Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, February 13, 2009

Laid Off in Paradise, What Do You Do?

I'm glad Cathy Murillo did a piece on the recent spate of layoffs in our area in The Independent. I was beginning to think we were all in denial about it.

We have people out of work across a great many industries. Stock Building Supply which used to be near Casa de la Raza through Texas Instruments, Citrix Online, Sonos and QAD. The Pacific Coast Business Times estimated 1,780 layoffs in the tri-counties in December. There have been a few more since then.

I think we will see a significant number of people leave Santa Barbara to find opportunities elsewhere. This will likely trickle down to the housing market too, no? It's too bad all the money financial institutions made a few years ago never seemed to make it down the line. I like the idea of paying it forward rather than assuming it will trickle down.



Anonymous Remember to Use a Name! said...

Santa Barbara might have a smaller fraction of people who work than other cities (lots of students, retirees, wealthy). In cities of equivalent population, I tend to see more companies. At the same time, if you scan local rents for a 1-bedroom apartment, you can do the quick calculation of how long a family or individual losing a working-class type job could last. Savings go very quickly if rent is $1500 or more. I know one person leaving the state right now.

2/13/2009 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Sam Tababa said...

Yes, People will leave Santa Barbara. I lost my job in December and am looking at only a few potential positions all of which will require relocation. I am not alone. We will continue to see more lay-offs simply because the economy is just starting to contract. With tourism down (a big part of SB's consumer driven market) you'll see the more menial jobs disappear fast (restaurant workers, hotels workers, service workers) Not to mention how many people in this town are reliant on the housing market in one form or another (construction, real estate transactions, bankers, etc). These jobs have dried up and will continue to through this year.

With very few good jobs in SB what choice will people have? They can no longer pull money from their homes and are in many cases facing dire consequences as a result of the lack of credit and the house value free fall. How many family’s were struggling when times were good? A lot!

Rents are dropping as more inventory is appearing (second homes are being rented out) people are toning down their desires and realizing that they don’t need all that glitz and glam. Just watch Craigslist for an idea of the volume and price changes.

While this town is filled with plenty of wealth that is not the majority and the majority has always had difficulty here. Moving forward we are going to see many low level jobs disappear and many mid level companies tighten their belt and lay-off those who are not essential.

Santa Barbara is going to be hit hard this year and it will get ugly.

2/13/2009 7:48 AM  
Anonymous shiller said...

Sure glad I didn't buy a house in the past 5 years... would be under water.

Remember all those posts about a year ago saying the SB housing prices never went down? Not true at all.

Renting and saving is still better.

2/13/2009 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

Count me out, too. Lost my gig in December and we're outta here. It's been ... interesting. Good luck, Sara.

2/13/2009 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Boldy-Oldy said...

Santa Barbara will "not get ugly" if it reverts back to being the town of pensions and tourism that it long was and did just fine.

In fact, I welcome getting rid of this recent glitz and trendiness that started here shortly after all the President Reagan publicity. The sun will still shine, the architecture and small town feeling will comfort and we can get over this very unfortunate last phase of superficial glamour and self-indulgent narcissism that was in fact its ugliest phase.

There are plenty of us already planted here that welcome this downturn and breathe a sigh of relief at its coming. And at what is now going.

Good by to all those who refuse to accept the realities and commitment it takes to live in Santa Barbara where most of its true pleasures are free.

2/13/2009 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Dumb and dumber said...

shiller, if you bought a house in the past five years you would have a house. You would not be underwater. You are only making more excuses for your poor decisions. You buy a house because it is a home. If you buy a house for speculation only, then you are ab initio making just one more poor decision.

Spare us your faux gloating because you remain homeless when in fact you should have been investing in your entire future. Not owning your own home, you are underwater right now. Why would that make you proud?

2/13/2009 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Schiller - this chart actually shows that January's year-to-year mean prices went up quite a bit in the city. Of course, there were probably far fewer transactions included in that average. It's rather dramatic to look at Sacramento and other cities, in contrast.

2/13/2009 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Don Lubach said...

Dear SDLG and all,

I'm just wrapping up the "Age of Work" series for SBCC Adult Ed. We had full classes every week with mostly 50+ folks who are mostly looking for work. They have been incredibly good to each other. During the last class, one of the group announced that she landed a job and everyone cheered. This class has, again, affirmed my high opinion of the Santa Barbara adult learning community.

If any of your readers are worried about their job status or looking for work, don't forget to use the free local resources. A lot of notes, handouts, and recaps of our classes are on a site I put up for the class.


Don Lubach

2/21/2009 3:21 PM  

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