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Top job openings will require certifications, college degrees

A new study shows that in the next five years, Washington State will grow its jobs by nearly three times the national average, but that students do not have the credentials to fill those positions.

Between 2016 and 2021, a study commissioned by Washington Roundtable predicts 740,000 job openings. Most will be filled by people with postsecondary education or training.

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The study, conducted by The Boston Consulting Group, then found that only 31 percent of Washington students in the high school class of 2006 actually earned a postsecondary credential.

“We live here, we work here, our kids go to school here, and we want as many of our Washington kids to be able to qualify for the Washington jobs,” said Neil Strege, vice president of Washington Roundtable.

Of the 740,000 job openings:

-20 percent will be entry-level positions.

-45 percent will be median-salary pathway jobs, which can lead to higher-paying careers.

-35 percent will be career jobs, with higher starting salaries.

In each of those categories, here are the top 10 most in-demand jobs in the next five years:

Entry-level Jobs:

1. food prep and serving

2. waiter and waitress

3. farmworker and laborer crop/nursery/greenhouse

4. janitors and cleaners

5. maids and housekeeping

6. landscaping

7. childcare worker

8. personal care aide

9. counter attendants, café/concession/coffee shop

10. food preparation workers

Pathway Jobs:

1. retail salesperson

2. cashier

3. customer service rep

4. laborer, freight, stock and material mover

5. general office clerk

6. carpenter

7. construction laborer

8. teacher assistant

9. stock clerks

10. secretaries and admin assistants

Career Jobs:

1. software app developer

2. registered nurse

3. accountant and auditor

4. sales rep, wholesale and manufacturing

5. general and ops manager

6. elementary school teacher

7. computer programmer

8. management analyst

9. computer systems analyst

10. electrician

“Those blue collar jobs now require higher skills than they have in the past. So if you want to become a welder, you have to get a credential to become a welder,” said Strege.

Washington Roundtable’s goal is to more than double the number of students obtaining postsecondary certification or degrees by 2030.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound are starting to make that change in their own way.

Louis Garcia, the CEO and president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, said this school year, they launched a program to mentor 35 freshmen at West Seattle High School.

He said some students, especially from low-income backgrounds, have significant barriers in getting to college, which sets them behind for earning high-paying jobs later.

“They may have pressures from home to come back, to help support the family, to help feed some siblings, and so there’s a pull to get away from college,” Garcia said.

The program promises to have one-on-one mentors for these 35 students through high school and two years after high school. They have weekly workshops and hold face-to-face meetings with mentors once a month.

They also take the students into corporate office settings, which can sometimes be the student’s first experience in that type of environment.

“What does it feel like? What are the sounds, the conversations?” Garcia said.

Robots could take 6 percent of US jobs by 2021

Robots are taking over the work world, but that doesn't mean machines will take everyone's jobs -- for now.

A study by Forrester Research found 6 percent of all U.S. jobs will be replaced by robots by 2021, starting with those in customer service.

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Forrester found that eventually, robots will take over most craftsmen and factory jobs. They'll also come for taxi and truck drivers. Uber is already at the forefront of that innovation.

While these robots can be good for companies looking to cut costs and increase efficiency, where does that leave employees who get the boot?

The argument for a more automated workforce is that it will create new jobs in robot creation and robot management.

But that argument can really only apply to those capable of becoming engineers. Not everyone can create artificial intelligence software.

And there's not a lot anyone can do to stop artificial intelligence from seeping into the work world.

McDonald's has been using self-service ordering kiosks in various locations since last year. Other food chains followed suit.

Presently, most robots are basic in function. They can take commands, like Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri. But over the next several years, those robots will learn how to do even more.

That includes the ability to predict human behavior and figure out complex scenarios.

For now, it appears jobs that require physical interaction, like management, are in the clear, along with jobs that can be unpredictable, like construction work, but for how long is unclear.

Job hunting? UPS to hire 95,000 seasonal workers for the holidays

United Parcel Service Inc. said Wednesday that it plans to hire about 95,000 seasonal and part-time workers to support the surge in business expected during the upcoming holiday shopping season.

The Sandy Springs, Georgia-based package-delivery giant said it expects to hire primarily package handlers, drivers and driver-helpers to help with the annual holiday rush from November through January.

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“We’re ready to kick off our annual holiday hiring process, and need lots of great people for various positions on all shifts across the country,” said Myron Gray, president of UPS's U.S. operations. “UPS delivers the holidays, and we also deliver some of the best temporary jobs in the country for tens of thousands of Americans.”

