A Week's Worth

Pessimism about the economy is at a five-year high among chief financial officers at US corporations, a quarterly survey by Duke University and CFO magazine found. CFOs put the likelihood of a recession within the next year at 33 percent, citing sliding consumer demand as their top worry.

Workers wanted: 28 percent of US companies plan to increase staffing levels in the fourth quarter of the year, according to Manpower Inc, in Milwaukee. More than half of the 14,000 employers polled expected staff levels to remain the same over that period, while 8 percent expected to reduce their level of employment.

A business suit has its ups and downs, finds TheLadders.com, an online recruiting firm. Seventy percent of the 2,245 executives it polled last month said that employees in suits are perceived to be more senior level, while 60 percent said that those who "suit up" are taken more seriously. The downside: Such workers are viewed as less creative and more rigid than those who dress casually.

New franchise costs vary widely, reports the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation. Initial fees range from $5,000 for sports and recreation franchises to nearly $6.5 million for hotels. Fast-food chains start around $180,000 and reach nearly $3 million.

Hope the boss isn't looking. A poll of nearly 2,200 customers of PopCap video games found that 11 percent play during work hours.

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