Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
September 22nd, 2009
08:57 AM ET

Impact of the Recession

The recession has affected all of us in one way or another.

We just got a look at the census data from 2008. It shows that people are putting off marriage and buying a home – in fact, the rate of home ownership is the lowest it has been in six years. More people are carpooling to work and more are getting their high school diplomas.

How is the recession impacting your life?

Share your thoughts below–  And then watch Heidi in the Newsroom at 10:00am ET, to hear some of your answers.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Mike Armstrong TX.

    I live on a fixed income so my life is about the same but if i die from the swine flu or something else my wife will have to bury me in the back yard .

    September 22, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  2. gloria lewis

    The economy impact my life in a way i was grateful .I grew up on the islands very poor i came to this country and got fooled in the way of life here .In 2004 i realise that the way of life here was going to bring this country down i realise that i was blessed to have seen a way of life that taught to be thankful for what you have and learn to aceept and live without what you have ,a life that taught what you need verses what you want ,alife that taught that with unity you can beat poverty .In 2004 as i begin to see my own down fall i got really scared of what i saw coming .I decided to start writting all the media networks a few senators the past and present whithouse administrators ,a few rich and famous people to help me get the word that before the economy fall they are things that could have been done to prevent us from being here .
    Unfortunately it have been over 5 years and everyday it gets scarier as i see more job loss .I am blessed i have a home to go to on the islands ,so i will never be homeless.Unfortunately for lots of others they will become homeless unless someone listens .In order to fix the problem you have to understand the problem no one understands the problem ,they blame it on the banks and housing ,this is only a small part of the problem .Even if the housing industry did not crash and the banks also we would still be here it would take a little while longer but it would happen.
    Go back to the history of the nations dont you see every few years you have a fiancial cricis .Please hear me out this will keep getting worst and it will keep happening over and over again .You the media can help fix this problem it is your duty to hear all sides and give the public much needed info .

    September 22, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  3. Leta

    No differently than when Bill Clinton was in office.....I am getting kind of use to it...

    September 22, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  4. Jason

    I have stopped spending money greatly compared to years ago... Mainly because everyone is pinching every penny from my pocket. Why is everyone forced to pay outrageous rent and mortgage if they want to live here? If enough people stop spending... we will all be able to help make great changes for this country...

    September 22, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  5. Paul Schaeffer

    The recession has effected both of our businesses, but it has made the commute more enjoyable by decreasing the rush hour traffic and getting some of the worst drivers off the road.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  6. james, NYC

    My fiancee and I have been blessed so far, we both have very secure jobs, mine in hospitality hers in medical advertising, we are marrying in October and going to puerto rico in December-we are nearly untouched by the national hemmoraghing, knock wood.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  7. Mark

    I lost my home and my SUV. For 5 consective years I enjoyed big bonuses until 2008. My compensation was cut in half due to the lack of bonuses driven by the recession. I still have my job and I learned a tough lesson; not to rely on bonuses as a means to handle month to month expenses. I know live within my monthly salary and focus on the simplier things in life like family and true friends. I'm also saving 5% of my income monthly.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  8. Christina Varga

    Smack dab in the middle of the recession I had an opportunity to double the size and scope of my art gallery in Woodstock, New York. In order to do that I spearheaded the formation of a collective with more than 80 artists willing to share the costs of running a gallery and be able to expand and grow. Almost a year later things are moving along, and while I have incurred some debt, the business model is working well both for the gallery and for the artists. For a small amount, a monthly membership due of $25, we are able to creep towards sustaining the overhead of the business while surfing the recession. All while continuing to build the profile of the art collective to include an international audience for what we call the Visionary Art Collective.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  9. Nathan J, RN

    The recession has impacted me significantly. Even as a healthcare worker in a recession proof industry there has been relentless cutbacks and layoffs. I am a Nurse in a Massachusetts Hospital. Factors like, low patient census, health insurance cut backs and cuts in federal and state based funding are forcing hospitals to cancel shifts for Nurses but give them option to use up vital sick time or take the day off without pay. Recent cuts include major layoffs of senior staff, cuts on patient care supplies, and even with utilites. The healthcare industry's fate is much like the HMS Titanic's. Even though it is a recession proof profession, it will eventually hit rock bottom.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  10. Dawn in Atlanta

    I planned to move myself and my newborn daughter from Atlanta to be with my husband, who lives in Miami. Because of the recession, and more specifically, teacher furloughs and hiring freezes in South Florida I had to stay here for another year. We miss him dearly.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  11. nonqual

    We won't be buying any GE or GM products. One is a misinformation propaganda front the other couldn't produce anything of competitive value and now the government crooks and union thugs are in charge.

