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LinkedIn’s 50 top companies people want to work for

(BUSINESS NEWS) LinkedIn recently published a list of the 50 top companies everyone wants to work for.

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LinkedIn’s list

LinkedIn has released its annual Top Companies list, detailing the 50 companies LinkedIn users seem to have the most interest in working for.

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Here, however, I’ve detailed the Top 10 companies from that list, for your reading enjoyment.

10.) Comcast NBCUniversal

a.k.a. Probably Your ISP
Number of global employees: 160,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 1,424
Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA

Not only is the cable TV and Internet juggernaut reportedly planning a Netflix rival, but with its 25 million Internet subscribers, and the high-quality programming coming out of NBCUniversal, it may actually stand a chance in the On-Demand streaming market. With its annual Comcast Cares community volunteering program, as well as its recent commitment to hire 10,000 military veterans by the end of 2017, Comcast is doing its best to live up to CEO Brian Roberts’ goal in making the company culture “the one thing [he’s] got to get right”.

9.) The Walt Disney Company

a.k.a. Time Warner’s Rival
Number of global employees: 195,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 163
Headquarters: Burbank, CA

Everyone knows the House of Mouse, but did you know that Disney also owns networks such as ABC and ESPN? If one is looking for a job in entertainment, there are certainly worse places one could go. Not only is the Walt Disney Company home to entertainment powerhouses such as Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm, but there are also branches of the company such as the Disney Cruise Line, Disney Parks and Resorts, the Disney Store, and more. Plus, all Disney employees get free passes to Disney theme parks for themselves and their dependents. Free passes to the “Happiest Place on Earth” seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.

8.) Time Warner

a.k.a. the Walt Disney Company’s Rival
Number of global employees: 25,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 309
Headquarters: New York City, NY

Parent company to iconic entertainment companies such as Warner Bros., Turner and HBO, those seeking to join an entertainment empire certainly applied this past year. This is likely in part due to the company’s upcoming acquisition by AT&T. Combining numerous high-value entertainment assets with AT&T’s 50 million customers? I think it’s safe to say the company’s future seems bright. Perks include things such as film and TV screenings at the office, as well as a Fit Nation program- promoting employee participation in various exercise activities.

7.) Apple

a.k.a. the Apparent Influence for Every Technology Company in Modern Media
Number of global employees: 110,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 391
Headquarters: Cupertino, CA

The upcoming completion of Apple’s new campus, Apple Park, may have piqued some extra interest in the tech giant. Makers of the Mac computers, and inventors of the iPhone, Apple’s legendary legion of loyal fans are well-known. However, what you may not have known is that the company offers employee stock grants to all employees. Apple’s retail stores turn over just barely more than 10% of employees each year, in comparison to the 80% turnover rate for the rest of the retail industry. Huh. Maybe those overly enthusiastic folks working at the Apple Store really do enjoy their jobs.

6.) Tesla, Inc.

a.k.a. Rockets, Bullet Trains, and (Autonomous) Automobiles
Number of global employees: 30,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 2,168
Headquarters: Palo Alto, CA

Tesla, pulling in at number 6 on the list, has recently taken over as the largest U.S.-based automaker, surpassing both Ford and General Motors. Therefore, it makes total sense that folks looking to work on cars would pick as Tesla as their prime work destination. Those interested in working on sending humans to Mars might, as well. Or those interested in working on a bullet train, running from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The same could also be said for those interested working on autonomous vehicles. And, with the company’s recent acquisition of SolarCity, there are likely even more avenues to explore. With Elon Musk’s recent announcement that Tesla’s Autopilot feature should be capable of a fully autonomous trip from L.A. to New York by the end of the year, it seems awfully likely the number of applications that Tesla receives will only continue to increase for the foreseeable future.

5.) Uber

a.k.a. Your Saturday Night Ride Home, a.k.a. Bad Press Magnates
Number of global employees: 12,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 3,445
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Uber may not be getting the best press lately, but it certainly hasn’t seemed to have stopped folks from applying there. It couldn’t hurt that Uber is the highest-valued private technology company, currently being valued at $69 billion. It’s possible also that the company’s Uberversity program – a 3-day program attended by new hires, or nUbers (because apparently, Uber loves their puns) wherein they get to meet directly with the company’s leadership team- is way more exciting than it sounds.

