(PALM BEACH POST) Cicadas drone on a steamy late summer morning outside Sue and Dan Hoffman’s home in the Acreage.

It’s hot inside, too, where the air conditioning is set at 85, but the Hoffmans barely notice the heat.

They’ve had to make far more difficult accommodations when a downward drift through the middle class during the recession became a swift slide a year ago. That’s when Sue, 59, a slim, friendly woman with lanky brown hair, was laid off from her well-paying job at a West Palm Beach financial firm.

Despite 17 years’ experience helping investment brokers put together business deals, she hasn’t been able to land a new job.

Dan, 62, and out of work since 2007, is a former small business owner, substitute teacher and customer service representative who fears he’ll never be employed again.

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