    Pity anyone under 60 in this country.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  12. George Samuels

    I can't patriotically buy a car if I don't have the incereased car prices.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  13. joe

    Yes, the circumstances has changed.. be it as a result of the down turn in the economy, recession, depression or what ever it is called. The disposable income just isn't there. I'm in retail sales and from my standpoint many many customers are need based buying today. Many many needs are going unmet. I see the tendency to lean toward deferred interest type buying among more who are venturing to buy in this economy. Yes I think more are trying to spead out the expenses in an effort to wait this thing out.. moi included

    September 22, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  14. Dan

    I am not struggling because of the economy. It's because I served this great nation for 20 years in the US Navy, and now I have a civil service job.
    I say to any young individual that is struggling to find work and is healthy enough, the military is always hiring. AND, you don't have to worry about healthcare.
    I have my pension and low cost healthcare. GO NAVY!!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  15. Cathy

    My husband is a "Doctor" and makes over half a million a year. Of course, I am dying to get a divorce right now but I cannot because I cannot find work. The recession has kept us together. There is a true abuse in the health care system. Hospitals and hospital CEO's make an atrocious amount of money while claiming they are non-profit and receiving tax deductions in this economy!

    September 22, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  16. Margaret Wyrembelski

    Didn't feel the recession in the beginning. I took a great job, which required a relocation, without really being aware of the recession and was laid off from that job 6 months later. Working in the architecture field I have been laid off for almost a year (living in Michigan) and will soon lose my unemployment benefits. Over educated for many job, or under-educations. Living day by day- growing food and hunting to put meat on the table. ACTIVELY looking for a job in anywhere in the nation but being discriminated because I am from MICHIGAN.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  17. Chris in Oregon

    Every cloud has a silver lining. If it weren't for this recession my fiancé and I may have never been able to become homeowners. Now we live in a wonderful home that we would not of been able to afford 2-3 years ago. It is bittersweet because so many are on hard times right now, but we would not be living the American dream otherwise.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  18. Joelin

    Hello Heidi
    I live in Statesville NC (30 min from Charlotte & 45 min from Winston-Salem) . I work in on of the local hospital as a RN and we are been made to take mandatory call because we dont have enough patients admitted into the hospital. They have also cut my hours from 36 hrs to 32hrs and many week I have only wroked 27hrs.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  19. Kathleen Leftwich

    How has the recession affected this family? We had to move from California to Oklahoma, leaving our family and friends. My husband was laid off his job in the housing field and took employment in the oil industry. Now the oil industry has slowed so he is now driving a truck over the road and comes home every 4-5 weeks. We also have not had health insurance since last October. The cobra payment from his last job was $1100 a month!! We have been deeply affected, including losing our house in California to foreclosure. I hope things turn around soon, the health insurance issue scares me.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  20. Pam

    I have been unemployed for six months – only two months before in my entire working life (34 years). We are down to zero in the bank and the bills are finally starting to get behind. I married off my son with my 401k – nothing fancy, as there wasn't much in there to begin with and now I will probably work until I am dead anyway. My son has been to Iraq three times and is my only child – I wasn't going to let his marriage go without something.

    I accepted a job offer yesterday. It is $8,000 a year plus commuting expenses less than my last job. (I have worked from home for seven years) Companies close and lay off so you just move on. I make less now than I made in 1996 or so. I am not complaining at all. This pays almost double unemployment. But I wonder if I will ever get back to where I was, or IF I will be able to financially survive.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  21. Dogen


    after watching the President on Letterman last night, I am sure of these things which I have experienced personally.
    1. My insurance rates continue to go UP.
    2. My coverages continue to go DOWN
    3. The treatment options have become more LIMITED.
    4. I have no pre-existing conditions, but find it more and more difficult to navigatge additional converages.
    4. My insurance company has failed to cover on certain healthcare issues.
    5. I was a 25 plus year member of Farmers Ins. (Auto and Home) when last year my premiums shot through the roof. I filed only 2 claims in that time period.
    6. The types of prescriptions I can access with insurance coverage continues to shrink.
    7. I still have a dental issue that goes ignored because my insurance company 15 years ago told me they would not cover pre-existing condition dating back to when I was a child!

    What I see are greedy insurance companies that have been shafting people for years and now do not want to be accountable. Doctors and clinics that are taking buyoffs and free stuff from powerful drug companies and that have become 'referral services' rather than doctors.

