Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The 15 Highest-Paying Companies in America

The 15 Highest-Paying Companies in America

March 18, 2014 by Douglas A.
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Source: Thinkstock
Median income for Americans was $34,750 in 2012. At some companies, however, the median is more than five times the national number. Based on figures provided by Glassdoor, 24/7 Wall St. examined the highest-paying companies in America.
 The companies that pay their employees the most fall primarily into two industries: management consulting firms and tech companies. These companies employ graduates of elite schools who have skills that are in high demand and have high salary expectations to match.

Consultancies can afford to pay high salaries. Generally, they are high-margin businesses, relying on a relatively small workforce to generate revenues. McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group, two consultancies that pay big salaries, continue to draw interest from business school students as they compete with some of the nation’s largest public companies to recruit top performers. According to Forbes, 2013 revenue at McKinsey & Co. was $7.8 billion, generated by only 17,000 employees. 

For tech companies, maintaining the talent pool requires paying very high salaries to bring in software developers and engineers. According to a study by Glassdoor published last year, the six companies that paid engineers the most included Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Google, Twitter and Apple — all of which were among the top 15 highest-paying companies overall.

Many of the highest-paying companies in America are also listed in Glassdoor’s 2014 Best Places to Work. Most notably, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google are all among the top 15 paying companies, as well as among the top 10 places to work based on employee reviews. Apple, Salesforce.com, Chevron, Riverbed Technology and eBay are also among the 30 best-paying companies and the top 50 places to work.

Many of the companies paying the highest salaries are headquartered in some of the wealthiest metro areas in the country. Boston, the fifth-wealthiest metro area by median income, is home to Boston Consulting Group. San Francisco, the nation’s fourth-wealthiest such area, is home to four of the top payers, including both design and engineering software-maker Autodesk and social networking company Twitter.

But no metro area is home to more top-paying companies than the San Jose area, where Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo! and Juniper Networks are all headquartered. San Jose topped the nation with a median household income of $79,841 in 2012.

To identify the companies paying employees the most, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from Glassdoor on median annual salaries by company, as well as job reviews and average salaries for specific positions. We also examined Glassdoor’s 2014 study on the Best Places to Work. In addition, we reviewed 2012 median salaries by occupation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

These are the 15 highest-paying companies in America.
 

Milk Prices Reach All-Time High

March 18, 2014 by Paul Ausick
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Source: Thinkstock
The price of milk rose to an all-time high in Chicago on Monday. At $24.32 per hundredweight, the price of milk is up 35% since early December. And the increases are almost entirely due to increased demand from foreign buyers.
 In 2013, U.S. milk production totaled 201 billion pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), up 0.3% over 2012 production. The number of milk cows declined 0.1%, however, to 9.22 million, and the average production per cow rose 102 pounds to 21,822 pounds. Average annual production per cow is up 15.1% since 2004, according to the USDA.
At the same time that production is rising slightly, export demand is soaring. The U.S. Dairy Export Council reports that exports of milk powder, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose rose 19% year-over-year in January 2013, and that the total value of those exports rose 35% to $583.7 million. Some 14.5% of all U.S. milk production was exported in January, up from 12.3% in January 2013.
At least part of the explanation for the rise in exports is the lower demand for milk in the United States.

A USDA study from May of last year showed that in the 30-year period between 1977-78 and 2007-08, the portion of preadolescent children who did not drink any fluid milk on any given day doubled, from 12% to 24%, while the percentage that drank milk at least three times a day fell from 31% to 18%. Dairy farmers have had to turn to exports to make up the difference.
Perhaps even more responsible for the rise in milk prices has been the improving global economy, especially in emerging markets. As people get relatively richer, once-expensive foods like beef, pork and milk become more affordable. According to the USDA, beef exports rose 5% in January, and the forecast for 2014 calls for total beef exports of 2.435 billion pounds. Pork exports rose 4.5% in January, helped along by Americans who are substituting pork for higher priced beef, which has the effect of raising pork prices as well.

Lower production in the United States has a few obvious causes. California, the country’s largest milk producer, has suffered from drought, forcing dairy farmers to import hay from outside the state and driving up costs. Herds were also culled a few years ago when corn prices skyrocketed. The number of cows peaked at 9.32 million in 2008 and dropped to 9.12 million in 2010 before rising again to 9.22 million last year.

From mid-2010 through the first few months of 2013, the rise in exports was more or less steady at around 140,000 metric tons per month. Then exports spiked to near 190,000 metric tons per month, before falling back somewhat to around 163,000 metric tons. Prices have moved commensurately.
U.S. consumers are already paying more for milk and other dairy products. In February, dairy prices rose 5.1% month-over-month and 27% year-over-year according to the USDA.
Supermarket prices for milk could soon be $1 a gallon higher than they were a year ago, but some analysts suggest that prices will start to fall soon. After all, when prices reach an all-time high, it is hard to predict that they will continue to climb indefinitely.