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A week's worth

• Wow! It looks as though that long promised economic rebound is finally, seriously, under way. You'd have to go back to the go-go Reagan years - 1984 to be exact - to find the United States growing so strongly. Even economists (not known as a demonstrative lot) were wowed by the 7.2 percent annual rate of growth notched in third-quarter gross domestic product. A key finding from the GDP report: After a long lull, business is finally beginning to invest in new technology and other capital. Consumer spending is also on the rise and, according to a University of Michigan survey, so is consumer sentiment. Even home ownership hit a new record in the third quarter: 68.4 percent of households. Now, can all that activity generate new jobs? Stay tuned. The Labor Department releases key employment data on Friday.

• It's not who you know: It's where you live that determines how well your job pays. So says a new survey by Mercer Human Resources. Bottom line: you get better pay in the Northeast and California. Base pay for an executive secretary in San Francisco averages $52,600; in Indianapolis, only $39,800. The worst place for pay: the South.

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• Better late than jamais: French President Jacques Chirac last week called for equality for women in the workplace but admits it will take "a profound change in thinking."

• Food for thought: The average lunch hour has shrunk to 42 minutes, according to a survey of 150 executives commissioned by OfficeTeam, a staffing service.


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