T Nation

Your Job and the Economy

Hey. I know this is a tough market, and I know we are all struggling to make ends meet… I’m having a hard time selling my insurance, and I’m VERY sure you are having a hard time buying it. But hey, that is my job to make you see the value. Now, I’ve got a real close friend that is qualified as an electrical engineer, he’s from Ireland, and is trying to get a job in this great United States. So far, unsuccessfully. He’s very downtrodden. You know how men can be without jobs right? In other words, I want to kill him.

I would like to hear from the United States, about their jobs and about how the current climate is affecting them. I hear it every day, but I would rather you didn’t hate me when saying it, since I encounter that every day. But if you feel you must, I can take it. Just so you know. This is a thread to unleash about this economy. Tell me your stories. How has this economy affected what you do, and the money you make? What are your opinions on how it could be better? Speak up Americans. Who are we that suffer from government, and what is it we dream of?

As a trainer, PT is usually looked at as a luxury. Through the whole gym PT sessions are down (granted I believe there are other factors at play as well).

Gym memberships are down a little as well, but that can also be due to a new LA Fitness opening 5 miles away.

I work for a software company that writes the software that prints the foreclosure notices, so we’re doing pretty well.

Not that I saw the financial crisis coming, I just got lucky.

My wife worked in nonprofit and she got laid off about two months ago. Not a good market for nonprofit right now. Now she just volunteers part time and does home-making stuff the other part. It has been friggin’ sweet having her home during the day.

I am self employed and am doing well for now. I make enough that I only need to work about 4 months a year so all in all we are better off than when we were both employed in straight jobs. A lot of our household costs have come down now that we are both “working” from home – day care, gas, parking, lunch, etc. Though now insurance is way more expensive since we do not have employee benefits.

The market is way overpriced in certain sectors and it needs to come down more but once it does highly skilled technical people will not have a problem finding work. Nerds make the world go round.

From my perspective there are many industries that are just way too overburdened by needless regulation (the financial sector, for example). There is no reason why employment could not be 100% in every sector. Unemployment is not a feature of a real market economy.

Sure businesses would still go under in a healthy economy (in fact that’s what keeps it healthy) but in a healthy system those working would be snatched up in the same industry by the more competent businesses and unemployment would be nil. Some would even be forced to move into different sectors as certain industries are made obsolete by new technology but at least wages would rise. All the mess we are seeing today is due to distortions in the market caused by cheap and easy credit and the massive consumptive habits it lends itself to.

People need to get out of debt and start saving and producing more. That is the only way out this mess. There is nothing the government can do to help anyone. This will be an individual struggle all the way.

Good luck to everyone who may be affected.

I have a union job in the maintanence division of a telecom company, so my job isn’t going anywhere. I am tightening the belt though, because I’ve taken on a hell of a lot of debt in order to finance a movie.

I’m confident that my product will be successful due to the fact that Hollywood studios are cutting down on productions and the demand for a temporary escape from reality is still there. Plus the movie is really cool. :slight_smile:

Ugh, my husband is a helicopter mechanic and when his employer went under he went job hunting.

He was offered a job at $10 an hour. 6 years experience, FAA certification, and they want to pay him $10 an hour for a job that requires you to have at least $2000 worth of tools…

Ridiculous.

He’s working at a home improvement store less than a mile from our house for more than that. Gas costs us nothing, and the benefits are good, so it’s working for now.

I work in a recession proof industry; we sell products and services to Long Term Care (Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing communities).

I work as a Project Consultant, selling Interior Design and Construction Management services to owners and operators along the west coast.

I don’t mean to sound brash, but our business is booming and I’m quietly having the most successful year of my life. I’m also setting the stage for even better results in 2009.

I spent a large portion of my working career in management. Through the years, I realized I was better at sales than babysitting employees. I wish I would have learned my lesson earlier.

Sales is the only place to be if you want to earn serious money and be directly rewarded for your results and efforts.

My $10.00 bucks.

I’ve worked in telecom for the last 13years, been laid off 5 times in that time. Was recently laid off and with all my experience am still having a bitch of time even getting a call back. I’m tired of telecom anyway but would really like a pay check, I can’t even get unemployment to call back.

I work as an HVAC engineer at a consulting firm in Boston, and we are hiring like crazy.

But I do know of people being laid off in my family and whatnot.

I haven’t heard anything on the medical side (my girlfriend is a physician assistant) as far as layoffs at her office.

Hopefully we get our shit together and we can turn this around. Job hunting from what I’ve heard is becoming more and more of a dog eat dog thing. Thank god I have a job.

[quote]Polish Rifle wrote:
I work in a recession proof industry; we sell products and services to Long Term Care (Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing communities).
[/quote]

There is no such thing as a “recession proof industry”. The health care industry is one of the prime culprits because prices are WAY too high. Good luck keeping costs down once government becomes more involved.

