Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 interesting facts about American workers to think about during #PayrollWeek

workerIn today’s world of work, many see human capital management as a matter of handling employee logistics – processing the payroll, administering people’s benefits and keeping tabs on important indicators like wellness, productivity and retention. But there’s more to the job than that, and that’s especially the case as we celebrate National Payroll Week. Each year, NPW kicks off on Labor Day Monday, and is a time to honor and recognize your staff’s hard work. According to How Stuff Works, it dates back to the late 19th century. Why is Labor Day so important? The news source explained this with a famous quote attributed to Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. Here’s what Gompers said:

“Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.”

Instead, Labor Day and National Payroll week is just about one thing – the workforce and the people and who pay them.

So let’s talk about the state of the workforce today! Who are today’s employees, what do they do, and what are their lives like? According to a Monster.com infographic, there’s a lot we should know about the population in 2015. Here are five interesting facts to keep in mind this week:

The work we do
Most of America’s employees are all concentrated in a few major industries. The sectors of government, manufacturing, business services, health care and retail together combine for about 60 percent of the workforce.

The commutes we endure
Did you know that the average American has to leave for work between 7 and 7:29 each morning, and that the typical commute comes out to 25.8 minutes? In the areas surrounding Washington, D.C., and New York, where the traffic is heavy, those numbers skew even higher.

The time we put in
It’s often said that we work 40-hour weeks in America, but that’s not exactly true. The average person with a full-time job actually puts in 47, and 39 percent of people say they work 50 or more.

The money we make
There’s still a great divide when it comes to gender – the median man with a full-time job currently makes $50,033 per year, while the median woman makes $39,157. Employee raises are happening across the board (about 3 percent this year), but the gap is still there.

The state of engagement
Finally, it’s important to know that not all employees at this time are engaged. In fact, only 32 percent of people say that they love their jobs, and 50 percent say that they’ve left positions to escape bad managers. Keeping the workforce happy and productive needs to be a priority.

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