Recession giving way to 'richcession'

Fears of a full-blown recession are easing as some economists have predicted a soft landing. But in an uncommon turn of events, the rich are finding themselves in a slump. 

The term "richcession" — coined by The Wall Street Journal and adopted by others including Fortune, CNBC and the Associated Press — refers to an economic downturn that primarily affects the wealthy. This is a twist on the typical recession story, in which the lowest-paid workers are hit hardest. 

Unemployment is rising fastest amongst households making $125,000 or more, according to recent research from Bank of America. Layoffs in high-paying industries, like tech and finance, were rampant this year, while lower-paying industries, like restaurants, retail and construction, continued to hire (and their employees continued to spend). 

Many workers fired from high-paying jobs had financial cushions that allowed them to keep spending, preventing the economy from going under. But the "richcession" could still have long-term consequences, the Journal reports; in April, Bank of America Institute found that higher income households' debit and credit card spending on discretionary items was down from earlier in the year, and spending on luxury goods has slowed. 

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