Some employers see the perks of hiring older workers
Older people searching for jobs have long fought back stereotypes that they lack the speed, technology skills and dynamism of younger applicants. But as a wave of baby boomers seeks to remain on the job later in life, some employers are finding older workers are precisely what they need.
Surveys consistently show older people believe they experience age discrimination in the job market, and although unemployment is lower among older workers, long-term unemployment is far higher. As the American population and its labor force reshape with a larger chunk of older workers, however, some employers are recognizing and valuing their skills and experience.
About 200 employers, from Google to AT&T to MetLife, have signed an AARP pledge recognizing the value of experienced workers and vowing to consider applicants 50 and older.
Beijing's next anti-graft target? Mooncakes
HONG KONG (AP) — Mooncakes — the hockey-puck-sized pastries Chinese give each other every year for the mid-autumn festival — were always more about tradition than delicacy: Some people don't even like them. But in recent years, as corruption eroded confidence in government, the unscrupulous made the dense, calorific cakes even sweeter.
Luxurious boxes of mooncakes can contain far more than the traditional filling of lotus seed or red bean paste and a salted egg yolk symbolizing the moon. Some have rare ingredients such as abalone, shark fins or bird's nest. Gift sets can even include items such as gold coins, top-notch wines, mobile phones and diamond rings.
Now, in an effort to combat bribery and extravagant spending, China's Communist Party leadership has singled out the tradition in its austerity drive. It has banned the use of public money to buy the pastries and associated gifts, dampening demand just as the market hits its usual peak ahead of the Sept. 19 festival.
US retail sales rise a slight 0.2 percent in August
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans only modestly boosted their spending at retail businesses in August, indicating that economic growth remains sluggish. Consumers bought more cars, furniture and electronics last month but held back on most other purchases.
Spending at retail businesses rose just 0.2 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Friday. It was the smallest gain in four months. But the government said retail spending was stronger in July than first estimated, revising the July estimate to 0.4 percent from 0.2 percent.
Excluding volatile spending on autos, gas and building supplies, sales in August increased just 0.2 percent, or less than half July's 0.5 percent gain.
Energy costs push US wholesale prices up 0.3 percent
WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher energy costs pushed U.S. wholesale prices up 0.3 percent last month. Prices rose a modest 1.4 percent over the past year, the lowest one-year gain since April.
Energy prices climbed in late August as tensions rose over Syria, accounting for two-thirds of the monthly increase in wholesale prices. More expensive vegetables and chicken lifted food prices 0.6 percent in August from July.
Excluding volatile food and energy costs, wholesale prices were unchanged in August, the Labor Department said Friday. They were up 1.1 percent over the past year, the smallest gain since June 2010 and another sign that inflation remains under control.
US businesses boost stockpiles as sales grow
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses restocked their shelves and warehouses in July at the fastest pace since January as their sales rose, a hopeful sign for economic growth.
Business stockpiles increased 0.4 percent in July from June, the Commerce Department said Friday, after ticking up just 0.1 percent the previous month. Total business sales rose 0.6 percent in July, up from just 0.2 percent in June.
Rising stockpiles can be a good sign for the economy because they suggest companies expect greater sales. Greater inventory building also means businesses ordered more goods, boosting factory production and economic growth. And higher sales mean that companies are less likely to be stuck with excess goods.
United to let lucky travelers fly on $0 tickets
United Airlines said Friday that it will honor the tickets it accidentally gave away for free.