A Week's Worth

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Good Friday kept the markets closed, but for the week the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent, with analysts suggesting that as long as there's concern over future federal interest rate hikes, stocks may do little more than continue marking time.

The job market for techies is looking up, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the outplacement specialists. Employers, it says, are reporting that it's increasingly hard to find good IT people, giving the latter leverage in negotiating salary and benefits terms that they haven't had since the peak of the dotcom era.

Apparently, there will be ample jobs this summer for students and others seeking short-term employment. But wages may be no higher than last summer's. In a survey of national companies by SnagAJob.com of Richmond, Va., 84 percent of respondents said they'll hire as much summer help as they did a year ago, if not more. Only 28 percent, however, said they expect to have to pay more this year than they did in 2005.

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Within a few percentage points, managers and the administrative pros they supervise seem agreed that their workplace environment is pretty good. A study by staffing service specialists OfficeTeam found that 93 percent of managers pat themselves on the back for fostering an atmosphere that's conducive to a healthy work/life balance. Eighty-four percent of administrative personnel agreed.

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