While most of the temporary positions will disappear after the holidays, UPS noted that about 37 percent of people hired seasonally in 2015 now have permanent jobs with the company.

America's median household income had its fastest growth on record

A new government report shows the median household income increased 5 percent between 2014 and 2015 -- the fastest growth on record.

It's the first time that measure has increased since 2007. At the end of that year, the Great Recession began.

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Last year's median household income in real terms was $56,500 -- almost $3,000 higher than the year before.

About 43 million Americans still lived in poverty in 2015, but the report notes that that's about 3.5 million fewer people than in 2014. The poverty rate in 2015 sat at 13.5 percent but still saw its lowest one-year drop since 1968 to get there.

The country's lowest earners also saw the largest increases percentage-wise in their incomes. 

Average incomes increased across almost all regions of the country. However, workers in rural areas didn't see a significant boost in pay.

Asian-Americans were the only racial group that didn't see a significant increase in income, but that demographic still has the highest average income overall.

Target hiring 70,000 workers for the holiday season

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Looking for a seasonal job? Look no further than your neighborhood Target store. 

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The company said Monday that it plans to hire at least 70,000 seasonal workers during the busy fall and winter months.

"The Target team is famous for serving up exceptional shopping experiences," said Janna Potts, chief stores officer of Target. "We can't wait to welcome new seasonal team members on board to help us make the holidays extra bright for our guests. And new this year, all of our 1,800 stores will host dedicated hiring events in October, meeting with thousands of prospective candidates in just 48 hours."

Fortune pointed out that the retailer opened the same number of positions last year during the same time. The stagnant number reflects a slowdown in the retailer's business, the magazine noted.

But Target can report an increase in the starting wage for many workers, which is a positive improvement to the company's employment benefits.

Target also plans to hire an additional 7,500 people for distribution facilities, which ship online orders and send products to stores.

"Our distribution teams will be major players in that game, helping us get all those products to guests in time to host holiday events, give gifts and celebrate all season long," said Carson Landsgard, senior vice president of distribution at Target.

The discount chain said it will hold hiring events at all of its 1,800 stores on Oct. 14 and 15. Candidates can also apply online.

The company also said existing employees will get "first dibs" on any extra holiday hours they want.

New York Times publishes article with 1 word

A New York Times article published on Friday read only one word: "No."

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The one-word sentence was an answer to a much longer headline: "When I’m Mistakenly Put on an Email Chain, Should I Hit 'Reply All' Asking to be Removed?"

The article was written by Daniel Victor and published in the business section of the paper as a "Tech Tip."

The printed edition left approximately 10 or 12 inches of blank space on the page, Geek Wire reported.

A digital version of the piece offered more context via a PDF, in which Victor explained a scenario in which "an innocuous email that you probably don’t need lands in your inbox."

"Soon someone inevitably replies (all): 'Please remove me from this email chain.'

"Then another: 'Unsubscribe.'

"Soon, dozens of people are replying­all, sending their fruitless requests to people who are equally annoyed. Notifications on your phone won’t stop buzzing.

"This is known as the dreaded replyallpocalypse."

Read more of Victor's explanation here.

These jobs need a college degree, but don't pay well

Going to school is important, but for those aiming to hit the job markets and snag one of these gigs, don’t expect a yacht and big house anytime soon.

Finiancial news website 24/7 Wall St. compiled a list of the 14 lowest-paying jobs that require a college degree. 

According to the site, the median annual salaries of the 14 jobs on the list were all less than $50,000 with the typical worker earning more than the national median wage of $36,200 a year in all but four of the jobs. The site reviewed the median annual wage for jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics said typically requires a bachelor's degree to determine the ranking. The annual median pay data comes from 2015 data of 449 jobs tracked by the BLS.

24/7 Wall St. reports most religious workers have part-time work and other sources of income to supplement the average of $28,750 that they make, while educators are the sixth most common occupation of the 100 that were reviewed for the study.

The lowest-paying job, legislators, has a median salary of $20,500 a year, but does have the perk of possibly having their student debt forgiven after 10 years of public service.

The site added that by 2024, “employment across all occupations is projected to grow by 6.5 percent” with “five of the 14 jobs expected to grow faster than average.”

It was reported recently that the U.S. hiring is slowing to 151,000 jobs in August with stocks rising during this period of time. At the same time, Wal-Mart is set to eliminate about 7,000 office jobs at their stores around the country.

