Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recession and the Job Market

The recession has taken its hits on the job market and we've covered a lot of it on the blog. But no one (at least in the Mainstream Media) seems to write more currently about it than the Wall Street Journal's Careers section. Here are a few recent articles:

I happen to catch a glimpse of the WSJ while in a meeting in a co-worker's office the other day and one of the titles on the front page was "Life on Severance: Comfort, Then Crisis" (picture on right from article). I think it was a very interesting article, but I wonder if the severance package that was described in the opening paragraph was one that was supposed to get people's emotions stirred up. There are people who are a few years out of college, stuck with tons of student loans, and making $35,000 a year who maybe got a month of severance. Then there is the $200,000-a-year CEO who they describe in the article who got a year's worth of pay as severance and has $100,000 in savings. I don't think many people are crying for that guy.

But the point of the article is an interesting one: there is a growing severance economy of unemployed Americans who use severance pay and savings to keep up their lifestyles. The 405 Club asks if severance pay is the new welfare? I don't think that's the case, but for many, it's providing that slowly eroding bridge until the next job offer. How much severance does you company give? Do you think it's enough or would you, if you made the decisions give more? It's an interesting dilemma for companies who then have to worry about keeping happy those who are left behind.

Two more good articles:
  • From today's WSJ, word that workers returning from layoffs have struggled to recoup the earnings power as wage erosion threatens to slow the economy's recovery.
  • Lastly, this article is supposedly from tomorrow's WSJ (I told you we're ahead of the curve), and says that women now hold half of all U.S. jobs because of the large hits in layoffs to male-dominated industries. This has upended roles about which spouse stays at home finding more women heading back into the workforce to support the family as a single-earner. Very interesting indeed.

1 comment:

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