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Rash of layoffs in digital media

Today, the Internet branch of Wired magazine cut its staff by 10%. An unknown number of staff outside of editorial were also laid off.

Current Media, a cable network co-founded by Al Gore, laid off 60, with 30 new positions created, in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Also, the blogging software developer, Six Apart, laid off about 8% of its 200-plus staff today. Interestingly, in the Six Apart case, managers have taken 15% pay cuts, something that I have not seen or heard about in high tech. :-) The cases that I have seen or heard about usually result in a decrease in middle-wage jobs with an increase in lower-wage jobs and very little (in any) effect on the higher-wage positions (i.e., “management”). This personal observation was also the finding reported in the 2008 Index of Silicon Valley.

Since unemployment is a “lagging” economic indicator, the large increase in unemployment seen nationally in October and continuing into November seems to be in agreement with Steven Levy’s (director and senior economist at the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto) earlier statement that we are at the end of the housing-driven recession and at the beginning of the “consumer-driven” recession. The unemployment numbers for California and other states for October 2008 will not be released until November 21, at 10 A.M. Eastern Time.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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