High cost of workplace bullying: Horrible bosses beware

Horrible bosses, beware. Reports of workplace bullying are on the rise and now legislation is pending in New Jersey that could place employers at risk for lawsuits. The bill known as the Healthy Workplace Bill has drawn the attention of lawyers representing employers and the support of The Workplace Bullying Institute. If the bill becomes law, it would make it illegal to engage in repeated bullying such as verbal abuse or offensive conduct. A 2010 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 35 percent of workers have experienced bullying firsthand. The costs of workplace bullying include high turnover, legal fees and litigation. Continue reading

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Spike in student loan default rate: Rising cost of college spurs alternatives to filling the skills gap

Obama speaks on student loans

Obama speaks on student loans (© AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the Education Department disclosed that the student loan default rate for the first three years that a student is required to pay has risen to an all-time high of 13.4 percent. The worst offenders were students from for-profit colleges. With the cost of college rising and the prospect of high paying jobs fading, many have started to question the value of a college education and to seek alternatives to college.

Loan defaults

In a September 29, 2012 article for Bloomberg News titled, “Student-Loan Default Rates Rise as Federal Scrutiny Grows,” John Hechinger and Janet Lorin explained that the Education Department has changed the way it examines student loan default rates to cover the first three years of repayment instead of the first two years as in previous examinations. Continue reading

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Apple iOS 6: New, free operating system offers upgraded features

It’s finally here! No, not the iPhone 5: Apple iOS 6, the new (and free) operating system for mobile Mac devices. This update is said to offer users a wide range of enhanced features — from a better Siri experience to Passbook, where users can store everything from coupons to airline tickets. CNET raves about the upgrade, writing “new features and a ton of tiny tweaks make iOS 6 a must-have update.” Not everyone agrees, however, and one major complaint is that iOS 6 deletes Google Maps and replaces it with Apple Maps. If you or your company haven’t yet updated your iPhones and iPads, check out the new (and improved?) features before you do so. Continue reading

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New economic stimulus by the Federal Reserve aims to lower unemployment rate

On Thursday, September 13, 2012, the Federal Reserve announced that it would begin a third economic stimulus by purchasing $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities each month. The announcement went on to say that the buying would continue until the labor market shows improvement. Citing concern for the millions of unemployed Americans, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke expressed the hope that this program would boost the normal reduction in the unemployment rate by an additional 0.4 percent or more over the next two years. Continue reading

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Big question for Election Day 2012 campaign: Are you better off?

Election Day 2012As this year’s campaign grinds closer to Election Day 2012, the question on everyone’s mind is, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” The query is reminiscent of election year 1980 when Republican candidate Ronald Reagan won the presidency based largely on people’s response to the same question. However, answering that question today is more challenging than it was 32 years ago. Answers can vary widely depending on your point of view.

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Time to save the middle class: Income inequality legacy of economic recovery

We are two years into economic recovery from the Great Recession and so far it appears that the legacy of this recovery will be greater income inequality and perhaps the end of the middle class as we know it. A new report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) shows that while job losses during the recession were largely in mid-wage occupations, those jobs that are being added to the economy are, for the most part, low-wage jobs. The dominance of low-wage jobs adds to the growing tide of inequality and will have long-term effects on the U.S. economy. Continue reading

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Technology news: HireVue proffers digital job interview questions

Let’s face it: job interviews are daunting, interviewers are intimidating, and trying to make small talk before the actual questions start can be a nightmare. Although companies have used face-to-face interviews for years, times are changing — and so is the job screening process. Today, some employers are turning to digital interviews to help weed out candidates during the early rounds of the hiring process, and HireVue, a company that provides digital job interview questions, has been a hot topic in technology news — especially since its recent acquisition of CodeEval. Continue reading

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Samsung vs Apple one of many tech industry patent lawsuits

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer unveils new tablet (© Damian Dovarganes/AP Images)

The patent lawsuits of Apple vs Samsung and Samsung vs Apple hit a lull this week when the parties failed to reach an agreement on how to narrow the scope of the claims at issue in the case. Each company has accused the other of violating its patents and stealing its designs for mobile devices. The Apple vs Samsung battle is just one of many patent wars currently being raged within the tech industry. The proliferation of patent lawsuits has drawn criticism from some in the business community who see such litigation as a barrier to innovation. Continue reading

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July jobs report sends mixed signals for economic recovery: Jobless recovery due to loss of permanent jobs

President Obama greets voters

President Obama greets voters after July jobs report announcement (© Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images)

The July 2012 jobs report showed an increase in the number of jobs added to the economy. While this is good news, it is still unclear whether the addition of 163,000 jobs in July is an indicator of firm economic recovery. It may turn out that employment data is no longer a valid indicator of economic recovery. Over the past decade thousands   of jobs have been lost and may never return. This trend has been dubbed a “jobless recovery” because employers have learned to maintain and increase productivity levels with fewer workers. Continue reading

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Misclassified Facebook accounts destined for delete — Facebook stock at risk?

Do you have a separate profile for your business? You may soon log on to find that your additional profiles are no longer accessible. On Wednesday, July 31, 2012, Facebook released information showing that 83 million accounts may, in fact, be fakes or duplicates. Although many of these accounts are harmless, such as your business’s profile, some pose a real threat. Unfortunately, this information comes at quite an inopportune time for the social media company. Just a day before, Facebook stock took an even bigger plunge, dropping to another record low. Continue reading

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