–Research from the National Retail Federation shows that those who do their back-to-school shopping online spend 27 percent more than the average shopper. Online shopping can total as much as $874 versus the average of $688. Other figures: one-fourth of shoppers begin their shopping two months in advance; half start three weeks in advance; more parents are sending college students pre-paid gift cards (with an average of $71 available); and 30 percent of Americans say they have a child between the ages of three and 17, which is likely contributing to high enrollment numbers.
-About 1.7 million undocumented young immigrants can begin applying for temporary status here in the U.S. The move will affect people who were brought here as children. Eligible applicants are between the ages of 15 and 31; came here before the age of 16 and have lived here for five years (providing proof of residency); have finished high school, are in the process of doing so, or have served in the military; and have records that are free of serious crime. Legal status must be renewed every two years.
-If you get a raise in Atlanta or Boston, chances are you’re still broke. According to an Aon Hewitt survey, the average salaried worker got a 2.8 percent raise this year, which is barely above the inflation rate. Atlanta and Boston tied for the lowest projected raise for 2013: three percent. The best is Denver, which is projected to give 3.6 percent raises next year.
-Factory owners have been losing business to a company called Unicor, aka Federal Prison Industries, a part of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons that has been working with inmates since 1934 to prepare them for life on the outside. Unicor pays its employees between 23 cents and $1.15 an hour, doesn’t have to pay taxes and doesn’t have to provide healthcare. As a result, they win business, factories lose, and they end up having to make cuts. The government is stepping in to curtail Unicor’s ability to bid for business, but the company argues that they are doing a service to their inmate workers, who they claim are less likely to re-offend.
-This is going to be the most expensive year for gas in history. National averages are now $3.90 per gallon.