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Economy's down, lipstick's up

Woman applying lipstick

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.
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Sarah Anderson - The article is simply stating an economic fact - and an interesting one. If this is all it takes for you to get offended, maybe you're too sensitive.

Interesting that lipstick sales could be correlated with the economy.

To me, the clearest indicator of an economic downturn is when getting a JOB is hard. For example, in 2002, when I was laid off, it took me TEN MONTHS to get a job, and that was as a "temp"; it wasn't until 2005 that I landed a full-time, permanent job with benefits.

Sarah,

I can’t help but yield the fact you do have a very decent point and case. That being said, I believe the story was referencing that “historically” when the economy is in a slump, lipstick sales are “up”. Take it for what it is worth, but for the ones who have invested in lipstick manufacturing and sales, they are seeing a decent return on their investment. Cheers.

I just wanted to tell you that I was not impressed with your segment on the cosmetics counter. Women (or people) with enough disposable income to purchase expensive cosmetics aren't really the people hurting in this recession. It's the people who don't have, and never had, any extra money for luxuries who are really suffering. Go ask the woman who is struggling to keep her utilities turned on and feed her family if she just can't do without that new shade of lipstick.

Then again, maybe the women you interviewed really don't have the disposable income either. You neglected to ask the buyers if they were purchasing on credit--and if so, if they were planning on paying the balance off this month or any time soon.

Finally, the idea that cosmetics are something a woman just can't do without no matter how tough times are is sexist and offensive. I expected more from Marketplace than the same old stereotype, that those silly women always lose their head for economics when it comes to fashion.

I expect more from you in the future!

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