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Least- and most-stressful jobs of the year (Guess where PR, military general rank) Add to ...

These are stories Report on Business is following  Monday, April 1, 2013.

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Too much stress in your life?
I ran across this over the weekend, in a tweet from Forbes. In no way does it rank as today’s news, but given that little else does this morning, I’ll share it.

It’s CareerCast.com’s list of least- and most-stressful jobs for this year, which is based on a series of factors. It’s also tailored for Americans, so doesn’t completely translate. Here’s the list, and what the group says:

The least stressful
1. University professor: They teach students who generally want to be there, their performance isn’t ranked by standardized tests, and they can gain tenure. Median salary is $62,050 (U.S.). In comments to Forbes, professors disputed this.

2. Seamstress/tailor: They get to show their creative side, and most “work in a peaceful atmosphere, allowing them to focus on the task at hand without distraction.” Median salary, though, is $28,850.

3. Medical records technician: A “growing profession” in a “stable” industry, $32,350.

4. Jeweller: The top players in this group include “entrepreneurs with their own outlets, while most still have lucrative opportunities to buy and sell precious metals for a profit.” $35,170.

5. Medical lab technician: They “work in an environment conducive to productivity, largely free from distraction.” $46,680.

6. Audiologist: A growth industry with a “pleasant” work environment and “typically elderly” customers. $66,660 (I have no idea what’s with all the sixes).

7. Dietician: They “serve an increasingly vital role in American culture.” $53,250.

8. Hairstylist: They work with many different people in a job that “promotes creativity.” While pay is generally poor, “this is a career funded largely on gratuities, which can be very generous.” $22,500.

9. Librarian: “A peaceful atmosphere and unlimited access to literature.” The description doesn’t mention screaming school kids. $54,500.

10. Drill press operator. There’s actually “little danger,” and one can work at his or her own pace. $31,910.

The most stressful

1. Enlisted military: Little comment necessary, but even in peacetime, there are tough requirements and getting back to the private sector can be hard. $41,998.

2. Military general: (Well, yeah.) “The decisions generals make affect the lives of the soldiers who trust them most.” $196,300.

3. Firefighter. Also needs little comment, but worth noting it’s “one of the most dangerous career paths.” $45,250.

4. Commercial airline pilot: “The possibility of danger is very real,” and pilots spend a lot of time away. (Yeah, but it’s the flight attendants and service people who take the brunt of passenger anger.) $92,060.

5. Public relations executive: “Masters of damage control” who “need to be able to think and act quickly under stress.” (And learn to write press releases, many of which go directly into the Junk E-mail section of Outlook.) $57,550.

6. Senior corporate executive: Leading in today’s troubled outlook, they are “beholden to investors, board members, employees and the public.” (Many also earn millions of dollars, so, please, throw some of that stress my way.) $101,250.

7. Photojournalist: They’re often in “dangerous situations, and the option to flee is only a last resort.” $29,130.

8. Newspaper reporter: (Online columnist, not so much.) They’re in a troubled industry rife with layoffs, and are working longer hours while learning to juggle online news under tight deadlines. $36,000.

9. Taxi driver: Low pay, bad hours, “susceptible to robbery.” $22,440.

10. Police officer: Again, needs little comment, but I love this bit: “Breaking down doors not knowing what’s on the other definitely raises blood pressure levels.” $55,010.

Novartis loses case
India’s top court ruled today against Novartis in a landmark judgment that protects the ability of generic drug companies to sell low-cost versions of medicine to those in poorer countries, The Globe and Mail’s Stephanie Nolen reports from Delhi.

The case, which involved a cancer drug, has been winding its way through the courts for eight years, finally ending up in the Supreme Court when activist lawyers went to bat for a cancer patients’ group.

The Novartis drug costs about $2,200 (U.S.) a month, the generic version $170.

“This means millions of patients in developing countries can go to sleep tonight knowing their drugs are on the way from India, said one lawyer, though the company said it will hurt development of new drugs.

Counsel Corp. to trim
Counsel Corp. is backing away from its non-core businesses, The Globe and Mail's Bertrand Marotte reports.

The Toronto-based money manager will instead focus on its financial services operations, the key piece of which is residential mortgage lender Street Capital Financial Corp.

"Counsel's board of directors explored a number of alternatives and has concluded that our plan provides the best option to unlock shareholder value," said chief executive officer Allan Silber.

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