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New Jersey Employees Will See Minimum Wage and Disability Changes in 2023

Posted on Jan 27, 2023

Effective Jan 1, 2023, employees working in the state of New Jersey will see some positive changes with regards to higher pay and lower payroll deductions such as no temporary disability insurance.

At the beginning of this year, the statewide minimum wage increased by $1.13 to $14.13 per hour for most employees.

The increase is part of legislation signed by Governor Murphy in 2019 that raises the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 for most employees. In 2018, the state’s minimum wage was $8.60 per hour. Under a law signed in 2019, the minimum wage increases by $1 per hour each year because of significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) sets the minimum wage for the coming year using the rate specified in the law or a calculation based on the CPI, whichever is higher. Once the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour, the State Constitution specifies that it continue to increase annually based on any increase in the CPI.

Agricultural employees are guided by a separate minimum wage timetable and were given until 2027 to reach the $15/hour minimum wage. Employees who work on a farm for an hourly will see their minimum hourly wage increase to $12.01, up from $11.05.

Additionally, to qualify for Unemployment, Temporary Disability, or Family Leave benefits in 2023, an applicant must earn at least $260 per week for 20 base weeks, or alternatively, earn at least $13,000.

The NJDOL announced a reduction in employee contribution rates for 2023, with Temporary Disability dropping to zero percent, from .14 percent, and Family Leave decreasing by more than half, to .06 percent, from .14 percent. In practical terms, employees who work in the state of New Jersey will save an average of $56.25 in Temporary Disability contributions and $55.25 in Family Leave contributions in 2023. 

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UNIFORCE Employee Recognition Award: Travis Stiglianese

Posted on Jan 18, 2023

Employee Background:  The Information Technology division of UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions is pleased to announce Travis Stiglianese as our latest Employee Recognition Program Honorable Mention.  Travis came to UNIFORCE in April of 2022 and has worked with glowing reviews since that time.  Previously, Travis worked for almost 15 years as a desktop support technician and systems administrator for various companies such as large major health insurance carriers, health care facilities and schools.  He has brought with him his relevant experience in the areas of desktop support, network operations, and  help desk.

Success Story:  Travis is currently working on a long-term assignment in Southern California as a Technical Product Support Analyst for an international company that manufactures video security and surveillance technology hardware.  In his role, he is responsible for hardware technical support, knowledge management and hardware/software upgrades.   Our client clearly values Travis as an essential member as he consistently provides large corporate and government clients technical  support and exceptional customer service.  Travis has the ability to support a variety of clients with different technical skills in a fast paced industry where security is required 24/7.  He also addresses the technical needs of high profile clients with a variety of technology hardware and software delivery needs.  The UNIFORCE team appreciates a positive and long standing professional relationship with Travis, and we wish him many more years of success in his career!!

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The US Healthcare Industry added 55,000 jobs in December, with ambulatory and hospital care leading the pack

Posted on Jan 06, 2023

Across the board, hiring still remains substantial despite the Federal Reserve Bank’s efforts to soften a strong labor market that has placed upward pressure on wages and contributed towards the current inflation crisis. Temporary staffing firms or temp agencies that provide healthcare temps or traveling nurses are noticing the increase as well.

According to the BLS, the labor force participation rate in December edged up slightly to 62.3%, still 1% below its level in February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic began. This measure was largely unchanged throughout 2022.

At the industry level, the largest gains were seen across leisure and hospitality, healthcare, construction, and social assistance.

Leisure and hospitality, one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, continued its strong recovery, with employers adding 67,000 jobs during December. An average 79,000 leisure and hospitality jobs were added or created per month across 2022, a percent of the 196,000 jobs per month gained in 2021.

Interestingly, the healthcare industry added jobs much more robustly throughout 2022 than in the year prior as the country continued recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, the healthcare sector added about 9,000 jobs on average each month, compared to 49,000 each month in 2022, according to the BLS. The biggest gains were in Ambulatory healthcare (outpatient) services which accounted for approximately 30,000 of those new jobs. Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities also saw gains, adding about 16,000 and 9,000 new jobs, respectively.

Meanwhile, medical practices or physician offices added about 10,000 new jobs in December, according to the BLS.

Temporary employment, where employers provide contractors or temps, accounts for almost 2% of total nonfarm employment. Across the temporary staffing or employment agency sector, those gains were realized a similar basis.

