U.S. Department of Labor

Federal officials have closed a one-time extension for companies that needed more temporary visa workers – landscapers and other non-farm laborers.

Indiana brings in hundreds of these workers a year and makes up about one percent of the program nationwide.

Typically, nearly half of the nation’s H-2B workers are landscapers, and that proportion is even higher in Indiana.

For fiscal year 2017, more than 70 percent of the state’s 1,550 H-2B visa workers were brought on in landscaping jobs.

Joe Brunner / YouTube

Global trade's impact on Indiana jobs has made headlines this election season -- and so far this year, high numbers of Hoosier workers have also qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs.

 

Estimates from the Department of Workforce Development show that, in the last six months, more Indiana workers have qualified for federal benefits due to trade-related layoffs than in any of the past five years -- more than 3,200 since Jan. 1.

 

M Sullivan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsullivan/406152

The final changes to federal overtime pay law are out this week.

Businesses in Indiana and nationwide now have until December to figure out which of their workers can start earning OT -- and how to pay for it.

 

Under the final version of the rules, salaried employees making less than $47,476 a year will earn time and a half for working overtime.

It's twice the old threshold -- and it could cost the most for Indiana trades like retail, manufacturing and education, says Indianapolis-based compensation consultant Julie Bingham.

Tom Blackwell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/tjblackwell/5659432136

New federal rules making more white-collar workers eligible for overtime pay could be finalized in the next few weeks -- but the state doesn't know exactly how many workers stand to benefit.

Right now, most workers can't earn overtime if they make more than about $24,000 a year. That threshold is slated to more than double this summer, meaning if an employee makes less than $50,400, they'll be paid for working beyond 40 hours a week.

It sounds like good news for workers -- but state Chamber of Commerce CEO Kevin Brinegar isn't so sure.

Indiana is getting more federal grant money to boost its efforts retraining out-of-work Hoosiers for new economy jobs.

A new $2.4 million federal grant adds to a $58 million state effort for retraining laid-off workers.  Out of the 30 states receiving the U.S. Department of Labor grant, Indiana is receiving the second-highest per capita percentage of those dollars.  Governor Mike Pence says that’s in part because there are more than a million Hoosiers who lack the skills necessary to find one of the thousands of unfilled jobs in the state.