12  Oct
Thinning the Herd

Attending the GSA Suppliers Expo and Conference earlier this month was a sobering experience. During a 9 ½-hour stint in my company’s booth, I saw firsthand how the sour economy has affected the networking that goes on at industry trade shows.

As expected, lots of people, including many ex-colleagues and acquaintances, stopped by to see how I and my company were doing and to trade stories about what has happened since the last time we had a chance to chat. This is all well and good; unfortunately, there were also several other visitors, some who I knew and a few I did not know, who stopped by to inquire about work opportunities. This is the reality of a trade show in a today’s severely down economy with many people either unemployed or underemployed.

I am sure all of us know several people in the semiconductor industry looking for work. A couple of fellows I know have been unemployed for over a year; one for 18 months. Having the analysts tell us that the industry is starting to rebound doesn’t help these people – they are out of work and have bills to pay.

The really unfortunate part of all this is that many of the jobs that have been eliminated are not coming back. As past downsizing periods have shown us, companies “thin the herd” of employees to accommodate a business downturn and then, when business picks up, they increase the workload of current employees and only partially refill the employee pool to prior levels at comparable business loads.

This is the new business climate, it is here to stay and we all have to live with it.

Posted by admin, filed under Uncategorized. Date: October 12, 2009, 1:56 pm | 3 Comments »