Few employers are “very confident” their employees are on the way to becoming retirement-secure, according to the report, “Employers: The Retirement Security Challenge,” from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. Only 17% of employers felt very confident, which lined up with 18% of employees who felt the same. About 23% of employers were not too confident and 6% said they weren’t confident at all.
Manufacturing activity was the lowest in a decade, according to the Institute for Supply Management, an Association of purchasing managers. Its September manufacturing index fell to 47.8%, down from 49.1% in August. This was its lowest reading since June 2009. Any reading below 50 typically indicates that manufacturing activity is contracting.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also recently compiled consumer economic information for all of 2018 and found that spending rose 1.9%. During the same period the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) rose 2.4%. Two bright spots: healthcare expenses rose only 0.8% while education costs fell 5.6%.
If you wonder what challenges other employers face trying to put together their employee benefit packages, the 2019 Benefits Trends Survey by Willis Towers Watson offers some clues. Over the next three years, the employers surveyed cited rising benefit costs (82%), difficulty communicating benefit choices to employees (53%) and differing wants and needs of a multigenerational workforce (50%) as top concerns.READ MORE