What's News in Employment and Hiring – February 2023
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What's News in Employment and Hiring – February 2023

What's News in Employment and Hiring – February 2023

Welcome to our monthly roundup of employer-related news and trends. This month we cover the suspension of California’s FAST Act, year-end 2022 unemployment rates, how to improve employer-employee relations in 2023, and how employers are reevaluating the need for a college degree in a tight job market.

California’s AB 257 (FAST Act) Is Sidelined Until a Nov. 2024 Ballot Referendum

In late January, California’s Secretary of State announced that AB 257 (the FAST Act) has been suspended, sending a sigh of relief across the franchise universe. Instead, California voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against it in a ballot referendum in November 2024. The bill, passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, mobilized business groups across the state in opposition, including a major push by the IFA to gather the required signatures to qualify for the referendum. In case you forgot, here’s a description of the bill from California Globe from last September:

“California is about to become the first state in the country to unionize fast food employees by expanding state government to create a new Fast Food Council within the Department of Industrial Relations to set minimum health, safety, and employment standards across the California fast food industry—even though every business in California operates under health, safety and employment standards set by state and local laws.”

What’s next? A very expensive lobbying effort led by the SEIU (for) and the IFA (against). Stay tuned, since what happens in California doesn’t stay in California.

U.S. Unemployment Fell in December—But Not for Everybody

Unemployment rates, a problem for employers across the board in 2022, ended the year with some good news, but not across the board. While the overall unemployment rate fell from 3.7% to 3.5% in December, it rose for Black women and Hispanic men, according to the government’s nonfarm payrolls report. Details provided in an article on CNBC.com reported that unemployment numbers for Black women rose from 5.2% in November to 5.5% in December, and from 3.6% to 4.0% for Latino men (small percentages, but many, many thousands of jobs).

“What we’ve really seen over the course of the last nearly 3 years since the pandemic hit, is that we’ve regained, in terms of aggregate numbers, all of the jobs lost,” said Michelle Holder, a distinguished senior fellow at Washington Center for Equitable Growth. She noted that both Black women and Latino men are well represented in the leisure and hospitality sector. “Those are two industries that have not recovered well during the pandemic,” she said. “This is what is constraining Black women’s ability to get back to the state that they were with regard to the American workforce before the pandemic.”

10 Business Leaders on How To Improve Employer-Employee Relations in 2023

A “roundup” article in Forbes last month gathered thoughts from 10 business executives on how they think relations between employers and employees can be improved this year, as well as their general outlook on hiring in 2023. Here are three excerpts to get you started.

  • “There are two critical things the HR industry needs to acknowledge for 2023. First, companies need to become people-centric and approach future actions with empathy in mind; and second, they need to up the ante on what ‘good’ looks like for listening to and communicating with employees and communities.” — Paul Rubenstein, Chief People Officer, Visier
  • “HR teams are under pressure to transform how they focus their efforts, to move from important but essentially operational functions, to instead helping transform the experience of employees.” — Geoff Webb, VP of Solution Strategy, Isolved
  • “Companies that offer robust learning and development programs and can provide multiple career paths or growth options for employees will retain top talent more successfully.” — Monique McDonough, Chief Operating Officer, WorkTango

For their full comments and those from the seven other executives, click here.

Employers Are Rethinking the Requirement for a College Degree

Today’s tight labor market with its smaller pool of applicants, is causing employers to reevaluate the need for a college degree in their hiring process. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. job postings requiring at least a bachelor’s degree were 41% in November, down from 46% at the start of 2019 ahead of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an analysis by the Burning Glass Institute, a think tank that studies the future of work. Degree requirements dropped even more early in the pandemic. They have grown since then but remain below pre-pandemic levels.”

Published: February 3rd, 2023

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