Economic News 1999

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1999 January
Gerald McDonnell & A. Denver Russell _Clinical MicroBiology Review_/_NIH_
anti-septics and dis-infectants: activity, action, and resistance


Michael Volker _BC Technology_
Tech companies will shine in 1999
"In 1998 May we launched the T-Net 20 B.C. high tech index to track the performance of BC-based public technology companies.   The intent was to draw more public - and investor - attention to the technology sector in B.C.   We selected the 20 largest companies, by market cap, and set the index to 1000 as of 1998 January 1.   At year end, the index stands at approximately 1400, an increase in value of 40% over the past year.   Two years ago, on 1997 January 1 the value of the index was 812.08...   According to the Batelle Institute, U.S. companies plan to increase their R&D spending in 1999 by 9.3%, following 9.7% in 1998...   I'm optimistic that our T-Net20 index will reach 2000 by 2000.   After all, where are the great investment opportunities if not in technology?"


unemployment insurance weekly claims







1999-01-07 10:28PST (13:28EST) (18:28GMT)
1998 was a record year for lay-offs: 103,166 in December
"In 1998, a lot of employment records were broken, all of them at the expense of workers, a key employment survey revealed Thursday.   Capping an already grim year, USA companies in December laid off a studding 103,166 employees -- double the number they let go in November and the highest monthly figure for the year, according to employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas...   The December figure - the highest total since 1994, when 108,946 people lost their jobs -- also brought the 1998 fourth-quarter total to 246,339, the highest since tracking began in 1989...   By industry, 30,040 workers in aerospace/defense companies lost their jobs, while 17,219 in commodities cleaned out their desks.   And those in the financial and automotive industries followed, with 11,234 lay-offs and 10,573, respectively...   For 1998, U.S. companies cut 677,795 jobs in all, which far surpasses the previous decade-high of 615,186 in 1993.   The yearly total surpassed the 1997 figure of 434,350 by 56% and the previous decade-high 1993 figure of 615,186 by 10%...   Among industries, electronics took the biggest hit for the year, registering 84,186 job cuts in 1998.   Not far behind were industrial goods companies, which slashed 75,504 jobs.   On a regional basis where companies' head-quarters are located, California led the way with 91,920 lay-offs.   Texas and New York vied for a distant second place, with 66,624 and 65,677, respectively.   And Illinois, with 60,443 job cuts, and New Jersey, with 38,490, came in fourth and fifth."


Danny Arao
Under-Employment Has Increased as "Flexible" Working Conditions Intensify

_Corpus Christi Caller Times_
Job cuts show worry: String of lay-offs may signal that 1999 could be rocky
VNSA archives
Progressive Economic Network archives
"The number of Americans claiming unemployment checks fell by 22K to a seasonally adjusted 350K during the week ended January 2, the Labor Department said Thursday.   But that only partly reversed a surge of 83K, the biggest in 6 years, to 372K the week before.   Claims had fallen to an 8-month low of 289K during the week ended [1998] December 19...   The out-placement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., said announced lay-offs totaled 103,166 in December, a 5-year high and double November's job cuts of 51,642.   Fourth-quarter lay-off announcements totaled 246,339, the most since the firm began compiling the report in 1989."


Dave Skidmore _Corpus Christi Caller Times_/_AP_
1998 job market allegedly best in 41 years
"Economists who believe the jobless rate will rise somewhat this year point to a report Thursday from the out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. that lay-off announcements doubled to 103K in December from November."



William C. Symonds, De'Ann Weimer & Andy Reinhardt _Business Week_
Why the 4th Quarter Looks Like a Stinker: Profits are still historically high, but weak over-seas sales, price deflation, and high wages [sic] are taking a toll
"By December 28, some 400 such [low revenue] warnings had been issued...   Through November, corporations had unveiled plans to cut 574,629 jobs, just 7% shy of the decade's record high, set in 1993, according to out-placement specialists Challenger, Gray & Christmas.   With Citigroup, Case, and others wielding the axe in December, 1998 may be 'the worst year for corporate lay-offs in the 1990s', predicts Rick Cobb of Challenger.
  With many companies figuring 'they might as well get all the bad news out at once' with huge write-offs, net earnings will fall 5.5% in the fourth quarter, figures David A. Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's DRI...
  Multi-nationals, buffeted by the Asian crisis for 18 months, will continue to feel the pain.   Coca-Cola, which gets 80% of operating earnings over-seas, recently warned that fourth-quarter net will come in some 25% below the $817M earned a year earlier.   And weak markets from Asia to Russia will continue to hammer Coke, which analysts say may not hit its goal of increasing unit volume 7% to 8% in 1999.   On December 17, Nike Inc. said second-quarter earnings fell 51%, and warned that future orders are down 37% in Asia, versus just 7% in the U.S.A.   Things won't get any easier for multi-nationals in 1999.   Asia 'is still showing no signs of recovery', says James E. Goodwin, president of UAL Corp., which lost $600M of business there in the 12 months ended September 30."







Michael A. Verespej _Industry Week_
It's time to find a better way.   There were an estimated 635K lay-offs in 1998, indicating that management is still far from treating employees fairly.
"The lay-offs and labor clashes in the last 6 months serve as a sober reminder that top management still isn't any closer to mastering its greatest challenge: treating employees with respect and dignity and rewarding them as fairly as they reward those in top-management ranks...   As the year ended, company after company in country after country announced job cutbacks -- some because of mergers, others because of a decline in business, and still others because of plain old-fashioned mismanagement.   Boeing, 48K workers.   Volvo, 5,300.   Thomson-CSF, 4K.   Johnson & Johnson, 4,100.   Deutsche Bank AG and Bankers Trust Corp., 5,500 each.   9K jobs will be lost from the Exxon/Mobil merger and 6K from the BP/Amoco union.   Not to mention the cut-back in jobs announced in December by RJR Nabisco, Quaker Chemical, Kellogg. Corp., ITT Industries, B.F. Goodrich, Texaco, and Union Pacific.   Indeed, the number of lay-offs in 1998 was expected to exceed 625K, making it the worst year of the decade, according to out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc...   As for the labor disputes, most stem from management requests for more concessions from workers, even after they pitch in to help restore a company to profitability, or from management's self-stated desire to sub-contract work to obtain lower labor costs.   For example: The value of Oregon Steel's initial investment in CF&I Steel LP's Pueblo, CO, mill has increased by 657% since 1993 March and workers improved productivity by 78% between 1995 and the end of 1997 June.   Their 'reward' from management was a contract proposal that included higher health-care copayments and deductibles and a wage offer that would still keep the firm's workers below the industry average.   That has triggered an on-going 15-month strike.   Yet while companies ask workers to do more for less, the ratio of CEO pay to that of the average worker has jumped from 27:1 in 1973 to 48:1.   And that gap has grown from 45:1 to 173:1 when restricted stock, stock options, and other long-term pay-outs are included.   Lest anyone think it is just workers who are frustrated, think again.   A survey last month by international management consultant Kepner-Tregoe Inc. found that 69% of workers and 47% of managers say that their organizations do not give financial rewards for good work done by either management or workers."








Justin Kruger & David Dunning _Cornell University_/_American Psychological Association Journal_
Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments
alternate link
APA link
more meta-cognition
just an interesting article and discussion
Self grading in a project-based software engineering course
"People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains...   Not only do [some] people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it...   participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability.   Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd.   Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error...   'It is one of the essential features of such incompetence that the person so afflicted is incapable of knowing that he is incompetent.   To have such knowledge would already be to remedy a good portion of the offense.' (W.I. Miller, 1993 _Humiliation_ p. 4)...   as Charles Darwin (1871 _The Descent of Man_) sagely noted over a century ago, 'ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge' (p. 3)...   Perhaps the best illustration of this tendency is the 'above-average effect' [or Lake Woebegone effect], or the tendency of the average person to believe he or she is above average, a result that defies the logic of descriptive statistics (M.D. Alicke, 1985 _Journal of Personality & Social Psychology_; Alicke, Klotz, Breitenbecher, Yurak, & Vredenburg, 1995 _Journal of Personality & Social Psychology_; Brown & Gallagher, 1992 _Journal of Experimental Social Psychology_; P. Cross, 1977 _New Directions for Higher Education_; Dunning et al., 1989 _Journal of Personality & Social Psychology_; Klar, Medding, & Sarel, 1996 _Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes_; Weinstein, 1980 _Journal of Personality & Social Psychology_; Weinstein & Lachendro, 1982 _Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin_)...   Work on the nature of expertise, for instance, has revealed that novices possess poorer metacognitive skills than do experts...   This criterion problem, or lack of uncontroversial criteria against which self-perceptions can be compared, is particularly problematic in light of the tendency to define ambiguous traits and abilities in ways that emphasize one's own strengths (Dunning et al., 1989)...   One of the ways people gain insight into their own competence is by comparing themselves with others (Festinger, 1954 _Human Relations_; Gilbert, Giesler, & Morris, 1995 _Journal of Personality & Social Psychology_).   We reasoned that if the incompetent cannot recognize competence in others, then they will be unable to make use of this social comparison opportunity...   Despite the fact that top-quartile participants were far more calibrated than were their less skilled counterparts, they tended to under-estimate their performance relative to their peers...   bottom-quartile participants failed to gain insight into their own performance after seeing the more competent choices of their peers.   If anything, bottom-quartile participants tended to raise their already inflated self-estimates, although not to a significant degree...   after grading the test performance of 5 of their peers, top-quartile participants raised their estimates of their own general grammar ability...   because top-quartile participants performed so adeptly, they assumed the same was true of their peers.   After seeing the performances of others, however, they were disabused of this notion, and thus the they improved the accuracy of their self-appraisals.   Thus, the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others...   In particular, work on overconfidence has shown that people are more miscalibrated when they face difficult tasks, ones for which they fail to possess the requisite knowledge, than they are for easy tasks, ones for which they do possess that knowledge (Lichtenstein & Fischhoff, 1977 _Organizational Behavior and Human Performance_)."


Milton Friedman _Wall Street Journal_ pgA18
Socialist Insecurity
"To preserve the fiction that [Socialist Insecurity] is insurance, federal government interest-bearing bonds of a corresponding amount have been deposited in a so-called trust fund.   That is, one branch of the government, the Treasury, has given an interest-bearing IOU to another branch, the [Socialist Insecurity Abomination].   Each year thereafter, the Treasury gives the [Socialist Insecurity Abomination] additional IOUs to cover the interest due.   The only way that the Treasury can redeem its debt to the [Socialist Insecurity Abomination] is to [further extort the public, to] borrow money from the public, run a surplus in its other activities or have the Federal Reserve print the money -- the same alternatives that would be open to it to pay [Socialist Insecurity] benefits if there were no trust fund.   But the accounting sleight-of-hand of a bogus trust fund is counted on to conceal this fact from a gullible public."



John H. Auten _Treasury_
Remarks to the Public Securities Association Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee

1999 February
Publicly Announced Lay-Offs for 1999 February
"Initial claims for unemployment insurance had been running a little higher than expected earlier this year (about 350K after seasonal adjustment).   This began to raise some doubts as to the pace of current activity.   Downward-revised data released last week paint a different and more encouraging picture.   Initial claims have been lowered to a level (near 300K) that is more consistent with strong growth and tight labor markets."


1999-02-05 05:58PST (08:58EST) (13:58GMT)
January pay-roll rise of 245K; jobless rate remains 4.3%
"Muting the gains was a sharp downward revision in the December non-farm pay-rolls increase to 298K from the originally reported 378K."


_PEN archives_
79,667 lay-offs announced in January
"Businesses announced in January that they would cut 79,667 jobs, a 10% increase from 1998 January, according to data released by out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.   In December, Challenger tracked 103,166 job-cut announcements, the largest one-month total since 1994 January. The 1998 lay-off total hit 677,795..."

"Bit by bit, day by day, we are being seduced by politicians promising security as they take away our sovereignty, promising prosperity as they gnaw away at our privacy." --- Steve Forbes 1999-02-17 _Wired_

1999-02-24 (5759 Adar 07)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Population control nonsense
"Ted Turner... This father of 5 said we could achieve the 'ideal' world population of 2G people, as opposed to today's 6G, 'if everybody adopted a one-child policy for 100 years'.   How did Turner arrive at the ideal population?...   We could put the world's entire population into the United States.   Doing so would make our population density 1,531 people per square mile.   That's a far lower population density than what now exists in New York (11,440), Los Angeles (9,126) and Houston (7,512)...   Poor countries are rife with agricultural restrictions, export and import controls, restrictive licensing and price controls, not to mention gross human rights abuses that encourage their most productive people to emigrate.   The most promising anti-poverty tool for poor people and poor countries is personal liberty."

Daniel Gold _TimSizing_/_NY Times_
Virtual Jobs, Actual Layo-Offs, by Daniel Gold NY Times pp. 3-11
"In a study of lay-offs over the last 6 years, Challenger, Gray & Christmas... has found that the computer industry, considered a prime source of job growth, is also a leader in job loss...   From 1993 through 1998... the computer industry [273K job cuts, from chart] ranked third in down-sizing, [out-done] only by aerospace [373K] and retailing [280K]...   Companies in more than 30 industries announced a combined 3.1M lay-offs; [the top] 7... accounted for more than half the total."

1999 February
Lay-Off Stories

1999 February
National Coalition for the Homeless Fact Sheet #4
"Not only have wages stagnated or declined over the last 2 decades, but job stability and job security have deteriorated.   The share of workers in 'long term jobs' (those lasting at least 10 years) fell sharply between 1979 and 1996, with the worst deterioration taking place since the end of the 1980s ('The State of Working America' Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and JohnSchmitt, 1999).
  Another measure of job stability, involuntary job loss, has increased in recent years.   Displaced workers face difficulty finding new employment; when they do find work, their new jobs pay, on average, about 13% less than the jobs they lost.   And more than one-fourth of those who had health insurance on their old jobs don't have it at their new ones (Mishel, Bernstein, and Schmitt, 1999).
  Another trend impacting job security is non-standard work.   Almost 30% of workers in 1997 were employed in non-standard work arrangements -- for example, independent contracting, working for a temporary help agency, day labor, and regular part-time employment (Mishel, Bernstein, and Schmitt, 1999).   These kinds of work arrangements typically offer lower wages, fewer benefts, and less job security.
  A useful measure of the decline in job security is under-employment.   Unlike the unemployment rate, measures of under-employment reflect not only individuals who are unemployed, but also involuntary part-timers and those who want to work but have been discouraged by their lack of success.   In 1997, the under-employment rate stood at 8.9%, substantially higher than the 4.9% unemployment rate.   One reason for the higher level of under-employment is the increasing number of involuntary part-time workers -- workers who want to work full time but have only been able to obtain part time work."

1999 February
Elizabeth Mallor Walder ( 847-470-2525 1999-02-??
"Computer Law: New H-1B Provisions Protect Alien Employees" _Chicago Computer Guide_ pg 20
"Due to American high-tech industry's increasing demand of [sic] foreign-born professionals, the US Congress passed a legislation [sic] in [1998] October to increase [the] H-1B annual cap of 65K visas to 115K in FYs 1999 & 2000, & 107.5K in FY 2001.   The cap then reverts to 65K in FY2002."

1999 February
Diane Kunde _Dallas Morning News_
93% use internet postings to recruit
"A recent American Management Association survey of 344 firms found that 93% use internet postings & 96% use news-paper classifieds for recruiting, while 59% post jobs electronically.   Still, the percentage of employers doing cyber recruiting tripled in 2 years.   And an additional 13% of firms plan to move some recruiting on-line, the management group said."

1999 February
David Ehrenfeld _Tikkun_
The coming collapse of the age of technology
"Our NAFTA strategy has cost this country tens of thousands of jobs, reduced our food security, and thrown our neighbor, Mexico, into social, economic, and environmental turmoil; is this an adequate repayment for the dollars and time we have spent on free trade?....   Techno-economic globalization is nearing its apogee; the system is self-destructing...   the emergence of new, ecologically influenced diseases, and the resurgence of old diseases, including, for example, the recent discovery of locally transmitted malaria in New Jersey, New York City, Michigan, Toronto, California, and Texas; the spread of antibiotic resistance among pathogenic bacteria; and finally the catastrophic growth of the human population, far exceeding the earth's carrying capacity—all of these things associated with the techno-economic system now in place...   A second example of the effects of obsolescence is the wholesale forgetting of useful skills and knowledge—everything from how to operate a lathe to how to identify different species of earth-worms.   Whole branches of learning are disappearing from the universities.   The machine is jettisoning both knowledge and diversity (a special kind of information) simultaneously..."

1999 February
_Career Choices_
Recruiting Trends
"This year's college labor market will be as robust as that experienced last year.   Nevertheless employers are somewhat cautious and expressed concern about a possible spring slowdown in the economy.   The continuing economic difficulties experienced by Southeast Asian countries is still having a negative impact on the U.S. economy...   The need for new personnel with college training is reflected in the salaries that are currently being paid.   In 1998 April the starting salary offer for new graduates with bachelor degrees in selected computer fields were as follows: hardware design and development--$43,312; computer engineering--$43,436; software design and development-$43,890; computer programming-$39,301; systems analysis and design-$39,257; management information systems-$38,564...   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29% of workers employed by temporary placement firms remain at the same job assignment for a year or more.   The IRS claims that many companies should classify such workers as common-law employees and not as independent contractors.   As such they would be eligible for employee benefits.   In a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this interpretation was upheld.   This decision will stand since the Supreme Court refused to review this decision.   In the near future an increasing number of such workers are expected to sue to gain such a classification.   Temp firms are of course displeased by this ruling since much of their business involves placing workers in long-term assignments...   75% of all high school graduates enter the work force before they receive a bachelor's degree.   The National Alliance of Business, a nonprofit organization which deals with education issues, cited a survey by the Public Agenda Foundation of New York that only 16% of employers screened their job applicants for their academic performance.   In the same survey 84% of students claimed they would have worked harder in school if they knew that prospective employers were going to look at their transcripts...   In 1970 52% of high school graduates enrolled in college, compared to 66% today.   Nearly one-third of all entering freshmen require remedial courses.   At community colleges about 50% need remediation.   The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth found that the average person in the United States held 8.6 jobs between ages 18 and 33.   This includes part-time and summer work.   Between 18 and 22 the average number was 4.4...   the situation continues to be dismal for those seeking tenure-granting faculty positions.   Ph.D.s in engineering or in business and management are the only groups that have a decent chance to obtain such positions.   Universities are still turning out far too many Ph.D.s.   In 1997 42,705 Ph.D.s were conferred, compared to 42,415 in 1996."

1999 February
Sheryl Silver _NJ_
National Engineer Week and Jobs Outlook
"Electrical and electronic engineers, for example, had a challenging year last year in terms of employment.   According to Chris Currie, external communications supervisor for the Washington, DC-headquartered Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-U.S.A. [IEEE-USA], 'Although it does appear that salary growth for early career engineers remained strong and that opportunities for this group of engineers continued to grow in telecommunications and Internet companies among others, the Asian flu had a significant impact on engineers in the semi-conductor and electronics industries, prompting a sizeable number of lay-offs.   In early 1998, unemployment among electrical and electronic engineers in the U.S. was just 0.4%.   By the 3rd quarter of 1998, the rate was up to 3.4%.'"

1999 Winter
Dean Baker _National Institute for Research Advancement_
The Real Importance of a Global Economy

1999-03-04 06:02PST (09:02EST) (14:02GMT)
Seasonally adjusted jobless claims down 8K
"The number of initial claims was 286K, compared with the revised total of 294K for the week before...   The 4-week average of claims...declined to 290,750 from a revised 293K the previous week.   The current figure is the lowestsince the 287,500 average of the 4 weeks ended 1989-02-24.   The total number of Americans receiving unemployment insurance benefits declined by 94K to 2.194M from 2.288M in the prior week."

1999-03-05 07:18PST (10:18EST) (15:18GMT)
February pay-roll boost of 275K exceeds forecast; jobless rate up to 4.4%
"The January increase in non-farm pay-rolls was revised lower to 217K from the originally reported 245K...   Despite the increase in pay-rolls [from the establishment survey], the unemployment rate [from the household survey] rose to 4.4% in February from January's 4.3%...   Average hourly earnings rose by 1 cent, or 0.1%, compared with an increase of 6 cents, or 0.5%, in January...   One possible sign of that slow-down: jobs in the manufacturing sector fell by 50K.   That was more than offset by the 123K gain in retail industry sector jobs during February.   The average work week was 34.7 hours, up from 34.5 hours in January..."

61,870 lay-offs were announced in February
"Job cut announcements are running at a faster pace in the first 2 months of 1999 than they did in the same period 1 year ago, according to the February Challenger, Gray & Christmas lay-off report.   U.S. companies announced 61,870 job cuts in February, bringing the 2-month total to 141,537, a 21.8% increase from the same period in 1998...   Increased foreign competition is hurting the apparel industry, which led all industries in February with 10,896 job cuts.   This, in turn, has had an impact on retailers.   Apparel and retail account for 31.2% of announced work-force reductions this year... (Daily Labor Report, March 9, page A-2)."

_Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1
Keeping Your Job
Median years of tenure with employer...
Employer [Type] 1983 1998
Government 5.8 7.3
Electrical machinery/eqpmt 4.7 5.0
Machinery & computer eqpmt 5.8 4.4
Printing/publishing 3.2 4.0
Banking 3.3 3.7
Insurance & real estate 3.0 3.4
Construction 2.0 2.7
Retail 1.9 1.8
Source: BLS"

Lindsey Novak _Chicago Tribune_
Back in Action section 6 pg 5 "The [Information Technology Association of America, ITAA] conducted a 1998 study [claiming] that 1 out of every 10 jobs for programmers, systems analysts & computer scientists goes unfilled...   If you update your resume & read the want ads, you could be working within weeks."

Roberto Sanchez _Seattle Times_
Starting Salaries for New Grads NACE 1999 January
Economics & Finance$35,016
Liberal Arts$30,212

Melissa O'Neil _Tri-Cities Herald_
Business growth not yet enough to absorb laid-off Hanford workers

Barb Cole-Gronolski _ComputerWorld_/_IDG_
Storing Resumes Digitally Helps Manage Recruiting: Stream of applicants belies labor shortage while poor tools turn away thousands of capable applicants
"With more hiring leads coming over the web, some companies are trying to manage the deluge -- and keep track of applicants for future job openings -- by storing resumes in a data-base...   'We are inundated with resumes.', said Kathy McLean, human resources information systems manager at the Eden Prairie, MN, company...   Vendors in the space, including Restrac Inc. in Lexington, MA, and Hire Systems Inc. in San Mateo, CA, said their customers report getting anywhere from 5% to 15% of their resumes via the Internet...   Because it matches key-words on applicant resumes with user-defined job descriptions, it might overlook a good candidate because that individual may not have employed [syntax that the resume parser was capable of handling]."

Carol Kleiman _Chicago Tribune_ sec 6 pg 1
At Work: What's Hot, What's Not
"Scalding hot jobs...   The engineering scalders & their starting salaries: chemical, $45,200; electrical, $42,900; computer science, $42,800; mechanical, $40,900; & industrial, $40,500.   The salaries, says [Bob] Jones [of U of MO-Columbia], are up 4% to 6% over last year.   Hot jobs: Information technology professionals are doing even better in salaries than engineers.   They're averaging a 7.3% increase in starting wages, acording to the 1999 RHI [Robert Half Inc.] Consulting Salary Guide.   RHI Consulting, a specialized staffing service based in Menlo Park, CA, reports that data base administrators head the list with average salaries from $61,250 to $88K annually, a 16.3% increase over 1998.   But Web masters shouldn't be upset at being only 2nd: They're averaging a 14.7% increase with salaries from $51.5K to $73K."

1999-03-31 (5759 Nisan 14)
Walter E. Wiliams _Jewish World Review_
Population and poverty
"Despite abundant evidence that faster population growth is not correlated with slower economic growth, poor countries are advised to lower their birth rates.   Let's look at some of the evidence between 1950 and 1983.   West Germany had a higher population density and population growth rate than East Germany...   Despite higher population densities (more crowding), West Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States and Japan experienced far greater economic growth than their counterparts with lower population densities and lower population growth rates.   By the way, Hong Kong has virtually no agriculture sector but its citizens eat well.   As a result of bad weather and [Red China's] Great Leap Forward plan, roughly 30M of its citizens starved to death between 1959 and 1961.   However, between 1979 and 1985, [Red China's] per-capita food production doubled and continues to increase with no end in sight."

1999 March
Publicly Announced Lay-Offs for 1999 March

1999 March
Carolyn M. Veneri _Monthly Labor Review_
Can occupational labor shortages be identified using available data? (pdf)
"No specific sources of data exist that provide a measure of occupational shortages [or surpluses].   In the absence of any definitive measure, analysts generally rely on labor market data to corroborate anecdotal reports of employers' difficulties in filling jobs [or employees' difficulties landing jobs].   Such data include trends in employment and earnings, as well as the unemployment rate for a particular occupation.   Economists who have studied occupational shortages generally hold the view that in an unconstrained market, supply will equal demand at the 'true' market price.   If demand exceeds supply, salaries will be bid up until the market clears.   Thus, in theory, most labor shortages should disappear as employers increase wages to attract more workers.   However, different types of shortages resulting from various labor market situations may require very different responses from both employers and workers...   Much of the theory about defining and identifying occupational shortages stems from research that has focused on wage movements and analysis of the engineer-scientist labor market.   For example, David M. Blank and George J. Stigler, in adding to the work of both Blank and Stigler and Arrow and Capron, a study by Walter Franke and Irvin Sobel in the 1960s shifted focus from wage behavior to the argument that institutional constraints were responsible for the lagging adaptation of wages and supply..."

1999 April


John William Templeton _San Francisco Chronicle_
Newest Industries Abuse Oldest Excuses for Racial Discrimination



Bobby McGill _San Francisco Examiner_
Blacks, Latinos under-represented in computer industry





Andrew Weiss/Smith/McIver _AFGEN_
Publicly Announced Lay-Offs for 1999 April
"Peritus CEO resigns; 40 jobs to be cut... Boeing lays off 280 St. Louis workers as F-15 Eagle production slows...   The number of planned job cuts by U.S. businesses in March tripled from a year earlier, employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said.   Businesses announced plans to cut 68,984 jobs last month, up 200% from 1998 March and 11% higher than February.   'Job cuts, averaging 75K over the last 6 months, are now in the realm of the figures we saw during the last recession.', said John Challenger, chief executive of the employment firm."

1999-04-09 21:19GMT
Mel Mandell _CNN_
Fighting off sleep at the office
"compared with their better-rested counterparts, tired workers are more irritable & prone to stomachaches, more likely not to report to work -- or to quit without warning -- & more accident prone, according to medical researchers.   Sleep-deprived workers are also more likely to make mistakes that could bring down your network.   The three types of network professionals who are likely to suffer job-related sleep deprivation are night-shift network operators, technicians who put in lots of overtime to cope with emergencies, & jet-lagged net executives who travel through several time zones."

_Jefferson City News Tribune_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims rose by 11K by stayed under 300K
"Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based job-search firm, said Wednesday that publicly announced job cuts totaled 68,984 in March, up 11% from February and nearly triple the 23,028 announced in 1998 March."

Dave Skidmore _South Coast Today_/_AP_
Many Americans Are Being Passed Over by Robust Economy
"In 1991, Lobdill, a chemical engineer and applied scientist, lost a job of 25 years at the Fortune 500 defense contractor, Tracor Inc. In the wrenching industry shake-out after the Cold War, he and his family moved first to Syracuse, NY, and then to suburban Washington so he could take jobs that lasted, respectively, 7 months and 2 years.   After 4 more years of making ends meet by substitute teaching high-school science and math and taking odd jobs, Lobdill again is working in applied science for a firm that makes underwater acoustic sensors -- but at a third of his former salary.   He takes issue in particular with the use of the unemployment rate as a proxy for the nation's economic health, because it makes no distinction between a chemical engineer working full-time earning $100K and a chemical engineer tossing newspapers...   The headline unemployment rate in March masked other disparities: blacks at 8.1% and whites at 3.6%; teen-agers at 14.3% and adults 25 years and older at 3.1%; high-school drop-outs at 6.1% and college graduates at 1.9%...   Perhaps a more telling measure of economic health is the under-employment rate, at 7.9% in March.   It includes not only jobless people looking for work, but jobless people too discouraged to look and part-timers who want full-time work.   And even that fails to account for movement down the economic scale by people like Engel and Lobdill.   According to the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning Washington think tank, job losers in the 1980s and 1990s suffered on average a 14% pay cut in their next job.   Nearly 29% lost health benefits.   And even as more people get hired, more are getting fired.   Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., the Chicago job placement firm, reported more than 450K publicly announced job cuts in the 6 months ended in March -- record for the 1990s."

Clifford Carlsen _San Francisco Business Journal_
students go straight from high school to high-tech
"Despite the many scientific advances made by computer science programs at the nation's finest universities, the electronics industry has always been driven by the hackers and gearheads that have grown up tinkering with technology...   Futurist Watts Wacker, of SRI International, predicted that companies with cutting-edge technology needs will be recruiting younger and younger employees as information becomes more widely available on the Internet and cultural changes further marginalize traditional education systems.   These companies will exploit the freshness of first-time workers and leverage their first-hand knowledge of an increasingly youthful consumer market."


Carl Kozlowski _NewCity_ pg 10
Corporate Gigolos: An InSider's Report from the Temping World
"Kids, society lies to you because if they told you the truth, they know you wouldn't play along.   And things seem worse than ever.   At least in the past, your $20K a year job was a starting point -- if you played your cards right with a company you could tolerate, you could just climb the pointless corporate ladder forever.   Nowadays, however, we're asked to rent our selves out for a week or day at a time as corporate gigolos.   That's right -- temps.   But who are we kidding -- we get paid by the hour to fulfill client needs.   And if you've got the right skills, you could be making up to $14 an hour answering phones, making pointless copies & mastering your video game abilities.   Here are some handy steps to keep you sane...
Arthur Andersen [a.k.a. Accenture] The most demonic work-place of all for temps, this soul-sucking hell-hole subjects you to crushing boredom without any of the accoutrements you find in other temp jobs.   The halls are so quiet you can hear the cooling system emanating from the walls.   People don't talk to each other here, instead they stare up at the ceiling wondering how their lives turned into a 'Dilbert' strip.   Just like in high school detention, I wasn't allowed to read..."


Ken McLaughlin & Ariana Eunjung Cha _San Jose Mercury News_"> Divisions: Segregation Trends Emerge in High-Tech Industry Say Experts




Tim Ouellette _Computer World_
1999 Job Satisfaction Survey: Living with the Pain (tables)
"IT professionals say they still feel largely ignored, over-worked and under-paid...   Most said they want to stay with their employers for at least the next few years, even though 72% said recruiters or other employers have contacted them about job offers in the past year."






Leonard Hadley & Norm Winick _The Zephyr_
Leonard Hadley-- Not so lonely at the top of Maytag
"We're selling to fewer & larger customers.   The big box stores are determining the price -- not the manufacturer or the consumer.   The power in the industry has shifted from the manufacturer to the retailer.   The big box stores provide great value to their customers.   The independent retailer, & we still have 750 of them, also has a place -- but only if they base their business on service...   Americans do not appreciate how inexpensive their everyday life is.   The percent of their salaries devoted to everyday essentials is the lowest in the world.   We have more disposable income left over than any nation in the world by a large margin...   You cannot export North American appliances in any quantity anywhere else in the world.   And it's not the differences in electric current; that's easily handled.   They don't have the money; the average price of a washer we sell to [Red China] is $90."

Carol Kleiman _Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1
Exit Signs
"Despite the general [alleged] shortage of 'qualified' employees, [Training] magazine states that 40% of employers 'say they would be unlikely to make a counter-offer if a 'good' employee announced he or she was considering a job offer from another firm'.   Reporting findings from a poll of 1400 CFOs by [body shop] Robert Half International of Menlo Park, CA, Training notes that even though 56% of those polled said they might make a counter-offer, only 18% said they'd be 'very likely' to do so.   'IOW', Training observes, 'only about 2 in 10 companies routinely put their money where their mouths are when it comes to retaining [allegedly] valued people.'"


1999-04-26 10:00PDT (13:00EDT) (17:00GMT)
Hyundai Fined for Discrimination on the Basis of Race and Sex





_Business Journal of Milwaukee_
More new businesses form when the economy dips
"Yet starting a business remains a career choice for some displaced executives.   A recent report by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., found that in the first quarter, 8.7% of its clients decided to start their own companies rather than take jobs with other employers, said Thomas Wacker, vice president in Challenger's Brookfield office.   In the fourth quarter of last year, 10.8% of the firm's clients chose to launch their own businesses...   Don Hoy, interim director at the Center for the Study of Entrepreneurship at Marquette University.   A large portion of businesses are started by recent college graduates or mid-career professionals, he said."

1999-04-30 07:31PDT (10:31EDT) (14:31GMT)
Hot jobs for tomorrow's grads
"BLS reports that 1 in 5 college graduates this year will enter this economy and not immediately find a job that utilizes his or her college degree -- a statistic that has remained unchanged for the last 10 years.   The bureau also reports that 250K more college graduates will enter the labor force each year between now and 2006 than there will be new college-level jobs created.   That means 18% of new college graduates may not be able to find college-level jobs."
Computer Science$46,249
Industrial Engineering$41,559


1999 April
Andrew Weiss _AFGen_
Lay-Off Announcements in April

1999 April
Phil Hyde _TimeSizing Wire_
Good News in 1999 April
"Rather than trim staff, as is the case with many corporate mergers, Covance and Parexel said they will hire an additional 3K workers in the first 12 months after the deal is completed...   Consumer confidence... increased in April for the sixth straight month... to 134.9 from 134 in March, according to the New York-based Conference Board, a research group.   That's the highest level for its confidence index since last July..."

1999 April
_Labor Educator_
The New Job Insecurity
"There were 677,795 lay-offs announced by companies during 1998, representing the largest single-year total of proposed job cuts in the past decade, according to figures by the nation's top job placement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas.   The 1998 total was 56% greater than the figures for 1997, when employers reported on plans to eliminate 434,350 jobs."

1999 April
Robert A. Rivers _Technology Employment_
Computer Scientist and System Analyst Unemployment Increasing Significantly

1999 April
Robert A. Rivers _American Engineering Association_
Manpower Bulletin

1999 April
Ari Armstrong _Free Colorado_
Origins of Socialist Insecurity Extortion

1999 Spring
Rick Melchionno 1999 Spring _Monthly Labor Review_ pp24 et seq.
The Changing Temporary WorkForce (with graphs)
"According to Kennedy Information's The Directory of Executive Temporary Placement Firms, over 230 U.S. firms now specialize in placing managerial, professional, and technical workers in temporary jobs [bodyshopping] -- more than 5 times the number that existed in 1990...   In 1996, temporary workers received an average of [only] about 72% of the billable rate for all types of work, according to the National Association of Temporary and Staffing Services.   To illustrate, consider a worker who receives $7.20 per hour.   The temporary help supply firm might bill the client company the equivalent of $10 per hour -- $7.20 for the worker plus the firm's $2.80 fee.   In a 40-hour work-week, the worker earns $288 of the $400 bill; the firm retains $112 as its fee.   However, the firm must use about one-third of that fee to pay worker costs such as [Socialist Insecurity], unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation...   temporary arrangements may allow information technology workers to upgrade their skills more easily than other workers.   For example, a worker might start out as a word processor, then learn spread-sheet applications, desk-top publishing, and data-base design -- simply by progressing to different temporary jobs...   The National Association of Temporary and Staffing Services [bodyshops] reports that about 90% of companies use temporary help.   A 1996 survey by temporary help supply firm Olsten Corporation of Melville, New York, found that 36% of those companies use temporary workers for professional or technical jobs...   Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks to temporary work for many is lack of job security...   Career goals often must be set aside by workers who have little choice in selecting assignments and get a series of unrelated, and perhaps dull, temporary jobs...   temporary jobs in some occupations, such as information technology and engineering, often require travel...   many [bodies shopped] go without health insurance, paid leave, and pension plans.   Continued placement depends on workers' ability to upgrade skills, as discussed previously, but not all firms pay for cutting-edge training." [Graph shows about 400K bodies shopped in 1980, 2.45M in 1997.]

"Challenger, Gray, & Christmas (a Chicago based out-placement firm) notes from a study of lay-offs circa 1993-1998 that the computer industry is a large-scale creator AND eliminator of Jobs."

54,399 lay-offs were announced in April
"Businesses announced in April that they would cut 54,399 jobs, the lowest level in 6 months, according to a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.   The number of job cuts declined 21% compared with March's total of 68,984.   This made April the lowest job-cut month since November... (Daily Labor Report, page A2)."

Jonathan Katz
What Is Political Correctness?
"What is political correctness, where did it come from, and why is it so influential at universities?   It is the object of widespread ridicule, usually a very powerful weapon, so why doesn't it go away?   I used to think it was a simple matter of conformism, but there is a lot more to it than that.   Political correctness is also sometimes regarded as synonymous with 'left-wing' politics, but I think it is a tool rather than a specific set of political positions, and it appears in apolitical contexts also.   Consider, for example, the indignant letters that appear (as did recently in my local paper) when a newspaper publishes a picture of someone bicycling without a helmet.   These letters criticize the newspaper for publishing the picture.   We may be justified in criticizing hazardous or reckless behavior, but why should a newspaper suppress the fact that people act that way?"

Jonathan Katz
Diversity Is the Last Refuge of the Scoundrel
"The air is full of talk of 'diversity', meaning the ethnic and racial composition of populations, work-forces and (especially) student bodies at universities.   This is shorthand for concern about how many members of various 'racial' groups are present.   Most biologists doubt that race is meaningful in describing people, unlike dogs or cattle, but in everyday life the term 'race' is used as a proxy for physical appearance.   It is remarkable that the harder it is to evaluate accomplishment, and the less accomplishment matters to an institution, the more concern there is with diversity.   In the absolute meritocracy of a used car lot, all that matters is whether a salesman can 'move the iron', and no one talks about diversity.   In large corporate bureaucracies, government and academia, in which accomplishment is hard to measure and has only distant effects on the success and survival of the organization, diversity is always on the agenda.   The concern for 'diversity' can be an obsession.   For example, at some universities the administrators appear hardly ever to think of anything else.   Every public statement must drag in diversity, no matter how irrelevant.   No platform or program is complete without a nod to diversity.   The majority of public lectures concern diversity-related issues, with all the other areas of human knowledge and concern, from Shakespeare to molecular biology, confined to a minority (at my institution this was true for some years, but is now [2004] less so).   Even the old-fashioned Southern racist occasionally stopped to think about the price of cotton.   Why am I so concerned about universities?   Partly because I am a professor, so I see a university close-up every day.   Most university faculties have less diversity of thought than the trio of Cotton Mather, Roger Williams and William Penn.   But they don't count, because they belonged to the wrong 'race'.   And partly because we subject our impressionable young people to them, as their first environment as adults.   University admissions are important because they are crucial to social mobility.   That is where a young person with ability and character, but no special advantages or connections, ought to be able to leave his (or her) background behind and join an aristocracy of talent.   The more university admissions are clogged with irrelevancies such as diversity, the less opportunity there is for the talented outsider, and the more the ideal of fair play is corroded.   At some institutions only 10% of the places are open to applicants who are not members of some preferred group.   Former presidents of Harvard and Princeton recently published a book (_The Shape of the River_) advertising the great advantages in life conferred by degrees from those institutions.   Prejudice should not affect the award of this privilege.   In the diversity business what matters about people is their 'race', which is taken to determine character, intellect and moral value.   That is the philosophy of National Socialism, with a different Master Race and (so far) no subhumans...   PostScript: The 2004 February 13 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education contained an article by one of the prominent advocates of 'diversity' (a man named Stanley Fish, an administrator and formerly an English professor -- surprising, in view of his self-proclaimed limited vocabulary -- see the article for details).   He asserted that there is no place for intellectual diversity at a university.   This Fascist idea, that only one kind of thought is acceptable, is unfortunately very influential in many universities today.   Thus, as Orwell predicted, fascism comes calling itself anti-fascism.   In contrast, I assert that intellectual diversity is the only kind of diversity that has any relevance to a university's mission."

Jonathan Katz
Nature Cannot be Fooled
"1986 January 28, the space shuttle Challenger exploded on launch, killing all 7 astronauts aboard in the worst space disaster ever.   This catastrophe was entirely preventable.   Engineers knew, and warned, that the solid fuel booster rockets of the shuttle were not safe in cold weather, but senior managers dismissed these warnings and insisted on launch.   At the subsequent inquiry the physicist Richard Feynman summarized the debàcle with the statement 'Nature cannot be fooled'.   We have not learned that lesson.   In more and more ways American society has come to confuse its wishes with reality, and to pretend that wished-for fictions are true.   In most cases these fictions are well intentioned, just as we all wish the Challenger could have been launched safely, but good intentions do not make wishes come true.   We ignore history, which shows that most airplane hijackers are Arab.   Refusing to 'ethnically profile' airline passengers, airport security paid little attention to obvious risks, with the result that more than five thousand Americans were murdered by terrorists.   All because we deliberately refused to recognize the obvious..."

_Tech Law Journal_
Representative Lamar Smith urged INS to fight H-1B visa fraud
"Representative Lamar Smith, the Chairman of the House Immigration and Claims Subcommittee wrote INS Commissioner Doris Meissner on May 26 about H-1B visas being obtained fraudulently, thereby disadvantaging employers who use these visas legitimately.   Late last year Congress expanded the annual cap on H-1B visas because of [an alleged] shortage of high-tech professionals in the computer industry.   Computer industry executives lobbied and testified before committees that there is a severe shortage of high-tech workers which is threatening the industry.   The bill increased the number of H1B temporary worker visas from 65K to 115K in 1999, 115K in 2000 and 107,500 in 2001.   The visa limit will return to 65K in 2002.   Now, representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) is concerned that many of these visas are going to unqualified applicants who receive their H-1B visas fraudulently."

Carol Kleiman _Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1
Do "new workers" get a raw deal?
"In 1997, there were more than 12.6M US workers in these non-traditional jobs [on-call, temp, contract], according to a study [reported in the 1998 November _Monthly Labor Review_] by Sharon R. Cohany, economist at the US BLS in Washington [DC]...   Not included were the nation's 5.6M contingency workers, though there was an over-lap of 1.7M non-traditional workers who also put themselves in that category in the 1997 CPS used for the study...
  Two-thirds of the 8.5M [independent contractors] were men; some 34% had college degrees; 74% worked full time.   Jobs were [mostly] in managerial, sales & precision production work.   Average earnings were $587/week, 15% higher than [the average for] workers in traditional jobs in these categories.   Self-employed, nearly 75% had benefits.   2M [on-call] workers...
  Some 26% were college graduates.   They worked as substitute teachers, construction workers, nurses & truck drivers.   Average weekly earnings were $432 for full-time workers; 31% were eligible for benefits...   1.3M [temporary] workers...   Nearly 22% had college degrees.   [Most] worked in clerical & machine operator occupations.   Surprisingly, 80% worked full-time & averaged $329/week.   Only 7% had health benefits from their employers...
  'The great majority of the nation's 127M workers remain in traditional arrangements.', said Cohany.   'These jobs are getting stratified just like the rest of the labor market into good jobs, such as independent contractors who are doing great, & bad jobs, such as some on-call laborers who are not.', said June Lapidus, associate professor of economics at Roosevelt U.   'This leaves workers at the high end stressed out & insecure, & those at the low end without benefits or career ladders.'"

Barb Cole-Gomoslki _ComputerWorld_
H-1B Visa Abuse on the Rise House Told: Critics Charge Vague Policies Leave Door Open,11280,35634,00.html
"William Yates, acting deputy commissioner at the INS, told the subcommittee that 21% of more than 3,200 H-1B visa applications that were filed during the past year through the American consulate in Chennai, India, and audited were found to be fraudulent.   The INS began working with the consulate last year to detect H-1B visa fraud.   The consulate processed 20K H-1B applications last year, mostly for computer programmers...   The most common types of fraud involve companies petitioning for H-1B visas without having a specific job for a worker and falsifying educational data, Yates said."

Jonathan Katz _Washington University_
Don't Become a Scientist!
"American science no longer offers a reasonable career path.   If you go to graduate school in science it is in the expectation of spending your working life doing scientific research, using your ingenuity and curiosity to solve important and interesting problems.   You will almost certainly be disappointed, probably when it is too late to choose another career.   American universities train roughly twice as many Ph.D.s as there are jobs for them.   When something, or someone, is a glut on the market, the price drops.   In the case of Ph.D. scientists, the reduction in price takes the form of many years spent in 'holding pattern' post-doctoral jobs.   Permanent jobs don't pay much less than they used to, but instead of obtaining a real job 2 years after the Ph.D. (as was typical 25 years ago) most young scientists spend 5, 10, or more years as post-docs.   They have no prospect of permanent employment and often must obtain a new post-doctoral position and move every 2 years...   the general cheapening of scientific labor means that even the most talented stay on the post-doctoral tread-mill for a very long time...   Suppose you do eventually obtain a permanent job, perhaps a tenured professorship.   The struggle for a job is now replaced by a struggle for grant support, and again there is a glut of scientists.   Now you spend your time writing proposals rather than doing research.   Worse, because your proposals are judged by your competitors you cannot follow your curiosity, but must spend your effort and talents on anticipating and deflecting criticism rather than on solving the important scientific problems.   They're not the same thing: you cannot put your past successes in a proposal, because they are finished work, and your new ideas, however original and clever, are still unproven.   It is proverbial that original ideas are the kiss of death for a proposal; because they have not yet been proved to work (after all, that is what you are proposing to do) they can be, and will be, rated poorly.   Having achieved the promised land, you find that it is not what you wanted after all."

Jonathan Rabinovitz _San Jose Mercury News_
Are Americans Wimps?: Students are staying out of the tech fields in droves.
(reprinted in Chicago Tribune section 6 pg 3; citing American Electronics Association [AeA] 1999 _CyberEducation: US Education & the High-Technology Work Force_)
"the number of degrees awarded in high-tech fields fell by 5%, or about 11K, from 218,820 in 1990 to 207,684 in 1996...   the schools issued a total of ~2.2M degrees, a 16% increase, or a gain of ~300K from 1990...   business information systems... showed a gain, with degrees up ~3K or 24%.   Computer science dropped 1%, ~300 degrees; engineering dropped 3%, or ~2500; engineering technology dropped 16%, ~9K; math dropped 9%, ~1900; & physics dropped 5%, ~300 degrees.   The report counts asociate, bachelor's, master's & PhD degrees & records a drop across all degree levels."

James Challenger _Florida Sun-Times_
Starting salaries for new grads
"Surprisingly, nearly 1 out of 3 college students surveyed on spring break in March expects their first job to pay more than $40K; that is, if they wind up being employed after graduating.   28% expect to be paid more than $40K right out of college.   Significantly, more than 31% of the women surveyed expect to break the $40K barrier, while 27% of men participating thought they would make more than $40K...
Richard Wiese, human resource director for StarMark in Sioux Falls, SD, said of the graduates' salary expectations, 'They are not realistic at all.   The myth of mega-salaries is a marketing tool used by colleges.   It is driven by colleges that are trying to recruit students by saying their degrees will get grads the high salaries that are just not realistic.'...
Researchers at Challenger, Gray & Christmas have found that entry level salaries for graduates with general business degrees will be in the low- to mid-$20K range; engineering or information technology, low- to mid-30s.   However, with higher salary comes higher expectations for job performance.   It seems most grads just want it handed to them...   Nearly 40% of the bachelor's degrees conferred by colleges and universities were in the non-technical, non-scientific areas of business, education, social sciences and history, according to the latest data from the National Library of Education...   only 9% of bachelor's degrees were in computers and information sciences or engineering and engineering-related technologies.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for 1997-1998 liberal arts graduates was $27,600, up 16% from the previous academic year yet well below the expectations of the college students just surveyed.   For new grads, the expectation of an entry-level salary greater than $40K is unrealistic.   There will be graduates with specialized technical skills who can make more than $40K, although high 30s is likely.   For most, mid-20s to low-30s is more realistic...
Worker loyalty, considered a victim of the down-sizing decade, may be coming back, if the students in our spring survey are a barometer.   Of the total, 54% expect to remain at their first job between 5 and 10 years.   Three years was the length of time expected to be spent on the first job by 38% of both men and women.   By far, men picked that duration by 47%, the highest of all choices."

Carol Kleiman _Chicago Tribune_
(reprinted from 1998-11-??) _Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1 (citing BLS studies)
Job Hopping Still Raises a Red Flag
"In 1996, workers between the ages of 18 & 32 held 9.6 jobs -- most of them before age 23.   By age 27, the majority have settled into a career, but an increase in the number of jobs for high-tech workers will also increase the age & number of job hoppers in the future."

1999 May
Aimee Kratts
Working with an Over-Seas Development Team (pdf)
"the hardware didn't travel well and we couldn't get the machine to boot once it was in Oslo.   During the week, I asked for product specifications to read while I was waiting for a working machine to appear.   The developers laughed as a group and one of them tapped his head.   'The specs are up here,' he said, 'for job security'...   Several weeks after my first trip, I was sent back to Norway for a 3-week stay.   While I was in the air on the way to Oslo, my company served notice to the Norwegian office: it was being closed.   No one bothered to tell me.   I was the first American that the Norwegians saw after they had been told their jobs were being eliminated.   When I arrived, the Norwegian manager simply laughed at me and told me to go site-seeing.   No one on staff was going to talk to me."

unemployment insurance weekly claims

1999-06-07 (5759 Sivan 23)
Walter E. Williams _Jewish World Review_
Minimum wage, Maximum folly
"Most academic economists who've studied the minimum wage conclude that higher minimum wages cause unemployment, not so much among the general labor force, but among low-skilled workers, especially teen-agers.   Differences in unemployment rates reflect this: the unemployment rate for adults over 25 years is 3.1%; for teenagers it's 14.3%."

Andrew Pollack _NYTimes_
(reprinted 1999-06-13 _Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 3)
Examining Ethics
"For all its high-tech image, developing software remains more art than science, & a fairly unpredictable art at that.   Last year, 46% of big corporate software development projects were either late or over budget, & 28% failed completely, according to a survey of 7500 projects by the Standish Group of research advisors in Dennis, MA."

Ken McCarthy _BrassCheck_
From Waco to Belgrade
alternate source
"General Wesley Clark was [allegedly] involved in the siege and final assault near Waco, Texas that killed, by a combination of toxic gas and fire, at least 82 people including some 3 dozen women, children and infants... 'Military Personnel and Equipment - Personnel, Active Duty Personnel - 15, Texas National Guard Personnel - 13; - Track vehicles, Bradley fighting vehicle (OMZ) - 9, Combat Engineer Vehicle (M728) - 5, Tank Retrieval vehicle (M88) - 1, Abrams Tanks (M1A1) - 2' Source: Department of the Treasury, Report of the Department of the Treasury on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Investigation of Vernon Wayne Howell also known as David Koresh, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1993 September."

Bob Noblinksi _USDA Foreign Agricultural Service_
WTO and Nebraska Wheat Growers
"Market access.   Average U.S. tariff on agriculture imports is about 8% while the rest of the world exceeds 50%.   The U.S. does maintain a few moderate tariffs for some import-sensitive sectors.   Until such time as the significant reductions are made by others, the U.S. agricultural tariff should not further reduced."

1999 June
Carol Ann Meares, John F. Sargent, Jr., Carl Shepherd, Marc Cummings, Cheryl Mendonsa, Kathleen Sullivan, Robert Boege, Douglas Devereaux, Cathleen Campbell, Sarah Endres, Kim Jackson & David Cheney
THE DIGITAL WORK FORCE: Building Infotech Skills at the Speed of Innovation
full report (pdf)
"The IT industry is populated by many younger workers.   Approximately 75% of computer systems analysts and scientists, and nearly 80% of computer programmers are under the age of 45. [based on 1996 Current Population Survey]   Many managers in the IT industry are in their 20s and 30s, and may be uncomfortable hiring or managing older and more experienced workers.   A _Network World_ survey of 200 readers with some hiring responsibility showed that younger network managers are less likely to hire older workers than younger workers.   Almost half of respondents 20 to 30 years of age had never hired a person over the age of 40. [Neal Weinberg 'Help Wanted: Older Workers Need Not Apply' _Network World_, posted on _CNN Interactive_ on 1998-09-14.]..."
Employment Projections in Core IT Occupations, 1996-2006
titleEmployed 1996Projected Employed 2006Change NumberChange PerCentAvg Annual Openings
Computer scientists211,600460,800249,20011826,830
Computer engineers215,650450,950235,30010925,000
Systems analysts505,5001,025,100519,60010355,400
Computer programmers568,000697,250129,2502330,600

1999 June
Greg Tarpinian _Labor Research Association_
Plenty of Jobs, But Not Many Good Ones
"many of these new jobs do not pay enough to raise a family or save for a comfortable retirement...   Between 1998 May and 1999 May, manufacturing employment in the U.S. declined by 422K jobs, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).   Most of these manufacturing losses have been caused by the shift of plants to lower-wage countries, the flood of cheaper imports into U.S. market, and the increased use of technology to replace human workers.   The U.S. steel industry, for instance, has slashed more than 10K jobs over the last year due to cheaper steel imports from Russia, Japan, Brazil and other countries.   Levi Strauss, the famous blue-jeans maker, shut down 20 U.S. factories in the last year and laid off some 12K workers.   Levi said it closed the U.S. plants because it was shifting much of its production to low-wage contractors abroad...   Employment in retail trade, for example, grew by 518K jobs between 1998 May and 1999 May...   the U.S. economy is losing jobs that provide a higher standard of living than most of the new jobs being created.   Manufacturing work pays an average of $577 a week, according to the BLS.   By contrast, retail-trade work pays an average of $263 a week...   That's a big reduction in living standards..."

1999 June
top 500 fastest super computers LinPack bench-mark (rated in giga Floating-point Operations / second)

1999 July


Michael J. Martinez _abc News_
High-Tech Labor Hunt: Commerce Dept. Says Companies Must Look Within (with graphs)
"The US Department of Commerce says there are 2.1M people working in core technology jobs today...   according to a recent study the META Group, US software developers are lagging behind their international competitors in productivity...   According to the Commerce Department report, too much emphasis has been placed on hiring new people with 'hot skills', trained in the latest technologies, at the expense of educating existing workers.   Companies could keep workers longer and make them more valuable, the report says, if they offered current employees more career-long training and continuing education within the company...   Unfortunately, Silicon Valley can be as ageist as Hollywood when it comes to development and programming talent...   Finally, analysts and industry insiders say companies need to be a little more realistic about the qualifications they're looking for...   Doug Berg, CEO of [said] 'If workers have the basic skills, they can get certified on nearly anything you need...   I've seen companies asking for 2 years of experience in a skill that's only been around 3 months.'"

1999-07-01 13:55PDT (16:55EDT) (20:55GMT)
Courtney Macavinta _CNET_
Clinton perpetuates tech worker shortage propaganda
"The high-tech sector will need up to 1.3M new highly skilled employees between 1996 and 2006, according to the Commerce Department's Digital Work Force report.   But the estimated pool of qualified job candidates, though difficult to measure, is believed to fall well short of that goal...   For the past several years, the high-tech industry has lobbied to raise federal limits on foreign worker H1-B visas to fill some of their most critical positions.   But White House officials say the administration instead wants companies, government, and educators to work together to swell the number of skilled workers who are U.S. citizens.   'Instead of looking over-seas, businesses should be looking at home for people they can train.', Commerce Secretary William Daley said during a speech yesterday in Washington...   'Many companies already have active training programs.   But more businesses need to be doing it.'...   The INS doesn't break down H1-B recipients by industry, but high-tech firms dominate the top-20 list of companies that filed for petitions in 1998.   First among them was Mastech, a Pennsylvania [body shop], which applied [for] 11% of all H1-B visas on behalf of employees, with Oracle, Lucent Technologies, Motorola, Cisco, Intel, and SAI Software Consultants, also leading the [pack]."


Patrick Buchanan _Buchanan Brigade_
H-1B increase betrays American workers
"The elite of both parties are now in an unseemly competition to see who can do more to pander to the super-rich by selling out the American worker.   There is no shortage of Americans who qualify for these $50K and $75K-a year high-tech jobs; there is no shortage of young Americans in college, preparing for these jobs."


unemployment insurance weekly claims



Jonathan Lipman (quoted in Julie Bennett 1999-07-04 "2nd Interview" _Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1)
"It's tough to find a polite way to ask some questions.   I think of the process as a dance -- & a very subtle knife fight."


Bob Violino _Information Week_
The Age Factor: Anecdotal evidence of age discrimination in IT is growing, but what are the real reasons?
"Despite the [claims of] serious shortage of qualified IT staffers, many candidates -- particularly engineers and computer programmers -- insist they can't get jobs in the field because of bias against older workers...   Matloff, who has testified in front of Congress on the subject, says age discrimination is rampant in the IT industry and calls the shortage of software engineers and programmers 'a myth'.   Matloff says there's an 'extensive public-relations campaign' by IT companies -- vendors in particular -- in part to help generate support for an increase in the yearly quota of H-1B foreign work visas and what he calls 'cheap labor'."
Too Much Experience Hurts: Which potential employees are you likely to hire?
entry or recent college grad26%
1-3 years experience26%
4-10 years experience46%
>10 years experience2%
10-20 years experience1%
20+ years experience1%




1999-07-07 14:18PDT (17:18EDT) (21:18GMT)
Job Cut Announcements Rose 15% in June
"Job cut announcements totaled 63,397 in June, up 15% from May's 55,231, out-placement firm Challenger, Grey & Christmas said Wednesday. Job cuts for the first half of the year totaled 383,548, 42% above the 270K in the same period last year, the biggest down-sizing year of the decade, the firm said."





Laura A. Bischoff _Dayton Daily News_
Worldwide Work-Force


Peter Freeman & William Aspray _Computer Research Association_
The Supply of Information Technology Workers in the United States: Dynamics of the IT Labor Market
"Perhaps the most notorious recent case of failed policy pronouncements is the warning during the late 1980s from then-senior management of the National Science Foundation (NSF) about looming 'shortfalls' of scientists and engineers.   These warnings were based on methodologically weak projection models of supply and demand that were originally misinterpreted as credible forecasts, rather than simulations dependent upon certain key assumptions.   The projections yielded numerical estimates of the shortfalls anticipated, eventually reported to be 675K scientists and engineers by the year 2006.   Based in part on these worrying pronouncements, Congress agreed to increase funding for NSF science and engineering education programs.   Several years later, in 1990, again influenced by the shortfall claims, Congress agreed to greatly expand the number of visas available for foreign scientists and engineers, for both permanent and non-permanent residents.   (This bill was the origin of the H-1B visas, among other measures.)   Many educational institutions moved to increase the numbers of graduate students in these fields.   By the time these larger cohorts of graduate students emerged with their newly earned doctorates, the labor market in many fields had deteriorated badly, and many found their career ambitions extremely frustrated.   This experience proved embarrassing, leading to congressional hearings in 1992 and harsh criticism of NSF management from several prominent congressional supporters of science and engineering...   in 1984 BLS projected 520K computer science and systems analysts jobs in 1995, but there were actually 860K.   BLS predicted a 53% growth in electrical engineering jobs over this period, whereas there was actually a 9% decline...   in 1992-1993 only about one-third of the people in computer science or programming jobs had graduated with computer and information science degrees, according to the National Survey of College Graduates...   many companies head-quartered in Europe and Asia are spending 2 to 5 times as much on training as American companies...   There have been surpluses of mathematicians, physicists, biologists, and engineers in recent years.   Many of these scientists and engineers are of very high intellectual and technical quality, but are in fields that are unable to provide good careers...   Companies should value the training provided by colleges and universities, but should not expect these schools to have produced the perfect employee."

Alicia Neumann _Salon_
The over-time stigma: Plenty of tech workers could rightfully demand fatter pay-checks, but fear that asking for pay for over-time work could be a costly faux pas.
"Over-time in high tech can easily burn up 20, 30, sometimes 40 hours a week, precluding leisure -- & often sleep...   The majority of tech workers take home no over-time pay for their round-the-clock efforts...   Section 13[a][17] [of the FLSA] denies over-time benefits to systems analysts, programmers, engineers or other 'similarly skilled workers'...   The state of California, home to hundreds of thousands of high-tech workers, doesn't recognize the federal exemption at all."


Nathan Cochrane _Linux Today_/_Fairfax IT_
Fairfax IT: Fame, Fortune, and a Bit of Nirvana









Mark Johnson of Media General News Service (printed in _The Herald News_ Section B pg 1)
Bytes & PCs: Computer jobs fall in manufacturing, but see growth in other areas
"in 1986, the computer manufacturing industry employed 469K workers.   10 years later that number had fallen to 363K.   By 2006, that figure will drop to 314K according to the Bureal of Labor Statistics...   Computer sales doubled in the last 4 years, rising from 6.7M in 1994 to 12.8M last year, according to the Consumer Electronics Manufacturing Assn.   That's a dollar increase from $10G to $16.6G.   In just the last 3 years, the percent of US households with [micro-]computers has climbed from 38% to 45%, according to the association."

_AP_/_Herald News_ Section B pp 1 & 2
No Burger Flipping for Silicon Valley Teens
"Most teens working this summer across the country will be making minimum wage flipping burgers, but Silicon Valley teen-ager Roddy Knight is writing computer code for $20 an hour -- plus stock options.   'This is fascinating work...   I'm learning so much...' working at Keynote Systems in San Mateo, California [where starting salaries are in the $30 to $37 per hour range]."


Michael M. Weinstein _NY Times_ pg C1
Cream in Labor Market's Churn; Why Job Losses Are Rising Amid Job Hunters' Nirvana
"At a time when joblessness has fallen to just 4.3% of the work force and employers are loudly complaining about labor shortages, companies are also announcing record numbers of lay-offs."






Mortimer B. Zuckerman _NewsBank_
Give us your brainy masses -- Attempts to limit immigration by high-skill workers only hurt America





1999 July

1999 July
Pat Frelbert _Lane Report_
Job Snobs
"Some Kentucky editorialists greeted the announcement of 1,500 new full-time jobs by with complaints that these will not be high-paying or high-skilled positions.   Others reacted with yawns at the prospect of 1K new jobs in Campbellsville and 500 in Lexington.   All of society yearns for high-paying jobs for every American.   But it would be unrealistic to turn our backs on lower tier jobs while awaiting those in high-tech...   To reject the creation of new lower skill, lower paying jobs fails to recognize economic realities.   In Kentucky's quest for upper echelon, it must at the same time allow its less educated and less trained citizens a chance to work."

1999 July
Robert A. Rivers _American Engineering Association_
Manpower Bulletin: Surplus of Engineers

1998 August


Carol Kleiman _Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1
Many jobs pay less than "livable wage"
"Yes, unemployment is at a record low, & 'many politicians boast that lots of jobs mean a strong economy', according to a recent report by the National Priorities Project & Jobs with Justice, both non-profit organizations.   But the groups' study of state employment agencies & Bureau of Labor Statistics data finds that many of the fastest growing jobs pay less than $33,774 annually, the livable wage for a family of 4.   The study found that 76% of the jobs in Illinois with the most growth are in the low-wage category.   'In addition, many of these jobs are part time or temporary & few provide health insurance or other benefits.', the report states.   They range from waiters & waitresses with average wages of $11,086 annually (including tips) to nursing aides & orderlies at $15,704.   Other low-wage jobs: teachers aides, food counter workers, cashiers, retail sales-persons, home health aides, packagers, janitors & guards.   For a copy of the study, call Jobs with Justice at 312-226-6340... The Society for Human Resource Management of Alexandria, VA... 400 human resource professionals surveyed... And, reports the study, published in a news-letter of the AARP, 77% said older workers are more reliable & 40% said they are more motivated."

_Chicago Tribune_ section 6 pg 1
WorkPlace SnapShot
"According to a Labor Department survey, there were fewer persons at work part time in 1999 June than there were a year earlier."
slow work2.18M2.09M-4.2%
only workavailable1.25M1.01M-18.8%
non econ18.62M18.67M+0.2%"





Gene Nelson
"The 1990 H-1B Visa legislation, like the 1976 'Eilberg Amendment' cited as precedent, is an example of 'special interest politics' at its worst.   The common objective for both the H-1B Visa program and the Eilberg Amendment was to reduce employer wage and benefit expenditures for highly skilled labor.   Almost all 'high tech' workers have failed to see increases in real compensation over the decade of the 1990s."


engineer/programmer glut
"'Since 1995, it has become increasingly difficult for us to find US candidates for positions requiring degrees in electrical, mechanical, industrial & software engineering.', said Crystal Neiswonger, an immigration specialist with aerospace technology firm TRW Inc. of Cleveland, OH.   'US universities lack American-born students who choose these majors, & students who pursue advanced degrees in these areas.'...   With 'hundreds' of highly specialized jobs remaining open at TRW, the company hired just 36 workers through the program in 1998 & 28 through it so far this year, Neiswonger said.   'We use head-hunters, open houses & recruitment fairs to attract potential new hires', but still have difficulty locating skilled engineers, she said."

Paul J. Kostek of IEEE
Testimony on the H-1B Temporary Professional Worker Visa Program
(citing Carolyn Veneri of BLS 1999 March _Monthly Labor Review_)
"Although unemployment rates for core IT occupations, including computer engineers and scientists, systems analysts and programmers, have been consistently lower than the national rates (for other occupations) over the 1992–1997 period, none exhibited higher than average employment growth or higher than average growth in wages when compared with all other professional specialty occupations."


1999-08-06 14:33PDT (17:33EDT) (21:33GMT)
Terry Costlow & George Leopold _EE Times_/_The Work Circuit_
High-tech visas back on political agenda
"GOP law-makers are backing a series of initiatives designed to bring the nation's high-tech industry into the Republican fold.   The campaign agenda also includes a 10-year extension of the R&D tax credit, which expired June 30...   Others say the graduate-degree provision would be easy to skirt.   'In practice, an unlimited quota for people with graduate degrees means unlimited numbers of H-1B hires.', said Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis.   'A potential H-1B [holder] will go out and get a quickie master's degree, so there will be no limit on the number of people coming in.'...   'Vacancies do not mean shortages, job vacancies occur all the time as turn-over takes place.', said Bob Rivers, publisher of the Engineering Manpower Newsletter (Orange, MA).   'There are 2.1M engineers, and the average turn-over rate is every 7 years, which means 300K engineers change jobs every year.'   Added Rivers, 'If you add in the 2.5% of the labor force that retires in a typical year, you've got 352K vacancies without any expansion at all.   Many of those jobs will be open for 6 months, so we can expect to see a vacancy rate of over 150K almost all the time.'"

1999-08-06 16:18PDT (19:18EDT) (23:18GMT)
Jobs & wages boomed in July
"The Labor Department said the economy created 310K jobs outside the farm sector in July, far more than the 199,400 jobs economists had expected.   And, in an even more troubling development, hourly wages grew a surprising 0.5% to $13.29 -- the biggest jump in 6 months.   Overall, the jobless rate held steady at 4.3%."



_Tech Law Journal_
House Immigration SubCommittee Examines H-1B Visas


1999-08-09 09:21PDT (12:21EDT) (16:21GMT)
Lay-off plans increased in July
"US businesses announced plans to cut 54,709 jobs last month, 7.8% more than the 50,774 cuts announced in 1998 July, according to a monthly survey conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an out-placement specialist firm.   At the same time, July's announced cuts were 14% lower than the 63,397 announced in June, the Chicago-based firm said.   Since January, employers have announced cuts of 438,257 jobs, a 36% increase from the first 7 months of last year, the report said. "











Jack McCarthy _IDG_/_NetWork World Fusion_
Senator McCain to call for increase in numbers of H-1B visas
"U.S. Senator John McCain yesterday said he would next month introduce legislation to increase the limit of temporary visas for highly skilled foreign workers to 175K from the 115K visas currently allowed...   'We are going to need 2.6M extra jobs in high-tech industries by the year 2000.', McCain says...   Current policy has resulted in an artificial 'skills shortage' for high-tech companies, he says [while the truth is that there is an artificially created skills glut]."



William J. Holstein _US News & World Report_
Are raises for production workers bad for America?
"Larry Kudlow, chief economist at Schroders in New York, points out that there are still nearly 6M American adults who are unemployed...   The sector where workers are truly scarce, however, is information technology, with some 400K jobs reckoned to be open.   [Meanwhile, it has become far more difficult for IT talent to get jobs.]...   The company is also fighting in Washington to allow more foreign engineers and designers to take jobs in the United States on temporary H-1B visas.   In addition, it is using the Internet to hire 28% of its experienced engineers and 17% of its new college graduates, which greatly cuts the cost of recruitment."







Robert Edward Greene _Stockton, CA, Universal Unitarian Church_
Uncle Sam Doesn't Need You
"Holiday lay-offs have become the norm, reports Kirstin Downey Grimsley in the Washington Post.   Lay-offs in December make sense, say the economists: a company can start the new year off fresh.   Sentiment cannot be allowed to off-set the reality that lay-offs almost inevitably increase stock values.   So 55,237 more Americans were relieved of their jobs, or more accurately of their livelihoods, this last December [actually 103,166], according to a survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc...   Oh, yes, new jobs are being created.   And some of them are well paid, highly skilled technological jobs.   But the bulk of the new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are low-skill, low-paying service jobs.   Meantime middle income jobs are just disappearing.   So let's not talk this morning about the unemployment rate.   Let's talk instead about people -- the 7.6M individual human beings who in 1995 July could not find a job.   Let's talk about the 4.4M individuals working part time, but who wanted, and could not find, full time jobs."



Sara Steindorf _Christian Science Monitor_
Where mergers hit hardest
"Merger-related job cuts in 1999 are up 52% over the same period last year, according to a recent report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an international out-placement firm.   The financial sector ranks first among all industries in merger cuts.   Of the 49,664 merger-related job cuts announced in 1999, 19,395, or 39%, occurred in financial services, which includes banks, securities firms, mortgage companies, and collection agencies, says the report.   The second-place commodities industry accounted for 9,125, or 18%, of the merger-related cuts.   Industrial goods, aerospace/defense, and insurance following in descending order."

William J. Holstein _US News & World Resport_
Are raises bad for America?
alternate link
"Dell, for example, has opened a factory in job-hungry Tennessee, where it has been flooded with 7K resumes for 700 positions.   Similarly, telecom giant Sprint has opened a call center in downtown Kansas City, hiring mostly former welfare recipients.   It is now rolling that program out in other cities.   To find the right workers at the right price, companies also are relying on new tools such as Internet searches and online job listings at and   Classified ads in newspapers are increasingly available on-line, and many companies list job openings on their Web sites so that a restless worker in, say, San Diego can quickly scout out job openings in New Hampshire and apply on-line...   Moreover, the 'churn' rate in the work force is exceptionally high.   Despite a booming economy, out-placement consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas says American companies will lay off more than 700K workers this year, the most this decade.   Yet overall unemployment remains at 4.3%.   The implication is that employers are shedding older, more expensive workers and replacing them with new employees or relying on various forms of contingent labor [i.e. bodyshopping].   'Down-sizing is a valve that releases wage inflation steam.', says John Challenger, chief executive of the Chicago-based firm...   Larry Kudlow, chief economist at Schroders in New York, points out that there are still nearly 6M American adults who are unemployed.   Says Kudlow: 'You've got a lot of job resources out there.'   Blue-chip bounty.   The sector where workers are truly scarce, however, is information technology, with some 400K jobs reckoned to be open [with 150K remaining unemployed, and several hundred thousand more under-employed]...   Texas Instruments, the semiconductor company, has 800 jobs it hasn't been able to fill in Dallas.   To find warm bodies, the company pays $1,500 to any employee who recruits a new worker and gives him or her a chance to win a new, fully loaded Ford Explorer that's parked in the lobby at head-quarters.   Even so, a shortage of experienced chip designers has pushed starting salaries up from $55K to about $65K over the past 5 years.   But Roger Coker, TI's director of staffing for the United States, says the company is using every trick in the book to fight labor cost creep.   It has started offering stock options to more employees, making them available not just to vice presidents but to all managers.   That eases some of the pressure for increased salaries.   The company is also fighting in Washington to allow more foreign engineers and designers to take jobs in the United States on temporary H-1B visas.   In addition, it is using the Internet to hire 28% of its experienced engineers and 17% of its new college graduates, which greatly cuts the cost of recruitment.   Just as Sprint and others are tapping new urban workers, TI is scouring smaller rural communities for talent.   When Coker got wind that a factory was closing in Wichita Falls, Texas, his recruiters went there and found 13 workers, whom the company relocated to Dallas.   Meanwhile, TI is pushing for major new productivity gains by increasing the size of silicon wafers, for example, which will reduce the cost of each chip cut from the wafer...   The reason high-tech employers have trouble finding people -- even at a time when folks remain unemployed or under-employed -- is the mismatch of jobs and skills.   But employers are attacking the roots of that problem, forming alliances with local educational institutions to create more workers with the right skills.   A recent example is a $70M technology and engineering institute that major employers in Omaha unveiled on August 21.   'It used to be that we would go to recruiting fairs and take what we could get [and then, presumably, train them].' says Bill Fairfield, chief executive of Inacom, a $4G computer services company that helped spawn the institute.   'But today we're trying to shape the students.'"

1999 August
Susan N. Houseman _DoL_
Bodies Shopped
"only 57% of agency temporaries [bodies shopped] are classified as contingent in the 1997 BLS survey...   3.2% of the work-force are direct-hire temporaries...   Collectively, agency temporaries, on-call workers, independent contractors, contract company workers, and direct-hire temporaries comprise 12.5% of the work-force.   It is noteworthy that agency temporaries account for only one percent of total employment in the CPS Supplement, whereas they account for about 2% of employment in the Current Employment Statistics (CES), the Bureau of Labor Statistics' establishment survey.   Data from the National Association of Temporary Services Staffing suggests employment in temporary services is slightly less than that reported in the CES, but is much higher than that reported in the CPS, and it is generally presumed that the CPS understates employment in temporary help agencies."
explosive growth of bodyshopping (graph)
alternate link to graph
"Source: Author's tabulations from the 1997 February CPS Supplement on Contingent and Alternative Work Arrangements."
per cent preferring a real job
"in The Conference Board (1995) survey of members, 34% of companies reported sizable growth in their use of direct-hire temporaries in the preceding 5 years and 24% expected sizable growth in the coming 5 years.   31% reported sizable growth in their use of independent contractors and 28% expected sizable growth in their use of independent contractors in the next 5 years.   Data from BLS Industry Wage Surveys in 1986 and 1987 show growth in contracting out of services in 13 manufacturing industries between 1979 and 1986/1987 (Abraham and Taylor 1996).   In a survey of members of the Bureau of National Affairs, a larger percentage of employers reported an increase than reported a decrease between 1980 and 1985 in their use of direct-hire temporaries, on-call workers, administrative or business support contracts, and production subcontracting relative to regular workers (Abraham 1990).   In the Upjohn Institute employer survey on flexible staffing arrangements, a much larger percentage reported contracting out work previously done in house than reported bringing work back in house since 1990.   Moreover, two-thirds of respondents to the Upjohn Institute survey predicted that organizations in their industry would increase their use of flexible staffing arrangements in the coming 5 years (Houseman 1997)...   Using data from the 1997 February Supplement to the CPS, Table 5 shows the percentage of workers in each work arrangement earning 'low' wages, which are defined as between $4.25 and $5.15 per hour...   Compared with regular full-time workers, a larger fraction of agency temporaries, on-call workers, and direct-hire temporaries earn low wages...   While just 3.6% of regular full-time employees earn low wages, 7.3% of full-time agency temporaries, 6.3% of full-time on-call workers, and 8.6% of full-time direct-hire temporaries earn at or near the minimum wage...   14.2% of agency temporaries are below the poverty level, 12% of on-call & day laborers, 7.7% of independent contractors, 6.7% of contract company workers, 10.9% of other short-term direct hires, 7.5% of other self-employed, as compared with 4.8% of regular employees.   7.5% of agency temps, 4.2% of on-call & day laborers, 3.1% of independent contractors, 4.8% of contract company workers, 4.2% of other short-term direct hires, 2.3% of other self-employed, as compared with 2.7% of regular employees earn between the poverty level and 125% of the poverty level...   Using data on earnings from the 1995 February CPS Supplement, I showed that men and women working as agency temporaries, on-call workers, and direct-hire temporaries earn significantly less than regular full-time workers, even controlling for key worker and job characteristics.   For instance, among men, agencies temporaries earn about 18.8% less, on-call workers earn 5.0% less, and direct-hire temporaries earn 10.3% less than regular full-time men.   Among women, agency temporaries earn 15.8% less, on-call workers earn 9.9% less, and direct-hire temporaries earn 15.7% less.   Regular part-time workers also earn significantly less than regular full-time workers after controlling for worker and job characteristics...   Whereas just 6% of regular full-time workers come from poor or near-poor families, 22% of agency temporaries, 16% of on-call workers, and 17% of direct-hire temporaries are living below or near the poverty line...   NATSS reported that temporary help agencies spent [only] $260M to provide skills training for 2M workers and another $75M for work-place orientation and other 'soft' subjects.   About half of these expenditures are computer related (Stamps 1997)..."
8.2 Savings on Wages and Benefits
"employers are motivated to use flexible staffing arrangements to avoid benefit costs...   in some cases the higher costs associated with turn-over, training, and lower productivity of contingent workers out-weighed the savings from lower wage and benefit costs...   many managers turn to flexible staffing arrangements during periods of down-sizing, in part to avoid head count limits imposed by their corporate office...   Christensen reports that 81% of the companies using direct-hire temporaries, 62% using agency temporaries, and 38% using independent contractors cited the need to avoid head count limits as a reason for using these staffing arrangements.   26% of respondents in the Conference Board survey cited avoiding head count limits as a reason for using contingent workers...   it is believed that many businesses avoid paying unemployment insurance or pay rates that are too low by misclassifying workers as independent contractors or by establishing low experience rates in shell companies before transferring leased or temporary agency employees to their pay-rolls."

1999 August
Robert A. Rivers _Technology Employment_
Increasing Computer Scientist and System Analyst Unemployment

1999 September




M. Corey Goldman _CNN_/_Money_
Jobs take August break (unemployment rate graph)
"Some 124K new jobs were added to the economy in August, the Labor Department said Friday, significantly fewer than the 220K economists had anticipated.   Wages rose just 2 cents an hour to $13.30, well below the 5 cents forecast, while the jobless rate slipped to a generation low of 4.2%...   OTOH, companies are laying off employees.   U.S. companies' intentions to reduce their work forces rose by almost 8% in July compared with a year earlier, according to a monthly report released by Chicago-based employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas..."

Camille Luckenbaugh & Mimi Collins _NACE_
Starting Salaries for New Grads
Computer Science$44,649
Computer Engineering$44,649
EE Engineering$45,180
Chemical Engineering$46,929
Mechanical Engineering$43,275
Civil Engineering$36,076




Americans work longest hours among industrialized countries, Japanese second longest: Europeans work less Time, but register faster productivity gains
alternate link
alternate link with graph
see also Key Indicators of Labor Markets
"the US pattern of increasing annual hours worked per person (which totalled 1,966 in 1997 versus 1,883 in 1980, an increase of nearly 4% - see Tables) runs contrary to a world-wide trend in industrialized countries that has seen hours at work remaining steady or declining in recent years.   The long working hours of US and Japanese workers (whose 1995 total was 1,889 annual hours worked versus 2,121 in 1980, a decline of more than 10%) contrasts most sharply with those of European workers, who are logging progressively fewer hours on the job, particularly in the Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden where hours worked in 1997 were, respectively 1,399 and 1,552 per year.   In France, which recently introduced legislation limiting the work week to 35 hours, men and women workers put in 1,656 hours in 1997 versus 1,810 in the 1980s.   In Germany (Western), the annual total of working hours was just under 1,560 in 1996 versus 1,610 in 1990 and 1,742 in 1980."



1999-09-08 09:20PDT (12:20EDT) (16:20GMT)
Lay-offs head high
"After 57,253 job cuts in August, the out-placement specialist firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. said Americans employers have announced 495,510 job cuts in 1999, 38% higher than the 8-month total in 1998, the biggest down-sizing year of the decade.   The August figure was 5% higher than July's total of 54,709 and last month was 54% higher than 1998 August, making it the 17th consecutive month that job cuts were ahead of the same month in the previous year."

_San Diego Daily Transcript_
August Job Cut Announcements Were Up 5%


1999-09-09 08:15PDT (11:15EDT) (15:15GMT)
James Freeman _USA Today_
"You have zero privacy...   Get over it."
"Do you own the story of your life?   Is information about you part of your personal property?   [Of course!]   Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, expressed his view in a January response to a question about on-line privacy.   Said McNealy, 'You have zero privacy anyway.   Get over it.'"








Catherine K. Ruckelshaus _National Employment Law Project_
Contingent Workers and Coverage Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
Dunlop Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations
"The U.S. Commission on the Future of Worker-Management Relations (the Dunlop Commission) concluded in its final report that, '[C]ontingent [work] arrangements may be introduced simply to reduce the amount of compensation paid by the firm for the same amount and value of work, which raises serious social questions.   This is particularly true because contingent workers are drawn disproportionately from the most vulnerable sectors of the work-force...   The expansion of contingent work has contributed to the increasing gap between high and low wage workers and to the increasing sense of insecurity among workers...'   Thus, contingent workers are not getting paid minimum wage and overtime in many instances, because of their employers' ability to avoid liability and responsibility for their workers by passing responsibility on to the smaller, less capitalized nominal entities designated the workers' (sole) employer [or shifting the burden onto the individual employees]."




James E. Challenger _Florida Sun-Times_
Body Shopping Increasing
"As the number of part-time, contingent and out-sourced employees grows, companies are cutting full-time employees deemed too costly to keep...   The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of out-sourced temporary workers increased 580% between 1982 and 1998, going from 417K to 2,824,000.   Independent contractors have become so prevalent in the work force that in 1995, BLS conducted the first survey of 'alternative work arrangements'.   The biennial survey estimates that in 1997, 8.5M workers in the United States considered themselves independent contractors.   With so many options available for hiring far less costly just-in-time workers, the complacent full-time employee clearly is an endangered species."





Lamar Smith _San Diego Union Tribune_ pg B13
Does US need more foreign workers?
"Also, the legislation mandated that the National Science Foundation (NSF) submit 2 reports to Congress by 2000 October 1.   One study will examine the labor market's need for workers with high-technology skills over the next 10 years.   The other study evaluates the status of older information-technology workers and the extent of age discrimination faced by these workers...   The visa program is susceptible to massive fraud by 'front companies' set up for the sole purpose of applying for visas and by companies submitting bogus job experience letters and educational diplomas for applicants.   When the INS and the State Department undertook a review of more than 3K visa petitions at the US Consulate at Chennai, India, they were unable to verify about 45% of the petitions, and 21% were found to be outright fraudulent.   India accounts for almost half of all high-tech foreign workers.   --A labor shortage should be accompanied by sharp increases in wages.   But The Washington Post reported recently, 'For the second year in a row, the rise in high tech-company salaries has held at a modest cost-of-living rate.'...   A recent study by Professor Laura Langbein of American University has found that the average length of time it takes an unemployed engineer to find a new job increases by 3 weeks for each additional year of age.   There is also a 17% unemployment rate for computer programmers over age 50...   Lay-offs by high-tech companies continue.   In the past year, Hewlett Packard has laid off 3,200 workers, Motorola has laid off 2,124, Lucent Technologies has laid off 1,700, and Intel has laid off 875."


Kathleen Finigan _Albany NY Business Review_
Employee retention programs ensure competitiveness
"existing employees may be assigned additional tasks during the period after an employee leaves the company and before a qualified replacement begins.   There is a cost to productivity associated with replacing a worker.   Add in the time it takes for someone to train the newly hired employee and the cost of sourcing candidates, whether that is on the Internet, through networking or at job fairs...   Deloitte & Touche Human Resources Strategies Group and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.   4 out of 5 companies reported that finding and retaining qualified employees was a major challenge, the survey said.   During 1998, the largest U.S. companies demonstrated a commitment to finding top-notch employees by spending an average of 18% of their human resources department budgets on recruitment, up 5% from the previous year.   By combining training and development with [recruiting] expenditures, the survey concluded that U.S. corporations spend 31% of their annual human resources budgets on [recruiting] and retention...   The supervisors said the reason the company was losing employees was because that it was not offering a competitive salary...   former employees offered other reasons, including a limited vacation policy; an inflexible work schedule; a non-competitive 401(k) match; an inflexible dress code; infrequent and unclear messages on corporate strategy from company officials; underutilized equipment; limited investment in employee training; and disrespectful attitudes of supervisors towards employees."




Peter Behr _Washington Post_
By the Numbers: Web Snares More Employment Ads; Proliferating On-Line Job Sites Challenge Long-Held Niche of Newspaper Industry




1999 September
Lisa Pohlman & Christopher St. John _Maine Center for Economic Policy_
Life After Lay-Off in Central Maine
"Between 1995 and 1999 there have been over 50 major lay-offs in Kennebec county alone, affecting more than 3,900 workers...   Negative impacts persisted for most of these workers well beyond the first few weeks, months or even years after their lay-off.   They were generally in their prime working years, but over one-third had not had a job since their lay-off.   At the time of the survey, 44% were unemployed, excluding those who were retired.   While a third of those not working were currently in a training or education program, another third said they could not find work.   Prior to lay-off, the survey respondents generally had better than average wages and benefits.   But the median wage in their current or most recent jobs had declined by $3.48 per hour from the median wage in the previous manufacturing plants.   The median household income for all respondents in the year prior to their lay-off was $40K.   In 1998 the median household income among respondents was $25K.   Almost half of the respondents' households in 1998 were living at or below 185% of the federal poverty line, which is considered in Maine to be the minimum liveable wage.   For those who found work, 1 out of 4 of their current or most recent jobs were part-time and almost one-third of all jobs were seasonal, temporary or day-to-day jobs.   The fact that 40% of those working had moved to the service and retail sectors explains this trend in declining wages and benefits and increased contingent work...   Sixty percent (60%) of the workers had completed high school, while 10% had not.   Almost half took part in some kind of training after their lay-off, most funded through federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), with income support while in training through the federal Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)."

1999 October


1999-10-01 14:10PDT (17:10EDT) (21:10GMT)
Courtney Macavinta _CNET_
After years of phony shortage whining tech firms may actually lift a finger to begin recruiting at grad schools
"The dilemma has prompted federal law-makers to push a new visa program that would make it easier for foreign students to segue into U.S.-based high-tech jobs right after graduation [anything to avoid recruiting US citizens]."

1999-10-01 14:10PDT (17:10EDT) (21:10GMT)
Neanderthals were cannibals
Robert Sanders: U of California at Berkeley: bone fragments link Neanderthals with cannibalism
2006-12-04: Andrea Thompson: Live Science: study confirmed Neanderthals were cannibals






1999-10-06 13:35PDT (16:35EDT) (20:35GMT)
Dawn Kawamoto _CNET_
Asian flu leads to record lay-offs
"The U.S. electronics industry, which includes semiconductors, has issued 69,595 lay-off notices since the start of the year through September 30, according to the report compiled by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.   That's more than 3 times the 22,008 cuts announced for all last year.   In the computer industry, 44,035 cuts were announced during the first 9 months of this year, up 47.7% from 1997, the report said.   The telecommunications industry saw its ranks thinned by 28,934 jobs during the 9-month period, a huge jump from the 10,822 positions eliminated last year...   Since 18,077 telecom positions were cut in January, the rate has continued to fall.   No job cuts were announced in September."

1999-10-06 13:44PST (16:44EST) (21:44GMT))
Mo Krochmal _TechWeb_
Ellison Evangelizes Big, Intrusive Systems
"The Internet is forcing a new model of consolidation, said Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle...   Businesses will save money & learn more by consolidating data, he said...   Oracle is consolidating its data-bases from 40 to 2 -- a primary & a backup, Ellison said.   'When you consolidate data, you can ask questions that you could not when you have data-base servers everywhere.', he said.   'You can't get information if it's fragmented & you have to query a thousand data-bases.   This is a new model of computing.'...   he said he is willing to let government have more access to phone calls & data-bases.   'Absolute privacy is a terrible idea.', Ellison said.   'Should government be allowed to snoop?   They should be, under court order.   I'm willing to give away a lot of privacy if government can use that to catch drug dealers & criminals.'"



_Missouri Division of Career Education_
CGC lay-off report
"In 1996, AT&T cut 40K jobs; the largest lay-off in 1997 was less than half of that number.   It seems lay-offs are getting lighter, according to figures from Challenger, Gray, & Christmas.   Here are the 10 largest company lay-offs announced in 1997, as well as the ten largest industry lay-offs in that same year:"
Top 10 Lay-Offs by Company
1.Eastman Kodak19,900
5.International Paper9,000
6.Fruit of the Loom7,700
7.Montgomery Ward7,700
8.Levi Strauss6,400
10.General Motors5,525

Top 10 Lay-Offs by Industry
2.Industrial Goods38,249
3.Financial Services37,159
4.Consumer Goods36,507







Michelle Mittelstadt _AP_/_Seattle Post-Intelligencer_
INS mistakenly issues high-tech visas to thousands of foreigners
"The federal immigration service mistakenly doled out as many as 20K visas to foreigners with high-tech skills during the just-ended fiscal year, prompting angry complaints from Congress.   Immigration and Naturalization Service managers notified law-makers last week that, because of a computer system miscommunication, they had exceeded the congressionally imposed cap of 115K H-1B visas for the year ended September 30 by 10K to 20K.   The mistake is the 'latest self-inflicted wound by the agency's inept management', representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's immigration panel, said yesterday...   INS is contracting [i.e. out-sourcing] with an independent auditor to determine exactly how many extra visas were issued, agency spokes-woman Maria Cardona said yesterday.   The error occurred when visa approval numbers from the 4 INS service centers that process H-1B applications didn't get into the agency's main computer system in Washington that tracks totals, she said...   'You can't cut off that pipe-line.', said ITAA Vice President Renee Winsky, citing Labor Department projections that the industry will need 140K new workers a year over the next decade."













David Horowitz _Front Page Magazine_
reflections on the road taken and not



Kathryn Evans _iT news_/_Computer Reseller News_
Y2K bust causes drop in IT jobs
"[Recruiting] firm, Morgan and Banks' quarterly job index indicates that IT staffing with organisations will continue to decrease, after a hectic year battling Y2K issues...   The survey of 4125 employers has found that while 51.3% of IT companies plan to pick up new staff in the next quarter, this is a 4% drop on the Q2 poll...   a slow up in the numbers of contract staff is expected with 19% of firms intending to decrease their use of temporary staff."



Kathryn Evans _iT news_/_Computer Reseller News_
data-base admin beckons jobless
"Under the program, dubbed Restart IT, Oracle intends to train 36 unemployed people in data-base administration via a series of project-based assignments over 13 weeks.   Oracle has invested over $400K into the scheme and the NSW Department of Education has also kicked in $84K.   On completion of the course ten people will be selected to work at Oracle for an on-the-job traineeship which will run over a year.   With around 30K gaps in the industry and with this statistic set to grow at 9% per year according to the IT&T Skills Task Force, the government's contribution to the skills shortage may seem a 'drop in the bucket'."



1999 October
Stuart Englert _PS&P_
Job Cuts Soar
"merger and acquisition-related job cuts through 1999 September were 35% ahead of those reported in the first 9 months of 1998, according to a report by international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   M&As resulted in 60,282 job cuts through 1999 September, up from 44,742 merger-related cuts announced through 1998 September.   Since Challenger et al. began tracking merger job cuts in 1995, the record was set in 1998 with 73,903 lost jobs.   With an average of 6,698 merger job cuts per month, however, 1999 is on pace to set a new record."

1999 October
_Monthly Labor Review_
1999 report on the American Work-Force

1999 November











Michael R. Fanning, Patrick N. McTeague, Rose Mary Abelson, Eddie C. Brown, J. Kenneth Blackwell, Judith Ann Calder, Thomas J. Mackell jr, Judith F. Mazo, Rebecca J. Miller, Michael J. Stapley, Barbara Ann Uberti, Steven Hipple, Edward A. Lenz et al.
Benefit Implications of the Growth of Contingent Employment
"Whether called contingent, flexible, alternative or non-standard, the portion of the American work-force engaged in non-permanent or less than full-time employment constitutes approximately 30% of the entire work-force and is growing.   Because the workers in this portion of the work-force have substantially less access to traditional employment-based health and retirement benefits, and evidence substantially less proclivity to participate in such benefit plans where available, serious social policy implications are presented...   Half of contingent workers said that they wanted permanent jobs.   For younger contingent workers a third said they were satisfied with their temporary jobs.   Older contingent workers are more likely to prefer a permanent job than younger contingent workers; 70% of workers over age 25 wanted a permanent job.   Contingent workers earned only 80% of what their non-contingent counterparts earned.   Contingent workers were also less likely to have employer-provided health insurance...   Only 16% of contingent workers were included in an employer-provided pension plan versus 50% of all non-contingent workers...   the average daily number of workers employed through these arrangements has increased from 1M in 1990 to approximately 3M today.   He pointed out that since the turn-over rate is roughly 450% annually for these workers, approximately 15M persons annually are employed as temporaries.   The average job tenure for each job is 9.6 weeks...   The vast majority of all temporary workers are employed by firms with annual revenues exceeding $50M.   In turn 75% of firms in that size category offer health benefits in which the employer, on average, contributes 40% of the premium costs, with the employee paying 60%.   Finally, of the resulting 56% (i.e., 75% x 75%=56.25%) of temporary workers offered coverage on this basis, only 15% choose to purchase the coverage...   60% of large firms offered 401(k) plans but only 6.5% of eligible workers participated, although 14% of those in small firms did so."






_Chemical & Engineering News_/_ACS_
2000 Employment Outlook
"Hiring in 1999 did not shape up as well as predicted, but the job market in 2000 may be one of the best in a decade.   Competition is fierce for top candidates in pharmaceutical and biotech firms and at many universities.   Small companies remain a good source of jobs for new graduates."



22,814 lay-offs announced in October
"Employment growth resumed its robust pace in October as the economy created 310K new jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 4.1%, its lowest level in nearly 30 years.   And along with the Jobs report, the Labor Department said that wages rose a mild 1 cent per hour, a smaller than expected increase.   Three days after the report came the findings of employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas stating that job cuts at U.S. companies fell by 63% during October.   According to the firm, some 22,814 positions were shed by various companies last month, significantly less than September's 61,219 and well below the 91,531 a year ago."

Michael F. Hammer. A.J. Redd, E.T. Wood et al. _Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America_
Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome bi-allelic haplotypes


Matt Richtel _NY Times_ pg A1
Need for Computer Experts Is Making Recruiters Frantic, though not industrious

Lynn Barris _Chico Examiner_
"when a delegation of Butte County Farm Bureau went back to DC and lobbied for this program I added another reason to 976 other reasons why I would NEVER join the Farm Bureau.   (#976 is the Farm Bureauís opposition to labeling genetically altered food.) The guest worker program is under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).   There are several "H" programs.   H1 programs are for skilled foreign nationals such as computer programmers, H2 programs bring in unskilled foreign nationals.   The H2A program is for agriculture and the H-2B program is for non-ag unskilled labor...   The guest worker program is one more scam by corporate agriculture that doesn't want to provide civilized working conditions and decent wages.   Even now US ag workers don't get over-time until after 10 hours a day or after 60 hours a week."





Thomas York _InfoWorld_
Why are employers so picky?
alternate link
book review
"It's a market in which hiring managers cobble together lengthy wish lists of education, qualifications, skills, and talents when seeking candidates to fill slots in their IT departments -- and may not fill the positions until they find the perfect candidate...   it is essential for all employers to consider training to improve the overall talent pool in the IT arena."




Alan Sukoenig _NY Times_/_IEEE Almanack_
No Shortage of Experts
No Shortage of Experts alternate link
"I have a suggestion for the recruiter's clients: drop the unwritten ban on hiring experienced people over the age of 40...   Young managers who feel uncomfortable about hiring older workers, as well as an industry that has discovered the advantage of importing young 'indentured servants' willing to work 16-hour days for a pittance have given programmers over 50 an unemployment rate of 17%."





Richard Bruner _Colosseum Builders_
Lay-Offs Persist Amidst ESP Propaganda
Programmers Guild
"the American Electronic Association [AeA] reports a 1.6% unemployment rate for engineers, 1.4% for computer programmers and 1.2% for computer scientists.   In Silicon Valley, general unemployment is at 2.9%; in Austin, 2.1%; and in Fairfax County, VA, 1.5%...   Challenger, Gray & Christmas announced the computer industry had the second largest number of lay-offs year-to-date (January through October), totaling 55,608 job cuts.   Only the retail industry was higher...   'Last year there was a shake-out, especially in 1998 and into 1999; there was a glut of product on the market.   Prices were falling.   Semiconductor companies were closing facilities.   They were shuttering them.   We saw a lot of lay-offs.'...   Silicon Graphics has laid off 3K workers.   A spokesperson told EN most of them occurred near the end of August.   'We're trying to turn the company around and laying off in areas we're no longer going to put emphasis on...'..."
Monthly Job Cut Totals, Computer Industry
year to date55,608

1999 November
William Zumeta
The Best and Brightest for Science: Is There a Policy Problem Here?
Unfortunately, the author fails or refuses to recognize that US students are responding rationally to job market conditions.   More foreign students means greater labor supply, which means dwindling prospects in terms of employment security and compensation in the affected fields.   So, US students attempt to aim for fields with better prospects.

1999 November
top 500 fastest super computers LinPack bench-mark (rated in giga Floating-point Operations / second)

1999 December








Lay-Offs Rose in November
Harper College
"Job cuts at US companies surged 123% in November after falling to a 25-month low in October, putting 1999 on track for a record year of job reduction, a private report released Tuesday showed...   In all, U.S. companies announced 50,907 lay-offs in November, a 123% increase over the previous month.   From a year earlier, the numbers are more in line -- just 1% below the 50,642 announced in 1998 November.   Year to date, some 630,450 job cuts have been announced, about 7% behind the 677,795 announced in 1998.   For December, some of the job cuts will come from companies involved in mergers, Challenger predicts, though so far only one in 9 job cuts this year have been a result of mergers or acquisitions.   Last December, Challenger reported over 100K job cuts, well above the firm's own expectations...   Year-to-date, retailers and computer makers lead the industries with the biggest increase in job cuts from 1998..."


NSF data shows massive glut of IT expertise
"more than 12M people trained as or employed as scientists and engineers (S&Es) in the U.S.A. in 1995...   The non-working percentage as determined by age ranges from a low of about 6.5% in the 45 to 49 year old age bracket to over 83% of S&Es over 75 years of age.   NSF figures also claim a total of 10.6% of bachelors-level S&Es are 'involuntarily out of field' [IOOF]...   only about one-quarter of the survey group are employed in S&E fields.   A majority, 57.57%, are working, but not in science or engineering fields.   That means almost 7M talented American men and women are not seeing economic benefits from their sacrifices required to earn a science or engineering degree.   [American minds are being wasted.]"





Rob Kaiser _Bergen NJ Record_
Visa "Shortage" Boots Business Over-Seas Allege Tech Executive Lobbyists
"The battle last year was about visas to bring more foreign technical specialists into the United States.   Next year, the fight may well be about companies shifting those jobs over-seas."


David Horowitz _Front Page Magazine_
letter to the past







Alexander Nguyen _The American Prospect_
High-Tech Migrant Labor
"Meanwhile, abundant anecdotal evidence indicates that some American technology workers, especially older ones, have a hard time finding steady work in their fields...   Gene Nelson, 47, found it just as difficult in Dallas.   Nelson worked on cutting-edge pen-based computing, which is used in 'Palm Pilot' technology.   Nelson says high-tech firms have given him the cold shoulder even though he has enrolled in retraining programs to keep his skills up to date.   For a while, he answered phones for MSFT from inside a 6-by-6-foot cubicle.   But the job didn't last...   The H-1B program depresses industry's incentive to retrain and hire workers like Nelson.   America's technology sector understands that generally tight labor markets make it difficult to keep labor costs down, and the industry likes to be choosy...   Critics say guest-worker programs amount to a back-door immigration policy.   'They want to promote the influx of people from over-seas but deny them the respect that a republic ought to accord to them.', said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, on National Public Radio in 1998.   It's as if a method has been found to separate human capital from the humans who provide it.   The labor of guest workers is imported, but their potential citizenship is not acknowledged as part of the deal...   Reports of underpaid workers are not uncommon.   'Dear Career Adviser', wrote an anonymous software consultant to an advice column in Computerworld in April.   'My employer is under-paying me, because my pay is much lower than the figure he quoted on my H-1B application.   What should I do about this?'   The reply: 'If you report your employer, you could be fired.   And without a job, your H-1B visa becomes null and void.'"













1999 December
Anne M. Covey, Jonathan Sunshine & Howard P. Forman _American Journal of Roentgenology_
The Job Market in Diagnostic Radiology: Updated Findings from a Help Wanted Index (graphs)

1999 Fall
Franklin D. Latin _Illinois Labor Market Review_
High-Tech Skill Shortage or Low-Cost Labor Policy?: Are skill shortages so severe in America that we must import labor from abroad?
"there are numerous experienced professionals who are overlooked in favor of younger college graduates.   Gene Nelson, a 47 year old IT professional with a doctorate in biophysics, testified before Congress that he is constantly told that he is overqualified.   Nelson believes employers simply find it easier to hire young employees who are willing to work long hours without adequate compensation or to use H1-B workers rather than train older workers.   An AFL-CIO official who also testified before Congress noted that the unemployment rate for engineers over 40 years old is 5 times higher than for their younger counterparts.   Another opponent of the H-1B program stated, 'If there were really a major shortage of IT professionals we would expect wage rates to soar, companies to offer on-the-job training programs, and very little unemployment among software engineers.   Instead we find very modest growth in wages for programmers and other IT professionals, virtually no company-sponsored training and extraordinarily high unemployment among specialists over 40.'"

1999 Fall
Craig Willse _MakeZine_
Contingently Yours
"Contingent labor, sometimes euphemistically called 'non-traditional' labor, has become a standard way of life for millions of Americans.   Contingent employees include temps, industrial day laborers, and contract employees.   In the past, contingent workers have tended to do administrative support in office settings, construction jobs, health care in nursing homes, and child care.   However, since the economic recession of the 1970s, American corporations have aggressively 'down-sized' their staffs of regular, full-time employees, and have increasingly relied on contingent labor.   This means that many jobs that were formerly performed by full-time employees are now being filled by contingent laborers, either through temporary help agencies or contract systems.   Unlike regular employees, contingent workers usually receive no health care, no benefits, no paid vacations or sick leave, no chances for promotion, and no job security...   while companies benefit from contingent arrangements, employees largely suffer.   A Department of Labor study found that 59% of temps would prefer a traditional, permanent arrangement...   Finally, 'perma-temps' who work for years at big companies as contingent employees commonly find that their requests to be hired into regular, full-time positions are systematically denied."

1999 Fall
Susan N. Houseman _W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research_
Policy Implications of Non-Standard Work Arrangements
Flexible Staffing Arrangements
"From 1982 to 1998, the share of non-farm pay-roll employment in help supply services increased from 0.5% to 2.3%.   The overall share of the work-force in part-time jobs increased only slightly in the 1980s and has been stagnant in the 1990s...   indirect evidence suggests that the share in these arrangements is growing.   Some researchers have cited the rapid growth in business services as evidence, on the grounds that many contract company workers are classified in this sector.   Moreover, several employer surveys provide qualitative evidence that other types of nonstandard work arrangements have grown significantly in recent years (Abraham 1990; The Conference Board 1995; Abraham and Taylor 1996; Houseman 1997)...   A lack of benefits is a problem for workers in all nonstandard arrangements.   These workers are much less likely than regular full-time workers to have health insurance or a retirement plan through their employer or from any other source even after controlling for worker and job characteristics.   In fact, evidence from employer surveys suggests that savings on benefit costs is often one reason employers use non-standard work arrangements."

1999 Fall
Edwin S. Rubenstein _American Outlook_/_Programmers Guild_
Piled Higher and Deeper: The alleged shortage of highly educated workers in the U.S. is a myth. In fact, we're suffering from a chronic surplus of Ph.D.s

Amity Shlaes
The Greedy Hand "The IRS audits people with small businesses far more frequently than it does those who choose to be employed by someone else.   By now, the nation's entrepreneurs are forced into a sort of bunker mentlity.   'There is one predominant, ever watchful adversary (enemy) of every self-employed indvidual.   Said adversary is government.', [wrote] Holmes F. Crouch, the author of a vehement little hand-book, _Being Self-Employed: Prepare for IRS Surveillance & Audit Strikes_.   Crouch adds, 'Within 5 to 10 years after being self-employed, we can virtually guarantee that we will be after you with fang and tong.'...   audit rates confirm it...   Under a recent law, the IRS persecues companies who hire computer programmers as independent contractors.   It makes hiring an independent contractor -- as opposed to an employee [or a bodyshopped] -- an invitation to trouble.   'Who do you know who would hire someone who will bring with them trouble from the IRS?', Harvey J. Shulman, the lawyer for the national Association of Computer Consultant Businesses, asked the NY Times.   This law was passed by a congress that thought it could cattle-prod more independent types into working as regular employees [or bodies shopped], who are easier to collect taxes from than independent businesses." --- Amity Shlaes 1999 _The Greedy Hand_ pp189-190

Judith Harkham Semas _High Technology Careers Magazine_
High-Tech Worker Shortage: Reality or Rhetoric?
"a CEO made 20 times the average worker pay in 1965; but in 1997 that multiplier had escalated to 115.7...   major technology firms, including some screaming 'shortage' the loudest, hire only a tiny percentage of applicants.   This controversy has become increasingly heated, especially now when the economy has begun to evidence symptoms of Asian 'economic flu' and word of new lay-offs -- over 200K in 1998 alone -- hits the news-stands daily.   Citing those many thousands of lay-offs in the high-tech industry, organized labor also pointed to recent data from the Bureau of Labor showing that the unemployment rate for electrical engineers has increased 8-fold since the beginning of 1998 to 3.4% -- the highest since 1994...   Problem is, there is no definitive figure for the pool of US workers available for hire in the IT field; workers are hidden in a variety of other reported job/skill categories for the most part.   And no one knows how many H-1B visas are held by high-tech workers because none of the agencies track how many H-1B workers are in which fields.   Still, there is no shortage of older US programmers and engineers claiming they CAN'T EVEN GET INTERVIEWED for jobs they feel qualified to do.   Recent surveys by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. found 11-12% of members had been asked to retire early, and 19% said they had suffered age discrimination.   In addition, Matloff and others refer to a 17% unemployment rate for people over 50 years old in the computing industry.   Shocking if true.   But, despite its frequent citations, that stat doesn't jibe with Labor Department figures, which put the unemployment rate for over-55 mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers at within a fraction of a percent of the rate for ALL US workers."

Marney Cox _San Diego Metropolitan UpTown Examiner & Daily Business Report_
The Economy Slows
"The softened demand for high-tech products has slowed employment growth in these sectors.   Statewide, employment growth in high-tech has slowed from an average of about 5% in 1997 to just 0.1% as of 1998 August.   Employment growth in most other manufacturing sectors fell by about 1 percentage point over the same time period...   There is a strong correlation between the economic health of the region and its population growth.   From 1985 to 1990 nearly 191K jobs were created and the region's population grew 400K persons.   Between 1990 and 1995, during an economic recession, just 10K jobs were created while population grew by 119K.   More recently, with the end of the recession, the region has added 72K new jobs and 112,500 persons.   The local unemployment rate in 1998 November fell to 3.2%, a rate not seen in nearly 30 years.   Population and labor force growth will out-pace job creation, pushing the unemployment rate above 4% during 1999."

Lawrence Chimerine, Theodore S. Black, Lester Coffey, Martha K. Matzke, Alexis M. Herman, Raymond L. Bramucci, Grace A. Kilband & Esther R. Johnson
Unemployment Insurance as an Economic Stabilizer: Evidence of Effectiveness Over 3 Decades
"Another related trend is indicated in the comparison of the insured unemployment rate over time with the overall civilian unemployment rate.   The 2 unemployment rates began to diverge at the beginning of the 1960s, and the gap began to widen after the recession of the 1970s.   At the height of that recession, 1975 May, the civilian unemployment rate peaked at a seasonally adjusted rate of 9% and the insured unemployment rate reached 6.9%.   Since that time, the insured unemployment rate has been on a downward trend-line, while the civilian unemployment rate exceeded its 1975 high in 1982, peaking at 10.8% in December of that year, more than double the rate of insured unemployment then.   In general, the total unemployment rate has remained more than double the insured unemployment rate since the beginning of the 1980s, with some narrowing of the gap occurring in the mid-1990s.   Bassi and McMurrer (1997) note that the ratio of the insured unemployment rate (those covered by the UI system) to the total civilian unemployment rate (all unemployed workers, including those not covered by UI) and the ratio of UI claimants to the total number of unemployed (the 'recipiency' rate) have both declined over the past 3 decades.   Bassi and McMurrer ascribe these declines in the insured unemployed and recipiency rates to 4 primary factors: (1) Federal and State policy changes, (2) population shifts to States with traditionally low UI claims rates, (3) the decline in the unionized percentage of the work-force, and (4) the decline in the manufacturing sector of the economy.   They also agree with the earlier findings of Burtless and Saks (1985) that the changing composition of the work-force -- with growing numbers of women and young workers, as well as 2-wage-earner families -- has influenced the recipiency decline.   And it has been noted by Blaustein and others that some of the largest insured sectors (government employees, for example) are also the most stable, while the growing low-wage service sectors are both more volatile in employment patterns and have a larger proportion of uninsured workers."

Merger Job Cuts Soar
"merger and acquisition-related job cuts through September 1999 were 35% ahead of those reported in the first 9 months of 1998, according to a report by international outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   M&As resulted in 60,282 job cuts through 1999 September, up from 44,742 merger-related cuts announced through 1998 September.   Since Challenger et al. began tracking merger job cuts in 1995, the record was set in 1998 with 73,903 lost jobs.   With an average of 6,698 merger job cuts per month, however, 1999 is on pace to set a new record."

Timothy W. Brogan _American Body Shopping Association_
Body Shoppers Thrive Amidst Job Churn (with graphs)
"The average number of temporary employees working each day rose by more than 100K in 1999.   And staffing firms increased temporary help sales by 9.6% to $64.3G...   Corporate profit margins also increased at the end of last year, [as] compensation costs [rose only] 3.4%...   From 1992 to 1995, temporary help employment grew at an average annual rate of 17%.   Since 1995, growth has slowed to an annual rate of 8.4%.   In 1999, the number of individuals employed daily in temporary help jobs increased 3.9% to 2.9M...   In 1999, the average length of time a typical temporary employee worked with a staffing firm rose to 10.3 weeks, up from 9.5 weeks in 1998...   Economists Lawrence Katz of Harvard and Alan Krueger of Princeton concluded in a 1999 study that the growth of [bodyshopping] was responsible for approximately one-half of the drop in the unemployment rate during the 1990s...   Only 12% of businesses say that saving on wage or benefit costs plays an important role in their decision to use temporary help...   A 1998 ASA survey revealed that expenditures for [low level] skills training increased to $720M in 1997, more than doubling the $260M spent in 1995.   The number of individuals receiving skills training also more than doubled to 4.8M in 1997, up from 2.2M in 1995.   In all, about 90% of staffing firms [bodyshops] report offering free skills training to their employees...   more than 675K job cuts were announced in 1999, according to the out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.   These job cuts follow a record number announced in 1998 and remain an unexpectedly high percentage of the work-force...   Many companies created and eliminated jobs at the same time.   As a group, companies created 5 jobs for every 3 they eliminated, according to AMA [American Management Association]...   In 1998, the executive managerial, professional specialty, and technical occupations comprised nearly 15% of staffing services employment.   The administrative-clerical, service, and marketing-sales areas accounted for nearly 50% of staff.   And operators, fabricators, and laborers made up just over 30%."

_BLS_ Economic liberalization
"Real wages have slowly, if at all, recovered their 1960s levels...   It is true that Maquiladoras have evidenced vigorous growth in output and employment, but real wages have continued to decline."

"Melissa" quoted in Chris Benner, Bob Brownstein & Amy B. Dean
Walking the Life-Long Tight-Rope: Negotiating Work in the New Economy: A Status Report on Social & Economic Well-Being in the State of California (pdf)
"I never chose temp work voluntarily, but I had to, since I got laid off & couldn't find permanent work.   The time I've spent as a temp ruined my financial situation, my self esteem, & destroyed any sense of my career direction.   The credit card debt that I racked up would have easily been a decent savings account if I didn't have to do that bout of temping.   There is psychological damage in having to constantly 'learn' the same old thing over & over.   The need to constantly learn can be very stressful, & actually eats away at my creative energy, since I have to become short-term, rather than long-term oriented."
Working Partnerships USA
Economic Policy Institute
At Work Project

Chris Benner, Bob Brownstein & Amy B. Dean
Walking the Life-Long Tight-Rope: Negotiating Work in the New Economy: A Status Report on Social & Economic Well-Being in the State of California (pdf)
(citing Paul Osterman 1996 _Broken Ladders: Managerial Careers in the New Economy_;
Baumol & Wolff 1998 _Side Effects of Progress: How Technological Change Increases the Duration of Unemployment_;
Gus Koehler & Rosa Moller 1998 _Business Capital Needs in California: Designing a Program_)
"With unemployment at the lowest levels in a generation, inflation in check, & even some signs of rising wages after years of stagnation or decline, the U.S. economy was often described as 'the envy of the world'.   Nevertheless, 1998 was also a record year for corporate lay-offs & down-sizing.   According to a regular survey from the out-placement firm, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, companies announced a total of almost 700K lay-offs in 1998 -- 56% higher than in 1997 & the highest since the survey began in 1989, prior to the last recession...  
In a study of lay-offs over the last 6 years, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a job placement firm, found that the computer industry is a leader not only in job growth but also in job loss.   The study found that from 1993 to 1998, companies in more than 30 industries announced a combined total of 3.1M lay-offs.   Seven industries accounted for more than half of this amount.   The computer industry ranked third in down-sizing, while telecommunications ranked fourth, out-paced only by aerospace & retailing...   As skill demands change more rapidly, large numbers of people need to learn new skills, go back to school, or switch careers entirely.   When a firm changes technology, it may permanently lay off workers with certain skills & hire new workers with different ones.   This is true for workers at all levels.   In recent years, middle managers have faced some of the largest numbers of lay-offs.   Some workers... may be unable to take advantage of new job opportunities, & thus face long-term unemployment.   More critically, even when a firm makes incremental changes in technology, it may not want to retrain some types of workers.   For example, many firms believe it is not cost-effective to retrain older or less-skilled workers, either because the retraining costs are higher or because firms believe workers may not be sufficiently productive or on the job long enough to recoup the cost of training.  
This employer strategy increases the share of the unemployed labor force made up of workers with relatively higher retraining costs.   It also threatens these unemployed workers with a long job search or even permanent unemployment.   As a result of these changes, people who are unemployed remain unemployed for longer periods of time than in the past.  
For example, in the 1970s the average duration of unemployment for men was 13.1 weeks, while in the 1990s it was 17 weeks, an extra month of joblessness.   The increase in unemployment is particularly dramatic for older workers: unemployed men aged 55 to 64 were unemployed an average of 19 weeks in the 1970s, 23.8 weeks in the 1980s, & 25.3 weeks in the 1990s.   Even more disturbing, there has been a noticeable increase in the proportion of displaced workers who are unemployed an exceptionally long time.   In 1998 for example, 14% of the unemployed were out of work 27 weeks or more, compared to only 9% in 1979 & less than 5% in 1969."
Working Partnerships USA &
Economic Policy Institute
At Work Project

Chris Benner, Bob Brownstein & Amy B. Dean
Walking the Life-Long Tight-Rope: Negotiating Work in the New Economy: A Status Report on Social & Economic Well-Being in the State of California (pdf)
(citing Dale Belman, Erica Groshen, David Stevens & Julia Lane 1998 _Small Consolation: The Dubious Benefits of Small Business for Job Growth & Wages_;
Clair Brown, Ben Campbell, & Greg Pinsonneault 1998 _The Perceived Shortage of High-Tech Workers_)
"From 1993 to 1997, large businesses lost 277,443 more jobs than they created, while firms with fewer than 100 employees created more than 1.3M net new jobs in California.   Firms with fewer than 20 workers accounted for 65% of this growth...   A recent national study of employment in small business (less than 50 employees), for instance, found:

A recent survey of California residents also found that workers in smaller firms have less access to training & education programs.   While 67% of employees in firms with more than 500 employees report having attended a jobs skills class in the last 5 years, only 53% of employees of firms with fewer than 50 employees reported having attended jobs skills training."
Working Partnerships USA
Economic Policy Institute
At Work Project

Chris Benner, Bob Brownstein & Amy B. Dean
Walking the Life-Long Tight-Rope: Negotiating Work in the New Economy: A Status Report on Social & Economic Well-Being in the State of California (pdf)
(citing Clair Brown, Ben Campbell, & Greg Pinsonneault 1998 _The Perceived Shortage of High-Tech Workers_)
"High-tech industries tend to be dominated by younger workers, either those recently out of college or in their early years as a professional.   Companies would rather hire younger workers with the latest university training than invest in retraining of their current, older workers, even if they are highly skilled workers with university educations."
Working Partnerships USA
Economic Policy Institute
At Work Project

Chris Benner, Bob Brownstein & Amy B. Dean
Walking the Life-Long Tight-Rope: Negotiating Work in the New Economy: A Status Report on Social & Economic Well-Being in the State of California (pdf)
"Since 1985 the average wage for union members has declined by only 3%, compared to a decline of 6% for non-union workers.   Most of this decline occurred in the private sector, where union density is the lowest.   The average union wage in the private sector has declined nearly 10% in real terms since 1985 In the public sector, however, the average wage of union members has risen nearly 5% since 1985, while the wages of non-union public sector workers has remained essentially flat."
Working Partnerships USA
Economic Policy Institute
At Work Project

Electronic Recruiting Index


Richard Nelson Bolles 1999 _Job-Hunting on the Internet_
passport access121K100K
town online40K1K


1999 Winter
_Industrial Out-Look_
Manufacturing Blues (pdf with graphs)
"Manufacturing workers had reason to fear the worst in late 1998 as the ax man eliminated some 574,629 jobs...   By year's end, the number of lay-offs reached a record high, and are still growing...   The Labor Department's survey of displaced long-tenured workers, conducted in early 1998 brings good news to recently laid off employees.   The survey found that between 1995 and 1997, 67% of laid off workers were re-employed at full-time jobs, 14%-16% were working part-time or at home, and only 12%-14% had dropped out of the labor force.   The workers in this survey fared much better than in the 1993-1994 survey.   Only 38% of re-employed full-timers experienced pay drops (compared to 55% in the previous survey), while 21% suffered cuts of more than 20% (down from 38% in the preivious survey)...   After experiencing years of decline & negligible growth, the number of foreign students in the US increased 5.1% this year.   Moreover, Asian students, who make up over half of international student enrollment (57.6%), increased 6.4%.   Japan is the leading country of origin for all foreign students (47,073), followed by [Red China] (46,958) and Korea (North? South? 42,890)..."

_Thomas Staffing_
14th Annual Survey (graphs & tables)
Member of the national association of bodyshoppers
"21% of respondents indicate employee retention is a problem in their company...   The greater the number of employees in a company, the more likely the respondents are to indicate the problem of employee retention exists within their company...   in Medical & Hi-tech companies, 34% report that highest turn-over is among those employed 6 months or fewer, 11% that it is among those employed 7 to 12 months, 24% that it is among those employed 1 to 2 years; 10% that it is among those employed 3-5 years; 3% that it is among those employed 5 to 10 years, 3% that it is among those employed 10 years or more...   and 11% report that job title is more significant than time employed...   Many respondent companies do not make any effort to reduce employee turn-over or find out why employees leave...   Amongst Medical and Hi-tech firms, 40% do nothing to retain employees, 29% try to offer attractive benefits, 13% talk to employees to try to retain them...   6% offer more intensive training...   4% raise salaries..."

Tom Nadeau
7 Lean Years: America's New High-Tech Under-Class

Karen Schmidt _Science_ 285 (5433) pp 1517-1519
"Will the Job Market Ever Get Better?"

_American Association for the Advancement of Science_
S&E Employment (pdf)

1999 Winter
David C. Bjorkquist & Jaap Kleinhesselink _Education Resources Information Center_/_Journal of Industrial Teacher Education_
Contingent Employment and Alienated Workers
alternate link (pdf)
"Describes the state of contingent employment in the United States and Europe; identifies economic, psychological, and social consequences..."

Trend Toward Temps Continues
"The employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports that the number of 'alternative' workers rose from 12.1M to 12.5M between 1995 & 1997 and continues to grow."

William Buchanan _Social Contract_
HR73: protecting USA's sovereignty

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