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Holiday Best Practices regarding Temps when it comes to Holiday Parties and Gifts

Posted on Dec 22, 2022

It’s going to be an arctic blast holiday, but that won’t scare away Santa and those potential holiday office celebrations. Let the games continue, but Human Resources departments should check with their employment agencies on best practices when it comes to inviting the temporary (temp) employees to the party.

The answer can be confusing, but the important factor is the messaging or branding behind the purpose of the company holiday party. The issue that HR managers contemplate is the concept of “co-employment.”  Co-employment is defined as “a relationship between two or more employers in which each has actual or potential legal rights and duties with respect to the same employee.” 

So who is the employer?  Temps or Contract/Contingent employees are employees of the temp agency, employment agency, or staffing firm (we all like to have different company nicknames). Temps are not classified as employees of the company who is hiring the temp on assignment.

Many companies and healthcare organizations now rely on temporary employees or contractors. As the scope of a project grows, the temporary employee stays longer than originally intended and begins to assimilate into the office culture. Temps attend company functions and, in some cases, travel on behalf of the client. 

Original staffing augmentation assignments can get extended several times. After some time, the distinction between the temp and the full-time in-house employee is blurred.  Before one realizes, a “temp” has been with the company on assignment longer than most employees.

In summary, the best practice for a company that wishes to open its holiday party to both internal employees and temps is to brand its holiday party as a “Company holiday party.”  HR managers should try to refrain from using the phrase “employee holiday party” in messaging.  Companies can also invite vendors, suppliers, and family members to further make the distinction.  Keep the internal and external communications consistent across all channels.  Another good strategy is to inform the temp agency of the holiday party so they can also have the opportunity to invite their full-time employees to the holiday party.

When it comes to gifts, it depends on the gift. Any gift with cash value may have to be declared as W-2 compensation. It’s always best practice for HR managers to check with their payroll and accounting departments when it comes to offering gifts to temps and full-time employees. Either way one goes, the holiday spirit is on. Enjoy!

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Employee Recognition Award: Joseph Hook

Posted on Dec 08, 2022

Employee Background:  The Information Technology division of UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions is pleased to announce Joseph Hook as our latest Employee Recognition Program Honorable Mention.  Joe came to UNIFORCE in March of 2022 and has worked with glowing reviews since that time.  Previously, Joe worked for over 20 years as a senior IT professional for a large international watch manufacturer.  He has brought with him his relevant experience in the areas of senior desktop support, asset management, help desk, and hardware/software migrations.

Success Story:  Joseph is currently working on a long-term assignment in northern New Jersey as a Product Technical Support Analyst for an international company that manufactures consumer electronics and office business technology hardware.  In his role, he is responsible for hardware technical support, relaying issues to senior management, and deploying new technologies and upgrades to customers.   Our client clearly values Joe as an essential member as he consistently provides large corporate and government clients technical  support and exceptional customer service.  Joseph has the unique ability to support a variety of clients with different technical skills.  He also addresses the technical needs of high profile clients with a variety of technology products.  The UNIFORCE team appreciates a positive and long standing professional relationship with Joe, and we wish him many more years of success in his career!!

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Choose an Employment Agency that mirrors your values as a Job Seeker

Posted on Nov 28, 2022

It is beneficial for a job seeker to consider partnering with an employment agency. Choosing one that mirrors your integrity, work ethic, and similar core values.  This match allows an employee’s skills to shine and deliver a positive influence to an employment agency’s client.

The ability to influence others is a challenging skill to master, yet an effective one.  It encourages one’s career advancement, boosts credibility, and allows one to build a higher impact on the team and company.  This skill set is an asset for an employee on assignment at an employment agency.  The key is to make values and expertise impossible to ignore! 

It’s a worthwhile idea for a job seeker to research local temporary employment agencies, in order to determine if it is a worthwhile ally.  Partnering with the right agency will allow an employee to explore employment opportunities with a client that shares the same values as the job seeker. The benefit of working in a temporary-to-hire position provides an opportunity to try out a company and determine if talent is recognized and given the opportunity to shine.  All of these components help to create an engaged worker; a worthwhile strategy to seek a competitive advantage.

