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Archive for the ‘Employment-Related’ Category

As we’re all well aware, there’s some pretty discouraging news about the economy out there.  Americans are worried about the state of our economy, as well as the global economy, as evidenced by this recent poll by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  There are bits of good news scattered throughout, however, such as this report by the US Department of Commerce that more tourists are coming to the US and spending in record amounts.  Mixed among all the good and the bad, however, is the weird, such as the National Retail Federation’s claim that Halloween spending is on a rise due to US consumers trying to escape the realities of our economic crisis.  I guess this means that if you’re selling Halloween items to tourists, then your business is going like gangbusters.

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Lisa Belkin’s article “Palin Talk”, found in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, caught my eye today.  In it she examines reactions to Sarah Palin’s take on work-life balance, and how the candidate’s decision to take on a larger political role while balancing family concerns has us all investigating our own take on the balance in our lives.  Lisa Belkin also has a blog, Motherlode, where she discusses work-life balance issues in addition to other concerns as a working mother.

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If you haven’t already heard of this study, then you need to take a look at “Is the Gap More Than Gender? A Longitudinal Analysis of Gender, Gender Role Orientation, and Earnings”.  From the press release:

When it comes to sex roles in society, what you think may affect what you earn. A new study has found that men who believe in traditional roles for women earn more money than men who don’t, and women with more egalitarian views don’t make much more than women with a more traditional outlook.

Timothy Judge, PhD, and Beth Livingston from the University of Florida, analyzed data from a nationally representative study of men and women who were interviewed four times between 1979 and 2005. A total of 12,686 people, ages 14 to 22 at the beginning of the study, participated; there was a 60 percent retention rate over the course of the study. Results were published in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association.

At each of the four interviews, participants were asked about their views on gender roles in the work force and at home. They answered questions such as whether they believed a woman’s place is in the home, whether employing wives leads to more juvenile delinquency, if a man should be the achiever outside the home and if the woman should take care of the home and family. Participants were also asked about their earnings, religious upbringing, education, whether they worked outside the home and their marital status, in addition to other topics. Prior studies have shown that men tend to hold more traditional gender roles than do women, though this gap has narrowed over time.

The researchers looked specifically at gender role views as a predictor of a person’s earnings. They controlled for job complexity, number of hours worked and education. Their analyses showed that men in the study who said they had more traditional gender role attitudes made an average of about $8,500 more annually than those who had less traditional attitudes.

Just as disheartening as the previous report, “Black Advances Erode As Labor Market Weakens”–a report by the Economic Policy Institute–finds that economic gains made by African Americans in the 1990s have been reversed by 2007.   From the EPI website:

While bad economic news continues to pile up for America’s working people, the economic trends are even more disheartening for African American families. Gains made during the strong labor market of the latter 1990s business cycle have eroded, even as the economy grew significantly. On all major indicators – income, wages, employment and poverty – African Americans lost ground between 2000 and 2007.

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LinkedIn, the popular online business networking tool, recently received another round of venture funding, led by Bain Capital, which valued it at $1 billion.  While this doesn’t make it the highest valued social networking site at present (Facebook holds this title, at $15 billion), the valuation does lead to some pretty high expectations.  The FT has an article on the valuation but more interesting is this back-of-the-envelope breakdown, posted at the blog GigaOm, of whether LinkedIn is really worth that much.

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Check out this article from Wired about Glassdoor, a startup website that allows employees to post anonymous ratings of their job, environment, salary, and bosses.  Maybe this could be the new word-of-mouth for potential employees?  The author of the article seems to think this will take off, and I’m inclined to think so as well–but only time will tell.  At any rate, it’s a lot better than rotten Neighbor.

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Fortune has a list of the 25 most desirable MBA Employers, as reported by MBA candidates, and guess which company took #1? Google, of course–who wouldn’t want to work there if they let you deck your cubicle out in Simpsons chotckie, like the photo shows. Great news: two Boston-based companies are in the top six.

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The 2008 National Employer Survey by the Families and Work Institute is due out tomorrow.  Advance word is that not much has changed since 1998, meaning that benefits and options for managing the work-life balance have not seen increased use to American companies.  The differences from the 1998 report are in the decrease of companies offering pensions and the increase in co-pays for healthcare.

If that has you down in the dumps, I’d suggest reading another report by the Families and Work Institute, their 2008 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work.  I’ve read parts of it and have found some very interesting and innovative methods companies use to motivate and retain employees.  It’ll hopefully give you some new ideas to encourage or engender change in your environment.

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