Archive for January, 2012

The Cost of Indulgence

A breaking investigation fromĀ  the CNN freedom project “Chocolate’s Child Slaves” has recently shed light on the shocking abuse of children in the Ivory Coast cocoa production hub that so many of our confectionery producers rely on for their raw materials. One ten year old boy, Abdul, uses a machete to open the cocoa beans for a living. Here, “living” is used in the broadest of terms; he receives no pay other than basic food items. He admits he has never tried the chocolate that his beans are made from. Another boy, bearing numerous machete scars on his young limbs, tells how he was brought to work on the plantation by his widowed mother but yearns to go to school. He has no hope of ever doing so.Watch this short video, originally from the CNN website:

In 2000, a major consumerism report indicated that customers simply lacked interest in ethical produce. Today, Fairtrade products and other ethical brands are enjoying considerable support from consumers and the government, with 4.4 billion dollars worth of sales and a brand awareness rate of 70%.

Latest Job Gains- Healthcare, Transportation

With the Bureau of Labor Statistics releasing latest figures showing unemployment at a two-year low, long term job seekers may be left wondering just what they’re doing wrong. For those in the finance or local government sectors, this positive change may have been easy to miss. In reality, the employment upswing is due to steady growth in key areas such as transportation, healthcare and mining. Other growth areas include retail and manufacturing, not surprising considering that the data was taken from the month of December, a time of year notorious for Christmas shopping and post-holiday sales.

Of all the aforementioned sectors, transportation and healthcare remain the most consistently reliable, with steady growth projected though 2016. Bus driving positions, for example, are due to rise by an average 7% within the next few years and their average annual salary remains steady at $37,060. Healthcare is faring even better, with projected growth of 18%, and as one example, an average salary of $64,900 for diagnostic sonographers in the US.

You can also read the full report now on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.