labor costs

US Productivity Grew at 2.2% Rate in Spring

U.S. companies got more output from their workers this spring than initially thought. Productivity rose at a modest 2.2 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter, largely because employers cut back sharply on hiring.

What's So Special About This Starbuck's Mug?

On the verge of bankruptcy last fall, the American Mug and Stein Company got a new lease on life, courtesy of Starbucks. In part, it's Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz trying to support U.S. employers. But he's getting a lift from the simple economics of labor.

'Made in China' Is Starting to Get Too Expensive

U.S. workers are far, far more productive than their Chinese counterparts -- mostly because we have a big head start on automation. And when you combine lower productivity with the rising wages that Chinese laborers now demand, you get what may be the recipe for the rebirth of American manufacturing.

The Financial Landscape: An Economic Spilt Personality

Is the American recovery fast or slow? Depends on who you ask. The Wall Street Journal sees corporate America merrily rolling along while Main Street suffers. The New York Times warns that Wall Street is about to feel the pinch too. But nobody is all that optimistic about Greece today.

Walmart to Stop Paying Employees Extra for Sundays

As part of its efforts to reduce its labor costs, Walmart plans to stop paying its staff an extra $1 an hour for working Sundays starting in 2011, according to Bloomberg. The move won't affect the retailer's 1.4 million current U.S. employees, only those hired after Jan. 1.

Is Hiring New Workers Really
Too Expensive?

Businesses large and small have complained for years about the cost of doing business. And it's not unusual for them to use the cost of hiring moderate-income workers to illustrate their points. Here's what they fail to mention.