In this month's Data Digest, we catch you up on the latest research by sharing the numbers that surprised us or stuck with us. We follow the national trends and capture the key findings to give you insight into your own workforce. This month: a milestone in healthcare costs, the value of flexibility, and big investments in worker skills.
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2019 Employer Health Benefits Survey found that average annual premiums for employer sponsored family health coverage reached $20,576 this year—a 5% increase over 2018. CEO Drew Altman called crossing the $20,000-per-year mark "a milestone." "It's the cost of buying an economy car, just buying it every year." As rising costs continue to outpace inflation, more employers—especially those with small businesses who have less negotiating power with the insurance industry, are voicing their support for government funded healthcare.
Owl Labs releases an annual report of the State of Remote Work, and their research continues to show both a growing trend toward working remotely and broad positive outcomes. Here are a few of their key findings:
- Workers who work remotely, at least some of the time are 29% happier, feel more trusted, less stressed, are more inclined to recommend their employer to a friend, and are less likely to leave.
- Remote workers are 13% more likely than onsite workers to plan to stay in their current job for the next five years.
- 43% more remote workers than onsite workers say they work more than 40 hours per week.
- More than a third of workers would take a 5% pay cut to work remotely at least some of the time
- More than 40% of remote workers plan to work remotely more frequently in the future, and more than 50% of on-site workers want to work remotely in the future.
- The share of remote workers by income disproportionately favors the higher income categories.
Aspen Institute’s compilation of companies that announced new investments in upskilling outlines a growing trend. They note the connection to the Business Roundtable’s seismic announcement of their shift from shareholder value to stakeholder value, including “supporting [employees] through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world.” Here are a few highlights:
- Amazon committed $700 million to upskill 100,000 employees by 2025
- Aramark is making a $90 million investment in wages, benefits, training, and development, including a Frontline Education Program for workers to earn college degrees
- JetBlue announced plans to add master’s degrees to its JetBlue Scholars program, giving employees more opportunities to advance their education. Participants can study leadership, business management, information technology, aviation management, or liberal arts through one of five regionally accredited institutions, at a total cost of around $13,000 – $30,000.