The Sky Is Not Falling: Your Job Is Probably Safe

The odds are good that despite the recession, you won't lose your job.

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Hey, have you heard? The sky is falling.

We of the media have a responsibility to let you, the general public, know that the economy is a train wreck.

But when you are constantly bombarded with television, radio, and Internet news and information sources, all reporting the same dire story over and over and over again . . . after a while, if you're not in a complete panic, then you're wondering if maybe you ought to be.

So, let's take a few minutes to get a collective grip, shall we?

There has never been a business cycle trough that has taken out most or even half of all the businesses in the country. For as long as we have been measuring it, unemployment has never risen higher than 24 percent, and that was in 1932 during the Great Depression.

Even if the unemployment rate were to climb that high during the current recession, it still means that 3 out of 4 workers won't lose their jobs.

I expect most microbusinesses will survive, too. Some of them will fail, of course. Some microbusiness employers will contract down to nonemployer size. But most will manage to hang in there.

All you need to do is make smart-but-not-fearful choices. You don't want to return to your adolescence, when you thought you were indestructible.

But you don't want to turn yourself into Marvin the Paranoid Android, either.

Just calm down and run your business. The odds are you'll be fine.

Dawn Rivers Baker is the award-winning journalist behind The MicroEnterprise Journal, the online business newsweekly that covers politics and policy, the economy, and research for and about microbusinesses. Baker also blogs at The Journal Blog.