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Buzz: Big gas prices, tinier paychecks and hoops

There was some encouraging news Friday showing that, once again, the economy created more than 200,000 jobs last month. That’s a sign that the jobs recovery continues to chug along, if slowly.Still, even if you are lucky enough to get a job these days, there’s a good chance you can’t command the kind of salary you might have before the Great Recession.A post this week showing that wages for

There was some encouraging news Friday showing that, once again, the economy created more than 200,000 jobs last month. That’s a sign that the jobs recovery continues to chug along, if slowly.

Still, even if you are lucky enough to get a job these days, there’s a good chance you can’t command the kind of salary you might have before the Great Recession.

A post this week showing that wages for young workers have actually been declining for more than a decade prompted a lot of discussion about who’s to blame. Contenders included President Obama and a host of other politicians, corporate America and lax parents.

Amid all the arguing, one reader perhaps unwittingly pointed out what may be the biggest reason wages have been pushed down – because so many people need a job that they are willing to take low wages just to be employed.

“I'd like a full-time, permanent job. $25,000 sounds wonderful,” the reader wrote.

Of course, that salary won’t be going quite as far if gas prices keep rising. Another post this week found that, on average, Americans will said they will have to start making significant life changes only if gas prices hit around $5.30.

More than half of our readers say they are already making significant changes in response to the recent spike in gas prices.

Again, many of you had lots of ideas about who’s to blame for higher gas prices: Politicians, speculators, big oil companies … can we blame lax parenting for this one, too?

Probably not. A few of you did have some simple solutions of the problem, though.

“Starting next week I'll be commuting via bicycle,” one reader wrote.

Time for a distraction from all these weighty topics: How about March Madness?

Bad news on that front. We also informed readers this week that there’s a good chance your IT department will try to thwart your March Madness viewing at work, for the sake of the network and those people who want to do actual work.

About one-third of you said you’d be checking scores occasionally during the annual college basketball showdown, and nearly 20 percent said you’d watch a bit of the tournament here and there while in the office.

Some readers won’t be counting on skirting the IT department at all in order to keep tabs on their brackets.

“I just take Thursday & Friday off so I can enjoy the games,” one reader wrote.