Unemployment rises

March 1, 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/sep/14/unemployment-rises-2-5-million

Unemployment rises above 2.5m milestone

• Jobless total rises to 2.51m
• Unemployment rate at 7.9%
• Public sector employment falls by 111,000
• Claimant count rises by 20,300 in August
•Youth unemployment increases to 972,000

 

Public sector job cuts imposed as part of the government’s austerity drive have sent unemployment back through the 2.5m barrier, according to official figures released on Wednesday.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people out of work rose by 80,000 in the three months to July, reaching 2.51m, mainly due to a sharp rise in youth unemployment.

Despite ministerial hopes that the private sector will be able to compensate for the squeeze on the public sector, the ONS said the May to July period had seen the sharpest rise in unemployment in two years.

The unemployment rate using the internationally agreed yardstick for calculating joblessness rose to 7.9% for May to July, from 7.7% in February to April.

Officials said that employment in the public sector had fallen by 111,000 in the second quarter of 2011, the biggest drop since recent records began in 1999.

The government’s alternative measure for unemployment – the claimant count – indicated that an additional 20,300 people were out of work and claiming benefits in August, a smaller increase than the City had feared following an increase of more than 30,000 in July. The claimant count total now stands at 1,580,900.

Unemployment on both measures has been rising in recent months as the UK’s recovery from the deep recession of 2008-09 has stalled. Economic output has increased by just 0.2% in the nine months to June.

The ONS data showed that employment in the three months to July fell by 69,000, the weakest performance since spring 2010. Employment minister Chris Grayling, said: “Today’s figures underline the scale of the challenge that we face particularly given slower growth across Europe and North America. Unemployment remains lower than it was six months ago but clearly we must continue to focus our efforts on supporting business growth and ensure that people who do lose their jobs have the best possible support to get back into employment.”

Youth bear the brunt

Unemployment among 16-24-year-olds, the age group worst affected by the slowdown in the labour market, rose to 972,000 in the three months to July as school leavers and graduates struggled to find work. Among those aged between 18 and 24, the unemployment rate now stands at just under 19%, more than double the jobless rate for the UK as a whole.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “These are terrible figures. They are further evidence that the recovery has been choked off by a self-defeating rush to austerity. Government policies are hurting, but they aren’t working.

“Most worrying are the signs of a second wave of rising young unemployment – with the number of 18-24-year-olds out of work now higher than at any point during the recession – making the government’s decision to slash the support to young people through Educational Maintenance Allowances and the Future Jobs Fund look even more short-sighted and cruel,” Barber added.

A breakdown of the ONS data showed that public sector employment was 3.8% lower in the May-July period of 2011 than it was a year earlier, while private sector job growth has slowed – up 0.2% on the quarter and 1.2% on the year.

The number of people working part time because they could not find a full-time job reached a new record level.

Michael Saunders, economist at Citi, said: “Worse news probably lies ahead. The number of redundancies is up 40% quarter on quarter, while vacancies are falling. Private sector employment is likely to weaken further as firms cut back on labour use, and firms may well cut back rather more quickly than in the early stages of the recession because there currently is less offsetting stimulus from new falls in interest rates. The jobless total is likely to rise above the recession peak soon, and probably will reach 2.7-2.8 million people (8.5%-9% of the workforce) during next year.”

 

Top Five Direct Mail Formats

Direct mail continues to be a popular and versatile marketing strategy. Even in the age of technology, direct mail still comprises a critical component of any cohesive marketing campaign. With the numerous forms of direct mail available, a company can tailor each direct mail campaign specifically for each purpose and audience.

The key to a successful strategy is choosing the right format for each component of a marketing campaign. Different formats lend themselves to certain functions. Five types of direct mail can be used to address virtually any marketing need.

  • Postcards: Cost-effective and simple, postcards are best for brief, clear messages. They work well for reminders, thank-you’s, and special offers. Postcards are an excellent way to contact current customers, who already know about a company’s products and services.
  • Self-mailers: These are brochures that fold into themselves and stay shut with an adhesive tab. Self-mailers make excellent introductions for prospective customers, because they can be full-color and include thorough details about the company. Although they are more expensive than postcards, they carry much more information, and do not require an outer envelope.
  • Letters: In situations where confidentiality or order forms are required, the traditional letter is often the best option. The letter can be part of a comprehensive mailing package that includes business cards, reply mail, or brochures, for a professional and polished presentation. Since letters require separate postage and envelopes, they are best for current customers or highly targeted prospects.
  • Dimensional Mailers: A step up from letters or brochures, the dimensional mailer looks fresh and upscale. For high-level business-to-business contacts, dimensional mailers are a compelling option. Dimensional mailers can be used to give a unique and concise overview of a company.
  • Catalogs: To showcase a wide range of products, catalogs are the clear choice. The higher cost of producing high-quality catalogs means that it is best to send them to current customers or highly targeted prospects. Catalogs offer a great cross-selling opportunity, since customers can see not only the kinds of products they originally purchased, but also related or new ones.

The design and layout of direct mail offer endless options, and an expert can help tailor mailing materials to meet each company’s needs and maximize the impact on mail recipients. Regardless of which direct mail format is used, it is important always to include two elements: a call to action and contact information. The call to action invites the mail recipients to act on the information they have just read, and the contact information gives them the tools they need to follow through on that call to action.

http://www.verifiedlabel.com/knowledgecenter/know_direct_mail_formats.aspx

 

Top Eight Benefits of Barcodes

Barcodes are often overlooked as a method for cutting costs and saving time. A valuable and viable choice for businesses looking to improve efficiency and reduce overhead, barcodes are both cost-effective and reliable.

  1. Barcodes eliminate the possibility of human error. The occurrence of errors for manually entered data is significantly higher than that of barcodes.  A barcode scan is fast and reliable, and takes infinitely less time than entering data by hand.
  2. Using a barcode system reduces employee training time. It takes only minutes to master the hand-held scanner for reading barcodes. Furthermore, employees do not have to gain familiarity with an entire inventory or pricing procedure. This also makes employee training less expensive, since they do not have to be paid for extra training time, and another employee does not have to be compensated for training them.
  3. Barcodes are inexpensive to design and print. Generally they cost mere pennies, regardless of their purpose, or where they will be affixed.  They can be customized economically, in a variety of finishes and materials.
  4. Barcodes are extremely versatile.  They can be used for any kind of necessary data collection.  This could include pricing or inventory information. Additionally, because barcodes can be attached to just about any surface, they can be used to track not only the products themselves, but also outgoing shipments and even equipment.
  5. Inventory control improves.  Because barcodes make it possible to track inventory so precisely, inventory levels can be reduced.  This translates into a lower overheard.  The location of equipment can also be tracked, reducing the time spent searching for it, and the money spent replacing equipment that is presumed lost.
  6. Barcodes provide better data.  Since one barcode can be used for inventory and pricing information, it is possible to quickly obtain data on both. Furthermore, barcodes can be customized to contain other relevant information as needed.  They provide fast, reliable data for a wide variety of applications.
  7. Data obtained through barcodes is available rapidly.  Since the information is scanned directly into the central computer, it is ready almost instantaneously.  This quick turnaround ensures that time will not be wasted on data entry or retrieval.
  8. Barcodes promote better decision making. Because data is obtained rapidly and accurately, it is possible to make more informed decisions.  Better decision making ultimately saves both time and money.

Both inexpensive and user-friendly, barcodes provide an indispensable tool for tracking a variety of data, from pricing to inventory.  The ultimate result of a comprehensive barcoding system is reduction in overhead.

Eurozone crisis: Greece gripped by general strike

ahead of crucial talks – as it happened

Photograph: Yannis Behrakis/REUTERS

Members of the Greek Communist Party held a rally in Athens yesterday. As this picture of Syntagma Square shows, they weren’t deterred by the rainy weather.

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/feb/07/greece-bailout-talks-general-strike

friday night,sunday night

January 2, 2012

Source: http://www.free- financial- advice.net/ compounding- effect.html
———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ——— –

Understand the Compounding Effect of Money

The compounding effect of money is extremely important when making
any financial decision. The compounding effect of money is often
overlooked or underestimated by people when making decisions. When
applied to all of your financial decisions, this effect is the KEY to
long-term success! To illustrate the compounding effect of money, let
me use some financial examples:

Suppose you had invested $1,000 today in a 5% savings account. In one
year, that account would be worth $1,050 [$1,000 + ($1,000 x 5%)],
yielding a $50 gain. However, in year two, that same initial
investment would be worth $1,102.50 [$1,000 + ($1,000 x 5%) + ($1,050
x 5%)], yielding a $52.50 gain. And in year three, the same $1,000
would be worth $1,157.63, yielding a $55.13 gain. By year ten, the
initial $1,000 investment would be worth $1,629 and by year 25 it
would be worth $3,386.

From looking at this example, you can see that investing $1,000 today
is much more valuable than investing $1,000 even a couple of years
from now. To accumulate wealth, you MUST use the time value of money
and the compounding effect of money to your advantage. Click here to
see how long it will take to save a million dollars.

This second example shows how the compounding effect can work against
you:

Suppose you borrowed $20,000 to purchase a car and your auto loan was
at a 10% interest rate (for 5 years). Your monthly payments would be
$424.94. Because the $20,000 loan continues to compound over the life
of the loan, you actually pay $25,496.45 over the five-year period,
meaning that you’ve in essence paid $5,496.45 because you spent the
money before you had it. In fact, in your initial payments, the
interest alone will account for almost 40% of your monthly payments.
In this case, the bank or lender that gave you the loan uses the time
value of money to their advantage.

Now look at this scenario, where instead of making the $424.94 car
payment, you invest that payment at the same rate as what your car
loan was (granted it’s a little high for a savings rate, but not
unreasonable for other investments) . Now, instead of paying the bank,
you are actually earning interest and compounding the benefit
yourself. After one year you will have saved $5,340 and have earned
$240 in interest. After two years, you will have saved $11,239 and
have earned $1,039 in interest. By the third year, your investments
will be worth almost $18,000 and you will have earned $2,457 in
interest. By month 40, you will have enough money to purchase a
$20,000 car in cash!

So let’s weigh the differences between the two scenarios above. In
the first case you paid the bank $5,496 to borrow the money and in
the second case you earned $2,457 and could buy the car in cash after
just 40 months (just over 3 years)! The opportunity cost of the first
alternative versus the second alternative results in a net difference
of $7,953 (a $2,457 gain versus a $5,496 loss). That means that by
making a simple deferral decision (buying the car in 3 years versus
today), you can get ahead by almost $8,000!

When should I start saving?

December 25, 2011

When should I start saving?

The answer is simple: as soon as you can. Ideally, you’d start saving
in your 20s, when you first leave school and begin earning paychecks.
That’s because the sooner you begin saving, the more time your money
has to grow. Each year’s gains can generate their own gains the next
year – a powerful wealth-building phenomenon known as compounding.

Here’s an example of what a big difference starting young can make.
Say you start at age 25, and put aside $3,000 a year in a tax-deferred
retirement account for 10 years – and then you stop saving –
completely. By the time you reach 65, your $30,000 investment will
have grown to more than $472,000, (assuming an 8% annual return), even
though you didn’t contribute a dime beyond age 35.

Now let’s say you put off saving until you turn 35, and then save
$3,000 a year for 30 years. By the time you reach 65, you will have
set aside $90,000 of your own money, but it will grow to only about
$367,000, assuming the same 8% annual return. That’s a huge difference.

* When should I start saving for retirement?
* Where should I save my retirement money?
* How should I invest the money?
* How should my strategy change as I get older?
* How much money will I need in retirement?
* Will pensions and Social Security be enough?
* How much should I save?
* What if I can’t save enough?
* How can I reduce the amount I’ll need?
* What if I’m running out of time?
* I’m saving a lot but will still fall short – what now?
* When can I retire?

Source:
http://money. cnn.com/retireme nt/guide/ basics_basics. moneymag/ index.htm? postversion= 2008090815

Why Should You Save Money?

December 25, 2011

Why Should You Save Money? – By Martin Lukac

We are always hearing save, save, save. But if you don’t have a reason
to save, it isn’t likely you will.

Most people live paycheck to paycheck. Many people simply do not have
the money to save. There just doesn’t seem to be enough money left
over after paying the necessities.

And I’m not just talking about the lower-income groups. Often, those
driving new cars, living in nice homes and wearing name brand clothes
are barely making it by financially. They often have a harder time
finding extra money than do those who make incomes below poverty level.

There are a lot of people that wear money well, yet they don’t really
have any. Is that you? Are you caught in an endless cycle of wanting
more and wanting better? Do you see that it just isn’t working for you?

Sit down and examine what your main goals are in life. I mean the
really important financial ones. You may want to retire someday. Have
you started saving? Do you want your children to go to college? Have
you started saving? You might just want to be able to pay all of your
bills? Have you started saving?

You get the hint — it’s all about the saving. I’m not going to go
into how to save, you can research that later. Let’s talk about why
you should save.

The number one reason to start saving right now is for emergencies.
Things happen. People pass away. People get hurt at work. People get
laid off. We have accidents. We have cars break down, washing machines
stop working and sometimes even disasters hit our homes.

With an emergency savings, you are cushioned from the financially
ruin. You can make ends meet until you are able to figure something
out. You are able to buy that new washer without hurting your monthly
budget. You are able to sleep without worrying where you will find the
money. It’s in your savings.

I suggest starting with three to six months worth of monthly expenses.
This gives you a pretty good cushion. Put as much in as you can. My
husband recently lost his job, and we found that three months fly by
fast. Before we knew it, the fund was gone. But it gave him valuable
time to find a good job — he didn’t have to take one just to make
ends meet.

Once you have this savings built up, you should start working on your
goals. You can work on several at a time. For example, if you are able
to put $100 from each paycheck into savings, yet have three goals you
are saving for, do a portion to each.

For example, your goals are for retirement, college for your child and
buy a home. Decide which is most important to you and what you need to
dedicate of that $100 to each goal. You might put the largest amount
to your retirement, the second largest to your home and the third to
the college education.

You should save money. I can’t tell you why. That is your decision.
There are goals that can only be fulfilled from savings. Think about
what you want in life. If you want out of debt, to own your own home
or to retire comfortably, you have to start saving now.

Workplace Bullying

December 5, 2011

Workplace Bullying
http://www.mystupidboss.com/msb/WorkplaceBullying.aspx

Bullying doesn’t just happen to kids at school; it is a very real problem in the workplace as well. Millions of days are lost to businesses each year as a result of absenteeism caused by bullying. Bullying results in low morale, lower productivity and high staff turnover. Surveys suggest bullying is responsible for 30 – 50% of all stress related illnesses in the workplace.

Have you ever been bullied by your boss? Have you witnessed a co-worker being bullied by a supervisor? A recent study by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health suggests that most incidents of workplace bullying are between employees, rather than perpetuated by a supervisor. Frankly, we find that very difficult to believe. Can it be true that most workplace bullying is by co-workers?

We believe a survey recently publish by the British Trade Union Congress on workplace bullying is highly significant. According to the survey, 2 million workers claim to have been bullied in the six months leading up to November 2005. What is particularly striking about this British evidence for workplace bullying is that it is senior managers, rather than co-workers, who are singled out as the worst offenders when it comes to acts of workplace bullying.

We think bullying by bosses is stupid because it is counterproductive. It is estimated that 18 million working days per year are lost through the effects of workplace bullying in the UK alone.

Are bullying bosses just a British phenomenon? Use the Submit a Story page to tell us what you think.

What is Bullying at Work?

Bullying at work is basically any behaviour that is malicious, intimidating, insulting or upsetting. It is a deliberate attempt by a colleague or boss to undermine, intimidate or control you. Bullying tends to be sustained over a long period rather than being a one off occurrence. Bullies rarely commit a physical attack but instead use more psychological tactics. The emotional problems that the victim experiences can be very hard to deal with. Any of the following can be regarded as bullying behaviour:

Verbal/physical threats
Being humiliated in public or shouted at
Blocking access to training/overtime and other benefits
Spreading malicious rumours
Persistent criticism that is undeserved
Setting impossible deadlines – setting you up to fail
Offensive reference to sex, race, age, etc
Exclusion from meetings or communications that are relevant to your job
A bully may be quite subtle when talking to you in front of other people, but when you are on your own with them, you may be subject to explosive outbursts.

Bullies will quite often try to wear you down by placing unreasonable demands on you. They may accuse your standard of work or accuse you of not pulling your weight.

What can you do about it?

Admit that you are being bullied
The first step you need to take is to acknowledge the fact you are being bullied. If you just try to ignore it, the problem will not go away.

Stand up for yourself
Try not to show the bully that their behaviour has upset you. Try to improve your assertiveness and communication skills. Look at your body language, don’t stoop or hang your head. Stand up straight with confidence and maintain eye contact. If you stand up to the bully rather than just take it lying down, chances are the bully may lose interest and turn their attentions elsewhere. Bullies prey on people that accept their bad behaviour. Don’t give them an easy ride – simply choose not accept the way they treat you. If they speak to you abusively, stand up to them and ask why they are treating you so badly. Tell them how their behaviour is affecting you. If they know that they are always going to have to account for their behaviour, your direct approach will potentially reduce the chances of them bullying you in the future.

Make a case
Gather information about this person. Is it just you they are targeting or are they bullying anyone else? Build a case to show the negative impact they are having on the workplace.

Keep a diary of bullying tactics. Make sure you include specific incidences and record exactly what was said. Specifics are much more useful than vague recollections.

Tell someone
Write a memo to the person concerned stating your criticism of the way you are being treated. Make sure you copy in your Human Resources manager. If you are called into a meeting, request that a colleague or friend comes in with you.

Request that your Human Resources department spell out clearly their policy on bullying.

What if the company does nothing?

Talk to friends
Talk to your friends and supportive colleagues. Don’t try to deal with the problems on your own.

Don’t be embarrassed to seek professional help
If you have been badly affected as a result of bullying, seek professional help. Your family doctor can refer you to counsellors and psychologists. Bullying causes stress, which can, over a sustained period of time have very harmful effects on your body. Symptoms of prolonged stress include tiredness/feeling run down, difficulty sleeping, headaches, heartburn, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Know when it’s time to move on
You need to ask yourself whether it is worth the stress of staying on. Some bullies will not back down and will continue to make your life hell. Is your job really worth it? If it is just the individual that is the problem, then the problem may be worth tackling, but in some cases the organisation may have a ‘bullying culture’. Why would you want to continue to work in an organisation that supports bullying?

Take some time out and make a list of what you are good at. Document your achievements and update your CV. Take this opportunity to push your career in a more fulfilling direction. Your health and sanity are much more important.

BOXES

December 5, 2011