The XX Factor

Recession Briefing 6.12

The recession is helping to ease the country’s nursing shortage , as workers who had left the field in better times are returning in droves. ( Wall Street Journal )

The brute force of the recession has wiped out a staggering $1.3 trillion in wealth for Americans in the first quarter. Americans’ net worth declined 2.6 percent in this period, the Federal Reserve said. ( Associated Press )

Because of the downturn, some friendships between two people whose Saturday-night spending and overall class status used to calibrate precisely have now turned trickier. ( Slate )

The employed worked fewer hours in May - an average of just 33.1 hours a week –than at any time since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began counting in 1964. Part-time work is at a record high. Overtime is at a record low. ( USA Today )

Elizabeth Eaves looks at the flipside of the recession: great deals for shoppers, the end of high prices for bad work, and “a burning away of dross in our personal and working lives.” ( Forbes )

ABC News is concentrating its reporting next week on what life will be like after the recession. A series called “The New Normal” will look at how businesses and personal habits have changed this year. ( Associated Press )

80% of today’s open jobs reportedly aren’t advertised. Because of the overwhelming number of job seekers, employers often bypass the big online job boards and even placement agencies, and try to fill job openings directly. ( CNN/Money )

Ravaged by the same fiscal turbulence pounding the nation’s legitimate businesses, Ponzi operations have been collapsing at a record clip. ( Washington Post )

By the end of the next decade, the freelance or “contingent” workforce will have grown to about 40% of the market , experts predict. ( CNN/Money )

Looking to start over? Find a new job? A new house? Here are 20 U.S. markets where jobs are available and real estate is affordable. ( BusinessWeek )