Where do you think the money comes from that pays for long term care? As more and more people are pushed out of the middle class less and less people will be able to afford long term care.

Socialized medicine is not going to happen in this country.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
There is no such thing as a “recession proof industry”. The health care industry is one of the prime culprits because prices are WAY too high. Good luck keeping costs down once government becomes more involved.

Where do you think the money comes from that pays for long term care? As more and more people are pushed out of the middle class less and less people will be able to afford long term care.

Socialized medicine is not going to happen in this country.[/quote]

Slow your roll my communist friend. I’ve seen a few of your posts on the “Politics and World Issues” Forum. Let’s just say that our views do not coincide.

I completely understand where the funding for Long term Care is coming from and I also understand the landscape of the private company I work for.

Long Term Care is not going away. In fact, with the onset of the Baby Boomers, the need for capacity will nearly double in 10 years. I’m not worried.

The only thing I’m worried about is President Elect Obama, and the impact of a Liberal agenda on this country’s ability to make an economic turn-around.

My wallet will be much more thin in the next few years…

I do real estate financing and development. Things are bad enough that no one is willing to start a new project, but not bad enough that the bargain hunters are ready to come out for the easy pickins. If things get much worse, we will have to restructure debt for our clients, so I’ve got that going for me.

I do worry about losing my job because right now, we just don’t have enough work to support every attorney in my department. Because I’m the newest one in the department…it is a little scary.

Fortunately my firm is very conservative when it comes to hiring, and did not replace an attorney in my department who went to another firm last year. We had been overwhelmed; now that we are slow, I am REALLY glad we didn’t replace him.

My bonus structure is based on the number of hours I bill. When there isn’t enough work, there are no bonuses. Bah.

Something will break. We’re just waiting for it.

[quote]Polish Rifle wrote:
Long Term Care is not going away. In fact, with the onset of the Baby Boomers, the need for capacity will nearly double in 10 years. I’m not worried.
[/quote]
You and I may not agree but my “opinions” are based on natural law and yours are based on wishful thinking. You cannot refute what I say any more than you can refute gravity. You cannot have health care in a society that lacks the infrastructure to support it. The number of patients are increasing but the infrastructure is being decimated by government regulation. Not only that the country is not financially sound and is in no position to build it where it needs to be.

Anything that is done to increase the health care industry’s productive capacity will in the short term raise prices and drive out those that are on the margins that can barely afford it. As the middle class gets smaller and smaller – and it currently is – there will be fewer patients that can afford long term care. Any more government involvement will only hurt the health care industry’s ability to recover. There will be fewer and fewer quality employees working in the health care industry as government gets more involved. In fact “long term care” will just be seen as a burden by the tax-payer.

Oh don’t get me wrong. Rich people will still get good care but there will be less and less of them.

Have fun!

[quote]tom8658 wrote:
I work for a software company that writes the software that prints the foreclosure notices, so we’re doing pretty well.

Not that I saw the financial crisis coming, I just got lucky.[/quote]

sweet irony.

anyway i work at a sports bar as a server/bus its really hit or miss. somedays you get a good crowd somedays you dont. i think the only thing that keeps that place moving is the 20 something crowd who is willing to throw down some bank cause the regulars are just poor white trash (i use this term a lot because thats the area i live in) and arent notorious for being good tippers. i suppose the economy has a direct impact on it. the more money people are earning the more theyre willing to piss away. but the thing that irks me is the fact so many people come in and spend money on the food but dont tip for shit. like 5 bucks on a 50, hello r u srs?

[quote]B rocK wrote:
I work as an HVAC engineer at a consulting firm in Boston, and we are hiring like crazy.

But I do know of people being laid off in my family and whatnot.

I haven’t heard anything on the medical side (my girlfriend is a physician assistant) as far as layoffs at her office.

Hopefully we get our shit together and we can turn this around. Job hunting from what I’ve heard is becoming more and more of a dog eat dog thing. Thank god I have a job.[/quote]

job hunting is bullshit. people want the world given to them. i lost my job at bally’s i applied to a shit ton of places and got a job. i have a job now and even applied to another resturaunt but later declined because they wanted me to do a lot of barbacking and werent really concerned with having me serve which is where the money is.

so idk, the fitness industry is pretty whack i have to say and its nothing more than an industry dont get it confused. but the hospitality business is hiring out the ass. clubs, bars, hotels, resturaunts.

so thats my take on the job hunting aspect

as far as bills and cost of living i cant give a valid opinion, i live at home and dont pay rent. i see my mom struggle but it’s always been a struggle and she really put herself in a grave with her descision to buy this house after my grandparents passed knowning well she couldnt afford it.

if you want a secure future do something with engineering/research and development/tech. medical seems to be promising too since a large portion of it involves the aforementioned fields.

