LOS ANGELES - Economists like to talk about numbers, but behind the numbers are people.
When businesses are in a major downturn, like the one caused by the pandemic, they cut costs, which often means people. I spoke to two today, from LA, who were making good money one day and looking at depleting their savings the next.
Jason was a six-figure design showroom manager and is frustrated by the state's unemployment application process.
He applied, couldn't tell if it went through, has waited weeks with no news, and is worried about paying the rent because ''my landlord isn't that nice.''
Tracy was also doing well as a sales manager for an event company, but as we know there are no events right now, so, another furlough with no guarantees of being called back.
"I don't know if I have a good plan B. I've tried to stay calm, meditate.'' She too is frustrated by the EDD process (Economic Development Dept).
She said her application was rejected because she was considered ''unable to work," which is wrong because she was working and wants to work.
Getting through to a person or information online she says is next to impossible.
So people are frustrated, furloughed, and fired as we deal with the first recession in a decade and forecasts of perhaps more bad economic news before things turn around.
The good news, though according to Jerry Nickelsburg, an Econ Prof at UCLA Anderson School of Management and one of the sharper analysts around in my experience, is that pent up demand means once the doors reopen and the lights come back on the recovery from this recession won't be as painful or long as the one in 2008 and 09.