, there are also local and state laws on the books banning evictions during a public health emergency. New Jersey has had such a ban in place for over a year now.

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