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The Hpcaei - Hpc Anecdotal Economic Index

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Just curious. My boss who was laid off in November last year has begun missing payments on his four mortgages and has not yet found a job.

Of the five people I know who have been laid off three have found jobs at lower rates of pay. An IT Project Manager I know hasn't had a contract for eight months. Aside from that they are all good. No bankruptcies of forced sales yet, but if this situation continues.....

Whats you sense of it out there?

Are people suffering, or does any even notice that we are in (or out of) a recession?

Tell me your stories - good and bad.

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Just curious. My boss who was laid off in November last year has begun missing payments on his four mortgages and has not yet found a job.

Of the five people I know who have been laid off three have found jobs at lower rates of pay. An IT Project Manager I know hasn't had a contract for eight months. Aside from that they are all good. No bankruptcies of forced sales yet, but if this situation continues.....

Whats you sense of it out there?

Are people suffering, or does any even notice that we are in (or out of) a recession?

Tell me your stories - good and bad.

So far, everything seems to be carrying on as normal. I don't know of anybody personally, that is in trouble yet. Sure there is a recession but I think most people believe it will all blow over soon.

Or, are people starting to struggle but don't let on? Not sure.

Getting laughed at when I tell people we have not even got started in the recession is starting to wear a bit thin though.

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My neighbour redundant just over 3 months from an aluminium coating place.

BF's mate redundant from IT.

lorry driver mate is not doing much at the moment

bf's ex-work is letting people go but has been for 5 years

I don't know many people who work full time - would struggle to think of one person employed in same place for more than a year

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Here in Devon job cuts continue at full pace, factory's closing down, shops closing. The local paper is full of public sector jobs only, yet vender's are removing there properties from sale, then returning them a couple of weeks later at a higher asking price :lol: Crazy.....crazy......crazy world we live in :(

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I work for a Structural Engineering firm.

We are getting by, but things have definitely got a lot quieter recently. A lot of old jobs rattling around but not much new work coming in. Architects we formerly worked with are being laid off left right and centre.

As this is pure anecdotal, I spoke to my boss earlier who is close to retirement (nothing to prove, no nonsense kind of guy) he reckons things have not even started yet!

However, according to the BBC, apparently all is well and the recession is over! <_<:blink:

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When you say 'affected by the recession', are you including falling share prices and reduced savings rates, and the changes in life plans these mean, in this?

Or is it about redundancies/wage cuts etc only?

On the redundancy front, I know a solicitor and a journalist made redundant

Edited by juvenal

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from my experience i dont know anyone that is suffering. i no one that has lost their job or anything. when i look out the window everything is hunky dorey. i think this recession is a scam. house prices are not going down, and even in the good years people get made redundent. thing is, they report redundencies but i think most of those people actually find new places. its only the weak that die off and thats a natural part of the cycle.

its just an excuse for people to say they are foing badly. at worst people are having to tighten their belts, oooh, wow. my heart bleeds. fact is people move on. they get new jobs. everyone that is except for ME!!! 15 years on the dole with a 5 year stink in a call centre, so.. 15 years une,ployed, what am i supposed to think if i hear of the pain of someone thats been unemployed for 3 months!!!!!!!!!!!! wow, 3 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow again. The first month is a holiday, the second one they start looking, the third one they atart crying, and then..... whooo hooo!!! bingo!!! they get a surprise job out of the blue!!! how lucky!!! wowweee!!! i total give a shiit.

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I must say this thing that has struck me about this recession is how selective it has been. I live a pretty disgustingly middle class lifestyle these days here in Oxford. Everyone I associate would probably be described as a professional. I myself run a small company and we are growing, expanding and recruiting, looking for skilled people. Good candidates with a proven track record are hard to come by and those that apply and are good are already in employment and demand a high salary.

No one in my social group is cutting back. No one feels their job is under pressure, in fact the feeling is that we all have too much work on. (My wife is sitting next to me here on the sofa working late trying to catch up!)

Contrast this with the employment figures, hundreds of thousands laid off. Even here in Oxford the Mini plant has made about 1000 people redundant since the downturn began. It's one of the biggest employers in Oxford, but I've never met anyone who works there! These job losses are mainly amongst lower paid and lower skilled jobs. Sure, there are stories of architects and solicitors losing their jobs, but it seems to me that those who are getting laid off are the lorry drivers, the factory workers, the low paid.

