International Women’s Day: an Opportunity to Recognize Achievements of Women in the Labor Force

Posted on March 8th, 2015

March 8, 2015 International Womens Day

International Women’s Day on March 8 is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women in the labor force. It is also a time to reflect on challenges women have and continue to face, including celebrating the achievements of women who have played important roles in advancing equality for women at work.

The role of women in the labor force in the United States has evolved greatly since the end of World War II. After the War, less than a third of women were active in the U.S. labor force. While women became an increasingly important participant in the labour force during the war, their role increased significantly in the following decades. The number of women working began to increase rapidly from the 1960s to the 1980s, and reached its peak in 1999 when 60 percent of women were active in the labour force according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor. In 2013, the percentage of women in the labour force was 57.2 percent.

At the same time, women traditionally faced challenges in the labour force including wage inequality and low representation in leadership roles when compared to men. The gap is narrowing, although more work is needed to ensure true equity in the workplace. In addition to a general increasing trend in the participation rate of women in the labor force, the wage and education gap of women in the labor force is narrowing when compared to their male colleagues. The proportion of women in the labor force with a college degree more than tripled between 1970 and 2013 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings of female workers as a proportion of earnings of their male counterparts have also grown. In 1979, women who worked full time earned just 62 percent of what men earned. In 2013, this figure was 82 percent.

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Spotlight on Business in Los Angeles

Posted on February 24th, 2015

Overview of Business in Los Angeles

A variety of industries help to make Los Angeles the successful economic center that it is. The city attracts businesses in the tourism, TV/film, hospitality and technology industries. These are not the only industries that thrive in the city, however. Traditional industries like law, finance and medicine also create jobs for residents in the city. Young professionals are attracted to the opportunities presented by the technology, medical and information industries.

International trade is also a major driver of the economy of Los Angeles, with its twin ports handling more than forty percent of both inbound and outbound containers for the whole country. More than one hundred and sixty thousand workers support the international trade sector in L.A. county.

Major Industries & Key Economic Drivers in Los Angeles

Technology continues to be a driving force behind the economy in L.A. and a number of major tech companies have their corporate offices in city and its surrounding areas. The information industry continues to provide numerous job opportunities for young graduates, in particular, the film and video gaming industries. The biotech industry is also combining with the information industry to create new applications that are beneficial for the health of society. Read More »

Spotlight on Business in Boston

Posted on February 12th, 2015

The city of Boston has histrorically had a reputation for its international ports and its textile manufacturing industry. Manufacturing in general has dropped in the US over the years, however while the textile manufacturing industry still remains very strong in Boston, other industries have become more dominant in the last 20 years, and Boston continues to be a viable economic center that is still experiencing growth.

Major Industries in Boston

The economy in Boston has seen a shift away from textile manufacturing and more towards technology manufacturing and service industry jobs. The major industries in Boston can be broken down into the urban industries and the suburban industries. In the city of Boston itself, the primary industries are finance and professional services. The city also contains much of Boston’s technology manufacturing as well.

The suburban areas of Boston rely primarily on technology manufacturing and national defense. The outlying areas of Boston are populated with a wide variety of skilled technical workers and military bases. Read More »

Houston: Commercial Property, Office Space Trends and Statistics

Posted on January 12th, 2015

For several decades, Houston has been considered one of the most successful economies in the southern United States. In fact, and according to Forbes, Houston is the third best place to do business in the country. The city’s bustling and highly diverse economic scene is largely driven by the energy industry, and other important sectors include manufacturing, research and development, aerospace, information technology, and health care.

Being one of the most important corporate centers in North America, the city of Houston is well equipped to accommodate the real estate needs of existing and prospective businesses. This article looks at the most important trends affecting the commercial property market in Houston, having a special focus on the office market.

Key trends and developments in the Houston commercial property market

Generally speaking, over the past five years the Houston commercial real estate market has been characterised by high activity and construction levels and by increasing absorption rates. By the third quarter of 2014, the local market had absorbed 4.4 million square feet of office space, and by the end of the year a further 17.3 million sq ft of space were under development. The vast majority of new office developments were geared towards the needs of the energy sector, having a significant amounts of floor space being built at the city’s ExxonMobil campus and having a large number of pre-lease transactions closed by multinationals like BHP, Shell, and Nobel Energy.

Due to increased demand, citywide rental rates have been steadily climbing, and during 2014 alone they grew by an average 10.6 per cent. Higher increases were evident in commercial properties in the city’s business district. Vacancy rates have decreased from 12.9 per cent in 2013 to 11.9 per cent in 2014. While year-on-year leasing activity levels decreased during 2014, the figures are set to increase once again during the following 12 months. Read More »

Spotlight on Business in Dallas

Posted on January 5th, 2015

The city of Dallas has become renowned for its plentiful job opportunities, low tax rates and affordable housing. Young college graduates and established professionals alike find the idea of working in this bustling city an excellent choice.

Several major industries have helped make Dallas a powerful business city in the U.S. and in recent years, Houston and Dallas have attracted thousands of new residents. Some of the key industries in the city include information services, goods manufacturing, telecommunications, media, logistics and food manufacturing.

Over 80,000 companies have made their home in Dallas, and many Fortune 500 companies have also chosen to place their main headquarters in Dallas. High-tech start-ups are growing increasingly attracted to Dallas due to it’s favorable tax laws and low rental rates.

Major Industries & Key Economic Drivers in Dallas

Other industries that make up the economic base of Dallas include finance, aviation and international trade. In downtown Dallas, you can find the offices of several major finance firms. Dallas is an excellent place for young professionals to seek opportunities in investment banking or law, with several large law firms having offices located in the high-rise buildings in downtown Dallas. Over 342,000 Dallas residents are currently employed in the professional and business services field.

The state of Texas is home to fifty two Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, with Dallas itself boasting an impressive seven Fortune 500 company headquarters including AT&T, Energy Transfer Equity, HollyFrontier, Southwest Airlines and Texas Instruments. Read More »

Office Christmas Party Survival Guide

Posted on November 13th, 2014

The office Christmas party is coming up and you want to have a good time, but you do not want to do something that you could regret. When the good times start to roll, it can be difficult to remember that you have to work with just about everyone at the office Christmas party and you will see them all year long. It can also be difficult to censor your language around your boss and his family.

The best way to have fun at the office Christmas party and still retain your dignity, and your job, is to have a plan in place before you head out to have fun. With a little preparation and planning, you can have a great time and be the life of the party without doing anything you would regret.

Eat Before You Head Out

If there will be alcohol served at the office Christmas party and you plan on enjoying a few cocktails, then eat before you head out to reduce the effects of the alcohol. If you eat a full meal with breads and meats, then you will have plenty in your stomach to absorb the alcohol you consume.

When you are at the party, you should have a few appetizers before you drink to add to your food buffer. Avoid eating to the point where you feel stuffed, but eat enough to help you control the effects of drinking.
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Spotlight on Business in Houston

Posted on October 30th, 2014

Since the discovery of oil in Houston, Texas in 1901, the city has relied on energy revenue for its growth and survival. That means that Houston followed the trends of energy prices, which took nose dives in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 2000’s. But each time, Houston was able to bounce back and open up new areas of energy exploration and refining that have allowed the city to grow. As time has gone by, Houston has learned to diversify its economy and a new Houston is starting to emerge from under the shadow of the energy industry.

Major Industries in Houston 

One of the industries that Houston has turned to for balancing out the energy sector is the chemical manufacturing industry. Today, the city of Houston and its associated industries produce almost 40 percent of all of the basic chemicals used by domestic and international industry. It is estimated that nearly 40,000 people in Houston area work in the chemical manufacturing and refining industry.