    Obama said what all Americans already know. It is rediculous that the most powerful nation in the world cannot find a way to insure its citizens. I am tired of all the Republican backlash (with no real solutions or answers) and the Democratic posturing. Our elected officials are not doing the jobs we asked them to do and that should make us ALL angry.


    September 22, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  22. patty Ursomanno

    I would just like to know why after all this time and the economy the way it is how many paycuts those in congress/senate ect. have taken and if none than how many raises and in what amount?how can WE trust a government (which is suppose to LEAD our country) that puts themselves above THE PEOPLE, oh ya one more thing, why is it common knowledge that politicians are liers n cheats that needs to change, thats how we fix OUR country

    September 22, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  23. Karl

    I'm seeing a beautiful horizon. Not because it appears our "recession" is "over" but because I see changes in our system coming. I see signs of true QUALITY OF LIFE: a slower pace of life, people enjoying the simpler things in life, shorter work hours, more saving and less spending, less materialism and more efficient use of resources, less borrowing and more living within one's means, less travel and more living locally, and more time spent with loved one's and in other life enriching activities. It hurts but it's beautiful and makes me want to cry. The supreme believers in capitalism will suffer the most, but in the end we will all be better off.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  24. David

    We've had to put off things we want to do, gettting together having to wait, but we've learned to turn to each other, working things out and making the most of what we have. The main impacts, showing us in some ways how good we have it, and learning to get on top of challenges that come our way as soon as possible.

    September 22, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  25. Sonia

    My husband and I are very lucky with our jobs; I have a fairly stable legal position and he is a state employee. His furlough days will not make a huge impact on our income and we are still able to pay off debt. At the same time, we are not planning to buy a house for several years, nor do we feel we can move back to the Midwest yet to be closer to my family. So, as others have said, we have had to put off things we want to do, but we are also very blessed under these circumstances.

    Aside from the employment outlook, I was happy to hear that the national savings rate had surged in the last year and people are living within their means. Let's hope these frugal habits continue through the good times.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  26. George Samuels

    The depression, food sizes and costs, medication costs, and other price rises have a most profoud negative effect upon the disabled. belief in government dies before the absence of medicine has its ultimate effect. Words and speeches seem meaningless. Seeing the wealthy help those of foreign nations before their own is profound. Seeing Wall Street criminals go unpunished for crimes, yet the poor imprisoned makes liberty less. Seeing a President deny knowledge well known to the public creates a greater depression and deny the civil society the President just mentioned. Our nation must stand for its purpose, justice, non-profit willingness to help each other, and true politcal purpose and words.

    September 22, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  27. alexlyrics

    The recession has made my dollar worth about 5 cents. I shop at dollar stores and buy things only on sale.
    It takes me a long time before I decide whether or not to purchase anything anymore.
    I find myself watching my bank account numerous times during the day, and didn't spend my summer in Hawaii for sure this year.
    Lets face it this recession has kicked us all in the pocket.

    September 22, 2009 at 7:55 pm |
  28. Muin

    Very few people seem to have the know how to create the right set of policies that would create prosperity. Clinton was certainly most effective in last 50 years. The jury is still out on current president.

    September 23, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  29. Laura

    Right now it's impacting my life because I had to move directly home after college. Near the end of my senior, I had a traumatic experience (not the first time in college), which I desperately need to move on from. However, I find it exceptionally difficult to move on when the only place I have to move is back home with my parents. My life is on hold until I find a job. The recession hasn't merely impacted my life, right now it defines my life. I do nothing but job hunt and find ways to keep my spirits up each day.

    September 23, 2009 at 3:41 am |
  30. MR.AL

    The resluts of the recession for me was higher prices. As a person on a fixed disability income witch isn't enough to begin with has grown smaller. I think people need to look back to 2000 to 2008 to where all this started. People are just thinking about today. We need to look at all the money Bush and Cheney spent during that eight years.The question is where did it all GO? Will we ever know where and how much? Iraq did it cost that much?


