February 1, 2023

Onboarding employees can be one of the most expensive items on a company’s balance sheet as firms spend big money hiring and training new staffers. Of course, this costly process has no guarantee of success: people hired yesterday can leave tomorrow as quickly as they arrived. To offset the costs of rapid turnover, some companies are inserting controversial clauses into employment contracts that require staffers to repay training fees if they quit. For example, Kate Fredericks signed such an agreement Continue reading

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January 27, 2023

Food prices hiked by inflation have taken a toll on Americans’ wallets for more than a year, although economists say that costs for a number of commodities are finally starting to fall. But that has not been the case with eggs: the average U.S. price per dozen hit $4.25 in December 2022, up from $1.79 a year earlier. The situation is especially bad in costly markets like California, where 12 Grade A large eggs go for an average of $7.37. Continue reading

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January 25, 2023

When Bethany Lane moved to New York City after graduating from college, she immediately looked for ways to make money in her expensive new home. “I had to pay my rent and student loans, so I went on Craigslist,” she said. “I saw that somebody would pay me to walk dogs. As an animal lover who is obsessed with dogs, it was perfect.” The job worked out so well that by 2014 Lane founded Whistle & Wag, a boutique pet Continue reading

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January 20, 2023

This video dives deep into the story of M&S Schmalberg, the last artificial flower factory in the U.S. that crafts beautiful blossoms by hand. Located in the heart of Manhattan, this family-owned business serves everyone from top fashion designers and celebrities to individual clients with personal projects in mind. The video below delves into the history of M&S Schmalberg and its artisanal production methods while also examining the rise and fall of the American artificial flower industry over the span Continue reading

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January 18, 2023

For years, many major companies have depended on noncompete clauses to hang on to their most talented employees. These binding agreements prohibit individuals from taking jobs at similar firms or from striking out on their own for a specified period of time. Companies claim that they insert noncompete clauses into employee contracts in order to ensure the safety of trade secrets and other confidential data like consumer lists or contact information. According to a recent proposal from the Federal Trade Continue reading

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January 13, 2023

Last week, we looked at how bad weather and an overloaded scheduling system led to disastrous consequences for Southwest Airlines as it canceled more than 13,000 flights over the holidays. But while this disaster could at least be partly blamed on a rough winter storm, airports had no such excuse on Wednesday when a computer outage led to another massive wave of cancellations and delays. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a damaged database file corrupted the agency’s system Continue reading

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January 11, 2023

As the post-pandemic economic recovery slows down, many companies are looking to trim their bottom lines through restructuring and layoffs. Unlike in previous downturns, however, professional employees have largely been on the receiving end of these job cuts. The video below examines why white collar workers are more likely to receive a pink slip than their blue collar brethren.

Questions:

  1. Why are white collar workers facing a disproportionate amount of layoffs as the economy slows down?
  2. How can the strong Continue reading
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January 4, 2023

The end of December is one of the busiest travel times of the year as people rush back and forth from home for the holidays. For travelers who booked trips on Southwest Airlines, though, the season was even more stressful as the carrier canceled more than 13,000 flights in less than a week. The trouble started when a major winter storm swept the country and prevented many pilots and flight attendants from working. Southwest staff usually solve this problem by Continue reading

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December 14, 2022

The members of the K-pop group BTS are more than just entertainers: they’re financial juggernauts who have contributed billions of dollars to the South Korean economy. The video below looks at how BTS leverages their massive global audience to develop lucrative brand partnerships with everyone from McDonald’s to Louis Vuitton. This bonanza of cash might not go on forever, though, with the group announcing they were taking a brief hiatus that could potentially blunt their branding power. 

Questions:

  1. What Continue reading
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December 7, 2022

When Amazon launched the Echo in 2014, both the e-commerce giant and media observers set the bar very high for the smart speaker. One publication likened the voice-assisted machine to something out of Star Trek while others called it the “computer of the future” that would soon be in every home. These predictions seemed reasonable enough as Amazon sold more than 5 million Echos in the device’s first two years on the market. By 2016, the Echo and its voice Continue reading

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