Will March Madness affect productivity at Long Island jobs?

March 8th, 2017

There is some concern that March Madness may impact productivity at Long Island jobs, among other locations.

Millions of workers across the country will likely spend company time researching teams and making their picks. This activity could cost employers over $600 million, according to one more conservative estimate.

More than 40 million Americans fill out tournament brackets, according to the American Gaming Association. Applying the current employment to population ratio to that figure, 23.7 million workers will fill out brackets for this year’s games.

Of course, the distractions do not end with filling out the bracket. Even more productivity is lost over the first two full days of tournament play (Thursday and Friday), when a dozen games are played during work hours.

While this annual tradition has become commonplace in the American office, there is a cost in terms of lost wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers. This year, the cost could reach as high as $2.1 billion, according to calculations by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“While television viewership for last year’s tournament and for NCAA games overall was lower than previous years, the economy has created more workers and a higher hourly wage, which could equate to higher costs to employers,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“In the current political climate, more American workers might welcome this distraction leading to an even higher cost to productivity,” added Challenger.

Challenger’s estimate is based on the number of working Americans who are likely to be caught up in March Madness; the estimated time spent filling out brackets and streaming games; and average hourly earnings, which, in January, stood at $26.00, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The challenge is estimating the number of people who participate in March Madness pools. A 2015 estimate from the American Gaming Association estimated 40 million Americans fill out 70 million brackets. A 2014 article at Smithsonian.com put the number of Americans “filling out brackets” at 60 million.

Closing skills gap for Long Island jobs

March 8th, 2017

Employers from Monster.com are working on testifying about closing the skills gap for Long Island jobs, among other jobs.

The former U.S. House of Representatives Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Jack Kingston, along with Susan Fallon, Vice President of Global Strategy and Business Development for Monster Government Solutions, testified before the Labor-HHS Subcommittee during its annual public witness hearing. Kingston and Fallon reiterated the importance of Job Corps’ career technical education services and the continued need to invest in job skills training in order to close the “skills gap.”

“Job Corps is a critical lynchpin in closing the skills gap nationwide,” Kingston said. “I strongly believe that the way toward sustainable job growth in these communities is to invest in the mechanisms like the Job Corps program to educate and develop necessary skills in an effort to create and maintain these jobs in a way that adapts to a changing economy.”

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are 5.6 million jobs that remain unfilled because employers cannot find workers with the right set of skills. According to some estimates, the skills gap costs our economy $160 billion annually. Job Corps is a comprehensive education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that each year helps 50,000 underserved youth ages 16 through 24.

“We’ve learned over time that small and large businesses across the nation trust their Job Corps centers and Job Corps graduates to meet their talent needs as evidence by that fact that over 100 local chambers of commerce, from Oklahoma to Connecticut and Florida to Alaska, have signed letters of support for the program,” Fallon said. “That is why Monster Government Solutions worked with the National Job Corps Foundation for Youth Opportunities to create and launch our Youth Opportunities portal, which provides students with online career tools and resources, and employers with tools to be matched to thousands of skilled young Americans, using Monster’s award-winning technologies.”

Romance or Long Island jobs?

February 28th, 2017

The number of romances going on at Long Island jobs may be blooming, according to a recent Careerbuilder survey.

According to CareerBuilder’s annual Valentine’s Day survey, 41 percent of workers have dated a co-worker (up from 37 percent last year and the highest since 2007). Additionally, 30 percent of these office romances have led to marriage, on par with last year’s findings.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 16 to December 6, 2016, and included a representative sample of 3,411 full-time, private sector workers across industries and company sizes.

Office romances are just not happening between peers: Of those who have had an office romance, more than 1 in 5 (29 percent, up from 23 percent last year) have dated someone in a higher position than them — a more common occurrence for women than men (33 percent versus 25 percent). Fifteen percent of workers who have had an office romance say they have dated someone who was their boss.

And as if dating a superior weren’t risky enough, 19 percent of office romances involved at least one person who was married at the time.

About 1 in 5 employees (21 percent) say what someone does for a living influences whether they would date that person (18 percent of men and 24 percent of women). Seven percent say they currently work with someone they would like to date this year.

Unfortunately, not all workplace relationships end happily ever after – and some result in more than heartbreak: 5 percent of workers who have had an office romance say they have left a job because of an office relationship gone sour.


Long Island jobs added

February 8th, 2017

The number of Long Island jobs may have increased, according to the latest labor statistics.

n December 2016, New York State’s private sector job count increased by 9,000, or 0.1%, to 7,963,900, a new record high, according to preliminary figures released by the New York State Department of Labor. Since the beginning of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, New York State’s economy has added 869,600 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 61 of the past 72 months. In December 2016, New York’s statewide unemployment rate decreased from 5.1% to 4.9%.

