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Summary:

Some days it seems like the economic news is uniformly dismal: foreclosures up, food prices up, unemployment up, mortage money vanishing, financial firms crashing and burning. While economists are still arguing about whether we’re in a recession in the US, everything from gas prices to homes […]

Some days it seems like the economic news is uniformly dismal: foreclosures up, food prices up, unemployment up, mortage money vanishing, financial firms crashing and burning. While economists are still arguing about whether we’re in a recession in the US, everything from gas prices to homes sitting vacant because no one wants to buy them suggests that something bad is going on.

For many web workers, though, it’s still business as usual. In my own particular arena (software development), things are still humming along for myself and most of my peers. Anecdotally designers seem to be doing well too. But it’s hard to make sweeping statements about the whole “web work sector” because we’re so diverse.That’s where you come in. We’d like to conduct our own little confidences survey by asking whether – and how – you’re planning for an economic downturn. Are you saving more? Investing in broadening your skills? Spending more time on marketing yourself? Planning to move out of web work entirely? Or are you confident that your own work will remain in demand for the foreseeable future, and just ignoring all the scare stories?

  1. I’m not planning on a recession because I don’t believe the hype. Sure energy costs are going up and the real estate balloon collapsed, which leads to crazy market corrections.

    We save anyways, but business seems really good both personally and for the devs I know.

    I’m too young to remember but what about the double digit inflation, unemployment, and interest rates during the 1970’s? We are so much better off and perhaps a little spoiled so a little market adjustment is perceived as a big scare.

    Now
    unemployment: 5.2%
    prime rate 2.25% (fed discount rate; wsj prime is 5%)
    inflation: 3.98%

    1980
    unemployment: 7.5%
    prime rate: 21%
    inflation: 13.3% (1979)

    Oh and there was oil rationing in the 70’s. And the 1930’s were worse than the 70’s.

    A Recession is defined as 3 consecutive months of economic decline measured by GDP. That hasn’t happened.
    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/glance.htm

    I’m just tired of pessimism and fear mongering, conveniently bottle up in an election year.

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  2. Business is booming for myself and pretty much anyone I’ve talked to. I’m in my second year as a solo consultant/web worker and I’m set to triple my income from year one.

    I’m taking 40% of that extra income and putting it back into the business and saving 60% of it for a possible downturn.

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  3. Business is good for me as well, in fact I have just taken on a large new client and things are looking good for the foreseeable future.

    I do think things are tough out there for some sectors of the economy, but not for me.

    We are saving more than before (still not enough) but we are doing so because we can, not to prepare for any future economic crisis.

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  4. There’s nothing wrong with my web working life. Even if there was, I wouldn’t worry. I can always find a job doing something creative.

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  5. in many ways, i think web web workers are ideally placed to weather the ‘nuclear winter’ – we’re usually entrepreneurial, flexible, initiative-takers.

    if (or when) a recession comes along, the big question for me is whether large monolithic organisations will be forced to adopt a more fluid approach to outsourcing their work to distributed web workers, as a way to cut their operational overheads and remain competitive, while still keeping people employed.

    I’d be interested to know whether people think we’ll ever get to a point where globally distributed web work will ever be the dominant paradigm for knowledge/office work?

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