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A Week's Worth

S-l-o-w recovery: The economy added 146,000 jobs last month - fewer than economists expected but enough to keep George Bush from becoming the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs during his watch. From January 2001 to January 2005, the United States gained 119,000 jobs.

Calling security: A study says Uncle Sam will hire more investigators, airport screeners, and other security personnel - 37,515 in all - than any other type of worker in the next two years.

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High tech? The average technology worker earned $67,800 last year - $3,100 less than in 2003, says online job recruiter Dice. That drop is the largest in three years of pay declines in a row. While government and defense salaries rose in 2004, personal-computer technicians saw pay fall 10.4 percent.

Chasing wealth: A Citigroup survey found that people with a net worth of at least $25 million sometimes chase short-term performance or try to time the market. Surprisingly few allocate their money among asset classes to minimize risk.

Ethical investing: The first exchange-traded fund for socially responsible investors has been launched. iShares KLD Select Social Index Fund focuses on large-cap companies with positive social and environmental policies.

Healthcare holes: Medical bills or health issues cause half of personal bankruptcies - and three-quarters of those who filed were insured when they first fell ill. A study in the journal Health Affairs found that the financial risk of illness has grown because of rising healthcare costs, skimpier policies, and the termination of coverage when sick workers lose their jobs.

It's the economy, Cupid! The average American will spend $97 this Valentine's Day, the National Retail Federation says. That's $2 less than last year but still totals $13 billion - everything from cards to dining out.


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