To acknowledge the Labor Day holiday in the US today, I wanted to ask fellow HFers how the economy these last few years (since 2008 onwards) has affected your life. I think it'd be interesting to get views from around the world, so please participate even if you're an ocean away.
Please keep politics out of the thread, in order to keep things civil, as I think the thread will be more meaningful when focused on personal stories and thoughts.
I discovered that my state, California, has the second highest unemployment rate in the country. I work in the tech industry in the Bay Area and I feel we're somewhat insulated from what's going on around us, though we definitely feel consumer demand lessening, and companies getting more judicious about their spending in b2b. My friends in engineering and sales are doing fine, but my friends in creative industries (art, design, game development, etc.) are hurting if they don't work in mobile or social games, and it's getting tough even finding work in retail and service industries. The most affected people I run across are new college graduates, who I try to help find work, but it's this catch-22 where you need several years work experience to get a job, but there are few entry-level positions.
A lot of people I know have gone back to graduate school (mostly business or law), hoping to ride out the next few years.
I've also been hearing that people think others have been getting a lot less polite and civil in normal day-to-day interactions, possibly due to the stress a lot of families are under. There are lots of stories and terrible pictures of the situation a lot of people are facing, particularly in the midwest and south, but it doesn't seem to have spread to California yet, especially given how it's common to see little kids with their own iPhones and iPads out here.