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States Adjust Minimum Wage Rates
Employers Continue Hiring
Interviews Hints
PEI Services
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Private Eyes, Inc.

February 2011 Newsletter

Happy Valentine's Day! 

~Remember, don't spend your life with someone you can live with - spend it with someone you can't live without!~

Sandra Headshot
I hope everyone's year has gotten off to the right start. The new year has provided a lot of new opportunities and changes for many people.   


Some states have decided to raise their minimum wage rates.  This could be a good sign the economy is on the rise.  


Not to mention the fact that employers keep hiring.  The unemployment rate is going down and the economy is headed in the right direction.   


If you or someone you know is job seeking, here are some helpful hints and some funny incidents to help the interview process go smoother.  

States Adjust Minimum Wage Rates for 2011

  The following states have announced an increase in minimum wage rates, effective January 1, 2011:


Arizona: The state minimum wage will increase to $7.35 per hour.


City of San Francisco, California: The City of San Francisco's minimum wage rate will rise to $9.92 per hour.


Colorado: The minimum wage will increase to $7.36 per hour, and $4.34 for tipped employees.


Montana: The state minimum wage will rise to $7.35 per hour.


Ohio: The state minimum wage will increase to $7.40 for non-tipped employees, and $3.70 for tipped employees. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 may be paid to employees whose employers gross $271,000 or less per year.


Oregon: The minimum wage will rise to $8.50 per hour.


Vermont: The state minimum wage will increase to $8.15 per hour, and $3.95 per hour for tipped employees.


Washington: The minimum wage will increase to $8.67 per hour.


For more information on state minimum wage laws, including poster requirements, please visit the HR360 State Laws Section, click on your state, and select Minimum Wage in the left-hand navigation bar


Employers Continue Hiring

Employers continue to hire cautiously according to this January 7th's Employment Situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a gain of 103,000 net new payroll jobs last month. The leisure and hospitality sector added 47,000 followed by education and health services with 44,000. The totals for October and November were revised up by 70,000. The unemployment rate, calculated from a different survey, plunged from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent, which certainly is good news except that it is volatile in normal times and particularly so around the holidays due to seasonal adjustment issues. Other employment indicators have been more bullish lately. ADP, which uses a different methodology, reported an increase of 297,000 private jobs in December while Challenger said that announced layoffs last month fell to an 11-year low. With holiday retail sales up a healthy 3.8 percent over last year, the best performance since 2006 according to ICSC, the economy is poised to gain momentum in 2011. Employment growth forecasts generally range from 1.5 to 3 million versus the 1.1 million jobs added last year. The unemployment rate will end the year around 9.0 percent, still unacceptably high but headed in the right direction.

Monthly Payroll Job Change Chart

Every HR pro has had at least one candidate interview that left them wondering:  "Did that person really want the job?"

There's no end to the strange things job applicants will do in interviews - and CareerBuilder seems to want to make us aware of as many as possible.

Here's the job board's list of the most common faux pas HR pros see applicants make in face-to-face encounters:

  • Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview - 71%
  • Dressing inappropriately - 69%
  • Appearing disinterested - 69%
  • Appearing arrogant - 66%
  • Speaking negatively about a current or previous employer - 63%
  • Chewing gum - 59%
  • Not providing specific answers - 35%, and
  • Not asking good questions - 32%.

Those are just the run-of-the-mill dumb things interviewees do. Here's a selection of the most bizarre behaviors HR people reported to CareerBuilder.

Over the years, HR pros have seen candidates who:

  • provided a detailed listing of how previous employer made them mad
  • hugged the hiring manager at the end of the interview
  • ate all the candy from the candy bowl while trying to answer questions
  • constantly bad-mouthed spouse
  • blew her nose and lined up the used tissues on the table in front of her
  • brought a copy of a college diploma that had obviously been white-outed and their name added
  • wore a hat that said "take this job and shove it"
  • talked about how an affair cost him a previous job
  • threw his beer can in the outside trashcan before coming into the reception office, and
  • had a friend come in and ask, "How much longer?"
Sandra James
President, CEO
Private Eyes, Inc.