Employers Post Most Job Openings In 3 Years During September_Macau Career

Employers Post Most Job Openings In 3 Years During September












Employers Post Most Job Openings In 3 Years During September







WASHINGTON — U.S. employers advertised more jobs in September than at any other point in the past three years, a hopeful sign that companies may step up hiring.


Businesses and governments posted 3.35 million job openings, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s a 7 percent increase from August and the most since August 2008, one month before the financial crisis intensified.


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Even with the gain, there’s heavy competition for each job. Nearly 14 million people were out of work in September, which means an average 4.2 unemployed workers were competing for each opening. That’s slightly better than August, but it is still more than twice the 2 to 1 ratio that economists say is healthy.


Companies typically take from one to three months to fill a position. So the increase in postings suggests hiring could pick up in the coming months.


Job openings have rebounded from a decade low of 2.1 million in July 2009. Still, there were 4.4 million openings in December 2007, when the recession began.


The economy added 158,000 net jobs in September. Hiring slowed a bit in October, as employers added only 80,000 jobs, the fewest in four months. Still, the unemployment rate dipped in October to a six-month low of 9 percent, from 9.1 percent, because more people said they found jobs.


And October may end up looking better if the government revises the job totals, as it did with the August and September figures.


Initially, the government said employers added zero jobs in August. The department now says there was a net gain of 104,000 jobs that month. September was also revised sharply higher.


The modest improvement in the job market reflects a pickup in economic growth. The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in July-September quarter, its best quarterly growth in a year. In the first half of this year, the economy expanded at the slowest pace since the Great Recession ended in June 2009.


Consumers boosted their spending significantly in the third quarter, compared to the April-June quarter. Americans spent more even in the face of fears of a new recession and wild gyrations in the stock market.


But it’s not clear the greater spending is sustainable, adding to companies’ worries about future growth. People have been dipping into savings to finance their spending, and that may not last.


Without more jobs and pay raises, consumers are unlikely to keep increasing their spending. Consumer spending is important because it accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.





Employees Fired For Trying To Hex Boss With Birdseed_Macau Career

Employees Fired For Trying To Hex Boss With Birdseed












Employees Fired For Trying To Hex Boss With Birdseed







Employees often go to great lengths to avoid getting laid off. They can start working weekends and late into the evening. They can chum up to the boss. Or they can perform an ancient Afro-Caribbean curse to make their manager disappear.


Two employees at the North Miami Police Department attempted a Santeria curse on the city manager, because of recently announced layoffs and budget cuts.


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Police officer Elizabeth Torres and Police Chief Larry Gomer’s secretary Yvonne Rodriguez asked a maintenance worker on the night shift if she had access to City Manager Lyndon Bonner’s office at night. They wanted her to sprinkle the office with birdseed, they explained, to make Bonner miraculously up and leave, reports MSNBC.com.


The janitor, Esther Villaneuva, refused to do the employees’ supernatural bidding; she expressed concern about security cameras monitoring the office, and that something evil might actually befall the manager, claims the report.


“I want to clarify that it’s nothing malicious and nothing intended to hurt that person,” explained Torres, when an internal affairs report on the incident was released last week. “Just, just it can be viewed as either a superstitious practice or a religious practice in the Santeria religion…. This is something I was raised with as a child, all these superstitions and this quasi-religion.”


Villaneuva reportedly told her boss, which led to an investigation. Both Rodriguez and Torres, who have worked for the department for 15 and 24 years respectively, were ultimately terminated, according to WSVN. Torres later said that it was simply a harmless joke.


Santeria derives from the Yoruba religion, which African slaves imported to the Caribbean. It evolved into is current form in Cuba, with influences from Catholicism, and spread through Latin America and much of the U.S. after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.


There are 250,000 Santeria practitioners in the world, according to a 2007 court ruling in Texas, which agreed that one Santeria priest was within his constitutional rights for sacrificing goats and other animals in his home.


Could hexing your employer with birdseed be a constitutionally protected right too, like praying for your boss to get transferred? Probably not if it involves breaking into her office.






Employees Bonus Expectations High In 2011, Cash Is King_Macau Career

Employees Bonus Expectations High In 2011, Cash Is King












Employees Bonus Expectations High In 2011, Cash Is King







Employees are sending a clear message this holiday season: they expect a bonus and they want it to be cold, hard cash. And forget the holiday party, even with an open bar.


A new survey by Harris Interactive® finds that the majority of employees say they would prefer a cash bonus this year (72 percent), followed by a salary raise (62 percent) and additional paid time off (32 percent).


