A ray of hope flashed across Twitter, amid the unrelenting, assaulting news on jobs, debt, housing, foreclosures and bankruptcies-from Jim Cramer's usually derisive TheStreet.com, of all places.

The tweet (http://ow.ly/7hGZ2 ) took readers to a slideshow on "10 Company Leaders Who Sparked Hiring."

Over the past year, a number of the largest companies in the U.S. have hired or plan to hire 140,000 full-time and another 140,000 seasonal employees.

Some of the numbers at individual companies are staggering. McDonald's brought on an additional 50,000 people this year, on top of 13,000 in 2010. Home Depot filled 60,000 seasonal jobs this past spring. Macys is seeking 78,000 seasonal employees, a 4% increase from last year. Benefiting from consumers' search for discounts, Wal-Mart has created 40,000 jobs since the start of the Great Recession. Facebook is counting on another 9,400 hires by 2017. Google has expanded its roster by 4,500 and plans on another 2,585 this year. Intel currently has 1,000 job postings and intends to hire another 3,000.

With loans to small businesses so scarce, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is waging his own banks-be-damned initiative with the Create Jobs for USA campaign, in conjunction with the community development Opportunity Finance Network.

On Nov. 1, Create Jobs kicked off an "Indivisible" drive. Starbucks is selling red, white and blue wristbands for a $5 contribution apiece and has obtained commitments from community groups to offer an additional $30 worth of loans for each bracelet sold. Starbucks projects that for every $3,000 in bracelets sold, the accompanying loans will help create one job.

"The more we stimulate demand and increase the purchasing power of middle class consumers, the faster we will recover," Schultz said, in announcing the program. "We hope this is a galvanizing moment as Americans come together to give community businesses access to the credit they need to hire, grow and contribute to creating thriving communities."

What are companies in the asset management industry doing to help stimulate business and employment? If you have success stories or initiatives to tell, we would like to hear from you.

We could all use the good news.


Feedback: Elizabeth.barney@sourcemedia.com

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