Thursday, January 22, 2009

Jobs Jobs Jobs

The good news of this week...

Carleton Life Support Systems to add 80 jobs in Davenport -QCTimes

...was pretty much overshadowed by the bad news of the week:

Nichols Aluminum lays off 55 in Davenport -QCTimes

Deere lays off 120 at Davenport plant -QCTimes

...and of course there's the impending Alcoa layoff news, which remain to be seen.

Honestly, the Nichols news doesn't surprise me as much as the Deere news. Nichols, I believe, makes a lot of materials used in home construction, which is down. Deere's Davenport works makes construction equipment. As always, I hate to mention politics, but it appears that there is going to be billions of dollars spent on "infrastructure" which means billions of dollars in construction in the next few years. You'd think some of the folks doing the heavy construction might want a new road grader or two. Hopefully the layoffs are temporary.

I'm curious whether the QC area ended up in the positive or negatives for job creation/loss in 2008. I would guess in the positive, but its hard to say. Deere doesn't advertise when they hire new people, and there have been several smaller businesses open up in Davenport, in addition to the low-paying AT&T and relocated eServ. Here's a list of the top 100 labor markets, by jobs gained and lost from November 2007 to November 2008, as posted by DMRyan over on the AbsoluteDSM forums. It varies from Detroit losing 67,700 jobs all the way up to Houston gaining 42,400 jobs. Since we're not one of the 100 biggest labor markets, we're not on the list. I tried finding my way through the Bureau of Labor Statistics website to get the info, but it makes the City's website look as user friendly as Google in comparison.

I sure hope our city economic development and D1 folks were going after the 1300 IBM jobs that ended up going to a historic building in downtown Dubuque. As much as I love that city, I don't see what they have that we don't, aside from Mike Blouin in their corner. The best museum in Iowa probably wasn't IBM's deciding factor.


pioneer98 said...

The layoffs that Deere is going through right now is nothing compared to what is going on at Caterpillar. I, too, hope these infrastructure projects get going.

Anonymous said...

The great thing about Dubuque is the aquarium. Davenport could even have a more unique one with very little cost to the taxpayers. With just a few tubes of waterproof caulking, the windows of the skybridge could be sealed, flooded with water, and filled with Carp. What a sight to behold from river drive. Our skybridge aquarium already has the state of the art lighting system already. This way we could take a lemon and turn it into lemonade.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that IBM chose Dubuque because of a museum. Availability of labor, a suitable building and cost of doing business were more likely factors.