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Now that 2018 is in full swing, we are back to keeping up with the latest news and trends in HR. Here are some of the stories that have caught our eye this month.

Employers Starting to Use Apps for Payday

Sometimes, waiting for payday can feel like an eternity. And fo r many people who work on an hourly basis, who don’t have much financial leeway, having to wait up to two weeks to get paid can feel even longer — or even be disastrous. To help these workers access cash sooner, some employers with a large number of hourly workers have started using mobile apps that allow employees to withdraw some of their earnings in advance. Apps like Instant Financial and Daily Pay allow employees to withdraw some or all of their earnings before payday, so they can cover expenses immediately without having to turn to high-cost options like payday loans.

Depending on the app, employers may be charged a monthly fee for each employee (Instant Financial charges $1 per month per employee) or per transaction (Daily Pay charges up to $2.99 per cash advance). On average, employees withdraw less than $30 at a time using these apps, but the real beneficiaries are proving to be employers, who see increased employee loyalty and engagement as a result of offering these apps. Payroll industry experts expect that most payroll providers will begin offering their own versions of “same-day pay” within the next year or two, giving employers another benefit to offer their employees.

2018 Predicted to Be Great Year for Hiring

According to a recent survey by Manpower, 21 percent of employers plan to hire new staff in the first quarter of 2018. And in another survey conducted on behalf of job listing site Indeed, more than half of the 1,000 companies that responded said that they plan to hire more people in 2018 than they did in 2017 — and that most of those hiring plans are to support business growth. While hiring is predicted to increase across all regions and in all sectors, among the areas predicted to see the biggest spikes in new jobs include Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, and Utah; the industries with the most growth potential including hospitality and leisure, transportation, utilities, construction, and manufacturing.

The Fastest Growing Worker Segment? People Over Age 65

Speaking of the jobs market, it might be surprising to learn that the fastest growing segment of workers are people over age 65 — and it’s expected to remain that way for the next six years. More people are working past retirement age than ever before; there has been a 31 percent increase in workers in this age bracket since 2011. The most common reason that people are working longer is a lack of retirement savings, although a desire to stay active is also common among aging adults.

What does this mean for employers? On the positive side, employers are benefitting from the talent and experience of these workers longer, and the growth of the “gig economy” and the contingent workforce means that not only can older people work longer and continue to use their expertise, but companies can benefit their experience and knowledge, without paying the higher salaries and benefits that typically come along with older workers. At the same time, though, many employers fear a “brain drain” when their older workers do begin retiring, which will only be worsened if the predicted future labor shortage occurs.

Business Woman smiling More Employers Offering Fertility Benefits — And Benefitting Themselves

Struggling with infertility can come with significant emotional and physical effects, and treatments typically come with a significant effect on the wallet. However, more companies are recognizing the importance of helping employees grow their families, and either adding or expanding coverage options for infertility services as part of their benefits package.

According to FertilityIQ, the number of companies adding fertility treatment coverage to their plans is expanding considerably, and well beyond the tech sector, which has long been a leader in this area. Other companies are expanding their offerings, including raising or even eliminating dollar limits on coverage, and offering coverage for up to four complete cycles of IVF.

Research from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, shows that this is a positive step for employers. Companies that offer these benefits report higher rates of employee retention, as well as more loyal and productive employees. Simply put, employees are less likely to be distracted by their fertility struggles and more able to focus on work. Not to mention, the RESOLVE research shows that employees are more likely to have positive feelings about their employer, including believing that their employer cares about families, cares about their well-being, and takes their feelings into account when making decisions.

These are just some of the stories that recently made the news. Stay tuned next month for more updates as we keep our finger on the pulse of everything HR.

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