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Loose change

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 5, 2002

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Increasingly, employees and executives are unwilling to move. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas says relocation among people seeking jobs in the first quarter fell to its lowest level in 16 years. Only 14 percent relocated to accept a new job, compared with an average of 22 percent in the preceding five years. Why? The Society for Human Resource Management says employees are more reluctant to leave familiar surroundings since Sept. 11. The importance of family ties and a close network of friends and business contacts dominate the decision.

TOURIST INDUSTRY TROUBLE: The travel and tourism industry was especially hard hit by layoffs after Sept. 11. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says 305,000 jobs were cut in the sector between then and March 31, accounting for a quarter of all jobs that were cut. And the firm says the figure probably is higher. Only technology companies were harder hit, but they were in a downturn before the terrorist attacks.

LOYAL READERS: Magazine publishers need not fear Web-based competitors. Readers told online market research company InsightExpress they like to be able to carry their magazines to bed, to the restroom or on the train. Of 500 people surveyed, just 32 percent read magazines online. The reasons: 54 percent say it's inconvenient and 47 percent dislike the pop-up and banner ads on the magazines' Web sites. Others mentioned subscription prices and eye strain. But it wasn't all bad for online magazines: 59 percent of those polled said they have timely content.

HANGUPS: More companies are telling workers to refrain from using a cell phone while driving on the job. Wheels Inc., a Des Plaines, Ill., fleet management company, polled 125 companies and learned 59 percent of them have a policy regulating the use of cell phones behind the wheel, mostly for liability and safety reasons. Of companies that don't have policies, more than half said they're working on one.

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