Skip to comments.Bad Times Spur a Flight to Jobs Viewed as Safe
Posted on 01/24/2009 1:53:15 PM PST by SeekAndFind
After years of struggling to get their wages up, the nations workers are trying to find jobs that will simply last, least through the deep recession.
Fearing layoffs, investment bankers at Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley are joining small Wall Street firms for less pay but with signed employment guarantees. Academics are migrating to community colleges, which are adding teachers as enrollment rises. In Eastern Wisconsin, workers furloughed from paper mill they fear will not reopen are training as truck drivers and welders.
Looking online and in newspapers and talking to my instructors, Ive decided that trucking and welding stand out as jobs that are available and will continue to be available, and a lot of my friends agree, said Dan Geneen, who has picked up truck-driving certificate and is learning welding since he was let go by the paper mill last fall.
Trucker and welder are hardly glamorous careers to most Americans. But there is new allure developing around jobs likely to keep a person employed, at reasonable pay, through a prolonged downturn. Government employment once offered that promise, certainly in the Great Depression. But government hiring is less than robust now, at 181,000 additions over the last year, mostly at the state and local level. That is far from offsetting the 2.5 million jobs lost in the 13 months of recession.
With his economic recovery package now before Congress, President Obama promises to generate thousands of steady jobs, some of them in government. Until those positions appear in abundance, however, the hunt for safe work is occurring mainly in the private sector and the hunting is not easy.
The companies doing the least hiring now are very often the companies that offer the safest jobs, said Susan Houseman, a senior economist labor expert at the Upjohn Institute
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
MORE KEY POINTS FROM THE ARTICLE :
“As the recession deepens, the only industry in the private sector adding jobs in significant numbers is health care, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it is doing so across the board, from physician to bed pan attendant.
Government used to be a refuge, particularly postal work and public school teaching. But the post office has been shrinking its payroll for several years. Secondary school employment mainly kindergarten through high school rose through August to nearly 8.1 million jobs, but it has fallen each month since as declining tax revenue forces cutbacks.
Those cutbacks rarely apply to math and science teachers, who are often in short supply. Teaching math in a high school in an affluent suburb, said Tom Geoghegan, a labor lawyer in Chicago and a Democratic candidate for Congress, that is my idea of the ultimate safe job.
Despite the negative tone, this is a positive story. People are adapting. And that’s a good thing.
Life goes on at my household, and it will go on no matter what the leftist crooks throw at us. We are paid for and diversified, broke, but comfortable, and we don’t need anything from 0, except to be left alone.
It's a good thing most Americans aren't looking for glamor. They're looking to raise families and put food on the table. America needs welders, truck drivers and ditch diggers more than it needs journalists, politicians and academics.
Amen to that!
Yup. I do IT/MIS work for a living, but if that dies, I hold a few automotive/engine repair certs as well as skills in other fields - and have no qualms about doing a “less glamorous” job if that’s what I need to do.
Gah, hit send too soon.
I also have a forklift operator cert and experience with manual labor.
Specialization is for insects.
If there is no more IT work, the only solution I have is to find more IT work. :(
I know that as long as I don't do anything stupid like smoke weed or rack up DUIs, I'm going to have a job each morning and this job provides health care to my family and the pay isn't too bad. It's nice to not have the stress of wondering each day if there's going to be a "you've been downsized" notice waiting for me when I arrive at work.
Not to worry. The BO will save us.
Specialization is for insects.
My surgeon is also a sheet metal worker.
The trucking industry is a service industry ... when the economy goes south they’re impacted very early on ... one of the best barometers of an economic downturn (weeks, sometimes months, before you start reading about it in the WSJ) transportation executives are aware that the economy is weakening. Column upon column of truck driver recruitment ads that appear in the paper in good times are disappearing rapidly. Driver recruiters for trucking companies are turning away applicants. Bottom line ... learning to drive a ‘big rig’ in todays economy isn’t a guarantee of employment.
I commend your local community college or vocational school to your attention, specifically the welding courses.
Welding is a skill that is in high demand (always has been) and can be used everywhere. It’s a skill I don’t have (yet), but I plan to begin courses later this year.
http://geo.craigslist.org/ Select your city and state
http://www.dice.com/ (Mostly IT & High Tech)
http://www.fiveoclockclub.com/Go Free Lance
http://www.hcareers.com - Primarily hospitality careers, but also catering, cruise lines, travel industry and restaurants.
Hire Net (mostly medical)
http://www.topechelonnetwork.com/JobSeekers/Default.aspx (3rd party recruiters)
We have an electrical contracting business and have had more than one white-collared worker call us looking for work. They tell us they wish they had also learned a trade. Unfortunately, what we would pay a helper/apprentice isn’t enough for them and their families to live on.
LEFT ALONE? lots of luck with that one.
Very smart...I was downsized in Feb of 08 (after 16 years)and still have not found a job. Although it is in the freight industry, import/export. Too old to start something new.
This is a great article, totally agree. Americans are innovative, creative people. If you gots skillz, use them bad boys and learn some new stuff on the side. Also pay your debts down and don’t owe anyone a damn thing.
Yes, it seems as if people are getting the message. Hopefully.
As the recession deepens, the only industry in the private sector adding jobs in significant numbers is health care, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it is doing so across the board, from physician to bed pan attendant.
Uhmmm. Health care is not in the private sector. It is primarily a government reimbursment program
Never too old to learn something new. My grandmother learned to ride a motorcycle at age 84.