NJBIA is trying to make New Jersey more attractive to millennials to help address the ongoing labor shortage so many businesses face. New Jersey is not alone when it comes to finding quality workers, but we are No. 1 in millennial outmigration. As we pointed out in our study, The Education Equation: Strategies for Retaining Our Future Workforce, millennials are our future workforce, and they are leaving New Jersey at a faster rate than any other state.
Over at the Big Ideas for Small Business blog, Barbara Weltman suggests that helping employees with debt is a good way to attract talent and retain existing workers.
College graduates are saddled with tremendous student debt, so they are interested in programs to help them deal with it. Last year’s American Student Assistance survey showed 86 percent of millennials would commit to an employer for five years if the company helped them pay off their student loans.
Some businesses are offering cash to help repay employees’ student loans, but you can also help just by offering a payroll deduction to ensure regular payments are made automatically. In her post, Weltman lists a number of cost-effective platforms for employers.
This strategy is not for everyone. As Weltman points out, “…you may be slighting employees with no such loans but with other financial concerns. Whatever you decide to do with respect to student loan assistance, ensure your actions take all employees into account.”
Right now, such compensation would be taxed as regular income. Legislation to exclude $5,250 of such payments has been introduced in Congress. The bill, H.R. 795 (Rooney, R-Il), is awaiting action in the House Committee on Ways and Means.