U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta recently said he “fully expects” Department of Labor enforcements to increase once new inspectors are trained. Acosta’s comments are consistent with the significant rise in enforcement actions employers have seen in recent years.

Increased DOL Enforcement Actions

In the 2016 fiscal year, OSHA conducted 31,948 inspections, and the EBSA recovered $352 million in enforcement actions. Compare that to the most recent data, where the EBSA recovered $1.1 billion. Despite the increased action, Department of Labor guidance on complying with rules and regulations has decreased.

What Does This Mean for Employers?

Employers should be aware that the uptick of enforcement actions will continue. Therefore, they should take action to assess their compliance responsibilities to avoid costly fines and penalties.

Similarly, companies should take time to become familiar with the newly proposed overtime rule to identify which employees may be affected if the rule becomes final.

Lowest Unemployment in Decades

Job numbers continued to rise in April, bringing unemployment to its lowest in 50 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Secondly, most job gains occurred in the health and business services fields, with strong growth in construction as well.

Job growth shows no signs of slowing down with over 150,000 jobs being added each month.

Experts warn to expect more modest job creation over the next few months, despite the upward trend.

Growth by the Numbers

Unemployment fell across all categories tracked by the BLS.

Notably, unemployment rates for women and Hispanics dropped to record lows for the first time since 1953 and 1973, respectively.

However, not all workers are feeling the economic gains. According to experts, long-term unemployment is still high, and the number of part-time workers looking to work full-time is steady.

Employer Takeaway

In conclusion, the job market is tightening up. Now is the time to attract talent and keep your current workforce.

Talk with us today to explore strategies for doing both.


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