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Working briefs

Your Career

People management and profit Companies that value their employees by implementing people management practices like training and job security may well be rewarded by higher productivity, according to research funded by the Economic & Social Research Council's (ESRC) Future of Work Programme. The findings advance the debate about the link between human resources practices and financial performance, says the ESRC, 'and are important in the context of the policy bid to identify those factors that make for increased productivity'. They are also deemed 'fairly positive for HR management when attitudes within British business are still often downbeat and implementation of people management practices across the economy is still limited'.

The research is based on the most comprehensive study to date of how companies apply people management.

- Economic downturn and the graduate market The AGR (Association for Graduate Recruiters) claims that one in four employers have decreased their target number of graduate vacancies since it conducted its graduate salaries and vacancies survey in July 2001.

AGR's report 'Graduate recruitment in an uncertain labour market' - based on the responses of 166 leading UK employers - also suggests that close to one in five have deferred between one and 60 graduate job offers for an average of 12 months, and that one in 10 have actually withdrawn job offers.

-Heavy findings for white women in US Research conducted in the US suggests that the 'heavier' a white working women is, the the less money she makes. A researcher at Cornell University has found that women who weighed 65 pounds more than other women in a sample of 1,442 white female workers earned an average 7% less than their slimmer colleagues, when other factors were controlled statistically. That difference in income is roughly equivalent to the wage effect of one year of education, two years of continuous employment at one job or three years of work experience. However, the same relationship between weight and income did not hold true for Hispanic and African American working women, says John Cawley, a health policy scholar, economist and an assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell.

But 'it should be stressed that the finding that weight lowers wages is not conclusive evidence of workplace discrimination, ' Cawley points out. 'Another hypothesis also consistent with these findings is that heavier workers are less productive at work.

It has repeatedly been found, for example, that obese workers are more likely to miss work due to illness.'

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