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Last year, I gave you my workplace trends for this year and now I’m giving you some of the biggest trends for 2014. The economy is showing no signs of getting better and now with Obama Care next year, there are going to be some major changes. Here are the trends I’m following that will affect you one way or another next year:
1. Healthcare’s impact on the workplace
CNNMoney.com found that 9 out of 14 economists say that businesses are putting off hiring because of health care reform next year. The reform will force employers with 50 or more workers to provide affordable health insurance starting in 2015. Starting next year, small businesses will be able to get a credit for up to 50% of their health care premium costs if they buy insurance. It’s debatable exactly how Obama Care will impact the workplace but many are saying (at least Republicans and some economists) that companies will be laying off more full-time workers and hiring more contingent workers in order to dodge the penalty.
2. Freelancing becomes a normal way of life
One third of Americans are freelancers (17 million people), contractors and consultants right now and there will be more of them than full-time employees in six years. Employers are saving more money hiring freelancers because they don’t have to pay benefits (they will want to avoid the Obama Care penalties for instance) and they are looking to hire experts who can complete specialized projects. This also means that more professionals will be working from home instead of a traditional office setting, which saves companies money. Despite how the public views the working from home phenomenon, Gallup reports that you are more engaged when working from home.
3. Gender pay gap starts to close
Earlier this year, Gallup found that only 24% of women are happy with what they earn at work compared to 32% of men. This was a more general view of the workforce but what we found recently was that if you break it down by generation, there isn’t much discrepancy between millennials. After controlling for all other factors, there is only a 2-3% difference between male and female pay across all 3 generations, and that difference is the smallest for Gen Y. The gap is going to shrink overall because 36% of the American workforce will be millennials by next year and that number will continue to rise. As more women are becoming educated and more men leave the workforce, the gap will shrink even more. Millennials are all about equality in every aspect of life and want women and men to be treated the same. For instance, 74% of millennials support same sex marriage, which is a big reason why it passed in many states.
4. The economy delays career growth
The economy hit the workforce really hard and there are no clear signs that it’s going to bounce back any time soon. The Congressional Budget Office expects unemployment to remain near 8% in 2014. Millennial workers are now 30 years old before hitting a median wage of $42,000–up from 26 back in 1980. Millions of millennials are moving back in with their parents when they graduate and Pew Reports that 36% of millennials are choosing to put off moving out on their own. Many recent graduates are finally getting internships, which delay their ability to actually get a full time job. Degrees and internships don’t guarantee jobs anymore and the economy has slowed down career development for many.
Read more at Danschawbel.com.