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HAVE YOU BEGUN YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING YET?

While retailers may have posted disappointing results for the second quarter, they can look forward to brighter days ahead, says a ShopLocal.com survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults:

- 33 percent have crossed items off their holiday shopping lists, having bought gifts more than six months before the first eggnog is poured.

- An ambitious .01 percent have all their holiday shopping done.

- 18 percent have gotten a jump on their holiday gift giving by using the Internet to scout out information on big-ticket holiday gift items like laptop computers, jewelry, flat-screen televisions, digital picture frames and gaming systems Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

- For those who have made purchases, 13 percent have bought online, 49 percent have bought from "brick and mortar" retailers and 38 percent have bought from both.

We're not looking to get promoted

U.S. workers are more likely now to switch jobs or careers than at any time they have been in the past five years, though a large majority of workers are not interested in a promotion at their jobs, says Randstad USA's eighth annual World of Work survey of more than 3,000 workers and managers:

- 26 percent of employees, and 31 percent of their managers, are interested in a promotion.

- 54 percent of employees said they thought it was a good time to look for a new, better-paying job vs. the 34 percent who gave that answer in 2003.

Mental illness is a workplace concern

The No. 1 workplace health issue in terms of lost productivity, absenteeism and other indirect costs is mental illness, says a survey of more than 500 human resource and employee benefit managers by Employee Benefit News and the American Psychiatric Foundation's Partnership for Workplace Mental Health:

- 31 percent said mental illness had the biggest effect on the bottom line, with "back problems" coming in second, at 14 percent. No other health issue scored in double digits, though the managers also identified substance abuse, asthma/allergies and smoking as issues.

- Nine out of 10 said their company offers mental health benefits.

- Three-quarters said employees often do not seek treatment for mental illness because they don't think they have an illness or think they can solve their problems without help.

- Two-thirds said their companies provide no management training on mental health issues.

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