Why Teens Don’t Have Summer Jobs Anymore

Fewer teens are getting summer jobs, but what does this mean for the economy as a whole?

Summer JobSummer jobs among kids ages 16-19 has declined by 30 percentage points since the 1970s. What is the reason for this lack of teen employment, and what does it mean for the economy?

Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, says several factors are at play. “First, stores such as Macy’s and Sears have closed hundreds and hundreds of stores in recent years, and thousands of jobs have been lost as a result.”

Once the mecca for teens looking to socialize as well as earn cash, these shuttered retail stores could spell trouble for teens.

“When so-called ‘anchor’ stores such as Sears or J.C. Penney close down, it becomes very problematic for the mall as a whole,” explains Wilson of Employco USA. “Filling that retail space is very difficult, and with giants like Sears experiencing a major decline, that means that many malls across the country are going to be left with huge vacancies. This puts all the stores within the mall at major risk, from your kiosks to your pretzel stands to your small clothing stores.”

In addition, teens are now shifting their focus from flipping burgers to working internships in their desired field of employment, especially as President Trump has now made internships more widely available to teens. Continue reading

How to Decrease Employee Turnover

Employment solutions expert talks employee retention and ‘on-boarding’ new employees

Employee TurnoverEmployee turnover can be very costly, yet employee retention rates have been decreasing in recent years. In fact, one recent study found that one-third of employers expect to lose employees this year. So, what can companies do to better retain their top talent?

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment solutions expert says, “Employee retention is no longer as simple as giving your workers adequate compensation for their efforts. In order to keep top-performing talent on staff, employers really need to make an effort to stand out from the crowd and make their firm a place people want to work.”

Wilson says that “on-boarding” is one way to make sure that employees stick around. “On-boarding is a new term which H.R. professionals are using to describe the way in which companies can help new employees have a smooth introduction to the team. It’s an ongoing process that lasts far beyond an employee’s first day, and it’s meant to help keep workers engaged and inspired, which in turn can help increase employee retention rates.”

The employee engagement expert says that on-boarding should be done with intention and foresight. “You should chart out your employee’s first 3-6 months with the company,” says Wilson. “You want to integrate them into the firm and make them feel like they are part of a community, rather than just another cog in the machine. You can do so via social engagements, in-office mentoring, and team building exercises. On-boarding is quickly becoming part of every progressive and forward-thinking company, and it’s one way to help keep employees from feeling disengaged.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Should Employers Be Allowed to Ask About Your Salary History?

Employment expert explains why it’s illegal in many states to ask about past salary

Salary HistorySeveral cities and states have banned the infamous “salary history” question from the interview process, including California, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York City, New Orleans, and many more. But, why is this question being banned, and what do employers need to know in order to protect themselves?

“Part of the thinking behind banning the salary history question is that it will help to minimize the gender pay gap,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and Employment Trends Expert.

The belief is that inquiring about salary history can create a vicious cycle in which women are paid less presently and in the future, simply because they were paid less in the past. Concerned civil rights activists point to the fact that women are offered less when compared to similarly trained and educated males, even when these interviewees are coming right out of college.

“In other words, social justice activists want to reverse this trend by wiping that question off the interviewer’s docket,” says Wilson. “And, interviewees who lie or fudge their past earnings do so at their own peril: It is possible for employers to discover your salary history, as some employers ask for W-2 forms or pay stubs to confirm your compensation, or they might ask you to sign a form to permit them to ask your employer about your past earnings.”

Wilson says that people also say asking about salary history is unfair when it comes to employees who are moving from a city with a lower cost of living.

“For example, if a Chicago-based employer asks someone who lives in rural Indiana about their salary history, it could be seen as problematic because that employee is going to be faced with the high cost of city living although they are going to be receiving compensation based on their previous low cost of living,” says Wilson.

So, what should employers do?

