That’s the good news. The bad news: a stunning 54% of those who’d been laid off and were lucky enough to find a job, now make less money than before. Less money in nominal terms, not even adjusted for inflation. A third of them got whacked by a pay cut of 11% to 30%. Another third reported that their pay had been slashed by over 30%. Ouch!
This new reality—finally finding a job but at much lower pay, or hanging on to a job but with a cut in pay—has sucked optimism out of the system. “Not only does the public not see signs of economic recovery now, they don’t see it in the near future either,” finds the report. And 32% of the people expect it to get even worse. A worrisome deterioration from 2010, when only 27% expected it to get worse.
Full recovery anytime soon? Only 12% expect it in the “near future”; 25% expect it to take 6-10 years, and 29% think that the economy will “never” fully recover. Mainstream-media optimism hasn’t quite sunk in yet, apparently.
They put their pessimistic finger where it hurts: GDP doesn’t measure anything but spending as a whole and is useless for individuals. Per-capita GDP, while still inadequate, would be a better measure. Alas, it’s well below the pre-recession peak, and thus silenced to death.
So, 60% of the people believe that there is a “new normal,” a tough new reality where workers have to take jobs below their skill level, at lower pay, and with less job security—because they’re lucky to even find a job.