Starbucks to offer wireless charging; Who gets raises?

NEW YORK (AP) – Soon you may not have to fumble or fight for a power outlet to charge your phone at your neighborhood Starbucks.

Starbucks and Duracell say they are rolling out Powermat wireless charging devices in stores in San Francisco. The charging spots will expand into other major markets in 2015, and the companies plan to put the devices in all Starbucks and Teavana locations over time.

The companies say stores will have “Powermat Spots,” designated areas on tables and counters where customers can put their compatible smartphones and charge them wirelessly.

Most smart phones and devices on the market now are not compatible with the Powermat stations, although some with the built-in capability are starting to emerge, according to IHS, a market researcher. People can also buy Powermat accessories to charge devices that aren’t compatible, Starbucks noted.

Some Starbucks Corp. locations in Boston and San Jose already have Powermat devices.

Powermat formed a joint venture with Duracell in 2011. Duracell is a unit of Procter & Gamble Co.

Pay raises rare

NEW YORK (AP) – If you hope to get a raise that finally feels like one, it helps to work in the right industry.

Pay for all kinds of workers should be rising by this point in the economy’s recovery. But five years after the Great Recession officially ended, raises remain sharply uneven across industries and, as a whole, have barely kept up with prices. Overall pay has been rising about 2 percent a year, roughly equal to inflation.

The best raises have gone to workers with specialized skills in a few booming industries – energy, transportation, health care, technology. Those in retail or government have been less fortunate.

“If you’re in an in-demand field, with the right skill set, the chance of getting a raise is much higher,” says Katie Bardaro, an economist at PayScale.