Payrolls and Business Applications Increase but AI is Taking a Toll
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Payrolls and Business Applications Increase but AI is Taking a Toll

Payrolls and Business Applications Increase but AI is Taking a Toll

Welcome to our monthly roundup of employer-related news and trends. This month: employment gains continue, artificial intelligence sends workers home, HR departments can expect a new Form I-9, and new business applications jump for the month.

US Employment Gains Rising

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in June, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in government, health care, social assistance, and construction continued to increase. Non-farm employment has grown by an average of 278,000 per month over the first 6 months of 2023, which is lower than the average of 399,000 per month in 2022.

According to the report, approximately 6 million people were unemployed in June. The unemployment rate has ranged from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent since March 2022. In June, the labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent for the fourth consecutive month, and the employment–population ratio, at 60.3 percent, was unchanged over the month.

AI Sends 4,000 Workers Packing

In other employment news, artificial intelligence contributed to nearly 4,000 job losses in May. According to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers have put AI in charge of a variety of organizational tasks. More than 80,000 U.S.-based employees were laid off in May. Of those, 5 percent could be traced back to AI. As reported by CBS.com, advanced AI technology was used to automate a range of tasks, including writing and other creative work, administrative duties, and clerical work.

New Form I-9 Debuts Aug. 1

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that a new Form I-9 will be available on Aug. 1. The older form can still be used through Oct. 31, and then penalties could be assessed. The new form is shorter and can be filled out on tablets and mobile devices. Employers can download it at uscis.gov/i-9 starting Aug. 1. Changes include

  • reducing Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet
  • moving the Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement that employers can provide to employees when necessary
  • moving Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a standalone supplement that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or reverification is required
  • revising the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation
  • reducing form instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages
  • adding a checkbox allowing employers to indicate they examined Form I-9 documentation remotely under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination

Business Applications Jump in June

The U.S. Census Bureau reported 465,906 applications for new business applications in June, a 6.2 percent increase over May’s numbers. In addition, the Census Bureau is projecting that 32,148 new business startups with payroll tax liabilities will form within 4 quarters of application from all the business applications filed during June. That’s an increase of 4 percent compared to May.

Published: August 4th, 2023

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