Posts tagged with: job losses

“We need someone to say things are better!” Is that all it takes?

Yesterday, I was interviewing a commercial developer for one of the real estate trade magazines that I write for. When discussing the terrible economy and the negative impact it has had on the commercial real estate industry, this developer sighed, hesitated and then said this: “All it’s going to take to turn this around is one economist to go on TV and say that things are getting better. That happens, and you’ll see the economy turn around.”

Really? Is that all it takes, for someone to go on TV and lie?

Let’s face it, things aren’t getting better. They’re getting worse. Just look at the sky-high unemployment numbers. Just look at the number of people who are losing their homes to foreclosure.

I run into people like the overly optimistic developer all the time, though. They tell me that much of the blame for the housing crisis or the recession rests with the media. Newspapers and TV news shows focused too unrelentingtly on the bad news surrounding the economy, these folks say. If only the members of the media would focus on the good things about the economy, the nation wouldn’t be in such a funk.

To me, this is nonsense. People know it’s tough. They know it when they see that they haven’t gotten a raise in years. They certainly know it when they wake up and don’t even have a low-paying job to go to. So don’t tell me that all we need is some positive spin from the news. Our nation is facing a real economic problem here. It will take real solutions to make things better.

Just a little more bad news: Sprint slashes jobs

It’s a bit depressing I know. When I scroll through the archives of this blog, I stumble upon too many posts about companies slashing jobs.

Well, here’s another one. The USA Today reports that telecommunications giant Sprint is cutting 8,000 jobs. That’s an amazing 15 percent of its workforce.

It’s a tough employment world out there, folks. And now there are thousands of newly unemployed workers fighting for any job they can find.

I remember when the telecommunications industry was the hottest field around. People who had jobs with companies like Sprint were set for life. Two years ago, though, a friend of mine who did work for one the telecommunication giants suddenly lost his job in a round of layoffs. My wife and I, along with our children, were on vacation with him and his wife when the news came over his cell phone.

It made for a depressing end to our trip. It was also an early wake-up call: There are no “safe” industries any more. Anyone can get fired at any time from any job.

Even in the middle of your vacation.

As economy drops, eavesdropping rises

If you work in a cubicle, the odds are good you’ve had the opportunity to eavesdrop on a few sensitive matters that weren’t necessarily for your ears.

Maybe your office mate will be complaining on the phone about his wife, or your co-worker will confide to a work friend that she never did get that raise she was promised.

Today, though, office eavesdropping is becoming a true science. The reason? We’re all worried about losing our jobs. Whenever senior employees gather in what looks like a hush-hush meeting, you can bet that the cubicles will be alive with straining ears.

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote a rather humorous story on this very subject. You can find it here. Read it, and see if you don’t recognize your own office in it.

Major cities face big job losses in 2009

I live and work near the city of Chicago. I grew up here, and I love the city. There’s a ton of things to do here, a diverse population and some amazing architecture.

Unfortunately, my hometown is in for some serious hurt in 2009 when it comes to job losses.

And Chicago isn’t alone. Other top cities, such as New York City and Los Angeles, are poised to lose even more jobs in 2009.

This grim news comes from a forecast by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. According to the forecast, only five metropolitan areas in the United States will not see job losses this year. If you live in a metropolitan area you better brace yourself for the very real possibility that you — or at least someone you know — will be out of work at some point this year.

Hardest hit will be New York City, expected to lose 181,000 jobs in 2009. The Los Angeles area will lose about 164,000 jobs, while Miami should lose about 85,000. Chicago comes next with 80,000 expected lost jobs.

Of course, the problem is, there aren’t nearly enough replacement jobs for all these out-of-work employees.

Today, the nation witnessed the swearing-in of new president Barack Obama. He’s received high marks for the work he’s done during the transition period. Let’s hope that he and his administration can help boost our economy and get people back to work.

Not every company is shedding jobs

When you read the papers or listen to the radio, it sounds like every company in the country is shedding jobs. Well, there are some companies that are bucking the trend. Not only are they not losing any jobs, they’re actually adding them.

For instance, according to an Associated Press story, IBM is actually opening a new center in Dubuque, Iowa, that will create 1,300 new jobs. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver was thrilled. And why not? Not many governors can tout the creation of new jobs right now.

Of course, while stumbling across the good news in Iowa, I skipped past many more stories talking about companies slashing their workforce. Still, you have to take your good news where you can find it in such tough times, right?

Jobless rate on the rise again (Anyone surprised?)

Here’s my bad news post for the week: The nation’s unemployment rate is up yet again.

According to this story in the Wall Street Journal, the unemployment rate hit 7.2 percent in December of last year. For those keeping track, that means that the United States lost a bit more than 2.5 million jobs last year, the most since 1945.

And, if it feels like things have been even worse lately, you’re right. The country lost 1.9 million of these jobs in the just the last four months of 2008.

To anyone searching for a job now, I feel for you. It’s dismal out there, and not getting better anytime soon. And for those hanging onto jobs, hang as tightly as you can.