Reporting about the economy over the last few months — and the last year, really — hasn't been much fun, but it does sort of give you a sense of immunity. Over the last few weeks, waking to hear round after round of layoffs in the newscast, the chill over the economy seemed to be closing in: government figures showed that U.S. employers laid off more than half a million people just in November. Today, NPR was forced to address its own budget deficit, laying off 7 percent of our workforce and canceling two programs, Day to Day, and News and Notes. It's grim — everyone here has worked closely with at least one of the people laid off today.
The bad news from the economy is everywhere. I suppose the only silver lining, brought sharply into relief for me today, is that we're all in this together.