Why this recession was worse than the 2001-2002 recession and more

This week’s Debt Report

Jobs: quantity over quality

If you lost your job in the recession and landed in the recent recovery, chances are you’re earning a lot less.

“That’s the conclusion of a new analysis from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which announced Monday, “jobs gained during the economic recovery from the Great Recession pay an average 23 percent less than the jobs lost during the recession.”

Those mayors also looked back to the 2001-2002 recession and found the wage gap then was only 12 percent during that recovery — “meaning the wage gap has nearly doubled from one recession to the next.”

Cars: Is this the best time to buy?

“Conventional wisdom used to be that December was prime time for new car and truck buyers,” reports auto site TrueCar. Why? Theoretically, car dealers were desperate to clear inventory for the new year.

As with many common assumptions, they don’t survive the research. Turns out this month is the cheapest of the year.

“August new car prices are on average $1,850 lower than December,” TrueCar says. “The average August savings are $716 less than the median price for the rest of the year.”

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Travel: Don’t labor over savings

Travelocity and Expedia are competitors, so if they agree on something, you should probably listen. Both agree on this: If you’re vacationing this Labor Day weekend, save money by traveling when others don’t and heading to places others aren’t.

Both sites say the most popular (and most expensive) day for flying will be the Friday before Labor Day. “Deal-hungry travelers should consider departing on Saturday, Aug. 30,” Travelocity advises. “Combined with a return trip on Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, travelers can save nearly 15 percent versus a traditional Friday departure and Monday return.”

Where to go for cheap fun? Not Vegas. That’s the top destination this Labor Day. Hipsters should had to Austin, whose average room night prices are down 8 percent from this time last year, Expedia says.

If you have kids, try the theme parks of Orlando, Travelocity says. “Many schools are already back in session by the time the Labor Day holiday arrives, making popular destinations like Orlando an ideal place to beat the crowds.”

Benefits: Candidates not much for negotiating

More job candidates would be willing to accept a smaller salary than less vacation time or healthcare benefits, according to a Monster.com survey of 1,100 job seekers.

While 20 percent would be grudgingly OK negotiating on salary, only 16 percent “would accept reduced vacation or personal time,” and only 13 percent “would compromise on healthcare benefits.”

Makes sense. What good is a little more money if you don’t have the time to spend it, or health to enjoy it?

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