Money Minute: Some Workers Finally Seeing Wage Increases

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A rare bright spot in the job market. The job market has remained sluggish, even as other parts of the economy have picked up. But now the Federal Reserve says demand is rising for certain workers. It says companies in several regions across the country are having trouble filling positions for skilled workers and upper-management level jobs. As a result, information technology workers, engineers and some skilled laborers are starting to see salary increases.

Amazon.com (AMZN) appears set to join the smartphone wars. The company says it will unveil a new device on June 18. It doesn't give any specifics, but drops all sorts of clues. Reports say it could include a 3-D interface and a screen that tracks the eye movement of users. This would be Amazon's second venture into hardware this year. In April it introduced a TV set-top box named Fire.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 15 points on Wednesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 3 points, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) gained 17 points. The S&P has set record highs six times in the past two weeks, including Wednesday, but in that time it's up less than 30 points, or just 1.5 percent.

We often report on the prognostications of economists at big Wall Street firms about the prospects for economic growth. Now they're weighing in on the World Cup, which kicks off next week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs (GS) has used a mathematical formula to determine that the host country, Brazil, will walk away with the title. But ING (ING) has used a statistical model based on the market value of each team's players. According to its calculations, Spain comes out on top, followed by Germany and then Brazil. The U.S. is ranked 25th by ING out of the 32 teams in the tournament.

And one more note from the business of sports. Chicago radio station WGN is reportedly set to end its broadcast of Cubs game at the end of this season, after 90 years of handling the play-by-play.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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