All the nations and everybody are feeling the heat of the Global Economic Recession, which has hit one and all. The most prominent and much detested repercussions have been the loss of jobs. Salary cuts and pink slips have taken their toll on everybody. The Pink Slip Epidemic seems to have struck companies worldwide. Only the common man is not complaining; the heads of various firms have also cut down their salaries or are planning to do so in the near future.
The year old recession, which started as an aftermath of the Sub Prime crisis, an issue where the banks lost money to customers unworthy of credit, has left people losing their jobs for no fault of theirs. When the Lehman Brothers declared its bankruptcy on a gloomy Sunday, and the subsequent turmoil in the Stock Markets, U.S. employers axed 533,000 jobs from payrolls in November, the maximum in 34 years.
The US Labor Department declared in the last month that the unemployment rate hit 6.7 percent last month, the highest since 1993, which adds up to 10.3 million Americans out of work, 2 million more than the population of New York City. Economists are predicting the unemployment rate to hit at 8 percent soon. “You can’t get much uglier than this. The economy has just collapsed, and has gone into a free fall,” said Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research in New York.
The recession, which sparked off after the collapse of the U.S. housing market, has incinerated a global crisis which has not only hampered economic growth, but has also been responsible for destruction of some of the oldest names in banking, creating panic among the investors and unleashing a wave of fear among the masses.
The business conditions have become difficult and corporate layoffs are the easiest way to handle the situation. In the current scenario, nobody is secure. One doesn’t know when they will be handed over a pink slip when they walk into the office. Next month’s salary as the consoling factor doesn’t seem to justify the loss. Employees with their jobs still in hand, are also working under a constant fear. Working overtime, canceling their holidays, agreeing to the pay cuts, the employees are doing everything possible to retain their jobs.
Burden has also fallen on the shoulders of President- elect Barack Obama who takes office on 20th January 2009, said the downturn demanded action to create new jobs, which economists say means a spending and tax plan of $500 billion to $700 billion. The U.S. government has pledged $700 billion of taxpayer money to shore up the financial sector. Obama also quoted, “There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.”
After the burst of the dot-com and housing bubbles, companies are trimming down operations in other non essential operations such as human resources, communication and marketing. The downswing of the financial sector started from the failure of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, and it is spreading to other industries as well. The housing industry had fallen due to the Sub Prime crisis, but technology and consumer brands are also no longer immune to layoffs.
The mental trauma that people are going through at this point of time is unimaginable. Some have to pay their EMIs or car and home loans, bear the responsibility of their families, have got just married or their marriage is on cards, whatever the case may be, with numerous problems troubling them, they are all leaving the companies with tears in their eyes, anger and frustration in their thoughts and depression in their minds.
In the current scenario when the businesses are struggling to survive and things look nebulous, a major task has also fallen on the people working at senior positions. They are the ones who can encourage their employees to perform well, without any fear. They can inculcate in their subordinates a sense of security, so that they can perform to the best of their capabilities. For the people who have lost their jobs, a change can be a blessing or a curse; it all depends on one’s perception. Changes always occur in life and especially at a time when we least want them. In such cases, don’t be afraid of anything. Just let go of the old, feel positive and soon, the rainbow will shine to colour up your lives.
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