The in-person lunch returns

Here are three of the week’s top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

The in-person work lunch returns

The business lunch is back with a vengeance, said Ray A. Smith in The Wall Street Journal. With office occupancy rates during the workweek back above 50% for the first time since the pandemic, “lunch reservations on weekdays in some big cities” have risen by double-digit percentages this year compared with 2022, according to data from OpenTable. Along with dinners and other networking events that have also bounced back in 2023, business meals have “become one of the most ‘on’ stretches of an employee’s day.” Getting reacquainted with business-lunch etiquette can be “a delicate dance” for young professionals or those accustomed to working from home. “Skip the hors d’oeuvres at cocktail parties,” executive coach Alisa Cohn advised, because they “always seem to involve garlic.”

Skyrocketing auto insurance prices

Car prices may have eased, but now drivers need to contend with the soaring cost of insurance, said Pete Grieve in According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “car insurance premiums rose by an average of 16.9% from June 2022 to June 2023,” the most of any expenditure tracked by the agency. “From May to June alone, rates rose by an average of 1.7%, which suggests the rise in premiums is accelerating” despite decreases in overall inflation. The reason, experts say, is that insurance companies are facing higher costs “in a variety of areas — including auto repairs, medical care and car replacements —” and are passing those costs along to policyholders. Searching for relief, more than one-fifth (22%) of customers switched their auto insurance provider in the past year.

Too much salary transparency?

It’s probably not wise to post your salary history on LinkedIn, said Orianna Rosa Royle in Fortune. Startup founder Charlotte Chaze went viral on social media recently for sharing that she had “posted the salaries of all of her previous jobs,” from $28,000 as a research assistant to $158,000 as a senior analytics manager for AT&T, on her LinkedIn profile. The 32-year-old says she was doing “her part to make salary transparency happen.” But job experts said this idea could backfire. Hiring managers will “form their job offer based on your current salary,” and you can “lose your ability to negotiate” when you’ve put all your cards on the table. Publishing your salary while you’re currently employed also “won’t land well” with your employer.

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