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Report: 7.2 Million Prime Working Age Men Not Working

February 17, 2023

CBS recently spotlighted the more than 770,000 U.S. job openings in manufacturing, while examining the factors behind roughly 7.2 million American men of prime working age (between 25 and 54 years old) not working or looking for work. Watch the video.

According to the report, economists attribute the lower workforce participation rate to a skills mismatch, applicants with criminal histories, and ongoing government “safety nets.”

Check out this graph comparing labor force participation rates of various age groups since the start of COVID-19. At the end of 2022, the rate for no age group had fully recovered to February 2020 levels, although the 25-54 group was closest. 2/14/2023

HR Roundup: Developing a ‘Stay Interview’ Program

February 17, 2023
  • OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published these tips to develop a stay interview program that can help employers retain high performers.
  • Employees may use the Family and Medical Leave Act leave to reduce their work hours indefinitely, according to a U.S. Department of Labor opinion.
  • This insight from OMA Connections Partner Plante Moran discusses how ending the COVID-19 public health emergency will impact employer-sponsored health plans.
  • OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has published this guidance on hiring first-time H-1B visa applicants.
  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is expected to issue more guidance on the use of artificial intelligence by employers, according to OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward.
  • Over two weeks, Ohio’s initial jobless claims have jumped from 7,948 to 13,325.
  • Inc. magazine has published these five ways to transform your organization’s culture.

Meanwhile, as Michigan’s lawmakers debate repeal of that state’s right-to-work law, government affairs firm MultiState has provided this overview of the 27 right-to-work states. The firm says “the biggest surprise might be Ohio’s lack of a right-to-work law, given the Buckeye State’s hard right turn politically over the past few election cycles.” 2/16/2023

Leading Indicators Predict Statewide Drop in Employment

February 10, 2023

Ohio’s total employment is predicted to decrease at an annual rate of -6.01% for the first half of 2023, according to the most recent Ohio Leading Indicators report, published by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The report includes data for Ohio’s eight largest metro areas.

As of December 2022, Ohio’s average weekly manufacturing hours sat at 40, down slightly from December 2021. 2/8/2023

HR Roundup: Building an Employee Relations Program

February 10, 2023
  • According to recent data and this infographic, manufacturers are among the business sectors most likely to take advantage of artificial intelligence.
  • OMA Connections Partner Vorys is hosting a Feb. 15 webinar to discuss the dos and don’ts for using OpenAI chat in your company.
  • On Feb. 22, OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips will host a one-hour webinar titled, “Building an Effective Employee Relations Program – Union Avoidance 101.”
  • Fisher Phillips has published this guidance on the importance of having an effective compliance program that features multiple channels for employees to raise concerns.
  • OMA Connections Partner Benesch has published this insight into a new federal program that allows U.S. employers to hire up to 30,000 workers each month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to staff factory positions.

Meanwhile,’s annual pay practices survey finds that 64% of surveyed employers are planning higher merit increases this year. But the survey also found many employers can improve when it comes to communication about employee compensation. 2/9/2023

U.S. Manufacturing Wages Up 5.1% in 2022

February 3, 2023

U.S. manufacturing wages and salaries rose 1% in Q4 2022, easing from 1.3% growth in Q2 and Q3 of last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Q4 increase translated to 5.1% year-over-year growth (down from 5.2% as of Q3, which was the fastest pace on record).

The cost of employee benefits for manufacturers increased 3.8% in 2022. Overall compensation expenses increased 4.7%. 2/1/2023

U.S. Union Membership Rate Falls to Record Low

February 3, 2023

Nationwide, union membership as a percentage of the overall workforce fell last year, declining from 10.3% to 10.1% — the lowest percentage on record, according to U.S. Chamber analysis. In contrast, Ohio saw an increase in the percentage of union workers in 2022, Axios reports. 1/30/2023

