Today''s Reality


Aug 19, 2002
Athena---- Everything you said is true but on the other hand i dont imagine the 15,500 employees at CF trucking who lost their jobs over the weekend will be moving up right away.
I believe many people believe "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence"; however, for many people that is not always the case. In today's edition of the USA Today Money section there is a sobering article about job loss during the current economic environment. What all employees need to understand, the article clearly illustrates today's job market.
For those who have realistic job options without US Airways I salute you. For those who do not and continue to resist restructuring agreements, you may want to closely read the following article. For brevity I cut and pasted the beginning portion of the column, but the whole article can be read at
Job hunters pull up roots
By Stephanie Armour
WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) - In August of last year, Elizabeth Davis lost her job handling event planning for Sun Microsystems.
Everything else followed.
She could no longer afford her apartment in the trendy North Beach district of San Francisco. The job market was so bad her friends were forced to survive on unemployment, but Davis couldn't get by on that little. So, after seven years in California, Davis packed up and left.
"It still breaks my heart," says Davis, 33, who drove cross-country in December with her cat, Spartacus, to take a government job in Rockville, Md. She now works in Alexandria, Va., doing event planning. "I knew in order to live, I had to move."
As the economy continues to struggle, employees in hard-hit areas are uprooting their lives in hopes of finding a stronger financial future elsewhere. They're facing agonizing decisions — in some cases selling homes they've just remodeled, pulling children from schools and moving even though they don't yet have jobs lined up.
It's a marked shift from a few years ago, when the robust economy had employees feeling emboldened enough to turn down relocation requests. Now, workers in cities with rising unemployment and frenzied job competition are facing tough decisions.
Nearly 20% of companies with 5,000 or more workers say the number of employees declining to relocate decreased in 2001 from the year before, according to a poll by Evansville, Ind.-based Atlas Van Lines. Only 10% saw an increase.
And the number of people who said they moved from another state because they lost a job or were looking for a job increased 11% in 2000-01 from 1999-2000, according to Census Bureau data. However, the number is lower than in the mid-1990s.
"People are having to move even after they've only been in a home six months. The economy, it's really forcing people to move," says Naima Sumner, a real estate agent at eRealty in Dallas. "There can be frustration in the beginning, and it puts stress on the family."
This current economic slowdown hasn't caused widespread population shifts like those seen in other downturns. But at the local level, thousands of jobs — and residents — are leaving areas such as Austin, where "For Sale" signs have cropped up like weeds. They're leaving areas such as Seattle, a boom-bust city where the unemployment rate has climbed. And they're moving from areas such as Minneapolis; San Jose, Calif.; and St. Louis, which formerly had drawn newcomers.
As a former real estate agent for 15years, look at a couple options. Real estate has taken off due to the sagging stock market. A historical look proves real estate follows a 5 year pendulum. Work forces are changing but, also, so has company loyality, the younger population. This younger generation moves, changes whatever the mood moves them to increase salary. The "smart" kids know not to hang around for company pension plans, or rely on social security that won't be around or be meaningful when they need it. My point primarily is the article quotes for sale sign, popping up everywhere, it's more than job relocation people are getting their investments out and putting in back into another investment, a bigger house or better neighborhood. Not all are selling due to lost jobs.

Keep a prospective.
Excellent post, Athena.

Another thing to bear in mind is that traditional look in the newspaper job searches just aren't adequate. One of the top employers in the United States almost =never= puts their job listings there. Who? The U.S. Government. Every so often there's a special circumstance (like the TSA) where you'll see legitimate job ads. But by and large, the only ads for federal jobs you'll see are from military recruiters. And I never can quite get the scene from Private Benjamin out of my mind when reading those! Yet everyday I get an average of 4 new job postings in email from the feds. Solid, well-paying jobs -- and no industry or company can beat the feds for benefits. Labor projections are that something like 1/3 of the current federal labor pool will reach retirement age inside of 5 years. That's a LOT of opportunity.

There are plenty of jobs to be had in teaching, nursing, and just about any medical support group you care to name. A one-year community college program in nuclear medicine nets a $40K+ a year job in our area. There is such a tremendous need for teachers that some states will allow someone with a bachelor's degree (in anything), to teach while pursuing an education degree. In my city, they're desperate enough that if you have an =associate's degree= and can pass a written test, voila... you're a substitute teacher. I did that for awhile myself, but the politically correct, lack-of-common-sense so endemic in our public school system was a real turn-off. (There's a reason why Massachusetts is ranked only behind California in liberalism ;). But, back to the point: the opportunity is there. The jobs are there -- you just need to know where to look, and be willing to seize a chance. And you may find yourself helping to make someone's future brighter.

There are always opportunities in opening your own business. Most people don't because they're flat out scared to (and I don't blame them). But for people who have a working spouse to cover medical benefits while a fledgling business gets off the ground, that is an option. A thought for you mechanics out there... there's a service here that offers to take your car to the shop to be worked on. The fellow who started it is a mechanic himself, knows what's what, and deals with picking up, dropping off and making sure his clients aren't ripped off. He rarely gets his hands greasy... he's selling his knowledge of mechanics, not doing the fixing himself. And business is booming (especially among female clients who're intimidated by taking their cars to the mechanic to start with).