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pheller
pheller UltimaDork
3/6/24 4:12 p.m.
SV reX said:

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

The owners of these large heavy equipment companies don't go out and hire a few new guys when they get a new project.  They shift some of their existing labor force from other projects as needed. There are lots of delays in construction infrastructure projects. It's not hard for an equipment operator to shift from one project to another and cover several projects as needed. That's not job creation, it's schedule management. 

The other problem is that construction jobs are not permanent.  If a contractor "creates" a new "job" for a construction worker for a 4 month project, then uses the same worker on the next project for 5 months, then on the next project for 3 months, that's 3 jobs created, right? Of course not. It's 1 employee who worked on 3 different projects. And it's not job creation at all unless a new employee was hired (and hopefully became a permanent position).

Oh, and since infrastructure projects are all completed by large companies, the owners are often already wealthy, and the contracts are often awarded via cronyism.  It's not job creation, it's giving profits to friends.

This is probably why it seems like infrastructure projects take twice as long as residential/commercial projects. They aren't spending the money on more people, they are just riding those profits. 

I wish these infrastructure bills had more specific language about where the money can go. For example, 50% of the contract must be spent on wages and payroll for salaries at or below prevailing wage. And no scheduling of projects. Work must be started by a specific time and contract will not be fully paid unless the project is completed within a certain amount of time. 

Create jobs, not profits. I'm perfectly cool with an equipment operator making bank on government money, I'm less cool with the owner of the company making banks on government money while he underpays his staff and drags his feet on project timelines. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
3/6/24 5:38 p.m.

In reply to pheller :

I agree. 
 

Government funded jobs almost always require wages at or ABOVE prevailing wage, not below.

Even with your more specific language, there will ALWAYS be loopholes (especially in large jobs like infrastructure).

When I lived in the Dominican Republic, I noticed some odd things in construction there.  There were hospitals with no staff, equipment, or supplies.  There were government buildings with no employees. Brand new, totally empty. Like they were built and no one moved in.  There were continuous road and bridge building projects, but no maintenance of the roads.  There were schools with no teachers. 
 

Then I realized why...

A large percentage of their revenue was from US Foreign Aid.  Aid money comes with strings attached. US taxpayers want to know their Foreign Aid money is being well spent.

"What did you do with our money?"
 

"We did fantastic infrastructure projects!  We built hospitals, and roads, and bridges, and schools, and facilities. And we created 100,000 jobs!"

"Terrific!  I'll tell my constituents how well their money was spent, and we will give you more!"

Nobody ever asked if they hired teachers, or doctors, or nurses, or road maintenance crews.  Those things take real ongoing revenue stream (taxes, etc), not one time stimulus or aid money.  
 

And the jobs created?  Construction jobs.  And it wasn't 100,000 jobs. It was 20,000 workers working on short term projects that got counted 5 times in the single fiscal year.  When you "hire" a construction worker you can hire him over and over again, and it's never a long term commitment. When you hire a doctor you have to figure out how to continue paying him year after year.

Sadly, I now see the exact same thing in the US.  Politicians know how to get their way, taxpayers are lazy and gullible and never put the time in to learn the intricacies under the surface, and "good works" can be measured as many times as possible for ongoing political gain.

 

Unfortunately, construction infrastructure projects lend themselves well to political manipulation.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
3/6/24 6:05 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

A bit of an aside, but came to mind reading this.  If I ever get to be foreign minister, my aid will be to hand a guy in a Cessna a briefcase full of $20 bills, and tell him to scatter them over the small towns and squalid corners of the cities.

 

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/20/24 5:53 p.m.

Saw news that the tech layoffs are now the worst since the dotcom bubble:

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/15/laid-off-techies-struggle-to-find-jobs-with-cuts-at-highest-since-2001.html

I've decided to stop looking for tech jobs until I'm not seeing smoke rising from the proverbial crater anymore.

mattm
mattm GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/23/24 11:34 p.m.

I work at a tech OEM here and we are hiring in pretty much every market. I currently am hiring for two open positions.  There are too many companies in tech that are growing while others are shrinking to ever voluntarily take yourself out of the market.  Check the 10Ks and look for companies that are growing and taking share.

calteg
calteg SuperDork
3/24/24 8:59 a.m.