  • Revise and review on a periodic basis.  It is always a good idea to review what each job title in your company earns elsewhere in the marketplace, regardless if the position is open or currently filled. “At a minimum, I recommend obtaining new salary survey data for each open position,” says Wilson. “This provides the current market rate for the position and what the employer can expect to pay for average vs all-star talent.”
  • Be transparent about salary whenever possible. “If you’re going to pay within the market average, consider advertising the salary range to the candidates,” says the employment expert. “Demystifying what you intend to pay the chosen candidate will help to foster an environment that is immune to criticism and charges of inequality.”
  • Get clear on candidates’ expectations. “Ask candidates early in the recruiting process for their compensation goals,” says Wilson. “Asking ‘What is your salary target?’ is an invaluable and simple question which is beneficial to both parties. In situations where candidates are looking for more than you feel they are worth, it will save everyone’s time if there is a significant discrepancy.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

How 2018 Summer Internships Will Change Under President Trump

Employment trends expert explains changing regulations regarding internships

InternshipResearch shows that students who have internships are more likely to find employment following graduation than students who do not. However, in recent years, controversy over unpaid internships has meant that some companies have decided to change their policy regarding student interns.

But, President Trump might be reversing that trend, as new policies regarding unpaid internships will loosen up the regulations that companies formerly faced.

“Under recent provisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is now legal for employers not to pay interns, provided that the intern benefits more from the working relationship than the employer does,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “It is also important that the intern does not perform any tasks or functions which would replace the efforts of any existing employees.”

In other words, says Wilson, these new provisions will make it easier for students to find internships than in previous years, while simultaneously protecting the jobs of paid workers.

“Just because an internship is labeled ‘unpaid’ does not mean that it is valueless,” says Wilson. “Nothing compares to hands-on learning, and students can vastly benefit from these positions.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Here’s Why Millennials Keep Changing Jobs

Employment expert discusses new findings about “job switching” among young people

Changing Jobs“Job switching” is a fast-moving trend which has changed the face of the American workplace.

“Gone are the days of retiring after 50 years with a gold watch,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “A new study has found that job-switching continues to rise, particularly among Millennials and those working in the tech industry.”

Wilson says that “job-switching” is the result of employees seeking greater learning opportunities and increased pay. “Today’s young workers aren’t afraid to leave a well-paying, suitable job, which makes them different from former generations. And, research shows that this willingness to try new things pays off, especially when you are young: New research shows that workers who spend 2-3 years at their first job end up earning more money over their lifetime than workers who spend 4 or more years in the same role.”

The employment trends expert says that becoming complacent could stagnate an employee’s growth, as well as keep them from learning new skills and networking with new people.

“A person who shows up to the same office every day for years is probably not going to be greeted by opportunity very often,” says Wilson. “On the other hand, workers who are willing to put themselves out there and keep their skills sharp could find that their tenacity pays off.”

So, what should employers do to keep employees from bailing?

“Make sure that you are offering your employees more than just a paycheck. Along with room for advancement, offer your employees continued learning seminars and educational opportunities. Allow them room for creative control where possible, and help tease out their hidden skills and abilities.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

New Study: Actually, Robots Won’t Take Our Jobs

Employment trends expert explains new findings and whether humans should fear being replaced by A.I.

A new study suggests that previous findings regarding job automation predictions might have been way off. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says that fears over artificial intelligence stealing jobs might be overstated.

“The findings from the OECD are helping to reassure some workers who feared that they were going to be replaced by robots in the next 20 years,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “These researchers are now saying that previous numbers were overstated and did not take into account different types of jobs which fall under the same name and title.”

In other words, says Wilson, previous studies regarding job automation may have been too broad. In fact, when it comes to considering the risks of artificial intelligence’s impact on the workforce and our economy, Wilson says we need to break down the numbers as much as possible.

“The fact remains that earlier findings show that fast-food workers could be at serious risk of losing their jobs to robots in the next several years. Another recent study found that each new robot added per 1,000 workers causes wages to drop in the surrounding area by around 0.25 and 0.5 percent,” says Wilson. “We can clearly see that in specific industries, the impact of automation cannot be overstated.”

Wilson says minimum wage hikes could also make robots the preferred option for employers. “Robots don’t need raises,” he says. “They don’t need healthcare or sick days. For employers who are looking down the barrel of ever-increasing business costs, robots are a cost-saving option in the long-run.”

The employment trends expert also points to a new study which highlighted the fact that Seattle workers lost $129 a month on average after the city’s minimum wage was increased to $15.

“Higher wages sound like a boon for employees, until you realize that employers simply cannot keep pace with these increased costs,” says Wilson. “As a result, they cut staff, limit hours…and consider new technology like automation to replace workers. This is just the beginning of a very disturbing new trend which could lead millions to end up out of work.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

313,000 Jobs Added in February, But What Does that Mean for the Average American?