HR Roundup: Examining Labor Force Participation

February 3, 2023
  • According to this report, maintenance workers, industrial engineers, and first-line supervisors were among the most frequently posted job openings at during Q4 2022.
  • Nationwide, labor demand surged in December, according to federal data, with job vacancies jumping to 11 million. (Manufacturing openings fell to 764,000 — down from 803,000 in November.)
  • Lean labor strategies can help manufacturers address labor shortages, according to this insight from CliftonLarsonAllen, an OMA Connections Partner.
  • OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward has published this brief list of employer tactics for responding to and preventing workplace violence.
  • Frantz Ward has also published this list of considerations for employers that are weighing four-day workweeks.
  • OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine will host a complimentary webinar Feb. 22 addressing cannabis use and its impact on employers, including drug testing.
  • MishTalk, a popular financial blog, has analyzed factors behind the reduced labor force participation, citing government benefits, household cash reserves, and “abandoned plans of owning a home.”

Meanwhile, EHS Today has published this collection of ideas on how to ensure employees don’t suffer burnout. 2/2/2023

HR Roundup: Ohio’s Jobless Figures by County

January 27, 2023
  • Ohio’s jobless rate remained at 4.2% in December (versus 3.5% nationwide) while labor force participation was 61.2% (versus 62.3% nationwide).
  • This map shows the December jobless rates in all 88 Ohio counties.
  • The percentage of Ohio workers represented by a labor union rose from 13% in 2021 to 14% last year, a jump of about 52,000 new union employees, reports say.
  • Due to a new federal law, beginning in 2025, new 401(k) plans must automatically enroll participants when they become eligible, OMA Connections Partner MCM reports.
  • OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this list of FAQs regarding a proposal to prohibit employers from using non-compete clauses.
  • Fisher Phillips has also developed this checklist for employers considering earned-wage access (or on-demand pay).
  • Bricker & Eckler, the OMA’s general counsel, has published this update on new federal protections for pregnant and nursing employees.
  • A federal court has struck down certain Trump-era changes to the rules by which the NLRB administers union elections, says OMA Connections Partner Benesch.

Meanwhile, Gallup says the pandemic has forged an even stronger relationship between having a best friend at work and employees’ overall workplace satisfaction. 1/26/2023

HR Roundup: Without Internal Mobility, Talent Will Walk, Study Says

January 20, 2023
  • According to a new study, employees who aren’t informed about job opportunities within their organization are much more likely to quit.
  • OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published guidance on implementing four-day workweeks and updating job descriptions.
  • Fisher Phillips has also published this insight on how employers can prepare for increased strike activity and union organizing.
  • OMA Connections Partner CliftonLarsonAllen advises employers to consider new contribution limits, while recognizing DEI strategies when communicating your company’s retirement plan.
  • OMA Connections Partner Schneider Downs has published this insight into the federal SECURE 2.0 Act’s “saver’s match.”
  • Employers should have already posted the new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission poster (“Know Your Rights”), advises Bricker & Eckler, the OMA’s general counsel.

Meanwhile, Gallup has published its top five pillars for boosting employee mental health. The key to improving mental health among workers is employee engagement, Gallup says. 1/19/2023

HR Roundup: Manufacturing Earnings Keep Climbing

January 13, 2023
  • In December, the average hourly earnings of U.S. manufacturing production and non-supervisory employees rose to $25.61, compared to $24.61 a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average for all manufacturing positions was $31.44.
  • Ohio’s continued unemployment claims have nearly doubled since Thanksgiving with 60,722 claims last week.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court this week heard a case that could have significant implications for the ability of unions to strike.
  • OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has examined the pros and cons to offering unlimited PTO.
  • Fisher Phillips is predicting the U.S. Supreme Court will open some avenues for employers to fight federal investigations or actions based on two cases before the Court.
  • Following the passage of the federal SECURE 2.0 Act, OMA Connections Partner Schneider Downs has published this summary of how the law impacts retirement plans.
    • A Jan. 25 webinar hosted by OMA Connections Partner Vorys will examine how the Secure 2.0 Act alters employee benefits.
  • OMA Connections Partner Calfee has published this summary of the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed ban on non-compete clauses.

Meanwhile, Gallup has published this insight on “quiet firing” — a form of neglect that slowly pushes employees out of their job. 1/12/2023