Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Payroll Tax Cuts by the Numbers: State-by-State Analysis

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Center for American Progress by CAP on 11/29/11

See also: The Importance of Extending Both the Payroll Tax Cut and Emergency Unemployment Benefits, No Time to End Unemployment Benefits by Heather Boushey, and Our Economy Needs Help Now by Heather Boushey

The Senate is expected to vote in early December on extending the payroll tax cut that boosted the paychecks of 160 million American workers at a critical time for our economy. Congress must act before the end of the year to prevent the 2 percent reduction in all workers' paychecks from disappearing in January, which will happen if the payroll tax cut now in effect is not extended.

The Senate bill, the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, would both extend and expand the tax cut, cutting workers' share of the Social Security payroll tax in half, to 3.1 percent for 2012. The bill also provides payroll tax relief for employers, targeted toward small businesses and new hires.

The Middle Class Tax Cut Act will benefit every one of the approximately 160 American workers who pay payroll taxes. The map below shows how much it will add to the take-home income of a typical family in your state.
Payroll map
See also:

Things you can do from here:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Extending unemployment benefits is critical

Currently, there are nearly five workers actively searching for work for every job available, compared to just one and a half job searchers per job opening before the Great Recession began. Allowing unemployment benefits to expire amid such a weak labor market would have serious implications for the unemployed, as well as every one of us who still has a job. 
The reason: An end to the benefits would threaten our economic recovery. Economists across the board agree that unemployment benefits are one of the most important countercyclical economic policies we have, helping those who do not have jobs with assistance that is immediately spent in the broader economy. Over the past few years, according to a detailed study by Wayne Vroman for the Department of Labor, benefits for the long-term unemployed led to the creation of about 700,000 new jobs each quarter.

Contact your congressman to let them know of your interest in this matter!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stop Looking For a Job, Start Looking for an Opportunity

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via Phil Gerbyshak by Phil Gerbyshak on 11/20/11

From Phil: What follows is a fantastic guest post from Darren Hardy, author of the new book The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success. Some good things to ponder as we head into the Thanksgiving break.

A lot of jobs that once were, aren't coming back. Ever. To look for what isn't there is a waste of time and an insult to your dignity.
If you haven't noticed, the world has changed — radically. The traditional yellow brick road to success and financial security has imploded. The path to a high-paying job used to involve getting the highest academic degree you could obtain, along with specific technical job skills, to start climbing the ladder. Today, most of the ladders are decimated. If those jobs still exist, the needed knowledge and skills of those jobs have changed . . . and change again every day.
These are the greatest times of opportunity we have seen in human history — but only if you know how to seize them. To succeed you need to change with the way the world is working now. If you are unemployed, underemployed, or want to take control of your financial future, here are seven strategies to thrive in the new world.
1. Adapt to the new reality.
Over the last decade we have witnessed the death rattle of an era gone by. The corporate structure and monolithic systems of the industrial age have begun to crumble. We are returning to the way we started — as entrepreneurs. When America was founded, the majority of people had their own business, farm, market or trade. People used their skillsets and hobbies to make a living as entrepreneurs. Then the industrial age flipped the ratio and most people became employed by new systems of repetitive labor and mass production.  Technology recently wired all of us directly to each other, destroying heavily controlled and highly valued distribution channels, giving every entrepreneur immediate and direct access to a global marketplace of opportunity, right from their fingertips . . . or laptop. This means competition doesn't just come from the business down the street, but also from every basement or second bedroom of every home in every city or suburb in every country of the world. You better become a continual learner and constantly improve your special skills.
2. Stop looking for a job and start looking for an opportunity.
Take the skills you have as an employee and turn those into a contract services business. You have an expertise, knowledge and experience in something that's unique to you. Your skillset might be so unique you don't even recognize it as personal expertise. What is your experience, knowledge or unique gifts? Ask a good friend, colleague or former employer to tell you. Once you discover your specialization, hire your expertise out, offer it to multiple businesses and entrepreneurs who need what you can deliver. More companies are hiring consultants and contractors for specific projects, specialized skills and services. Bartering services on the Internet are booming — sites like,, and
3. What do you have?
What goods do you have that others might want? What goods do you have easy access to that most do not? What goods can you make that people would want? Answer one or more of those questions and take it to market through eBay or an automated store. You also can write about your area of skill or expertise. You can create a how-to information book and sell it through ClickBank, create a podcast or video blog series and distribute it through iTunes or other distributions channels. Follow through on a great idea. There are probably thousands of people who want to know what you know or how to do what you do. Plus, it has never been cheaper to build, outfit and market your business than it is today. Vendors are flexible and partnerships are open.
4. Who do you know?
If you want to calculate your potential for increased wealth, don't look at your current bank balance, cars or property inventory. Look at the inventory of your high caliber relationships. With the Industrial Age over, we are now in the Relationship Age. Unequivocally, the relationships you build will be your No. 1 asset in these expanding and fast-changing times. Your ability to network is the skill you want to hone, practice and master. Your ability to get to, connect with and establish relationships with important and purposeful people will be your gateway to any goal, destination or aspiration you have.
5. What problem can you solve?
The economic downturn has created a ton of new problems that need solving. Problems are food and oxygen for entrepreneurialism. Those who create solutions to our new problems will become the beneficiaries of these times. Remember, 90 percent of entrepreneurs started out at the bottom, broke or with little capital or savings. Today they are among the world's wealthiest.
6. Return to self-reliance and self-responsibility.
You make your choices; then your choices make you. Everything in your life exists because you made a choice about something. Choices are at the root of your results. Don't choose at all and you've made the choice to be the passive receiver of whatever comes your way. Most people think they take responsibility for their lives, but many people operate in the world of blaming, finger pointing and expecting someone else — or the government — to solve their problems. You can't count on anyone else for your       success but you.
7. Take control of your future!
Separate from everyone else by developing the mindset, habits, actions and persistence it's going to take for personal accountability and control of your future. Your soft skills can give you the leading edge. With the mind-blowing velocity of change and throng of competition, the skills needed for success today are less about academic, industrial, or technical training and more about soft skills — emotional intelligence, adaptability,  resiliency, relationship-building, accountability, productivity and leadership skills.
There are no secrets, shortcuts or quick fixes to success. It takes hard work, personal responsibility and positive choices. You already know all the information you need to succeed. You just need a new plan of action. Now is the time.
compound effect Stop Looking For a Job, Start Looking for an Opportunity© 2011 Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
 Stop Looking For a Job, Start Looking for an Opportunity