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Expectations for receiving a bonus are high this year: of those employed and eligible for a bonus, a full 58% say they expect an end of year windfall, and 20 percent expect it to be more than their last bonus, while 13 percent expect it to be less, and 22 percent are unsure. However, the check amount may not be quite as much as employees hope – Johnson Associates is reporting Wall Street bonuses may be down 20 – 30 percent over last year.


What Other Perks Make Employees Happy?

Employers who can’t afford a big handout need not worry – employees note that perks such as an extra day off or even a grocery gift card would be preferred. Save the chardonnay and shrimp cocktail, though – traditional holiday parties rate low this year, as a mere 4 percent of employees prefer this “perk.”


Male and Female Expectations

There are some stark differences in how male and female employees want to be recognized and rewarded at the end of the year – employers, take note!


Holiday Perks: More men (16%) said they would be interested in receiving company stock or shares as a holiday perk than women (6%), whereas more women (18%) said they would prefer the option to work from home for a year than men (11%). More women (29%) also prefer grocery gift cards over their male counterparts (18%).


Bonus Expectations: More men (74%) report being eligible for bonuses than women (69%). Among employees who are eligible to receive a bonus this year, nearly twice as many women (17%) report they are unsure of the bonus amount than men (7%) whereas more men (30%) than women (22%) expect their bonus to be the same as last year.



What’s going on at your company? Do you expect a bonus this year? Would you prefer other perks, like paid time off or a holiday party? Tell us what your job is like by sharing a company review and see what your peers are saying, too.


Survey Methodology
    For the purposes of this study “employees” were defined as U.S. adults 18+ employed full time and/or part time unless otherwise indicated.
    This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Glassdoor from November 3-7, 2011 among 2,574 adults ages 18 and older of whom 1,495 are employed full time, part time and/or are self employed. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact pr[at]glassdoor.com.






Employee Group Reporting 1,100 IBM Job Cuts_Macau Career

Employee Group Reporting 1,100 IBM Job Cuts












Employee Group Reporting 1,100 IBM Job Cuts







IBM Corp. has laid off roughly 1,100 workers in North America this week, a union organizing group said Tuesday.


Lee Conrad, national coordinator at Alliance(at)IBM, said that employees are reporting that the cuts have been made across business segments in the U.S. and some parts of Canada.


Alliance(at)IBM, which is affiliated with the Communication Workers of America, is not a recognized union at IBM, but has been trying to organize employees.


IBM did not immediately respond to phone calls for comment. The company, based in Armonk, N.Y., is the world’s largest computer-services provider. It employed 433,362 worldwide as of Dec. 31, according to regulatory filings.


IBM reported in January that its fourth-quarter earnings rose to beat expectations on stronger revenue and improved margins. For all of 2011, IBM earned $15.86 billion, or $13.06 per share, up 7 percent from 2010.


It also raised its outlook for 2012.


Shares of IBM rose 45 cents to close at $197.98 Tuesday.






Emergency Dispatcher Not The First To Be Fired Over 4-Minute Delay_Macau Career

Emergency Dispatcher Not The First To Be Fired Over 4-Minute Delay












Emergency Dispatcher Not The First To Be Fired Over 4-Minute Delay







An emergency dispatcher in Licking County, Ohio, is battling to get his job back after being fired in December over a four-minute delay in alerting firefighters to a burning home. Matt Wheeler did send firefighters to the home where a man was trapped inside, but apparently not fast enough for his employer, reports TV station WBNS in central Ohio.


It’s stressful being on either side of a 911 call. Emergency dispatchers can’t afford a five-minute daydream. A careless keystroke or a mental blip can end a person’s life. While that didn’t happen in this case, Wheeler already had three suspensions and two reprimands over his five-year career, so Licking County officials decided to fire him. His union, The Communications Workers of America, has filed a grievance on his behalf.


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But delays can kill. A woman died in August 2008 from a blood clot in her lungs, after a 911 operator sent emergency crews to the wrong address. The operator misheard Dukes, who was struggling to breathe, and sent help to Wells Street, north of Atlanta, instead of Wales Drive, in Atlanta proper. Operators are supposed to determine the cell tower from where the telephone signal is coming from, and because of the error, it took 25 minutes for help to finally reach Dukes. The dispatcher was fired.


In San Antonio, Texas, the problem was thornier, because so many streets have nearly identical names. The computer-aided dispatch system there couldn’t always differentiate between them, and an error in December 2010 sent firefighters responding to a house fire to the opposite side of town. (The elderly couple who resided at the house were fine, but in the 19 minutes it took for help to arrive, their home was destroyed). Firefighters warned that it was only a matter of time before this problem caused loss of life.


