A Week's Worth: Quick takes on the world of work and money

Dow keeps rising, employees and bosses differ on what keeps employees happy, flat-screen TVs are on many wish lists for holidays.

An upbeat profile of the US economy by the Federal Reserve sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a new record close Tuesday and an overall 0.2 percent gain (its fifth in a row) for the week.

Bosses and employees, it seems, have widely different views on what's most important in keeping a happy staff in place, according to results of a new survey. Workplace solutions specialist Spherion Corp. says employees in its latest Emerging Workforce poll ranked benefits and pay, in that order, as their top "drivers" of satisfaction on the job. But for employers, "management climate" and "supervisor relationship" tied for first. From their perspective, benefits ranked only fourth and pay a distant seventh. The poll sampled 3,152 adults.

An early wish list suggests that 3 in 4 Americans would welcome a "digital lifestyle product" under the Christmas tree this year. Solutions Research Group polled 1,200 people nationwide last month and found the No. 1 choice (with 35 percent of the vote) was a flat-screen, high-definition TV. Rounding out the top five: laptops, cameras, desktops, and, for the car, GPS navigation systems. Ominously, perhaps, for Apple Inc., its new iPhone placed only 15th.

If you could choose the current TV series that's most like the situation at your place of employment, which would it be? Fifty-three percent of respondents to an online poll by the Monster.com jobs website said "The Office," whose episodes show a "boring and mismanaged" workplace, was an accurate depiction of their own job sites. The survey attracted 4,800 votes. – Robert Kilborn

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