Big Jobs Can Mean Big Layoffs

A good number of those 350 folks who took “voluntary severance” packages at Hewlett Packard have applied for unemployment benefits from the state of Idaho, a possible harbinger of things to come.

Interesting how eager the political types are to lure companies to Idaho because “it means jobs.” It can also mean big layoffs as well. Just ask the HP workers who are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Next time a big firm wants to locate here, it would be nice if the Chamber of Commerce and the Governor, Mayor and staffers would say, “This could mean future layoffs and we welcome this company with a degree of caution.”

Never happens though. Even as HP faces another reduction in its workforce we hear a local financial advisor dismiss any concerns because we have a vibrant economy which can easily absorb the layoffs.

How is it that NEW jobs always mean so much to the economy, but when the job ends it is no big deal?

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Welcome to the quandary of the mountain west states…create jobs by attracting large firms into the community. One can bet that the local economic developers will be waving their “banners” pretty high the next time they are able to “lure” the next big company to Boise. Pay special thanks to the governor, and the (all so) sophisticated legislature for providing more economic incentives (better known in Idaho as “bait”)to land that next “big fish”. It is my opinion that Idaho, and Boise sells itself to those firms truly wanting to contribute to its grandeur, and embed its operations here to enjoy the quality of life we Idahoans all know. Job creation incentives tend to attract (a pure economic development term—attraction) the wrong type of businesses…ones that are shopping our “bait” against every other community willing to participate in this “race to the bottom”. HP jobs will be hard to truly replace. It seems economic incentives would be more beneficial in the realm of existing business expansions, entrepreneur innovations and support, small business assistance, and investment in our “home grown” human capital. Economic incentives maneuver human behavior, good and bad, (we should) make informed decisions and use these powerful incentives wisely.

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