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Consumer Confidential: Dull jobs, cheap fares, pricey software

Here's your tip-top Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Stop the presses: Most Americans don't like their jobs. A new survey from the Conference Board finds that job satisfaction has hit a 22-year low, with only 45% of workers saying they like their jobs, down from 49% in 2008. One reason so many of us are cheesed is because wages haven't been keeping up with inflation, meaning that we're working harder for less do-re-mi. Another is that our jobs are, well, not so interesting. On the upside, though, at least many of us are working. Could be a whole lot worse.

-- On Monday, I noted that most major airlines have jacked up their round-trip fares. Not Jet Blue. The budget carrier says it's running a New Year's sale, with flights to 55 destinations costing as little as $39. But, as the saying goes, restrictions apply. You have to buy your ticket by midnight, Jan. 13, and in most cases you have to travel no later than March 24. You might also be stuck traveling in the middle of the week. But for $39, you're going to complain?

-- Our friends at Microsoft say they'll sell four versions of the latest Office software package, ranging in price from $99 to a hefty $499. I say: Enjoy it while you can, boys. Google and others are rolling out online versions of pretty much everything you sell, and they're giving it away for free.

-- David Lazarus

 
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