‘Fundamentally Broken’: Is the Debt Worth the Degree?

Employment expert weighs in on how Skilled Workers fare Vs. College Grads

Student DebtFormer Trump administration official A. Wayne Johnson recently described the student debt program in this country as ‘fundamentally broken.’ For the millions of college students who have an average of $37,172 in debt by the time they graduate, these words no doubt ring true.

And, students are not the only ones who are feeling the pain. Research shows that college debt leads to poor sleep and high anxiety, potentially causing employees to be unmotivated and unfocused while at work, in turn harming employers and their bottom line.

This begs the question: Is college for everyone? Or, would entering a skilled trade be a smarter choice for many young adults?

“We have this idea in our society that a college degree is the gateway to financial freedom and success,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “But the statistics don’t necessarily bear that out. Most college grads end up moving home after graduation to live with their parents, and it takes several months or more for them to find a job. In many cases, that job won’t be in their field of interest, and these young people end up spending a good chunk of their paycheck paying off their hefty student loans.”

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The Fearful Cost of Going Freelance

Employment expert reveals the hidden dangers of the gig economy

Gig EconomyMore than one-third of Americans are now participating in the new “gig economy,” in which they work part-time or contracted positions, instead of dedicated full-time positions. And research shows that over half of these freelancers view their gig positions as permanent, rather than temporary. However, a new study warns that the gig economy could be destructive for Americans’ health and well-being.

Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, says, “The research shows that a gig economy leaves most part-time workers without healthcare, retirement funding, dental care, or disability benefits. Meanwhile, many of these ‘giggers’ often have to work more than one job in order to make ends meet, and this is particularly increasing among female workers.”

In fact, Wilson says that holding multiple part-time jobs can actually be destructive to a woman’s earning potential, saying, “One study showed that women who held a number of part-time jobs in their 20s saw absolutely no increase in earnings in their 30s, meaning that even as their experience and their families’ needs grow, they do not earn a dollar more.”

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Why so Many Millennials Are Leaving Jobs Due to Mental Health Issues

Employment trends expert talks new study which says that half of millennials have left a job due to a mental health crisis

Mental HealthA new study found that 50 percent of Millennials and 75% of Generation Z’ers say that they have left a job due to pressing mental health concerns. The study, led by Mind Share Partners, SAP, and Qualtrics has discovered that younger generations of workers are much more likely than older employees to leave a job due to the need for mental health care.

“The study is very important because it reflects generational differences as far as employees’ approach to therapy and self-care,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “Today’s incoming workforce is much more well-versed in therapy and the need for mental health services, and as this research shows, they seek out these resources when needed, even if it means leaving their current job.”

Wilson says this study helps reveal where companies and employers can do better in attracting and retaining younger talent.

“Offering benefits that include comprehensive mental health care can go a long way in attracting younger employees,” says Wilson. “Therapy is costly, but as research shows, there has been a 47 percent increase in major-depression diagnoses among millennials since 2013. Since therapy is the front-line recommendation for depression treatment, you can expect that nearly half of millennial workers are either in therapy, seeking therapy, or being advised to see a therapist by their doctor or family and friends. Hence, offering a benefit plan which covers these life-saving services and is in-network with many mental health providers would be a smart idea for employers.”

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How to Secure Top Talent in a Tight Job Market

Employment expert explains how your company can shine as an outstanding employer

JobsThe national unemployment rate is just 3.7%. In August, 130,000 new jobs were created.

“The number of Americans who are currently employed is at a high of 157.9 million,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment expert. “Labor force participation has not been this high since August 2013. While this is great news for employers, it means that companies need to work harder to stand out to prospective hires.”

“Working with an employment solutions firm such as Employco USA is a wise way to stand out from the pack,” continues Wilson. “Not only will this help increase the number of candidates you reach and help streamline your hiring procedures, but a human resources firm can also help you to establish a robust benefits package.”

From an economic standpoint, you need to think in terms not only of salary and health insurance, but also a total compensation package, says Wilson.

“There are many benefits which today’s employees are looking for, including whether you match a 401(k), what is the value of the paid time off offered, along with medical, dental, vision, and life insurance” he explains.

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What Employers Can Learn from the Mississippi Raids

Employment expert Rob Wilson discusses how companies can safeguard their staff

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)Last month, ICE officials detained hundreds of undocumented workers in Mississippi. When the raids (which took place in 7 different cities and 6 different work sites) were complete, 680 employees were in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

As the debate over illegal immigration rages on, the Mississippi raids also raise an important concern for companies. How much blame do hiring managers and employers hold when it comes to using undocumented people for labor? Is this just a public relations nightmare and staffing disaster for companies, or can charges be levied against these employers?

