Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by UltraNEO*, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    Recently some of my friends were telling me how things had changed over the past couple of months,
    life for them has gotten harder and tighter. All thanks to the recession that recently hit Japan...
    Working hours for some of my friends shrunk, so did there salary... :(

    For me, I haven't really noticed it. Because I'm working freelance, my income is fairly stable.
    If anything it's been a good time for me, cause my investment grew and I managed to make a
    small profit without any lose. Most probably because I don't trade in stock.

    But how is it affecting you?
  2. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    Not well. The problem isn't only in Japan, of course. In the US, I'm seeing friends and family lose their jobs at an alarming rate. These are experienced, well educated "knowledge workers". My company had a 10% layoff that I managed to survive.

    I and my family have gotten very careful about how we spend money these days. Surviving one layoff doesn't mean I'll be as lucky the next time around and these are doing more than just shedding "dead weight"-- they're cutting productive employees.

    I'm glad to hear that Japan is choosing to cut hours and salary rather than reduce head count. That should work better for the country in the long run-- if more people are making less money rather than some people making no money, I would hope to see more resilient demand for goods and services.

    For me, I'd be more confident spending money if I knew risk I was facing was a 10% paycut. Every yen counts when you're worried about a 100% paycut...
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    i stopped getting shifts at a cafe so pretty much got laid off but it a subtle way. that and the Aussie dollar is shiat now so its really expensive to buy electronics in the US.
  4. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    So far not too worried, although one of my clients might be about to go into a difficult patch so a temporary fall in income is on the cards. I'm doing as much studying as possible to solidify my skillset in case an urgent search for more work becomes necessary, but in the meantime I've built up a cash cushion to fall back on should the worst happen.

    One thing's for sure, I really would not like to be facing this whilst heavily in debt. That must be very scary.
  5. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Everythings quite good for my family at the moment. Things might change before we're out of the thick of it but my families motto is to spend your way out of a recession, or rather they did just as the banks were getting all fudged up. We invested it outside of banks and the stock market so it did okay (so far).
    And on top of that pops got a big promotion last week and I'm on the verge of signing with a publisher.
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    Interesting you say that. I've seen some large companies cut back on all overtime pay. It's difficult for many considering that the idea of overtime and bonuses are ingrained to the point that it is (was) considered salary. Even mortgages could be paid to be in line with bonuses. I bet those folks are hurting right now.

    It's a world economy these days. No country stands apart.
  7. Theophany macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    NW London.
    Great for me. Thanks to slashed interest rates, I'll be paying back less on my student loans in 3 years time.

    However, my father is an IFA. He manages the portfolios of clients with investments in a wide range of financial vehicles. Hedge funds, bonds, stocks, high-interest bank accounts, general and specialised investment funds and the like. Despite common perceptions, his clients are not taking too much of a tanking on their investments. He's moved all of his money out of markets and encashed it though. But I guess it's easier to preach than to practice when you don't have millions to mess around with instead of actually working...
  8. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007
    If the recession goes on for as long as some think it might, good luck finding a job when you finish... I have a bad feeling I'm going to come out of uni to a world with virtually no jobs available in my sector...
  9. Theophany macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    NW London.
    Depends on what sector you look at. There are predictions that the job market will pick up around 2011 (when I am supposed to graduate) in the financial services industry (yes, I know, evil scum and whatnot). Even if it hasn't picked up by then, I have the option to continue and specialise my studies with an MSc or (heaven forbid) a PhD. If I were to continue to an MSc, I could remain at my current university and gain a Masters in Hedge Fund Management or similar, which would be a bonus.
  10. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Providing there are any hedge funds left by that point. They are taking this downturn particularly badly.
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'm going to graduate in 5 months and I doubt I'll get a job. It's so frustrating that I haven't even bothered looking yet.....and I really do have the time to.

    My aunt and most of her colleagues got the boot from their old job. They're all over 55 years of age, but don't qualify to get the full pension (which they would have received had they worked an extra 5 or 6 years), so they're a bit screwed because they're being forced to retire early. They worked for their company for around 28 years or so. :eek:
  12. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I work in manufacturing, making pressed metal components for the furniture industry and we have been hit quite hard by the downturn.

    During November and December we were only working Monday to Wednesday, which was very difficult financially in the run up to Xmas. It has been a little better since we returned from a two week shut down over the holidays and we have only been laid off for one day so far in January.

    We have no idea if this improvement is going to last, everything is being planned on a week to week basis. We can't really cut more staff either as we let 5 people go during the last few months and have now cut the workforce by 60% over the last five years to try to remain competitive.

    The next few months will be worrying to say the least. :(
  13. toaster_oven macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2003
    not sure
    I was laid off back in September and have been doing freelance/contract work ever since. things have been ok financially for me - trying to get used to the work 4-6 weeks, off 1-week, cycle. A lot of people in my industry are hit particularly hard by this recession, and I think there will be a lot of people heading off into another career - which is both good and bad. Good in that the people who weren't really passionate about the field will head off somewhere else... bad in that we'll lose some really talented people - and recent grads aren't going to to be able to find work for a while.

