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Hostile Work Environment Definition
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Bad News: No Home Sales = No Emergency Cash

Why are people so concerned about their jobs right now?  Because they see the “For Sale” signs going up all around them — and they know the reason is because these neighbors can’t afford their mortgages any longer. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Friday the economy continues to be in a recession, by his definition, and will continue to be for at least several more months. (Full Article Here.)

U.S. Fed Chief Ben Bernanke said Friday that “the financial storm that reached gale force” last year “has not yet subsided, and its effects on the broader economy are becoming apparent in the form of softening economic activity and rising unemployment,” . (Full Article Here.)

That certainly appears to be the case in my own neighborhood.  I live in a sub-division that was built five years ago.  There are far more homes for sale right now than any time in the prior five years.  And all those homes are staying on the market longer. With few of any signs displaying “Sold” across the top, families like mine can no longer easily access their equity which serves as the emergency fund for so many people who live without the fat savings accounts that financial magazines breezily discuss — as if everybody has one.

The truth is that most people, myself included, make money from working at my job.  The only other way I “make” money is through the appreciation of my home.  Now, with home appreciation cut off, I have to rely more than ever on my job.  And I know I’m not alone in worrying about keeping a regularly paycheck coming in for my family, because more people than ever ARE losing their jobs.

The U.S. Dept of Labor announced that “Year-to-date layoff figures in 2008 were the highest January-July totals since 2003.”  The region that suffered the most was the Midwest, followed by the South and West.  All areas suffered, just to a lesser degree.
The largest economy in the west is California, and that state recorded the highest number of initial unemployment claims filed due to mass lay-offs in the month of July with 33,250 people out of work, largely due to layoffs in administrative and support services and in educational services. The next highest numbers of mass layoff claims were in Michigan (27,672), Ohio (19,402), and Kentucky (11,907). (Full Article Here.)

The Overland Park, Kan.-based firm, the local-phone service provider in 18 states.  And what does it blame these problems on? The slow down in housing, just like everyone else.

People are worried because they are awake and listening, and they see what their neighbors are going through. With most people unable to access the equity in their homes, the regular paycheck becomes the sole and crucial source of income. Now more than ever it’s important to protect your job with every tool available. For example, you can increase your education, so that you offer more skills to your employer.  Or, you can simply work harder and more efficiently, so that management views you as an indispensable part of the company machine. Some people, however, are in a situations where the boss or manager are already deciding who to let go; you may not have time to increase your skills through education or make a new impression through working harder. If you are in the latter case, it’s important that you maximize all the legal protections the law gives to employees. Even “At Will” Employees can protect themselves at work through the use of protected classes.  To learn more about protected classes and how anyone can qualify for their protection you can read my free 7 Part Report on the Secrets of Work Law.  Part one comes to you immediately, and all you have to do is sign up with your name and email address in the green box at the top of this page. My next post will address how supervisors and managers are themselves feeling the stress of the economy; bookmark this page and return Wednesday to learn more about how to respond to the economic stress that your own boss feels.

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