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Loose change

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002

BLAME IT ON THE BOSS: Most Americans applaud it, but few do it. In a United Way survey of 2,000 people, 97 percent of respondents say they consider volunteering important, but only about a third participated in the past year. Why? The most cited reason, by 37 percent, is that a demanding work schedule eats up their time.

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EAT YOUR VEGETABLES: With health officials and the public increasingly anxious about obesity and poor diet, PepsiCo is developing "better for you" snacks. Among its new products: Baked Lay's potato crisps with broccoli flecks. "We've also looked at carrots and tomatoes," says Rocco Papalia, Frito-Lay's research-and-development chief.

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MORE WORK, LESS SATISFIED: Among surveys that chart workers' malaise, a poll by the Conference Board shows less than half of workers are satisfied with their jobs, down from 59 percent seven years ago. The decline came across the board, but the biggest slump, from 60 to 47 percent, was among workers ages 35 to 44 who once scored highest on the organization's job satisfaction surveys. Researchers say several factors are to blame, but more work with less time to do it figures prominently.

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IT RECOVERY: Researchers at Gartner Dataquest say the sagging information technology sector should be on the way to recovery by next year. Worldwide IT spending will climb 3.4 percent to $2.3-trillion this year, and then 7 percent to $2.5-trillion in 2003, Gartner's estimates show.

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TEEN TALK: Wireless phones rank with pens and backpacks as back-to-school must-have items, according to a study by the Yankee Group that tracks the wireless industry. The study found that 34 percent of all teens own a wireless phone, and analysts say the sales trend is just starting to take off. Expect that figure to rise to 75 percent by 2006.

-- Compiled by Cathy Keim from Times wires.

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