Mike Rowse A voice from New Mexico

24Mar/130

Boeing layoffs, something different

Boeing executives announced on Friday that the company will have to lay off 800 machinists this year; most of the workers had been slated to work on Boeing's commercial aircraft but some will come from the defense side due to budget 'cuts'. This was completely unexpected as Boeing has won several new contracts this past year and analysts along with company personnel expected Boeing's business to soar this year. The 800 layoffs will bring the total to between 2,000 and 2,300 with previously announced reductions for 2013.

What was interesting about this particular announcement and really stood out for me as an indicator of where our economy really is, was that execs at Boeing said the reductions would come among the newest hires, younger workers with less seniority. For the most part over the last few years, when a company has announced layoffs or reductions in the size of their staff, they have said they would reduce workforce size through normal attrition or by offering early retirement.

But now we are seeing more and more what I would call true layoffs with the newest hires being let go rather than other methods of staff reduction that lessened the pain so to speak. To me that's a sign of where our economy really is and it's not in good shape. Companies have already cut their employee force down to bare bones, which in some cases is not really bare bones but comparatively is lean, but now these companies are really letting people go that they need, even with bright prospects for the future. Whether it's because of Obamacare, excessive government regulations or concerns about the overall economy we are now getting to where recession is not the real danger but depression is more and more likely. This may just be the first of many layoffs to come this year.

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