Employment situation changes little in May
The unemployment rate held steady at 8.2% — up from 8.1% in April, according to figures released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
All told, May saw an increase of 69,000 nonfarm jobs. Employment increased in health care, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade but declined in construction. Employment was little changed in most other major industries.
Construction employment declined by 28,000 in May, with job losses occurring in specialty trade contractors (-18,000) and in heavy and civil engineering construction (-11,000). Since reaching a low in January 2011, employment in construction has shown little change.
A year ago, the unemployment rate stood at 9.2%.
Irwin offers Marples Woodworking Series saw blades
Irwin, a division of Newell Rubbermaid, has introduced a new line of woodworking saw blades in the Marples series.
Made in Italy in Irwin’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, the new Irwin Marples Woodworking Series saw blades are crafted for precision and accuracy, according to the manufacturer.
“The new IRWIN Marples Woodworking Series saw blades continue the rich heritage of the 184-year-old Marples brand and extends our history of saw blade innovation,” said Marta Aebischer, director of product marketing for Irwin Tools.
“In-depth field testing with professional woodworkers and finish carpenters contributed to the design of these blades.”
These laser-cut, thin kerf saw blades feature extra-sharp, oversized carbide teeth for long life and multiple re-sharpenings. Engineered with a heat-resistant, non-stick coating, these blades reduce gumming for cleaner, truer cuts, according to Irwin.
Tablets pulling ahead in Web sales
Tablet computers are driving an increasingly larger share of online revenue, according to a 2012 retailer survey by Shop.org and Forrester Research. Nearly 49% of retailers said their average order value via a tablet is now higher than traditional Web sales. Nearly three in 10 (28%) retailers said they are seeing about the same average order value from tablets as their website.
“The State of Retailing Online” research series, which provides e-business and channel strategy professionals with annual industry benchmarks of marketing and business investment and activities, surveyed 59 companies. When it came to actual sales retailers are reporting, the survey found tablet and smartphone sales as a percent of retailers’ total Web sales in 2011 were 3.2% and 1.5%, respectively.
For retailers, search and email are still king. Eight in 10 retailers said search and email are the top two drivers of a company’s Web traffic from either a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, retailers surveyed report that, on average, 20% of emails opened in a given campaign are opened on a mobile device.
Additionally, QR codes have become more standard elements of retailers’ mobile marketing efforts within their stores and in advertising. Three-quarters (75%) say they now offer customers the 2D technology and other bar code scanning options. For companies with less than $10 million and more than $100 million in annual online sales, QR codes rank as the leading mobile marketing tool in terms of usage. Mid-size retailers rely more heavily on mobile email optimization, with QR codes coming in second.
“Retailers must continue to look for unique ways to elevate their brand in such a competitive market. Tablets and mobile devices offer the perfect answer, with opportunities to create specialized apps, drive Web sales and create an engaging and convenient shopping experience,” said Shop.org executive director Vicki Cantrell. “Overall, we expect smartphone shopping adoption rates to stay low but fully believe tablet sales will continue to change how retailers garner the attention of new and current customers. With tablet usage marching toward true ubiquity, retailers will continue to plan ahead by examining their customers’ behaviors and shopping patterns.”