More workers matching pay when switching jobs
In the long debate over whether the economy really is improving, here's another statistic to toss into the mix: the number of people who are matching their old salaries when they land a new job.
Most are, according to a quarterly survey of discharged executives and managers.
The latest data from the third quarter show 84.4 percent had at least equaled their former salaries, the highest since 91 percent in the second quarter of 2001, according to Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
When the economy was red-hot, from 1995 to 2000, the annual average was 90.2 percent, the firm said. But when business turned sour, so did new salaries, and the figure fell to 79.5 percent for the seven quarters ending June 30.
Census report looks at financial health
The Census Bureau offered some news last month that surprised few -- household incomes dropped between 2001 and 2002 to a median of $42,409 annually.
The report prompted Alabama-based BillSaver.com to round up some other government benchmarks on Americans to provide a further look at Americans' financial health.
The median credit card balance is $1,900, meaning half of us owe more and half owe less than that, with an average interest rate of 12.9 percent.
Median home value is $122,200, while the median value of our retirement accounts is $24,000.
Name that company
I began as a moth-proofing company in 1929, founded by a former minor-league baseball player. My objectives include "To honor God in all we do." I expanded into carpet cleaning in 1952, creating one of America's first franchise businesses. I pioneered health-care outsourcing in 1962. Today I serve 10.5 million homes and businesses, offering lawn care and landscape maintenance, termite and pest control, plumbing, heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair, appliance maintenance and repair, house cleaning, home warranties and more. My brands include TruGreen ChemLawn, Terminix, American Home Shield, Rescue Rooter and Merry Maids. Who am I?