Employment trends expert breaks down the numbers from Friday’s jobs report

After a pleasantly shocking jobs report on Friday, employment experts are now saying that the United States is at ‘full employment.’ But, what does this mean for Americans, and are the numbers really as good as they seem?

“February’s jobs report is a solid sign that our economy is getting stronger,” says Rob Wilson, president of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “Not only were 313,000 jobs added in a variety of low, middle, and high-wage industries, but we also saw an influx of hundreds of thousands of people rejoining the job market. This is huge news, as there had been fears that our workforce was depleted and that many Americans were simply opting to not seek employment.”

However, the employment expert explains that some people might be misled by the news that America is now at ‘full employment.’

“Full employment does not mean that every American has a job,” says Wilson. “Full employment is a term that economists use to describe optimal employment, when unemployment is at the lowest possible level without causing an unhealthy rebound of inflation in which employers have to compete too intensely for workers and bump up wages too quickly.”

In other words, our current economy is one that is optimal for both workers and employers.

Wilson says, “2018 is already off to an incredible start. We have added an average of 276,000 jobs a month, compared to 182,000 in 2017, and this growth shows no signs of stopping.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Why the New Tax Code Could Lead to a Big Boost in the Gig Economy

Employment expert explains why more workers are freelancing…but is it a good idea?

The amount of people relying on freelance gigs for their sole salary has increased steadily in recent years. By 2021, over 9 million Americans are expected to be part of the country’s ‘gig economy,’ in which workers cut ties with companies and work for themselves. And, President Trump’s new tax reform could hasten and increase this growth, but what impact could that have on workers and company growth?

“There is a provision in Trump’s tax law which will allow sole proprietors (including freelancers like Uber drivers, graphic designers, consultants, etc.) to deduct 20 percent of their revenue from their taxable income,” explains Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, an employment-solutions firm based in Chicago, IL.

Wilson explains that this tax provision could add up to thousands of dollars in savings each year. “In addition, this tax provision will be beneficial for bosses who are looking to save on payroll costs. By switching workers from salaried employees to contracted freelancers, they can save big…and workers will have less reason to complain, as they can earn more money under the new provision as well.”

Continue reading

Is America Too Fat to Work?

New Study Says Poor Health is Partially to Blame for America’s Unemployment

HealthEmployment numbers have been very encouraging lately, but a brand-new Gallup survey for the Center for Advancing Opportunity is cause for alarm. The survey found that the people who most need steady jobs (such as those living in impoverished neighborhoods) are actually still greatly behind the rest of the nation when it comes to employment. And, it turns out that poor health could be to blame.

“Low-income areas have an unemployment rate of about 10 percent, compared to our current national rate of unemployment, which is about 4 percent,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, and employment trends expert. “While we tend to blame factors like lack of job growth in these areas, this new Gallup survey has pinpointed a very surprising culprit: Chronic health issues and overall poor health. This can include things like diabetes, obesity, back problems, and cardiac concerns.”

According to the survey, about 30 percent of job-seekers in these areas say that they can’t find work or maintain employment due to their health issues.

Wilson says that this survey is important because it highlights where our country’s focus needs to be in order to help improve job numbers.

Continue reading

Oregonians Can Now Pump their Own Gas, But is that a Bad Idea?

What the recent self-service debate in Oregon reveals about the future of American employment

The state of Oregon recently made headlines when it changed a decades-old law which prevented self-service gas stations. Now, Oregonians will have the option to pump their own gasoline, provided they live in a county with less than 40,000 people. However, it has left many people questioning the role of “make-work” jobs in this economy, and whether the country is going to suffer from the impact of these small but crucial decisions.

“Most Americans pump their own gas, as New Jersey is now the only state which is strictly anti self-service stations,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and job trends expert. “However, this issue is about so much more than getting out of the car to pump your own gas. It’s about whether we are phasing out certain jobs faster than we can replace them, and what’s going to happen to unskilled laborers and those without job experience and education.”

Wilson says the phasing out of full-service stations in Oregon is similar to other industries such as fast-food and data collection and processing., which are predicted to lose 375 million jobs to automation by 2030. “It’s certain that many employees in Oregon service stations could be facing termination or a reduction in hours, provided that Oregonians are willing to pump their own gas in exchange for lower prices. The question is whether we are going to be making jobs for these unskilled laborers or those with little education and experience in order to make up for the jobs we are taking away from them.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.