Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

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


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.

Any bright spots? It depends on how you look at it. Of the 30 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the only ones with stock prices higher than a year ago are Wal-Mart and McDonald’s.

So who is going to face the most job insecurity in 2009: Bankers, autoworkers, or techies?