More News From the World of HR
Compiled by SHRM Online staff
Economy Gains 203,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate 7.0%
Employers added a better-than-expected 203,000 jobs in November, continuing a solid string of payroll gains that have defied budget standoffs in Congress. The unemployment rate fell to 7 percent from 7.3 percent, the lowest in five years, the Labor Department said Friday.
Fast-Food Workers Strike, Protest for Higher Pay
In Washington, D.C., dozens of people carried signs and marched while singing "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, it's no fun, to survive, on low low low low pay." In New York City, about 100 protesters blew whistles and beat drums as they marched into a McDonald's chanting "We can't survive on $7.25."
Fast Food Worker: Protest Didn’t Cost Me Pay
Karina McClain, a cashier at fast food chain Checkers in New York City, didn't show up for her shift on Thursday. Instead, the 22-year-old joined about 100 other people outside of a Brooklyn Wendy's restaurant calling for an hourly wage increase to $15 an hour.
Highest Minimum Wage in Nation Likely for Washington, D.C.
The final vote hasn’t come yet, but on Dec. 3, the D.C. Council unanimously voted to raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C., to $11.50 per hour by 2016, well above the $7.25 federal minimum wage. Before the measure is finalized, the council must hold a final vote and send it to Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who has said he prefers a $10-an-hour minimum wage.
White House: Extend Jobless Benefits
President Obama's newest priority is pushing Congress to extend federal unemployment benefits by another year, and Republicans say they're willing to consider the idea. Benefits for 1.3 million workers will expire Dec. 28 if Congress fails to extend a recession-era program by the end of this month.
Hiring Vets Carries Possible Tax Credit
Employers hiring qualified veterans before Jan. 1 may be able to claim a federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit of up to $9,600. The credit was set to expire at the end of 2012, but the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended it for one year.
Jackson Clarion Ledger
California’s Health Exchange Swamped With Enrollees
California's health exchange is struggling to keep pace with a surge of applicants who are encountering long waits and website problems as they try to meet a Dec. 23 deadline. In response to higher-than-expected demand, the Covered California exchange said it is adding staff and expanding its capacity to answer consumer calls.
The Los Angeles Times
To Fix Social Security, Some Democrats Want To Lift Wage Cap
For the past three years, there's been a shortfall in the payroll taxes collected for Social Security. And as more baby boomers join the ranks of the 57 million people already receiving benefits, that deficit is bound to keep growing.
National Public Radio
Sick Days: A Luxury Many Hourly Workers Don’t Have
For most low-wage workers in the United States, calling in sick means not getting paid. Two thirds of workers at the bottom 25 percent of the pay scale—the country's lowest earners—do not receive paid time off for illness, according to a Labor Department report this year. Three quarters of part time employees are not paid when they miss work due to illness.
Can You Make a Workplace U-turn?
It's a potential career nightmare: You switch jobs, only to realize days or weeks later that it was all a huge mistake. While it may seem inconceivable, it is possible to make the dreaded employment U-turn. Bouncing back to a former employer after quitting isn't the résumé killer it once was.
The Wall Street Journal
Business Schools Vie for Start-Up Crown
So, you want to start a company. Which business school is best? Steve Kaplan, an entrepreneurship and finance professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, says that's the place to be. As proof, he cites recent student ventures, such as food-delivery service GrubHub, which merged with Seamless earlier this year.
The Wall Street Journal
Study: Black Workers Are Happier Than Whites
Despite the fact that they have fewer close friends in the workplace, less autonomy, more repetitive jobs and feel less supported by colleagues, black workers report higher levels of satisfaction than white workers do, at least among government employees in Tennessee.
Half of Employers Will Offer Bonuses, Parties This Holiday Season
In addition to budget cuts and downsizing, the recession forced many businesses to cancel holiday celebrations and withhold year-end bonuses. But those parties and paychecks made a comeback last year—and employers say they plan to continue offering these perks, among others, this holiday season.
Business Owner Figures Out How to Save on His Health Insurance
When I started this series on health insurance, I thought I might devote three or four posts to the subject. Instead, as I turned up surprising information, I realized that there was much more to say. This is an important and expensive purchase for a business owner, and there are great benefits to making the effort to understand how it works.
The New York Times
The Boss Who Says He Was Born to Lead
For someone who happily admits he isn't very good at computer programming, Tommy Ahlers has done rather well for himself in the world of software. The Danish entrepreneur is best known as the former boss and co-founder of ZYB, a cloud storage back-up system for mobile phone users.
Pension Postponed: Retire at 69 in U.K.
Most British workers under 50 will have to work longer than expected after the government unveiled plans to introduce the highest retirement age in the developed world. Under the reforms, which were presented as part of a bi-annual economic update on Thursday, the pension age will be linked to rising life expectancy.
India’s Employers Extending More Benefits to Retain Employees
Companies are stretching their benefits basket in an attempt to improve employee engagement and retention. Nearly 70 percent of Indian companies improved their benefits last year while 60 percent will review in the next 6-12 months, according to a study by Towers Watson called, Asia Pacific Benefits Trends 2013.
The Times of India