Saturday, February 06, 2016

Retaining Employees: How Much Does Money Matter?

In their report on high income and emotional well-being, Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D., and Angus Deaton, Ph.D. (former and current Gallup senior scientists, respectively) discuss whether "money buys happiness" and examine the relationship between experiencing daily emotions and annual household income. They found that experiencing significant amounts of happiness or stress on any given day improves with income, but only up to an annual household income of about $75,000, regardless of geographic location. That is, people with annual household incomes of more than $75,000 don't have commensurately higher levels of this type of emotional well-being, though their general life evaluations continue to increase.
Put another way: Money can improve daily emotions, but only up to a certain point. Once employees reach that plateau, this element of their emotional well-being doesn't get commensurately higher, no matter how much more they make.
The problem for employers is that most workers aren't aware of the income ceiling on emotional well-being. Gallup finds that 44% of employees say they would consider taking a job with a different company for a raise of 20% or less.
Money is a powerful draw for workers. Yet there are tangible actions -- other than simply increasing pay -- that leaders can take to keep workers around.
Article here:

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Low-Skilled Workers Flee the Minimum Wage

Monras’s statistical model predicted that if labor demand is sensitive to wage changes, low-skilled workers should leave states that increase their minimum wages — and that’s exactly what his empirical evidence shows.
According to Monras,
A 1 percent reduction in the share of employed low-skilled workers [following a minimum wage increase] reduces the share of low-skilled population by between .5 and .8 percent. It is worth emphasizing that this is a surprising and remarkable result: workers for whom the [minimum wage] policy was designed leave the states where the policy is implemented.
Article here:

Thursday, January 07, 2016

63% of Americans Don't Have Enough Savings To Pay For a $500 Emergency

The car brakes go on the fritz. The refrigerator stops refrigerating. The dog gets his paws on a batch of chocolate chip cookies and earns himself a trip to the vet ER.

These are just three of any number of things that could go wrong during the course of the year. Recovering from any one will set you back about $500, which means these scenarios fall closer to the “undesirable inconvenience” category than they do the “massive calamity” one. And yet, nearly two-thirds of Americans do not have enough money in savings to cover the cost of a single one of these unplanned expenses.

According to a brand new survey from, just 37% of Americans have enough savings to pay for a $500 or $1,000 emergency. The other 63% would have to resort to measures like cutting back spending in other areas (23%), charging to a credit card (15%) or borrowing funds from friends and family (15%) in order to meet the cost of the unexpected event.

Read the interesting, yet disturbing, Forbes report here:

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

With A Straight Face, US Government "Finds" Number Of Retiring 20-24 Year-Olds Has Doubled

Here's Bloomberg's summary of what the bureau found, broadly: Thirty-five percent of the U.S. population wasn't in the labor force in 2014, up from 31.3 percent a decade earlier. (You're considered out of the workforce if you don't have a job and aren't looking for one. That's distinct from the official unemployment rate, which tracks those out of work who are actively job hunting.)
Drilling down into the numbers reveals more about the shifts in the reasons some people forego a paycheck. In all age groups, for instance, more people cited retirement as the reason for being out of the labor force, and it wasn't just older people.
So far so good: who knows if this is true or not, but since it is a "scientific" study it probably can be replicated. Unfortunately, not in this case, because here was the punchline:
For Americans between the ages of 20 and 24, the share of those sidelined over the past decade because they were in school increased, unsurprisingly, during the decade that included the Great Recession. What's more unusual is that the share of 20- to 24-year-olds who say they're retired doubled from 2004 to 2014.

At this point we stopped reading for one simple reason: the fact that a "scientific" study can "find" that the number of 20-24 who have retired has doubled, shows that those conducting said experiment were simply said lunatics who had set up their experiment and null hypothesis incorrectly, had asked all the wrong questions, and worst of all, given themselves a "sanity check" and passed with flying colors despite something as glaring as this "finding."
Article here:

Jim Karger

 "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
- Edmund Burke

Sent from my I-Pad

Friday, January 01, 2016

2015 Set A Record For Government Regulation

2015 was a record-setting year for the Federal Register, according to numbers the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., released Wednesday.
This year’s daily publication of the federal government’s rules, proposed rules and notices amounted to 81,611 pages as of Wednesday, higher than last year's 77,687 pages and higher than the all-time high of 81,405 pages in 2010 — with one day to go in 2015
2016 isn't shaping up any better.  Indeed, the New Year will likely set another ignominious record of government intrusion into our lives.  As far as the regulation of the employment relationship is concerned, keep watching.  We will do our best to report it here.
Article here:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Average American Worse Off Than 15 Years Ago

Interesting fact:  After adjusting for inflation, the majority of Americans are worse off today than they were decades ago.

The map at the link below shows that median household income actually peaked at least 15 years ago in 81% of U.S. counties.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Recommended Reading: "A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs For All"

From Charles Hugh Smith's new book, "A Radically Beneficial World:  Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs For All"

There’s another driver of automation the conventional narrative misses: the rising costs of human labor.

Unlike a human worker, a robot doesn’t require healthcare insurance, worker’s compensation, 401K pension benefits, and all the other costs of labor overhead. A robot doesn’t go on strike for higher wages.

As socio-economist Immanuel Wallerstein has observed, the cost of labor is rising globally as a result of structural forces that are immune to productivity gains, recessions, tax credits or other factors:

1.    Urbanization
2.    External costs  (environmental damage, etc.) that must now be paid
3.    Rising payroll taxes as the public demands more services from the state

These trends are especially visible in China, which has seen wages soar, costs of pollution control soar and demands for state services soar.

So where does this leave us?

•    Technology no longer creates more jobs than it destroys.
•    Profits decline as automation commoditizes labor, goods and services globally.
•    Digital and robotic tools are falling in price while the cost of human labor inexorably rises.
•    As costs of automation plummet, barriers to entry fall and competition increases, pushing everyone into automation if they want to survive.

As profits fall and jobs are eliminated, the tax base narrows and the state collects less tax revenue. Even the state must automate to reduce costs.  

Put all these together and the conclusion is inescapable: the conventional narrative solutions (belief that more jobs will be created than destroyed, guaranteed income for all) are wishful thinking.

The same can be said of calls for the state to hire tens of millions of displaced workers in a supersized make work program—where is the money going to come from as tax revenues falter?

Yes, government can borrow money, but this is not a sustainable way to fund tens of millions of jobs. If profits and job growth aren’t coming back, borrowing money is a temporary stopgap, not a solution.

Kindle edition available here: