A week's worth
Short takes on work and money from the past week.
• That latest cut in federal interest rates helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average climb 0.6 percent last week – and 4 percent for September.
• Squeezed by the high cost of borrowing and subprime mortgage foreclosures, Americans are using their credit cards as a stopgap, market researcher Synovate has found. The average revolving credit balance per household, it says, has risen $1,886 in the past four years to $6,970. Meanwhile, the average household has upped its number of credit cards from 2.4 to 2.8, which represents "significant growth" for a market that is considered to be saturated.
• Did you know that a poor credit score could cost you a job? Visa USA reports that, for many employers, looking into an applicant's credit history has become as routine as running a criminal background check. Visa polled 1,000 adults nationwide and found that 52 percent mistakenly thought such credit reviews were illegal.
• Women (and those men) who have dropped out of the workforce to rear children represent an experienced and largely untapped pool of recruits for good jobs, says Challenger, Gray & Christmas. With unemployment low and baby boomers retiring in growing numbers, half of the personnel executives surveyed by the outplacement specialist reported that their companies have found stay-at-home parents to be easily retrainable. In fact, some companies have adopted keep-in-touch programs to stay as current as possible with their ex-employees on extended leave.