Dan Schawbel, a career expert and author of a recent Forbes article on workplace trends for 2014, spoke with PayScale about what the coming year will entail for workers and the broader economy.
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Schawbel believes the new health care laws could have significant impact on employers next year, and that Millennials are likely to continue to face career challenges in what is likely to be a another slow economic growth year.
The impact of the Affordable Care Act on the economy was the No. 1 item on Schawbel’s top ten list. With the law forcing companies with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance for all employees by 2015, Schawbel is concerned that companies will cut down their number of “full-time workers and [hire] more contingent workers in order to dodge the penalty.”
For Millennials, the near future isn’t particularly bright. With unemployment expected to stay around 8 percent next year and nearly 16 percent for Millennials, many recent graduates will continue to move back home with their parents.
“I’m bullish on Millennials forcing companies to make major changes next year and beyond but the economy won’t be recovering next year,” Schawbel told PayScale. “In fact, it’s going to be even harder for students to get entry-level jobs in 2014.”
An expected positive trend in 2014 is the gender pay gap will continue to close. Currently, after controlling all factors, there is a 2 to 3 percent difference between male and female pay. Schawbel said with more men leaving the workforce and women becoming more educated, that gap is expected close further.
“The future looks bright for women. They are more educated and are starting to claim bigger roles in corporate America. I think it’s going to be great for companies because research shows that a diverse culture creates a more successful company.”
Here are some other workplace trends Schawbel expects in 2014:
1. Freelancing become the new normal.
In six years, Schawbel believes there be will more contractors and consultants than full-time workers. Employers are continuing to save money by hiring contractors.
2. More companies will invest in their employee’s health.
Companies know a healthier workforce is a more productive workforce. Schawbel writes, “Employees who smoke cost companies an average of $5,800 per year and depressed employees cost companies $23 billion each year in loss of productivity.” How companies can keep their employees healthy will be a big talking point next year.
3. The never-ending job search.
More and more workers are always looking for their next opportunity. Schawbel cites a Bureau of Labor Statistics report that said people have on average about 11 jobs between 18 and 34.
“People are going to get even more restless in the future as the internet creates an even larger marketplace for jobs,”he writes.
You can read the full list of Schawbel’s predictions for 2014, here.
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