Archive for November, 2011

Bed Bath & Beyond to bring 900 jobs to Jackson County

Bed Bath & Beyond will open an e-commerce fulfillment center in Pendergrass in Jackson County and create 900 jobs over four years, Gov. Nathan Deal announced.

The company will invest $50 million and plans to be operational by next summer.

The project is the largest jobs announcement in the state this year.

It eclipses an announcement by Home Depot that it plans to open a new customer support call center next year in Cobb County, bringing with it 700 jobs..

Among other recent new job announcements:

Chexar Networks, a Roswell provider of technology-based services that allow banks and other businesses to serve people without traditional bank accounts, plans to create 500 jobs at a risk management center in Cordele.

Hailo USA, the American division of a German manufacturing firm, will move its headquarters, open a wind turbine component facility in Elberton and create 500 jobs over five years.

SANY Heavy Industry of China plans to add a research and development center in Peachtree …

Continue reading Bed Bath & Beyond to bring 900 jobs to Jackson County »

Are you set for retirement without a pension?

Used to be, pension plans were the ticket to a less-stressful retirement. You work for a company for years and in return the company continues to provide a regular check for your golden years. Not so much anymore.

According to the Employee Research Institute, over the last three decades the share of private-sector workers in pension plans dropped from 28 percent to only 3 percent in 2008. During the same period, the share or workers enrolling in 401 (k)-type plans was up to 31 percent from 7 percent. Twelve percent were able to take advantage of both plans in 2008.

With a pension plan, known as defined benefit plan, the company promises you a certain income for the rest of your life based on the number of years you put in. With a 401(k) plan, known as a defined contribution plan, both you and your employer contribute to a tax-deferred savings account designed to supplement Social Security and a pension, if you have one.

As the AJC reports today, SunTrust Banks …

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Looking for an apartment? Oprah’s got one for you. Just bring your wallet

With the home-buying market struggling, lots of folks are looking for a nice little apartment or house to rent.

Here’s one on the market.

Oprah Winfrey’s 4,607-square-foot Chicago co-op is available for $15,000 a month.

That’s the rental price, not the ownership price.

But you get a lot for it, right? shows just what.

Continue reading Looking for an apartment? Oprah’s got one for you. Just bring your wallet »

Don’t make these money mistakes

Your money’s hard enough to come by these days. You don’t need to squander it foolishly.

To that end, here’s one observer’s take on some of the most obvious financial blunders one can make, with guidance to avoid them.

Not all are commonly-held thoughts.

Continue reading Don’t make these money mistakes »

Hope your password’s not one of these

What do “letmein”, “iloveyou”, “baseball” and “123456” have in common? They are among the worst passwords you can have – and “password” is another one.

SplashData, a company that sells security  and password services has come up with a list of 25 passwords to avoid if you want to keep hackers from accessing your computer, bank accounts, or other personal assets that require a code.

The more complicated the password, the better. The simpler, the more you are at risk since hackers usually start with the obvious in trying to figure out codes.

Other no-no’s on SplashData’s list include 12345678, qwerty, abc123, monkey, 1234567, trustno1, dragon, 111111, master, sunshine, Ashley, bailey, password, shadow, 123123, 654321, superman, qazwsx, Michael and football.

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Are you afraid to take all your vacation time? Many are

Piling up vacation days and never taking all you have coming to you?

Join the crowd.

A new study done for JetBlue Airways found  57 percent of working Americans won’t use all their vacation time by the end of the year, according to this report from BusinessNewsDaily. On average, they lose out on 11 vacation days, or 70 percent of their total allotted time off.

Not that they don’t want a break.

Some 39 percent worry about asking the boss for their time.

“We were surprised to learn that almost a third of American workers feel guilty, nervous or stressed when asking for a day off of work,” said Grant McCarthy, director of JetBlue Getaways.

Continue reading Are you afraid to take all your vacation time? Many are »

Your bad habits may cost you: companies want workers who smoke, eat too much, to pay more in health care

Do you smoke?

Are you overweight?

Do you ave high cholesterol?

If so, your employer might want you to cover a bigger portion of your company’s health care tab.

Why not, goes the thinking: you’re unhealthy lifestyle is responsible for higher medical costs. So pay the price.

The concept marks a shift, it seems: Used to be that companies rewarded employees who maintained good health and were, therefore, a better health risk. Now, employees who make for a greater risk are being penalized.

According to this article in The New York Times:

“Policies that impose financial penalties on employees have doubled in the last two years to 19 percent of 248 major American employers recently surveyed. Next year, Towers Watson, the benefits consultant that conducted the survey, said the practice — among employers with at least 1,000 workers — was expected to double again.”

So, put away those smokes, and push back from the dinner table.

Continue reading Your bad habits may cost you: companies want workers who smoke, eat too much, to pay more in health care »

Kids aren’t leaving home after college, and that’s hurting the economy

Kids used to leave home when they went off to college, got a job upon graduation, then didn’t come back again except for occasional holiday visits.

Now, increasingly, when they come home, they stay for good. That’s certainly true for the many who haven’t been able to find work. They just can’t afford their own place.

But these days, even those with jobs are going back to live with their parents. And, according to this report in The New York Times, that’s having a negative impact on the overall economy. Simply stated, they’re not buying the goods and services that people forming new households do. So everyone’s affected.

As the story notes, “Even before the recession began, young people were leaving home later; now the bad economy has tethered them there indefinitely. Last year, just 950,000 new households were created. By comparison, about 1.3 million new households were formed in 2007, the year the recession began …”

Even before the recession began, young people were leaving …

Continue reading Kids aren’t leaving home after college, and that’s hurting the economy »

Georgia jobless rate drops to 10.2 percent in October

Holiday hiring helped push Georgia’s unemployment rate down slightly to 10.2 percent in October, from 10.3 percent in September, the state labor department said Thursday.

The rate, also down from 10.3 percent a year ago, dropped because 26,500 jobs were added — up seven-tenths of a percentage point from September. While growth came in several sectors, 12,200 of the jobs occurred from early hiring in retail, transportation and warehousing as employers prepared for the holiday season, the labor department said.

“Historically, we don’t usually see a spike in retail hiring in the month of October,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “However, even though this is a good sign, we will be cautiously watching the hiring trends from now until the end of the year.”

Job growth also occurred in professional and business services, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Still, the number of jobs in Georgia remained 32,600 — nine-tenths of a percentage …

Continue reading Georgia jobless rate drops to 10.2 percent in October »

Outback Steakhouse, Tea Party lock horns

Outback Steakhouse has drawn the ire of Tea Party supporters after an Illinois waitress  said she was fired for wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” bracelet.

Outback denies the worker, Megan Geller of Woodstock, Ill., was fired because of the bracelet, according to a report in the Northwest Herald newspaper. The restaurant in Crystal Lake, Ill., claims the 23-year-old woman was let go because she was ignoring customers.

Geller said a couple  complained about the bracelet, which she’d worn for months without any problem. The bracelet contains words found on a well-known historical American flag with a yellow background and rattlesnake poised to strike. It was only after the customers complained that she was fired, she said.

The local restaurant has been the target of conservative bloggers and radio hosts, and protests by local Tea Party members, who say Geller’s free speech rights have been violated.

An Outback lawyer told the newspaper Geller would have been told …

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