Employees of Facebook logged on to Glassdoor and gave it an average satisfaction rating of 4.6 out of 5. Just behind Facebook were Southwest Airlines, with 4.4 out 5 and Bain & Company, with 4.3 out of 5.
Facebook just got its 500 millionth member in July, and many of the company's employees, especially those who signed on early, have become millionaires by selling some of their stake in the company to big investors or on exchanges where shares in private companies trade, reports the New York Times.
The Glassdoor survey was based on eight criteria including work/life balance, recognition and, of course, compensation and benefits.
The Top 20:
2. Southwest Airlines
3. Bain & Company
4. General Mills
6. Boston Consulting
7. SAS Institute
8. Slalom Consulting
10. Susquehanna International Group
16. Trader Joe's
17. Goldman Sachs
18. McKinsey & Company
19. National Instruments
Two years into the Great Recession, the United States doesn't seem to be doing much better. The majority of Americans are pessimistic about the economy. Housing sales are down. Those who have been unemployed for 99 weeks or more, 99ers, are pushing for Congress to approve further unemployment extension benefits, as the unemployment rate lingers at 9.6 percent. There is one person, however, who isn't suffering from the effects of the Great Recession: the CEO.
CEO salaries are still running at double the 1990s CEO pay average after inflation adjustment according to the 17th annual executive compensation survey, CEO Pay and the Great Recession by the Institute for Policy Studies. At a time when many laid off Americans are hurting financially, CEOs are reaping the rewards of handing out mass pink slips. Layoffs pay off for CEOs, with the money in saved wages further padding their plump paychecks. CEOs at 50 companies -- "layoff leaders" in the study -- that laid off the most employees took home an average pay of almost $12 million in 2009, 42 percent more than the average CEO pay.
Most firms -- 72 percent -- announced mass layoffs during periods of profit, reflecting a growing trend in corporate America: tightening the workforce to increase profit and maintain high CEO salaries.
Even CEOs who lost their jobs, like Fred Hassan of Schering-Plough, the highest paid layoff leader, received a $33 million golden parachute when his company merged with Merck, while 16,000 employees lost their jobs. Hassan's total 2009 compensation -- $49.6 million -- is enough to provide all 16,000 who were pink slipped average unemployment benefits for more than 10 weeks.
Five of the top 50 layoff leaders owe their high paychecks to the tax payer bailouts that followed the 2008 Wall Street collapse. As the government helped prop their companies up, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault took home $16.8 million, including a $5 million cash bonus while his company laid off 4,000 employees and received $3.39 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding.
As Republicans cry that there is no money to extend unemployment benefits for 99ers, perhaps they should put caps on CEO wages. Most startling is that the $598 million compensation of the top 50 CEOs in layoff leader survey could provide average unemployment benefits for 37,759 workers for an entire year -- or nearly a month of benefits for each of the 531,363 employees laid off by those companies.
Yesterday was a pretty rough one for investors, as news out of China and from U.S. consumers renewed fears of a global slowdown. The Dow fell 268 points to 9,870; the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.8 percent to 2,135; and the S&P 500 declined 3.1 percent to 1,041, its lowest close this year. The S&P 500 is now down over 14 percent from its April high. Stocks head into the last trading session of the quarter facing their first quarterly loss since Q1 2009.
Yesterday's selling started early, after a report showed slowing growth in China. The Conference Board said its leading economic index for China rose 0.3 percent in April, far less than the 1.7 percent reported recently. Chinese stocks fell 4.3 percent before the U.S. markets opened.
After rising for three consecutive months US Consumer Confidence plunged to 52.9 from 62.7 in May. Consumers continue to worry about the weak job market.
Completing the trifecta of bad news, European banks need to repay about $540 billion in loans to the ECB this week, shining a light on which institutions are still weak.
Today is looking a little brighter, at least early on. Asian shares closed lower, but after those markets closed, there was positive news from across the pond. European banks borrowed less than anticipated this morning, providing some relief to investors. US stock futures are pointing higher.
There was news out of the housing sector: RealtyTrac said that foreclosure sales accounted for nearly 1/3 of all home sales in the first quarter. The report noted that "total foreclosure sales in 2009 were up more than 1,100 percent from 2006 and up more than 2,500 percent from 2005."
Separately, by a vote of 409-5, the House voted to extend the closing deadline of the first time homebuyer credit. The vote doesn't allow for new entrants into the program--to qualify, the purchase and sale agreement had to be signed by April 30. However, the program had said that the transaction must close by June 30 to receive the credit. Lawmakers voted to extend the closing deadline to Sept. 30. The Senate must now approve the measure.
Finally, the horse trading continues on financial reform. Congressional Democrats gave up on the $18 billion bank tax, which would have covered the costs of reform efforts. The concession is expected to clear the path for the bill's passage.
Asian shares gained ground after investors viewed a better-than-expected Chinese export report as a sign that growth would resume after the European debt crisis. And speaking of Europe, stocks firmed after the Bank of England kept its benchmark interest rate at 0.5%, where it has been since March 2009.
Today investors will keep an eye on BP shares, which have lost half of their value since the April 20th oil rig disaster and subsequent spill. Talk of potential bankruptcy increased, though many contend BP has the wherewithal to withstand the financial costs (estimated to be as high as $35 billion) associated with the Gulf spill.
