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Brazil Growing With Small Middle Class

BRASILIA, Brazil, Dec. 30 (UPI) — Brazil may have passed Britain to claim the No. 6 spot in the world’s largest economies, but incomes per capita still lag far behind, data shows. In Britain, the per capita income is about $34,600, while in Brazil it is about $10,100, Forbes magazine reported Friday. Although income per […]

Companies Turn To Quirky Perks For Workers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) — Some U.S. employers are turning to quirky perks to appease workers frustrated by pay cuts, heavy workloads and high health insurance costs, company heads say. “Companies are trying to have it feel like it’s not one big take-away,” says John Bremen, a managing director at employer consultancy Towers Watson. “They […]

GE: U.S. Labor Market Is Competitive

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 30 (UPI) — A high-ranking executive at General Electric said the U.S. labor market is now priced right for U.S. manufacturers to consider expansion without outsourcing. “We have gotten to a point where making things in America is as viable as making things any place in the world,” said James  Campbell, president […]

Many Affluent Say They Plan To Travel More

STEVENS, Pa., Dec. 29 (UPI) — Many affluent consumers find personal satisfaction not in things, but in what they do — “greats news for the travel industry,” a U.S. marketing expert says. Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of “Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury,” said more than half of all U.S. luxury […]

Pending Home Sales Jumped In November

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) — A pending U.S. home sales index climbed 7.3 percent in November, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The Pending Home Sales Index jumped 10.4 percent in October after three months of declines. November’s increase put the index at 100.1, up from 93.3 in October. From November 2010, the index […]

Jobless Claims Rise By 15,000 In Week

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) — Initial unemployment claims rose by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 for the week ending Dec. 24, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week’s revised figure was 366,000, the department said in a release. At 375,000, the four-week moving average held under 400,000 for the seventh consecutive week. […]

Mortgage Rates End Year Near Record Lows

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) — The average fixed mortgage held close to historic lows in the week ending Thursday, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said. The 30-year fixed rate rose slightly off an all-time low of 3.91 percent in the previous week to 3.95 with 0.7 points, Freddie Mac said. The 15-year fixed rate […]

Insurer To Pay $2 Million For Dropping Clients

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 29 (UPI) — Blue Shield in California has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit over medical insurance coverage it dropped when clients became sick. In the industry, it is called rescission. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Blue Shield’s case involved an investigation of more than 1,000 rescission […]

Tourism On Pace For Record Year

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (UPI) — Foreign visitors spent $13.1 billion to see the sights while visiting the United States in October, the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries said. Expenditures on transportation and tourism jumped 13 percent over October 2010, putting tourism in a rare category of an industry doing better than it did […]

Retailers Report Strong Finish For 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 (UPI) — U.S. retail sales rose 0.9 percent in the week ending on Christmas Eve and jumped up from the same week of 2010, a trade group said. The International Council of Shopping Centers deemed the 0.9 percent week-to-week rise a “solid” gain for retailers. The final week of the retail marathon […]

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