Economists May Not Call It Recession, But Job Stats Say It Is

The combination of falling home equity, the rising cost of food, health care and housing, tighter credit and eight straight months of job losses -- 84,000 in August alone -- has put the squeeze on middle-class families struggling to stay afloat in a slumping economy.

Although economists haven't yet labeled the economic downturn a recession, every time payrolls have declined this consistently since 1948 the economy has been officially in recession, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based liberal think tank.