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Posted: 12/23/08 08:57am  Reply with quote
Job Seekers: Grim Employment News

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that firms in the Pittsburgh area are implementing hiring freezes and cutting staff. "I'm not aware of a firm that is hiring anyone right now," Richard De Young, president of WTW Architects. While his firm has not cut its headcount, other local firms have.

* Burt Hill laid off about 5 percent of its 390-employee staff.

* Perkins Eastman cut eight people from the 95-person staff at a downtown office.

* Hayes Large Architects closed one of its offices, which has nine employees.

* Astorino eliminated eight positions.

Those looking for a job might want to send their resume to L. Robert Kimball and Associates, a 600-employee A/E firm located about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. "We do have a handful of positions still open," the firm's president, Jeff Kimball, told the business journal. The company gets roughly 75 percent of its commissions from the government.

For all industries, the employment situation is pretty grim. Last Friday, the Labor Department reported that unemployment rose to 6.7 percent in November. The economy lost 533,000 jobs last month; this drop followed a loss of 320,000 jobs in October and 403,000 in September. There are10.3 million unemployed people right now in the United States.

As for the construction industry, it shed 82,000 jobs in November. "Since peaking in September 2006, construction employment has decreased by 780,000," the report says. "Specialty trade contractors lost 50,000 jobs in November, with both residential and nonresidential components contributing to the decline."

The New York Times reported that "well-paid professionals like lawyers, accountants and architects are joining the rapidly expanding unemployment rolls in New York City." The story featured Kenly Lambie, a 29-year-old architect who lives in Brooklyn and was laid off this summer by a firm where she had worked for a year. "It's really grim, and almost everyone I know who was at my level is unemployed," Lambie is quoted as saying. While she hopes to find work in NYC, she says that "if a really interesting opportunity came along in, say, Argentina, I'd jump on it."
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