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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Nshangalume: The Silent Depression

Although corporations and businesses are making record-breaking profits, Americans still struggle to make ends meet and benefit from their labor. We must start holding corporations and businesses more accountable for their corrupt behaviors.
Ilona Buhler
(Design by Ilona Buhler | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


On May 2, the University of Utah held its spring commencement, where thousands of students finished their undergraduate education. As these new grads enter the real world, they face an unfortunate job market.

Over the last year, various corporations and businesses have reduced their workforce and incorporated hiring freezes. These decisions especially affect young professionals, new grads and students seeking to gain industry experience. 

Despite the record-breaking profits these corporations and businesses are making, they prefer to hoard all their wealth instead of fairly compensating the people behind the margins. Rather than allowing these companies to continue with these exploitive practices, we must hold them and the officials who are supposed to prevent this. We must fight against these practices by demanding fair wages and principled labor standards. 

Is This a Recession?

After the 2020 COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders the job market was at its peak. In 2022, workers had the upper hand due to the unique circumstances. Events such as the Great Resignation have put workers in the driver’s seat since they had the flexibility to leave any job and likely get an offer somewhere else instantaneously. Furthermore, with this power, workers could negotiate their wages, working hours and conditions. To compete with the market, businesses had to comply with their workers’ desires.

Due to this, some speculate that these businesses are getting revenge for having to comply. Fast forward to the present day, we have seen a complete shift in the job market. Now, businesses have regained their control of the market. With this control, they have begun to ensure that workers know their place.

In January of 2023, we began to see a stark shift in the market. Just in the first quarter of the year, the economy lost over 250,000 jobs — bigger than the population of Salt Lake City. Just a year later, employers announced 90,000 job cuts. Couple this with the hiring freezes and inflation and Americans are beginning to lose hope.

In an BambooHR report, nonprofit and tech workers’ unhappiness hit a four-year low due to mass layoffs and lack of support and organizational transparency.

A Public Health Issue

Fortunately, over the last decade, mental health is taken more seriously in public spaces and workforces. Thanks to recent research that has looked deeper into this epidemic, we have been able to find the causes. These studies have concluded concerns about financial security are related to higher levels of psychological distress.

The increasing prices and hostile job market are causing a serious public health issue that many are overlooking. 

Although many economists and experts are reluctant to declare an economic recession, we are still seeing the effects of a recession. 

Though declaring an economic recession may be controversial, it is clear as day that inflation is very present. In 2022, inflation in the U.S. hit a 40-year high, affecting all goods. Due to the increased prices many Americans can’t keep up with the trends, which then leads to the source of increased stress for 82% of Americans. Stressful lives can trigger depression.

This new level of anger and frustration has caused Americans to turn to their elected officials.

What Do Politicians Even Do

As the 2024 elections creep up on us, many are beginning to wonder why we even have politicians. 

Americans have watched their government spend billions of dollars abroad while they struggle to survive, causing significant amounts of disapproval and frustration.

We are watching our country fall apart due to irresponsible spending, self-interest and corruption. It is time to rise against this to ensure that we do not have to bear the consequences of such disgraceful actions.

A silent depression cannot continue to persist in America. There is no reason why one of the wealthiest countries in the world should struggle to take care of its citizens.

We must stop ignoring the problem and using outdated methods of measurement to understand the very realities that are taking place. It is time to call it what it is. We are in a silent depression.


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About the Contributors
Iragi Nshangalume
Iragi Nshangalume, Opinion Writer
(she/her) Iragi Nshangalume is an Opinion Writer for the Daily Utah Chronicle. Iragi grew up around the Salt Lake valley, but spent most spent of her childhood in West Valley and Magna. She’s currently pursing her degree in Economics and Political Science. Outside of school and work, Iragi enjoys talking, music and the arts!
Ilona Buhler
Ilona Buhler, Designer
Ilona Buhler is a 3rd year at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in Strategic Communication with a minor in Computer Science. Ilona grew up moving across the world from spending the majority of her childhood in England, then moving to San Diego, California. She then completed high school and moved to Salt Lake City for college. In her free time, Ilona loves to ski, climb and paint. She spends the majority of her free time outside even when she is on campus

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