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Anyone else feeling the sting of recession?

  1. Mar 14, 2008 #1
    The engineering/surveying company I work for used to focus about 99% of their business into designing residential subdivisions. This housing crisis has completely destroyed the company. A couple of months ago we had our first lay-off. Today we closed our Mexico office, and I'm pretty sure our India office is closing as well. About 75% of the people in this office are being laid off. I'm the newest employee in the whole company and by all rights I should be the first to go but thankfully me and my partner took the initiative several months ago to spend about 50% of our time going out and finding new jobs. We are the only people who have brought in any large amounts of money, so our jobs are safe. Well, safe as possible.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 14, 2008 #2
    It wouldnt be like this if people were doing what Henry Ford did...
     
  4. Mar 14, 2008 #3
    What? Hire children?
     
  5. Mar 14, 2008 #4
    Man, this sucks. I hate being in the office while people are getting laid off. I'll tell you one thing though I won't go quietly like everyone seems to be doing. I'll take all the clients I've brought in with me. I think I might go for a drive, these offices are just too dungeon like right now.
     
  6. Mar 14, 2008 #5
    I'm so hated right now. Lots of these people have been here 5-10 times longer than I have and they aren't happy I'm safe.
     
  7. Mar 14, 2008 #6

    lisab

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    I am definately worried about my job. My work is linked to the engineered wood industry (OSB, plywood, glulam beams, I-joists, etc.) We've already laid off three people and closed a lab.

    Given the inventory back log (houses that are already built but not sold + warehoused inventory of building products), even if the economy snapped back today, our industry wouldn't start to recover for over a year.

    Well, there's no sign that the economy will start to uptick anytime soon. Since my duties here are not in the "core" area of our business, I feel like a dead woman walking.

    The really sad part is I love my job!

    I've been trying to decide if I should start looking for new work, or wait until the inevitable pink slip.
     
  8. Mar 14, 2008 #7

    chemisttree

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    You should always have your Plan B ready to go. Right now is when you should be looking for your next job. Watching others get laid off is bad but being the last to be laid off is really bad. Good time to touch up the resume.
     
  9. Mar 14, 2008 #8

    Kurdt

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    Being there a long time doesn't give them more right to keep their job than you. All that matters is how good a worker is at their job. The best person will be the last to go.
     
  10. Mar 14, 2008 #9
    It's a good thing I specialize in building roads. We always need new roads, so I'm not as expendable as most of the others here.
     
  11. Mar 14, 2008 #10

    lisab

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    Not necessarily. Like many businesses, we offers many services but the core services are our strong suit. The first place that gets cut is "extra" services. I'm a chemist, not a structural engineer; it would be impossible for me to transition into an engineering position. (It would be dumb, too -- why would I dump almost 20 years of work experience to start at the bottom rung?)
     
  12. Mar 14, 2008 #11
    The company I work for has recently been aqcuired by a much larger company. They are already forcing early retirements and laying off security personnell. Rumors abound that more layoffs in management are not far behind. Some of the upper level management have been jumping ship already. Funny, since the company just procured an 8 figure contract over the next decade or so.
     
  13. Mar 14, 2008 #12

    Kurdt

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    I took that as read in this particular set of circumstances.
     
  14. Mar 14, 2008 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    I am self-employed and work pretty much across the manufacturing sector - from twinkie makers to the launch control systems for the NMD. Consequently I am somewhat immune to the health of any subsector. But, no doubt, blood is running in the streets. For one of my customers [ultimately linked to auto sales], sales have dropped by about 95% over the last six months.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  15. Mar 14, 2008 #14

    mgb_phys

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    We sell to oil industry and gold/uranium mining and are seeing a 40%/year increase in business, we can't ship products fast enough.

    On the other hand when oil and mining crash - they really crash!
     
  16. Mar 14, 2008 #15
    When clinton left office we were in the positive. How did we manage to get into the hole? Was Iraq really that expensive? Or is it china and india stealing all our industry?
     
  17. Mar 14, 2008 #16

    Evo

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    It's been happening for a long time. In technology it's been going downhill since the infamous "dot.com" boom.

    Back in the 80's interest on mortgage loans hit 16%. In Houston, TX, there were over 3,000 foreclosures a month. You couldn't give away a house.

    My company sucks. They have been grossley mismanaged and the CEO was recently booted, but there is so much wrong in this company, it is unlikely to survive, unless they become a very small player. We are having massive layoffs, no raises, and no dividends paid on stock.

    I brought up all of these problems several years ago when I started work here and was told to shut up. Now, everything I said that was wrong with this company is a major issue. :rolleyes: Go figure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  18. Mar 14, 2008 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    Much of this stems from the housing crisis.

    Deficit spending - that would be your neocons [alleged conservatives].

    As for manufacturing: Death and destruction. For example, not long ago I was proud to have played a key role in developing a fantastic new American product - molecular oriented pvc. Almost as soon as we finished, the product rights and company were sold to a company in China.

    For about eight years I did engineering and consulting for Boeing. For the last three years I have been writing classes to train overseas manufacturers, for Boeing.

    Airbus just got the order to build tanker planes for the USAF even though there is currently a lawsuit charging Airbus with unfair trade practices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2008
  19. Mar 15, 2008 #18
    It is *great* trade agreaments that Clinton started and Bush continued. Lets have three cheers for NAFTA, CAFTA, SHAFTA. When a country outsources almost all of its manufacturing industries/capability and imports a large majority of its consumer goods, trouble is not far behind.

    Free trade is good , but it is only good when there is trade not the enormous deficits that are currently saddled with this country. As far as I know the US has no trade surplus with any country or even a balance. If I'm wrong someone please post a link showing otherwise.

    So no the war is not killing this country financially, it is the loss of the ability for the US to produce anything. India and China have our industry, but look on the bright side at this rate we will be a third world nation soon and all the industry will be flocking back here to take advantage of the week dollar. I'm just praying that we don't hit the low of the Weimar Republic. I don't like the idea of having to use a wheel barrow as my wallet to goto the store.
     
  20. Mar 15, 2008 #19
    So the Chinese are no good because they won't buy from us. And our employers are no good because they sell to the Chinese. You don't miss a trick do you?
     
  21. Mar 15, 2008 #20

    Astronuc

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    Um China does buy from us. They buy coal, scrap metal, and other raw materials. Then they make products and sell them to the US at a significant multiple of what they buy. That's one factor contributing to a net flow of capital/money flowing out of the US.

    Here's a couple of snapshots -

    hina enjoyed a 35.4-billion-US-dollar surplus in its balance of payments in 2002, up 104 percent over the previous year. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200305/23/eng20030523_117090.shtml

    http://www.census.gov/indicator/www/ustrade.html (March 11, 2008)
    Goods and Services Increases in January 2008
    The Nation’s international deficit in goods and services increased to $58.2 billion in January from $57.9 billion (revised) in December, as imports increased more than exports.

    Basically, the US runs a trade deficit of about $700 billion/yr and then countries like China and Japan use the cash issues loans back to the US government and economy.

    My company is actually doing reasonably well, and we a looking overseas for business.
     
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