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Employee Benefits Matter More Now

It’s open enrollment season, and the competitiveness of your benefits package may searchnot have been this important in well over a decade. That’s because the July 2017 unemployment rate was 4.3%, the lowest rate since May 2001, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not coincidentally, nearly one-third of organizations increased their overall benefits in the last 12 months, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) 2017 Employee Benefits survey.

Competition Keener

It’s a fact of business life that sustained low unemployment breeds stiffer competition. This may mean increasing the wages your company offers to attract the best and brightest. It could also mean that the best benefits package can seal the deal with top recruits.

What They Need and Want

An employer-provided retirement plan and health insurance are two givens on the typical job-seeker’s list of desired benefits. Increasingly, employers are on the frontlines of providing these two important pieces of the financial puzzle. Health Savings Accounts are also becoming more commonplace as companions to high deductible health insurance.

In the SHRM survey, employers overwhelmingly supported the use of wellness programs, while over a third of employees were attracted to flexible work arrangements. Almost half of employers offered financial advice benefits, up from 28% in 2014.

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