Morning Advantage: 50% of People Don’t Feel Valued at Work

A new American Psychological Association survey outlines this stat among many other findings about stress in the U.S. workforce. The total picture, as reported by Lauren Weber and Sue Shellenbarger in the Wall Street Journal, is concerning. Fifty-four percent of workers say they're not paid enough for their efforts, and 61% say they don't have sufficient opportunities to advance. These and other factors, including long workweeks and answering email at all hours of the night, contribute to one-third of U.S. workers reporting chronic stress.

The biggest shifts from last year (the ASA's survey is annual) are on the topics of work-life balance and gender. While the number of workers feeling chronic stress has actually decreased from 41% in 2012, fewer people reported feeling satisfied with how their jobs mesh with the rest of their lives. And when it comes to gender, women and men respond to workplace stress differently, with women more likely to internalize stress — a "tend and befriend" response — while men are more prone to a "fight or flight" reaction. And women, more so than men, say their employer doesn't appreciate their contributions.


How Economics Can Help You Lose Weight (New York Times Magazine)

Planet Money's Adam Davidson wanted to get healthy. But like many people, he kept stumbling, largely because his brain was always able to find a third option that would derail his efforts. So instead of permanently changing his eating and exercise habits, he would buy a diet book or some protein bars. Companies that market these products, he found, base their businesses on this magical third option that often doesn't work for the consumer. So he turned to a mutually-assured-destruction strategy, which explains how war combatants strengthen their position by limiting choices. Through NYU, he started a diet plan that had one option and one option only — an effective shake that's only marketed to select clinics. So far he's lost 60 pounds, and gleaned new insight into the shake-maker's unique and profitable business model.


It Was the Best of Factories, It Was the Worst of Factories (Reuters)

The CEO of U.S.-based tire maker Titan International, Maurice Taylor, had considered buying a plant in northern France, but gave up on the idea and then proceeded to infuriate the French by complaining that the workers at the plant spent as much time talking as working. But, according to Reuters, he might have formed a different impression of France had he gone across the street and visited a Dunlop factory where unions have accepted tough labor conditions. Oddly, both plants are units of Goodyear Dunlop. France's auto industry is struggling with shrinking European demand. — Andy O'Connell


Labor Pains

How Bad Credit Reports Keep People Unemployed (Huffington Post)
Inside Major League Baseball's Dominican Sweatshop System (Mother Jones)
Corporate Profits Are Eating the Economy (The Atlantic)

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