One difference between this recession and the last one: This time, it’s ordinary workers who are getting the ax, while the bosses’ jobs are protected. “American workers making less than $50,000 per year have seen their chances of being downsized increase 43 percent in the last two years,” says a press release from Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, a company that helps execs find jobs after they’ve been laid off. “Meanwhile, the job-loss odds for those making over $85,000 have fallen 23 percent.” At the same time, outsourcing is in: the market has grown from $150 billion in 1998 to nearly $400 billion today. The bottom line: Companies are firing low-level employees and replacing them with contract workers and outsourced services.