While losing your job is the worst-case scenario in this bad economy, it's likely you're going to suffer earnings power even if you remain employed.
Here are some ways the recession can hit your income even if you don't lose your job:
More work to do:
If your company has layoffs and you're one of the lucky ones still around, it doesn't mean you escaped without any financial consequences. All that work still needs to be done. Basically, you'll have more work to do for the same amount of pay.
Be given fewer hours:
Many companies are reducing employees' hours, sometimes resulting in smaller paychecks. This is especially true for those who counted on overtime work.
Loss of retirement benefits:
Many companies are reducing retirement benefits and the 401(k) match. It will be harder to build your retirement nest egg, meaning you'll have to save and use more of your own money to reach your retirement goals.
Loss of perks:
Before layoffs, you may see convenient perks disappear. Free coffee, snacks at meetings, subsidized dining and office parties are all likely to be scaled back.
Pay more for current benefits:
Even if you don't lose any benefits, you may have to pay more for them. Many companies are forcing employees to pay a larger portion of health-insurance premiums, for example.
Shorter work week:
While getting an extra day a week at home may be wonderful because you get to spend more time with family and friends, it's not great for your paycheck.
Extended non-paid vacations:
Another strategy companies are using to cut the number of days they need to pay employees is to give extended vacations around holidays.