Quick Hits - November 2, 2022 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

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Quick Hits - November 2, 2022

Allowing or encouraging social media posts leads to cyber risks at work: Tweeting, Instagramming, and even TikToking through the workday has become a common (and even encouraged) practice. But are those seemingly harmless social media habits creating potentially harmful cybersecurity risks?  On average, organizations experience 13 data exposures and risks per employee per day, according to Code42, a risk management platform. Of actual recorded breaches, one-third are caused by employees. And many of those accidents are traced directly to social media use. Social media data breaches accounted for 56% of total data breaches in the first half of 2018, according to ITWeb, a business technology media company.  BeReal, a social media app that launched in 2020 and has grown in popularity throughout the pandemic, is a prime example of this easy-to-ignore risk, according to Michelle Killian, director of information security at Code42.  Killian suggests organizations create a culture of communication and visibility, rather than restrict employees' use of social media. If and when a problem or concern arises, educate them in real time. For example, if an employee is uploading a file to Facebook from their work computer, flag it and make sure to explain to the employee why that act was dangerous.   Source: EBN 10/14/22

New survey shows 7.5% increase in healthcare premiums:  The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans launched a survey of U.S employers to identify the considerations they are contemplating for the coming year. Results show that corporate employers project a median increase of 7.5% for medical plan costs. Plan sponsors shared their thoughts on the primary reason contributing to a rise in health care costs, including the following: catastrophic claims (19%), utilization due to chronic health conditions (15%), utilization due to delayed preventive/elective care during the pandemic (12%), medical provider costs (11%), and specialty/costly prescription drugs (7%).When asked what types of initiatives would make the most impact on managing costs for 2023, employers indicated the following: 24% using purchasing/provider initiatives (e.g., telemedicine, price transparency tools, centers of excellence, health care navigators/advocates, coalitions, quality initiatives); 22% using cost-sharing initiatives (e.g., deductibles, coinsurance, copays, premium contributions); 12% using utilization control initiatives (e.g., prior authorization, case management, disease management, nurse advice lines); and 12%using plan design initiatives (e.g., dependent eligibility audits, high-deductible health plans, wellness initiatives, spousal surcharges/carve-outs).  Source: IFEBP

Another survey shows 10% increase globally:  Healthcare benefit costs will be a problem globally in 2023, with insurers anticipating an average increase of 10% from 2022, the biggest increase in about 15 years, a new survey found.   The Willis Towers Watson survey received responses from 257 insurers from 55 countries between July and September. The 10% jump is higher than in past years. From 2020 to 2021, there was an 8.2% increase globally. From 2021 to 2022, there was an 8.8% increase globally. Most insurers don’t expect this to get better any time soon, either: 78% anticipate higher or significantly higher increases in the next three years. “Worldwide general inflation, overall instability in the global economy, increased healthcare utilization in the wake of the pandemic and a dynamic labor market require employers and insurers to think and act differently to address these issues in a meaningful way,” McMurray said in a news release. “Old solutions will not work. Cost shifting is not an option. There’s a critical need for innovation, strategy and new solutions to have any substantive impact. Those that don’t lead will fall behind in their ability to manage cost and retain key talent.”  Source: Med City News 10/16/22

More women with college degrees in workforce: Women have overtaken men and now account for more than half (50.7%) of the college-educated labor force in the United States, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. The change occurred in the fourth quarter of 2019 and remains the case today, even though the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a sharp recession and an overall decline in the size of the nation’s labor force. Today, there are more women ages 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or more education in the labor force than before the pandemic: 31.3 million in the second quarter of 2022, compared with 29.1 million in the same quarter of 2019. The number of college-educated men ages 25 and older in the labor force is also greater than before the pandemic – 30.5 million, up from 29.1 million – though their ranks have not increased as quickly as those of women.  However, the share of college-educated women who are in the labor force has not changed since before the pandemic, while the share of college-educated men who are working or looking for work has declined.  This may be in part due to caregiving duties and the cost of daycare.  Source:  Pew Research Center 9/26/22

Yet women earned 83.4% of what men earned: Median weekly earnings of America’s 120.2 million full-time wage and salary workers was $1,070 in the third quarter of 2022 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. This was 6.9% higher than one year prior, compared with a gain of 8.3% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.. Drilling down, the BLS data showed that the median weekly earnings of full-time workers (age 16 and older) were $1,070 in the third quarter of 2022. Women had median weekly earnings of $971, or 83.4% of the $1,164 median for men. In 2021, annual BLS data showed that the median weekly earnings for full-time workers were $998. Median earnings for women were $912, or 83.1% of the $1,097 median for men. In 2020, women’s median weekly earnings were $891—82.3% of men’s $1,082 median weekly earnings.  In September 2021, the BLS observed that since 2004, the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio has remained in the 80% to 83% range. The most current data, although inching up, still falls within that range. CCH 10/21/22

White House releases AI guide:  The White House, on October 4, 2022, unveiled its " Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights ," outlining non-binding recommendations for the design, use, and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated systems when such tools are used in ways that affect individual's rights, opportunities, or access to critical resources or services. Employers are increasingly using AI and automated decision-making systems, which refers to the use of software, algorithms, or processes that "make decisions" or provide recommendations, including through the use of data analysis and machine-learning. Employers use this technology in many ways, including to screen job candidates, provide employee self-service tools, or to evaluate and assess employee job performance. Although it can make an employer more efficient, the blueprint's primary focus, however, is on broad guidelines to mitigate or address potential negative effects of the emerging uses of these technologies. While the Blueprint does not create any specific regulations or legal obligations, the document outlines how regulators may view the use of AI and automated systems and may forecast key concepts (like notice, auditing, and human alternatives) to be expected in forthcoming federal or state regulation or legislation.  Source: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart 10/11/22


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