Tuesday, May 31 – Millennials aren’t good co-workers, a factory owner tells the Dallas Federal Reserve. The latest manufacturing report from the Dallas Fed showed that factory activity was delayed far more than expected in May. And, fingers seem to point at the young social media-savvy workers.
The report includes responses from manufacturers, who put together records of their monthly release and anecdotes on how their businesses and workers are doing.
Younger Workers are Often Engaged in Social Media
In May, the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which increases the income threshold of eligibility to $47,476 per year from $23,660, raised concerns about the high cost of labor. One manufacturer was clearly against the idea and said that Millennial workers are slacking off and aren’t bothering to work hard enough for their pay.
Serious Problems in Productivity
The manufacturer told the Dallas Fed that the Department of Labor’s new rule is a burden for businesses. They claimed that delays in business development, higher costs, and reduced productivity lead to more time spent on non-customer-focused or non-value-added efforts.
“We have a serious productivity problem with office workers and estimated that less than 50 percent of their time is spent on value-creating business activities. The younger workers are often off task, engaged on social media, on the internet, texting on phones and other unproductive activities.”
The manufacturer rebukes the Department of Labor, saying if they were to pay the Millennials overtime for actual work done, this will mean focusing on “micromanaging employees and reducing compensation to reflect actual productivity of a mandated 40 hour or less workweek.”
Making the Country “Less Competitive”
The factory owner further adds, “All the government regulations and Department of Labor rules are doing is making our country less competitive, creating more part-time workers, reducing workers to a max of 35–39 hours, creating divisions and demotivating the top achievers.”
They also emphasized that the new overtime rule makes businesses wary of incurring additional overtime costs. As such, employees who would want to take on special projects to make themselves valuable to the company will become discouraged from doing so.
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Increasing Pressure in the Manufacturing Sector
The concern for increasing costs affects not only the Dallas manufacturing sector, which struggles with higher prices of raw materials and wages. The Texas manufacturing sector has similar problems with the tightening labor market and wage pressures.
The factory owner concludes by saying, “We want to compete, we want to hire more people and we want to innovate. Let adults agree to employment terms and conditions.”