While some aspects of digital networking, technology, retirement plans, and the overall workplace environment will continue to change in 2017, others may return to their old ways. They say hindsight is 20/20, so how can you prepare your business for what’s to come, and avoid starting a sentence with “if only I knew” a year from now?
On December 15, 2016, Chad Brooks of Business News Daily discusses the job market in his article, 5 Ways the Job Market May Change.
Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor who studied the job market over the past year, made the following predictions for 2017:
- Increased hiring. During the first 11 months of 2016, the job market added nearly 2 million new jobs.
- Hiring difficulties. The downside to having a thriving job market is the increased difficulty in finding the right candidate. According to Chamberlin, the U.S. hit an all time record of 5.8 million unfilled jobs in April 2016.
- More tech roles. “Old economy” industries — such as retail, healthcare, and finance — started hiring more mobile developers, database engineers, and data scientists in the past year.
- Pay transparency. In 2016, The White House proposed new rules requiring employers to report pay by ethnicity, gender and race. The Securities and Exchange Commission also said it will start requiring publicly traded companies to report the ratio of CEO pay to median worker pay.
- More money. This past year, there have finally been some gains in pay growth, after a nearly seven year drought. The median base pay for U.S. workers was up 3.1 percent in November from a year ago, according to Glassdoor data.
Based on what he saw in the job market over the past year, Chamberlain said there are several trends he expects to be “game changers” in 2017:
- HR will embrace data science. Chamberlain predicts that HR will finally catch up to other industries already reaping the benefits of data science, thanks to low-cost workforce analytics that provide data on the employee life cycle.
- The gig economy will plateau. The majority of the workplace is moving from temporary, low-skill jobs to higher-skilled, permanent roles, according to Chamberlain.
- Automation will change jobs. The growing reach of mobile devices, cheap data storage and innovations will not necessarily take jobs away, but it will have a big impact on how people work, Chamberlain predicts.
- Employers will take gender-pay-gap action. According to HR data, more employers will start to take action against gender pay gaps, instead of just talking about it.
- Traditional benefits packages will return. Chamberlain predicts that the exotic perks pioneered by tech startups — such as free meals, dog-friendly offices, video games and on-site yoga classes — will start to teeter off, and traditional benefits, like 401(k)s and health insurance, will return.
According to Tom Andrika, writer for Fourth Wall Events, venues will be shifting their focus and affecting your event planning process in the coming year. He outlines 5 ways venues will change in 2017 in his December 15, 2016 article:
- More Competition for Venues. Venue use is on the rise, especially when it comes to business events. Event booking times and scheduling will definitely be affected, and pricing may increase too, according to Andrika. Solution: plan to book venues even earlier than before.
- A Greater Focus on Wireless Capabilities. A venue’s space and accessibility has been significantly outweighed by whether or not it has wireless capabilities. When searching for an event venue, be sure to ask questions like, “How much bandwidth does the venue offer?” and “What Wi-Fi services are provided?”
- People Getting Down to Business. Andrika reports that the number of resort bookings has decreased, while the number of traditional business area bookings is on the rise. More and more, companies are avoiding mixing business and pleasure, and are instead using these events to train attendees in a particular skill, or go over new information.
- More Practical Results. Business events are growing more focused on practical results, according to Andrika. Companies in 2017 will want something to show for the event; such as a concrete way of measuring ROI via conversions, skills, knowledge, and other measurable data. Venues will be offering more ways to collect that data, and corporations will spend more time on the “takeaway.”
- Venue Agencies Fade, Replaced by Event Management Services. In today’s digital age, any competent event planning team can handle booking a venue without the help of a venue agency. According to Andrika, what businesses are really looking for is a full event management service that can help out with the details that the company can’t come up with on their own.
Emily Brandon, author of “Pensionless: The 10-Step Solution for a Stress-Free Retirement,” shares with readers how retirement benefits will change in 2017 in her November 7, 2016 article. Here are the top 5 differences to be aware of:
- A very small Social Security increase. Brandon states that starting in January 2017, Social Security recipients will receive a slight 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment beginning in January 2017. The average Social Security check is expected to be boosted by $5 to $1,360. Retired couples will receive an average of 2,260 per month in 2016, up from $2,254 in 2016, according to the Social Security Administration.
- More Social Security taxes for high earners. According to Brandon, the amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxes will increase from $118,500 in 2016 to $127,200 in 2017. This means that 12 million workers will be paying more into the Social Security system. Earnings that exceed the taxable maximum are not used to calculate retirement payments or taxed by Social Security.
- Financial planners will be required to provide advice in your best interest. Brandon states that for the first time in 2017, financial advisors will be required to select investments that are best for the client, rather than most profitable for the advisor. These are the same people who make investment recommendations to 401(k) and IRA participants. Now, retirement account advisors will have to disclose how they make their money and commit to charging reasonable compensation. However, it is important to note that existing investments may be grandfathered in under the old rules, and that this new ruling will only apply to retirement accounts.
- Higher income limits for IRAs. According to Brandon, the ability to make a tax deductible contribution to an IRA when you also have a 401(k) at work will be phased out in 2017 for individuals earning $62,000 to $72,000 ($99,000 to $119,000 for couples). This is up from $1,000 in 2016. For investors who don’t have a 401(k) but are married to someone who does, the tax deduction is phased out if the couple’s income is $186,000 to $196,000. Regardless of their current income, retirement savers who don’t have a 401(k) or other type of retirement account at work can defer paying tax on their traditional IRA contributions.
- Higher earnings allowed for Roth IRAs. Brandon states that in 2017, individuals can earn $1,000 more in 2017 ($2,000 for couples) and remain eligible to save in a Roth IRA. This could set retirees up for tax-free withdrawals and tax-free investment growth. The ability to make Roth IRA contributions will be phased out this coming year for those earning between $118,000 and $133,000 ($186,000 to $196,000 for couples).
iConnectEngineers® can help employers and employees prepare for 2017 with our forward-thinking digital marketing packages, PM/CM elevate program, leadership development services, and authentic web design offers. Please visit www.iconnectengineers.com and click on our “Services” and “Digital Marketing” tabs to learn more.
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