Originally created 12/05/01

Business briefs



NEW YORK - Strength in the technology sector sent stocks soaring Tuesday in a rally that gave investors hope the market's post-Sept. 11 advance still has momentum.

The Dow Jones industrials scored a triple-digit advance as buying gained intensity late in the session. But analysts doubted that the market was beginning another extended run upward, noting that there are still few signs that business and the economy are improving.

"I'm not seeing any news today that is specifically causing this, but it looks like investors are anticipating better times ahead and saying that 'We better own stocks because the tide is getting ready to turn,"' said Bill Barker, investment strategy consultant with RBC Dain Rauscher.

Advancing issues led decliners more than 2 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1.29 billion shares, ahead of the 1.20 billion reported Monday.

ATLANTA - A group of state lawmakers, historians and history enthusiasts began a yearlong assignment Tuesday to look for ways to use Georgia's history as a tool to boost tourism.

Gov. Roy Barnes swore in the 33-member Commission on Georgia History and Historical Tourism. The group includes Ed Cashin, director of Augusta State University's Center of Georgia History.

Edwin Jackson of Athens, the panel's chairman, said tourism can be the key economic development resource in many parts of Georgia, particularly rural counties, if an area's historical assets are identified and promoted.

BEYOND LAYOFFS

According to a new survey of corporate benefits staff members by MetLife, keeping the best employees is the biggest benefits priority. The survey of 481 benefits and compensation staff conducted in June showed that 78 percent view employee retention as their most critical goal, while 73 percent cited controlling benefits costs.

To meet the goals, 58 percent of employers think programs that encourage work/life balance are their most important benefits strategies.

SILVER LINING

Despite months of layoffs, there'll be more jobs than workers come 2008. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this gap will grow to 6 million during the next seven years and will become wider before the shortage peaks during 2015 to 2025. These are the years when as many as 60 million workers born between 1946 and 1964 reach retirement age.

Occupations with large numbers of older workers such as construction inspectors and secondary-school teachers are expected to suffer. So are fields creating jobs at a fast pace, such as computer engineering.

For workers, the imbalance means opportunities in engineering, education and health care where the shortages will be the most acute. For companies, the shortages could mean sending more jobs overseas and turning to immigrants to do the work.

ASU SCORES HIGH

Augusta State University business administration students ranked in the 85th percentile this year in a national test of basic business knowledge.

Their annual scores were compared with students at 388 other business schools.