Sunday, April 19, 2009

If Your Neighbor Loses Their Job, It's a Recession. If You Lose Your Job, It's a Depression.

Watching Meet the Press this morning, and they're having a good debate about when the recession might end. President Obama famously said last week that he sees "a glimmer of hope" in the economy, and you can find economists now who think that it will end later this year.

Here's the trick for Washington State. Our housing bubble trailed the national bubble by a good 6 months; that's why you could still read articles about the Seattle housing market bebopping along even while things collapsed in Florida and Arizona. There's reason to believe, then, that the recovery in Washington State will also be similarly delayed; I could easily forsee next year's "short" legislative session being just as bloody as this one's has been.

The middle-of-the-road estimate is that 3,000 teachers could get RIF'ed or non-renewed during this downturn. Thousands more are making agreements to give back salary via TRI pay reductions in order to save jobs. Every teacher in the state is looking at a 1.1% salary cut because of the loss of the Learning Improvement Days, and their out-of-pocket health care expenses are also bound to go up.

For them, for everyone, the recession continues.

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