Recession? What recession?

Bright spots amid a bleak economic forecast, how to support an employee with PTSD, decency as a resolution & more

By: Vanessa Labi 

There’s a storm brewing, with the economic forecast as dreary as the weather. The signs are all there: slowing sales growth, declining profit margins, rising prices. Economists are warning that the U.S. could tip into a recession in 2023. Oh, by the way, happy new year. But we have good news, too, a break in the clouds so to speak. The Capital Region is shaping up to have a brighter future than some of the rest of the nation, Steven Yoder reports, with local leaders optimistic about job growth, leisure stay sales and a budding urban core. For our January cover story, Steven interviews a wide range of economists and analysts to map out our region’s sobering realities, exciting possibilities and what to expect in 2023

Here’s the rest of the Capital Region Rundown: 

A new wearable tech company creates an app that helps athletes enhance their peak performance; Evil HR Lady offers advice — legally and otherwise — on how to support an employee who’s had a PTSD episode in the office breakroom; and Comstock’s president and publisher addresses readers in January’s letter with her hopes for Capital Region denizens to embody decency and embrace a service-oriented mindset. 

Recommendations from our editors:

In this section we editors share what we’re reading, listening to, watching or even eating. Here’s what we’re consuming this week:

Judy: If you really want to start 2023 with a much kinder and gentler self, The New York Times published a fascinating quiz that determines what triggers you; you know, what type of events really make you annoyed and angry. It’s short and fun to do and you may learn something. And oh, it was spot on for me.

Jennifer: I’m taking a Japanese class at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, which has been a focal point of the city’s Japanese community since the 19th century. But its original, stately brick building was torn down when Japantown and the diverse West End were razed to make way for office buildings and parking lots in the 1950s and ’60s. To explore Sacramento’s lost neighborhood — which had many of the walkable, mixed-use characteristics urban developers now recognize as desirable — check out this Google Arts & Culture project from the California Museum.  

Vanessa: I usually find writing about productivity optimization or “how to be more this or that” rather dry, with the exception of the work of Cal Newport, who studies and reports on work culture and systems. His most recent New Yorker article, “The Year in Quiet Quitting” breaks down what 2022’s “quiet quitting” concept really means, and eschews the alarmist misconceptions that have surrounded the phenomenon. The idea, he writes, originally took off on TikTok when a Gen Z young professional posted his thoughts on what it meant to “quiet quit,” and has everything to do with the conditions under which Gen Z grew up. Most interesting are Newport’s thoughts on how each generation has had to contend with how work fits into their lives and how it’s normal for each to attempt to defy the system they were born into.

Odds and ends:

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Recommended For You

Making Decency the Theme for 2023

There is so much going on around us, and we need to be more aware of it and how it impacts our future, writes Comstock’s President and Publisher in her January letter. Let’s bring decency back into the conversation in 2023.

Jan 3, 2023 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

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