Sunday, March 18, 2007

#39 on the Implode-o-meter

A friend of mine received notice from Ameriquest on Thursday that "his services were no longer required." Now, anyone reading my posts knows that I was not in the least in favor of the loans being offered. But I do wish this individual well.

He's located in OC where the job market has developed quite a chill. So if anyone needs a good IT project manager, let me know and I'll pass it on.

Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg. I have very mixed emotions right now about all of the people getting laid off. Ok, the brokers who sucked FB's into loans that were financial death traps... I have no pity. For those doing back office work just trying to get by... some pity.

But emotions don't matter. The job market is going to get colder. Its going to become more desolate. Aerospace has almost completely shut down hiring here in So-Cal for experienced talent. Oh, students are still getting hired and there certainly are positions being filled on an exception basis... But normally I know of 3 to 4 openings for every acquaintance I have looking to job hop. Right now I know a few people about to see the pay checks halt... and yet I know of only two unfilled positions that could be filled by external applicants. In other words, the ratio hasn't reversed, but instead of applicants to jobs being 1:3 its now 2:1.

No claims are made that this is a scientific survey...

I'm also hearing about job transfers. A friend whom I work with just confided to me that he and his girlfriend will decide where to live within 60 days. Due to so-cal house prices... he's thinking elsewhere. She really wants to buy at level to at least match the standard of living of the east European country they left. Since that is out of reach in so-cal... they'll move again. :( This scenario, by rumor, seems to be most common at Raytheon right now. (solely due to the age demographics of their workforce. The other aerospace companies seem to have a large "hole" in the 30 to 39 age range.)

I'm hearing rumblings about Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop, and Lockheed all considering a decent size move. Now... Lockheed has already committed to moving 1,700 out of state and Boeing 1,000... so this could be a small follow on wave or something more. Boeing would do the most damage (largest employer in LA) if anything big happens (e.g., lose the C-17, Boeing satellites cuts head count/relocates some work, etc.). Northrop? If they will the KC-33, expect a few thousand to head to Houston and Mobile. I wish I could tell you specifics on Raytheon... but nothing but the rumblings.

The big unknown (to me) is when will the music companies start laying off. They have to, their books just aren't looking right. Ok, no need for a 2nd implode-o-meter. This mature "cash flow" industry just isn't meeting the numbers.... Somehow I don't think that CD sales are going to spike in 2007 or 2008.

So the summary is that so-cal is about to lose a bunch of jobs. OC is about to get "hammered." But everywhere will feel the pain. Those out of work had better be willing to be a little flexible. We'll get through this... but its not going to be fun for several hundred thousand southland families.

Got popcorn?


Rob Dawg said...

California is being punished for being a single party state. My biased opinion is that we are being punished extra for being a single party democrat state but nevermind that. There are very few Fortune 500s left. None would ever even begin to consider locating here despite the "Pacific Century" arising. Amgen is going to Colorado, All the mortgage originators are going to the toilet. "Free trade" has gutted rational agriculture. All we do now is build urban areas.

wannabuy said...

Amgen is going to Colorado,

The #1 "high salary" employer of Ventura country. Ouch. IIRC, #2 is Countrywide (but I'm not sure about that).

Yet "real estate only goes up."


got popcorn?

Anonymous said...


After this comment, I'm can't say I'm not curious as to wear you work. I for one work work for said defense company, but in the San Diego location (different division). We have already hired at least on of those people from the LA division.

As for us down here, we have been continuing to hire. And it seems like most of us are transferring from New England (MA mostly). Go figure.

My boss just bought a house. He seemed pretty excited (actually more resigned) that he was getting a $700k house for $20k below comps (what can you say?). My wife's boss just bought a condo in Del Mar (2/2 for ~$425?). According to the conversation my wife overheard, he seems to think that house prices are as good as they are going to get right now.

There are a lot of clueless people still out there. I am still absolutely amazed about how few people really know what is going on. My wife and I have decided to just let people do what they want. You just can't argue with them here. Everyone just loves to say, "It's expensive here".