The median household income for U.S. families dropped 2.3% to $49,445 last year, marking the third year of decreases and putting earnings at about the same level as 1996 after adjustments for inflation, the Census Bureau reports. However, Americans' average net worth was $169,691 at the end of last year, up from $147,889 in 2007, as more money has been put into stocks, retirement accounts and other investments, according to the Federal Reserve.
Companies often overlook the talent under their own roof, Laura Schroeder writes. Either they ignore part-timers and other workers who don't fit the typical description of a blue-chip prospect or they give up too quickly on people who didn't become successful right away, Schroeder writes.
President Barack Obama's jobs plan includes a measure that would allow unemployed workers to continue getting jobless benefits while being trained by potential employers. Many, including Republicans such Rep. Eric Cantor, have praised the measure as a step toward reforming the country's unemployment-benefits program. "What this does is reconnect particularly the long-term unemployed with the workplace," former Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond said.
Hiring experts offer their favorite questions for uncovering important qualities about job candidates. For instance, one expert suggests asking applicants what they like to do after they finish their work. "The question is artfully vague, in that the applicant is not told if the answer should focus on work or personal activities," Michael Mercer says.
About three-quarters of American workers say they have made mistakes regarding health benefits decisions during open enrollment, shows an Aflac survey. Also, 74% said that they often don't understand what's covered by their medical insurance.