The coming of the New Year brings new hope for a fresh start and a better tomorrow – but this does not seem to apply to the UK’s economy. As early as November 2011, the British Chambers of Commerce has already warned that any growth that can be expected in the UK economy in 2012 is likely to be minimal until the middle of the year. They admit the impact of the debt crisis in the eurozone had been greater than they had originally foreseen.What does this mean to us?The situationAccording to forecasts, UK economic growth should quicken up a little by the third quarter of 2012, but it will still be historically weak until the third quarter of 2013.UK economist Samuel Tombs foresees a double-dip recession, and other forecasters, such as Standard & Chartered agree, for as the eurozone crisis continues grow, it will inevitably affect the UK. After all, the eurozone receives 40% of UK’s exports.In this light, one could say the UK’s economic future is largely out of the UK’s hands.But it’s not just the countries around that are causing UK’s economic difficulties. Tombs added the British government is also doing its share in compounding the problem by trying to fight the deficit by making expense cuts – largely by deleting jobs.What it means These last factors bring us to the biggest questions in the mind of the average citizen: what is the employment outlook in the coming year?In one word: bleak. Or to be more accurate, make it two words: still bleak.In 2011, youth unemployment went past 1 million, and overall unemployment went beyond 2.6 million. In addition to more people being unemployed, the amount of time it took for people to find another job also increased.This trend is expected to continue in 2012. Job security remains low. For those who manage to keep their jobs, wage growth will still be weak. The prospect of living standards going down remains.When income goes down and one tries to keep lifestyle level, the common recourse is credit. Should it take longer than expected to find another job to pay for that credit, debt problems come in.Course of actionIn times of crisis, consumers need to be prepared. As early as now, have a back-up plan in case you suddenly find yourself made redundant. Explore your other employment options.Also consider this a good time to explore your business options. As people’s spending habits change, new markets are actually opening up, composed of people who are looking for value that costs less. Remember, most people will continue to seek the lifestyle they are used to. They will not stop spending for it; they will simply seek ways to spend less. If you can give them that way to get what they want with less money, you’re in business!If you find yourself buried in debt, do not dilly-dally waiting for your debt to balloon. Get debt management advice immediately and get your life back on track. Remember, these troubles will end – but only the skilled and the strong may survive. By being prepared, by having plans, by doing the right moves, we can all get through this economic difficulties and move on to brighter days.