While experts cannot technically refer to the current downturn as a recession until the numbers for two successive quarters come in, the latest job numbers paint a grim picture for the economy.
With more than 26 million Americans now unemployed, the novel coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves throughout the labor market, even for professionals with typically solid job security — specifically those in federal and municipal positions.
How COVID-19 Affects Government Workers
Declining tax revenue from temporarily closed businesses has hit state and city budgets nationwide, inevitably necessitating spending cuts and layoffs.
In cities like Dayton, OH, more than 25 percent of government employees have been temporarily furloughed to make up for an increasing budgetary shortfall. While the effect of shutting down nonessential businesses was immediate for the private sector, especially given that more than 107 million Americans work in a service-providing industry, new reporting indicates that even Americans who assumed some degree of protection from COVID-19 may find their livelihoods threatened as well.
Making a Coronavirus Pivot
A majority of Americans are now working through their second (or third, or fourth) economic recession.
Anecdotes of success from the last recession are marked by an individual capacity to adapt to a changing market, and to tap-in to previously underutilized skills.
One example of such success can be found in digital brand creator Erin Chase, who saw at the onset of the 2008 recession how working families sought to reduce their monthly budgets by saving on groceries.
Chase was able to capitalize upon this wider focus in personal finance and her cooking savvy to launch $5 Dollar Dinners, a platform that shares affordable family recipes and meal plans.
“When people were starting to feel the pinch personally, the concept and the need to spend less money on food really resonated with people, and I think that’s why we got so much initial traffic,” Chase said of her success on CentSai’s SheVentures podcast.
The Bottom Line on Adapting During the Coronavirus Pandemic
While personal in scope, Chase’s story demonstrates how professionals facing a pay cut can employ underused skills to make up for some of their lost income. Professionally adapting to coronavirus can add a layer of financial security to provide necessary relief as the economy sluggishly recovers.