FAST FACTS HAWAII
Firsts and almost firsts in Hawaii ......
Here is the story behind one of Hawaii's "firsts," as noted by former state statistician Robert C. Schmitt.
» Money: The first paper money engraved in Hawaii was printed at Lahainaluna Seminary in 1843. Intended for use inside the school, it consisted of heavy squares in denominations ranging from three cents to one dollar. A copper cent, minted in 1847, was the first official coin of the Hawaiian Kingdom. It bore the likeness of Kamehameha III.
Source: "Firsts and Almost Firsts in Hawai'i" by Robert C. Schmitt; edited by Ron Ronck
Commercial realty prices slump
U.S. commercial real estate prices fell 0.6 percent in January from December for the third straight month-to-month drop as the scarcity of credit slows investment, according to Moody's Investors Service
"The run-up in prices from the last few years is clearly in the process of being eroded," Sally Gordon, a senior vice president at Moody's, said in a report.
The Moody's/REAL Commercial Property Index, comprising office, apartment, retail and industrial buildings, declined about 2.4 percent from last October's peak, said Moody's, which has forecast commercial real estate prices will fall 15 percent to 20 percent before rebounding.
Even as prices fell from the previous month, they continued to rise over the same period a year earlier. Property prices in January rose 4.5 percent from the same month in 2007 and were up 12.5 percent from 2006.
The gains slowed from December, when prices were up 8.3 percent from a year earlier and 17.4 percent from two years earlier, according to Moody's.
Prices may have fallen more in the last few months than the index shows, in part because the sales that occurred were for properties that had gained the most, Moody's said.
Also, sale terms often are determined as much as 90 days in advance of closing, so January's numbers may reflect a stronger credit environment, Moody's said.
Excessive creativity can backfire
Career advisors have always said that your resume should stand out against the rest of the stack. But how much creativity should your cover letter ooze -- even when looking in creative fields?
A telephone questionnaire of about 250 people by online job search company Creative Group found that more than half of marketing executives and a quarter of advertising executives view unusual job-hunting tactics -- such as sending a potential employer a shoe "to get a foot in the door" -- as unprofessional.
Some examples the respondents gave of peculiar job seeking:
» One applicant sent six postcards, each a puzzle piece, which formed his resume.
» A candidate sent an egg carton with faux eggs and a message saying she delivered fresh ideas daily.
» A job hunter used an office building across the street to post his qualifications on a large sign.
» Another sent a baseball mitt and said he wanted to be part of the team.
» A woman printed her name on golf balls and sent them to executives that were hiring.
Sexual comments increasing
Women found sexually explicit comments were nearly twice as frequent in the workplace last year as the year before, according to a recent survey.
The telephone survey of 546 employees was conducted by International Communications Research for Novations Group, a consulting company based in Boston.
It found that 42 percent said they endured sexually inappropriate comments in 2007, up from 34 percent in 2006.
The largest increase was among women, 39 percent of whom reported the most common type of harassment -- up from 22 percent the year before.
"People on the receiving end of hostile comments are more vocal about their displeasure than they have been in the past," said Mike Hyster, president of Novations Group. "I believe that's a direct reflection of the fact that the number of paid legal settlements has doubled in the last five years."
Reports of racial slurs inched up to 35 percent of those surveyed, from 33 percent in 2006.
The survey also found that employees ages 18 to 34 were more than twice as likely to overhear ridicule regarding their age than their colleagues over 55.
Despite downturn, some jobs hot
The softening economy may be giving professionals second thoughts about switching careers, but there are a handful of jobs that remain in high demand, according to recruiting company Jobfox
While high executive positions like global chief executive officer are the riskiest jobs amid an uncertain hiring climate, professions in health care and accounting have fared well this year.
The company released a list of professions with the highest number of candidate searches, based on the company's database. The top five, and their average annual salaries:
» Software design and development, $95,000-$100,000
» Nursing, $35,000-$45,000
» Accounting and financing, $65,000-$75,000
» Sales or business development, $65,000-$75,000
» Administrative assistant, $35,000-$45,000
"In any situation where there is demand regardless of the economy ... the applicant is at an advantage," said Rob McGovern, the company's chief executive officer. "The reality is that people don't stop going to the doctor because it's a recession."