I guess it is always the case that the most easily replaceable go first, but I can't help thinking that there are two countries out there, and the gulf between the haves and the have nots is just going to be huge by the time this is over. It's surprising there hasn't been any hint of civil unrest yet. Give it time I suppose.

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My friend's wife's University friend and her husband bought in 2006 then became "reluctant landlords" when she wanted a bigger house due to a baby. Our old landlord also found themselves with a property on interest only mortgage to move nearer their family. So two people that have lost enough money (even at a 15% loss) to put them in serious do-do. I doubt either will recover unless inflation saves them from bankruptcy.

My missus lost her job October last year and all that was available paid about the same as the rent. So we packed up UK and left. If we bought somewhere then we'd be OK as no mortgage but then we'd lose two grand a month on the capital. Might as well do nothing here in the sunshine :D

Brother in law and his wife unable to move. Friend also now stuffed due to falling house prices and the drop off in IT jobs in London.

My business partner and I writing about 50% of the business we did last year. (We work telecoms sector - BT just laid off 15,000)

Everyone I know in sh1t creek to some extent apart from the in-laws (RAF pension and civil service pension, both index linked, final salary, Daily Mail readers - it won't happen).

Best friend bought building land in Oz now unable to find money to build on it.

My old boss had pension with Equitable, now driving van at 66 years old and with one-third expected pension income.

Uncle left work to join pension scheme and found it paid half expected - still doing consulting work for US company to make ends meet.

Don't seem very selective to me TBH.

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Someone I know who bought a 2 bed flat for £200k in Manchester, recently had an identical 2 bedder in the same block sell for £89k. Someone else I know drove their expensive newish gas guzzler into a tree with 4 friends as passengers. Insurance write off and dividing the friends whiplash claims 50/50 with the driver. Literally dozens of people who worked for various construction companies I used to deal with at work have been laid off. One of my close friends has been made redundant twice in the last 6 months. I went to visit my mother at the weekend and perused the local job section in the paper, a page of public sector "non jobs" and a couple of admin assistant roles paying £12k - £14k.

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Current work - compulsory redundancies

+++++++++

Phase one. december

Junior tester - not heard from but he was new so could be doing anything

Tony the trainer - ******ed off to thailand

Phase two march

Helpdesk manager - landed a job at manchester uni with better pay

Evil bosses number two - getting interviews says markets crap but not panicking

Last workplace - voluntary redundancies

+++++++++

Developer one - took it found job at a games company

Support staff - got 12k redundancy proudly paid off debts and went to uni to do a sports physiology course !

Family

+++++++++

Dad - got signed off for 5 years sick

Bro in law - Chippie work is sporadic and very much down.

All other friends are coping.

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My friend's wife's University friend and her husband bought in 2006 then became "reluctant landlords" when she wanted a bigger house due to a baby. Our old landlord also found themselves with a property on interest only mortgage to move nearer their family. So two people that have lost enough money (even at a 15% loss) to put them in serious do-do. I doubt either will recover unless inflation saves them from bankruptcy.

My missus lost her job October last year and all that was available paid about the same as the rent. So we packed up UK and left. If we bought somewhere then we'd be OK as no mortgage but then we'd lose two grand a month on the capital. Might as well do nothing here in the sunshine :D

Brother in law and his wife unable to move. Friend also now stuffed due to falling house prices and the drop off in IT jobs in London.

My business partner and I writing about 50% of the business we did last year. (We work telecoms sector - BT just laid off 15,000)

Everyone I know in sh1t creek to some extent apart from the in-laws (RAF pension and civil service pension, both index linked, final salary, Daily Mail readers - it won't happen).

Best friend bought building land in Oz now unable to find money to build on it.

My old boss had pension with Equitable, now driving van at 66 years old and with one-third expected pension income.

Uncle left work to join pension scheme and found it paid half expected - still doing consulting work for US company to make ends meet.

Don't seem very selective to me TBH.