Controversy erupted over the behavior of another dispatcher in May 2008, following the murder of a University of Wisconsin-Madison student, Brittany Zimmerman. The 21-year-old had called 911 before she was stabbed and beaten to death in her apartment, but the call was disconnected. The operator didn’t hear anything that made her think it was emergency, so she moved on to another call. Critics said it should have prompted a police response, or at least a call back.


This incident shows the great stakes that 911 operators cope with every day. They need to work with lightning speed and absolute accuracy, but also a sensitivity to what could be an emergency, when the clues are unclear. An error on one side can waste the precious time of emergency responders. An error on the other can cost a person’s life.






Electrolux Plans Layoffs, Cost Cuts Of $770 Million_Macau Career

Electrolux Plans Layoffs, Cost Cuts Of $770 Million












Electrolux Plans Layoffs, Cost Cuts Of $770 Million







By Malin Rising



STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish appliance maker Electrolux AB plans to cut costs by around 5.1 billion kronor ($770 million) a year and review staffing levels in all regions because of a broad downturn in demand.


Electrolux said Tuesday it has been “tangibly affected” by a decline in consumer confidence in Europe and North America, while increased costs for raw materials have also weighed on earnings.


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The company forecast 2011 sales volumes of household appliances in North America to be 25 percent below the peak year of 2005 and sales volumes in Western Europe to be 15 percent below the peak year there of 2006.


It said it expects the headwinds to continue in 2012.


Shares in Electrolux dropped by 7.9 percent to 111.4 kronor ($16.8) in early Stockholm trading.


The company, which makes washing machines, dryers, refrigerators and vacuum cleaners, last year had some 52,000 employees and reported total sales of 106 billion kronor ($16 billion).


The savings plan is estimated to provide 2.6 billion kronor ($390 million) more in savings than Electrolux’s previous plan, the company said.


Measures include adapting manufacturing capacity to save 1.6 billion kronor ($240 million) a year by 2016 and reviewing employment levels to save 500 million ($75 million). The company said it has started netotiations with unions but didn’t immediately want to say how many workers it might lay off.


Another measure involves speeding up synergy savings and improving purchasing to save 3 billion kronor ($450 million) as of 2015.


Together, all the measures are expected to cost 5 billion kronor ($750 million), Electrolux said.






Economy Likely Started 2012 With Solid Job Growth_Macau Career

Economy Likely Started 2012 With Solid Job Growth












Economy Likely Started 2012 With Solid Job Growth







By Christopher S. Rugaber



WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy likely produced another solid month of hiring in January, a promising start for 2012.


Economists forecast that employers added a net 155,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate remained 8.5 percent for a second straight month, according to a survey by Factset.


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The unemployment rate has fallen for four straight months. It’s at its lowest level in nearly three years.


A gain of 155,000 jobs would be down slightly from December, when employers added a net 200,000. Still, it would mark the seventh straight month in which at least 100,000 jobs have been added. That hasn’t happened since 2005.


On Friday, the government will also issue its annual revisions to earlier jobs figures. The revisions are expected to show that hiring was stronger over the past two years than previously thought. The government has said the economy added about 1.6 million jobs last year, nearly twice as many as in 2010.


Even with the gains, the job market faces a long way back to full health. The nation has about 6 million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began in late 2007.


And analysts expect seasonal layoffs to weigh on the January job figures. The government, for example, reported a big gain in the number of courier and messenger jobs in December. That largely reflected hiring by delivery services, such as UPS and FedEx, which bulked up to handle online holiday sales. Most of those jobs were probably lost last month.


Still, several reports signaled this week that the economy is improving gradually. Manufacturers expanded at the fastest pace in seven months in January, a private survey showed.


And fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said. The four-week average of applications fell to its second-lowest level since June 2008. The drop shows that companies are cutting fewer jobs, which usually leads to more hiring.


Americans spent more at big chain retail stores last month compared with a year earlier. And automakers began 2012 with a strong sales gain in January. Healthier auto sales can boost a range of companies, from steel makers to parts suppliers to shippers.


The economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual pace in the October-December quarter, a full percentage point higher than in the previous quarter.


Even so, economists expect slower growth this year. Much of the fourth quarter’s expansion was due to companies ordering more goods to restock their warehouses. Restocking is likely to slow in the first three months of this year. That would drag on growth.


Europe’s financial crisis could also slow demand for U.S. goods. And average wages failed to keep up with inflation last year. That leaves consumers with less spending power, which can hamper growth.






