Google gadgets, why Pride pays & summer of staycations: Business Week Wrap
An interesting week in financial news opened with a developer conference hosted by Google that showed what the technology giant has up its sleeve in its continuing attempts to move beyond being just a search engine on your desktop computer, and become an all-encompassing technological arm touching every aspect of your life.
The trend among the audience of more than 6,000 developers was a movement toward more wearable computing, and more details on other consumer products like the company's driverless cars and its Nest, the smartest thermostat on the market — for now.
The kids aren't all right
On the heels of an Ontario election campaign that was dominated by fuzzy math in jobs numbers, a think-tank made headlines this week with some eye-popping numbers of its own.
The Broadbent Institute says private industry and government need to do more to create jobs for young people, the only demographic group that hasn't recovered all the jobs lost in the recession.
Economist Rick Smith told Amanda Lang this week that "Canada's approach to youth unemployment at the moment is not working."
"In fact youth unemployment in our country right now is worse than it was pre-recession," he said.
Smith is calling on government and the private sector to each pitch $670 million into a fund that will give young workers a kickstart to their careers by creating 200,000 temporary gigs for 12 weeks.
Pride, not prejudice
With the world converging in Toronto for World Pride this week, the outgoing CEO of Toronto-Dominion Bank said encouraging diversity isn't just the right thing to do — it's also good for the long-term health of a business.
"The only way you can make people their best is to allow them to be their true selves," Ed Clark said, "and if you allow prejudices to get in to your institution you inhibit people from being everything they can be."
That's more than just tokenism. "We're not in here for the money," he said of the bank's Pride participation. "You have to start and say this is the right thing to do," he says, even going as far as encouraging customers and employees, in the past, of working with a different bank if they found the bank's policies not to their liking.
The bank's stellar record of shareholder returns over the last several decades is a strong argument in favour of the notion that Pride doesn't necessarily goeth before a fall in profits.
Staycations on the rise
And finally, some surprising results of a BMO-sponsored poll this week shows that Canadian have just as strong an appetite to travel as ever this summer — but we're staying closer to home.
The bank found that while Canadians plan on spending a little less this year on their summer vacation, eight out of 10 Canadians still say they plan on visiting some part of Canada this summer.
For those cutting back, finances were listed as the No. 1 reason, with more than a third of respondents said high gas prices were curbing their desire to give in to wanderlust.