Archive for November, 2012

Georgia’s jobless rate falls to 8.7 percent in October

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Strong job creation, partly fueled by holiday hiring, pushed down Georgia’s unemployment rate to 8.7 percent in October from 9 percent in September.

“The unemployment rate dropped because we had an increase of 36,000 new jobs, which is the largest September to October job increase ever,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “That job growth pushed the number of jobs in October to the highest level in any month since December of 2008.”

There were 3,971,700 jobs in October, up 0.9 percent from September.

The growth came in retail trade, up 8,000; education and health care, up 7,000; professional and business services, up 6,000; state and local public schools, up 5,000; leisure and hospitality, up 3,000; technology, up 2,400; construction, up 1,700; financial services, up 900; and manufacturing, up 700.

The jobless rate has dropped from 9.7 percent a year ago. But it still remains …

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Study: Lack of access to ‘hot jobs’ hurts women

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There may be plenty of “hot jobs” around, but women for the most part aren’t the ones landing them, according to a new study.

Men continue to get the lion’s share of the most challenging jobs – those with high visibility, mission-critical responsibilities and international exposure, according to employment trend researchers at Catalyst. Those jobs also lead to higher promotions and bigger salaries.

In a survey of 1,660 MBA graduates from leading business schools in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia, Catalyst found:

• Men reported leading projects with bigger budgets (more than twice the size of women’s), larger teams (more than three times as many staff), that posed higher risk to the company (30% of men vs. 22% of women), and had more high-level visibility (35% of men vs. 26% of women).

• Men reported having roles with more critical responsibility—for profit and loss (56% of men vs. 46% of …

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Walmart launches food subscriptions

(Johnny Crawford,

(Johnny Crawford,

Follow us on for real-time business updates: @AJCBiz

You’ve taken out subscriptions for newspapers, magazines, mobile phones and cable TV, why not food?

Six months after announcing plans to test a food subscription service, WalMart has officially launched the effort by teaming up with For $7 a month, you’ll get five to eight sample-size food items in a “Taster’s Box”. The products, which currently aren’t in WalMart stores, are chosen by its Tasting Lab researchers . You try them out and share your opinions about them online.

Wal-Mart, which is also trying same-day delivery in some markets and layaways to get a larger share of the retail market and keep existing customers, hopes the food subscription service will help it spot trends in consumer tastes. So far, at least 3,000 have signed up.

According to The Associated Press:

If customers like the products, they can purchase full-size versions on the …

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Call center recruiter seeking seasonal workers in Kennesaw

The holiday season isn’t just about shopping.

For many people, it’s also about picking up some extra income with a temporary, seasonal job.

While the competition for those positions can be difficult in this down economy, there’s an opportunity to land one this Friday.

The Georgia Department of Labor is helping Alorica in its efforts to recruit about 100 seasonal employees to staff a call center in Kennesaw.

Customer service representatives will be recruited from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cobb-Cherokee Career Center of the labor department at 465 Big Shanty Road in Marietta.

The labor department says some jobs will require applicants to speak both English and Spanish, while others will require English only. All applicants need a high school diploma or a General Education Diploma and must be able to type at least 35 words a minute.

Applicants also need to bring a resume. Those selected must apply on-line at t he career center at

The pay is $9 an hour.

More …

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Petraeus, Broadwell find email ‘draft folder’ isn’t foolproof

Then-Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, center kisses his wife, Holly, in 2004 as his son, Stephen, and daughter, Anne, look on after his return home from Iraq to Fort Campbell, Ky.

Then-Maj. Gen. David Petraeus kisses his wife, Holly, in 2004 as his son, Stephen, and daughter, Anne, look on after his return home from Iraq to Fort Campbell, Ky.

Ahhh email. Where would cheating be without it?

According to the Associated Press, CIA Director David Petraeus and his mistress Paula Broadwell relied on the “draft folder” of a shared Google Gmail account to exchange messages between the two over a two-year period.

From the AP report:

“Rather than transmitting emails to the other’s inbox, they composed at least some messages and instead of transmitting them, left them in a draft folder or in an electronic ‘dropbox,’ … Then the other person could log onto the same account and read the draft emails there. This avoids creating an email trail that is easier to trace.”

This trick would leave less of an electronic trail than hitting the send button. For example, sent and received messages create a date- and time-stamped record in addition to a …

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In Denmark, fat is where it’s at

Be gone, all you skinnies.

