Are job cuts an indicator of a so-called "strong" economy? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Came across this article which says that as of the end of November 1998 we were going to break a 5-year record for layoffs in the U.S., which I am now certain we did.

But since then I've noticed a lot more, so I did a little research. During December 98 and January 99 the pace of layoffs is at least as high. And it's only February. If this keeps up '99 may set the all time record for massive layoffs due to the Asian crisis, Corporate mergers, and subsequent "restructuring".

BOEING - 20,000


MOTOROLA - 18,000

ERICSSON - 11,000

CITIGROUP - 10,400


NORTEL - 8000

DEUTSCHE - 5500(U.S. jobs)


MCI - 3750



BP/AMOCO - 1600


ARCO - 1200

ITT - 1200

SPX - 1000

COOPER - 1000

TEXACO - 1000

CHEVRON - 1000

CONOCO - 975


KELLOG - 765

LA TIMES - 750

J.P. MORGAN - 740

qual - 700




GTE "unspecified"

2 MONTH GRAND TOTAL: 130,565 (This of course is only from the articles I found, so it doesn't include others that were not publicized, and many smaller layoffs)

What is also scary is that 7 of these companies are in the group of 30 which form the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index. Is all this restructuring making the DOW look better than it really is???

I realize that Wall Street loves these mergers and reorganizations, sending thousands to the unemployment line, but is this really an indicator of a strong economy in the long run?

I think some of these mega-corporations are pushing their luck and asking for trouble, especially when something like Y2K comes along!

What do you think?

-- da man (, February 07, 1999


I don't know what the hell to think, man. Unemployment is at historical lows, wages are up, the suns is singing and the birds are shining. Yet... the figures you post are accurate. It's like we've followed Alice down that hole.

"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."-- Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll.

-- Vic (, February 07, 1999.

False economy, false reports, false stock market, and false government. Tell the people what they want to hear before their necks are chopped off. Who are you going to complain to pray tell?

-- bardou (, February 07, 1999.

What's going on right now is that manufacturing and energy jobs are being lost, but these job losses are being offset. Consumer credit (and debt) keeps rising to buy things like new cars. The construction industry is booming. Service industry jobs continue being created at a fast pace.

If you'd like to get a good, not-too-technical analysis of the curent situation, go to...

...and click on some of the graphs in boxes to the right of the page on subjects such as consumer credit or the job situation.

Personally, the current situation reminds me of the summer of 1929...a booming stock market, full employment, and little or no inflation. What no one knew in the summer of 1929 was that the market would peak on September 3rd and nosedive in late October.

One other similarity between the late 1920's and now...recession had already started in other countries in 1928, and U.S. farmers were not experiencing the prosperity that most other sectors of the economy were experiencing.

-- Kevin (, February 08, 1999.

A system built on human confidence is a weak system indeed!

-- Reporter (, February 08, 1999.

"The Great Reckoning" by James Dale Davidsion and William Rees-Mogg. Excellent analysis. Includes parallels between 1920s and 1980s-early 1990s. Admittedly their timing is off; we have't crashed yet, but all it will take is something to trigger it (like, maybe Y2K, if not something else sooner).

-- A (, February 08, 1999.

Could some of these layoffs be related to the increasing expense of Y2K remediation efforts?

-- Wanda (, February 08, 1999.


Excellent question .. and one I've also asked.

It was pointed out in an earlier thread that the Boeing layoff @ 20,000 times an estimated average of $40K per employee coincided with the $800,000,000 figure quoted at one point to remediate the Boeing systems .. if memory serves correctly. If true .. I'd call that quite a remarkable coincidence.

Just a thought.


-- Dan (, February 08, 1999.

You can see comments made by "experts" about the stock market in the summer and early fall of 1929 at this link...

-- Kevin (, February 08, 1999.

Thanks for this excellent link, Kevin. My mother was 28 and liived through the depression. She said the biggest thing in their favor was that they had just a few months earlier moved from the city to the country, and had a cow, chickens, and a garden.

-- gilda jessie (, February 08, 1999.

Taking Y2K completely out of the picture it is readily apparent that we have about reached the end of the industrial revolution. Our manufacturing infrastructure has been guttted and transferred overseas, corporate takeovers and mergers are rapidly eroding what remains of the middle class and what consumer confidence remains. It's hard to work up the nerve to purchase a new car or a house when you work for McDonald's. Temporary employees don't exactly bubble over with enthusiasm either, especially after they have sold their services to more than one company and been denied the carrot at the end of the stick. The old axiom of the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is in full feather today. The problem is the other old axiom, the law of dimishing returns. At some point in the very near future The vast majority of the population will cease to be able to afford cars and houses having been downsized from exxon to whataburger. A rapidly accelerationg recession will ensue from which there will be no possible short term recovery. This debt driven snake will have finally succeeded in swallowing it's own tail. This would be pretty humorous if it weren't such a pathetic testimony to the greed and ignorance of mankind. Well anyway, throw in half a gallon of Y2K, a few nuclear weapons, several hundred dishonest politicians, and a poll driven populace, stir well, and have a heapin helpin of the future.

-- Nikoli Krushev (, February 08, 1999.


Well said .. you echo my thoughts exactly!

-- (@@@.@), February 12, 1999.

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