Is this the bottom? Santa Clara County unemployment at 7.9%

A dreary article in today's San Jose Mercury News:

Local jobless rate 7.9%, worst since '83

The news just keeps getting worse for Silicon Valley job-seekers. The number of Santa Clara County residents who are out of work neared 80,000 in October -- which translates to 7.9 percent of the workforce -- and local companies continue to announce layoffs.

The county's October unemployment rate was the same as in September, which was revised upward from 7.7 percent. That's the highest since 1983 and significantly higher than the state and national numbers. The number of jobs in the county grew slightly, by 1,200.

``There are so many people out there applying,'' said Victor Loskot, a product marketing manager from San Jose who was laid off about three months ago. ``If you want to find something, you need to know somebody to get you that introduction so that they'll actually take a look at what you've got.''

Loskot has plenty of company feeling the effects of the worst job market in almost 20 years.

``Candidates have less leverage in negotiations now at every level because there's a lot of people out of work that would take the job,'' said Michael J. Reid, managing director of Michael James Reid & Co., an executive recruiting firm in San Francisco.

The statewide jobless rate was 6.4 percent in October; the national rate was 5.7 percent. (State and national figures are seasonally adjusted; county numbers are not.)


Man. That sucks. I wonder if this is bottom? I'm not sure. I think when we start seeing the housing market soften up, that'll be a sign that it's truly bottom. In my mind it's like a game of musical chairs. For those people who landed their job in 2000 when the music stopped and still have the job are still sitting pretty. They're out buying new cars and houses, etc. with their circa 2000 inflated salaries. When THOSE people are out of work and stop buying houses, then it'll be bottom. Or maybe we'll get lucky.


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