It may seem ironic that signs of employee dissatisfaction should emerge at a time of high unemployment, but it’s hardly surprising. For the two phenomena—the poor labor market and workers’ antagonism toward employers and customers—are actually connected. Employees are sick and tired of tough conditions and crummy salaries.
A successful IPO, a profile in The Wall Street Journal, signing up your 1 millionth user—these are all signs that your technology company has arrived. The rarer mark of success, though—the sign that you've truly changed how people behave—is when your service becomes a verb.
Among the government’s most interesting reports is one that estimates what parents spend on their children. Not surprisingly, the costs are steep. For a middle-class, husband-and-wife family (average pretax income in 2009: $76,250), spending per child is about $12,000 a year. Assuming modest annual inflation (2.8 percent), the report estimates that the family’s spending on a child born in 2009 would total $286,050 by age 17.
When the Senate walked away from energy reform this year, it seemed to spell the end of cap-and-trade as well. But the idea is still alive at the state level. In 2007, 10 Eastern states developed a cap-and-trade system for power plants.
Carmakers are in an endless struggle of one-upmanship to offer consistently improved performance and comfort in their flagship sedans. The car that ferries today’s elite must be big, commanding, authoritative—a modern-day golden chariot—but without being too ostentatiously gas-guzzling.
According to the Obama administration, this is the Summer of Recovery: the global recession is over, factories across America are ramping up production, and corporate balance sheets are dripping black ink. So why does it still feel more like a Winter of Discontent?
Is it any wonder the average employee is in a bad mood? "There's more of a divide in terms of compensation between senior executives and the average worker now," says Thomas Kochan, a professor of management at MIT. "This will have a lasting effect and lead to lower trust and lower confidence in management."
Drawing on years of research and recent examples like the financial crisis, Paul Sullivan takes a look at the traits that make people across various fields succeed under high-stress conditions, which he refers to as “clutch,” while others choke. He spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Nayeli Rodriguez about what separates the two.
The Washington Post Company announced today that it has signed a contract to sell NEWSWEEK to Sidney Harman, a successful businessman who made his fortune in audio equipment and is a well-known philanthropist. Harman, 91, the founder and chairman emeritus of Harman International, was one of several bidders for the magazine, according to sources familiar with the process, and the deal was not concluded until today.
Asia now has 3 million millionaires, 26 percent more than a year ago, according to Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Capgemini, a French consultancy. The region controls more wealth than Europe and is closing in rapidly on North America. Signs of opulence are hard to miss: one of India’s richest men built a 27-story skyscraper as his home, while Chinese millionaires spent $830 million on fine art in 2009.
How soon will the economy recover, and are we headed for a double-dip recession? The answers to both questions became more nuanced -- and possibly worrisome Friday -- when the Commerce Department reported that the country’s economic growth had slowed this quarter, largely due to consumers’ reluctance to spend money.
What will our cities look like in 20 years? Already, roughly 36.4 million Americans work flexible schedules, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fixed 9-to-5 schedule no longer suits the round-the-clock demands of finance, business, and professional services.
Judging from corporate profits, we should be enjoying a powerful economic recovery. During the recession, profits dropped by about a third, apparently the worst decline since World War II. But every day brings reports of gains. In the second quarter, IBM’s profits rose 9.1 percent from a year earlier. Government statistics through the first quarter (the latest) show that profits have recovered 87 percent of what they lost in the recession.
One day after President Obama signed a financial-reform law aimed at curbing predatory lending and preventing another financial collapse, a new study shows that Americans are less economically secure now than at any other time over the last 25 years.
Let's pause and shed a tear for a class of American workers who are suffering unduly thanks to big, uncontrollable trends in the global economy. The slowdown and uncertainty in the markets is reducing demand for their services. They've become political punching bags. They're America's investment bankers.
Even if the Senate passes a bill to provide unemployment-insurance benefits this week, the country still needs to figure out a smart way to create jobs for millions of people whose industries and livelihoods have altogether disappeared. So, how should we put 15 million unemployed Americans back to work? Here’s a quick look at the big ideas for solving the jobs crisis.
After an eight-year slumber, the Environmental Protection Agency is issuing regulations again. Two years after an appalling financial debacle, Congress is finally moving to regulate Wall Street. But to hear our nation’s commercial chieftains tell it, it’s enough to plunge us back into recession.
In 2010, when Heidi Montag’s bloated lips plaster every magazine in town, when little girls lust after an airbrushed, unattainable body ideal, there’s a growing bundle of research to show that our bias against the unattractive is more pervasive than ever. And when it comes to the workplace, it’s looks, not merit, that all too often rule.
If you’ve ever set foot in a department store, you’ve probably had to navigate the beauty and fragrance gauntlet—bombarded by salespeople pressuring you to be “made over.” I used to be one of these people.
It was hard to believe BP when it announced oil had stopped gushing into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, July 15. It had taken 87 days. There was relief but little jubilation: it will take many years to clean the shores and the birds, and for the sea to begin to repair itself from the onslaught of poisonous oil. Surely we can no longer call it a “spill”—it seems too light and trite a word.
John Browne knows a thing or two about cost-cutting. As BP’s boss for 12 years starting in 1995, he oversaw an ambitious expansion program that transformed the company’s fortunes while trimming staff. In the words of his successor, Tony Hayward, Browne’s management style “made a virtue of doing more for less.”
Goldman Sachs has long been known for being a sharp trader. And the settlement announced with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday seems like a great trade. Goldman agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges that it had misled investors about mortgage-related products. How is this a smart trade for Goldman, its top executives, and its shareholders? Let us count the ways.
Book authors from the business world talked to NEWSWEEK in an ongoing series of interviews highlighting the best business literature out there. Stop here before (or after) picking up the latest intelligent take.
On Tuesday, the Treasury reported the federal government's receipts and expenses for June. The upshot: through the first nine months of fiscal 2010 (which started last fall), the federal government has run a $1 trillion deficit.
Now that the sealing cap has been installed, all eyes turn to the well-integrity test, which BP is starting today. The test will involve completely "shutting in" the well so the full pressure of the oil gusher can be measured, giving the scientists and engineers a read on the structural stability of the piping that lines the 13,000-foot-long well.
Company insiders, past and present, say the Deepwater Horizon disaster was not a mystery. They describe a risk-taking culture spanning decades where profits come before safety, and whistle-blowers are intimidated, pressured out, or fired. And though Hayward had promised to make the company safer when he became CEO in 2007, the pressure to cut costs has only intensified under his leadership as the oil company struggled to please shareholders.
As job creation and an economic growth stall, the Obama administration is being criticized not just from all parts of the political spectrum in the U.S. but also from big business, which increasingly believes that the president harbors a thinly camouflaged antibusiness bias.
In the U.S. and the U.K. in particular, there’s a sense that overreliance on dodgy financial services is no way to create decent jobs for the masses or to build a more stable economy. In these and many other countries, like France and Germany, influential voices are calling for a return to the business of producing real goods.
When Tesla Motors went public June 29, it was hailed as the first IPO by an American automaker since Ford in 1956. Shares spiked 41 percent, raising $226 million for the electric-car company. But buyers quickly hit the brakes: within a week, Tesla’s stock was below its offering price.
As the economy recovers and workers begin contributing more cash to their retirement accounts, employees should be wary of investing too much in their company stock—be it out of loyalty, optimism, or some predesignated company plan.