    September 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  31. Linzekahmil

    As a young adult, the recession is affecting me in various ways such as higher tutiton, fewer job and defintely higher gas prices. The high tution is killing my parents pockets tremdously. Although I have transfer to a lower costing school, the previous school I attened tuition went up about 25% and for my siblings in grad school as USC, I am pretty sure that is burning the pockets of my parents. For the UC systems , a lot of my friends had to leave and go to CSU's because of the increase in tutiion. UCLA, UCB and UCSB are just three out of the nine that increased this past year.
    Fewer job is hurting me so much because I want to get involved in the working field at my young age of 19. I want to get some hands on expericence in the workforce but the option are limited because not many jobs are hiring. The only job that I can find are internship that I do plan to take advantage of next summer, but this past summer I missed out on a lot of side money for my own entertainment.
    The gas prices are effecting me so badly because it seems like every week in California, I was filling up my tank! Sheesh can you give me a break.
    The recession in my opinon is partial based the war. They need the extra money to send over into the Middle East so why not increase taxes, raise gas price and lower medical need to feed the war. The other portion of the recession could be based on wanting to make American richer so why not taxes up the Americans. I also feel like the reccession is the modern day Great Depression with all the lack of jobs, medical care, higher college inutition and gas prices. I guess you can call this the "Great Recession", but what do I know, Im only a 19 year old college student.

    September 24, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  32. Kathy Conliffe

    When I see the word Recession it brings to mind the stories of my now deceased parents of what the times were like during the Great Depression. Oh they told no horrific ones... just that our generation had never had to go without like they did and was rather privileged. They thought working hard and giving back to your community was the way to go which I have been doing since the age of 16, ever mindful of some of their stories and saving up earnings that I sometimes worked 60 hours a week for. My mother used to say that I should look forward to being in my 50's. Famous last words... I moved to Florida because I promised them they would never have to reside in a Nursing Home. I have to admit I kind of liked the weather and remained once they passed having secured a nice but low paying job this state is well known for that I thought I would one day retire from. I never thought there would be a time I was glad they they were dead and I might as well have just walked in to sink in the swamps of the Everglades as low as I have become. I have since been a victim of investment fraud losing everything, lost my job when my company completely closed down and have had all my utilities shut off, had to turn in my car tags in for not being able to afford insurance premiums and gone hungry for days within the past year. (Not to mention the little things like cutting up napkins for toilet paper, rewashing sandwich bags and not being able to afford to get my hair cut... think 70's) I can't secure a job mucking horse stalls, cleaning toilets or vending fries; believe me I've tried. Now to face another round of utility cut offs and hunger because Congress will not be expedient on passing unemployment extensions is almost too much to bear. I am sure most of you do not want to hear this so I will end on a slightly happier note. I still do volunteer work when I can, if I can get there, since my car is now just a driveway decoration due to me not being able to afford to repair it, with some wonderful kids. I hope to tell them that they can someday look forward to their 50's and really mean it.

    September 25, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  33. George Samuels

    I'm disabled and depend upon expensive medications. Food prices increase while food manufacturers decrease food portions. And I wonder re the salaries and medical benefits t.v. news people get as they report upon the recession and unemployment. rate.

    September 26, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  34. Ash

    Heidi, do we know what is going on with the unemployment extension? I am coming to the last weeks of my unemployment and am getting worried!
    Please advise


    September 28, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  35. Dawn

    I've read through the comments hear and I am glad so many people are doing so well even if they don't think they are right now! I live in Michigan I have worked all my life and I am a single parent to a 13 year old daughter who I love with all my heart. I have been unemployed for over a year and there are no jobs in sight! My benefits ran out in Mid August and I am now facing foreclosure. My savings is gone and my hope is fading! There have been bills in Congress since the end of July for Unemployment Extension and all though one has finally made it through the house and is waiting for senate to review (almost a month now), hundreds of thousands of hard working Americans caught in this Unemployment nightmare are in the same situation that I am, Losing everything they worked for their entire lives! Congress goes on Month long vacations while families are losing their homes worried how they will feed their children or where they will live with winter quickly approaching! THINGS I could care less about THINGS, but the inability to provide for my daughter's basic needs will surely mean that I will lose custody of her if things don't turn around, but that will be a blessing because I have no Idea where I may end up! Some one posted they see this as a beautiful Horizon......Please take off your rose colored glasses, good people are suffering immensely through no fault of their own!

    September 28, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  36. Taylor

    The recession has hit me and my family very hard. I was laid off from my job a year ago, had to move back in with my parents, and take a job making 5 times less then what I was making before. Me and my family are struggling but its very hard when we go days without food in the fridge or to see how close my parents are to losing thier home. Its very sad for me especially cause I am thier oldest son (29) and there is nothing I can do to help. I have been looking for jobs like crazy but with my credit score so low due to not being able to pay all my bills im stuck. What is also heart wrenching is that both my parents are sick and they still manage to get up and work despite thier pain. How could we the TRUE AMERICANS allow the elite to destory us like this. This recession is proof of true greed at its worst and the worst part about it is that till we the people rise up and truly demand change, this will continue on. May God help us!!!

    September 28, 2009 at 11:09 am |