Economy

More millionaires… Job boom fails for some… Group dining bookings online… Sleep-deprived teens lose brain power

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More millionaires

If you were wondering whether it is worth tossing in your job and striking out on your own, consider this: Almost half of Australia’s millionaires made their money by owning businesses or selling them. About 16% made their fortunes on the sharemarket and 14% inherited their wealth.

In the past year, our millionaire ranks have grown by 10.3% to 161,000, according to the Asia Pacific Wealth Report produced by investment bank Merrill Lynch and Capgemini and reported in The Australian newspaper.

The typical Australian millionaire is male and 50 years old. Only 25% of Aussie millionaires are women. By comparison, 43% of Taiwan’s and 38% of China’s millionaires are female.

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It’s a job boom for some, but not all

Women are missing out on new jobs, despite booming job numbers. The number of women out of work has actually increased over the past year by 1.6%. The number of men out of work by comparison has fallen sharply to by 16.9%.

Why? It’s the male dominated industries that are booming. Construction jobs and trades are growing and offering full-time jobs. Of the 174,000 new full-time jobs created over the past year, only 37,000 have gone to women.

It seems the skills shortage has not got so bad for the blokey industries –they are not yet prepared to recruit and train women to fill the new jobs.

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Online solution to group dining

A US website has a solution to the confusion and tedium of arranging a group lunch and pre-ordering the meal. Crazymenu is a new online venture that provides tools to help friends, colleagues and officemates efficiently and easily get their lunch plans in order.

Springwise reports that customers can log on to search for restaurants in their area or browse menus, coupons or reviews. And there are a couple of unique functions: With Pick-A-Place, a member can send out restaurant suggestions to a group of people, who then vote straight from their computers, streamlining the democratic process.

A group order function lets everyone enter their customisable orders and then compiles them to be faxed, emailed or phoned in to the restaurant. Both functions work via email and with major instant messenger applications.

Restaurant owners and operators can get in on the action too, uploading and editing menus as needed, and replying personally to member reviews. Crazymenu claims it can boost business orders by as much as 400%. Currently released as a beta version, the site is supported by Google ads, with obvious potential for restaurateurs, travel agencies and the like to buy ad space as well.

Crazymenu serves more than a dozen major cities in the United States, Canada and Europe, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Toronto, London and Paris.

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Snooze or lose

Overstimulated, overscheduled kids are getting at least an hour’s less sleep than they need – a deficiency that, new research reveals, has the power to set their cognitive abilities back years, writes New York mag.com.

According to surveys by the US National Sleep Foundation, 90% of American parents think their child is getting enough sleep. But it has been documented in a handful of major studies that children, from elementary school through to high school, get about an hour less sleep each night than was the case 30 years ago.

Why? Overscheduling of activities, burdensome homework, lax bedtimes, television and mobile phones in the bedroom all contribute. So does guilt. Parents, home from work after dark, want time with their children and are reluctant to play the hard-arse who orders them to bed.

But we now know the true cost to children. Using newly developed technological and statistical tools, sleep scientists have recently been able to isolate and measure the impact of this single lost hour. Because children’s brains are a work-in-progress until the age of 21, and because much of that work is done while a child is asleep, this lost hour appears to have an exponential impact on children that it simply doesn’t have on adults.

The surprise is how much sleep affects academic performance and emotional stability, as well as phenomena that we assumed to be entirely unrelated, such as the international obesity epidemic and the rise of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

A few scientists theorise that sleep problems during formative years can cause permanent changes in a child’s brain structure: damage that one can’t sleep off like a hangover. It’s even possible that many of the hallmark characteristics of being a tweener and teen – moodiness, depression, and even binge eating – are actually symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation.

Read the whole article.

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