And now, the HR Hot Topic that you’ve been waiting all year to see…….What do I think will happen in 2013?  Normally, my January blog focuses on what I see happening in the upcoming year.  In part, I do this because everyone else publishes similar things, but also because I think people really do want to know what things they will have to plan for in the upcoming year, but mostly I write about the future because, other than holiday parties, only a few interesting HR related things happen during December.

This year is the exception.  On both the State and Federal levels, our lame duck congresses did stuff besides planning their upcoming vacations.  Here are a few examples:

  •  The Federal government passed legislation to keep us from tumbling over the fiscal cliff.  While not much of it is HR related, the unemployment extension that it includes will continue to have an impact on the ability of employers to fill entry level and temporary positions. 
  •  In a previously unthinkable step, Michigan became a Right to Work state.  This means that employees will now be given a choice between joining a union and paying union dues, or not, even if their employer is unionized.  This is a huge shift for the state that is the seat of the labor movement.
  •  Michigan also passed the Internet Privacy Protection Act (IPPA) which follows other states in making it illegal for employers to require candidates to divulge information that would allow employers to view their personal internet account.  That means that my Facebook posts can’t be accessed by a perspective employer, just by 600 of my closest friends.

 So what do we see happening in 2013?  Here’s what we expect:

  •  There won’t be new employment related legislation in Michigan in the near future.   The passage of the Right to Work legislation burned enough bridges to put a serious damper on any compromises between the two parties for a while.
  •  New legislation is unlikely at the Federal level as well – at least for the first quarter of the year – as the fiscal cliff issue needs more attention than any pending employment law concerns.
  •  We do expect to see significant new growth in Michigan this year.  Several of our clients have already started expansions, including the addition of new facilities.    
  •  The race for talent will continue to be tight.  With the automotive industry revving up, engineers and skilled trades employees will continue to be in high demand.  At the bottom of the pay scale, extended unemployment benefits and competition from the service industry will continue to make entry level production hiring tough. 

 Personally, I’m looking forward to a year of growth without being bombarded by political ads.

 Best wishes for a successful New Year to all of our customers, partners, and friends.

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