Biz Bits: Plumbing the depths of a top 50 in-demand job

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

Looking for a secure, well-paying job? Plumbing is among the top 50 occupations for job stability, median wage and anticipated demand, according to, a Web site jointly maintained by the departments of Labor and Education.

The demand for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters is expected to increase 10 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Much of this demand will stem from new housing construction and building renovation. The rise in popularity of green technologies like radiant floor heating, solar hydronics, condensing and modulating boilers, and tankless hot water systems is also expected to increase demand for plumbers.

In addition, many people currently working in these trades are expected to retire during the next 10 years, creating more openings for plumbers. The Career Voyages Web site also notes that from now until 2016, there will be a demand for more than 150,000 new plumbers.

BBB Watch

Identity theft claimed 10 million victims in 2008, a 22 percent increase over 2007, according to a report from Javelin Strategy and Research. Better Business Bureau warns that the holiday season provides many new opportunities for identity thieves to ply their trade and offers the following advice on how to keep your identity safe and secure online. “Identity theft can happen to you whether you’re shopping online or shopping at the mall, making it critical that we all take specific steps to fight both low and high-tech ID thieves,” said Alison Southwick, a BBB spokeswoman. “Having your credit card numbers stolen or your computer maliciously hacked will put a damper on anyone’s holiday cheer.” BBB recommends taking the following steps to fight identity theft this holiday season:

- Confirm the legitimacy of all “trust marks.” You can confirm that certification from organizations such as BBB, Versign or TRUSTe is legitimate by clicking on the seal. A legitimate seal will direct you to the certifying organization’s Web site.

- Make online purchases with a credit card. If the credit card number lands in the hands of ID thieves, remember your Fair Credit Billing Act protection, which allows you to dispute the charges with your credit card company.

- Only pay on a secured site. Always look in the address box for the “s” in https:// and in the lower-right corner for the “lock” symbol before paying. If there are any doubts about a site when using Internet Explorer, BBB recommends right-clicking anywhere on the page to select “Properties.” This will let you see the real URL (Web site address) and the dialog box will reveal if the site is not encrypted. If using Firefox, click on Tools in the menu bar, then Page Info.

For more advice on keeping your identity safe over the holidays, visit

The List

The Webby awards - - recently listed its 10 most influential Internet moments of the decade. Here they are:

- Craigslist expands outside San Francisco (2000)

- Google AdWords launches (2000)

- Wikipedia launches (2001)

- Napster Shut Down (2001)

- Google IPO (2004)

- Online video revolution (2006)

- Facebook opens to non-college students and Twitter takes off (2006)

- The iPhone debuts (2007)

- U.S. presidential campaign (2008)

- Iranian election protests (2009)

Number to Know

3.2: Percent that consumer holiday spending will drop this year from 2008, according to the National Retail Federation.

Tech Talk

Want to give the hottest new e-book reader as a gift this year? You’re too late. Barnes & Noble’s Nook is already sold out, and the company won’t be able to deliver more until after the new year. If someone really wants the Nook, however, you can buy one and get a certificate from B&N saying the device is on its way.

GateHouse News Service