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Consumer Confidential: More years of work, more service jobs, less-noisy chips

October 5, 2010 | 10:22 am

Here's your tickle-me Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Feel like you'll end up working forever? You're not alone. A new survey from consulting firm Towers Watson says about 40% of U.S. workers plan to delay their retirement because they're worried about outliving their savings. The main reason for that anxiety is ever-rising healthcare costs. Most workers who plan to defer calling it a day, work-wise, say they'll likely put in an extra three years on the job. See you there.

-- Or maybe we'll all end up working at Mickey D's. The latest stats show that the service sector is growing at a faster pace than economists had expected (a good thing) but not as much as hoped to hasten economic recovery (a bad thing). The jump in the Institute for Supply Management's service index indicates that service-related jobs such as restaurants, healthcare and retail are growing as consumers gradually boost spending. Non-manufacturing jobs account for about two-thirds of the U.S. economy. But we'll need to see more robust spending sprees before service-sector jobs really take off.

-- Frito-Lay wants to quiet things down with its popular SunChips. Apparently the biodegradable bags used for the snack line are just too darn noisy for consumers' tastes, so Frito-Lay will switch to the less eco-friendly plastic bags used for other chips for five of its six SunChips flavors. Only the original flavor will come in recyclable bags. I think we can all agree that saving the Earth places a distant second to less-noisy junk-food packaging.

-- David Lazarus