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Media Jobs Monthly Newsletter

February 12, 2014
This week the federal government announced that the much-maligned implementation of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (aka Obamacare) would be delayed another year. Those subject to the extension are businesses with more than 50 but fewer than 100 full-time employees. Businesses that have 100 employees or more will be subject to the new employee healthcare rules as of January 2015. Employers with less than 50 employees are already exempt.

Despite the delay, employers continue to grapple with what it all means for their businesses. Will thousands of full-time positions be eliminated? Some critics think so, while others see this as an opportunity for growth for certain professions, such as the human-resources outsourcing industry. However, we've already seen a spike in temporary jobs.

John Challenger, CEO of a Chicago-based outplacement firm, told Workforce that "We don't really know yet what the ACA's impact will be on jobs, but we do know that it means a sea change in the way companies do business." On the positive side, he added, "It's the perfect time for a new kind of experts to come in and offer support. When there is a sea change, there are also lots of opportunities."

Whatever ACA brings, employers mulling over benefits programs should learn from the mistake of at least one major media company: AOL CEO Tim Armstrong publicly pointed to Obamacare and, in particular, two employees' "distressed babies" as having had an impact on the company's decision to reduce employer-matching 401(k) contributions. That decision, perhaps unsurprisingly, has since been reversed.

Valerie Berrios
Managing Editor, Mediabistro

Job Growth Remains Weak (CNNMoney)
The U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs last month, according to the government. That's an improvement from December, but was far weaker than hoped. Economists had been expecting an addition of 178,000 jobs. Surprisingly, more than half of January's job gains came from traditional blue collar sectors. Professional and business services added 36,000 jobs, but a large part of those jobs were through staffing agencies.

What Millennials Want -- And Why Employers Should Take Notice (LinkedIn / Barry Salzberg)
Quantifying the Millennial zeitgeist has captivated academics and the media alike. And yet, despite the extensive coverage on the subject, I think we're all still struggling to define what this generation actually wants. A new survey of Millennials (born January 1983 onwards), conducted globally by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, provides some fascinating insights.

How to Write a Cover Letter (Harvard Business Review)
No one likes job hunting. Scouring through online jobs boards, spiffing up your resume, prepping for grueling interviews -- none of it's fun. But perhaps the most challenging part of the process is writing an effective cover letter. There's so much conflicting advice out there, it's hard to know where to start. Indeed, in an age of digital communication, many might question whether you even need a cover letter anymore.

5 Questions to Ask During Your Job Interview (Mashable)
It's easy to feel like you're in the hot seat during a job interview -- you really want the position, you're battling all sorts of jitters, and it certainly doesn't help that the stern executive sitting in front of you looks like he could use another cup of coffee. What often gets lost in the interview process, however, is a dialogue between job seekers and prospective employers.

Top Journalism Conferences for Students & Educators to Attend in 2014 (MediaJobsDaily)
Dan Reimold of College Media Matters compiled a list of "the most indispensable, regional, national and international conferences in 2014 for individuals practicing, teaching, advising and studying journalism." Whether it's the sports reporting training camp or the management seminar for collegiate news editors, it's all good.

Temp Bill Rates Predicted to Rise This Year (
Temp labor reached new heights last year as employers ratcheted up the use of contract workers, ending the year with 2.8 million temp employees, a 7.9 percent increase for the year. Staffing firms added jobs at an average of 16,875 a month last year, the fastest pace since 2010.

10 Ways Companies Drive Away Talent (Forbes)
If there's one word that's almost certain to appear somewhere on every business's website, that word is talent. Companies of every size love to talk about talent. They can talk about talent all day long. Well, talk is cheap. Attracting talented people into an organization and hanging onto them -- now that's another story.

Thinking of Hiring Independent Contractors? Here’s What You Need to Know (The Hiring Site)
With skilled workers hard to come by, many companies are turning to independent contract workers to supplement their hiring needs. Contractors are often highly skilled individuals, who bring expertise and enthusiasm to the job. And because they often rely on referrals for work -- and understand their reputation precedes them -- they produce high quality work for those who hire them.

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