4.) Salesforce

a.k.a. That Company That Basically Provides the Backbone to Your Business
Number of global employees: 25,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 724
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Salesforce, the company known for its cloud-based business software and its massive annual San Francisco-based conventions comes it at number 4 on the list. Aside from every company previously listed using its platforms, Salesforce is also likely raking in the applications due to its highly touted inclusive company culture. Not only did the company famously invite Buddhist monks to consult on the design of its headquarters, but it also is well-known for its regular employee pay audits to ensure equal compensation is given regardless of race, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, etc. Adding to its reputation as a socially conscious company, all employees are offered an additional 8 days of paid time off per year to contribute to causes they find important.

3.) Facebook

a.k.a. Socializing for the 21st Century
Number of global employees: 17,000
Current LinkedIn Job Opportunities: 1,152
Headquarters: Menlo Park, CA

Facebook ranks at number 3 on the list, as with a website reaching nearly 1.9 billion active monthly users, that’s kind of what you would expect. Aside from its social media focus, the company’s acquisitions of various messaging platforms, audio companies, and virtual/augmented reality technologies allows for a variety of career options and opportunities. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the company is quoted as being to “build the new social infrastructure to create the world we want for generations to come”. Regardless of your opinion on Mark Zuckerberg and/or Facebook, you’ve got to admit that’s a pretty grand vision.

2.) Amazon

a.k.a. That Site Where You Do Most of Your Online Shopping
Number of global employees: 341,100
Current LinkedIn job opportunities: 17,016
Headquarters: Seattle, WA

E-tail (is that still a phrase?) giant Amazon also made it onto this year’s list of top companies. Aside from being the most recognizable online retailer, it also happens to be the parent company of ventures such Audible, Goodreads, and Comixology (building on its online bookstore beginnings). Not only have the number of subscribers to its Prime service grown by the “tens of millions”, but the company is also reportedly planning to add over 100,000 full-time, fully benefited jobs over the next 18 months. The company is a great place to work for dog-lovers as well, as not only are employees’ canine pals welcome at their Seattle headquarters, but there is dog park complete with dog treats on site! After all, it would be egregious if they did not cater to their canid employees as well.

1.) Alphabet Inc.

a.k.a. Google
Number of global employees: 72,000
Current LinkedIn job opportunities: 1,135
Headquarters: Mountain View, CA

Is it really all that surprising that Alphabet, Inc. is at the top of the list? Pretty much anything you’re interested in doing, they seem to have a hand in. Not only are they the owners of the uber (see number 5) super-popular Android platform, the creators of the ultra-useful Chrome web browser, ChromeOS, key players in the Autonomous Vehicle Wars, and, oh yeah, essentially Masters of the InterWebs, they also have a pretty awesome company culture. Not to mention, of course, the fact that the company is set to be using 100% renewable energy for all its operations by the end of the year. Yay, environmentalism!

(Also, it should be mentioned that those Google bikes are pretty rad.)

The rest of the list

If you are interested in reading up on all 50, their list is available here.

#LinkedInTop50

Andrew Clausen is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and when he's not deep diving into technology and business news for you, he is a poet, enjoys rock climbing, monster movies, and spending time with his notoriously naughty cat.

Business News

Plastic bags are making a comeback, thanks to COVID-19

(BUSINESS NEWS) Plastic bags are back, whether you like it or not – at least for now.

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Plastic bags

Single use plastic bags are rising like a phoenix from the ashes of illegality all over the country, from California to New York. Reusable bags are falling out of favor in an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19. It’s a logical step: the less something is handled, generally, the safer it is going to be. And porous paper bags are thought to have a higher potential to spread the virus through contact.