In reply to mattm :

Can you elaborate on what those open positions are, and where?

mattm
mattm GRM+ Memberand Reader
3/25/24 11:40 p.m.

In reply to calteg :

Account executives (sales) and sales engineers all over the country.  I can give more detail in DMs or email if you are interested.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
3/26/24 11:48 a.m.
GameboyRMH said:

Saw news that the tech layoffs are now the worst since the dotcom bubble:

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/15/laid-off-techies-struggle-to-find-jobs-with-cuts-at-highest-since-2001.html

I've decided to stop looking for tech jobs until I'm not seeing smoke rising from the proverbial crater anymore.

As I mentioned, in this thread or a different one, almost all the layoffs are happening at companies that DRAMATICALLY overhired during the pandemic. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon increased their headcount by more than 60% in 2 years............in what world is that sustainable? 

We didn't do that at Oracle | NetSuite, hell I think we've hired 7 new Tech Writers just in the last 2 months. And there is hiring going on all over the rest of the GBU as well. Because we didn't go out and hire a bunch of people during the pandemic. 

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
3/27/24 1:28 p.m.

I'm about to throw my hat in the ring again once I finish my Masters next month. I know that it won't make me much more marketable but it'll be a nice line to add on my resume. I'm loathing the idea; however, I need to find a way to get back to Central Florida so I'll be balls out look for more remote or in-person work to afford me that opportunity to be closer to my kids. 

calteg
calteg SuperDork
4/8/24 10:39 a.m.

Strange little coda to my job search:   Main recruiter at my former job contacts me Sunday morning. The VP who had been trying to kill off our division finally got ousted after  years of terrible business decisions.

 

Long story short, I went from unemployed to having an offer letter signed in less than 2 hours. Zero interviews, negotiated a salary bump as well. If you're struggling and feeling beaten down, your fortunes can change in the blink of an eye. Keep your head up!

 

Puddy46
Puddy46 Reader
4/8/24 10:43 a.m.

In reply to calteg :

That's awesome news.  And something tells me the recruiter was not having the weekend they had planned on having, considering a Sunday morning call.

calteg
calteg SuperDork
4/8/24 11:43 a.m.

In reply to Puddy46 :

Well, I'm not thrilled about the position (workload has effectively doubled), but I sensed some weakness due to the timing of his text. So I pushed negotiations pretty hard. Feels good to get off the interview treadmill, for sure.

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
4/8/24 12:14 p.m.

4 months. No change. Still unemployed. Upper management pushback to cut all costs has salaries for travel nurses to be LOWER than when I started 4.5yrs ago. That's on top of "refusing" to fill open positions because of "productivity" vs actually staffing for volume, which keeps increasing. Personally I see this resulting in longer hospital stays which line the administration and investor pockets while delivering substandard care. Staff positions are horrible.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/8/24 4:59 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

Saw news that the tech layoffs are now the worst since the dotcom bubble:

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/03/15/laid-off-techies-struggle-to-find-jobs-with-cuts-at-highest-since-2001.html

I've decided to stop looking for tech jobs until I'm not seeing smoke rising from the proverbial crater anymore.

This seems self-defeating. Virtually every company has some sort of internal or external digital product, i.e is a "tech" company.

Looking through 10ks to see who is growing rapidly is great advice. No sense fishing in a dead hole.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/9/24 4:32 p.m.

Ran across a new study that again suggests that the RTO phenomenon was a mix of stealth layoffs and residual Taylorism. You could even look at the late-2023/early-2024 tech layoffs as in large part just doing what RTO failed to do:

https://www.theregister.com/2024/06/09/rto_quit_study/

I've applied for a couple of rare "traditional corporate IT" jobs (not working the helldesk but not top-level admin/systems architect) I've seen over the last few months but haven't got any responses, even for those I'm well-qualified for that are close by. Most worryingly I've begun to suspect that every job I got an interview for since moving to Canada was from a terrible super-exploitative workplace:

- 1st job I worked at briefly: Small IT shop running on the ragged edge of disaster, boss was rough on everyone, the previous guy who worked there ghosted them after a week, a coworker commented that this guy was "too nice for this place."