The State’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Monthly payroll employment estimates are preliminary and subject to revision as more data becomes available the following month. The federal government calculates New York State’s unemployment rate based partly upon the results of the Current Population Survey, which contacts approximately 3,100 households in New York State each month.

Local Area Unemployment Rates* (%)
December 2015 and December 2016

(not seasonally adjusted)*Data are preliminary and subject to change


Metro Areas






Buffalo-Niagara Falls






Glens Falls








New York City










Watertown-Fort Drum


Non-metro Counties



Research going towards Long Island jobs

February 5th, 2017

A new round of funding may go towards research for Long Island jobs.

Over one-fifth of the current U.S. workforce is made up of workers in licensed occupations – jobs that require a government license. Current licensing systems, however, can become inefficient, resulting in barriers for workers trying to enter a profession, restricted worker mobility and ultimately impaired economic growth.

With this in mind, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced an award of $7.5 million to the National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL, for a project geared towards improving geographic mobility for workers in licensed occupations. NCSL will direct a coalition of 10 states working to achieve two primary goals:

  • Identify licensing criteria to ensure that existing and new licensing requirements are not overly broad or burdensome and don’t create unnecessary barriers to labor market entry
  • Improve portability for selected occupational licenses across state lines

The project will also produce research and technical assistance materials available to all states in addressing similar issues.

Guidance on research, expertise in technical assistance and help with dissemination of project outputs will be provided by a group of national experts representing the selected occupations and target populations to be served by the project.

The partners will conduct five research projects: (1) a policy literature scan to identify relevant studies and reports and compile the results into a summary analysis; (2) a research effort to collect comprehensive information on licensure requirements for selected occupations across all states; (3) a review of existing research on barriers to entering the labor market for impacted populations; (4) analysis of sunrise/sunset provisions related to occupational licensing; and (5) research on specific topics related to states’ action plans.

Body language and Long Island jobs

January 27th, 2017

Body language can make or break you when it comes to Long Island jobs, according to a recent Careerbuilder survey.

Around half of employers (51 percent) know within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good fit for a position — on par with last year (50 percent).


In a job interview, it’s likely that your body language will have more of a positive impact on your success than anything you say. When asked to identify the biggest body language mistakes job seekers make during an interview, hiring managers named the following:

  1. Failing to make eye contact: 67 percent
  2. Failing to smile: 39 percent
  3. Playing with something on the table: 34 percent
  4. Fidgeting too much in their seats: 32 percent
  5. Crossing their arms over their chests: 32 percent
  6. Having bad posture: 31 percent
  7. Playing with their hair or touching their faces: 28 percent
  8. Having a weak handshake: 22 percent
  9. Using too many hand gestures: 13 percent
  10. Having a handshake that was too strong: 9 percent

What are the absolute worst things you can do when interviewing for a job? Here are five instant deal breakers, according to employers:

  1. Candidate is caught lying about something: 66 percent
  2. Candidate answers a cellphone or text during the interview: 64 percent
  3. Candidate appears arrogant or entitled: 59 percent
  4. Candidate dresses inappropriately: 49 percent
  5. Candidate appears to have a lack of accountability: 48 percent

Will the new administration impact Long Island jobs?

January 8th, 2017

A new survey from Careerbuilder takes on the newest administration and its effect on Long Island jobs.

When asked for their opinion on how the Trump administration will impact hiring in 2017, 23 percent of employers said the new administration would increase jobs while 27 anticipated no impact. Seven percent said they expect jobs to decrease while 43 percent were undecided.

The amount of employers planning to hire full-time, permanent staff in the New Year increased four percentage points from 36 percent in 2016 to 40 percent in 2017. Employers in information technology were the most likely to say they were adding new employees at 56 percent, a notable 12 percentage point gain over the prior year.

Eight percent of employers across industries expect a decline in staff levels in 2017, an improvement from 10 percent last year. Forty-four percent anticipated no change while 9 percent were unsure.

In terms of part-time employment, 30 percent of employers expect to increase their number of part-time, permanent employees in 2017, up from 26 percent last year.

The demand for temporary labor will continue to be strong as employers strive to have more flexibility in their staff levels. Fifty-one percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2017, an increase from 47 percent last year. Sixty-three percent of employers plan to transition some temporary or contract workers into permanent roles in 2017, up from 58 percent last year.

