Apprentice Personnel Blog

Is overtime threshold about to change?

03/05/19 at 07:07 AM | by Will Temby

It is no doubt going to be challenged in court, but word on the street is that the Labor Department will soon propose that workers who make less than $35,000 a year will be eligible for overtime pay. You might recall the Obama administration tried to make a similar change a few years ago, although the threshold then was $47,000.

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Workplace safety rule rescinded

03/03/19 at 09:24 AM | by Larry Hannappel

The U.S. Department of Labor has thrown out an Obama-era requirement for larger employers to electronically file detailed reports on workplace injuries and illnesses. While businesses have long been required to keep data on workplace injuries and illnesses, they weren’t required actually to report on them until the 2016 rule obliged them to submit annual detailed reports electronically to the DOL.

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5 mistakes companies make hiring temp workers

02/01/19 at 08:08 AM | by Will Temby

Are you hiring your temp workers in the best way possible? There’s no doubt about the benefits of hiring temporary workers, but there’s also a right way and a wrong way to go about it.


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Workplace fatalities down in all sectors except construction

01/27/19 at 06:22 PM | by Lon Matejczyk

Workplace fatalities decreased slightly in Colorado from 2016 to 2017, but, sadly, the latest state figures also show that the number of fatalities in the construction industry increased by almost 60 percent. In all, 19 people in the construction industry died at their workplace in 2017, which was a 58 percent increase from the previous year.

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Form 300A deadline is almost here

01/23/19 at 10:08 AM | by Larry Hannappel

The deadline is right around the corner. By Feb. 1, most employers with more than 10 employees will have to prepare, certify and post their OSHA 300A Annual Summary of workplace injuries and illnesses.

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Immigration agency to beef up auditing force

12/28/18 at 01:10 PM | by Lon Matejczyk

Immigration issues have been in the news a lot, as we all know, but one item that might have escaped your attention involves plans by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to beef up its auditors. 

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Finding work during economic downturns

12/18/18 at 10:58 AM | by Will Temby

Even in the midst of an economic downturn, companies need employees, and to hedge against the high overhead associated with full-timers, many look to fill positions on a temporary basis. That’s the scenario many of us anticipate over the next year or so as the economy heads for a potential slowdown.

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Seasonal gigs that can lead to bigger things

12/03/18 at 06:34 PM | by Larry Hannappel

Looking for a temporary job this season? We have good news: The average hourly wage for seasonal workers is climbing and is expected to continue notching up in the year ahead. A temporary position during the holidays is a quick and easy way to help you pay down debt, boost your savings or help you pay for all of the gifts you'll be buying for loved ones.

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6 ways to get a job in a restaurant

11/21/18 at 02:39 PM | by Lon Matejczyk

Working in a restaurant can be a rewarding experience that allows you to work face-to-face with customers. You’ll meet all kinds of people, earn a good paycheck in a short amount of time, and stay on your feet at all times. If you’re hoping to break into the restaurant world, here are a few ways to increase your chances of getting a job.

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Wages rise as unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

11/08/18 at 04:12 PM | by Larry Hannappel

Wages in a range of industries saw their biggest increase in more than a decade over the course of the last year. That's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which just announced that wages increased 2.9 percent, not adjusted for inflation, from September 2017 to September 2018.

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How to answer the job interview question everyone hates

11/01/18 at 09:44 AM | by Will Temby

Did you know that job hunters spend an average of five months to find a new position? That journey includes repeated updates to resumes and cover letters, multiple applications and, of course, multiple job interviews. The worst part for many is the job interview. Most of us admit our biggest mistake is being too nervous.

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Work more than one job? Join the club

10/05/18 at 02:26 PM | by Larry Hannappel

Unemployment is at the lowest point it’s been in decades yet one figure remains stubbornly unmoved – the number of Americans holding multiple jobs.

