More Bay Area layoffs expected

November 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
If your employer has not laid-off anyone yet, be ready, it could be coming soon. Four out of 10 Bay Area companies plan to decrease their workforce over the next six months, according to a new study by Bay Area Council.

Five hundred and nine executives took part in this study that found, for some, job loss is coming in the form of downsizing by one to 10 percent. The Bay Area is not immune to the economic downturn. In fact, this study by the Bay Area Council, proves it.

"These are the worst results that we've had yet. So as dark as the days after 9/11, these are actually darker days today," said John Grubb with the Bay Area Council.

Of the 40 percent of employers planning cuts, most are in construction where 60 percent of companies plan layoffs. And in retail, 50 percent of stores anticipate downsizing.

"What it means for job seekers right now is that it's about to get harder and for people that do have jobs right now, if they're lucky to, it's time to work even harder and try and protect what you've got," said Grubb.

"I'm pretty speechless to tell you the truth. It's a very scary feeling and the fact that I am recruiting in the staffing world, I think about it every day," said Palo Alto resident Elisa Escobar.

"The economy the way it is, it has to happen. People have to do whatever is necessary to keep their companies afloat," said Belmont resident Cameron McLaren.

While there are industries that are flourishing, like travel and tourism, the study suggests certain geographical regions are more susceptible to change. San Francisco and San Mateo counties will suffer the most job losses because several financial institutions are headquartered there, while Napa and Sonoma counties will see growth over the next six months.

"If you're looking for a job right now and you've ever had a vision of working in a winery or some other tourism business up there, this is a great time to go look up there," said Grubb.

All of the executives who took part in the study think the economy will be in bad shape for the next 15 months. They do not expect a turnaround until February of 2010.


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