For these Americans, the recession is already here
Wall Street bankers, investors and economists have for months waffled over whether a US recession is coming. But for some Americans, the unforgiving economic pain typical during recession has already set in.
Al Brown and his fiancée faced a tough call in May when reviewing their weekly budget: What’s a higher priority, more food or dish soap?
Based in Concord, North Carolina, Brown was the main breadwinner for his fiancée and their two children. Then in April, he was let go from his job as a global director of business development at software company Cascade.
He’s since quit his gym membership and sold miscellaneous items around his home, including a computer and yard furniture, to make ends meet. His 13-year-old son quit the basketball team.
Brown, 37, now spends his days scouring the internet for jobs or reaching out to potential connections. After filing over 600 applications, only a handful have produced interviews, he says. That’s a far cry from the labor-market strength depicted in government figures.
37 歲的布朗現在每天都在互聯網上尋找工作或接觸潛在的人脈。他說，在提交了 600 多份求職申請后，只收到了一小部分的面試機會。這與美國政府公布的數據中顯示的美國勞動力市場表現相差甚遠。
Investors and economists have been expecting a recession since last year as the Fed raised interest rates to tame inflation. That triggered companies to focus on profitability over growth, which meant cutting spending and reducing their workforces.
Tens of thousands of layoffs have resulted since. Some of those laid-off workers have been able to land on their feet. Others haven’t been as lucky.
Nina McCollum, 54, was laid off from her writing gig at jobs site Glassdoor back in March. She hasn’t found a new role since, despite applying to hundreds of jobs.
今年3月，在招聘網站 Glassdoor 從事寫作工作的54 歲的尼娜·麥科勒姆于被解雇。自那以后，盡管她申請了數百份工作，但仍沒有找到新的職位。
She’s been living off her savings, selling her blood plasma and frequenting food pantries just to get by — all while taking care of a teenage son. Her domestic partner helps out, but he can’t make up for her lost income.
“I think it’s unlikely that I will get another good paying job with great benefits like the one I had,” McCollum, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio, said.
More Americans are likely to enter this predicament, some experts predict.
As we go through 2023, “and into next year, there is still going to be this focus on trying to reduce costs, and it is going to result in more unemployment,” said Thomas Simons, a senior economist at Jefferies.
The impact of layoffs, currently concentrated among white-collar workers, will reverberate throughout the economy through a “big pullback in overall spending,” Simons said. Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of economic output, so if more Americans are forced to cut back because they were laid off, that might throw the US economy into a recession.