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U.S. workers are mostly happy

09/24/18 at 01:46 PM | by Lon Matejczyk

How happy are you in your job? If you’re like most Americans, you should be pretty satisfied. In fact, among the 1,500 employed people surveyed by The Conference Board, 51 percent said they were satisfied with their jobs.

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Poll: Apprenticeships make people more job-ready than college

09/14/18 at 02:48 PM | by Larry Hannappel

Six out of 10 Americans think that apprenticeships make people more employable than going to college. The Harris poll also found that about seven in 10 U.S. adults say learning a specific trade is better for finding a job than a bachelor’s degree and that college degrees aren’t worth as much as they used to be.

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More employers turn to ongoing background checks

08/28/18 at 09:10 AM | by Lon Matejczyk

A growing number of employers have begun to conduct ongoing background checks of their workers. A pre-employment screening is, of course, routine. But now companies are running occasional or even continuous checks to protect themselves and their customers from workers who might be criminals.

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Pre-employment physical tests draw EEOC scrutiny

08/05/18 at 07:50 AM | by Will Temby

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is cracking down on companies that use pre-employment physical stress tests to weed out female job applicants. The agency says it is paying especially close attention to companies that try to screen out applicants with pre-existing injuries and/or medical conditions after applicants had already received a conditional employment offer.

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Employers commit to Trump job training initiative

07/24/18 at 09:18 AM | by Larry Hannappel

Nearly two dozen companies and trade organizations have signed a pledge to provide job training and apprenticeship programs to help boost the U.S. economy. The pledge, it is hoped, will help train about 3.8 million students and workers for new jobs and rewarding careers.

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6 important takeaways from the unemployment report

07/08/18 at 12:35 PM | by Lon Matejczyk

U.S. job growth increased more than expected in June as manufacturers stepped up hiring. That was the big takeaway from the latest Labor Department report on nonfarm payrolls, which showed that the unemployment rate rose to 4 percent. But what else did we learn from the June report? What were the other important takeaways? Here are six:

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Rules finalized to expand association health plans

06/22/18 at 06:42 AM | by Larry Hannappel

The Trump administration has rolled out a final rule on association health plans -- a rule supporters say will allow more small businesses to access affordable health insurance. The rule comes months after President Trump and the Department of Labor proposed changes that allow consumers, employer groups, and contractors to sponsor AHPs.

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Job openings outpace number of unemployed

06/11/18 at 09:18 AM | by Will Temby

There were more job openings in the U.S. this spring than there were people looking for work, a troubling trend that is likely to force employers to rethink their approach to hiring. April marked the second month in a row this occurred, and the gap was growing. According to the federal Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, there were about 6.7 million open positions in April, the most recent month for which data are available.

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Is your safety program working?

06/04/18 at 03:35 PM | by Larry Hannappel

Workplace injuries are costing employers nearly $60 billion a year, with nearly three million on-the-job injuries each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, 1.2 million missed work days were reported in 2017 due to injuries.

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Ready to change careers? We can help

05/17/18 at 07:03 AM | by Will Temby

The vast majority of Americans are bored, alienated or have otherwise psychologically "checked out" of their jobs. If you're in that group, it might be time for an honest self-appraisal.

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New ways to boost employee recruitment and retention

05/08/18 at 06:51 PM | by Lon Matejczyk

Employees today expect their employers to offer benefits that go much further than addressing their physical health. They're interested in programs that can address mental, financial, and spiritual health, too. That's probably not a news flash to anyone whose workforce is increasingly made up of younger workers. But what might be eye-opening is the fact that big gaps remain between what employees value and what companies are delivering.

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Microlearning: training for the millennial generation

04/30/18 at 05:55 PM | by Larry Hannappel

If you're hiring a temporary worker and want to help them get the job done safely, one of the new training techniques to consider nowadays is called microlearning. It's all about offering training in shorter, more focused sessions while doing more of it. And it's about doing it all through videos, mobile apps, and other online platforms.

