13 May Is it feeling like 2007 to anyone else?
Feeling like deja vu? It does to me.
I recently watched Orlando Miner’s video “Massive Layoffs Have Started | Housing Market 2022” that you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiMiXOXvLgY. As he says: it’s not about gloom and doom, it’s about giving you information to consider.
He makes excellent points in the video that I would like to highlight. As he says in his disclaimer: he is not a financial advisor and this is not to be considered financial advice. Same for me. If you have any questions or concerns, talk to a financial professional who can sit with you and get into the details of your own personal financial picture. This is solely information that you can consider if you choose to.
- “Layoff season”
I like how he points out the craziness of this market. We’ve made so many fast leaps from The Great Resignation and absurdly inflated housing prices to a downhill slide. Layoffs. Hiring freezes. Interest rates soaring. Inflation basically everywhere. And I like that he calls out the elephant in the room: people who said, “Screw this, I’ll quit” because options were everywhere may not have so many options now.
- Why jobs are important
As Orlando says, “Jobs make the world go round.” Just to be clear, from an HR perspective, this also includes gigging and project-based work. It’s not all about butt-in-seat, W2 work IMO. But the gist is right on: without money, which usually comes from jobs, how will anyone invest, buy a home or anything else?
- “No jobs = the economy going into a recession.”
This is a great summary. Orlando also adds to it, “No jobs means the housing market crashes.” I feel for people who got caught up in FOMO and bought a house at a crazy price last year. If they could not truly afford the place but bought it anyway, sh*t will get really real if they become unemployed. I’ve told the story before about how a realtor sat and mansplained to me about how this is not 2007-2008, there is no housing bubble, and there will be no housing crash. He also bellowed into the phone about how he talks to “the top brokers in the country” who advise him. I just sat there with my head in my hands thinking about how moronic he sounded. At this point, even Yahoo Finance is like, “Umm, uh-oh…” (https://www.yahoo.com/video/housing-bubble-2-0-regional-223120949.html) Sometimes in life, a delay is actually a means of protection. And a rejection can also be a means of protection, too.
One of the articles Orlando cites references the Rocket Mortgage layoffs:
“Following a recent decrease in the mortgage market due to rising interest rates, roughly 10% of 26,000 employees for Rocket Mortgage and Amrock were given a voluntary buyout option in an attempt to reduce the company’s workforce… Officials said rising interest rates are fueling the company’s need to reduce jobs, in addition to a low stock of for-sale homes on the market. Just last week, the federal interest rate surpassed 5%; the interest rate at this time last year was under 3%.”
The amount of house someone could afford at 2.5% looks very different at 5.5%. And many people will look at those rates and even if they could afford a home, rate hike notwithstanding, they will pass just on the principle of it. Who wants to grossly overpay and regret the hell out of it later? If we see more layoffs and a food shortage, no one will really want to be left holding the bag of a high-a$$ mortgage payment every month. For those who got into a place and couldn’t afford it, the F word is the likely next stop on the map: foreclosure.
Orlando also mentions the layoffs at Robinhood. Here’s something I find intriguing about that particular situation:
“Like any company, with growth like that comes more job openings to manage that growth, which then ended up with some roles and job functions that were duplicated, he [the CEO] wrote.”
I believe this is a side effect of The Great Resignation that we will see more of in the coming months. Companies that may have gotten caught up in hiring fever and job market FOMO that are now saying, “Uh-oh. Wait a minute. Do we need a department with X number of people? Can we actually afford to pay some of the salaries we handed out like candy back in 2021?”
- “It’s going to roll downhill.”
YEEEEEEPPPPP. It always does. The little guy always seems to get squeezed. I like how Orlando says, “Now this is gonna be a scenario where if you don’t have your stuff together… you are going to feel the pain and you have to make sure you have a solid place in your job.” Exactly. You need to know you could survive, come what may.
If you are thinking about job hopping one more time before The Great Resignation loses steam, be very thoughtful and intentional about it. Look before you leap. Do some due diligence. Research the company. And definitely get with a professional financial planner or financial advisor if you have deeper questions. What I would not want you to do is bury your head in the sand and just pretend the economic situation isn’t changing. Because it is. And I feel like it’s changing quickly. My spidey senses tell me we’re in a period of flux. The Great Resignation is winding down IMHO while recession is looming on the horizon and these companies (including the banks) know it.