“The answer is yes, to put it simply,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment expert. “It is illegal not only to hire an undocumented person, but also to recruit them or refer them to another employer. Employers who knowingly do so and are shown to have a ‘pattern and practice’ of hiring undocumented workers can be fined $3,000 per worker and even face potential jail time.”

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Salary History Ban Expands to Illinois Employers

Employment expert explains why Illinois employees can’t be asked about their past salaries any longer

SalaryEmployers in Illinois will be required to make changes to their hiring practices in the near future. Starting September 29th, it will become illegal for employers to ask prospective employees to share their salary history.

“Currently, 17 states and 19 localities have banned questions about salary history during the application process, and Illinois will be joining these ranks shortly. Several states like Alabama have banned these application questions for all potential employees, and other states like California go so far as to require employers to provide pay scale information if employees request it,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA.

Wilson says that many experts agree that salary history questions can lead to income inequality for women and minorities.

“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,” explains Wilson. “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.”

So, what should employers consider moving forward?

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By 2030, 20 Million Workers Will Lose Their Jobs to Robots

Employment expert discusses breaking new study which spells disaster for manufacturing employees

RobotA new study from analysis firm Oxford Economics predicts that by 2030, over 20 million workers in the manufacturing industry will lose their jobs to robots.

“As machines become cheaper to build and artificial intelligence technology becomes more comprehensive and affordable, many industries are going to become robot-centric,” says Rob Wilson. “Just look at the automotive industry: Starting in the 1980s, companies were spending billions of dollars to create robots to perform basic tasks in their automobile factories. Now, 43 percent of the world’s robots are used by the automotive industry. We should expect to see a similar trend in manufacturing as well, although the good news is that robots create jobs in some fields even as they take them away in others.”

Wilson cautions that battles over minimum wage could increase the application of artificial intelligence in some industries, especially as it relates to entry-level, unskilled work.

“Findings show that fast-food workers could be at serious risk of losing their jobs to robots in the next several years. One 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 can not only impact job numbers, but also a worker’s wages.”

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(Article) “How AI Is Transforming HR With More Sophisticated, Less Biased Recruiting”

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, was recently quoted in an article for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s digital publication CO:

How AI Is Transforming HR With More Sophisticated, Less Biased Recruiting“Artificial intelligence is driven by algorithms — sets of rules based in part on historical data that computers use to guide decisions. For example, if history shows that employees possessing specific traits have proven successful in a given job role, AI algorithms rank highly applicants with those same attributes.

While AI automates mundane tasks, it’s the greater power of AI that gives HR pause. Employers know they are prohibited from asking applicants about marital status and religion, but if AI teases out that information indirectly, without consent, companies run the risk of violating discrimination laws.

“There are still a lot of bugs. One bug is discrimination. There are examples where women and older applicants have been weeded out,” said Rob Wilson, president, Employco USA, an HR outsourcer.”

Follow the link to read more:

CO by U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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

The Myth of the Summer Job: Why This American Tradition is Disappearing

Employment expert explains why most teens won’t be working the hot-dog stand this summer

Summer JobsA Pew study recently revealed that the number of teens with summer jobs has been on a steady decline for the last 2 decades. While almost half of American teenagers used to spend their summers scooping ice cream, slinging burgers, or working at the mall, now only around one-third of teens will spend their summer months employed.

“It’s not just that teens don’t necessarily want to find summer employment, but that the employment opportunities themselves have changed,” says Rob Wilson, employment expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm. “There are less entry-level jobs available for these unskilled workers, and with new robotic technology at fast-food restaurants and fast-casual chains, these young would-be workers are being automated out of employment.”

Wilson also points to disappearing American malls.

“When so-called ‘anchor’ stores such as Sears or JCPenney 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.”

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How A.I. is Revolutionizing the Hiring Process

Employment trend expert explains how robots are the new recruiters

RobotThe interview process is always nerve-wracking for job hunters, but now instead of facing a hiring manager, applicants might find themselves dealing with artificial intelligence agents before finally meeting a real person from their desired firm.

“Artificial intelligence has been a hot-button topic when it comes to how robots could replace minimum wage workers in fast-food environments and beyond,” says employment trends expert Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm. “But there is another piece to this puzzle, which is the way in which companies are now using A.I. to simplify and streamline their recruiting and hiring process. For example, beauty giant L’oreal uses chatbot Mya to interview applicants in the first stage of sorting through candidates.”

Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is using technology from New York City-based tech startup Pymetrics in which job applicants are tested with fast-paced decision-making games in order to see if they have a chance to earn a spot at the investment firm.

However, some critics say that these artificial intelligence measures could pose legal concerns in the future.

“Just last year it was discovered that Amazon’s latest A.I. hiring bot was discriminatory against women,” says Wilson. “And others say that these measures such as the Pymetrics hiring games will be discriminatory against those with learning differences or those who are older and have less technological skill.”

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