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18 posts from November 2010


Was it the unlimited paid time off that put Starr Tincup on Texas Monthly's top workplace list?

Starr Tincup, a Fort Worth marketing agency, thinks it was its air hockey table that won it a spot on Texas Monthly’s "Best Companies to Work for in Texas 2011" edition.

Starr Tincup points to its medical coverage (it pays 100 percent of employee and dependent premiums), unlimited paid vacation ("Take what you need, when you need it"), dollar-for-dollar match on first 4 percent of employee contributions to their 401(k), casual workplace ("We’re a shorts and T-shirt, beer-in-the-fridge kind of place"), "fascinating work," and "awesome location" along Magnolia Avenue on Fort Worth’s Near South Side.

But all that aside, "I think it was the air hockey table that put us over the top," said Kevin Mangum, a Starr Tincup partner. "It’s too easy to point to outstanding benefits, great clients, and happy hours at The Usual," apparently a favorite Fort Worth bar to the Starr Tincup workforce.

Among Texas Monthly’s eligibility criterion, employers must have at least 15 people working in Texas to be considered for the mag’s annual ranking.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

Another 85,000 Texans set to exhaust jobless benefits without new federal extension

As Congress wrangles over whether to extend unemployment benefits, the Texas Workforce Commission “will continue to instruct claimants to file for their benefits if they are still unemployed, so that if Congress extends the deadline, we can pay those claimants retroactively,” Ann Hatchitt, spokeswoman for the commission in Austin, said.

“The Congressional bill to extend the deadline does not appear to be gaining traction in Congress, but TWC is monitoring the situation closely,” Hatchitt said.

Here’s a look at how many Texans are receiving unemployment benefits:

  • 54,508 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area are receiving regular state-funded benefits.
  • 75,258 additional DFW people have exhausted their state benefits and are receiving federally funded extended benefits.
  • Through October, about 466,000 Texans were receiving state or federal unemployment benefits.
  • About 117,000 more Texans have run out of all benefits.
  • The Texas Workforce Commission expects 85,000 more Texans will “immediately” have exhausted all benefits, if Congress doesn’t extend benefits again.
  • Some people who lost their jobs in 2008 and haven’t found one qualified for as much as 93 weeks of unemployment benefits – six months’ state-funded, and the remainder federally-paid.
  • If Congress doesn’t extend unemployment benefits by Monday’s deadline: People who are receiving unemployment benefits can complete the stage of the program they’re in, but won’t be eligible for extensions.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


Average wages fell in DFW as recession took hold, BLS says

Average wages in the Dallas-Fort Worth area fell as the recession took hold, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Monday in its annual national compensation survey.

Mean hourly wage for hourly workers fell to $21.39 from $21.75, the survey, taken in March, said. Mean number of hours worked fell, too, to 36.9 from 37.2 the year before.

Overall, wages were "flat to declining for most groups," said Cheryl Abbot, regional economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Dallas.

Average pay for service workers rose to $11.51 from $11.10, possibly as a result of the bump up in the federal minimum wage, Abbot said. The average for sales and related workers fell to $22.05 from $23.19, possibly from a decrease in commissions, Abbot said.

State and local government workers fared better, seeing an increase in pay to an average $24.65 from $24.37 the prior year, with the same number of average hours. Private industry workers saw their pay fall to $20.95 from $21.41, with hours falling to 36.9 from 37.2.

Among the survey’s broadest categories:

Management, professional and related: Average pay fell to $35.48 from $35.52. Management, business and financial stayed the same at $40, while professional and fell only slightly to $32.90 from $32.91.

Sales and office: Fell to $17.82 from $18.22. Office and administrative support rose to $16.05 from $15.94.

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance: Rose to $17.61 from $17.38. Construction and extraction fell to $14.97 from $15.38, while installation, maintenance and repair rose to $19.87 from $19.44.

Production, transportation, and material moving: Rose to $15.25 from $15.18. Production rose to $14.51 from $14.13, while transportation and material moving fell to $15.93 from $16.20.

Fulltime workers saw their pay drop to $22.52 on average from $22.87. Parttimers saw their pay rise to $11.26 from $10.74.

The survey contains data from 797 establishments surveyed, and includes pay data on various occupations, broken out by skill level.

 Click here to view the BLS' full 88-page survey.

 Click here to view the BLS' 2009 survey.

 - Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


FedEx expects big bump up in peak shipments

56389020 FedEx, which operates two of its 30 U.S. hubs in Fort Worth and Dallas and has another major facility in Irving, is expecting more than 223.3 million shipments will move through its global system between Thanksgiving and Christmas, up 11 percent compared to 2009.

The company says it expects its busiest day will be Dec. 13, when it’s projecting it will move nearly 16 million shipments, which would be a company record for any day. That would be up 12 percent from last year’s busiest day, Dec. 14.

More than half the holiday season volume incrfease will come from FedEx SmartPost shipments, driven by online retailers and cataloguers who ship high volumes of lighter shipments to residential customers, FedEx said.

The company doesn’t disclose projected volumes for its local facilities, but Rob Boulware, a FedEx spokesman, said the three Metroplex facilities can handle a combined 1 million packages per day.

FedEx doesn’t discuss the specifics of its seasonal hiring plans, but, given the size of the company's DFW-area operations, it's worth your time to visit the FedEx careers site and others.