Economy Could Suffer If Tax Cut, Jobless Aid End_Macau Career

Economy Could Suffer If Tax Cut, Jobless Aid End












Economy Could Suffer If Tax Cut, Jobless Aid End







By Christopher S. Rugaber



WASHINGTON — A tax cut that reaches 160 million Americans and government aid for the long-term unemployed will expire at the end of the year – sucking $165 billion out of the economy next year – unless Congress takes action.


Economists hoped the so-called congressional supercommittee would decide whether to extend both measures. But the committee couldn’t even agree on how to reach its main goal, cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal budget deficit.


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If the tax cut goes away, the average family would pay about $1,000 more in taxes next year, the equivalent of an extra tank of gas every two weeks. Someone earning $100,000 would pay $2,000 more.


And if long-term unemployment benefits are allowed to expire, about 6 million people would lose weekly checks averaging about $300. For most of the long-term unemployed, that is their main source of income.


“There’s an awful lot of uncertainty ahead,” said Michael Hanson, senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.


Both changes would leave Americans with an estimated $165 billion less to spend. The Federal Reserve expects the economy to grow only 2.7 percent next year, and economists say the expiration of the two programs could reduce growth by a full percentage point.


The government said Tuesday that the economy grew at a 2 percent rate in July, August and September, down from earlier estimates of 2.5 percent.


To bring unemployment down significantly, the economy has to grow more than twice as fast as it grew this summer.


Congress could extend the tax cut and unemployment benefits when it returns from Thanksgiving recess next week. But the same partisan philosophical differences that sank the supercommittee could complicate the debate.


At the same time, Congress may be unwilling to force what is essentially a tax increase on tens of millions of Americans just as an election year begins.


Both measures were part of a deal struck in December 2010 by President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress.


The cut applies to the tax that pays for Social Security. The tax applies to the first $106,800 a person makes in a year. The deal lowered the rate paid by individuals to 4.2 percent from 6.2 percent for this year. Companies also pay a 6.2 rate on their payroll.


Some Republicans have indicated they could support extending the tax cut, but there would almost certainly be a fight over how to pay for it. Without spending cuts or other tax increases, renewing the Social Security tax cut would swell the deficit.


Obama, as part of his jobs bill in September, Obama proposed lowering the rate further, to 3.1 percent, and cutting the employer portion to 3.1 percent up to the first $5 million on their payrolls.


Cuts at that level would pump almost $250 billion more into the economy compared with last year, when individuals and employers both paid the 6.2 percent rate.


Obama, speaking Tuesday in New Hampshire, urged Republicans to continue the tax break.


“Don’t be a Grinch,” the president said. “Don’t vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays.”


On Monday, White House press secretary Jay Carney suggested that renewing or deepening the tax cut could be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy. Republicans have refused to consider doing so.


Most states provide up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. The deal extended benefits to up to 99 weeks in states with the highest unemployment rates.


Unless that is renewed, almost 2.2 million people out of work will lose benefits by the first week in February. About 6 million people would lose weekly benefits by the end of the year.


Just the uncertainty of not knowing what Congress will do could cause businesses to hold back on hiring and investment, and therefore drag down economic growth, Hanson said.


Most economists would like to see lower budget deficits, but most would like the government to reduce the deficit gradually, to avoid hurting the weak economy. And they would all prefer robust economic growth to solve the problem.


The supercommittee’s failure triggers $1 trillion in automatic cuts in government spending beginning in 2013. Congress could undo them, but then credit rating agencies might downgrade the government’s long-term debt, as Standard & Poor’s did in August.


An even bigger hurdle looms at the end of 2012. That’s when the tax cuts passed during the Bush administration are set to expire. Losing those tax cuts would cost taxpayers up to an additional $4 trillion over 10 years.


Combined, all those factors would reduce growth in 2013 by between 1.5 and 3.5 percentage points, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, estimated last week.






Economy Adds 227,000 Jobs, Jobless Rate Unchanged_Macau Career

Economy Adds 227,000 Jobs, Jobless Rate Unchanged












Economy Adds 227,000 Jobs, Jobless Rate Unchanged







By Christopher S. Rugaber



WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in January to complete three of the best months of hiring since the recession began. The unemployment rate was unchanged, largely because more people streamed into the workforce.


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The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent last month, the lowest in three years.


And hiring in January and December was better than first thought. The government revised those figures to show an additional 61,000 jobs.


The economy has now generated an average of 245,000 jobs in the past three months. The only better stretch since the recession began was in early 2010.


That bodes well for President Barack Obama’s re-election chances, although he’s still likely to face the highest unemployment rate of any post-war president.


