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Monday, January 7, 2013

Laid off but not forgotten

Workplace layoffs are stressful for everyone: mostly the targeted employees but also the bosses and the surviving employees who feel bad for the laid off workers. The survivors wonder if they'll be next and who will be assigned the task of picking up the pieces and filling the void? The effects of layoffs on surviving employees is reduced productivity and low morale.

I had a teacher in high school who posted a poem on his bulletin board: "Indispensable Man" by Saxon White Kessenger. It goes on to say that there is no indispensable man, (or woman). Although humbling, it is only partially true, because like when Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen sang, "The Show Must Go On" as he was dying from AIDS -- the world or workplace will never be the same without that person and the skills and gifts that they contributed. Yes, the show will go on, but like with Queen, it won't be the same show.

  Here's a link to "Indispensable Man":

 Unemployment in Michigan peaked at 14.1 percent in October 2009. It was a very dismal time as so many people became jobless at once and the housing situation was swinging into crisis. The rate improved in 2012 dropping to 8.9 percent in November. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 411,000 people unemployed in November in Michigan.

 The most recent unemployment figure is 7.8 percent for the United States.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas, provider of executive outplacement services, reported the number of layoffs in 2012 was 523,362, the lowest since 1997.
To the contrary, The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported nearly 800,000 jobs were cut in layoffs in the United States in the first three quarters of 2012.
 The Bureau statistics show there were more than 1 million layoffs in the U.S. in each of the previous four years and there were more than 2.1 million in the peak year, 2009.

Many people are still unemployed or underemployed but in general things are getting better, or else we're just getting used to it.

It looks like unemployment is not biased by age except the rate is higher for teenagers. In spite of the statistics, I've heard of more older people in professional jobs being laid off than younger people. Here's the employment and unemployment statistics:

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