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Archive for May, 2016

New legislation and San Antonio jobs

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

A new rule about overtime pay is changing the way we look at San Antonio jobs.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) finalized sweeping changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules extending protections to 4.2 million U.S. workers.

The changes double the salary threshold for “white collar” exemptions from the current minimum of $455 per week, or $23,660 a year, to $913 per week, or $47,476 annually. The updated rules also increase the minimum salary of highly compensated employees from $100,000 per year to $134,004 per year and establish a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels for exempt employees every three years.

The final rules, which will take effect on December 1, 2016, also allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level. They do not make any changes to the duties test for executive, administrative and professional employees.

Here are a few steps businesses should take now to further their compliance efforts:

1) Take Stock and Review Classifications. Employers should first ensure that they thoroughly understand their current employees’ compensation structure, classifications and the rules around the FLSA exempt versus nonexempt status. Any exempt employee who earns greater than the threshold amount ($47,476 under the new rules) may remain exempt from overtime pay if that person primarily performs executive, administrative or professional duties as described in the regulations. Those making less than the threshold should be carefully considered for reclassification. Also note that each state may enact regulations that differ from federal regulations. Businesses will be subject to whichever set of directives is more generous to employees.

2) Closely Manage and Monitor Employee Hours. To better understand the overtime being worked, monitor employee hours and use appropriate tools to help make educated scheduling decisions. One effective method is to implement an automated time and labor management system that continuously tracks hours worked, helps companies monitor when an employee nears the overtime threshold, and makes it easier to create more cost-effective schedules.

3) Compare the Costs of Pay Options. Weigh the costs of raising employees’ salaries to meet the exemption criteria against what it would cost to reclassify them as non-exempt and pay them overtime when they work more than 40 hours per week.

4) Consider the Impact on Internal Pay Equity. Beyond the costs of raising exempt employees’ salaries, consider the impact on internal pay equity. Internal equity means employees are paid fairly when compared with other employees within your company. If you substantially increase some employees’ pay, other employees may have questions about why their pay isn’t increasing.

 

Are San Antonio jobs cuts climbing?

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

San Antonio job cuts may be increasing, according to a recent release from Challenger, Gray, & Christmas.

The pace of downsizing increased in April, as US-based employers announced workforce reductions totaling 65,141 during the month, according to the latest report released Thursday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The April figure represents a 35 percent increase over March, when employers announced 48,207 planned layoffs. Last month’s job cuts were 5.8 percent higher than the 61,582 recorded in April 2015.

Employers have announced a total of 250,061 planned job cuts through the first four months of 2016. That is up 24 percent from the 201,796 job cuts tracked during the same period a year ago. It is the highest January-April total since 2009, when the opening four months of the year saw 695,100 job cuts.

“We continue to see large scale layoffs in the energy sector, where low oil prices are driving down profits. However, we are also seeing heavy downsizing activity in other areas, such as computers and retail, where changing consumer trends are creating a lot of volatility,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The energy sector announced another 19,759 job cuts in April, bringing the year-to-date total to 72,660. That is up 26 percent from the 57,556 energy-sector job cuts announced in the first four months of 2015.

Computer firms announced 16,923 job cuts during the month; the highest total among all industries. That total includes 12,000 from chipmaker Intel, which is shifting away from the traditional desktop and laptop market and toward the mobile market.

To date, computer firms have announced 33,925 job cuts, up 262 percent from a year ago, when job cuts in the sector totaled just 9,368 through the first four months of the year.

“For all intents and purposes, the economy remains strong. The nation’s payrolls have experienced 66 consecutive months of net job gains, a trend that is likely to continue with the new report out Friday. The unemployment rate is at five percent, with a growing number of metropolitan areas at three percent or lower. Yet, job cuts are trending upward,” noted Challenger.

The ideal candidate for San Antonio jobs

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Monster.com has just released a small business survey describing the ideal candidate for San Antonio jobs, among other locations.

While many of today’s small business owners continue to devote more of their own time and effort to finding the ideal candidate, some are actually not improving their search whatsoever. Of those who have hired the wrong person before, 56 percent are investing more time to make sure they don’t do this again, but only about one in five aren’t doing anything at all (18 percent).

Although nine in ten (89 percent) small business owners find the hiring process time consuming and three-fifths (61 percent) wish they had more help in finding the right person for the job, significantly fewer owners are currently hiring an outside service to help recruit (11 percent). Monster’s goal is to make small business owners aware that these resources and solutions exist, all within their budget.

“Monster has been able to reach the type of person we want, in the way they’re searching for jobs, be it a smart phone, social sites,” said Brian Bailey, co-founder of Old Carolina Barbecue company, another of Monster’s small business customers.

In addition to being a financial burden, hiring the wrong person can have an emotional effect on small business owners. About three in four owners who have hired the wrong person before feel frustrated (73 percent), stressed (47 percent) and discouraged (36 percent) as a result. The survey also found that:

  • Over half of those who have hired the wrong person before have experienced a loss of time (69 percent) and money (56 percent) due to wrong hires.
  • Specifically, one-third or more of these owners estimate wasting over 50 hours of their time (34 percent) and over $1,000 (42 percent) due to their most recent wrong hire.
  • Other issues caused by hiring the wrong person include product errors (51 percent) and loss of customers (24 percent).

Students focus on engineering jobs in San Antonio

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

A new study shows that engineering jobs in San Antonio are ideal for students looking for a good major.

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 67 percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 65 percent last year and the highest outlook since 2007. More than a third (37 percent) plan to offer recent college graduates higher pay than last year, and 27 percent of employers hiring recent college graduates this year will pay a starting salary of $50,000 or more.

While prospects appear better, some employers are concerned that new college grads may not be ready for the real world. Twenty-four percent do not feel academic institutions are adequately preparing students for roles needed within their organizations, an increase from 21 percent last year.

When asked where academic institutions fall short, these employers cited the following concerns:

  • Too much emphasis on book learning instead of real-world learning: 47 percent
  • I need workers with a blend of technical skills and those skills gained from liberal arts: 39 percent
  • Entry-level roles within my organization are more complex today: 25 percent
  • Not enough focus on internships: 13 percent
  • Technology is changing too quickly for an academic environment to keep up: 13 percent
  • Not enough students are graduating with the degrees my company needs: 11 percent

When asked to name which skills they think recent college graduates lack for the workplace, most of these employers cited interpersonal or people (52 percent) or problem-solving skills (48 percent). Other skills these employers stated include:

  • Leadership: 42 percent
  • Teamwork: 39 percent
  • Written communication: 37 percent
  • Oral communication: 37 percent
  • Creative thinking: 35 percent
  • Project management: 27 percent
  • Research and analysis: 17 percent
  • Math: 15 percent
  • Computer and technical: 14 percent