A meandering blog with no clear topic. You will find me talking about knitting, building, kids, social and economic issues, Alaska, and lots of other stuff.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

it's the economy, stupid


More and more news articles are mentioning the possibility of a recession. Now the experts are saying that there is a 50-50 chance we will begin a recession this year. Each new story about economic data makes the situation look grimmer.

One of the first things that slows down in a recession is construction. It is already happening. Alaska lost 800 construction jobs in the past year:


This is much more immediately concerning to me than the national news. I really don't particularly care if Citibank loses $10 billion. It doesn't affect me. But I care if my husband, who just happens to be a carpenter, loses his job. So far, he is doing ok, because he is lucky enough to work for a company that does insurance work. And this time of year there are lots of frozen pipes to keep him busy. But even his company has not hired anyone new in a while. And there are a couple people leaving soon, and James reports that the company has no immediate plans to replace them. So, while his job is secure for the moment, we are trying to make backup plans. James is looking at other options, such as working on the slope. That would mean he would be gone two weeks at a time, which is hard on everyone. And we are trying to figure out what changes we would need to make to live for a while on one income (most likely mine) if it becomes necessary.

We have lost jobs before. A few years ago, James was laid off right after I found out I was expecting Steven, two weeks before Christmas. And we got by. We even managed to salvage Christmas for our kids. So if it does happen, it is not the end of the world. But it is always better to go into such things prepared.

But right now, he has a job, and it pays well. And I will keep my fingers crossed.

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