- Healthcare software company I worked at for 3 years: A brutal first-world borderline-sweatshop trying its best to cosplay as a decent place to work. In hindsight there was a fairly obvious red flag I failed to notice the entire time I was working there: a super-diverse workforce at the bottom level that got way less diverse with even the first step up in rank. That's because they were hiring a lot of highly exploitable immigrants who had trouble landing jobs anywhere else due to most Canadian companies' distrust in/disregard for foreign experience, and then just stack-ranking them out for fresh meat as they burned out. Clearly they recognized me as being in the same boat as those immigrants even before I did.

- Web dev role at a local company. Had a bunch of rather high-effort exercises involved in the interview process, I didn't get the job, I made it clear I was looking for something less intense than the healthcare software job I was working at the time. Coincidence?

So I've been working at my own business I started earlier this year which is not doing too well, largely because there's shockingly little demand for my hot new idea in comparison to a closely related service which is inferior in a lot of ways and generally not allowed to operate where I can; and I've recently started some gig work that can only slow but not reverse its workers' descent into poverty. I strongly considered making my first day at that gig work also my last but I've grudgingly made myself available for one more week to confirm that it's as irredeemably terrible and unprofitable as my first impression indicates.

I still have the option of going into freelance IT support, I've been saving it as a last resort for a couple of reasons:

- It will make getting time off extremely difficult, I'd have to work out "vacation coverage agreements" with other IT freelancers, I did collect their contact info whenever I ran across them from the healthcare job for this purpose.

- It will give me high exposure to the clients who are too cheap and terrible to call Geek Squad etc, again I have some familiarity with them from the last job and I'd hate to get myself tangled up with one or more of them, especially because they may not be obvious at first.

 

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo UberDork
6/10/24 1:24 p.m.

Freelance IT sounds like hell, unless you are so well connected and so knowledgeable in one specific field that you can set your own hours and charge whatever you want.

Instead of "oh, the gravel company's phones are down, gotta head over there and restart the server" its gotta be "the hospital's mainframe went down.   I can fix it, but today is Sunday, and per our contract, thats billed at 3x my rate, minimum 8 hours."

WOW Really Paul?
WOW Really Paul? MegaDork
6/11/24 5:56 a.m.

Worst period job searching for me was 2009ish.....only places hiring was extraordinarily picky. 

calteg
calteg SuperDork
6/11/24 8:57 a.m.

Interesting data point: Good buddy of mine is a math genius. Over a decade of CFO experience, just got his MBA from Wharton. He graduated w/o a job offer in hand. 

Advan046
Advan046 UberDork
6/11/24 11:00 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

I have been a part of several stimulus spending construction contracts since 2009. I view the impact to be more relatable as stabilizing jobs. The whole system of construction prime contractors, performance bond issuers, construction insurance companies, material manufacturers, and specialty services by Project managers and A&Es are able to borrow money and pursue OTHER non government contracts because they have certainty of the Federal government paying for the thing they are buying. Thus the US Government gets a needed real property thing and the whole A&E/ Construction industry gets a stabilizing effect. So job creation vs job loss prevention I consider to  always a debate due to perception. I can call it job creation in Guam but you may see it as just keeping an electrician on direct hire status with a firm. 

Advan046
Advan046 UberDork
6/11/24 11:13 p.m.

To the OP. I always interview from a standpoint of determining if I want to work there. But also being open to the fact those interviewing me are sometimes good managers but not the best in understanding my special skills. By trying to team up with them to complete a good interview I have several times been complimented by the interview panel as we all reach agreement that it isn't a good fit.

Having 2 family members in HR, I do hear their frustrations at having increased need to vet candidates for anything that would make them unfit to hire without sufficient funds for the staff or tools to do so. I see their situation as being in the same basket as me vs an adversary.

