Experts Worry Stagnant Wages Are Delaying Economic Recovery

Editor’s note:  Came across this article right after I posted about grocery store price increases. They certainly speak to each other.

Jim Talerico got a $900 raise this year, but he isn’t happy about it.

“It’s a terrible wage,” said Talerico, a part-time faculty member in Robert Morris University’s English department. “Now I’m making a whopping $14,400.”

It was the first pay raise in 10 years for the 54-year-old Ingomar resident. Even with the $13,500 he earns from his other part-time teaching job at Community College of Allegheny County, he said a barista job at Starbucks looks tempting. At least it would come with benefits.

Working Americans have had to make difficult choices — from canceling doctor’s appointments to cutting their grocery budgets — as their paychecks barely keep up with the cost of living.

Consumer spending drives 70 percent of economic activity, and wage stagnation has been a stubborn problem that might be holding back the recovery as other measures such as unemployment improve.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/6812082-74/percent-pay-employers#ixzz3FO9O6Fhr
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Subway: ‘Yoga Mat Chemical’ Almost Out Of Bread

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide

English: Chemical structure of azodicarbonamide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — Subway says an ingredient dubbed the “yoga mat chemical” will be entirely phased out of its bread by next week.

The disclosure comes as Subway has suffered from an onslaught of bad publicity since a food blogger petitioned the chain to remove the ingredient.

The ingredient, azodicarbonamide, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in food as a bleaching agent and dough conditioner. It can be found in a wide variety of products, including those served at McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks and breads sold in supermarkets. But its long, unfamiliar name has an unappetizing ring, and the petition became a flashpoint in part by noting that the chemical is also used to make yoga mats.

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Scranton Just Wild About Derek Jeter

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SCRANTON — Casey Prudente chased a rumor and wound up with a story even she finds hard to believe.

Lucky she has the pictures to prove it.

When the captain of the New York Yankees calls you over to his car, it doesn’t matter if the light has turned green.  Traffic on a Scanton corner waited Sunday morning while Derek Jeter snapped photos with Prudente and three friends.

When the passenger window rolled down and he called them over, she was thrilled.  The Scott Township resident had been waiting at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center since 7 a.m. Sunday, hoping Jeter might be staying there.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/sports/mc-jeter-scranton-20130709,0,5844141.story#ixzz2YZ2nCGNy 
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Discounts Back After Summer Restaurant Slump

Bigmac mcdonald's japan

Bigmac mcdonald’s japan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Restaurant discounts and special offers have returned after a recent sales cool-down at some of the nation’s hottest chains, a trend that threatens to squeeze industry profits at a time when food costs are set to rise.

U.S. consumers ate fewer Big Macs at McDonald’s Corp., skipped some caffeine runs to Starbucks Corp. and passed on the occasional burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. — sending a shiver through the investment community that has grown used to those chains posting strong growth in the face of the nation’s lackluster economic recovery.

McDonald’s on Wednesday vowed to focus more on value after reporting flat sales at established restaurants around the world in July — its worst showing in more than nine years.

Starbucks and Chipotle’s industry-leading same-restaurant sales growth decelerated last quarter, forcing both chains to make adjustments to reinforce their positions.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/chi-discounts-back-after-summer-restaurant-slump-20120810,0,212577.story

Target Eyes Valley Forge Shopping Center For Possible New Store

English: Logo of Target, US-based retail chain

Image via Wikipedia

UPPER MERION — A new development at the Valley Forge Shopping Center goes before the planning commission next week. If approved, a new Target department store and Starbucks Coffee could come to the township in a few months.

The Valley Forge Center Associate are planning to redevelop the eastern portion of the Valley Forge Shopping Center, to include a Target department store, a Starbucks and an inline commercial building.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/article/20120203/NEWS01/120209817