The Fat is back.

In Denmark, legislators have repealed the so-called “fat tax,” a government levy on foods high in saturated fat.

The none-too-popular law lasted all of one year.

It wasn’t just Danish consumers complaining, either. Many Danes opted to trek to Sweden or German to buy their high-fat butter and ice cream. They were sated, but Danish businesses who lost sales weren’t. So the law has been kicked to the side.

Other measures in the battle against obesity will be considered.

Denmark also is dropping its plans for a sugar tax,  however. No surprise there.

Of course, this isn’t just a Danish issue, or a Euro issue, for that matter. Stateside, there is the ongoing battle in the NYC over the effort to cut back on large size sugary drinks. And Californians just beat back an effort to impose their own tax on sugary drinks.

Look for more.

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New Falcons stadium: Why World Congress Center chief supports it

Frank Poe has one foot in the business world and the other in the political arena. And these days, both feet are firmly planted in negotiations with the Atlanta Falcons over a new stadium for the team.

Frank Poe

Frank Poe

Poe, a 40-year veteran of the convention business, became executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority two-and-a-half years ago. The authority, created by the state, operates the current Falcons nest, the Georgia Dome, as well as the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park. Together, the three downtown venues accounted for $113 million in revenue and $14.9 million in net income in the authority’s latest fiscal year. The College Football Hall of Fame, scheduled to open in 2014, will be on authority-owned land.

Poe, 62, talks about the controversial stadium project and what he learned while working in the convention business in Dallas, Orlando, Birmingham and here.

Q: Many Atlantans do not believe that public funds should be used …

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Teens create new source of energy – urine

Associated Press

Associated Press

Leave it to a few enterprising kids to come up with a potentially new energy source – urine.

Four 14-year-old Nigerian students in Lagos recently came up with a process that turned a liter of urine into a fuel that generated six hours of electricity, according to Forbes. The key is capturing the hydrogen (safely). It isn’t the first time it’s been tried, but their results were impressive.

The teens’ method of capturing the hydrogen could be a big plus for developing countries that use generators much more often than countries like the U.S. But Forbes says there’s also the potential that U.S. automakers can benefit from “pee-power.”

Here are the four steps involved, according to Forbes:

• Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which separates out the hydrogen.

• The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, and then into a gas cylinder, which looks similar to the kind used for outdoor barbecue grills.

• The gas cylinder pushes the …

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Atlantans still borrowing less

American consumers continue to shed debt, and Atlantans are part of the trend.

Total debt carried by consumers in metro Atlanta fell 3.65 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the third quarter in 2011, according to Equifax. Total debt here was almost $209 billion in the quarter, down from about $217 billion a year before.

Nationwide, consumer debt fell 2.28 percent. That’s the slowest rate of decline since the second quarter of 2009, a possible sign that consumer caution is easing.

Three of the top 25 markets saw total debt levels increase: Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston and Pittsburgh. The largest declines in debt levels occurred in areas hardest hit by the housing bust, including Las Vegas, Miami and Phoenix.

Mortgage debt, which accounts for about three-quarters of the $11 trillion owed by Americans, fell 3.4 percent, while non-mortgage debt rose 0.7 percent.

“Different parts of the country are at different stages of economic recovery, and that is reflected …

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Samsung’s Galaxy S3 beats Apple’s iPhone 4S in shipments, but will it last?

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

Move over, iPhone. Samsung’s Galaxy S3 smartphone beat Apple’s iPhone 4S in third-quarter shipments, according to Strategy Analytics. The question is, will the S3 stay on top?

Samsung shipped an estimated 18 million Galaxy S3s during the July-to-September period, while iPhone shipped about 16.2 million of its 4S models, according to Strategy Analytics. Neither Samsung nor Apple have verified the numbers. Apple’s iPhone brand had been No. 1 for two years.

Wall Street analyst Neil Mawston think’s Samsung’s No. 1 position will be short-lived. “Samsung’s Galaxy S3 has proven wildly popular with consumers and operators across North America, Europe and Asia,” Mawston told The Wall Street Journal, but he added that Apple will probably be back on top in the current fourth quarter, especially as the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear.

The Journal also points out several caveats with the Strategy Analytics’ report. First, the 4S was …

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