The list of the 14 lowest paying jobs for college graduates, according to 24/7 Wall St., is below:

14. Farm and home management advisors

13. Meeting, convention, and event planners

12. Audio-visual and multimedia collections specialists

11. Clergy

10. Agricultural inspectors

9. Statistical assistants 8. Social science research assistants

7. Biological technicians

6. Education, training, and library workers

5. Directors of religious activities and education 4. Proofreaders and copy markers

3. Teachers and instructors

2. Religious workers

1. Legislators

Janitor, secretly a millionaire, donates fortune after his death

Not even those closest to Ronald Read, a Vermont-based janitor, knew that quiet man had amassed a fortune of nearly $8 million before his death.

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After his death in 2014, Read left $1.2 million to the Brooks Memorial Library and $4.8 million to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Vermont.

"I always say about Ronald, 'Still waters run deep,'" neighbor Mark Richards said.

Read served in WWII after high school in 1940. He later worked as a gas station attendant and as a janitor at a J.C. Penny department store, Reuters reported.

In his later years, Read, who married and gained two stepchildren, became a regular at the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital cafe. 

"He always had a cup of coffee and and English muffin with peanut butter. That was it," said friend Ellen Smith.

Smith said Read told her about an incident in which another man paid for his breakfast because he thought Read wouldn't be able to afford it.

"You'd never know the man was a millionaire," his lawyer, Laurie Rowell, told Reuters. "The last time he came here, he parked far away in a spot where there were no meters so he could save the coins."

Read drove a secondhand Toyota Yaris, according to Reuters.

Friends said Read, who made most of his money in the stock market, never spent money unnecessarily.

"Mr. Read owned at least 95 stocks at the time of his death, many of which he had held for years, if not decades," the Wall Street Journal reported.

The hospital and library are using the money to improve their operations. They're also taking a leaf out of Read’s book by investing some of the money to make it last.

"Being a self-made man with his investments, he recognized the transformative nature of a library, what it can do for people," said the library's executive director, Jerry Carbone. 

Should you invest like Ronald Read, the frugal Vermonter who left behind an $8 million estate?Posted by The Wall Street Journal on Sunday, March 22, 2015

Amazon experimenting with 30-hour work weeks for some employees

Amazon is will experiment with a shorter work week for specific employees.

According to a report from The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the company is launching a program that will give a few technical teams a 30-hour work week.

The Post says these select employees will be salaried and receive the same benefits as their 40-hour counterparts, but they will only earn 75 percent of the pay that full-timers make.

>> Read more trending stories  

Amazon already offers its part-time workers the same benefits as full-time employees, but this is the first time the company is giving that option to specific teams, including their managers.

A posting by Amazon for an informational seminar on the initiative said it was created with the company's "diverse workforce" in mind. 

"We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth," the post said. "This initiative was created with Amazon's diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a 'one size fits all' model."

Many are speculating that the move is in response to The New York Times' derogatory investigation into Amazon's work culture last year, which labeled the company as a "bruising" workplace.

The idea of a shorter work week definitely isn't anything new.

Many companies all over the world have switched to a 30-hour week, and studies show it has increased productivity and happiness among employees.

According to the Post, Amazon doesn't have plans to reduce its work week for the entire company.

Job recruiter says women should hide engagement ring during interviews

A job recruiter started waves after he posted an article on LinkedIn last week detailing why a woman should avoid wearing her engagement ring to job interviews. The post sparked rebuttals from female users on the site.

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The post was made on LinkedIn by Bruce Hurwitz, who said that women should avoid wearing engagement rings to interviews because it "sends the message that she's high maintenance," according to Mashable.

"When a man sees that ring he immediately assumes you are high maintenance," he wrote in the post. "When the woman at the office who has the largest diamond on her finger, sees that ring, she will realize that if you are hired she will fall to second place and will, therefore, not like you.  Lose the ring!"

Many LinkedIn users took offense to Hurwitz's advice with one user calling it "misguided, petty, and misogynistic" and another saying it is "ridiculous and it makes women sound petty and small," according to Mashable.

Hurwitz published a follow-up post that related the engagement ring advice to having men avoid wearing expensive watches and made a final post titled, "How to Watch a Viral Article on LinkedIn," Mashable reports.

"In a perfect world we would be judged solely on our professional qualifications.  It is not a perfect world.  And our behavior is relevant in a job interview," he stated in the final post. "Behavior includes what you wear to an interview and, whether you like it or not, how you behave on-line.  Except if it is for religious or health purposes, or a consequence of sexual orientation, an employer can reject an employee based on what they are wearing.  They can always be rejected based on how they act."

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