At the beginning of each New Year, I like to kick it off with a blog that looks forward to what will happen next.  Last year, even though I joked that it was difficult to see the future through all of the snow, my vision was pretty accurate.  Let’s see if I can do even better this year.   Here it goes!

The Economy:  2014 was a good growth year, especially in the fourth quarter.  I think that the strong economy is going to continue and it will play a key role in affecting the talent pool.  More on this later.

Employment Law:   On the Federal level, I still don’t see much getting accomplished here.  Congress has consistently failed to pass anything substantive.  With a Republican majority in both houses, we may actually see bills get to the President, but it’s unlikely that anything dramatic will get signed into law.  While the NLRB made some interesting decisions at the end of the year, including their recent union-friendly decision on email policies, they are now grid locked with two Republican and two Democratic members.   The President has proposed a Democratic nominee, but confirmation will require the approval of the Republican congress.

Locally, I don’t expect a lot of activity in the employment law arena in Michigan.  The recent vote on the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act tells us that LBGT rights won’t be considered any time soon even though it was strongly endorsed by the business community.

Affordable Care Act:  Expect to see another year of congressional attempts to repeal the controversial healthcare act.  Last year, the repeated votes passed the house, but never went anywhere in the senate.  This year, with Republicans leading both houses, the repeal attempts might actually reach the President before facing a certain veto.  And frankly, at this point, what would happen to the millions of people who have signed up if it was repealed?  My optimistic side hopes that this is the year when meaningful action on addressing the law’s weak points actually occurs.

What will be the big news in 2015?  Talent, definitely talent.  The recent record stock market levels will allow some baby boomers who have held off retiring to now take that step.  At the same time, the economy has been adding jobs faster than young people are entering the workforce and many of Michigan’s college graduates are still leaving the state.  To make matters worse, there’s a mismatch between the skills of the new graduates who do stay and the open positions.  I think that this will be a big enough issue that it deserves its own blog.  Stay tuned.

Best wishes for a terrific 2015 from your friends at HRM!

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