Hoping For a Raise? How About a Gift Card, Instead?
Many a disgruntled employee has complained of working for peanuts. But is working for lattes any better? Unemployment rates are still high and wages stagnant, but American workers are more productive than ever. That’s good news for the economy, but means that rank-and-file employees are working longer and harder. And what are we getting for all that extra effort in lieu of more pay? In many cases, gift cards. That’s right: About two-thirds of companies give their employees gift cards, says the Incentive Research Foundation, and it’s the biggest and fastest growing category of employee rewards. In an Incentive Research Federation research report published last year, 12% of responding companies said they gave gift cards for quarterly or end-of-year bonuses, and 43% said they gave gift cards as holiday gifts or bonuses. (MORE: Free Lunches at Work? The Tax Man Wants a Bite) Collectively, American companies spent nearly $23 billion on gift cards for employee “incentive and loyalty” ...
Cold March Keeps Shoppers’ Spending Tepid
NEW YORK — So much for new spring shorts and T-shirts. As cold weather lingered across most of the country, Americans shopped modestly in March. U.S. retailers reported a key revenue figure rose slightly during the month, as shoppers held back on spending because of the cold weather across the nation, particularly the Midwest and East Coast, and continued fears about the economy. Economists monitor consumer spending because it accounts for more than 70 percent of economic activity. According to a preliminary tally of 15 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers, revenue in stores open at least a year rose 1.6 percent, or 2.5 percent excluding drugstores. That was below expectations, said Michael Niemira, chief economist at the ICSC. Weather was a factor, with March being the coldest in seven years. The comparison with last March was especially tough. Last year saw the warmest March on record, according to weather research firm Planalytics Inc. “Wintry weather conditions ...
Weekly jobless claims plummet to 346K
Labor Department: Unemployment aid applications fell 42,000 last week, reversing sharp gains over the previous two weeks
Found more than 1 month ago on channel CBS
Jobless claims fall, easing worries about labor market
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, which could ease fears of a marked deterioration in labor market conditions after a surprise stumble in job growth in March. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, unwinding the jump in the prior week ...
Found more than 1 month ago on channel MSNBC
U.S. Unemployment Aid Applications Plummet to 346K
(WASHINGTON) — The number of Americans seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, suggesting March’s weak month of hiring may be a temporary slowdown. The Labor Department says weekly unemployment aid applications fell 42,000 last week, reversing sharp gains over the previous two weeks. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 3,000 to 358,000. The data have been volatile in the past two weeks largely because of the Easter holiday, a department spokesman says. The timing of the holiday changes from year to year. That makes it difficult to adjust for school holidays that can cause temporary layoffs. Employers added only 88,000 jobs in March after averaging 220,000 the previous four months. The drop in unemployment benefits suggests hiring could pick up again in April. MORE: How ‘Made in the USA’ is Making a Comeback