Last week we learned that the U.S. Economy lost another 467,000 jobs in June driving up the unemployment rate to 9.5%.
That's the highest percentage of jobless Americans in 26 years.
We also found out that wages are falling for those still with jobs.
The combination will likely dampen consumer spending even further – potentially perpetuating what is an ugly, vicious cycle that could lead to still more corporate retrenching.
For the 90.5% of us who are still employed, it is tempting to celebrate our good fortune. Though our bonuses may have disappeared and our paycheck may be skinnier, at least we still have our job, right? That's worth celebrating – or least acknowledging with a little gratitude.
But there's a catch.
Survivors in the American workforce are working harder than ever. We were already one of the world's hardest driving workforces and the current economy is extending that "leadership position." We are all doing more for less and it's happened pretty quickly. As managers, we experience the double-whammy of working harder ourselves and demanding ever more effort from our troops. While companies have cut jobs, they haven't cut the overall work-load and in some cases, they have even increased it.