MONEY Careers

Obama Hopes to Expand Overtime Pay

The president wants to raise the overtime threshold for workers to $50,000 a year, up from the current $23,660.

TIME Wages

This Big Retailer Just Raised its Minimum Wage for U.S. Workers — Again

Richard Cadan Media Kitchen cabinet fronts made at Ikea’s factory in Älmhult.

Company is already reaping the benefits of the last pay hike

Last June, Ikea announced it would raise its hourly minimum wage in U.S. stores from $9.17 to $10.76, a 17.3% hike. Now, almost exactly one year later to the day, Ikea is doing it again.

The Swedish furniture giant says the pay will go up to $11.87, a 10% increase for Ikea and a whole $4.62 above the current U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25. (There is a movement underway to bring that up to $12 by 2020.) The hike will take effect on the first day of 2016 and will have an impact on 30% of Ikea’s U.S. employees.

This is a smart business move by Ikea, which has been expanding globally at a rapid pace, and it is one that will inevitably reap good P.R. The last time around went well for the company: Rob Olson, Ikea’s U.S. CFO, told the Huffington Post that in the six months since the last hike, Ikea has had 5 percent less worker turnover and is already attracting better talent.

Ikea was one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For in 2006 and 2007, but then dropped off the list. Perhaps its continued attention to better worker wages will get it back on.

TIME States

Kentucky Raises Minimum Wage for State Workers, Urges Businesses To Do the Same

Steve Beshear
Timothy D. Easley—AP Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear addresses the audience at the 50th annual Kentucky Country Ham Breakfast in Louisville, Ky., on July 19, 2015

The hike comes amid national calls for a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour

The hourly minimum wage for state workers in Kentucky is being raised from $7.25 to $10.10, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday.

The wage increase affects 510 state employees and will cost taxpayers $1.6 million. A third of the affected employees work in state nursing homes for military veterans, according to Beshear. Other wage changes include an increase of the hourly tipped minimum wage from $2.19 to $4.90. The policy will go into effect July 1.

Beshear took to Twitter to rigorously defend the new policy.

The increase for state employees sends a message to private business, says Beshear.

Beshear joins Democrat House Speaker Greg Stumbo and many of his party’s state representatives in his fight for higher minimum wages for Kentuckians. Rep. Stumbo has been advocating for legislation raising the minimum wage for all workers in Kentucky in recent legislative sessions. The bill has passed the Democratic controlled House but is facing opposition in the Republican senate. The hike comes amid national calls for a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour.

The movement has seen success in recent months, with $15 minimum wages having been established in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The issue is also gaining the attention of 2016 presidential hopefuls; Hillary Clinton echoed wage activists in a speech delivered at a convention of low-wage workers in Detroit on Sunday, stating that she supports a $15 minimum wage.

MONEY Workplace

Minority Retail Workers Paid Less Than Whites

A higher minimum wage could help even things out.

A study revealed minority retail workers are paid less than white peers. Researchers say this feeds into poverty and recommend an increase in minimum wage. The minimum wage nationwide is $7.25 an hour, but many states have higher minimum wages. Fast food workers have been protesting for higher pay recently as well.

TIME Innovation

Why Liberal Arts Majors Could Make Better Doctors

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

These are today's best ideas

1. One medical school believes liberal arts majors — not pre-med students — can make better doctors.

By Julie Rovner in Kaiser Health News

2. Can we finally treat food workers fairly?

By Mark Bittman in the New York Times

3. There’s a way to stop data breaches before millions of records are compromised.

By Robert Lemos in MIT Technology Review

4. Let’s start an all-girl maker movement.

By Angi Chau at EdSurge

5. Skip the air conditioner and cool your house with a self-chilling roof.

By Mary Beth Griggs in Popular Science

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY Workplace

Break These 4 Resume Rules to Land a Job

man wearing fun dress socks amidst others wearing standard black dress socks
Noel Hendrickson—Getty Images

Ditch the traditional resume.

America is back, baby!

With more and more U.S. cities raising their minimum wages, job applicants are more excited about their employment prospects. Some people are even at looking at changing their careers to chase higher pay.

But before you start working on your CV, you should freshen up your resume. With the unemployment rate still at 5.4%, you’re likely to face strong competition, so you need to do everything you can to stand out from the crowd. (See also: 10 Resume Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Job Search)

To prevent your resume from landing in the HR black hole, here are four resume rules that you should be breaking.

1. One-Page Resume

Just like the objective statement, the one-page resume rule is a habit that you picked up way back in high school. The idea behind the one-page resume is that hiring managers have very little time to review applications so you need to be as succinct as possible.

However, forcing your resume into a single page ignores two key facts:

  • The typical U.S. worker changes jobs every 4.4 years. Assuming you land your first job at age 21, you would have switched jobs about five times by age 40.
  • 90% of companies use ATS programs as resume gatekeepers.

