Northern California Hot Spots for Hiring
A whopping 67 percent of the employers in San Rafael plan to hire additional staff in the first quarter of the new year. That is by far the most vigorous hiring pace planned in any community in California, according to the quarterly employment survey conducted by Manpower, a national temp agency. While other communities’ outlooks may not be as rosy, many are respectable. Forty percent of the employers in San Mateo, for example, plan to recruit more staff, followed by Oakland (37 percent), San Francisco (33 percent), Contra Costa County (32 percent), Sacramento (27 percent), Santa Clara (24 percent), Solano/Napa counties (23 percent), Stockton (21 percent), Santa Cruz (17 percent) and Santa Rosa (15 percent). In general, Manpower found that job prospects appear best in transportation, public utilities, finance, insurance, real estate and services.
State Cracks Down on Business Scams
If a business opportunity promises no risk, little effort, and big profits, it’s probably a scam. So warns Federal Trade Commission chair Deborah Platt Majoras. The FTC joined with the California Dept of Corporations and other federal & state agencies to crack down on bogus business opportunities and work-at-home scams. California specifically took action against illegal franchise businesses that offered or sold biz operations for mythical hypoallergenic cat breeds, home delivery of pet products, rental of margarita machines, mall coffee kiosks, blended juice cafes, health fitness and nutrition centers. "Bogus business opportunities trample on Americans’ dreams of financial independence," Majoras warns. "These scams offer only a money pit, where no matter how much time and money is invested, consumers never achieve the riches and financial freedom promised."
Free Career Advice Hotline
Wish you could talk to a professional career counselor about a job-search challenge you face? Your wish is granted, courtesy of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. As part of its holiday tradition, the company assigns counselors to answer phones for several hours, providing a few free words of advice. The firm’s 21st annual two-day call-in will run from 7am to 3pm (PST) on Dec. 27th & 28th. The call to (312) 332-5790 will incur normal long-distance charges. Since the service is quite popular, you can expect to encounter busy phone lines.
On the Job Front
NATIONWIDE – If you are planning to retire soon, be sure to budget for the increased cost of healthcare. A recent study has found that most retirees can expect to pay more for health benefits in the coming year. A survey of 302 large private employers found that nearly two out of three will increase premiums for those on pensions. Others plan to increase drug co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses. New retirees who stopped working in 2006 paid the highest increase at 15.1 percent . . . The world’s largest shipper of packages, UPS, announced it is offering severance packages to 650 employees in Atlanta and across the US. The company recently cut 1200 jobs.
BAY AREA – Healthcare workers at the Santa Rita Jail in Pleasanton and the Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in Oakland plan a one day strike for Dec 19. The workers’ union contract expired in August.
EMERYVILLE – LeapFrog Enterprises, maker of educational toys, will cut 60 jobs, after losing nearly $50 million in the third quarter.
ROCKLIN – A chain of franchise membership clubs for home items will open mid January. DirectBuy Inc is an Indiana-based chain of 112 stores in 33 states. The local store will employ 20 to 30 workers.
SACRAMENTO – The county health department (SCHD) will add seven field inspectors, a supervisor and an administrative person as it begins enforcement of tough new health regulations on restaurants, bars and grocery stores starting Jan 1 . . . Local home-care workers have ratified a three-year pact with the Sacramento County Public Authority, raising hourly pay to $10.40, a 40-cent hike. The increase affects 17,000 workers who care for countless low-income elderly, blind and disabled residents in Sacramento County.
SAN FRANCISCO – Financial services company HSBC has expanded staff here and in East Palo Alto. The firm is aggressively pursuing corporate and international clients.
PALO ALTO – Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd announced last week that the computer giant is continuing to look for ways to trim expenses even though HP has already cut 10 percent of its workforce. The statement caused analysts to speculate about further staff cutbacks.
More Time Off in ’07
Enjoy time off during the holidays? Then you will really like the new year. According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Mgmt, nearly three-fourths of employers plan to mark the day before Christmas as an official day off. The number of companies planning to make the day after Thanksgiving a holiday has grown from 63 percent to 72 percent. And the day after Christmas 2007 will be a holiday at 16 percent of firms (up from 8 percent).