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New ASA Survey: Employers Need to Re-Examine Recruitment and Retention Strategies

Relatively few U.S. adults plan to look for a new job this year, and work-life balance trumps pay for many employees, according to the results of the first ASA Workforce MonitorTM survey.

“The ASA Workforce Monitor results underscore that employers need to rethink their recruitment and retention strategies,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “Quality of life matters in retaining current employees. Compensation matters most in recruiting employees to change jobs.”

The quarterly ASA Workforce Monitor survey series focuses on current U.S. workforce trends and issues. Get more information, including a summary of survey findings and infographics you can use to educate clients, at

DOL Announces Proposed Rule to Extend Overtime Protections

U.S. Department of Labor (06/30/15)

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a proposed rule that would extend overtime protections to nearly five million white collar workers within the first year of its implementation. Failure to update the overtime regulations has left an exception to overtime eligibility originally meant for highly compensated executive, administrative, and professional employees now applying to workers earning as little as $23,660 a year. For example, a convenience store manager, fast food assistant manager, or some office workers may be expected to work 50 or 60 hours a week or more, making less than the poverty level for a family of four, and not receive a dime of overtime pay.

Key provisions of the proposed rule include that the department proposes to set the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers ($921 per week, or $47,892 annually); increase the total annual compensation requirement needed to exempt highly compensated employees to the annualized value of the 90th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers ($122,148 annually); and establish a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels going forward to ensure that they will continue to provide a useful and effective test for exemption.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index Increases Again

PR Newswire (06/30/15)

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved moderately in May, rose further in June. The index now stands at 101.4, up from 94.6 in May. The Present Situation Index increased from 107.1 in May to 111.6 in June, while the Expectations Index advanced from 86.2 in May to 94.6 in June.

“Over the past two months, consumers have grown more confident about the current state of business and employment conditions,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “In addition, they are now more optimistic about the near-term future, although sentiment regarding income prospects is little changed.”

Consumers were more positive about the job market. Those stating jobs are “plentiful” increased from 20.6% to 21.4%, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined from 27.2% to 25.7%.

Dallas Fed: Texas Manufacturing Activity Still Contracting

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (06/29/2015)

Texas factory activity declined again in June, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index rose to -6.5 but remained in negative territory, suggesting a fourth consecutive month of contracting output. A similar pattern was seen among other measures of current manufacturing activity in June. The capacity utilization index increased to -6.1 and the shipments index increased to -8.8. These negative index levels indicate continued contraction, but the upward movement this month suggests the pace of decline slowed.

Perceptions of broader business conditions worsened further, although not as sharply in June as in prior months. The general business activity index jumped nearly 14 points to -7, its highest reading since January. The company outlook index moved to -7.4, up from -10.5 last month. Labor market indicators reflected slight employment declines and shorter workweeks. The June employment index was negative for a second month in a row but rose seven points to -1.2. Fourteen percent of firms reported net hiring, compared with 15% reporting net layoffs. The hours worked index inched up from -11.6 to -10.7.

ASA Webinar Next Month—Helping Employees Be Their Best

It’s easy to identify your best, A-level corporate employees—but what about the other members of your staff? Find out how to evaluate the employees who don’t perform at the highest levels and help them join the ranks of your top talent during the ASA webinar “Move Your Business From Average to Great—Transform Corporate Employees Into Top Talent.” It takes place Tuesday, July 14, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time.

ASA webinars are $295 for nonmembers and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Join ASA and enjoy ASA webinars for FREE.