Doesn't sound like you're doing too badly - sunning yourself in the south of France eh? Nice!

...oh, Montpellier actually looking at your location! (groan)

Obviously anyone involved in certain sectors, property (obviously), finance etc. is probably suffering right now unless they were clever and got out at the right time. Telecoms does seem to have been hit too (not quite sure why, are you?) Perhaps I'm just in my own bubble, but I know a lot of people spread around the world, and apart from the odd one or two who have been stupid, I just don't know anyone who is suffering, I'm not suggesting that everything is hunky dory and the recession is over. I'm just saying that this is not spread evenly.

Edited by Bear Goggles

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I have friends who have lost their jobs (all in the private sector) and friends who claim not to have noticed that there is a recession going on (mostly in public sector jobs).

My take on this, is that a recession is like a rollercoaster. Private workers tend to be in the front cars, public sector in the back. As the cars slowly climb the slope to get to the big drop, it's the front cars that go over the edge first. Everyone in the back carriages hears the screams from the front and wonders what the fuss is all about. A while later, momentum whips them over the top and off the drop.

What low paid, private sector workers are experiencing now is coming to a public sector near you soon.

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No redundancies to report, but a near-complete sweep of the board for pay freezes and cuts. In fact, I can only think of one person I know who's had a rise this year, and that was the result of the combination of a promotion and him being totally underpaid before anyway (employer was seriously taking the piss).

A number of friends and acquaintances are also saving more, although two of those are almost certainly in negative equity at the moment (one by the sort of sum that would loosen my bowels) so I suppose the motive is pretty clear.

The only known regular MEW'er that I'm currently in contact with isn't, and is noticing it.

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Missus is an accountant. Previously she could quit one job and be pretty much guaranteed to find another within a week or so. She has worked a total of 2 months (short term contract) in the last 12 after finishing her previous contract. And according to the agents "there are no permanent jobs out there".

Redundancy announcements at friend's place coming next week. Two year pay freezes at my place. And the fourth shop is closing this year in our local high st (of around 20 shops). Other shops are displaying prominent Shop with us or lose us type posters in their windows.

Still recovery, eh?

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Wife didn't get her bonus this year and doesn't look like getting much of a rise.

My bonus got reduced to 83% for first quater, not sure about this years pay review.

Don't know anyone in strife, got one neighbour who got made redundant last year (in i.t) and now his new job looks shaky.

Still seeing lots of brand new large and expensive cars around so obviously some are not cutting back at all.

All a bit surreal, I know how bad it is and how bad it could be soon but it is easy to doubt the situation when you look out the window, the sun is shining and all looks normal.

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Friends own an architecht firm in London - laid off all ten staff and now all work being done by the partners themselves and one part time girl who does invoicing etc

I work in shipmanagement, one of the big boys. Pay freezes this year across the board. o other problems, job seems secure enough.

We held a conference with the other big boys in the industry last month and decided that all seaman's wages will be slashed by 10% in October. The crew have no choice but to accept it.

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Family friends in 60s - retired from own business many years ago; house in UK, two on continent. Lost 90% of their retirement fund on the stock market in the last 12 months. Now facing very lean times. Trying to sell overseas property to recoup some losses - not exactly great timing for them.

Two close friends (postgrads, late 30s) unable to find jobs after 1 year+. Both say job market is getting worse from their perspective. Another friend 30s journalist went freelance, outlets closed now working cash in hand as gardener.

My father in law is a driving instructor - says everyone struggling locally; BSM staff barely breaking even after paying their costs.

Edited by Mugwump Boy

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I work for a Structural Engineering firm.

We are getting by, but things have definitely got a lot quieter recently. A lot of old jobs rattling around but not much new work coming in. Architects we formerly worked with are being laid off left right and centre.

As this is pure anecdotal, I spoke to my boss earlier who is close to retirement (nothing to prove, no nonsense kind of guy) he reckons things have not even started yet!

However, according to the BBC, apparently all is well and the recession is over! <_<:blink:

Yeah - and guess what.... the BBC is full of sh t.