Stock futures rose slightly after the report was released. Dow Jones industrial average futures, which were up 10 points before the report, added 10 points when it came out. Standard & Poor’s 500 futures were up one point before the report and tacked on two.


Last month’s hiring was broad-based and in both high-paying and lower-paying industries. Manufacturing, mining, and professional services, such as accounting, all added jobs.


Governments at all levels cut only 6,000 jobs in February and 1,000 in January, after a revision. That’s a welcome change from the heavy layoffs by cash-strapped states and cities over the past two years. Last year alone they cut an average of 22,000 jobs per month.


Nearly a half-million people began looking for work last month, and most found jobs, the report said. That’s a sign of growing optimism in the job market, as many people who had given up on looking for work came off the sidelines to search for jobs.


That also counters a troubling trend: a key reason why the unemployment rate has dropped since last year is that many out-of-work people have stopped looking for work. Only people without jobs who are actively seeking one are counted as unemployed.


A sustained rise in the number of people looking for jobs is a good sign, even if the unemployment rate doesn’t change.


Friday’s report comes as a host of data points to an improving economy and job market. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits have fallen about 14 percent in six months. Though they ticked up last week, average applications remain near a four-year low.


On Wednesday, payroll provider ADP said businesses added 216,000 employees last month, up from January’s total. The ADP report doesn’t include governments, which have been cutting jobs.


And service companies, which employ most Americans, are expanding at a faster pace, according to a private survey released this week. A gauge of employment shows that service firms are still hiring, particularly in the mining, educational services, and transportation and warehousing industries.


The service sector includes everything from restaurants and hotels to health care firms and financial service companies.


Some companies must hire because they can’t squeeze more output from their current staffs. Last year, worker productivity rose at its slowest pace in nearly 25 years. That means companies will likely have to add staff to meet growing demand.


Other figures point to the same conclusion. The average work week was unchanged at 34.5 hours. That’s close to the pre-recession total and suggests that companies will have to hire more workers as business improves, rather than adding more hours.






Economists See More Reasons For Optimism This Year_Macau Career

Economists See More Reasons For Optimism This Year












Economists See More Reasons For Optimism This Year







By Samantha Bomkamp



NEW YORK (AP) — Economists are increasingly confident that some pillars of the U.S. economy will improve this year, but they still remain cautious in their expectations on the overall pace of economic growth.


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The National Association for Business Economics said Monday that forecasters have raised their expectations for employment, new home construction and business spending this year. But they held on to their average prediction that America’s gross domestic product, or GDP, will grow at a rate of 2.4 percent. That’s a slight improvement from 2011, when economists believe the economy grew 1.6 percent. Final economic growth numbers for 2011 are due out Wednesday.


GDP reflects the economy’s total output of goods and services. The latest forecast is in line with one issued by the group in November that called for the economy to grow 2.4 percent this year. Forecasters predict growth will be stronger in the second half of 2012 than it will be through June.


NABE economists see the unemployment rate sticking at 8.3 percent this year, matching January figures. That’s improved from their November forecast of 8.9 percent. Unemployment peaked at 10 percent in October of 2009. The economists expect job growth to accelerate next year, and forecast the unemployment rate will fall to 7.8 percent. GDP growth needs to be above 3 percent to significantly lower unemployment.


The economists predict builders will break ground on 700,000 homes this year, up 15 percent compared with 2011. In November, they expected new home construction of about 660,000. They predict 850,000 will be built in 2013.


Panelists are also still forecasting strong business spending growth this year. They’ve slightly raised their forecast to 8.1 percent growth this year. For 2013, spending should slow slightly, but still remain strong at 7.3 percent, the forecast said. Industrial production is expected to increase moderately at 3.5 percent this year and 3.3 percent in 2013.


Despite a brightening forecast for employment, housing and business spending, the NABE Outlook Panel of 45 economists expects consumers to continue to penny-pinch this year. They still predict spending will increase just 2.1 percent this year and 2.3 percent next year. The rate is below historical average of 2.8 percent, highlighting an economy that’s heading in the right direction, but still slow-going.


Economists have lowered their expectations for exports this year as well. They now expect 4.6 percent growth in 2012, compared to their November prediction of 6.1 percent. Their projection for import growth in 2012 was also lowered from 4.3 percent to 3.5 percent. They expect both rates to improve in 2013.


Overall, economists say they are more confident in their predictions than just a few months ago. Less than half of economists surveyed by the NABE this month call their forecasts “somewhat uncertain” or “much more uncertain than usual.” In November, more than two-thirds of respondents characterized their predictions as uncertain.


The survey was conducted Jan. 26 to Feb. 8.