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US Media Studios

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Watch the award-winning programming from USM Studios in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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USM Studios Reports on Business Travel Trends 

Business travel is back, but with some caveats. USM Studios takes a look at business travel trends in the upcoming months. 

The Recession left many business travelers to conduct meetings via video chat or some other way. But as the economy improves, the executive team and sales professionals are back in the swing, but with some shortcomings. Economy class tickets are the norm for those who do not have an office in the C-suite. Hotels reservations are made at middle-of-the-price range places instead of something a little nicer. Per diems are not as liberal as they once were. In fact, the traveling business person is more or less an expense to the company trying to make more money since the Recession ended. 

USM Studios, Inc. notes that traveling professionals can make the most of down-graded business travel trends on their own. Travel with items which make one feel at home such as clean, travel pillows and blankets, and snacks to boost energy or promote sleep. Use frequent flier miles on personal travel later as business travel miles add up now.  The employees who are thrifty with company expenses are the ones who are rewarded with keeping their jobs and more travel later on.

The Global Business Travel Association reports that business travel will tick upward by about six percent this year. Companies which send staff out of town on business are expected to also inch up by almost two percent. Do you expect any business travel this year?


USM Studios press room |

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USM Studios Reports on Employment 

The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistic relays information of less jobs created than was expected. Employment is contingent on the overall health of U.S. businesses. Business owners report that they feel hopeful in the coming months. 

USM Studios is also hopeful that new jobs will be created at decent, living wages for the number of Americans and veterans not currently employed. A Glassdoor survey found that while most employers they communicated with mentioned offering raises, some felt that more secure it in leaving salaries as they are.  Employees surveyed felt more confident in getting raise and others felt sure they could find other employment should they wish to look elsewhere.  Confidence is strong for both employers and employees. 

USM Studios, Inc. also sees on the job training for workers paid $75,000 and up, while those making less rarely are offered the skills needed for a new job.  Some corporations claim there is still a skills gap. Training gives those skills and the job filled is achieved.  The company gains a more valued and loyal worker. Employment overall is improving slightly. More jobs need to be created. Older workers and veterans should not be overlooked when new positions are available. Their skills and experience are beneficial to both employer and co-workers. 

USM Studios press room |

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USM Studios with Retirement Strategies Redefined

How many of us have read one too many articles on how much we should be saving for retirement? How many more articles can there be on those of us who cannot afford to anything at all? USM Studios offers some ideas for redefining retirement strategies. 

Retirement used to be a time in life that almost every working person looked forward to. Company pensions were a great savings tool until they were cancelled or moved to dual contributing 401(k) accounts. Workers are now mostly on their own with company provided retirement plans, since many U.S. businesses dropped out of their “matching” funds part. Add stagnant wages to mix, and it is crystal clear why so many recent studies are finding many people cannot save much, if anything at all for emergencies or retirement. 

USM Studios Inc. feels there are some ways to put some money aside for emergencies and for retirement. 

Deposit the savings listed on grocery and other receipts in an interest bearing savings account. 
Stash an extra $20 to $50 a month into savings accounts, IRAs or retirement accounts. 
Ask a trusted friend or relative to help adjust retirement plan stock options and bonds to yield the most from them.
Consider working as a consultant, contractor or on a part-time or freelance basis after retirement. It not only adds some extra income to the household budget, but keeps one busy, their mind active and provides social contact. 

Every little bit saved is a little bit more to count on when the time comes to retire and take it easy. We are not meant to work until the end of our lives. Try to avoid it.

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USM Studios on How to Make Investing Retirement Funds Easy
When it comes to investing in various stocks or funds, there are some pretty simple ways to manage retirement savings over the long haul, which USM Studios explains.
The first step might be to review retirement investing plans. Is your money being managed correctly?  Do you have too many stock choices and not enough mutual funds? Many plans come with robo-advisors which automatically re-allocate funds into better yielding accounts.
Simplify your options. Choose three mutual funds which and one stock option plan instead of having more than three or four for fund allocation.
Invest in a target-date fund. These allow you to go from three to one fund. One single fund can hold the place in a few mutual funds and one stock fund. All you do is invest in the target-date one and it does the rest for you.
USM Studios, Inc. suggests direct deposit from payroll to any savings account. You never see it so you can’t spend it. It automatically goes in on payday and starts earning for you. Choose the 401(k) plan at work and any other investment account through human resources or whoever manages payroll.
Many Americans are behind in saving for retirement. Get caught up with these simple to follow suggestions or ask someone you trust for solid investment advice.  Always keep an eye on how well your options are working for you. Make changes if needed. It’s your future.

USM Studios pressroom |

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USM Studios on the Most Ethical Companies in the World

A respected independent research center ranks the most ethical companies in the world and the USM Studios notes that more than 30 U.S. companies ranked first. 

Every year since 2007, the Ethisphere Institute promotes best practices in corporate ethics and governance by ranking hundreds of companies around the world based on criteria such as ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%). 

For the last seven years, the Kellogg’s company was ranked first in its category of Food and Beverage.  PepsiCo came in second and The Hershey Company came in third. The renowned research company breaks down the rankings in quite a few other categories such as apparel (Gap, Inc), computer hardware (Dell), computer software (Adobe), consumer products (Colgate-Palmolive Company), energy and utilities-natural gas (National Grid) and more. Full list at the jump.

USM Studios Inc. also notes that the U.S. ranked first in financial services, forestry, paper and packaging, health care and hospitals. But it did not rank at all in government services, energy and utilities-water, and national banks. Take a few minutes to review the whole list. It’s quite interesting. 

Read more news in the USM Studios Inc newsroom |

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USM Studios Inc Lists the Top Ten U.S. Cities that Work the Hardest
WalletHub recently published their report on the hardest working cities in the United States. USM Studios reports on the findings. Did your city make the top ten?
The report used seven metrics to determine where the hardest working people live:
labor force participation rate
average weekly work hours
number of workers with multiple jobs
Commute time
Volunteer hours per resident
Lack of sleep
Leisure time on an average day
Below are the top ten hardest working cities:
Anchorage, AK
Virginia Beach, VA
Plano, TX
Cheyenne, WY
Irving, TX
Jersey City, NJ (tied)
Garland, TX (tied)
San Francisco, CA
Denver, CO
Chesapeake, VA
USM Studios, Inc. also notes that March 6 is Employee Appreciation Day. In its honor, we are grateful for the very hard-working people in our office who spend countless hours making sure the job gets done, and providing the public with award-winning video content every day of the year. Now get back to work.
Read more news in the USM Studios Inc press room |

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USM Studios Reviews Outsourcing Trends

There is a growing workforce in the United States where the employees can come and go in a neat timeframe. USM Studios reviews the latest in outsourcing trends. 

Temp workers are largely contracted employees who are set to a specific time period of work. While many think of the temp worker as the file clerk in the backroom, more of these specialized employees come from technical and financial backgrounds. IT personnel are highly trained and many are certified to secure corporate severs and perform detailed network operations. Temporary financial employees are hired as auditors, tax preparers and accountants. Business consultants are also outsourced staff. Producers, writer and ad sales employees can also be contracted.

Many large companies are using outsourced and temporary workers as a way to reduce overhead and cut back on “loaded” headcounts. Full-time staff is usually offered health, dental and retirement benefits, which are included in most corporate terminology as “loaded”. USM Studios, Inc. notes that temp work is rising in the employment sector. As the recession ended, this industry saw hiring pick up to where it is today – a strong contender for both employer and job seeker. 

Read more news in the USM Studios press room |
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