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Newsletter January 07
Health premiums rise slowly, but still outpace wages and inflation
Premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage rose 7.7% in 2006, the slowest rate of growth since 2000. The 2005 rate of increase was 9.2% however the 2006 rate aw still more than twice that of workers wages (3.8%) and overall inflation (3.5%).

Workers prefer employer health benefits over additional income
The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) conducted a survey of employees, asking them to rate the importance of medical/health insurance compared to higher wages. The survey revealed that over 80% of workers consider health insurance the most “sought after” employer-provided benefit.

Bosses are impressed with themselves Employees, not so much
A survey of 1,854 U.S. managers found that 92% rated themselves as “excellent” or “good” bosses and not a single one rated themselves as a “poor.” Only 67% of employees, however, rated their managers favorably. Ten percent of workers rated their boss as a “poor” manager. One reason for this difference may be that only 26% of employees are given an opportunity to formally review their manager’s performance.

Employee web surfing poses greater risk than viruses from e-mails
Viruses picked up by employee Internet surfing at work pose a greater online security threat to companies than malicious software contained in emails, according to a study by IDC, a technology analysis firm. The report found that the vast majority of surveyed companies allow employees to use the Internet for personal use. The report concluded that a direct ban on personal use is neither “long-term or a realistic solution.”

HRM reminds employers to update the Computer Use Policy section of your employee handbook to remind employees that: computers are provided for business use that employees should not save/store personal information on them and that the company reserves the right to monitor the use of company computers to ensure proper use.

When will your company be open/closed over the holiday season?
5%: We never close.
43%: We will close on Christmas Day only.
34%: We will close more than one day at Christmas, but
not the entire week after Christmas.
18%: We're closing the entire week after Christmas.

Total respondents: 797

Women’s earnings hit new high
The pay gap between women and men narrowed further in 2005 as median weekly earnings for women reached 81 percent of men’s earnings. This is an increase from 80.3% in 2004.and was the highest percentage in the 26 years the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has been tracking this information.