44% of Americans Without “a Good Job”

The below article gives a very interesting perspective to the supposed drop in national unemployment. Of particular note — how do we really know when we are doing better in this realm based on how we are currently keeping score? One hour a week means you are not unemployed? -Paul

“Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.”

“If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.”


(copy/pasted full article below as well)

The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment

by Jim Clifton

Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.

I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.

Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.
February 3, 2015

Top 10 OSHA trends for 2015

For those PEOs who market occupational safety consulting as part of their risk management services, it’s a good idea to keep up with the regulators at OSHA.  This article outlines the trends of OSHA enforcement activities for the coming year.  


Click here for the full list of Top 10 OSHA trends for 2015

New Rules on Drugs Not Curbing Workers’ Comp Costs

PEO Compass published several articles in 2014 outlining the legislative movements in numerous states to regulate the costs of physician-dispensed drugs that have increased the costs of workers’ compensation claims.  We continue to monitor the development  of this trend and the results to the workers compensation system that affects employers in the ultimate price of their premiums.

According to an article by CFO.com, “Eighteen states have adopted rules to reduce the costs of physician-dispensed drugs. But according to a paper by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, doctors in California and Illinois have found a new way to dispense drugs from their offices at two to three times the price charged by pharmacies.”

Click here to read the entire article.

Must People Say ‘I Do’ to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits? (The Workers Compensation Institute)

Same-sex marriages are now legal in 35 states and DC, however, 14 states outlaw these unions. What does this have to do with the workers’ compensation? It leaves the courts to iron out issues such as death benefits arising out of workplace fatalities from the transition of  “domestic partnerships” and same-sex marriage.

Click here for the full article from the Workers Compensation Institute.

WCIRB Report Shows Continued Increase in Claim Frequency

California’s Workers Compensation Rating Bureau announced that claims frequency specifically indemnity claims frequency continues to be on the rise.  WCIRB’s annual update to its publication “Analysis of Changes in Indemnity Claim Frequency” report  highlights trends particularly with indemnity claims resulting from cumulative injuries.  the report  finds “Based on WCIRB surveys of cumulative injury claims, both the proportion of cumulative injury claims involving multiple insurers and the proportion involving attorney representation has increased in recent years”


Read the entire article on the link below:


Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries

Risk management/mitigation is an area where PEOs can improve internal processes to turn their workers compensation program from an expense into a profit center.

By making yourself aware of the major frequency drivers for workplace injuries a PEOs leadership team can focus internal efforts around lowering the possibility of these causes of injury so they are less prevalent for their client companies.

Click the link below to find out the “Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries.”

Top 10 Causes of Workplace Injuries.

PEO’s Make American Employment Better

In my mind, the greatest thing about the coemployment model is a better experience for the Ameican worker based on aggregated pricing and spread of expenses.

Laurie Bassi who has written for publications such as Harvard Business Journal, has concluded with the proper limitations that “PEO clients had annual employee turnover between 10 and 14 percentage points lower than the national average of 42 percent per year, depending on the comparison group used.”

That is a big deal !  Check out the stats that speak to it in the enclosed white paper —

Can’t wait for the next wave of empirical evidence that proves out that the PEO model is the best distribution there is for American employers and their employees.

Let’s go!

Paul Hughes

Passage Of Legislation Providing Recognition Of Professional Employer Organizations In The Federal Tax Code Is Historic Moment For Industry

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) hailed the passage of legislation defining professional employer organizations (PEOs) in the federal tax code and creation of a voluntary certification program for PEOs within the IRS. PEOs provide comprehensive HR, benefits, tax administration, and compliance services for small and mid-size businesses.

“PEOs play a key role in helping small businesses grow and thrive, and now Congress has recognized and codified a key element of that role so that even more small businesses can benefit from the services and expertise PEOs provide,” said NAPEO President and CEO Pat Cleary. “The economic data proves that small businesses using a PEO grow faster, have lower employee turnover, and are much less likely to go out of business. We are thrilled that Congress has now passed this legislation to formally recognize and certify PEOs so that small business owners have the assurance they need to let a PEO handle employment tax issues along with back office administrative and HR tasks while they focus on running a successful business.”

The legislation (the Small Business Efficiency Act/SBEA) was part of the tax extenders bill passed by the Senate this evening after having passed the House two weeks ago, and a proposal similar to the SBEA was included in President Obama’s 2014 budget. It creates a voluntary certification program for PEOs within the IRS. To become IRS-certified, a PEO would have to meet financial standards (including bonding and independent financial audit requirements) and satisfy reporting obligations and other appropriate standards set by the IRS. Once certified, a PEO would take on sole liability for the collection and remission of federal employment taxes for worksite employees. Small and mid-sized businesses that contract with certified PEOs would be assured that they would not be liable for employment taxes once they remit their employees’ tax withholdings to the PEO.

“This is truly a historic moment for the PEO industry. We urge the President to sign the extenders bill and we look forward to working with the administration on the regulations so we can get the necessary framework in place to broaden our reach within the small business community,” said NAPEO Chairman Brent Tilson, president and CEO of Tilson HR in Greenwood, IN. “Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to the key champions of this bill, Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL). They should be commended for their commitment to and support of small businesses nationwide.”

Approximately 250,000 businesses use PEOs, and PEOs provide access to healthcare coverage for as many as six million people. Through a PEO, the employees of small businesses gain access to employee benefits such as 401(k) plans; health, dental, life, and other insurance; dependent care; and other benefits typically provided by large companies. According to a recent study, by noted economist Laurie Bassi, businesses in a PEO arrangement grow 7-9 percent faster, have 23-32 percent lower employee turnover, and are 50 percent less likely to go out of business than companies not using a PEO.

The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) represents about 85 percent of the industry’s estimated $92 billion in gross revenues. NAPEO has some 300 PEO members, ranging from start-ups to large publicly held companies with years of success in the industry, as well as some 200 service provider members. PEOs provide payroll, benefits, and other HR services to small and mid-sized businesses. Approximately 250,000 businesses and more than 2.5 million people are part of PEO arrangements. For more information about NAPEO, please visit www.napeo.org.

SOURCE National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO)