Dec 4th

Jobless Claims Slip Back Below 300,000

By Mike Goldman

Jobless Claims Slip Back Below 300,000

Initial claims for unemployment assistance fell back below 300,000 last week, after climbing above that threshold for the first time in almost three months in the week prior. According to a report issued Thursday by the US Labor Department, first-time filings fell by 17,000 in the week ended November 28 to a seasonally adjusted 297,000. With the latest report, claims have now been under 300,000 for eleven of the past twelve weeks. The trend is encouraging to economists, as it suggests employers are holding on to more of their workers and even considering ramping up hiring as the economy continues to improve. In year-over-year terms, the so-called four-week moving average of claims has dropped nearly 10 percent, suggesting the trend is becoming long-term.

Nov 20th

Existing Home Sales Edge Up for 2nd Straight Month

By Frank Galvano
Existing Home Sales Edge Up for 2nd Straight Month
 
The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that existing home sales jumped for a second straight month in October to their fastest pace in 13 months.  According to the report, sales of pre-owned homes climbed 1.5 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.26 million units.  That marks the fastest pace since September 2013, and marks the first year-over-year improvement in sales pace since last October.  The NAR also upwardly revised its estimate for September's sales pace to a 5.18 million unit clip.  Thursday's report encouraged economists already buoyed by low interest rates and an improving job market, prompting many to forecast year-over-year sales increases in the coming months.
 
Nov 4th

Spain Passes "Google Law" Charging Search Engines for Publishing News

By Kelly Curtis
Spain Passes "Google Law" Charging Search Engines for Publishing News

Spain last week became the latest nation to pass legislation aimed at charging news aggregators and search engines each time they display news content originally reported by another publisher.  Known as the "Google law," the law was passed last week and goes into effect January 1st, though the law does not yet contain specifics about how much Google and other Internet search engines will be required to pay.  The law was lobbied for heavily by the AEDA, a collective of Spanish news organizations, who claim that Google's news search results equates to republishing news content and costs the news outlets revenue.  A similar complaint was made earlier this year by several German publishers.  Google's German division responded by removing summaries and thumbnail images from search results, showing only headlines linked to the original publishers' stories.  The same issue made headlines late last year in France, but legal proceedings were avoided when Google agreed to help news outlets to increase Web-related advertising revenues and fund digital publishing innovations.  In response to the ruling in Spain, a Google spokesman said the company was disappointed with the decision, but will gladly assist news services in the country in any way they can.  While no specifics have yet been revealed concerning how much Google and other search engines will be charged for publishing news content, those details will likely be announced in the coming weeks as the law goes into effect in just 8 weeks.
Nov 4th

US Home Prices Still Rising, But Pace Is Slowing

By Mike Goldman
US Home Prices Still Rising, But Pace Is Slowing
 
Home prices continued to rise in August, according to a report issued Tuesday by Standard & Poor's and Case-Shiller, but that price growth slowed as the group's index posted the smallest year-over-year gain in almost two years.  The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which gauges home values in the nation's 20 largest cities, climbed 5.6 percent in August as compared to a year earlier.  That's considerably below the 6.7 percent increase from July 2013 to this July.  The group's National Home Price Index, meanwhile, rose 5.1 percent year-over-year in August, compared to a 5.1 percent uptick in July.  Tuesday's report clearly shows that home price growth is slowing after prices jumped by double digits through most of last year and the early part of 2014.
Oct 31st

Cash Nickerson Unveils Compelling Workforce Data In Boomerangs

By drummer40
Dallas -- Cash Nickerson, a recognized expert on aging workplace trends, has an interesting perspective on this sector of the workforce. In contrast to  bias against the aging workforce, Nickerson identifies the importance of the aged, experienced worker crucial to any company. He notes factors, such as their experience, education and ability to mentor as good examples of what they can contribute. These skills, he asserts, are essential to ensure workforce productivity and revenues. Without communication and building relationships between different employees, Nickerson believes that today's corporation could lose competition.

Nickerson definitely has the education and experience to identify key workforce trends. Over his 25 years as an attorney, writer and CEO, he has gained a unique insight  into what makes a company successful in terms   of employee relationships that result in success.

In his second book, Boomerangs, Nickerson starts off by addressing the two  most important challenges facing today's worldwide workforce: global warming and global againg. He believes that the American workplace has never been more stratified as it currently  is. Why? He asserts that changes must be made regarding the legal, social and cultural attitudes as well as the required actions that need to be implemented to create a healthy balance between young and older employees. This will result in valuable, commercial success.

However, Boomerangs, does more than just identify current and looming problems. In chapter ten of this small book (135 pages), he includes a simple list of ten tips for employers to consider. Those include: when to increase or downsize a workforce; and, how to include accommodations for older workers, who may need more flexibility in their schedule. And, who can train emerging leaders through  mentoring and job sharing.

Nickerson, in describing Boomerangs, said that: It (the book) is revolutionary in that it addresses a necessary overhaul of  our attitudes, our biases, our laws, and our workplace rules in order to re-align those things with the actual human lives that are taking place today."

Nickerson's research  was included in an article, "6 Ways Your Company Can Adapt To An Aging  Worforce," by Patrick Ball, associate editor of Care, Inc. Ball discusses six factors for success  in today's workforce. He writes about the significance  of key data from Nickerson, such as age neutrality to mentoring programs. Some points from his article are: 1. Employees must create a respectful environment for workers of all ages. 2. Taking advantage of older employees' experience and expertise is a must.

"Today's current workforce really needs to adapt to new challenges affecting businesses in all industries,"  Nickerson said. "My position on the relationship between young workers and older employees must be used for  revenue growth and in creating a team environment. Without this, companies simply won't be as competitve.

Oct 27th

Builder Confidence Slips but Still Positive

By Betty
Builder Confidence Slips but Still Positive
 
While a string of recent reports on the US housing sector have prompted growing confidence in homeowners and many economists, the nation's homebuilders have apparently not been convinced, according to the latest reading on builder sentiment issued by the National Association of Home Builders.  The group's index of builder confidence fell five points this month to a reading of 54.  Despite the decline, however, any reading over 50 means that more builders see conditions as positive than negative.  In September, the index reached 59, its highest level since November 2005, well before the recession that saw confidence in the housing sector plummet by nearly every measure.  October's decline was particularly disappointing because economists in a recent Reuters poll projected the index would remain at September's level.
 
Jul 25th

Mark Zuckerberg Fortune Surpasses that of Google Founders

By Ronnie
Mark Zuckerberg Fortune Surpasses that of Google Founders
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg surpassed Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page on Bloomberg's Billionaires Index on Thursday as shares of his social network closed at a record high.  The gains pushed Zuckerberg's net worth to $33.3 billion, pushing his ranking to No. 16 and dropping Google's founders to 17th and 18th on the list.  Facebook's stock gains came after the company reported Wednesday that its second-quarter income rose 61 percent and exceeded analyst expectations.  The company's shares have gained an impressive 183 percent over the past year, and analysts do not expect that growth to slow anytime soon.  Of course, even with the growth in Zuckerberg's net worth in recent months, he still has a long way to go to be the world's richest man, as Microsoft founder Bill Gates tops the list with a fortune worth $84.7 billion.
Jul 25th

Jobless Claims Slide to 8-Year Low

By Dave Simmons
Jobless Claims Slide to 8-Year Low
 
Initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level since before the recession in the week ended July 19th, according to a report issued Thursday by the US Labor Department, offering further evidence that the labor market recovery is progressing at a faster pace than most economists thought possible.  According to the report, initial claims for regular unemployment fell 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000.  It was the smallest number of claims reported since February 2006, more than a year before the onset of the worst American economic downturn since the 1930s.  The number was also significantly better than projections from economists, who expected claims to rise to 308,000, according to a recent Reuters poll.  Thursday's report boosted optimism about the upcoming report on July payroll numbers, which was already high given job gains have surpassed 200,000 in each of the last five months.  The economy hasn't enjoyed a stretch like that since the late '90s, when job growth was being fueled by the expansion of the tech sector as the Internet was exploding.
Jul 25th

Ron Howard Sells New York Estate for Record Price

By Mike Goldman
Ron Howard Sells New York Estate for Record Price

ron-howard-house.jpg
 
Academy-award winning director Ron Howard this week closed on the $27.5 million sale of his massive estate in New York's Westchester County.  The sale set a record for the county, and is one of the biggest residential real estate deals in New York state since the recession came to an end in 2009.  Howard purchased the 32-acre parcel of land in 1991, when his first child Bryce Dallas Howard was just 10 years old.  Howard and his wife, Cheryl, spent years building a dream home on the property, as well as a 2,500 square-foot guest house, stables and a tennis court.  The main house spans an impressive 17,000 square feet and has six bedrooms, a large swimming pool and an exquisitely-outfitted home theater.  In an interview,  Howard said that he sold the home because he and Cheryl travel almost year-round these days and each of his four children moved out years ago.  The sale closed Thursday, but attempts to identify the buyer have so far been unsuccessful.
Jul 25th

Pirate Bay Launches New Mobile-Friendly Torrent Site

By Frank Galvano
Pirate Bay Launches New Mobile-Friendly Torrent Site
 
Internet piracy is adapting to modern mobile computing as the world's best-known piracy site still around has finally released a mobile-friendly version so that users can download their favorite content directly to their smartphones and tablets.  Pirate Bay, which still operates the world's most oft-used bit torrent site, launched a separate, mobile-friendly version this week that gives users an easier way to share files than just going to the website on a mobile browser.  That's because mobile browsers tend to render traditional websites differently, making them very difficult to navigate and use.  Pirate Bay's new site, dubbed "The Mobile Bay,"  is optimized for mobile devices and offers a few features not found on the original Pirate Bay website.  Of course, users of Apple iPads and iPhones will not be able to download from the site unless their device is unlocked.

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