I am a network administrator and technology instructor - actually I am the entire IT department for a private school. We are located about 5 miles from Chrysler’s headquarters.

Ask me if I’m worried. Less white collar employees in this county means the possibility of low enrollment … I’m looking but there is not a whole lot going on in Michigan. It’s like the calm before the storm.

The only good thing is that my family and I live pretty simple and I don’t make a lot of money - enough that both my wife and I could get low paying jobs and be ok.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
You and I may not agree but my “opinions” are based on natural law and yours are based on wishful thinking. You cannot refute what I say any more than you can refute gravity. You cannot have health care in a society that lacks the infrastructure to support it. The number of patients are increasing but the infrastructure is being decimated by government regulation. Not only that the country is not financially sound and is in no position to build it where it needs to be.

Anything that is done to increase the health care industry’s productive capacity will in the short term raise prices and drive out those that are on the margins that can barely afford it. As the middle class gets smaller and smaller – and it currently is – there will be fewer patients that can afford long term care. Any more government involvement will only hurt the health care industry’s ability to recover. There will be fewer and fewer quality employees working in the health care industry as government gets more involved. In fact “long term care” will just be seen as a burden by the tax-payer.

Oh don’t get me wrong. Rich people will still get good care but there will be less and less of them.

Have fun![/quote]

Long term care to a greater degree is FUNDED by the government. Perhaps you’ve heard of the terms Medicaid and Medicare? The majority of residents in a Skilled Facility are comprised of these two types of funding. The funding will continue as our government continues to get fatter.

Private pay is a different entity. The folks with money (and there are still plenty of them out there), are more inclined to reside in Assisted or Independent Living communities. the culture of LTC is moving towards “Aging in Place,” and the demand for AL and IL communities is increasing every day. In fact, SNFs (Skilled Nursing Facilities) are on the decline.

All of this is positive news for my partners and me.

I genuinely appreciate your concern for my well being, but again, I’m not worried. My company has grown at a 20% -30% clip for 26 straight years and is the premier supplier in our market. While most Fortune 500 companies are reporting reduced or negative growth this year, we are on pace for a 19% increase.

Did I mention we have ZERO debt and a surplus of cash?

We’re not going anywhere.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:

From my perspective there are many industries that are just way too overburdened by needless regulation (the financial sector, for example). There is no reason why employment could not be 100% in every sector. Unemployment is not a feature of a real market economy.
[/quote]

Well, hello Chicago Economics. From a purely technical standpoint, there is a natural level of unemployment in the economy, which economists have argued over for years, hesitantly agreeing on 5%. It exists because of seasonal employment, the amount of time it takes to find a new job, restructuring of companies, etc. 100% employment is a theoretical construct.

From a more personal viewpoint, the world is a fucked up place and the perfect market is a myth. Sectors such as manufacturing shrink, the older folks inside can’t easily retrain into other jobs, they become unemployed. Sectors like finance crash, some people are just unlucky and get fucked over. Unemployment is a natural phenomenon.

To the OP, it isn’t significantly effecting me yet because I’m taking a chance and applying to law school. Supposedly competition will be very stiff this year because many intelligent, motivated people from finance will be thinking about hopping ship. In the last economic downturn there was a 10% surge in apps to law school, and I can’t see why this wouldn’t happen again. However, I will finish applications next week and won’t get rejections for a few weeks yet, so I’m still flying happy.

[quote]blithe wrote:
Well, hello Chicago Economics. From a purely technical standpoint, there is a natural level of unemployment in the economy, which economists have argued over for years, hesitantly agreeing on 5%. It exists because of seasonal employment, the amount of time it takes to find a new job, restructuring of companies, etc. 100% employment is a theoretical construct.[/quote]

I do not subscribe to the Chicago School of economics. The Austrian School is more sound. The Chicago School relies too much on ill-fated and untenable mathematical models that have no place in the real, chaotic world of human action.

http://mises.org/humanaction/chap21sec4.asp

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
blithe wrote:
Well, hello Chicago Economics. From a purely technical standpoint, there is a natural level of unemployment in the economy, which economists have argued over for years, hesitantly agreeing on 5%. It exists because of seasonal employment, the amount of time it takes to find a new job, restructuring of companies, etc. 100% employment is a theoretical construct.

I do not subscribe to the Chicago School of economics. The Austrian School is more sound. The Chicago School relies too much on ill-fated and untenable mathematical models that have no place in the real, chaotic world of human action.

http://mises.org/humanaction/chap21sec4.asp

[/quote]

Either way, continual 100% employment of the Labor Force is a dream.