I’m told we’re in recovery.
The Street seems to be bouncing back. Some of the latest earning reports are in the black. And BP finally figured out how to plug a leak.
Now I know most of you aren’t that worried about what we see in the mainstream press. Most of the brokers I drank with – I mean, talked to – in Vegas a couple of weeks ago were still smiling. Business looked good. Sure, everyone had the same concerns about regulations and 2014, but overall the mood felt decidedly upbeat.
Even the carriers boasted a rosy glow. Like most good business people, they’ve found a way to survive -and possibly even thrive – in a fundamentally altered landscape.
All that being said, things are still tough. The latest employment numbers are as bleak as ever (and is it me, or did that stimulus have a shorter attention span than my 10-year-old son?).
And the people who still have their jobs? They’re freaked out they’re going to lose ‘em. This new Hartford study on my desk says that nearly three out of four Americans are worried they’re going to lose their job and are still struggling to make ends meet. Americans work more, spend less and are more stressed out than ever before.
It’s a small wonder more people aren’t ripping off the exit door and jumping on the safety chute with a couple of beers.
This study also found that a whopping 37 percent of Americans have “experienced ‘severe’ financial impact” from the recession. But because of their precarious financial positions, only about half of workers offered disability insurance actually take advantage of it, at a time when it could be argued they need it most.
We talk a lot about the recession in vague, big-picture kind of terms. But how many of us really understand how much it’s altered the lives of your clients and their employees?