Navigating Benefits

5 Employment Trends You Can Expect to See in 2019


  • The employment trends you'll observe this year will likely depend on your industry, your location and your individual business needs

  • Focus on trends that can affect daily operations and help your organization succeed

  • Keep an eye on overarching trends like low unemployment, HR tech and data privacy issues

Posted by January 2, 2019

With each new year comes new professional trends. So, what should you expect in employment trends for 2019?

While much of what you’ll see in the coming year will depend on your industry, your location and your individual business needs, there are some overarching trends that you should keep your eye on. Here are five of them.

1. Low Unemployment

Unemployment has been steadily falling since 2010, and at the end of 2018, the national rate was below 4 percent. That is great news for you and your neighbors—but it can make hiring a bit more difficult for your organization. Accordingly, finding available talent that wants to work for your business may be difficult, especially if you are in a competitive market.

You may see companies offering better training, recruiting in non-traditional ways and offering flexibility as well as increased pay. As of July 2018, wages were officially at their peak; and as long as the economy keeps humming, we’ll likely see wages continue to climb. Be prepared for your organization to offer employees raises (or something else valuable) in order to keep them from jumping to competitors.

2. Health Insurance Stalemate

The Republicans controlled the House, Senate and presidency for the past two years—but didn’t make many changes to the Affordable Care Act. In 2019, the Democrats will take control of the House, making it almost certain that no changes will occur in the next two years. So, expect to hold tight with the way things are now!

3. Sexual Harassment

The #MeToo movement began in 2017, but you can expect discussions to continue in 2019. Sexual harassment training and policies need to be brought up to date. If you haven’t already revised your company’s harassment training, you’ll need to make sure to do that in 2019. The last thing you want is to leave your business vulnerable to lawsuits.

4. More HR Tech

Employee records have moved from paper to computer files, but that isn’t enough. HR technology will continue to march forward. At the UNLEASH HR conference in Amsterdam this past October, industry leaders shared their ideas on what was to come. Things like artificial intelligence may currently seem impossible for small businesses to adopt, but your organization may soon be able to buy software that will help evaluate job candidates. Speakers at the conference also predicted that businesses will need to be nimble in order to evolve and meet customers’ changing needs. No one can be complacent.

5. Data Privacy

Data breaches were often in the news during 2018—restaurants, stores and just about every other industry experienced data hacks. Additionally, the EU implemented GDPR, which required U.S. businesses that do business in Europe to comply. Mark Zuckerberg even testified before Congress about Facebook’s privacy issues.

It’s safe to say that data privacy issues are here to stay. Some states have already passed stricter data privacy regulations than the federal government has, and you can expect regulations to increase in this area (rather than decrease).

Regardless of what happens with the overall employment trends in industry and government, you need to focus on things that will help your business succeed. So, pick and choose your focus carefully!

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