I read today about the Ann Arbor news going out of the atom pushing business, and getting into the bit pushing business. Given that most news papers are advertisement supported, and Google has eaten most everyone’s lunch on advertising … this isn’t a guaranteed strategy by any measure. I wish them luck.
But that isn’t what caught my eye.
Its the unemployment rate, and its' first derivative (e.g. slope), in Michigan.
The day job is currently in Michigan. I like it here. In many ways, this is a nice place, though there are no mountains, and while the lakeshore is nice, a good ocean beach is sometimes really what you want.
This is the place where the auto industry grew up. And its where the auto industry, at least the US portion, is augering in.
I won’t comment on the political side of their bailout. Though I do wonder aloud if within the next 8 days we will start talking about the medium sized 2, rather than the “big 3”.
What caught my eye was the unemployment rate in Michigan. According the the article I read, it was at 11.6% in January in Michigan. Since then, we have had 2 more months with another 1.2+ Million people kicked out of jobs.
So I googled for the unemployment rate. And came across this article from CNN that points to a magazine article.
In the article I saw this graphic:
Look at that first derivative (e.g. slope of the line). Simple minded extension of the line assuming a constant slope from where it is in January, suggests that we might be at 14% (or nearly so) right now, today.
Thats 1 in every 7 working people.
I know quite a few people in this boat, I expect quite a few more to join them. This is sad.
On a related note to this, we got our house tax assessment in the mail a few days ago. Curious … it wiped out 11 years of “gains” in the value. We are roughly at zero equity. I expect it to keep slipping for a while.
The market will correct and right itself eventually. Assets will find a supportable price point, far lower than they had in the past.
And HPC will continue to spread. It has to, people need it. Probably now, more than ever.
FWIW, I know many good people let go from SGI recently. Really excellent people. I know a number of Sun and IBM people let go recently. Again, excellent people.
The market and the economy is undergoing a change, a resetting of valuations. Which sucks if you are caught in the process.
I am hopeful that we will have openings soon. The way our business is going, it looks to be the case.