Money in a Minute: Headlines For Feb. 4, 2011

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In today's roundup: The unemployment rate falls, Money buys happiness, Super Bowl commercials, Ford recall, Google jobs, rising prices, and mooching Wi-Fi.

JOBS: Unemployment rate falls to 9 percent

Only 36,000 jobs were created in January: much less than the 140,000 analysts had expected. But the unemployment rate ratcheted down from 9.4 to 9 percent – analysts had expected it to climb to 9.5 percent.

ADVERTISING: Super Bowl ad: Is $3 million worth it?

Will it really be worth paying $100,000 a second for a Super Bowl ad this Sunday? Of course, reports CNN. Especially when “close to 50 percent of viewers tune in to actually watch the commercials – more than they watch the game.”

CARS: Ford recalls 363,000 F-150 trucks

New year, new recalls. But not Toyota this time. “Ford Motor Co. is recalling nearly 363,000 F-150 pickup trucks in North America because of a potential problem with the door handles not working properly,” MSNBC says. Doesn’t sound serious? Well, in a crash, it is – because the door can fly open. So far, no injuries have been reported.

JOBS: Google gets record 75,000 job applications in one week for 6,000 openings

It seems everyone in the world wants to work for Google. As it goes on a hiring spree, the biggest Internet search company has been deluged with 75,000 applications – and the company only has 24,400 employees. “The company is stepping up hiring as it pushes deeper into mobile services, display advertising and Internet applications,” reports Bloomberg.

ECONOMY: Prices starting to creep higher

About the only bright side to the recession is evaporating: The near-zero inflation rate of the past few years may soon be a memory. Prices are rising slightly, and economists expect a steady climb as the recovery gains steam,” USA Today says. “The uptick is largely driven by surging food, energy, cotton and other global commodity prices.”

TECH: Survey: 32 percent admit mooching neighbor’s Wi-Fi

We here at Money Talk News encourage you to save your pennies wherever you can, but not like this: “Some 32 percent of respondents to a recent national survey admitted borrowing a neighbor’s unencrypted Wi-Fi connection,” USA Today reports. “That’s nearly double the 18% who said they borrowed Wi-Fi in a 2008 poll.”

LIFE: Yes, Money Does Buy Happiness

Turns out the old expression about money not being able to buy happiness is wrong after all: “After poring over data from 140 countries, researchers from The Wharton School concluded that the more money you have, the more satisfied you are with life.”

Stacy Johnson

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