Business

Companies Offer Benefits But Not Raises

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Once a staple of the American workplace, the annual raise is turning into a relic of the pre-crisis economy as companies turn to creative — and cheaper — ways to compensate their employees. More businesses are upping their spending on benefits such as one-time bonuses, health care and paid time off, according to recent survey data. Many are rolling out perks such as free gym membership, commuting subsidies, even pet …

Co-op Staff Votes Down Labor Union

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Lebanon — Workers at the Lebanon Co-op Food Store on Monday voted, 70-31, against organizing under a Massachusetts-based union, an election brought on by a year’s worth of turmoil surrounding the firings of two employees. Of about 140 workers at the store, 122 full- and part-time personnel were eligible to vote, and 113 ballots were cast. “(I’m) elated — we can be a …

Costs Have Hit State Health Markets Hard

Monday, July 27, 2015

Washington — State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment. These challenges could lead more of them to turn over operations to the federal government or join forces with other states. Hawaii’s marketplace, the latest cautionary tale, was awarded $205 million in federal startup grants. It has spent about $139 million …

Nasdaq Record Extends on Google

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New York — The Nasdaq composite index rose Friday to an all-time high for a second day after Google jumped on better-than-estimated earnings, while a decline in energy shares muted gains in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Google soared 16 percent, the most in more than seven …

Wal-Mart Does About Face on Manufacturing

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bentonville, Ark. — The group cheer at Wal-Mart’s third annual U.S. manufacturing summit — convened to find more American-made products — was greeted with a voice from another era. “Almost anything can be made by Americans, in this country, and be done efficiently,” founder Sam Walton said in …

Canada Inflation Rises On Food, Shelter Prices

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ottawa — Canada’s annual inflation rate quickened in June as food and shelter costs increased and energy provided less of a drag. The consumer price index rose 1 percent in June from a year ago, following the 0.9 percent pace in May, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa. …

Comcast to Offer New, Low-Cost Streaming TV Service

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, is giving its customers the option to cut the cord. The company said Monday that it is beta-testing a video streaming service for its Xfinity Internet customers that will offer a pared-down package of TV channels, including HBO, for $15 a month. …

Union Vote Set For Lebanon Co-op Staff

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lebanon — Co-op employees at the Lebanon Food Store will vote this month on whether to organize under a Massachusetts-based union, capping a year-long controversy involving multiple labor disputes at the store. Of roughly 140 employees at the Lebanon location, about 110 will be eligible to vote to …

Savoring Strawberries in Cornish

Monday, July 13, 2015

Stephanie Fisk, right, of South Royalton, and her son Sam, 14, pick strawberries at Edgewater Farm in Cornish on Sunday. It was the last picking day of the season for Edgewater Farm. Valley News — Sarah Shaw …

Tips for Those 20-Somethings on Handling Finances

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Finding a job, renting an apartment, repaying student loans — when you’re just starting out, getting on your financial feet can be overwhelming. A recent study by Money Under 30, a personal finance blog for 20-somethings, found that many young adults have to make significant compromises when starting …

Reverse Mortgage Due When Borrowers Die

Sunday, July 12, 2015

As more seniors turn to reverse mortgages, their adult children might be puzzled or concerned about what will happen to that debt when their parents die. Nearly all reverse mortgages are home equity conversion mortgages, or HECMs, which are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. HECMs are subject …

Consumer Confidential: ‘Fairness in Class Action’ Bill Aims to Restrict Consumers’ Access to Court

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Many companies already forbid you from joining other disgruntled customers in filing a class-action lawsuit, forcing you instead to take your beef to an arbitrator. A bill making its way through the Republican-controlled House would diminish your legal options even more. “The backers of this bill aren’t even …

Money Talk: Best Loan Repayment Plan? It Depends

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Question: I have $105,000 in medical school loans with an interest rate of 2.875 percent. I have another consolidated federal loan at 6 percent. I’m making $180,000 in the private sector and like my job. Should I consolidate everything, try to get a public sector job, and apply …