Sunday, November 9, 2014

Logging Employment: The Good News and Bad News (Musical Tribute)

Click to enlarge.

Let's start with the bad news and get it out of the way. Feel free to stare at the 10-year moving average. Pay special attention to when it started to fall. Think about how many jobs have been added since the 1940s, even as our population has increased. Ponder as long as you like and then we'll finish this post off with the good news.

Okay, here's the good news. We've clawed our way back to the 10-year moving average. Thanks ZIRP! We'll no doubt push right through like a hot knife through butter! There's even more good news. The chart implies that we're going to have a great holiday season! People must be buying logs as Christmas gifts! Woohoo!

June 16, 2014
Growing Worker Shortage Looms Over Logging Industry's Future

"The wood industry is unstable," says Adam Taylor, who studies wood products at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. "It's a commodity industry, so it goes up and down, and you have to be able to weather those ups and downs."

Thanks to the Fed, instability is a thing of the past! It's nothing but up from here! No worries!

Jonathan also says the work takes a physical toll. "My dad's 57 years old and takes a handful of pills every morning just to walk," he says. "And some day, I'm gonna be the same way if I cut timber every day for 30 years. It just ain't for me."

No worries! This economy has so much employment potential!

So Jonathan is looking for another job — one not in logging. And he's likely not the only one. Federal labor figures show that the logging workforce is aging, and many workers are not expected to be replaced.

In all seriousness, I had a desk job. One day, my boss and I were looking out the window together at some construction going on across the street. The sun was out. The workers seemed happy. We were envious. I felt like a prisoner trapped in a box by comparison. Seriously.

Here is my advice for what it is worth. Be careful what you wish for. As for me, may I never have another desk job. Life's too short. Desk jobs might not kill all at once like logging jobs can, but a slow painful death is hardly an improvement. That's especially true if one ends up working where I once did.

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dearieme said...

There was a spell when I had a job that involved principally desk work. I remember my boss walking in one day and saying it was time we inspected a company jetty. So off the pair of us drove, down to the waterfront, for a stroll, and a view over the estuary and out across the North Sea. We kept our consciences clear by holding a rather lame conversation about the jetty, filled our lungs, and then returned to our desks.

Thereafter I followed his example by getting out of the office whenever an excuse, preferably a good one, presented itself. I later learnt to call this "management by walking around": it is actually a Good Thing. You let the troops see your face, learn new things, and then return to your desk refreshed.

Stagflationary Mark said...


"management by walking around"

I remember the day a team walked by my office. One of them said, "Dead Men Walking." They'd just been laid off.

It did not leave me feeling refreshed, lol. Sigh.

As a lead software engineer, I did my fair share of management by walking around though.

When times were good, I would agree that it was a good thing. It kept me highly motivated. I really enjoyed my job and worked longer hours because I wanted to.

When times were bad, not so much. Morale was awful. My general manager claimed he had an open door policy. Any time someone had a problem, drop on by. I did just that one day. I said morale was bad. He got angry and wanted names. Rather than supply him with a list of all my coworkers, I just said, "Me." That calmed him down, but it did nothing to improve my morale. My next complaint would be the day I quit.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan also says the work takes a physical toll. "My dad's 57 years old and takes a handful of pills every morning just to walk," he says. "And some day, I'm gonna be the same way if I cut timber every day for 30 years.

Didn't you have a post here a couple of days ago advocating raising the social security age to 70?