“Three in four employers reported that they are in a better financial position than they were a year ago, which is instilling more confidence in adding people to their payrolls,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “Following a divisive election season, employers are entering the New Year with a watchful, yet optimistic approach. One of the key challenges for employers will be bridging the talent gaps within their own organizations by either offering better wages or by helping to reskill and upskill workers.”


Healthcare jobs in Long Island grow

January 8th, 2017

The latest labor numbers are out from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they show that healthcare jobs in Long Island may have grown.

The unemployment rate, at 4.7 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 7.5 million, changed little in December. However, both measures edged down in the fourth quarter, after showing little net change earlier in the year.

Employment rose by 156,000 in December, with an increase in health care and social assistance. Job growth totaled 2.2 million in 2016, less than the increase of 2.7 million in 2015.

Employment in health care rose by 43,000 in December, with most of the increase occurring in ambulatory health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+11,000). Health care added an average of 35,000 jobs per month in 2016, roughly in line with the average monthly gain of 39,000 in 2015.

Social assistance added 20,000 jobs in December, reflecting job growth in individual and family services (+21,000). In 2016, social assistance added 92,000 jobs, down from an increase of 162,000 in 2015. Employment in food services and drinking places continued to trend up in December (+30,000).

This industry added 247,000 jobs in 2016, fewer than the 359,000 jobs gained in 2015. Employment also continued to trend up in transportation and warehousing in December (+15,000). Within the industry, employment expanded by 12,000 in couriers and messengers.

In 2016, transportation and warehousing added 62,000 jobs, down from a gain of 110,000 jobs in 2015. Employment in financial activities continued on an upward trend in December (+13,000). This is in line with the average monthly gains for the industry over the past 2 years.

In December, employment edged up in manufacturing (+17,000), with a gain of 15,000 in the durable goods component. However, since reaching a recent peak in January, manufacturing employment has declined by 63,000.

At-risk youth benefit with grants for Long Island jobs

December 30th, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded an additional $5.5 million to help youth between the ages of 16 to 21 who are at risk of dropping out of public or alternative high school gain skills to serve their communities in justice careers, which will help those with Long Island jobs.

Six non-profit organizations received funding for pilot programs that provide at risk youth mentoring and career exploration in justice and emergency services, including police officers, firefighters, lawyers, and paramedics. This is the second set of grants awarded for this initiative, which was first announced in April 2016.

The goal of these projects is for students to graduate from high school prepared to enter the workforce, post-secondary education or a registered apprenticeship.

These grants will provide students: exposure to the world of work, mentoring to encourage students to complete their high school diploma or equivalency, and supportive services like transportation and books to sustain their involvement in the program and in school.

The students will be mentored by justice and emergency services personnel, including judges, attorneys, sociologists, and forensic scientists.

The grants announced build on other efforts, including the department’s “Face Forward” initiative to help justice-involved youth overcome early barriers to employment through occupational training and credentials that will help them open the door to career success. This grant’s goal also aligns closely with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative which seeks to close opportunity gaps still faced by too many young people and often by boys and young men of color.

Will companies spend more on holiday parties for Long Island jobs?

December 9th, 2016

Some companies may be spending more money this year on holiday parties for Long Island jobs.

In its annual survey on holiday party plans, global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. found that 80 percent of companies are planning to host holiday parties this year. Of these, just over 21 percent are budgeting more for their events.

“After dipping in the last of half 2015, corporate profits are back above $1.6 trillion, according to government data. Our survey suggests that employers are ready to spend some of those profits on their workers,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The Challenger survey was conducted in October among a small sampling of approximately 100 human resources executives, representing a variety of industries across the country.

More than 66 percent of survey respondents said their companies are hiring caterers or event planners, up from 62 percent last year. Companies are also allowing more guests at their parties: 42.9 percent will include spouses or family to attend, up from 31 percent in 2015.

“Company holiday parties are a great way for employers to thank workers for a successful year. For employees, it’s a great way to meet and interact with co-workers and managers who are not part of one’s daily routine. If you happen to be attending the holiday party of a spouse or friend, it could be a great opportunity to network,” suggested Challenger.

“In addition to the benefits, however, holiday parties can be fraught with risks, for both employers, employees, and guests. The biggest risk, of course, is related to alcohol consumption,” cautioned Challenger.

In fact, almost 62 percent of respondents to the Challenger survey said their holiday parties would include alcohol. That is up from the 54 percent that reported they would serve alcohol in 2015.

“Serving alcohol can make for a more celebratory mood, but it also has pitfalls, especially for employees and their guests. Company parties are not necessarily a time to let loose,” warned Challenger.