Newest Economic Indicator: Comic Strip Character Dilbert Gets Fired

Your newspaper's comic page isn't even immune to the news of economic hardship the country is experiencing - iconic cartoon character Dilbert was let go from his job.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams appeared on the Feb. 2 "CNBC Reports" to explain why.

"Well, you know his company was slowing down just like everybody else's company has been slowing down and he didn't have much to do, so he started a side business in his cubicle - which is what a lot of people did, including myself and he got caught," Adams said. "So, it just seemed like a good time to downsize him and let him see what it's like to try to get a job in this economy."

The inspiration for the change in Dilbert's storyline was the economic downturn, which has inspired media coverage that the comic pages haven't even been immune to.

 "Well, you know the reality is that you look around and a lot of people you know are getting cut in their hours or they're coming to work and the boss says, ‘You can stay, but it's a 10 percent cut in your pay,'" Adams said.

Adams told viewers Dilbert will return, but not in the same fashion he had been known for over the last two decades.

"I will tell, I can't give away too much, but I will tell you that when he comes back - it won't be in the same capacity," Adams said.

The comic creator said there had been backlash, but he wanted to do something that reflected the reality of those stung by the economic hardship.

"You know, some people are angry," Adams said. "They think I'm making fun of the unemployed, but most people take it for what it is - just a cartoon and people are saying, ‘You know, it's nice to have somebody kind of reflect our reality.'"