"We will continue to hire on an as-needed basis to ensure the timely delivery of packages," Boulware said.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


Happy Thanksgiving: Rickey C. Cooper

Rickey Cooper I want to wish each and everyone of you a Happy Thanksgiving Day with your Family and Friends. This is a special time in America to renew relationships with relatives and friends, I will spend time with my one and only Grandson Pooh Pooh(Nickname).

My Grandson is 15 months and 2 weeks old and I love this Boy with all my heart. Today on Thanksgiving Day 2010 don't be afraid to quiz people you encounter and ask them about employment opportunities that might be available at their employment. 

I want to inform my readers that I have accepted a position with a private firm in Dallas, Texas, although it's not exactly what I was seeking but as a Man of God I will follow Our Lord Jesus on whatever path he leads me AMAN.


Rickey C. Cooper



Fort Worth-Arlington's' leading industries by wages

What industries lead the Fort Worth-Arlington area in wages. Here's data on second-quarter wages by industry from the Texas Workforce Commission's jobs release today:

* Trade, transportation and utilities: $1.98 billion.

* Government: $1.44 billion.

* Manufacturing: $1.337 billion

* Education and health services: $1.08 billion.

* Professional and business services: $1.02 billion.

* Financial activities: $690 million.

* Construction: $458.4 million.

* Mining and logging: $411.7 million.

* Leisure and hospitality: $384 million.

* Information: $204.7 million.

* Other services: $173 million.

Here are the largest industries by number of jobs:

* Trade, transportation and utilities: 23 percent

* Government: 15 percent

* Education and health services: $13 percent

* Professional and business services: 11 percent

* Leisure and hospitality: 11 percent

* Manufacturing: 10 percent

* Mining, logging, and construction: 6 percent

* Financial activities: 6 percent

* Other services: 4 percent

* Information, 1 percent

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

Fort Worth-Arlington adds 3,600 jobs in October

The numbers aren't adjusted for seasonal fluctuations (the statewide numbers are), but here's a look at the Fort Worth-Arlington jobs picture in October, according to the Texas Workforce Commission's release today:

* Total non-agricultural employment: Up 3,600 jobs to 852,800 compared to September, and 8,200 over the same month in 2009.

* Mining, logging, and construction: Up 100 jobs to 53,800 over September, and down 600 over last year.

* Manufacturing: Down 200 to 87,300 over September, and up 800 over last year.

* Trade, transportation, and utilities: Up 700 to 196,400 over September, and down 2,200 over last year.

* Information: No change at 14,200 over September, down 1,000 from a year ago.

* Financial activities: No change at 48,800 over September, down 900 from a year ago.

* Professional and business services: up 300 to 92,500 over September, up 1,900 over the prior year.

* Education and health services: Up 300 to 108,600 over September, up 3,000 over the prior year.

* Leisure and hospitality: Down 1,200 to 91,100 over September, up 2,100 over the prior year.

* Other services: Down 100 to 32,000 over September, up 500 over the prior year.

* Government: Up 3,700 to 128,100 over September, up 4,600 over the prior year. Local government was the strength here, adding 3,200 as school districts continued hiring employees for the fall. State government added 400.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

Texas adds 47,900 jobs in October, jobless rate remains 8.1 percent

Texas added 47,900 jobs in October, for a total 172,800  added in the last year, the Texas Workforce Commission said Friday. The state’s jobless rate remained at 8.1 percent, the year’s lowest jobless rate.

The U.S. jobless rate stayed at 9.6 percent.

“Every major industry added jobs in October, with notable increases in construction employment,” Tom Pauken, the Workforce Commission chairman, said.

Construction added 8,800 jobs, the largest monthly increase since April.

Mining and logging added 1,200 jobs, for a total 30,800 in the last year.

Manufacturing added 1,100 jobs, for a total 26,400 since October 2009.

Professional and business services added 4,200 jobs, for a total 50,600 added in the last year.

Education and health services added 5,400 jobs, for a total 38,800 in the last year.

Leisure and hospitality added 2,400 jobs, trade, transportation and utilities, 1,300 jobs, information, 1,000 jobs, and financial activities, 800. Government was up 19,100 jobs in October, but down 4,500 jobs in the last year.

Fort Worth-Arlington unemployment was 7.9 percent in October, up from 7.8 percent in September, but down from 8.1 percent a year ago. The metropolitan area figures are not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


Dog owners most likely to be senior managers, cat owners, physicians, survey says

US NEWS AFGHAN-DOGS 4 AT Here’s an interesting new survey from CareerBuilder, out today, that draws correlations between pet ownership and chosen profession, pay, and job satisfaction. Some of the findings: 

  • Dog owners: More likely to report holding senior management posts.
  • Snake owners: Most likely to report earning six figures.
  • Bird owners: Most likely to report being satisfied with their jobs.
  • Dog owners II: More likely to be professors, nurses, IT professionals, military, and entertainers.
  • Cat owners II: More likely to be physicians, real estate agents, science and medical lab techs, machine operators, and personal caretakers.
  • Fish owners II: More likely to be HR, financial, hotel and leisure, farming, fishing, and forestry, and transportation professionals.
  • Bird owners II: More likely to be advertising and sales professionals, construction workers, and administrative professionals.
  • Snake owners II: More likely to be engineers, social workers, marketing and PR professionals, editors, writers, and cops.

The survey of 2,301 U.S. workers with pets was conducted for CareerBuilder between Aug. 17 and Sept. 22.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram

Blue Cross Blue Shield and Texas Health Resources talking new contract

Here's our print story from today's Star-Telegram on the contract negotiation between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Texas Health Resources.

- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram


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