Thursday, April 22

Month: April 2015

American Workers Without College Degrees Faring Increasingly Worse on Job Market, Study Finds
Business

American Workers Without College Degrees Faring Increasingly Worse on Job Market, Study Finds

Much recent discussion has questioned whether high-priced college educations are showing a good return on investment. But as a report released April 20 by the Hamilton Project shows, one thing is clear: Americans without much education are doing substantially worse than their college-educated peers. “[N]on-college educated workers are substantially more likely to work in lower-paying service occupations than in the recent past,” the report’s authors write. “In contrast, individuals with a bachelor’s degree or more are just as likely to be employed today as they were in 1990, in similar occupations, and with steadily rising earnings.” For the study, the researchers examined government data to compare how American workers have fared between 1990 and 2013. Workers were split into eight cate...
Healthcare Professionals Increasingly Prone to Workplace Injury, Study Finds
Business

Healthcare Professionals Increasingly Prone to Workplace Injury, Study Finds

Many people pursue careers in the healthcare industry as a way to help others recover from their injuries and illnesses. However, in doing so, healthcare workers themselves are increasingly becoming injured. New data from the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) reveals that injury rates for healthcare workers rose from 2012 to 2014 -- with violent injuries in particular becoming more frequent. Between January 1, 2012 and September 30, 2014, the 112 U.S. healthcare facilities studied reported 10,680 injuries to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Patient handling and movement-related injuries represented 4,674 of these injuries. There were 3,972 slips, trips and falls, and 2,034 instances of workplace violence that led to injury. The healthcare and social ass...
Why Car Manufacturers Use Camouflage Vehicle Wraps During Pre-Production Test Drives
Business

Why Car Manufacturers Use Camouflage Vehicle Wraps During Pre-Production Test Drives

You may have seen them before while driving around -- cars wrapped with a vivid, black-and-white swirling pattern. According to The News Wheel, car manufacturers apply these vinyl wraps to a pre-production vehicle that is being tested, in order to camouflage the vehicle's design and protect it from being ripped off by a competitor. While many people may think these wraps, with their ostentatious designs, do the opposite of camouflaging a prototype car. However, the patterns aren't meant to prevent the car itself from being seen out on the road -- rather, they conceal the specific details of the model's exterior. And why the black and white? That's because black absorbs infrared light from a camera's auto-focus, making it nearly impossible to capture a clear image of the vehicle -- an ef...
Study Aims to Figure Out Whether Science Fairs Support STEM Learning Goals
Lifestyle

Study Aims to Figure Out Whether Science Fairs Support STEM Learning Goals

Everyone agrees that children learning science is crucial, especially in the face of economic and environmental challenges that will require science, technology, engineering and math-heavy solutions in the years to come. But does one of the best-known processes in science education -- the science fair -- meaningfully support that goal? That’s what a new study is aiming to figure out, backed by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Science fairs have “never been really rigorously researched,” Abigail Jurist Levy, the leader of the research team, told Education Week April 24. “As valued as they are by some, and as criticized as they are by others, we really don't know what they offer students in terms of learning experiences and engendering enthusiasm in science.” Over t...
Investors Have Sunny Outlook on Remodeling Market Despite Mixed Indicators
Business

Investors Have Sunny Outlook on Remodeling Market Despite Mixed Indicators

Two major indicators of home remodeling activity are pointing to a decelerating market throughout 2015, but investors seem to be confident that remodeling companies and supporting retailers will continue to be profitable nonetheless. The National Association of Home Builders released its Remodeling Market Index for the first quarter of 2015 on April 23. It was set at 57. Any RMI figure above 50 indicates that more remodelers say they have more activity than they did in the past quarter than say they have less activity; the current figure is above that key point, but lower than the 60 set in the last quarter of 2014. That means that the market is growing but at a slower rate. The latest Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, set by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for...
Wells Fargo Expands to Fund Senior Housing Development
Business

Wells Fargo Expands to Fund Senior Housing Development

Wells Fargo announced earlier this week that it had established a new group specifically to provide financial services to investors, developers, and owners of senior living facilities. The new group will be fully-staffed, and expands support for balance sheet lending in addition to providing traditional banking and credit services. The demand is high for new senior housing, as the population of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to grow to 80 million by 2040, according to the United States Census Bureau. This will be a 67% increase from 48 million seniors currently. While not every senior will need assisted living, the Department of Health and Human services expects 70% of seniors to eventually require long-term care. The group has already begun its work, financing several projects...
Study Finds Millennials View Self-Service Options as Good Customer Service
Business

Study Finds Millennials View Self-Service Options as Good Customer Service

Can self-service be good customer service? Both the overall population and Millennials in particular think so, according to a new report from Aspect Software. The study, done in conjunction with the Center for Generational Kinetics, found that more than 65% of respondents said they felt good about both themselves and a company when they were able to solve a problem without directly contacting a customer service agent. That figure ticked up slightly for Millennials, at 69%. “Though the idea of self-service customer service may seem counter-intuitive, it makes sense when one thinks about it,” Peter Roesler wrote in a Denver Business Journal review of the study April 22. “Customer service reps for a company are normally providing assistance based on information given to them in a user guide...
Abuse of Prescription Stimulants Is a Growing Concern in the American Workplace
Business

Abuse of Prescription Stimulants Is a Growing Concern in the American Workplace

Anyone working in an office environment knows that productivity is always the top priority, regardless of how it's measured. The problem, as many American workers will vouch for, is that meeting the productivity goal often isn't enough; the prevalence of mobile devices like smartphones and laptops allow the workplace to infiltrate the home environment so much that employees are often expected to go above and beyond the basic goals. For many young adults, habits are developed early in life, during high school and college, in order to produce results for a system that measures success in terms of grades. As a recent New York Times article has noted, this time period is often when young people develop dependencies on stimulants like Adderall, Vyvanse, and Concerta. These highly controlled p...
Millennials Would Still Rather Rent Than Buy, Despite Rising Prices
Lifestyle

Millennials Would Still Rather Rent Than Buy, Despite Rising Prices

The cost to rent a home is rising, but this isn't stopping millennials from doing it. Mortgage rate trends are in home buyers' favor; by the end of 2014 they had fallen to the lowest rates in a year and a half, which reduced borrowing costs. However, millennials are still renting -- or living at home -- for a few reasons. According to CNBC, the average rate for renting a home has jumped 14% in the last five years. Experts sat the rate will likely rise another 3.3% in 2015 alone, which brings the average rent price in the U.S. to $1,161. So if rent prices are rising and borrowing costs are falling, why aren't millennials buying houses? CNN Money reports that the percentage of homeowners between the ages of 18 and 34 is at a record low -- only 13.2%. Furthermore, 31% of people aged 18 to ...
Virgin America to Add Flights to Hawaii in 2015
Business

Virgin America to Add Flights to Hawaii in 2015

Virgin America announced last week that it will be offering its first flight to Hawaii in the fall. A daily round trip between San Francisco and Honolulu will begin Nov. 2, and a route between San Francisco and Kahului (on the island of Maui) will be launched Dec. 3. CEO David Cush has also indicated that flights to Hawaii out of Los Angeles will likely be added in 2016. “This announcement is exciting news for Hawaii,” the Hawaii Tourism Authority said in a statement regarding the plans. “We have been working together with Virgin America for more than five years to make these new flights and their entry into our market a reality.” Tourism is a major part of the Hawaiian economy, from exploring the ocean to tours throughout Hawaii, travelers from near and far come to enjoy all of the ben...