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Forget Summer Fridays. These companies offer cool summer perks

Forget Summer Fridays. These companies offer cool summer perks

Finance
Another strong jobs report. Here's why unemployment went up Summer Fridays are nothing new. And in a tight job market where employers are struggling to find workers, companies are getting more creative with the seasonal perks they offer in order to stand out from their competitors. Around 72% of companies that increased benefits cited worker retention as the reason, while 58% wanted to attract new talent, according to the 2018 employee benefits survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. "Every single person we make an offer to has another offer," said Michelle Wagner, senior vice president of people operations at Evernote. "People really care about how and where they work — that matters to them. That puts more pressure on us to hire well and create ...
Companies appear to be gaining market power

Companies appear to be gaining market power

Finance
COMPETITION forces companies to keep prices low to attract customers. But if a few firms become powerful enough, they can see off competitors and charge more. A new working paper by Jan De Loecker of the University of Leuven and Jan Eeckhout of University College London presents evidence that this is happening across the rich world.The researchers examine markups—selling prices divided by production costs. At 1, products are sold at cost; above 1, there is a gross profit. Using the financial statements of 70,000 firms in 134 countries, the authors find average markups rose from 1.1 in 1980 to 1.6 in 2016.America and Europe saw the biggest increases (see chart). But in many emerging markets markups barely rose. In China they fell. That suggests rich-world firms may have been able to i...
Water companies have damaged trust, regulator Ofwat says

Water companies have damaged trust, regulator Ofwat says

Business
High levels of payments to bosses and investors by water companies have damaged customer trust, the regulator Ofwat has said.It has published new rules that will force firms to explain how executive pay is linked to performance and to prioritise customers' interests.It comes as the bosses of several water firms prepare to be quizzed by MPs.The company chiefs will be facing the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee later. Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher said: "The decisions some water companies have made on dividends, financial structures and top executive pay have damaged customer trust."She added the move was "an important step in making sure water companies put customers' interests and those of future generations, at the heart of all the d...
Value investor Bob Olstein: Quarterly earnings estimates by companies should be 'illegal'

Value investor Bob Olstein: Quarterly earnings estimates by companies should be 'illegal'

Finance
Noted value investor Bob Olstein is 100 percent behind the call by Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon to end quarterly earnings guidance by companies. "They should make it illegal to make specific quarterly earnings estimates. It leads to nothing that is good. They manipulate earnings to reach it. They take their eye off the football," the chairman and chief investment officer at The Olstein Funds said Thursday on "Closing Bell." Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Dimon, chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, teamed up in a rare joint interview that aired on CNBC earlier in the day to explain their stance. ...
1,500 companies miss gender pay deadline

1,500 companies miss gender pay deadline

Business
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceMore than 1,500 companies have broken the law by failing to report their gender pay gap figures before Wednesday night's deadline.The Equalities and Human Rights Commission said 1,557 firms had missed the deadline.It will contact these companies to remind them of their legal obligations.Those that fail to comply will face an investigation by the equalities watchdog, followed by legal action and an unlimited fine.All companies, charities and public sector bodies with more than 250 employees were required to submit their gender pay figures before Wednesday's deadline.The EHRC will check whether those firms that failed to report fall into this category.One organisation that missed the deadline was the Unite union, which belatedly published its figur...