Temporary employees from an employment agency regularly can contribute unique and constructive skills, with competence and proficiency.  They can share their past experiences from various previous contract/temporary assignments from both large and small employers. In summary, temps can become a positive influence in the workplace. 

When temporary/contract employees successfully complete previous assignments, they arrive at their new assignment eager and ready to go.  They exemplify flexibility, a desire to start tasks quickly, and meld into the company environment. In fact, clients of employment agencies agree that minimal training was required when hiring an employee that demonstrated the same values and became a positive influence.   Despite the new company environment, employees are off and running, fulfilling the technical and soft skill goals of the new assignment. Often, their talent and influence is welcomed.

For the employment agency client, a fulfilled worker with a satisfied and energetic attitude, adds stability, productivity, and innovation.  This successful match can enhance the company culture with the full time employees.  Additionally, when an employment agency client has a positive outcome with a temporary employee, assignment end dates can be extended.

Employees who seek that their values align with the mission statement of an employment agency are more likely to find a position that fits their career goals.  Employees can look to their employment agency as an advisor. Together, both parties work closely to align each other with the right client company to make the perfect fit. When Human Resources departments review resumes and observe the same employment agency on several previous employment positions, that’s a recipe of success. A good match between the employee and employment agency has been made.

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New York City Employers must now disclose salary information on job postings

Posted on Nov 04, 2022

Effective November 1st, 2022, New York City is now requiring that employers display the pay rate or salary range on its job postings. Employers also need to:

a) Conduct an internal salary survey to determine an accurate compensation range

b) Analyze salary ranges to be offered to new hires

c) Conduct a pay equity audit on any differences in pay/salary

d) Ensure that any staffing firms or third party recruitment agencies are in compliance with the law.

Interestingly, Temporary Help Agencies or temp staffing agencies are not covered under this law. Temp agencies will continue to provide value to employees by conducting internal salary audits to ensure that they are paying competitive wages. Additionally, a reputable temp agency employing workers in New York City or surrounding New Jersey will want to be transparent with potential employees as part of its recruitment and retention strategy. The primary goal of a temp agency is to partner with its employee at the beginning of the recruitment lifecycle.

For more information on the New York City Employer Pay Disclosure law, visit the SHRM website.

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Partner with Temporary Staffing Agencies to earn higher salaries

Posted on Oct 28, 2022

When turning on the news on television, it’s difficult not to see stories that include the catch phrases “supply chain” or “inflation.” The truth is that prices have gone up drastically over the last 2 years. And unfortunately, wages or salaries have not gone up at the same level. Consequently, everything is getting more expensive but yearly salary increases are not keeping up.

One way to try to keep up with the salary increases is to partner with a temporary staffing employment agency that works in many states such as NJ, NY, TX, FL and others. Why not let the agency tell your salary requirements and story to a prospective employer. Temp staffing agencies have access to salary surveys and real-time market research. Employment agencies also have multiple direct relationships with Directors and Heads of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition at various companies and organizations.

In September 2022, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items rose 8.2 percent for the previous 12 months , just a bit under the 8.3-percent increase for the period ending in August. The annual inflation rate remains near a 40-year high despite recent declines in gas and energy prices.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just released today that compensation costs for private industry workers (employees) increased 5.2 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2022. Benefit costs also increased 5 percent over the year.

So what does this all mean? Simply put, it’s sure a lot more difficult to pay for items when prices are rising on average 8.2% and salaries are rising on average 5.2%. The math doesn’t quite work.

In this current low employment rate, working with a temporary staffing agency can help negotiate your salary requirements. That’s why they are called an agency. They act as an agent on your behalf. Additionally, there is no fee to the job seeker (or employee) for their service.

Now we know not all temporary staffing agencies in NJ and other states don’t have the best reputation when it comes to certain things, but the truth is that temp agencies really want to make a successful job placement that is in the best interests of the candidate. Employment agencies don’t look good when there is employee turnover. Agencies are evaluated based on placement activity and retention. Secondly, a happy placement means a happy employee.

Consider partnering with a temporary staffing agency when it comes to shopping for a new position. Let the employment agency earn it’s fee with regards to its value proposition to maintain parity between inflation vs. wages. Not only does a higher salary or pay rate benefit the job seeker, but it also benefits the temp agency since fees are based on the employee salary pay rate. Partnering is the right word.

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