It's going to be that kind of year. The picture isn't exactly bleak, but companies, workers, bosses and consumers alike will be looking for ways to squeeze more out of less, to pinch pennies and prepare for leaner times. The panache of the 1980s will be replaced by the paltriness of the 1990s.

That's how Gerald Celente, director of the Socio-Economic Research Institute of America calls it in trying to figure out what's going to be hot and what's not for 1991.

He bases his predictions on the views of a gaggle of experts who sit around the Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y., divining trends for business that are then supposed to be translated into new products.

Celente, who recently wrote a book called "Trend Tracking," said trends only matter to business when they hit people, and people usually respond after the trend hits.

A partial list of what will be hitting people in 1991: If all of this sounds like back to the future, it is.

In other words, as has happened before, people are worried about money and afraid of losing their jobs. Hence, there is an upsurge in loyalty, a commodity many human resource experts pronounced dead during the 1980s when jobs were plentiful. Then, it was in vogue to worry about your career, not whether you would have one or what company you would spend it with.

"People found out that when it came to downsizing and meeting the bottom line, they were the bottom line," Celente said.

Celente predicted that because companies will not be hiring in these recessionary times, growth and development will go by the boards. "Companies are cutting back. {The trend will be toward} smaller and weaker. There will be a brain drain. Entrepreneurial growth, though, will be in," he said.

To economize, companies will cut extras and perks such as posh out-of-town meetings and conferences "due to lower profit margins, downsizing and dramatically increased travel costs."

Employees left on the payroll will be expected to pay more of their own way.

As health care costs increase and profits dwindle, employees will be asked to pick up some of the bill.

The only safe harbor in this storm, he predicted, will be unions.

"As people fight for higher pay, or against pay reductions or overwork, they are going to find they have to band together to protect their jobs at a time when jobs are scarce," he said. "Workers will gravitate to unions."

Saving, not spending, will be on people's minds.

Aging baby boomers, who have acquired much of the "stuff" they need, will begin to put more money in the bank.

"The number one wish will be to crawl out from the weight of the debt they acquired to purchase these things," he said. They also will stop spending because of the fear of being laid off or not being able to find a job.

Those who continue to spend will be looking to stretch their dollars. Enter warehouse shopping, where consumers can buy in bulk and feel like they have gotten a deal. Women will shuck their shoulder pads, a power symbol of the 1980s, for short skirts and "leggings" that will provide for many mix-and-match outfits -- another personal economy move.

The young, meanwhile, will be acting much like the flower children of the 1960s who rebelled against the materialism of the 1950s. They will ridicule, rather than revere, material gain at all costs. Donald Trump, Dynasty and Dallas are out.

As the recession worsens, the institute forecasts "auction mania," in which the ubiquitous real estate agent will be replaced by the auctioneer. "Creditors will be happy to get any return on their losses," he said.

For those who do fall on hard times, there is help coming from another front.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an international outplacement consulting firm based in Chicago, will expand its free annual national job search call-in to two days: Dec. 26 and 27.

"We believe there is a particular sense of urgency this year among the rising number of job seekers who are the victims of cutbacks, as they view the job market," said James E. Challenger, president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

On those days, Challenger said his firm will offer free job search advice from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (central time).

The number is 312-332-5790.

For those who have to use it, a happier new year.