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Feds launch wage violation self-reporting program

04/22/18 at 02:14 PM | by Lon Matejczyk

The Department of Labor has kicked off a pilot program that encourages employers to audit their pay practices and self-report any Fair Labor Standards Act violations they might find.

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News and Latest Events 
Economist pegs 2017 construction growth at 5 percent

The 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook sees total U.S. construction starts for 2017 advancing 5 percent to $713 billion, following increases of 11 percent in 2015 and an estimated 1 percent this year. Read more arrow

Robust jobs report eases worry over economic growth

The U.S. labor market in July capped off the best two-month stretch of hiring so far this year, a sign of strength for an economy that has been showing mixed growth signals in recent months. Read more arrow

U.S. growth and employment data tell different stories

Measured by traditional yardsticks for growth, like gross domestic product, the American economy definitely looks weak. View it through the prism of hiring and employment, however, and the economy seems surprisingly strong. Read more arrow

Labor Department clarifies employment guidelines 

The Labor Department has waded deeper into the contentious issue of joint employment, seeking to clarify who is accountable for violations of employment laws when two different entities, like a manufacturer and a staffing agency, both have ties to the same worker. Read more arrow

Prepare for the great moderation in U.S. job growth

An increasing number of Wall Street economists and those inside the Federal Reserve are concluding that job growth is bound to shift into a lower gear as the aging population drags on the amount of available labor. Read more arrow

Weakness and strength: 7 snapshots of the U.S. job market

Employers added a meager 142,000 jobs in September, the government said Friday. And the average job gain for each of the past three months — 167,000 — is well below the 231,000 average for the previous three. Read more arrow

Housing, construction may be able to improve U.S. jobs picture 

Even though Friday’s lackluster U.S. jobs report proved a disappointment, the growth in construction and housing jobs might be able to pull the U.S. economy through this rough patch. Read more arrow

Kansas employment stats create muddled picture

The data on employment in Topeka, Wichita and Kansas are behaving in puzzling ways, making it unclear whether their employment pictures are getting better or worse, according to an economist at Wichita State University. Read more arrow

NLRB will let more workers bargain with their employer’s employer

The decision could have widespread implications for subcontracting, franchising, and temporary staffing agencies that have become increasingly prevalent in today's "fissured" economy. Read more arrow 

Should Americans work more? 

While the average American workweek is already longer than in most high-income countries, the Irish and the South Koreans show it’s possible for an advanced country’s workers to put in more hours than we do. Read more arrow 

Labor Department expected to make millions more eligible for OT

Millions of Americans who work in excess of 40 hours a week will qualify for overtime pay under a proposed Labor Department rule. Read more arrow

Nailed it: Construction employment helps fuel economy

April was the best month for construction employment since January 2014, U.S. Labor Department figures showed — and not just for job creation. Unemployment among construction workers fell to its lowest level since 2006. Read more arrow

Despite hiring efforts, veterans face employment obstacles and civilian disconnect

A new report says that vets have trouble finding and keeping jobs and that civilian employers struggle to understand them. Read more arrow

Apartment construction a booming business nationwide

According to U.S. Census Bureau figures, apartment vacancies nationwide hit their lowest point in two decades in the last quarter of 2014: 4.8 percent. The low vacancy rate has led to sky high rents and an explosion of apartment construction that so far cannot keep pace with demand. Read more arrow

Trade plan hopes to grow Wichita exports by more than $1 billion

The Wichita-South Central Kansas Regional Export Plan aims to raise Wichita area exports by $1.1 billion over five years. Such a boost in sales would translate into roughly 6,000 more jobs, according to federal estimates. Read more arrow

The worst mistakes job seekers are still making

In today’s job market, applicants have enough challenges without worrying they’ve made a wrong move bad enough to cost them the position. There are all kinds of theories out there about which blunders are the absolute worst. Read more arrow

Companies face new rules on labor practices

President Obama will sign an executive order that could make it harder for companies that violate wage, labor and anti-discrimination laws to win federal contracts. Read more arrow