I have always wondered when IT professionals would be viewed to be no different than carpenters and engineers. They type code instead of hit nails or design stuff, anyone can do it, but the craftsmanship/workmanship is what matter. The golden years were never going to last and it seems like we are about there. My cousin in ITSEC has somewhat agreed with this view, as he sees the industry perception move from magical wizards to mortal workers. He has had to adjust his expectations of compensation.

mattm
mattm GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/12/24 12:23 a.m.
GameboyRMH said:

Ran across a new study that again suggests that the RTO phenomenon was a mix of stealth layoffs and residual Taylorism. You could even look at the late-2023/early-2024 tech layoffs as in large part just doing what RTO failed to do:

https://www.theregister.com/2024/06/09/rto_quit_study/

I've applied for a couple of rare "traditional corporate IT" jobs (not working the helldesk but not top-level admin/systems architect) I've seen over the last few months but haven't got any responses, even for those I'm well-qualified for that are close by. Most worryingly I've begun to suspect that every job I got an interview for since moving to Canada was from a terrible super-exploitative workplace:

- 1st job I worked at briefly: Small IT shop running on the ragged edge of disaster, boss was rough on everyone, the previous guy who worked there ghosted them after a week, a coworker commented that this guy was "too nice for this place."

- Healthcare software company I worked at for 3 years: A brutal first-world borderline-sweatshop trying its best to cosplay as a decent place to work. In hindsight there was a fairly obvious red flag I failed to notice the entire time I was working there: a super-diverse workforce at the bottom level that got way less diverse with even the first step up in rank. That's because they were hiring a lot of highly exploitable immigrants who had trouble landing jobs anywhere else due to most Canadian companies' distrust in/disregard for foreign experience, and then just stack-ranking them out for fresh meat as they burned out. Clearly they recognized me as being in the same boat as those immigrants even before I did.

- Web dev role at a local company. Had a bunch of rather high-effort exercises involved in the interview process, I didn't get the job, I made it clear I was looking for something less intense than the healthcare software job I was working at the time. Coincidence?

So I've been working at my own business I started earlier this year which is not doing too well, largely because there's shockingly little demand for my hot new idea in comparison to a closely related service which is inferior in a lot of ways and generally not allowed to operate where I can; and I've recently started some gig work that can only slow but not reverse its workers' descent into poverty. I strongly considered making my first day at that gig work also my last but I've grudgingly made myself available for one more week to confirm that it's as irredeemably terrible and unprofitable as my first impression indicates.

I still have the option of going into freelance IT support, I've been saving it as a last resort for a couple of reasons:

- It will make getting time off extremely difficult, I'd have to work out "vacation coverage agreements" with other IT freelancers, I did collect their contact info whenever I ran across them from the healthcare job for this purpose.

- It will give me high exposure to the clients who are too cheap and terrible to call Geek Squad etc, again I have some familiarity with them from the last job and I'd hate to get myself tangled up with one or more of them, especially because they may not be obvious at first.

 

I'm still hiring!  Check 10ks and find out who is growing.  Or you could keep doing what you are doing, which you don't seem to be happy with. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
6/12/24 8:16 a.m.

In reply to mattm :

Some people are very content being discontent.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/1/24 7:54 p.m.

Ran across this article today, when it comes to tech job hunting it's not just me, even people in Tech Job Mecca are having similar experiences:

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/laid-off-bay-area-tech-workers-struggle-jobs-19545761.php

Sadly it seems that while the remote work didn't survive long after the pandemic, the move to cloud services did, and the end result is an industry that's come out of the pandemic worse than it went in, with corporate IT completely hollowed out and almost nonexistent at a surprising number of companies, in some ways starting to look like the IT landscape of the '60s-'80s oddly enough.

I've had an idea kicking around in my head for a lengthy post with a working title of "Cheap rapid shipping ruined my job, and it would ruin yours too" about the effect that high-speed Internet connections eventually had on IT and analogies to what would happen to other industries if there was a big cheap portal you could instantly move goods and services through.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
7/3/24 9:37 a.m.

Yea it's brutal out there. It's the last quarter of the FY so it's time for me to apply for jobs since it's always a big question mark for me if I'll have continued employment. 

I'm at 32 applications since May 3rd. I've gotten 12 "We've reviewed your application but you aren't a fit" responses so far. Typically I get at least 1 interview in every 10 applications. It's crazy because I've got the necessary skillsets, experience, and education for these positions. I've often felt my status as a Reservist pushes people away and I need to fold that into my resume under the guise of "Government Experience" instead. 

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