BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET)– The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says the American economy shrunk again. The United States Gross Domestic Product fell by nearly one percent in the last three months, a sign we could see a recession soon. So local experts say it’s time to tighten your belt.

“You don’t have to be an economist to know something’s going on,” Bakersfield Resident Jason Knaggs said. “We’re paying more for everything.”

“It’s hard,” Bakersfield Resident Michael Camp said.

Kern County residents are grappling with sticker shock as the GDP fell by nine-tenths of a percent for the second quarter.

“The economy is weaker. Consumers are struggling,” Dave Anderson of MoneyWise Wealth Management, said. “They’re paying more, and they have less money in their pockets.”

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis usually declares it a recession when the GDP shrinks twice in a row, but they haven’t made that declaration.

“We’ve never been in a recession when the economy is creating 400,000 jobs a month. That’s why it’s this mixed bag of economic data,” Anderson said. “Lots of jobs. They just don’t pay enough, and people can’t afford the things they need.”

 Meantime a CNBC Survey shows 29% of full-time workers are looking for new jobs.

“If you’re thinking of leaving a job or starting something new, be very cautious about that,” Anderson said. “I’d move quickly. All of the jobs that are available right now might not be available in a few months.”

Anderson says it’s time to start saving as much as you can. But that’s not all.

“I always recommend you ask for a raise,” Anderson said. “One of the points of data that came out was that incomes were up from a year ago … but when adjusted for inflation, they were actually down 3.6%.”

It could take months for the Bureau of Economic Analysis to announce whether this economic downturn is officially a recession.