Money·7 min read

Skimm Money: Jobs Mismatch, Defining Risk, and Infrastructure

August 6, 2021

Hey there. Got plans Tuesday night? Now you do. Join us at 7:30 pm ET for a special SkimmU all about crypto. Because you know you have (a million) questions about Bitcoin, Ether, Dogecoin, and other digital currencies. And we've got answers – plus a panel of experts – to help make things a little less cryptic.

Headlines, Skimmd

  • An extra 214 days. Black Women's Equal Pay Day was August 3. Because that's how far into 2021 Black women have to work, on average, to get paid the same as non-Hispanic white men earned in 2020. Many say companies need to step up to close the gender and racial pay gap.

  • On track for a deal? The Senate failed to agree on the bipartisan infrastructure plan last night, but will try again tomorrow. One issue holding up the vote? Crypto policy. Even if the bill passes this weekend, Congress's August recess means it won't move forward until September.

  • Eviction more-atorium. The CDC issued a new eviction ban to aid the millions of Americans behind on rent. (A win for one-woman protester Rep. Cori Bush.) It lasts until October 3 and applies to counties with "substantial" or "high" levels of COVID-19 spread – about 90% of the US population. But it's likely to face legal challenges.

Let’s Talk About...What’s Going On With Jobs

lets talk about the job market

It's a tale of two job markets. The unemployment rate is improving, but remains nearly 2 percentage points higher than it was pre-pandemic. On the other hand, there are millions of available jobs...that employers are struggling to find workers to fill. We Skimm'd more about the mismatch between hiring managers and job hunters. And who has the upper hand.

Make Good (Money) Choices

If you saw stocks go up, down, and up again this week…

Ask yourself: how do I feel about that? Your answer could tell you about your risk tolerance. A more direct approach: during our Investing 101 SkimmU course, we asked Skimm'rs which words they associated with risk. See how their responses break down below. Then read up on the basics of building a portfolio based on yours.

risk words

If you're tempted to "buy now, pay later"...

Get to know the services for that. Like Klarna, Affirm, and Afterpay – which was just acquired by Square for $29 billion. They let you pay for online purchases in smaller installments – usually interest free. Meaning you can add to cart now without paying the full price upfront or racking up debt. The risks: you may not get the same protections credit cards offer, like help if you run into issues with a refund. And there are fees if you buy now, pay too late. Which may hurt your credit score. Plus, the allure of instant gratification could tempt you into lifestyle inflation. Before you try "BNPL," be sure you can afford it.

If you need a COVID-19 test...

Figure out who's paying. With the delta variant surging around the country, many Americans (especially those who aren't vaccinated) may be required to get regular COVID-19 tests. Costs vary, but can run up to more than $100 per test. That must be fully covered by insurance when ordered by a healthcare provider. But that's not necessarily the case for routine tests for work. It could be all on you, your boss or a shared responsibility.

Asking for a Friend

niani tolbert
Jersen Telfort

Q: How do I know if I'm being underpaid?

Niani Tolbert: Have radically transparent conversations around your compensation with coworkers, industry peers, and recruiters (whom you should entertain even if you aren't thinking about jumping ship). If you are not comfortable asking someone in your current network, plug into a community (like #HIREBLACK) or invest in a market value report for an expert opinion.

When you feel like you've outgrown your [current] role, you probably have, and you are likely getting underpaid. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Have you picked up new responsibilities because [of] a shift in your team?

  • Has your role evolved without an increase of salary or an increase of job title?

  • Are you noticing that your job compensation is not keeping up with inflation?

If you need a resource to refer to, #HIREBLACK has launched a Radically Transparent Salary Database (RTSD) for Black Women's Equal Pay Day. RTSD is a crowd-sourced database to share 600+ anonymously-submitted salary information from diverse individuals across industries. Take a quick survey about your pay to get one-time access to the database.

Niani Tolbert is a marketer turned tech recruiter turned founder of #HIREBLACK, an organization that advocates for gender and pay equity by empowering and educating Black women and allies in the corporate space.

Skimm Her Career

Mandi Woodruff-Santos
Design: ML Howell, Credit: Shane Samuels

Meet Mandi Woodruff-Santos, co-host of "Brown Ambition" – a weekly money and career podcast with millions of downloads. Here's what she had to say about...

How she spends a typical day: We usually record every Monday at 5:30 pm, and I start preparing around 4 pm, looking at the news to see what's happening and what might be a good topic to cover in "Buzzworthy," which is a [segment] where we talk about what's happening in the news or in our lives. Maybe I'll find something that's worthy of a "Brown Boost" or "Brown Break," our final segment. We use that time to boost something that we are excited about – we try to make it career, business or finance-related...Or we vent about something that is driving us a little nuts. And then I go through the listeners' questions that we get via email or Instagram.

Skimm more to find out what equipment Mandi recommends, her dream podcast guest, and her advice for aspiring hosts.

Hot Off the Web

Subscribe to Skimm Money

Your source for the biggest financial headlines and trends, and how they affect your wallet.