It’s worth mentioning that single use plastic bags are considerably more
environmentally efficient to manufacture compared to paper, cloth, and reusable plastic bags. Per unit, they require very little material to make and are easily mass produced. It also goes without saying that they have a very short lifespan, after which they end up sitting in landfills, littering streets, or drifting through oceans.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s hard to deny that single use plastics have the potential to be as dangerous to humans as COVID-19. Coronavirus is a very immediate existential threat to us in the United States, but the scale of the global crises that stem from the irresponsible consumption of cheap disposable goods, also cannot be overstated. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn’t going anywhere. (And did you know that it’s just one of many huge garbage patches around the world?)

So… what exactly are we going to do about the comeback of plastic bags? Because to be honest, I used to work in grocery retail, and it is difficult and often unrewarding. So, I wouldn’t exactly love handling potentially contaminated tote bags all day in the midst of a pandemic if I were still a supermarket employee. You couldn’t pay me enough to feel comfortable with that – forget minimum wage!

I used to have a plastic bag stuffed full of other plastic bags sitting in my kitchen, like American nesting dolls, before disposable plastics fell from grace. (I’m sure some of y’all know exactly what I’m talking about.) This bag of bags was never a point of pride. It got really annoying because it just kept growing. There are only so many practical home uses for the standard throw-away plastic shopping bag. Very small trash can liners; holding snarls of unused cables, another thing I accumulate for no reason; extremely low-budget packing material; one could get crafty and somehow weave them into a horrible sweater, I guess.

I don’t miss my bag of bags. I don’t want to have to deal with another. Hey, Silicon Valley? Got any disruptive ideas for this one?

Even if we concede that disposable plastics are a necessary evil in the fight against COVID-19, the fact remains that they stick around long after you’re done with them. That’s true whether you throw them out or not.

I’m not trying to direct blame anywhere. Of course businesses should do their best to keep their customers and staff safe, and if that means using plastic bags, so be it. Without clear guidance from our federal government, every part of society has been fumbling and figuring out how to keep one another healthy with the tools they’ve got at hand. (…Well, almost every part.)

The changes to the state bag bans have been cautious and temporary so far, which is a small relief. But nobody really knows how much longer the pandemic will rage on and necessitate the relaxations.

I won’t pretend that I have a sure solution. All I can really ask is that we all be extra mindful of our usage of these disposable plastic products. Let’s think creatively about what we might otherwise throw away. We must not trade one apocalypse for another.

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Business News

Scammers are taking advantage of the unemployed

(BUSINESS NEWS) In a country that’s been stricken by higher-than-ever levels of unemployment, scammers have found a unique way to target this vulnerable demographic.

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With unemployment rates reaching unprecedented levels in recent months, it’s a fairly safe bet to say that there’s something that many of us currently have in common: we need a job. While these levels are slowly starting to decline, already down to 11.1 percent in June from an all-time high of 14.7 percent in April, the need for steady gainful employment is still great for many Americans. That’s what makes the newest scam making its rounds particularly vile.

There’s a common misconception that people who get scammed largely deserved their misfortune. Whether it’s presumed that they got greedy, they fell for something that was too good to be true, or they were looking for an easy way out, it’s both unfair and unkind to make these snap judgements of victims of scammers. When it comes to scammers, there’s only one party to blame for these wrongful actions — the scammers themselves.

And with literally millions of people looking for a job right now, these scammers have found a new round of susceptible people to target. It’s a fairly well documented fact that scammers have a knack for knowing who will be easy prey, and this latest scam is no different. According to a report from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), scammers have ramped up their efforts to separate desperate job seekers from what’s left of their meager funds.

This scam is nothing new, but it has surged in popularity with the sheer number of people looking for jobs in today’s economy. Dubbed the “employment scam,” it can take on many forms, but the end result remains the same. At the end of the day, if a person is bilked out of their money, then the scammer has won.

What does this scam look like, and how can you safeguard yourself from falling prey to it? Please note that anyone — from all walks of life, no matter your age, your sex, your race, or any other factor — can become a victim of a scam. The only way to protect yourself is to be aware of the scam and recognize the signs of it. If a potential employer asks any of the following of you, then there’s a good chance they’re a scammer:

  • You are required to pay the so-called employer for your own training up front.
  • You are expected to give up your banking/personal info for a credit check.
  • You are overpaid by a fraudulent check and told to wire back the difference.
  • You are told that you need to pay for expensive equipment to work from home.

