What do you earn?
Every year, Parade magazine reports on people's salaries around the country. This year's "What We Earn" report is in a Parade magazine that will appear next month in The Bee. To supplement this report, The Bee is looking for area residents who would be willing to share their name, age, occupation, annual income and comments about wages in the Central Valley. Arrangements will be made to get photographs of those who are interviewed. If you would like to participate, call 578-2336 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Give the tips back
A Superior Court judge has ordered Starbucks to pay its California baristas more than $100 million in back tips that the coffee giant had paid to shift supervisors. The injunction issued Thursday also prevents shift supervisors from sharing barista tips. The judge says the practice violates a state law that prohibits managers and supervisors from sharing in employee tips. A Starbucks spokesperson called the ruling fundamentally unfair and beyond all common sense and reason. Starbucks plans to appeal.
Bleak economy news
A rise in jobless claims and a drop in a key forecasting gauge provided the latest evidence that the U.S. economy is faltering and may be slipping into recession.
The Conference Board, a business-backed research group, said Thursday that its index of leading economic indicators fell in February for the fifth consecutive month. The index, designed to forecast where the nation's economy is headed in the next three to six months, dipped 0.3 percent to 135.0 in February after slumping 0.4 percent the month before.
A rush for Fed loans
Big Wall Street investment companies are taking advantage of the Federal Reserve's unprecedented offer to secure emergency loans, the central bank reported Thursday. The lending is part of a major effort by the Fed to help a financial system in danger of freezing. Those large firms averaged $13.4 billion in daily borrowing over the past week from the new lending facility. The report does not identify the borrowers. The Fed, in a bold move Sunday, agreed for the first time to let big investment houses get emergency loans directly from the central bank.
The University of California at Davis hopes to do for olive oil what it's done for wine grapes by establishing a new research center for this emerging industry.