[nycbug-talk] MSNBC on the decline of technology jobs

George R. george
Wed Jun 22 16:04:17 EDT 2005

alex at pilosoft.com wrote:
> On Wed, 22 Jun 2005, George R. wrote:
>>There was a massive contraction among technical jobs, and it was so
>>drastic, that it went far beyond those not interested or unqualified.  
>>Alex, there are some people we know in common who you would agree are
>>more than qualified and driven who were hit hard. . . we can talk at
>>some point about that. ..
> I think I'll disagree. Yes, there was contraction in 2001-2002. But, don't
> forget about the insane expansion from 1997 to 1999. I submit that after 
> the cycle, there were *still* more people employed in 2003 than there were 
> in 1996.

Well, just ran out for a burger and found that trashy free computer 
magazine. . .

their numbers, from the American Electronics Association. . .

based on total number of jobs, ie, contraction, ie, number lost and gained:

2004	25000 lost to 5.6 million
2003	333000 lost
2002	612000

yes. . . long term there were probably more people employed in 
technology in 2003 than 1996, but that's still a lot of lost jobs.

> Asking salary plays a huge role. If someone was on the street cause they
> were still looking for 120k base in 2002 while the going rate for their
> skills was 80k, well, that's their own problem.

Sure. . . and that was commmon. . .

> I'll be honest - the entire group at Lazard where I was consulting was
> laid off including our manager and I've had to accept a fulltime job at
> less than half I was making consulting in order to keep money coming in.  
> But, I was on the street for about 3 weeks, and I think I've made the
> right choice then.

Yeah, it was probably right . . . ;-)

> <snip>
>>Anybody who doesn't see the very real trajectory from 1999 until today
>>is missing something. . . too isolated from the larger picture.  Which
>>is probably good.
> And if you are looking only from 1999, you are missing larger picture too. 
> Look at 1995-2005 for perspective. It is classic boom-bust cycle. You make 
> lots of $$$ at the peak, that should tide you during the bust. If you were 
> making 100$/hr consulting in 1999 and didn't save anything for rainy day - 
> again, too bad for you ;)

Sure. . . but we're not talking about stocks or real estate prices, 
we're talking about people losing their jobs.  Long-term cycles are 
useful and insightful, but the point is that millions suffered layoffs 
during the bust, and technology was particularly hard hit.

>>I had seven or so in my IT department.  And the most talented just left 
>>the industry.  Of the others, only one is still in technology.  Were the 
>>others meant to be there?  Maybe, maybe not. Some didn't have the 
>>passion or drive, but we're not paratroopers.
>>On the individual level, we should learn the clear lessons about
>>continuing to improve skills and experience, personal networking, etc.
> Bingo.

Yes. . . thus NYCBUG. ;-)

Are any of the talk jobless on our jobs list?  There are regular 
listings. . .

>>But the fact remains, technical people created neither the dot com boom
>>nor the bust.  It was the speculation of the investors and the relevant
>>industries that did.  Nevertheless, it was technical people who were hit
>>disproportionately hard in terms of employment.  Of course, I'm not
>>talking about the millions whose retirement equity disappeared, usually
>>through no fault of their own, as they had invested in mutual funds,
>>401k's and union pension funds. . .
> Again, my opinion is that technology people are better off in 2005 
> compared to 1995. So, yeah, boom-bust cycle sucked, but altogether, it 
> ain't that bad.

But you argued that those out of work for more than 2 weeks during the 
bust were in some senses deserving of their fate. . . I disagree and 
think I made that point clear. . .

BTW, can we play with KPhone now?



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