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Hear: Layoffs Are Good For Us

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Hear: Layoffs Are Good For Us

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How better to end a week of looking at the nature of jobs than with a look at what happens when jobs end? There's certainly plenty of that going around. And believe it or not, many economists say there's a silver lining. They do. Really.

Today on Planet Money:

Ian Shepherdson, of High Frequency Economics, says the latest unemployment figures show an economy in free fall. The U.S. lost 533,000 jobs last month, and Shepherdson says the news may be worse than that.

Krista Summitt of North Carolina lost her job as a Web marketing strategist. Summitt has been chronicling her adjustment to this new life on her blog, the Downsized Diaries.

Joe Grassi of Michigan works on a Chrysler assesmbly line — when he hasn't been laid off. Now his friends, working people, are accepting charity clothes for Christmas.

Don Boudreaux, a professor at George Mason University, speaks for many economists when he says that layoffs are a necessary part of a healthy economy. If companies can't lay people off, he says, they won't hire them, either. Boudreaux blogs at the libertarian-minded Cafe Hayek.

Summitt and Grassi say exactly what they think about that idea.

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