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A Week's Worth

A nagging feeling that more federal interest rate hikes are on the way kept enough investors jittery that the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.4 percent last week, the second straight week that stocks fell.

For all the news reports about a shaky economy, especially in the automotive sector, the pace of layoffs announced by employers last month fell 15.5 percent from January's figures, according to outplacement specialist Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In fact, since Jan. 1, almost 10,000 fewer layoffs have been announced than for the same period a year ago. Even less downsizing may be ahead, it predicts, as companies ramp up spending on new equipment and technology.

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Considering a new location for your business? The state whose tax structure is easiest on entrepreneurs, an annual survey has found, is Wyoming. The Tax Foundation says states with the most business-friendly systems raise sufficient revenue without any of the three most common levies: sales, personal income, and corporate.

Few rituals in the working world are as hallowed as the staff meeting. Yet, a majority of respondents to a survey by GroupSystems, a Colorado software company, rate those meetings as one of the most inefficient uses of their time. Sixty-eight percent said what's discussed is rarely put to use in implementing their employer's mission. Those surveyed include people in military service, higher education, and at private firms.