Job Growth and Stock Market Climb | New Income Tax Brackets | 2018 Trends for Talent and Tech

Welcome to 2018! StaffLink’s best for the week ending January 5 includes signs of economic strength, news of the new income tax brackets, and a court ruling on Miami Beach’s municipal minimum wage ordinance. Plus, this year’s talent acquisition and tech trends.

The economy is on the up and up.

On January 4, the Dow Jones Industrial Average made history. Fox Business News reported that the index hit an all-time high of 25,000 during this first week of 2018. If the trend continues through today, the Dow will hit its 90th record close since the November 2016 elections. Fox Reporter Leia Klingel writes all about it in Dow 25,000 powered by fastest 1,000-point advance ever.

MarketWatch’s Andrea Riquier added to the positive economic news on Thursday with Private-sector job growth sizzles in December, with 250,000 jobs added, ADP says. “The American job machine remains in full swing,” Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told Riquier before cautioning that future growth may be limited by a shrinking labor pool.

The new tax law shifts taxpayer brackets.

The Republican-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became law in December and brought with it a set of new income tax brackets. CNBC’s Darla Mercado breaks down the new numbers in New year, new tax brackets. Here’s where you stand.

Mileage deduction rates see a small adjustment.

Beginning on January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for deductible business mileage will increase by 1 cent to 54.5 cents per mile writes SHRM’s Stephen Miller in IRS Announces Higher Standard Mileage Rate for 2018. The deduction for moving and medical driving expenses increased as well, Miller reports.  However, the deduction when driving for charity remained unchanged.

A district court decides a Florida minimum wage dispute.

In December 2017, a district court in Florida found that Florida local governments’ authority to set minimum wage rates were preempted by state law. The ruling resolved an issue of interpretation between an amendment to the Florida Constitution and Florida statutes. SHRM contributor Sarah Smith Kuehnel explains the details of the ruling in Florida Statute Preempts Miami Beach Minimum Wage Ordinance, Court Finds.

Sourcing new hires in the new year.

How are hiring managers and recruiters adjusting to demographic shifts in the labor market? SHRM brings us some predictions in Tim Sackett Peers into the Future: Talent Acquisition Trends and Predictions for 2018. Millennials are no longer the new kids in the cubicles as members of Generation Z began graduating from college in 2017.

Finally, from CNET, we bring you this video featuring a look at the tech you may expect to see influencing your life in 2018. From augmented reality to voice assist, the future is here (even the Star Trek ad at the front) … 

Benefits and Compensation in 2018 | Affordable Care Act Deadlines and Deals | Marketing in 2018

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 29 Highlights

Closing out 2017, StaffLink brings you good tidings for retailers, updates on benefits and compensation trends, the latest ACA events, and a peek at what marketers are planning for 2018.

Employee benefits and compensation are changing with the times.

Earlier this month, SHRM’s Stephen Miller took a look back over employee pay trends in 2017 and made some predictions for 2018. In 4 Key Compensation Trends in 2017, he offers his insights into what employers should expect in 2018. One notable development for 2018 is that hiring managers in some jurisdictions will be prohibited from asking candidates about their past salaries.

Also from SHRM’s Stephen Miller is 5 Big Benefits Trends Going into 2018. Miller writes that employers will invest more in financial wellness programs for employees. He also predicts that health care costs will continue to rise, and everyone will need to adjust to the Affordable Care Act’s requirements.

Retailers enjoyed robust sales this holiday season.

Earlier this week, Fox Business reported that holiday sales increased by almost 5% between November 1 and Christmas Eve with electronics purchases leading the way. Fox Business shares the sales results and reactions from shoppers and retail representatives in Retailers feel shoppers’ Christmas Cheer.

Making a plan for personal success.

It’s that time of year when people begin making plans for their futures, setting goals, and resolving to achieve them. If you are short of ideas on what you’d like to change in the coming year, check out 30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets That Lead to Success from Entrepreneur.com.

ACA change-ups: Employers get a little more time and individuals get to avoid a penalty.

On December 22, the IRS announced an extension of the 2018 deadline for employers to provide ACA-related insurance coverage information forms to their employees. However, SHRM reports in IRS Extends Deadline to Supply ACA Forms to Employees, employers are still required to meet the existing deadlines for filing their information forms with the IRS. Employers may also qualify for a good-faith exemption from penalties in circumstances where inaccurate information is filed.

Speaking of penalties, the tax reform bill passed by Congress lifts the so-called individual mandate penalty for 2019. This change will effectively eliminate the individual coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act in 2019. How will this affect employers and employees? Read, What Individual Mandate Repeal Means for Employers at SHRM.org.

What will marketers do differently in 2018?

Inc. contributor Melanie Deziel asked a few people to find out. She tells us their plans and predictions in What 28 Entrepreneurs & Marketers Are Doing Differently in 2018 (And You Should Too). Among the predictions are a move to video and a focus on building stronger connections with customers.

For more on what marketers will be up to in 2018, check out this video from MSNBC. (That was quick. The move to video has already started.)

2018 HEALTHCARE PLAN TRENDS | STRONG ECONOMY | BITCOIN | OSHA TOP 10

StaffLink’s Week Ending December 15 Highlights

This week StaffLink is bringing you tips on making the best of your day and of your Bitcoin investment. Plus, good news about the economy.

For our friends in HR, this week’s highlights include a free report on coming trends in healthcare benefits, new legislative developments, and a rundown of the top ten OSHA violations. We also found an infographic detailing how 2018’s HR environment will change.

And, for a bit of holiday cheer, a Christmas-themed ad to view.

Free report on healthcare from StaffLink to you.

Just in time to for you to snuggle up and read over the holidays, we bring you our 2018 HR Trends: Healthcare Plans Summary. Learn what to expect and how much it may cost with our free download.

2018 EMPLOYEE HEALTHCARE TRENDS

Learning something new every day.

Business Insider’s Erin Brodwin looked at the research and made a list of do’s and don’ts for having the ideal day. She shared the results in this article: What your daily routine should look like, according to science.

Wait? You already knew all those tips? Okay then, here’s something else you can learn about today. Try this video: Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin in 2 Minutes from Inc.’s Guadalupe Gonzalez.

Good news on the jobs front to close out 2017.

In Employers Report Strong Job Growth, Unemployment Holds Steady, SHRM’s Roy Maurer treats us to a review of several November economic reports. Maurer writes that wages rose slightly and 228,000 U.S. jobs were added in November.

Proposed legislation seeks to limit mandatory arbitration in harassment cases.

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this week seeks to prevent employers from keeping sexual harassment claims out of the courthouse writes SHRM’s Lisa Nagele-Piazza in New Bill Would Ban Mandatory Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims. However, experts interviewed by Nagele-Piazza point out that if a workplace situation has reached the point of arbitration or litigation, matters are already far out of hand.

Is your workplace free of these common safety risks?

The work comp pros at SFM have prepared a slide show featuring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s top ten safety violations of 2017. The linked article also includes a list of SFM resources for addressing each of these violations to help ensure a safe workplace for all.

Looking forward to 2018 and what it will be like for HR teams.

SHRM’s Beth Mirza made a list (and maybe even checked it twice) of what HR will look like next year. She puts it all together in this clever infographic, What’s Out and What’s In for 2018.  

Speaking of lists, this ad tops British viewer’s list as the best Christmas Ad for 2017. Well, of course, they did! This ad features Paddington. Enjoy.