A number of American companies have recently announced layoffs. Gillette is laying off some 5,000 workers. Nearly 4,000 employees at John Deere have been told to brace for layoffs. Hundreds of employees are being cut at Nike, and the list goes on.
Corporate America is being ravaged by economic weakness in Asia, Russia, and Latin America, because consumers in those economically crippled regions can no longer afford to buy many American-made goods.
"Usually, our market grows 2 to 3 percent, and that causes businesses to look elsewhere in the rest of the world where markets might grow 4 to 5 percent," said Gail Fosler, chief economist at The Conference Board.
"Many of the jobs here are related to serving markets in other parts of the world," Fosler said.
The layoffs are beginning to spread over many sectors, but among the hardest hit are the technology, agricultural, and oil industries.
"The demand for these products has gone down very fast, and when demand goes down, price goes down, so these sectors have experienced a double whammy," Fosler said.
Global economic problems are expected to be around for at least another year, so analysts say there will likely be more layoffs. But there is some good news.
Wayne Angell, a former Federal Reserve Board Governor and chief economist at Bear Stearns, said, "Our companies have no political or social costs in laying off workers, because these workers can quickly find new jobs at other companies."
Analysts say as long as our economy and job market remain strong - which they are both expected to do over the next year - American workers should be able to weather the foreign economic storm.