About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

34 comments:

  1. 1

    I work for my sister-in-law…if I lose my job, it will really make things uncomfortable during family dinners!

  2. 2
    MisterBubble says:

    How do I vote for Lookout Landing?

  3. 3
    Ben says:

    I don’t see people who work in software development having trouble with work any time soon. At least, not the folks who do C/C++ development and are good at it.

    Everybody in my field has openings for experience levels across the board, and has been looking for ages, and many people have multiple openings.

    The demand seems to be so high that anybody who does get laid off could land another job in a week or two (again, as long as they can pass an interview). Even good candidates right out of college are dry on the ground.

    Maybe some of the more web oriented startup companies have worries, I don’t know.

  4. 4
    magnolia44 says:

    oh boy…. Now what is it going to be “Seattle job bubble.com” lets now say there was a job bubble and everyone is at danger of losing their jobs.

    Yeah it can happen and if you made your money in real estate you are at risk…but jeez. Lets tack on prices are over inflated because people had jobs that should have never been available.

    Bottom line is yeah jobs are going to be at risk but this as a topic is a little
    Fear monger much?

  5. 5
    John says:

    magnolia44, WaMu has already let people go. Look at the latest news about the economy. Even the Fed chairman isn’t upbeat. Is he fear mongering too? As other parts of the country have shown, significant job losses are not necessary to take down housing but I can imagine rising unemployment will make recovery much more difficult.

  6. 6
    David McManus says:

    :
    “I don’t see people who work in software development having trouble with work any time soon. At least, not the folks who do C/C++ development and are good at it.

    Everybody in my field has openings for experience levels across the board, and has been looking for ages, and many people have multiple openings.

    The demand seems to be so high that anybody who does get laid off could land another job in a week or two (again, as long as they can pass an interview). Even good candidates right out of college are dry on the ground.

    Maybe some of the more web oriented startup companies have worries, I don’t know.”

    We tend to deal mainly with non-Microsoft open source development (Java, Ruby, etc.) and we’re not having issues with jobs. If anything, we don’t have enough qualified candidates for the positions we have available. Just from talking with other colleagues in IT, it doesn’t sound like we’re going to get hit as hard as other industries, like…..I don’t know…..real estate!

  7. 7
    SteveH says:

    To give more meaning to this poll, there would have to be comparisons for previous similar polls and appropriate economic data associated with the previous polls. Do people feel more or less chance that they will lose their jobs compared to previous years? With no baseline, results are just anecdotal.

  8. 8
    Herman says:

    This was a trick question for me. I think I’ll lose my job this year, but I’m not concerned about it. I need a long vacation. How should I answer?

  9. 9
    mikemcc says:

    Seems to me if companies can’t find people to fill jobs then the real estate market still has plenty of buyers. The fact that WAMU and other lenders are reducing staff doesn’t a disaster make.

    We’re still backlogged and hiring in my commercial construction business.

  10. 10
    LeftOverpricedSeattle says:

    Hey,

    What about option D?

    D.) I made so much money by selling my overpriced home in Seattle and moving elsewhere that I no longer have to work a real job.

  11. 11
    Ray Pepper says:

    God I hope not. What would I do with all these God damn shirts?

    http://www.500Realty.net

  12. 12
    redmondjp says:

    Thanks Ben, but just for a minute please step outside your own pink pony world, where apparently everybody is a software nerd and can slip and fall down on a new high-paying job.

    There are countless thousands of people employed in the greater Puget Sound area who do NOT have software skills (I know, hard to believe, huh).

    I took Fortran and Basic while in college 20 years ago, does that mean I can go out and get one of these openings? I wish!

    I’m happy that you have no worries about continuing employment, but not all of us have the skills to get those jobs. I have no doubt that I could do the work and I really like programming, but I have never had the opportunity to do so during my 18 years of work experience since college, and with a new baby and home remodeling as well as looking for a new job, don’t have the time to teach myself C++ at home. What company is going to hire me in order to train me to do this?

