Originally created 12/16/01

Business briefs



Workers are more loyal

From March to November, U.S. workers' commitment to their employers has gone from a five-year low to a five-year high, climbing sharply since the Sept. 11 attacks, a new survey by Aon Consulting Worldwide reports.

Using the "work-force commitment index" that measures employees' productivity, retention and pride, the figure rose from a 97 in March to a 101.1 last month. Aon interviewed 1,800 U.S. workers in March and another 1,000 in November.

Workers are less likely than they were in March to change jobs for a higher salary, with 54 percent - up from 45 percent - saying they would stay at their company even if offered a similar job with slightly more pay. This also is the highest percentage since Aon began conducting research on worker commitment in 1997.

Credit tip

Avoid the temptation to weigh your wallet down with plastic, says Consumer Reports. Too many open lines of credit may lower your overall credit score, reducing the amount of money you can borrow for a mortgage and disqualifying you from the lowest rates.

Amtrax facts

The official name of Amtrax is the National Railroad Passenger Corp. It serves all but five states. The exceptions are Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Looks vs. brains

A good education, brains and hard work may help you succeed at work, but you'd save a lot of trouble simply by cultivating the right look, according to a Miami-based headhunter.

Bonnie Crabtree, a vice president with executive search firm Korn/Ferry International, says executive recruiters try to present candidates who match a standard template: tall (6 feet or taller for men, 5-6 or taller for women), slim and athletic.

"Clients all want an airline pilot," Ms. Crabtree says. "A tall, trim man in his 40s who is in great shape and with a little gray hair seems to inspire confidence."