Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Lost my job, improved my health

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This is the first in a series of personal accounts about how people are surviving the recession. The writers are contributors to Associated Content.

By Meaghan Ringwelski

The auto industry’s problems are nothing new to the people of metro Detroit. The economy’s impact on Michigan hit close to home more than a year ago, when the small Plymouth company I’d worked for closed.

My co-workers and I saw it coming. Microdine, our small-parts distribution company, was struggling badly. As 2007 drew to a close, it was becoming obvious we would have no choice but to shut our doors.

I experienced what so many others in the Detroit area were going through: watching a company, despite cutting as many corners as possible, fall victim to the hideous state of the local economy. Driving away from work on that final day at the end of February 2008, I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me in finding a new job.

Ford job cuts spread

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Ford UK is to cut around 850 jobs by May and review its previously agreed pay offer as it grapples with the economic impact hitting the car industry, the company said on Thursday.

The news comes a week after the automaker said it was cutting some 2,500 white-collar jobs and 1,200 jobs at Ford Motor Credit. If you’re a Ford employee, tell us how the cuts are affecting you.

Who’s got it worse — bankers, autoworkers, or techies?

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It looks like a falling tide sinks all boats.

Out-of-work Wall Street workers have been on the front pages for months. Auto workers at the Big Three have been struggling for years, and with GM and Chrysler on the verge of a possible bankruptcy and/or bailout their situation is also dire.

Now the so-called knowledge workers are feeling the pinch. Sony is cutting 16,000 workers, and Silicon Valley companies that initially resisted the swooning of the economy are looking to cut costs and shed entry-level positions. As Reuters reported on Tuesday, people in their 20s are finding a college degree is no longer their golden ticket to a dream job in high tech.

from Summit Notebook:

Diller to profitable companies: Lay off the layoffs

IAC Chief Executive Barry Diller took several groups to task at the Reuters Media Summit, but he reserved special disgust for CEOs at profitable companies who add to the country's rising unemployment rate.

Also targeted by the former Hollywood executive were "incredibly, shockingly stupid" Big 3 auto executives, the Internet's strange and growing dictionary, and Hollywood's lack of creativity.

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