    I’m happy for you, really. I hope you can keep relevant in your field, and don’t find yourself washed up by 45 when your company decides to replace you with a 22-year-old hot-shot programmer right out of school for half of your salary (that never happens, right?).

    Hmmm, crying baby for 2 hours must have made daddy a bit cranky at 1:40am, eh?

  13. 13
    what goes up comes down says:

    magnolia 44, dam as soon as you bought — now everything is SUNNY in old Seattle. Do you think the tanker lose for Boeing was good or bad? Do you think we are going into a recession, yes or no? Do you think the 1.3billion fine against MSFT by the EU is a plus or minus to companies bottom line? How about the Bon/Macys restructuring — guess where the people who didn’t get laid off must move — San Fran, of course the management there must not know how special Seattle is.

    The one thing that irratates me is when a person like Magnolia44 buys they become super cheerleader.

  14. 14
    David McManus says:

    redmondjp,

    So what should all the software nerds do? Cry? Should we be ashamed that we’re employed? Should we all just quit our jobs in protest?

    I’m confused.

    I know that I have to stay up to date in my field. Duh! What field doesn’t? You are right in that few companies are going to pay you to learn the skills. YOU have to go out on YOUR OWN and learn them. It’s called initiative, buddy.

  15. 15
    Buceri says:

    Redmondjp – fortran??? Really?? I have not heard that name since……1988???? What do you mean man?? Our programming skills are not in demand??
    I think fortran should make a come back!!!!

    Boys, before you can finish your remedial C++–+++ class, your jobs will be performed by Rajish (excuse me…”Tom”) many time zones away. Sharpen up your social skills, learn to chew with your mouth closed, and how to hold a fork and a knife properly, because you’ll end-up in sales like most everyone else!!!!

    Job security, MY ASS!!! Welcome to the new World.

  16. 16
    matthew says:

    What goes up-

    Didn’t you know? When you buy a house in Seattle they issue you gold plated pom-poms that immediately cloud your objectivity.

    Everyone should know that Seattle is recession proof. Boeing won’t lose any orders to airbus, MS won’t be fined or have to reduce the price on Vista, and people are going to continue max out their credit cards buying crap they don’t need on Amazon.com!!!

    Pink ponies and gold pom-pom’s for everyone! We don’t have to worry about recessions in Seattle, WE ARE SPECIAL!!!!!

  17. 17
    matthew says:

    As to the programing part. I work with a lady whose mother is a programmer that just got laid off. I asked what language she programmed in and she said “COBAL”. Didn’t realize that there were still any COBAL programmers left but apparently there is one less.

  18. 18
    matthew says:

    Wow, after doing some research I guess its actually spelled COBOL and still widely used by the government and defense industries… Interesting.

  19. 19
    magnolia44 says:

    im not super cheerleader, i have said i went into this with 15% correction in mind over the next 2 years. I am just pointing out that it could not happen as easily as it can happen. Yeah the markets are bad and economy is terrible. I took the jobs into account before deciding on this purchase and from the info available it made sense to move forward and we would be ok. No one can predict the future and having well over 6 months of expenses in the bank is a good thing to be able to fall back on if times get tough.
    I was really just posting that the topic in the context of this site is a stretch, like grasping at all straws for a collapse in the market, not a decline but total collapse. Good luck, on that.

  20. 20
    David McManus says:

    “No one can predict the future and having well over 6 months of expenses in the bank is a good thing to be able to fall back on if times get tough.”

    I agree 100%, magnolia. The problem is that hardly anyone does this anymore and when they get into trouble, like losing a job, they whine and complain about how tough times are. I have to recommend highly that everyone have an emergency savings account with a minimum of 6 months of living expenses that is never touched, except of course, in a true emergency. A big sale at Nordstrom doesn’t constitute an emergency. And the excuse “Well, I can just dip into my home equity” doesn’t count as an emergency account, either. Cash money, people. 100s and 20s.

