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Loose change

By CATHY KEIM

© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 1, 2001


ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Fewer workers are feeling directionless, Gallup Management Journal says. The share of actively disengaged workers fell from 19 percent in last year's fourth quarter to 14 percent in the first quarter, according to a survey of 1,010 workers. One possible reason: Their jobs look better as the economy sours.

TOO CONVENIENT? Call it pay-at-the-pump backlash: Convenience store soda sales are sagging, and some bottlers think the proliferation of swipe-and-go technology at gas stations is partly to blame. They say impulse purchases suffer when consumers don't have to go inside to pay for gas.

FUNCTIONALLY ILLITERATE: More than a third of job applicants tested in reading and math in 2000 lacked the basic skills to perform the jobs they sought, according to an annual survey by the American Management Association. However, the deficiency rate is lower than it was in 1999 and 2000, if that's any consolation.

STRUMMIN' THE BLUES: Citing a sagging economy, guitar giant Fender Musical Instruments has laid off 59 production workers at its Corona, Calif., manufacturing facility. The layoffs are the first at the 800-worker Corona facility since investors bought Fender from CBS in 1985.

5.4-MILLION: The Census Bureau says that many women-owned businesses were operating in 1997. The total is up 16 percent from 1992. -- Compiled by Cathy Keim from Times wires.

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