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from my experience i dont know anyone that is suffering. i no one that has lost their job or anything. when i look out the window everything is hunky dorey. i think this recession is a scam. house prices are not going down, and even in the good years people get made redundent. thing is, they report redundencies but i think most of those people actually find new places. its only the weak that die off and thats a natural part of the cycle.

its just an excuse for people to say they are foing badly. at worst people are having to tighten their belts, oooh, wow. my heart bleeds. fact is people move on. they get new jobs. everyone that is except for ME!!! 15 years on the dole with a 5 year stink in a call centre, so.. 15 years une,ployed, what am i supposed to think if i hear of the pain of someone thats been unemployed for 3 months!!!!!!!!!!!! wow, 3 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow again. The first month is a holiday, the second one they start looking, the third one they atart crying, and then..... whooo hooo!!! bingo!!! they get a surprise job out of the blue!!! how lucky!!! wowweee!!! i total give a shiit.

As I said elsewhere - you should DEMAND a refund from the place/organisation that (supposedly) taught you how to read and write! :P:P

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I finish my long term temp contract today and agency have said nothing else to offer for next week. Applied for four permanent jobs in last few weeks but not even had response.

Two friends running their own businesses (both related to construction, transport) say business is absolutely terrible. Both having sleepless nights. One friend who earns well over £60,000 pa preparing to go bankrupt due to purchase in 2005 of BTL property which, since day one, has only ever covered half the mortgage repayments and would probably not sell for a third of purchase price (on IO).

Retired father doing very well as his public service pension has just been increased by 4%.

Neighbours in my road all seem to be OK with new cars, loft extensions, new drives etc. so although I do not know what jobs they have, they must be doing alright or maybe they are just oblivious and continuing as before by getting further into debt. Although I have noticed where there was once a Porsche parked on a driveway it has gone has been replaced by a burger van.

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Doesn't sound like you're doing too badly - sunning yourself in the south of France eh? Nice!

...oh, Montpellier actually looking at your location! (groan)

Obviously anyone involved in certain sectors, property (obviously), finance etc. is probably suffering right now unless they were clever and got out at the right time. Telecoms does seem to have been hit too (not quite sure why, are you?) Perhaps I'm just in my own bubble, but I know a lot of people spread around the world, and apart from the odd one or two who have been stupid, I just don't know anyone who is suffering, I'm not suggesting that everything is hunky dory and the recession is over. I'm just saying that this is not spread evenly.

We're doing fine :)

Missus is finance sector (private equity). We saw this coming four years ago in that industry. She and I made the very silly mistake of going back to London and have paid dear for it job wise.

To answer your question re telecoms in my view the sector is losing its network technology income from the finance sector. Voice telephony will do OK. Some networking will survive and BT's massive investment in its "21st Century Network" will pay off long term but leaves them a bit overborrowed possibly at the minute (hence the job cuts).

As with other sectors there has been an assumption the stratospheric growth of the last decade was a real trend and companies have geared up to service it. Hence we have seen Nortel go to Chapter 11, the telecoms equivalent of GM filing.

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I work for a funded company, and have guaranteed funding for the next two years, but our income has dropped and we have been told we will have to fight hard for the next lot of funding (have been in business over 20 years). I work 3.5 days a week and have been looking for extra work, in any sector, but have found nothing yet. Husband works for public sector and his job is secure but whenever anyone leaves his department they are not being replaced (resulting in more work for anyone else but they daren't complain).

The company a friend works for (in scrap metal sector) has been struggling for over a year, stopped paying their bills, preparing to go bankrupt any day.

Older relative was sucked into BTL in 2006/7 due to worry about old age - no pension etc. (not her fault, just bad luck). Intelligent woman but I guess had more hope than nouse, was told it couldn't fail etc. Now has two properties, mortgage more than the rent, in negative equity, getting ill through worry.

We had a few business close down in the high street in the last year, but what's left seem to be doing ok. We are in a very rural location so it may be due to having less businesses to compete against when people are spending less.

Colleagues who already own still seem to be buying houses without worrying too much about the price, many with mortgages pretty much paid off. There was tons of building work on houses locally a couple of years ago, now almost none. We are renting and anyone we talk to who is ftb like us are staying well out - talk of 'ridiculous' house prices and houses being 'completely unaffordable.'

So a bit mixed really.

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