Along with energy and chemical manufacturing, Houston also relies heavily on the technology sector for jobs. The space exploration and engineering industry in Houston employs well over 17,000 people as scientists and engineers. The Houston economy benefits significantly from its abundance of high-paying jobs.

Key Economic Drivers in Houston

While Houston benefits greatly from advances in its energy and chemical industries, one of the prime economic drivers for the city’s economy is its growth in the service industries. Nearly 16 percent of the Houston working population work in insurance sales, real estate and personal finance. This number continues to grow and so does the revenue generated by these industries. Read More »

Spotlight On Business in Miami

Posted on October 8th, 2014

Overview of Business in Miami

In recent years, Miami has begun to attract major industries and corporations. The low tax rates of Florida make doing business attractive for corporations. In addition, the state also maintains numerous tax incentive programs that provide refunds for corporations that create jobs for residents. Logistically, businesses also find that opening an office in Miami makes sense. Because Miami is located on the coast, it is easy for corporations to engage in trade with foreign entities. The Port of Miami has enabled the cruise industry to thrive in the state.

Major Industries & Key Economic Drivers in Miami

In Miami, tourism makes up one of the most popular industries. Tourism is also a popular industry for greater Florida. Miami features prime beaches and real estate. In 2003, about nine million tourists spent over $10 billion on vacationing in Miami.

Another reason Miami continues to be a popular location for major corporations is due to its location as a port. The Port of Miami enables businesses to engage in international trade. Numerous port brokers and customs agents are located in the area to facilitate the process of international trade. There are also two free trade zones located in Miami, which are the Miami Free Zone and Homestead Free Zone. Over 252,000 employees currently work in the trade and transportation industries in Miami.

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The Dangers of Sitting for Long Periods of Time at Work

Posted on September 19th, 2014

Who would have thought that the simple act of sitting could be so dangerous to a person’s health? But more and more medical researchers are releasing information indicating that sitting for long periods of time can cause a variety of physical ailments. Since many Americans sit for hours a day at their jobs, this kind of information can be both enlightening and frightening. There is a lot to be said for getting up out of your chair and stretching every once in a while.

Organ Troubles 

When you sit for hours and hours, your blood flow slows and creates problems for several of your internal organs. Since the blood is not flowing, that means that fats can accumulate in your arteries and lead to issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease. When your muscles are idle from sitting, they tend to ignore the insulin being created by your pancreas. This causes the pancreas to keep pumping out insulin and, over time, can lead to diabetes.

Muscle Atrophy and Distortion

As you would expect, the muscles in your back, legs, and abdomen suffer when you sit for hours and hours. But what you probably did not know is that your hip and thigh muscles are also getting soft and that creates problems for your hip joints. Your glutes also get soft and that can put extra strain on your spine. Read More »

The Importance of Taking the Weekend Off

Posted on August 20th, 2014

Working too much has the potential to give a person unnecessary anxiety and stress. If you never take time for yourself on the weekends, you run the risk of depression, weight gain, anxiety and even a heart attack. Many industries are beginning to recognize the importance of promoting work-free weekends. A recently published Slate article indicated that even the investment banking industry has instituted work-free weekends for employees due to the manner in which they promote a worker’s health and productivity.

Promoting Productivity in the Office

Those who continuously work and fail to take time off of work are likely to suffer from burn out from their jobs. A two-day weekend gives a worker the chance to get away from his or her office responsibilities and recharge the batteries. After spending a weekend away from work, an employee can feel renewed and refreshed on Monday morning. An employee is able to focus on the task at hand and has increased levels of concentration.

Getting the Exercise You Need

The weekend gives many employees the opportunity to get in a good workout. During the week, some workers may find that it is nearly impossible to get to the gym. The weekend provides an employee with an uninterrupted period of time in which he or she can work out for hours at a time. Those who have to sit for extended periods of time may find that the weekend provides a welcome break from sedentary habits. Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked to serious health issues like heart attacks, death and cancer. Read More »