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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: May, 2013

POSTED: Friday, May 31, 2013, 4:25 AM
Just how loyal are millennial workers?

When a whole generation of employees packs up and quits early, it behooves an employer to take notice, which is exactly what one of the nation's largest accounting firms did.

Here's the problem that PwC faced: The company began to notice that Millennials (which it defines as those born from 1980 to 1995, were leaving the firm in growing numbers after a few years. "Even more alarmingly, a significant majority of them appeared to lack interest in the traditional professional services career path, one that required an intense work commitment early in their career in exchange for the chance to make partner later on."

These words come from the introduction to a massive employee survey and study that PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, undertook in response to its employment problem. Currently, two out of three company employees are Millennials and in three years, nearly 80 percent will be Millennials. Something had to change.

POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 12:22 PM

Most U.S. businesses have no employees. Astounding!

“Approximately 75 percent of all U.S. business locations are non-employer businesses,” said William Bostic Jr., associate director for economic programs at the U.S. Census Bureau, which, on Wednesday, released a study on non-employer businesses in 2011.

Drawing from tax data, the U.S. Census looked at 19.4 million sole proprietorships, 1.4 million corporations, and 1.6 million partnerships. To qualify, a business has to bring in $1,000 in annual receipts.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 2:16 PM
Just how loyal are millennial workers?

More than eight in ten young workers (Millennials, aged 19-26) say they are loyal to their employers. But only one in 100 human resource professionals believe that these young workers are loyal. Quite the disconnect!

This outstanding disparity is drawn from a survey of 6,000 young jobseekers and veteran HR professionals conducted by, the King of Prussia operator of job boards. 

The survey goes on to note other differences: 86 percent of Millennials say they are hard workers, while only 11 percent of HR professionals have the same opinion. By contrast, 86 percent of HR professionals view the young crowd as tech-savvy. Barely one in three Millennials describe themselves as tech-savvy. (Interesting! Why?) Two-thirds of Millennials say they relate well to others, but only 14 percent of HR folks describe the young workers as strong communicators. 

POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 4:30 AM

Interim superintendent Paul Spaventa at Sterling Regional High School likes his job, he told me in an interview last week about an entirely different subject. He has no desire, he said, to take on the job permanently -- the interim position is fine with him and when he gets done with that post, he hopes he can land another interim slot.

"It keeps the school district on track," he said. "I make the decisions and keep things moving."

As we chatted, I told him about how interim pastors fill an important role in the Presbyterian Church. When a minister in my denomination leaves, or is asked to leave, a search committee first hires an interim pastor. The interim comes with no expectation of filling the vacancy. In fact, the interim has important roles that would be impossible if the position were actually a dress rehearsal for the permanent gig.

POSTED: Thursday, May 23, 2013, 3:15 AM

Just finished covering a trial involving Vernon Hill 2d, the founder of Commerce Bank, who sued Commerce, and later TD Bank, which bought Commerce, in an effort to get his severance pay after he was ousted from the bank in June 2007 over regulatory issues.

I was glad I wasn't one of the jurors in U.S. District Judge Robert Kugler's courtroom in Camden. The arguments for both sides were pretty compelling.

What was also compelling was the glimpse into the world of big business, where talking about millions of dollars is just part of casual conversation. In this case, for example, the severance pay, with interest was $17.2 million and the attorneys representing Hill would be owed another $2 million on top of that for their efforts.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 3:15 AM
Capreece Lackey

Next week, Capreece Lackey, 43, goes up before Pennsylvania's Board of Pardons, seeking a pardon for her crime, prostitution, and a lesser, related charge of obstructing traffic. It happened 15 years ago, when she was addicted to drugs. "I had no soul," she said, when I interviewed her last year. "I didn't care what I did."

All Lackey wanted, but couldn't get because of her criminal conviction, was a job cleaning offices.

She should have been a shoo-in, based on her home, which I visited in Northeast Philadelphia when I interviewed her last year. She was raising her deceased sister's two daughters, both teenagers, and the place was immaculate. Rare is the occasion in which "teenagers" and "immaculate" occupy the same sentence.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 3:05 AM

Bottom Dollar wants to hire 60 part-time workers for its new Woodbury, NJ store. Interested in applying? There's a job fair this morning, Tuesday.

It takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Gloucester County College's College Center Building, 1400 Tanyard Rd., Sewell.

For more information,

POSTED: Monday, May 20, 2013, 4:05 AM
American Airlines and US Airways jets prepare for flight at gate at the Philadelphia International Airport, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, in Philadelphia. The merger of US Airways and American Airlines has given birth to a mega airline with more passengers than any other in the world. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

For anyone with a long memory (and it doesn't have to be that long), last week's partnership announcement from the Transport Workers Union and the International Association of Machinists was full of juicy irony. Does anyone remember the brawl between these two unions at the Philadelphia Airport Marriott on Feb. 8, 2006?

First, last week's news: The IAM and the TWU have created a partnership to represent nearly 30,000 ground mechanical and fleet service employees at the soon-to-be merged American Airlines and US Airways. The unions teamed up to combat a threat from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters has filed a petition to represent US Airways mechanics, now represented by the Machinists union. The Teamsters also announced plans to try to get the mechanics now represented by the TWU at American to switch to become Teamsters.

"An unprincipled raid," the TWU and IAM harrumphed.

About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer