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View Full Version : IT job losses - down 18.8% since 2001


KC Jones
09-15-2004, 08:45 AM
I think I should be able to post this in the other forum but people will probably whine. Honestly, I don't think this has much to do with presidential elections, but there are some political aspects to the larger phenomenon and how we retool our economy for the changing world.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/aplocal_story.asp?category=6420&slug=WA%20High%20Tech%20Job%20Slump

Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago have confirmed what many high-tech workers have long suspected: The job market for technology experts remains bleak, years after the U.S. recession officially ended in late 2001.

The nation's information technology industry lost 403,300 jobs between March 2001, when the recession began, and April of this year, the researchers found.

Perhaps more surprising, just over half of those jobs - 206,300 - were lost after experts declared the recession over in November 2001.

There are a lot of factors at play here - chief among them the collapse of the bubble. I remember interviewing people who weren't even remotely qualified to be programmers but the scarcity of programmers forced you to back in 1999-2001.

The area of concern for me is the outsourcing. I think it's ok and healthy for some outsourcing to exist. OTOH when we replace too much of our local investments in infrastructure and education with offshore investments, I think we cut our own throats. It'll be the people working their way up the ladder in those offshore outfits that come up with the next generation ideas, technologies, and businesses. We won't continue to be the innovative leaders if we don't have a serious investment strategy here at home and continue to lure the best and brightest away from other countries to live the American dream.

I also think this problem is compounded by our stance on intellectual property. An idea was never meant to be patentable, but that's the case today. In an attempt to secure our intellectual property assets, I believe we have instituted policies which reduce competition and consequently innovation.

Eventually it should all balance out as China and India raise their standards of living and it becomes less practicial to offshore all of our businesses. However that will be a very painful process for most Americans to live through. Plus you can point to our deficit and look at whose the largest buyer of our treasury notes (China) and see that we might be in a world of hurt in 10-15 years. This could likely be the Asian century.

As far as politics go, I don't think either candidate has a real plan for dealing with these issues. It's barely on the radar screen because it's not an electable policy position. (Other than just saying all outsourcing is bad - which isn't true)

Thoughts?

Boozer
09-15-2004, 09:02 AM
Although I'd still consider myself a globalist, I've been having strong doubts recently that the end result will be good (on the whole) for America. I am unable to think of that many areas where we can be expected to retain a comparative advantage. We cannot all be bankers. I don't know what the solution is.

Saulbadguy
09-15-2004, 09:51 AM
I believe the market got saturated in 99 and 2000...

Mr. Kotter
09-15-2004, 09:53 AM
I believe the market got saturated in 99 and 2000...

BLOATED is more accurate; dot.com's and technological euphoria over-took reality....and were part of the "illusion" of the "economic boom" of the 90's. Some of it was real, but much of it was not....

Cochise
09-15-2004, 09:53 AM
Tech bubble from the late 90s. Market correction. Natural cycles. Nothing to see here.

KCWolfman
09-15-2004, 10:33 AM
In other news, Blacksmith jobs are down 98% since 1900.

It is a cycle, the lower end jobs are being outsourced. If they stayed in the states, the salaries would decrease dramatically as the electronic age is becoming more cost friendly.

KC Jones
09-15-2004, 10:54 AM
In other news, Blacksmith jobs are down 98% since 1900.

It is a cycle, the lower end jobs are being outsourced. If they stayed in the states, the salaries would decrease dramatically as the electronic age is becoming more cost friendly.

In other news technology and research are growth industries - a better analogy would be if England had off shored steam engine development and other mechanized industries at the outset of the industrial revolution. The lower end jobs are being outsourced - yes. The higher end jobs are being outsourced too. When we bring the worlds best and brightest here we win. When we ship the research jobs and the infrastructure offshore we lose.

The one thing that we have hung our hats on is that we were the source of new technologies and the innovative thinkers. That didn't happen by accident, or just because of some cultural phenomenon. It happened because the industries and universities were here physically. People came here to study and they stayed. People worked in the industries here and saw ideas for better processes or new products. We're conceding a huge advantage by reversing the brain drain. China and India are actively pursuing development of a homegrown research infrastructure as well as industrial base. They will drive the next generations of technical innovation. Last year China graduated nearly 1 million engineers. IIRC the U.S. number was somewhere closer to 10k.

Cochise
09-15-2004, 11:14 AM
:rolleyes: I hereby pronounce this thread teh ghey.

Besides... does the title mean that there are job losses totalling 18.8% since 2001, or that job losses are down 18.8% since 2001? :spock:

Saulbadguy
09-15-2004, 11:15 AM
In other news, Blacksmith jobs are down 98% since 1900.

It is a cycle, the lower end jobs are being outsourced. If they stayed in the states, the salaries would decrease dramatically as the electronic age is becoming more cost friendly.
I've been looking for a good blacksmith. That 2% is tough to find.

HC_Chief
09-15-2004, 11:16 AM
I've been looking for a good blacksmith. That 2% is tough to find.

Go to the ghey ren-fest; plenty of 'ye olde blacksmithes' haning out there.

frigging dorks.

:D

Saulbadguy
09-15-2004, 11:20 AM
Go to the ghey ren-fest; plenty of 'ye olde blacksmithes' haning out there.

frigging dorks.

:D
Heh. I think thats where the 2% hangs out. While i'm there I can get all my glassblowing and cobbling needs taken care of too.

Clint in Wichita
09-15-2004, 12:49 PM
Hell, most "computer guys" are worthless, anyway.

Boozer
09-15-2004, 01:24 PM
Although I'd still consider myself a globalist, I've been having strong doubts recently that the end result will be good (on the whole) for America. I am unable to think of that many areas where we can be expected to retain a comparative advantage. We cannot all be bankers. I don't know what the solution is.

Apparently no one else does, either...or at least no one is willing to take a crack at it.
:(

Braincase
09-15-2004, 01:48 PM
Tech bubble from the late 90s. Market correction. Natural cycles. Nothing to see here.

Absolutely.