Money vs love… Consumers rate sectors… Fast movers love social media… Aussie-trained students in demand overseas


Money vs love

You need money and a partner in life to be happy, according to the latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index.

The central defining characteristics of people forming the extreme high well-being groups is high household income and living with a partner. The central defining risk factors for people forming the extreme low well-being groups are very low household income, not living with a partner, and unemployment.

The group with the highest well-being are Australians aged 76 and over with household incomes of at least $61,000 to $90,000. Single parents on low incomes have it toughest.

But if you can have money or love, choose love – those with partners have the highest level of well-being, regardless of how much money they have.


People like supermarkets, not so much tobacco companies

Supermarkets have come out well in front in a ranking of how well different industry sectors serve consumers, while tobacco companies came in last, according to a recent Harris Poll of more than 1000 people in the US.

More than 92% of those surveyed said supermarkets generally do a good job, and only 8% think they do a bad job.

Thanks, no doubt, to climate change and cancer, people aren’t so keen on oil and tobacco companies. Only 26% think tobacco companies do a good job and only 33% believe oil companies do a good job.

Other winners from the survey include online search engines, with a 77% positive rating, computer hardware and software companies on around 60% positive, and hospitals and banks with 58% and 56% respectively.

Apart from tobacco and oil companies, the companies with the biggest negative scores were health insurance companies, with a 21% negative response, and managed health care companies on 20% negative.


US fast movers watching social media

Just over half of the Inc Top 500 fast-growing US companies are monitoring social media, according to a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth study reported by

The companies, of all sizes, are reading RSS feeds, studying web statistics, tracking video downloads, and watching online competitive activity.

Report co-author Eric Mattson says the companies are using social media to hear what is going on out there and what other companies are saying. One of the popular ways to keep up with competitors, according to Mattson, is to read other companies’ blogs. “Blogs and their content have become a real market force, and provide the ability for word-of-mouth to spread and be around for a very long time,” he says.

The study also found a strong correlation between companies that monitor social media and the level of their familiarity with and usage of various types of social media.


Overseas students in demand

Competition for overseas students trained in Australia is fierce as international firms vie for new graduates’ attention as well as local firms looking for talent for their overseas offices.

An international careers fair held by four universities in Queensland last week recorded a 40% rise in exhibitors on last year, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review.


SmartCompany Quote of the Day

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”
Warren Buffett




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