Welcome Gator, I live in Coral Gables, Florida. About the neighbors start by saying something like “so what do you think about this economy” Do not tell them what you think. You can add something like ” do you think it it getting any better or not” . From there answer you can tell were there coming from.
Another question is start talking about someone in your family or friend that has lost there job and say ” my friend or family lost there job so what do you think or see the job market”
This is a way to find were they stand.