By Robert Kahn – Today’s (May 15) Eurozone GDP numbers remind us that Europe remains in a grinding recession; a second-half recovery now looks to be a long shot at best. The only bright spot comes elsewhere, with news of a German labor deal that will raise engineering wages by nearly 6 percent over the next 20 months (rebalancing European demand and stimulating German consumption needs more of this).
Notably, the need for jobs dominates other issues on the economic agenda. The mood is particularly bleak in the periphery, reflecting those countries’ economic troubles. more> http://tinyurl.com/bsglppy
By Alan Nicol – I’m working on a project with a friend of mine and it strikes me how differently we approach the development of our vision. He finds it simpler and quicker to run calculations and probabilities. I prefer to lie out a scenario and try it to see what happens.
It seems that many prefer to find ways to model the problem or the solution and run simulations to arrive at an answer; the minority will prototype, test, and experiment.
Trial-and-error, experimentation, and testing are important tools for developing new solutions and for innovation or product development. more> http://tinyurl.com/cv4yrso
By Sarah DiLorenzo – France’s parliament has passed a package of significant labor reforms Tuesday (may 14) that the government hopes will help halt rising unemployment and jumpstart the country’s stagnant economy.
One of the main measures of the bill allows companies to temporarily cut workers’ salaries or hours during times of economic difficulty. This measure takes its inspiration from Germany, where furloughs have been credited with allowing companies to weather difficult times without resorting to massive layoffs.
Several measures are also aimed at making it less daunting for employees to change jobs. French contracts are known for the tremendous protections they afford workers and as those benefits increase, the longer an employee stays with a company. While it is frequently noted that these contracts make employers reluctant to hire, they can also make employees more likely to stay put in stable jobs. When no one moves, it becomes harder for the unemployed to find work. more> http://tinyurl.com/a2r6w5d