wages

Who Pays Better: Big Companies or Small Companies?

Complaints over higher tax brackets aside, one rule holds true when it comes to your paycheck: Bigger is better. Now, thanks to a recent report out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we now know exactly where to look to score the bigger paycheck.

U.S. Economy Adds 96,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.1%

U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow the momentum President Obama hoped to gain from his speech Thursday night to the Democratic National Convention. The unemployment rate fell -- but only because more people stopped looking for work.

107 Days: That's How Long It'll Take to Pay Your Taxes

More than three months of your hard-earned wages are going straight to your tax bill this year. Americans will spend an average of 29% of their income on federal, state and local taxes in 2012, the Tax Foundation announced Monday.

5 Financial Turkeys of 2011 (and a Side of Stuffing)

At Thanksgiving, we remember the year's blessings and declare hope for the future. But if you're having a hard time swallowing that this year, we offer this recipe for cooking up 2011's most egregious financial news stories. Bon appetite!

For Workers Laid Off in Recessions, Big Pay Gaps Persist

No matter when a person gets laid off, it can have long-lasting financial consequences -- among them, a wage gap that persists for years. But a new study reveals that men who are part of a mass layoff during a recession lose 72% more over their lifetimes than men who lose jobs in during periods of economic growth.

Not So Friendly's: Bankrupt Chain Lays Off 1,260

The 63 restaurants Friendly's closed on Wednesday resulted in about 1,260 layoffs -- more than 12% of the company's 10,300 person workforce. Everyone from managers to dishwashers were told Tuesday evening that the following day would be their last at Friendly's.

What Middle Class Voters Should Remember in 2012

The U.S. middle class is caught in a vice with falling wages on one side and rising costs on the other. Robert S. Kaplan, author of the business leadership book "What to Ask the Person in the Mirror" suggests five ways that politicians should be responding -- not specific policies, but mindsets that could lead to better ones.

My Three Cents: How Much Are You Looking to Earn?

It seems like a trick question when the job interviewer asks: "How much are you looking to make?" In today's tough job market, your instinct might be to answer, "I'll take anything." But the smarter move is to do some research so you can walk into salary talks with a sense for your market value.

Will Your Finances Be Better in 2012? Most Think Not

When it comes to the the state of their family finances, Americans seem to be moving toward the "acceptance" stage. Some of us think our own household scenarios will get better in the coming year, some of us dread things getting worse, but mostly, we expect more of the same.

Private School ROI: Is the High Tuition Worth it?

Bruce Watson recently took a look at the rising cost of private high school tuition. Can you bank on getting a strong return on investment from sending your teen to one? Depends on how you measure.

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.

Why Not to Pick a Major Based on a Salary Chart

This week, researchers at Georgetown took the nation's humanities majors to task for making such unlucrative choices in college. But their report takes too shallow a look at the results of not becoming an engineer. Former Latin American Studies major Loren Berlin offers a wider take on the real value of a B.A. in the humanities.

Best and Worst States for Jobless Benefits

For the nearly 14 million Americans who want to work and can't find jobs, unemployment insurance is a vital lifeline. But how much help that lifeline is varies widely from state to state. 24/7 Wall St. and DailyFinance crunch the numbers to see which states are the best -- and worst -- places to be unemployed.

Are Maiden Names Really Worth $500,000?

Forget about cash-stuffed wedding envelopes. A Dutch study suggests brides could pick up an extra half million dollars by doing nothing -- specifically, by not changing their names. Women who kept their maiden names were judged to be more professional, were more likely to win a job, and attracted higher pay, the study showed.

The Sorry State of America's Wage Earners

Everyone knows that the typical American household has been running in place or falling behind financially, thanks to stagnant wages and rising prices. But a new study from the the Economic Policy Institute shows that the problem has been endemic not for years, but for decades.

Can the Tea Party Platform Reduce Unemployment?

The U.S. set the forces of globalization in motion, and now more than ever, it's clear we're suffering the consequences: high unemployment, stagnant or declining incomes, and rising costs for goods. Can the policies of the surging Tea Party provide solutions, or will they just make matters worse?

Labor's Fall -- Not Oil's Rise -- Is Key to Inflation

Despite all the worry over the impact of rising oil prices, recall that the U.S. is now a largely services-based economy, and observe that the rising wages that have led to real overall cost rises in decades past are nowhere to be found today. Exhibit A is in Wisconsin.

Oil and Food Prices Keep Rising, but It's Not Time for the Fed To Act

Unrest across the Middle East is pushing high oil prices higher, and that's having a cascade effect that feels a lot like inflation as these higher prices bubble through the economy. Still, that's not enough reason for the Fed to battle inflation by starting to raise rates.

Why a Little Inflation Is a Good Thing for Americans

Inflation has inched higher in the past six months, but that's not a danger sign, but rather a harbinger of improving economic conditions and a strengthening recovery. And that, in turn, should lead to higher wages and more hiring in the year ahead.

Inflation Warning: Should the Fed Raise Interest Rates?

It's no surprise that consumer prices are rising -- the prices of commodities from cotton to copper are near record levels, thanks to shrinking supplies and rising demand worldwide. The question is whether the Fed will raise rates to combat this price inflation -- and whether it should.

The Employment Cost Index Deserves a Closer Look

The employment cost index increased just 2% in 2010, and the trend will likely continue in 2011. Those contained employee costs will help maintain a low-inflation environment that should give the Fed more time to stimulate the economy through its asset-purchase program.

U.S. Productivity Gains Are Good News for Everyone

It sometimes feels as if every piece of economic news comes with a qualifier. However, one statistic has had an unqualified, enduring positive run: the rise in worker productivity, which bodes well for investors, employees and -- eventually -- job-seekers.

Job No. 1 for Larry Page: Halt Google's Brain Drain

When Google co-founder Larry Page replaces Eric Schmidt as CEO, he'll have a host of things to worry about: ad revenues, growth, Facebook, privacy concerns and just how to get the company's rebel groove back. But first on his agenda will have to be reversing the flow of top employees out the door.

How to Get a Dance Degree -- and Land on Your Feet Financially

Getting a college degree in dance can easily leave an aspiring performer crushed under the heel of student loan debt -- but it doesn't have to be that way. College finance expert Zac Bissonnette points out a path around the pitfalls of a performing arts education.

America's Malady: A Bad Case of 'Baumol's Disease'

Unlike an illness caused by microscopic invaders of your body, which might raise your temperature and cause you physical aches and pains, Baumol's Cost Disease raises wages and causes some painful shifts in a nation's labor balance. Unfortunately, it's natural, and there's no miracle cure.

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.