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Fourth of July stories sparkle on any business beat
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Fourth of July stories sparkle on any business beat

Already 2014 is about half over and the Fourth of July holiday is speeding toward us like a runaway locomotive.  It’s the make-it or break-it bellwether for many summer tourism businesses and particularly interesting this year because the Fourth falls on a Friday, making for an automatic three-day-weekend for many workers. According to Orbitz, many [...]

As eyes turn to World Cup, how does local soccer spending rank?
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As eyes turn to World Cup, how does local soccer spending rank?

With soccer’s 2014 World Cup matches kicking off this week in Brazil,  “futebol” as it’s known in Rio is going to dominate a lot of sports talk over the next month.  This every-four-year event is  a good opportunity to delve into the business of sports, and soccer in particular, in your region. Obviously if you have a professional [...]

Ties, tools, paternity leave: What fathers mean in the marketplace
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Ties, tools, paternity leave: What fathers mean in the marketplace

The annual salute to dads comes up June 15, and like all traditional and manufactured holidays and observances, marketers are not shy about using it to spark consumer spending.  My e-mail inbox is clogged with frantic exhortations from national chains pushing grills, apparel, retro beer posters, tools, cheese-and-sausage packs and other delights for Pop — all [...]

Spotlight auto repair as a career path and a local economic indicator
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Spotlight auto repair as a career path and a local economic indicator

Today kicks off Automotive Service Professionals Week, an industry observance that runs June 9-15, according to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). In light of last week’s monthly report on U.S. car sales – which in May reflected a sales pace not seen since before the recession, after nearly a decade of consumers [...]

Find the $15/hour jobs in your market to localize Seattle’s new wage law
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Find the $15/hour jobs in your market to localize Seattle’s new wage law

The recent $15-per-hour minimum wage rule established in Seattle is creating a lot of buzz, and I’ve been brainstorming ways that business writers nationwide could localize the issue. As NBC reports, the Seattle law will phase in over time starting next April, and will include exceptions for teen workers.  It trumps San Francisco’s minimum wage [...]

Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of ‘glamping’
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Campers seeking posh digs drive a boom in the business of ‘glamping’

You know that phenomenon when a certain word or phrase suddenly starts cropping up everywhere you turn?  Sometimes such a buzz can mean that a topic is ripe for a business or financial feature, and for me lately the term has been “glamping.” The trend of luxury camping is not new but for some reason [...]

Don’t just focus on new college grads when researching jobs stories
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Don’t just focus on new college grads when researching jobs stories

Jobs stories this time of year tend to focus on the prospects for the new crop of college grads and interesting seasonal jobs (see my blog post from last week on creative summer services) but one big story might be worth pulling to the front burner in light of this week’s monthly update on the [...]

Around the U.S., June means LGBT pride and profit
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Around the U.S., June means LGBT pride and profit

One of June’s most widespread observances is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, which as this Library of Congress history page notes, commemorates the Stonewall riots in Manhattan which were a milestone in the gay liberation movement in the 1960s. Celebrations in the form of parades, parties, rallies and so on will be [...]

Data Journalism 101: NABJ, Boston, July 30
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Data Journalism 101: NABJ, Boston, July 30

Poke behind the winners of most major investigative awards including the Pulitzer Prizes, and you’ll usually find a database. Yet number phobia has kept many of us from fully exploiting databases as a tool in our reporting skill set.

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