Things you can do from here:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Forecast: Rhode Island grows weakly through 2015

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via - Latest Stories by document.write('');By Kimberley Donoghue PBN Web EditorTwitter: @kdonog on 11/18/11

Rhode Island faces three major challenges: creating jobs, solving the pension and budget problems, and streamlining its cumbersome regulatory system, two professors said.

Things you can do from here:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hopkinton Networkers Group - Friday, Nov 18th

The agenda for this Friday's Hopkinton Networkers Group (HNG) meeting will be featured by our very own member, Sandra Cipriani. The facilitator for this week will be Marilyn Johnson. We are going to reverse the schedule this week and Sandra will lead a interactive discussion about

*Using Social Styles to Your Advantage*

It’s a myth that the most qualified candidates for a position get hired. There are other factors involved into making a hiring decision. The hiring manager may be asking him/herself: Will I be able to work with this candidate? Will this candidate be a good fit in my team? The only way hiring managers can see if you are a good fit is during the interview. Your challenge is to convince them that you have the right skills and that you will be a good fit for their team and the organization all in a couple of hours! Easy, right?

One tool to help you during your interview is to understand and be able to adapt to different social styles. In this session you will be able to:

  • Identify your own social style
  • Describe the other three social styles and their preferences
  • Demonstrate how you would adapt your interview with a hiring manager who has a different social style 
  • Be prepared for a interactive and fun session!

Sandra Cipriani is a Learning & Development leader with over 15 years experience in facilitation and designing curriculum for mid to large size financial organizations. She has a graduate degree in Adult and Organizational Learning from Suffolk University in Boston and has a passion for empowering and advancing employees through learning. She is also on the board of the Trainers’ Roundtable and the Hopkinton Networkers group.

For the second first hour, from 11 to 12 AM to the following agenda:
Welcome, Landings, Announcements, New Member Introductions, and Needs & Leads.

Please note this week the Church is having an event, and we must vacate the hall by noon.
Please arrive early to network and to get started on time.

*Schedule for HNG Meetings**:*

December 2, 2011: Lydia Magill - Lydia Magill - Motivational Ups and Downs of Career Searching... and How to Regain Your Balance

December 16, 2011: Charlie Anderson - "Your Job Search from an HR Perspective"


January 06, 2012: *

January 20, 2012: Clare Harlow "People Reading with DiSC"

*General Information:*

The networking group meets in Hopkinton, at St. John the Evangelist Church parish hall. The meeting occurs, from 10 to 12 noon, and will meet the first and third Friday of the month. The parish hall has a capacity for 250 people and there are plenty of parking spaces in the parking lot and on the street. Around the perimeter of the parish hall are rooms to allow us to have focused network groups or for any other purpose we need. We chose the first and third Friday to allow everyone to attend the Acton Networking Group or any other networking group, if they wanted, on the Friday we do not meet.

We will maintain our close affiliation with Acton Networkers by using the same list-server to share information between the groups. Any e-mails specific to the Hopkinton Networking Group (HNG) will be indicated in the subject line either by "Hopkinton Networking Group" or "HNG"; this way anyone attending these meetings will know the e-mail is intended for them.

We will follow the following *Agenda *items:

Landings (with doughnuts)
New member introductions
Needs and Leads
Speaker(s), Workshop, or Focus Group

For those *new members *who give their introductions, this is what we would like to know:
Skills and Value Statement
Where have you been?
Where are you going?
Your title
Your target companies
Geography of search
Name and e-mail address

If anyone wants to join our team, please let one of us know; we could always use the extra help and input for ideas.

*Directions: St. John the Evangelist, 20 Church Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748 *

Take Rt. 495 North/South and get off Exit 21A. Go through three traffic lights. Colella's Supermarket is on the right at the third traffic light. The first street after the third traffic light is Church Street, take a right turn. The church is on the right. Go around to the left of the parking lot and go into the side entrance of the parish hall.

Depending upon where you live, perhaps you may want to use Mapquest for a more direct route.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Another in the series from Tom Asacker in his Opportunity Screams series. Worth the few minutes to watch!

How can you use this for your job search?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We are the 99%

Okay, so we are the 99%. What can we do about it? Create attention by protesting is one step.

What is the action plan from this? Where do we go from here?

One place is to the polling place and voting booth in November.

Another place would be to the local meetings of your Town Council, School Committee, Planning Board - being active there will force them to consider you.

If you are not there, you can easily be forgotten and ignored (intentionally or otherwise).