On the economic front, there will be the first release of weekly jobless claims since last Friday's terrible report and investors will absorb the most recent data on foreclosures. RealtyTrac said that April foreclosure filings, which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions, decreased 3% from April to 322,920 and increased by less than 1% from a year ago. While down, the number remained above 300,000 for the 15th month.
Finally, there are reports of a new pending SEC investigation into Goldman Sachs. Like the SEC's Abacus case, this one centers on a synthetic CDO called Hudson and was mentioned in this 2009 NY Times article. No charges have been filed. The story comes on the heels of the FCIC's document request.
Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.
This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS' MoneyWatch.com.
The business magazine released its latest rankings of American corporations Thursday, reporting that 2009 profits were up a remarkable $391 billion - more than three times greater than the previous year.
But the windfall wasn't due to greater sales, as revenues actually fell 8.7 percent. Cost-cutting was the preferred strategy and companies cut 3.2 percent of its workforce to finish in the black.
Wal-Mart returned to the top spot on Fortune's list, benefiting from shoppers looking for discount deals during the recession. Exxon-Mobil, last year's number one, fell to second.
Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds.
Accountants, nurses, chemists, surveyors, cooks, clerks and janitors are among the wide range of jobs that get paid more on average in the federal government than in the private sector, the newspaper reported.
Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available.
The federal government spends about $125 billion annually on compensation for about 2 million civilian employees.Read more of the story.
In an op-ed published today in The New York Times, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, propose that any private-sector employer that hires a worker who had been unemployed for at least 60 days not have to pay its 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax on that employee for the duration of 2010.
Workers would have to be hired for a minimum of 30 hours per week. And nepotists need not apply: The employer's family members would not be eligible. And job shedders would have to bulk up: if the company had a lower total payroll in 2010 than it had in 2009 it would have to forfeit the benefit.
But as the unemployment rate inches steadily toward 10 percent, CBS MoneyWatch editor-at-large Jill Schlesinger says there are still sectors hiring.
The health care industry has added 560,000 jobs and remains a huge part of the U.S. economy. And the government claims to have created or saved 380,000 jobs in education through stimulus efforts.
The government itself is hiring, though some of those jobs – like census workers – are temporary.
And the technology sector is experiencing "very good growth," Schlesinger told "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith Thursday.
Industries hardest hit by job losses come as no surprise – construction, manufacturing, restaurants and retail continue to struggle.
As far as geography, Schlesinger says heartland states like Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota have been largely spared the full force of the recession, boasting unemployment rates under 5 percent.
Worst areas for job seekers? Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island and big housing boom states like California.
Peter Coy writes in Business Week of "The Lost Generation" — 16- to 24-year-olds for whom unemployment in the U.S. is now more than 18%, up from 13% a year ago. Including fulltime students, less than half of people age 16-24 had jobs in September, the lowest rate since post-WWII.
College graduates and advanced degree holders are suffering as well. Dan Schmitz, 25, a University of Wisconsin graduate with a bachelor's degree in English, told Coy, "Every morning I wake up thinking today's going to be the day I get a job. I've not had a job for months, and it's getting really frustrating."
With the economy sagging, job hunts are increasingly taking laid-off workers to different cities from their already employed spouses, according to a Wall Street Journal report Tuesday.
The Journal cites a recent survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas that found 18.2 percent of job hunters relocated for their new jobs in the second quarter of this year – a big jump from 11.4 percent a year ago.
A government inspection two months ago uncovered 1,600 illegal workers and another 200 who had problems with their work records, including, in some cases, faked social security numbers.
Peter Schey, a lawyer for American Apparel, told the Times that the company "is very disappointed and disheartened at having to terminate a very large number of workers who by and large have been reliable contributors to the success of the company."
We're about to live through that experiment in applied economics. On Friday, the U.S. minimum wage is set to increase from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 an hour. That makes it 11 percent more expensive for businesses to employ a minimum-wage worker.
(The last time the minimum wage was increased was July 2008 as part of the second-to-last step in a series of increases required by a law enacted the year before. This week's increase is the last.)
Even celebrities have trouble making these shoes cool, hip or good looking – no matter how cool, hip or good looking the celebrities are.
As the economy boomed so did Crocs, 100 million pairs were sold in the past seven years. But now, there's a stunning reversal from a $168-million profit in 2007 to a $185-million loss in 2008, leaving the company with serious debt. Crocs has given 2,000 employees - a third of its work force - their walking papers.
So will they go the way of the earth shoe, mood ring and pet rock? Or will Croc-craving fans come to the rescue?
To watch Katie Couric's complete report, click below:
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Early this year, as the U.S. Congress prepared to debate a $787 billion spending bill that's better known as the stimulus plan, President Barack Obama claimed that immediate action was necessary to prevent unemployment from skyrocketing.
"Experts agree that if nothing is done, the unemployment rate could reach double digits," Mr. Obama said in a January 24 radio address. "If we do not act boldly and swiftly, a bad situation could become dramatically worse." The same month, his economic advisors released a report saying that, without the stimulus, unemployment would hit around 8.5 percent by April 2009, and 7.8 percent with it.
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