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January 28, 2009, 10:34 PM
"A sign of the economic times?"

I work with a guy who is the son-in-law of one of the company's Supervisors. He has Another Job too. Works with us for Extra Money.

Nothing different than has been going on for years. Back then we called it Moonlighting. And I recall one of my highschool teachers used to be a waiter in a restaurant at night.

These days, it's a Sign of The Times.

A lot of tradies will work for others if they have Gaps in their time. Some won't and will sit through a small Gap in work. BUT, tell them all the economy is down the gurgler and then they too will call on ads.

Tell others work is scarce and they will want to Moonlight to cover themselves. Just in case.

And others are legitimately out of work.

One thing I've found interesting is the Unemployment Rate vs Number of Job Postings. And down where we are, the Positions Vacant number usually exceeds the unemployment rate - but we still have unemployment.

"What's the economic outlook in YOUR area? The same? Different?"

Recent news says... Unemployment hits 4.5% - as if that's a bad thing we should all take notice of. But it seems to hover around there most of the time anyway. Might jump up a percent or two, then come down. But it's always in that 5% ballpark.

Gordon wrote "Summit unemployment at highest level since 1993". Which means Only Now has it gone above what it was 15 years ago. So 15 years ago it was Worse. But I don't recall hearing Global Financial Crisis 15 years ago. That only seems to be a now-a-days things. Everything is Global now-a-days. The Global WOT, The Global Climate Change thing (man made global warming is so yesterday, now it's Climate Change - with ALL media outlets using the same term as if they'd received a memo to do so.)

People will say the stockmarket has Lost more than it did back in the Great Depression / Crash. But how is that in Real terms and not Devalued Currency Terms? And so the stock goes down, how does that effect the Underlying Business of the company. People still buy Coke and Pepsi don't they, regardless of the stock price?

My area continues to be resistant to whatever financial hobgoblin the media is trying to get us all to buy in to. And people I work with also find the media reporting of it to be Odd. When they look around and see Plenty of work - and companies crying out for People Who Will Work (finding someone who will work is harder than finding someone who wants a job).

And as it looks now, my area is going to remain resistant to the financial hobgoblin for quite a few years to come yet. Still 1,000 - 1,500 people a Week move into the area. They need to live somewhere. They need to spend money upon moving in - on services and goods. Roads need upgrading. And so on. The money flows. Businesses do business.

Sure there are some private projects that have come to a halt. But then again, If You Look you will Always find some project coming to a halt somewhere - regardless of what the media would have us believe.

Certain industries have slower months than others. The one I'm in typically has slow Januaries. Which is why one fellow Always takes all of January off. He doesn't want to come in and do nothing, or do half days. So while he has January off because it's slow, I just did 26 hours work in two days because of the demand - and this is slow for the industry as a whole.

Harley Davidson (HD) sold more units (broke a record) last year than any other time. I already have mentioned how motorcycle sales here have been up for ten consecutive years. Make that eleven now as 2008 was also record breaking for the industry. HD had broken its record by Nov 2008 - and HDs ain't cheap down here - $25k-ish.

The outlook for my area...

Current conditions are good. The outlook is good. Sales records are being broken. Unemployment continues to hover around 5% (which tells me that's the official "I Don't Want A Job, I'd Rather Get Paid Sit-down Money" number). And people around here scratch their heads at the reported doom and gloom we just aren't seeing.

Michael Ross

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