Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:
Still a good time to switch jobs
More Americans are switching jobs and reaping the benefits, said Julia Carpenter in The Wall Street Journal. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, wages have gone up about 4.7 percent for those who have stayed in their job for the past three months. By contrast, "those who switched jobs received a raise of 6.4 percent," the largest gap in two decades. Despite recession fears, the labor market remains strong and those workers who "aren't getting a large enough pay increase at their current job to keep up with inflation" are looking for better pay elsewhere. Hiring managers say there is "tacit acknowledgment" that new hires will require big raises. Companies are trying to offer alternative incentives, "but the question of pay is paramount."
The company-wide vacation week
More employers are implementing companywide holidays when all workers are off at the same time, said Stephanie Dhue and Sharon Epperson at CNBC. Many workers struggle to disconnect even when they're on vacation. One of the primary reasons is the "fear of missing out," and modern technology makes it easier to stay plugged in. But employers are also recognizing the importance of their employees "feeling revitalized" after a break, so some are now instituting "dark" periods — essentially forcing the office to close. Accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers started giving its 60,000 U.S. employees added "two annual company-wide, week-long breaks — one in July and one in December" to regular vacation time. "It's a way of saying it's OK," said PwC senior partner Tim Ryan, "we want you to do this."
No more tuition freezes
College tuitions are going back up this fall, said Joanna Nesbit at Money. After holding prices flat for the past couple of years, trustees at numerous institutions have voted in recent weeks to raise their cost of attendance to keep pace with inflation. After a 5 percent price hike at the University of Southern California, for example, tuition now costs about $63,468 per year. Schools say they are struggling with higher costs for things like food and payroll while also combating enrollment drops. In states where universities are subject to a tuition cap, some colleges are pricing in their hikes in other areas. Western Washington University imposed "the state's maximum increase" of 2.4 percent — and also raised the Student Health Services Fee by 17.9 percent.
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