If you have solid and relevant work experience for the position that you’re applying for, feel free to showcase it using two pages. As long as you’re telling a compelling story about your employment history, the extra page will be welcomed. And it will provide extra space to include keywords directly connected the job description, effectively increasing your chances of passing the ATS test.

2. No Contact With Hiring Managers

HR professionals often feel overwhelmed. For example, Starbucks attracted 7.6 million job applicants for about 65,000 job openings and Procter & Gamble received close to one million applications for 2,000 job postings.

In hopes of keeping their sanity, hiring managers set up as many hurdles and obstacles between them and applicants. The idea is that hopefully only the “truly great candidates” will be left once the application-process dust settles. The reality is that’s very often not the case.

To circumvent this “resume black hole,” former Fortune 500 Human Resources SVP and current HR consultant, Liz Ryan recommends to craft a compelling pain letter to start a conversation directly with your target hiring manager.

Ryan breaks down the pain letter into four parts:

    • One to two sentence hook congratulating the hiring manager on a personal work-related achievement. For example, “I was lucky enough to catch the tail-end of your presentation last week at the Miami Retailers Association and I couldn’t agree more about your observation that…”
    • Discussion of a pain point that hiring manager is currently facing. For example, a payroll coordinator could be frustrated with improper tax deductions and reporting mistakes now that her department went from servicing 25 to 350 employees.
    • Your one to two sentence “dragon-slaying story” showing how you can alleviate that pain point. Ryan provides a specific example, “When I ran the payroll system at Angry Chocolates, I kept the payroll accurate and in compliance and answered dozens of employee questions every day while we grew from 15 to 650 staff members.” No jargon, no buzz words, just plain language showcasing results.
    • Short closing inviting hiring manager to set up a meeting time.

Hiring managers welcome messages, as long as they’re hyper-personalized. Remember the Google Job Experiment? Alec Brownstein created Google ads for top advertising creative directors, so that when they would google their own names, they would receive a message from Alec asking for a job interview. By reaching out directly to the hiring managers in a creative way, Alec impressed the ad execs and landed a job at Young and Rubicam. (See also: The 6 Craziest Things People Have Done to Land a Job)

3. List Unemployment Gaps

Unemployed job applicants seem to never get a break.

Whether employers do this intentionally or unintentionally, the reality is that listing yourself as unemployed may do more harm than good on you resume. However, this doesn’t mean that you should lie. Misrepresenting any information on your resume may bite you back and make you subject to immediate dismissal.

Functional resumes aren’t viable solutions, either. HR veterans see them as major red flags because resumes in that format often hide lack of experience and don’t provide enough information to employers.

Instead, a resume expert at Monster recommends that applicants leverage volunteer work on a resume. While you may not having gotten paid for making traditional and online media buys for your local Red Cross, or preparing taxes at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, you definitely gained and demonstrated expertise in skills that employers want. Even better, you may also have professional references ready for employers.

During unemployment periods, sign up for meaningful volunteer or internship opportunities so that you can prevent the employers’ bias towards unemployment. This is a helpful technique for recent grads to avoid the challenge of having no experience.

4. Relying on a Traditional Resume

As many as 58% of employers have caught a lie on a resume. That’s why more and more companies are ditching the idea of the traditional resume altogether.

  • A New York venture capital firm recruits investment analysts by asking applicants to include links to their web presences, such as Twitter account or Tumblr blog.
  • Instead of reading resumes, a bumper and marketing stickers company uses an online survey to help screen applicants.
  • By reviewing code posted on GitHub, a web-based repository for coders, an educational technology company looks for programming candidates that have completed public projects.
  • Teams of recruiters for a large online lender perform “road rallies” in which they scout for talent at carefully selected groups of shopping malls.

It goes to show that some resume rules are meant to be broken. If you believe that the hiring practices of your industry are outdated, there may be a company in yours or in another industry that agrees with you. That may very well be the key to landing your dream job!

After all, nobody wants to work with a company that is completely inflexible and that prefers to stick with outdated resume rules.

 

TIME Business

Don’t Like Minimum Wage Increases? Be Mad at the Top Earners

Darlena Cunha writes for The Washington Post and TIME among dozens of other publications. She is based in Florida.

All workers should have equal opportunity to a livable wage

Los Angeles has become the first city of its size to approve a minimum wage increase from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020. Since the federal minimum wage was instituted in 1938, it has increased 22 times, but the increases haven’t always kept up with rises in inflation and the cost of living. Los Angeles’s minimum wage increase is a welcome step to address that disconnect, and criticism of it distracts from the larger benefits of ensuring that low-wage workers are given equal opportunity to a livable wage.

