International news: boom time for e-commerce in blue-chip firms

Europe is seeing a “revenge of the giants” with the majority of blue-chip companies rapidly expanding e-commerce operations. A report by Andersen Consulting, eEurope 2000: Connecting the Dots, says, “Where once the dotcoms were ploughing a lonely furrow, now the overwhelming majority of blue-chip businesses have wholeheartedly embraced e-commerce.” The survey, based on responses from 600 senior European executives, found that 72 per cent of firms use e-commerce for sales and marketing, up from 53 per cent last year.

US productivity shows biggest rise since 1992

Manufacturing productivity in the US has increased by 6.4 per cent on the last quarter. Figures from the US Labor Department for the third quarter of this year also show productivity is up 7.5 per cent on the same period last year. This is the largest increase since productivity rose by 8.8 per cent in the first quarter of 1992.

Bad image puts French off catering industry

HR managers in France are finding it no less difficult than their UK counterparts to recruit chefs and waiting staff. The lack of applicants is blamed on the importance of work-life balance to younger employees, and the hotel and catering industry’s reputation for long hours and poor pay.

Retirement age scheme in prosperity report

The UK’s move to raise of the age of retirement for women is highlighted in an international report. The OECD report on how governments can maintain prosperity levels, despite an ageing population, sets out policies adopted by different countries, including the abolition of mandatory retirement ages in Japan.

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