Please note that these scammers can spoof legitimate companies. They may try to pass themselves off as real-deal businesses; they’ve even tried to emulate the BBB itself. And when you refuse to follow through with their demands, they will double down and might even become hostile and aggressive, resorting to threats and cajoling. It’s important to not cave in; once they start bullying you, they know the gig is up.

The BBB also notes that coronavirus has created a “perfect storm” for scammers, but there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. They advise that you avoid social isolation, as that can make you more vulnerable to scammers. When in doubt, seek out a friend’s feedback. Sometimes a reality check can make all the difference in whether or not you become a mark. Do a little bit of digging online before you accept an “offer” or share personal information. And finally, be prudent. No matter how many warnings the BBB puts out each year about scams, the only person who can really protect you from getting scammed is just one person…yourself.

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Business News

American Express’ cash back program helps members support small businesses

(BUSINESS NEWS) Between now and September 20th, AMEX is providing $50 in credits to their cardholders to support local businesses.

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cashback program

It’s no secret that coronavirus has been nothing short of devastating for small businesses. Even with the Small Business Administration (SBA) offering financial relief in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), many small businesses are still struggling to keep their doors open. So far, the numbers have been astronomical — to the tune of some 100,000 small businesses closing down permanently, according to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research — and they’re expected to continue to rise as the pandemic drags on.

With that in mind, American Express has come forward with their own disaster relief program of sorts. Between now and the 20th of September, the credit card company will be offering a cash back rewards incentive for their cardholders. The program is fairly simple and straightforward: for every $10 (or more) that you spend at a small business, Amex will give you a $5 statement credit on your account. This can be repeated up to ten times, for a total of $50 in rewards. Not bad, huh? But the question remains: what’s a mere $50 in the grand scheme of things, and will it actually help out small businesses in the long run?

Well, first and foremost, $50 is no small chunk of change. For most of us, it’s a fairly decent perk, especially since it requires us to do what we would have done anyway (shop at local businesses). Whether you feel like getting takeout from your local mom-and-pop restaurant, you’re going to pick up a few groceries for dinner tonight at your corner market, or you need to take Fido in for a checkup at your neighborhood veterinary clinic, these activities all count toward the reward program. You’re literally getting paid for shopping locally. Easy peasy.

And secondly, historic data does prove that these incentives do work. Amex rolled out their first small business reward program back in 2010, called Small Business Saturday®, as a response to the mass consumerism of Black Friday. In 2015, the SBA decided to get in on the fun and joined forces with Amex, sponsoring the program. Even better, a study from 2019 revealed that a whopping $19.6 billion was funneled back into local economies thanks to the initiative. So while “just” $50 may not seem like much, it adds up to impressive numbers when seen from a more macroscopic perspective.

This isn’t the only program that has Amex’s name standing behind it, either. The company is also the driving force behind the Stand for Small program, which unifies larger businesses who are offering their own helping hand to smaller businesses. Whether you’re looking for assistance in managing your expenses, or you’re in need of help in growing your online presence, the Stand for Small program was designed to help make this possible. Large names like Amazon and eBay are included in the ranks that have rallied behind Stand for Small, lending clout to this program.

So what’s a little extra $50? Is it worth it to you? Sure, the intentions of some of these companies may be somewhat less than magnanimous — there’s no arguing that there’s something in it for them, as well — it doesn’t change the fact that in an economy that’s been crippled by COVID-19, they’re actually doing something instead of just sitting there idly and waiting for someone else to take action.

That, at least, has to be worth something. And if you’re wanting to get your hands on a share of the cool fifty bucks courtesy of Amex, they’d like to remind you that you do need to enroll in the rewards program no later than July 26. If you don’t, you may miss out on your opportunity to help keep small businesses afloat (while also enjoying an extra $5 in your pocket here or there), courtesy of American Express.

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