Some argue that increasing the federal minimum wage would be bad for the economy, would cause layoffs, and would kill small businesses. These arguments have been disproven not only by time and experience, but also by longitudinal research studies, according to the Department of Labor.

But the most troubling argument against increasing the minimum wage is made by working-class people who fear that an increase in the minimum wage would give less-experienced workers more money while their salaries remain the same, rendering years of work, education, and experience useless. Small business owners often argue that as the minimum wage rises, more-experienced employees would want a raise, too, and the business would be forced to make cuts to accommodate.

Director Kevin Smith helped perpetuate this fear by poking fun at the Los Angeles minimum wage increase on Facebook. “Los Angeles raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour. F— film: for that kinda money, I’m going back to work at convenience stores again.”

What Smith and others fail to realize is that increasing the minimum wage is not meant to equalize all people regardless of experience, but to raise the bottom pay level up to a livable amount. The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that raising the minimum wage has no effect on hiring, meaning people need not fear for their jobs, and the Economic Policy Institute has estimated that raising the federal minimum wage could increase salaries for 30 million Americans.

Others fears that an increase in the minimum wage would cancel out the value of having a college education. Many with college degrees are working hard at jobs, unable to make ends meet, and drowning in school loans. But it isn’t the fault of the unskilled workers that a college education isn’t paying for itself anymore.

An increase in the minimum wage would have positive effects on many other jobs at all levels. Christina Romer, a University of California, Berkley, economics professor, economist and former chairwoman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economics found that higher wages lead to lower employee turnover rates, meaning both companies and employees benefit from job stability and experience when wages match skill sets and start at a livable level. Less money needs to be spent on training, and less turmoil exists in the workplace when people are content in their jobs.

The bottom line is that giving people the chance to work for a living wage does not chip away at those who have worked hard to already be able to afford their lives. An increase like the one in Los Angeles should be celebrated. Those unhappy with their own economic standing shouldn’t focus their ire on the bottom income earners, but on the top.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

MONEY Minimum Wage

Unions Say It’s OK for Businesses to Sidestep the L.A. Minimum Wage

Labor leaders say that businesses with unionized workers should be exempt from the $15 minimum wage requirement.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor a new law that would increase the city’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour by the year 2020. Yet the Los Angeles Times reports that labor officials, who until now have been strong supporters of the wage hike, are asking for a last-minute change that would allow unions the freedom to collectively bargain for wages that are lower than the minimum.

“With a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both,” Rusty Hicks, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said in a statement. “This provision gives the parties the option, the freedom, to negotiate that agreement. And that is a good thing.”

Some business leaders suspect the sudden about face by the organization, which represents over 300 unions in the L.A. area, might be a tactic to increase membership and enhance the power of organized labor. Ruben Gonzalez, a senior vice president with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which opposed the wage legislation, told the Times he believes labor leaders are hoping to use this exception to pressure companies into unionizing, thereby allowing them to avoid minimum wage rules.

The city council’s Economic Development Committee is scheduled this Friday to review an ordinance enacting the new minimum wage law.

TIME Economy

Warren Buffett: $15 Minimum Wage Will Crush the Working Class

Warren Buffett And BofA CEO Brian Moynihan Speak At Georgetown University
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The billionaire has a surprising position on beloved issue for the left

Warren Buffett is a favorite of the American left for his support of such policies as higher taxes on the rich and healthcare reform.

But advocates for workers rights may be a little less pleased with the billionaire investor after he published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal Friday, decrying the efforts in many cities across the United States to raise the minimum wage to as much as $15 per hour.

Buffett admitted that the middle class has increasingly hurt by an economy that rewards people with “specialized talents,” but not the vast majority of Americans who hold “more commonplace skills.” However, Buffett argues that trying to solve the problem of stagnant wages for working Americans by raising the minimum wage is misguided. Writes Buffett:

In my mind, the country’s economic policies should have two main objectives. First, we should wish, in our rich society, for every person who is willing to work to receive income that will provide him or her a decent lifestyle. Second, any plan to do that should not distort our market system, the key element required for growth and prosperity.

That second goal crumbles in the face of any plan to sizably increase the minimum wage. I may wish to have all jobs pay at least $15 an hour. But that minimum would almost certainly reduce employment in a major way, crushing many workers possessing only basic skills. Smaller increases, though obviously welcome, will still leave many hardworking Americans mired in poverty.

Instead, Buffett says, we should expand the earned income tax credit, also known as a “negative income tax,” in which the government subsidizes the wages of workers making under a certain amount. “The EITC rewards work and provides an incentive for workers to improve their skills,” Buffett writes. “Equally important, it does not distort market forces, thereby maximizing employment.”

MONEY Fast Food

McDonald’s Wage Protests Continue as Shareholders Meet

Protesters marched on McDonald's corporate headquarters while the company looks to Washington to address minimum wage issues nationally.

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