    I am optimistic, though... I think there are many opportunities, especially in the creative, science, and engineering fields, to get involved in new green technologies and infrastructure. It's a tough time for everyone, but out of all crises there are opportunities.

    plus, this new DIY ethic and sense of community that seems to be taking hold in many places is really exciting. a little sad that it takes a serious recession to bring people together, but it's good to know we aren't going through this alone.
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I'm not so sure. I think the problem is that research isn't a necessity. I mean, I do medical related research, and my career options were either work in a hospital, or do research. I really desperately want to get a research career started. Unfortunately, when funding is tight, research takes a back seat and necessary services take priority. :eek:

    I guess I'm going to have to either suck it up, or wait to see how things look 6 months from now when I graduate.
  15. Theophany macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    NW London.
    Misconception. Hedge funds aren't, nor were they ever the problem. The problem was people selling off securitized mortgages of people with piss-poor credit history, and investment ratings agencies stupidly rating them as AAA bonds.

    Hedge funds may dip in popularity for a while, but they'll be back. They're too useful an investment vehicle.
  16. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Never said they were, but do you honestly think the Madoff or Volkswagen issues aren't going to cause problems with investor confidence?
  17. toolbox macrumors 68020


    Oct 6, 2007
    Australia (WA)
    Hasn't effect me financially

    My boss is now big on "saving power" which is a good thing, but denying us the use of the air-conditioner because it uses to much power. We are allowed the back door open but in comes the hot air, flies etc.

    So were trying to repair computers, sweat pouring off us. The only time it goes on is when he isn't there!
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Hedge funds, or any trading relating to the future, just sucks the life out of the market, at the expense of the small investor. And they generate nothing!!!

    In my perfect World they would be outlawed. JMO.
  19. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I am stable for now. I work for a state agency. No pay raises this year and our budget was slashed 10% or so, but so far no job losses. (We finally got back to full staffing two years ago!) The lack of funding does make it a good bit more difficult to do our jobs, but we'll get through it.

    In the meantime, we are paying down the house and trying to add to the savings as best we can. Thank God we are finally debt free other then the house.
  20. NC MacGuy macrumors 603

    NC MacGuy

    Feb 9, 2005
    The good side of the grass.
    I have to work again - hard. Got to be a lot smarter now too. Maybe cunning is a better word than smarter but got to be it..
  21. Theophany macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2008
    NW London.
    Oh no doubt. But then the problem we're talking about is the systemic dishonesty within the system. Warren Buffet started the now commonplace practice of making hedge fund investments opaque, but he is a very honest man and the only reason he did so was to prevent other would-be geniuses cloning his investments and making similar fortunes to him.

    I guess Gordon Gekko's effect on the industry was more profound than anybody thought possible. :rolleyes:
  22. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    The recession has affected me a little. I work in the medical field. The hospital census is way down by about 25% and things aren't as busy as last year. Some of our staff were laid off. Hospitals in my area are also reporting slowdowns so it's not just us.

    I keep hearing that the medical field is recession proof but that's not quite true. As people lose their jobs they also lose medical insurance and hold off getting care. My country really needs a national healthcare plan. Also, elective procedures (cosmetic, reconstructive, or procedures not considered medically necessary) are way down. Medical groups send patients elsewhere if your hospitals costs are not competitive so we're scrambling to drum up business by lowering costs.

    My job is secure for now but don't think any job is a sure thing so I've cut way back on spending and have hunkered down like everybody else.
  23. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030


    Sep 11, 2006
    Sacramento, CA USA
    I think if you're in the construction industry or are heavily involved in "green" technology, you may want to be "in on the ground floor" because President Obama is targeting these categories for major funding.

    In short, the stock of Catepillar will start ramping up because of the demand for Catepillar equipment in infrastructure construction work, and companies involved with wind power, solar power, and power generated by the sea through tides and waves are going to benefit in the next few years. And any company involved in electric car battery research is going to get major funding, too.

    Anyway, I'm going back to work at the California Franchise Tax Board starting February 2, 2009, and I'm going to be ultra-busy right through at least late summer because of the massive peak of refund filers now and owing filers in April. :eek:

    By the way, I still think the demand for medical services will start to really ramp up over the next five years. The reason is simple: the first part of the Baby Boom generation will start hitting the age where they will need more and more medical services.
  24. alexlovesmacs macrumors 6502a

    Apr 23, 2008
    I can't sell my house and the company I work for is about to go bankrupt.
  25. Rapmastac1 macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2006
    In the Depths of the SLC!
    Around where I live there isn't much of a difference between now and let's say last year or two years ago. In fact our city has seen exponential growth in the last two years. Business at the location I work at has gone up and has gone up overall for SPLLC. this past year. Although we have seen more of a "struggle" to keep our hours at minimal levels. We do see more and more people bringing in their applications. Last year we only got like 3 applications a month. Now we get like 3 a week!

    I have noticed the prices of literally everything go up! I'm worried for the game industry though, SOO many layoffs. Every freaking day there is some news of some game publisher laying off people in the hundreds! Even Sony and Microsoft!

    But yeah...

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