Sara Clemence

If you care about this issue, you’ve probably heard that the US Senate voted 60-40 to keep emergency unemployment benefits going. Long story short: Good for jobless peeps, bad for the deficit.

Millions of people stopped getting checks in June when the program expired in June. According to the Washington Post: 8.7 million people were receiving jobless benefits at the end of June. A little more than half received state benefits, which are typically available for 26 weeks. The rest were receiving extended benefits financed by the federal government, which are due to run out soon unless the bill before the Senate passes. The Labor Department estimates that 2.5 million people had been cut off by the end of last week.

The House is expected to okay the bill this week…

Start-up activity, which got a boost from the recession as millions of people looked for new work opportunities or rethought their careers, is on the slide. According to a new survey by executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, 3.7 percent of job seekers were looking to start something up in the first half of 2010. That’s a big drop from the 7.6 percent in the first half of 2009. That’s a low point since 1986, when the company began tracking this stuff.

What gives? It could be that more people are getting jobs and…

Going to the movies was once a simple, inexpensive pleasure. Now a flick for two runs $25 in New York—and that’s before the popcorn. So we jumped on this deal when we spotted it yesterday: $4 for a ticket to any AMC, Loews, Cineplex Odeon, Magic Johnson, or Star theater. The catches are, you have to pay up front, you can only get one (I’m making my fiance buy his own)…

Talk about bang for your buck. This Saturday, July 17, you can hear live professional music and hunt for bargains for free. The One World Symphony will hold its Super Summer Rummage Sale in Brooklyn Heights—complete with live jazz, cabaret and classical music, led by Artistic Director and Conductor Sung Jin Hong. The wares include two-piece suits, tuxes, dresses, gowns, scores and CDs…

What’s good about getting laid off? Helping kids with cystic fibrosis. Starting a coffee roasting business. Teaching yoga. Becoming a painter. Lemonade is a beautifully shot 40-minute documentary about a group of people who used to work at an advertising agency, and the opportunities they created for themselves. It’s so appealing, we won’t even point out that our Lemonade Makers came first.

Oops. Just did.

I just bought $200 worth of meals at great New York restaurants for $16.50. Seriously.

The website Restaurant.com offers discounted gift certificates at establishments around the country–usually $10 for a $25 credit. Now, it is offering an additional 80% off with the code “FUN.” That means meals for just a few bucks…

We may not have yards in Manhatttan, but we do have sales–stoop sales. I stopped by one in my neighborhood recently, where cute women’s clothes were hung on racks and laid out on blankets. Not one item had a price on it, but heck–it was a yard stoop sale! So I picked up several things, then asked the price of a sundress. Then, I put everything back–starting with the $40 used dress–and went on my way.

There are lots of ways to unload your unwanted stuff–we covered a bunch of them here–and that’s a good thing in these still-tough times. But there are just as many ways to botch a sale, resulting in wasted time and dollars lost. Our friend Bargain Babe has some useful tips for making more money from your yard (or stoop) sale…

Two major companies announced major changes today. San Francisco bank Wells Fargo is eliminating 3,800 jobs as part of a “restructuring”–a small number compared to the 278,000 who work for the company, but big for the people who will lose jobs. More than 638 independent consumer finance offices will be closed.

Meanwhile, pharma firm Merck is closing eight plans and eight research sites, including two outposts in the US. It’s canning a whopping 16,000…

Way back in 2009, we noted that Americans were–finally–learning to use credit wisely, and were paying off their balances on time.

Well, guess what, USA? You’re continuing to kick credit card butt. According to the American Bankers Association, late payments for bank-issued credit cards hit an eight-year low in the first quarter of this year.Just 3.8 percent of accounts were 30 days past due.

That could mean that more people are employed or…

From a Sunday New York Times story on how the economic recovery has slowed down in the U.S.:

“We may have seen the best of employment for some time,” said Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Northern Trust. “In general the economy is downshifting, maybe to stall speed, or just above stall.”

Ugh.