Economic data from August and September painted a picture of a U.S. economy that remains stuck in a slow-growth cycle, but which is strong relative to its primary global partners. Job creation remains solid given the duration of the business cycle; and related data on wage growth and household incomes suggest that U.S. consumers have less to be concerned about today than even two years ago. Activity by business continues to weaken – albeit slightly – as a strong U.S. dollar, political uncertainty and weak global demand are sources of worry.
Labor markets remain the best source of optimism about the economy. Employment grew by 156,000 jobs in September, according to the October 7 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After revisions were made to July and August job creation estimates, the September data meant that the monthly job additions during the third quarter averaged 191,000 – higher than the average of 171,000 for the full year to date.
As important as the jobs gained were the increase in average workers wages, which were up 2.6 percent year-over-year. Labor force participation also improved, with 444,000 more people entering the workforce. The average hours worked also jumped during the quarter. The September report showed a continuation of the upward trend in professional services and healthcare jobs, a possible end to the extended job losses in energy and further declines in manufacturing employment.
Most CPAs, no matter their age, have said things they regret, either out of frustration or because they did not mull over their thoughts or articulate them properly. Some people also fall into bad habits, using certain words or phrases that are deemed less than professional. For instance, established leaders sometimes say the wrong thing to Millennials.
Is retention of good employees a priority for your business? Consider conducting “stay” interviews.
Comparing the House GOP plan to the Trump Plan: while there are many differences in the extent of tax relief promoted by each plan (with Trump's being by far the more generous), there are many similarities on key issues, including significant cuts in both individual and business tax rates, repeal of the estate tax and efforts to position U.S. businesses to compete on a more level playing field internationally.
Click here for a comparison of the House GOP plan and the Trump plan by Holland & Knight: www.hklway.com
Describe your role at Weber O’Brien:
I am a member of the accounting and assurance team. I assist with the review of company’s financials and help ensure quality and efficiency for a variety of different clients that include: non-profits, governmental, and small to medium sized businesses.
December 31 is the last day you can benefit from certain retirement tax breaks. For example, if you haven't put the maximum amount allowed in your 401(k) – $18,000 in 2016 – increasing your contributions can save you money.
A federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Tuesday against an Obama administration regulation expanding by millions the number of workers who would be eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay.
Have you heard? Dave O’Brien and Jim Weber will be presenting at the International Builders' Show, January 10-12, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Here is a quick look at their presentations this year:
Did you know the national average wage index went up? You might have missed the news, but it's likely you will notice one impact: higher self-employment taxes.
How are the two related? The index is used to calculate the social security wage base, which is the amount of income subject to the 12.4% social security portion of the self-employment tax. When the index goes up, the wage base does too, and more of your income is taxed.
The New Overtime Rules issued by the Department of Labor regarding the overtime eligibility is still set to go into effect December 1, 2016.
The House introduced and passed legislation, H.R. 6094, which would delay the overtime rules for a six-month period, but it has yet to be heard by the Senate and likely will be delayed until after the election. Therefore, we recommend proceeding with your plan to address this change within your company.