  21. 21
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    “God I hope not. What would I do with all these God damn shirts? ”

    Best Ray Pepper quote ever.

  22. 22

    A QUESTION TO ASK IN LINE WITH THE POLL RESULTS

    Do the 27% worried about a household income job loss this year, have like 6 months worth of replacement emergency pay in a ready cash account?

    Forget about a 2nd mortgage for home equity cash machine cash; you lost an income and you don;’t qualify. Besides, what home equity lately?

    If you rent, you’ll likely need the emergency cash for a roof and food. Remember, unemployment is likely taxable income too.

  23. 23
    TJ_98370 says:

    redmondjp – Fortran and Basic! Wow! Did you use those cool punchcards to run your programs?

  24. 24
    Buceri says:

    TJ – I punched cards for my fortran programs. Waited in line; punch, and pick up the paper work at the window. The 80s sucked!!!

    If you needed one more stat to prove the economy is tanking; February numbers are in and even Toyota sales are down. TOYOTA!!!

  25. 25
    Lake Hills Renter says:

    For the record, I have more than 6 months of cash on hand for emergencies — it’s my downpayment that’s been waiting for a reasonable housing market.

  26. 26
    jon says:

    ” If anything, we don’t have enough qualified candidates for the positions we have available.”

    That’s what they are always saying the morning of a layoff.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    David McManus says:

    Well, jon, since I would be the one doing the laying off if that was the case, do you know something that I don’t?

  29. 29
    The Tim says:

    magnolia44, I suppose you can call this fear-mongering if you want, but I was just posting it by a request that grew out of this forum discussion.

  30. 30
    TJ_98370 says:

    Buceri said:
    TJ – I punched cards for my fortran programs. Waited in line; punch, and pick up the paper work at the window. The 80s sucked!!!

    And if you made a programming error, even a really simple to fix error, with the lines at the card-punch machines and having to resubmit your program, it could mean a turn-around time of several hours. Oh yes – those were the good old days!

  31. 31
    John says:

    Someone with a mortgage background should look at the link from post #27 and see if WaMu can survive. This crisis is not just in subprime. People with credit score over 700 are in trouble too.

  32. 32
    Ben says:

    Wow – I can’t believe the hate from some people in pointing out that some professions are safe. Or do people only want to hear bad news?

    RedmondJP – I really don’t know where you are coming from. Did I say that there was no problem because everybody works in my field? You seem to be attacking me for shit that I did not say.

    I wrote about what I am seeing because I am sick of hearing about how we desperately need people at work, and then coming home and hearing that the local software companies are going to tumble. These two things don’t jive.

    Thanks for the observations David McManus – if the full spectrum of programming jobs is having trouble hiring, then I don’t see layoffs in that field, or the layoffs having a large effect.

    As for the offshoring thing, I don’t see that being a problem for software development. Apart from answering phones, I don’t see many technology jobs around me moving there. Multinationals are setting up offices in India and China, but the number of jobs there is still disproportionate to the quantity of product sold (meaning the US is still benefiting from it). I think that the industry quickly learned that managing a complex engineering problem across the planet is a nontrivial task.

    No, the US will continue to be the home of the software industry for a while. And this is not being jingoistic on my part, because I have a green card and I wish my home country could do better.

    On the housing bubble track – what will the local market look like when some industries (like software) are going swimmingly, and others (like real estate and building supplies) are not? It seems like it will unfortunately keep prices more afloat than they deserve to be in good old Redmond.

  33. 33
    Rachel says:

    So long as people keep suing large companies, my job should be pretty safe…

  34. 34
    Jess-Pumpkin says:

    Only if my co-workers find out how much time I spend reading seattlebubble. I’m in higher ed admin/teaching and no tenure — so, maybe. Spouse is safe; when the economy tanks, the lawyers do fine.

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