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Here’s the Fastest Way to Increase Your Salary

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If performing better at work and mastering your negotiating skills hasn’t helped to increase your paycheck, you might want to consider leaving your job altogether. The Atlantic reports that, according to the ADP Research Institute, full-time workers who switched jobs received a 4.5 percent pay increase on average, a step up from the 3.9 percent average increase received by full-time employees who stayed put. In some parts of the country the boost is even more dramatic: Full-time workers in the midwest and northeast who changed jobs saw their wages grow by over 5 percent.

It turns out, company loyalty doesn’t always pay off in the end. Employees who stay with the same company for two years or longer can expect to earn 50 percent less on average over the course of their careers, Forbes reported in 2014.

But the instant benefits of hopping from job to job don’t seem to have the same impact on all factions of workers: Workers between the ages of 25 to 34 saw their wages increase more than workers aged 35 to 54. For employees 55 and older, the trend slowed down even more. This is likely due to the fact that workers who are just starting out acquire their skills at a much quicker pace, which leads to more frequent opportunities for job growth. People switching between part-time jobs also didn’t experience these same wage increases, which suggests they’d prefer to trade high hourly wages for more hours and benefits.

And while taking a newer, better job every year or two may sound like a smart way to steadily increase your income, keep in mind that this may be a turn-off to some employers. Companies are more open to hiring job-hoppers today than they used to be, but some will still see an excess of resume entries as a sign of disloyalty. And that lack of loyalty is a two-way street: When an employer is forced to make layoffs, newer employees are often the first to go.

Even if you don’t find yourself in a good place to switch jobs right now, the fact that more people are seeking higher wages elsewhere should be seen as good sign: As workers quit in higher rates, companies will be forced to raise the salaries of their existing employees. That’s good news for both you and the economy. 

[h/t The Atlantic]

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These Are the Top 25 U.S. Cities With the Lowest Cost of Living
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Coastal cities like New York and San Francisco bustle with excitement, but residents pay plenty of hard-earned cash to enjoy perks like Central Park and world-class museums—and to pay their sky-high rents. If you’d rather have a full bank account than a hipster ZIP code, consider setting down roots in America’s most affordable region: the Midwest.

Niche, a data analysis company, has ranked the 25 cities with the lowest cost of living across the United States—and the top 10 are all located in America’s heartland. Their selections were based on factors including access to affordable housing, food and fuel costs, and median tax rates, all of which were gleaned from U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Indiana was the most-represented state in the list’s top 10 section, with Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend nabbing the first three spots. The remaining cities were mid-sized metropolitan areas in Kansas, Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois, all of which offer urban conveniences at a fraction of the cost of their coastal counterparts. After that, other cities in the mix included municipalities in Texas, Michigan, Alabama, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Check out Niche's top 25 list below, and visit their website to view their methodology.

1. Fort Wayne, Indiana
2. Evansville, Indiana
3. South Bend, Indiana
4. Topeka, Kansas
5. Toledo, Ohio
6. Wichita, Kansas
7. Akron, Ohio
8. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Davenport, Iowa
10. Springfield, Illinois
11. Rochester, Minnesota
12. Dayton, Ohio
13. Springfield, Missouri
14. Wichita Falls, Texas
15. Kansas City, Kansas
16. Odessa, Texas
17. Cleveland, Ohio
18. Indianapolis, Indiana
19. Abilene, Texas
20. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
21. Montgomery, Alabama
22. Lansing, Michigan
23. Des Moines, Iowa
24. Brownsville, Texas
25. Warren, Michigan

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Switzerland Flushes $1.8 Million in Gold Down the Sewer Every Year
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Switzerland has some pretty valuable sewer systems. As Bloomberg reports, scientists have discovered around $1.8 million worth of gold in the country's wastewater, along with $1.7 million worth of silver.

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology examined sewage sludge and effluents, or discharged liquid waste, from 64 water treatment plants and major Swiss rivers. They did this to assess the concentrations of various trace elements, which are "increasingly widely used in the high-tech and medical sectors," the scientists explained in a press statement. "While the ultimate fate of the various elements has been little studied to date, a large proportion is known to enter wastewater."

The study, which was recently published online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed that around 94 pounds of gold makes its way through Switzerland's sewage system each year, along with 6600 pounds of silver and high concentrations of rare metals like gadolinium and niobium. For the most part, these metals don't harm the environment, researchers say.

With gold and silver quite literally flowing through their sewers, is there any way that Switzerland could turn their wastewater into wealth? Scientists are skeptical: "The recovery of metals from wastewater or sludge is scarcely worthwhile at present, either financially or in terms of the amounts which could be extracted," the release explains.

However, in the southern canton of Ticino, which is home to several gold refineries, the "concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile," they conclude.

Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, watches, and mountains, but it's also home to major gold refineries. On average, around 70 percent of the world's gold passes through Switzerland every year—and judging from the looks of it, much of it goes down the drain. As for the sewer silver, it's a byproduct of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, which is a cornerstone of Switzerland's economy.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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