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Thread: There are 67 job postings on APA this month. Is the job market finally turning?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    There are 67 job postings on APA this month. Is the job market finally turning?

    I just noticed there seemed to be a lot of job posts on the APA national site. I counted them up at 67 this month, or a little over 2/day. I've been checking planning job boards pretty consistently for the past 5 years and that is definitely the most I have seen in a month.

    Does this portend a shift in the job market or is it just a random blip? What are you seeing locally? Will 2013 bring better days to our profession?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I can tell you that some counties and communities in Metro Detroit are beginning to show more revenues than they budgeted. Considering we were probably the one that got hit the worst (outside of places like Stockton CA) that is a good sign.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    Around here I've noticed more jobs popping up in the last couple months but I'm not sure if that's due to attrition or an improving economy. I suspect attrition is a big part of it but those people leaving are finding jobs somewhere. I know of the two people we lost this year, one went private sector and the other went non-profit.

  4. #4
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    The end of the year and budget season usually has a couple more jobs with retirements and financial prosperity (if there is such a thing anymore).

    I would hope this is a positive turn, but who knows....
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Don't count your blessings. There will still be significant cuts in federal spending in general, which means less money for state (and local governments) directly or indirectly for years to come. I am swamped doing design work for developers in Houston through 2013. I just hope 2014 and 2015 will also be good billable years but I am still bracing for the indirect impacts of taxing and healthcare over the next 2-5 years even in southern Texas.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    The end of the year and budget season usually has a couple more jobs with retirements and financial prosperity (if there is such a thing anymore).

    I would hope this is a positive turn, but who knows....
    Agreed. Thanks will pick up slowly, but with federal spending down and to be cut, don't expect the job market to come to anything during the boom or even before the boom, especially if you an entry level.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    The end of the year and budget season usually has a couple more jobs....
    Yes, this is an annual phenomenon. People are beginning to advertise for the empty jobs they have in the budget for next year. Some portion of these are jobs that were occupied at least partly in 2012, and left emplty when the employee left. This is often a strategy to pay for the costs of an employee leaving, such as unused sick leave or vacation, etc. City managers will also like to hold these positions open, especially closer to budget time, in the event that there are staffing cuts. After the budget is approved, and with the knowledge that funding is available in the coming year, people advertise in December to fill jobs in the first couple months of the new year.

    There are also the new jobs that are created through the budget process. My sense from working with many communities around the country is that we have not seen many of these. Most of the jobs listed, I believe, are existing positions. But as Hink says, maybe we are seeing more turnover in these jobs.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    There will still be significant cuts in federal spending in general, which means less money for state (and local governments) directly or indirectly for years to come. ... I am still bracing for the indirect impacts of taxing and healthcare over the next 2-5 years ....
    This is how i see it as well. I see some movement but I also saw - several years ago now - the big engineering firms do some expansion because they thought they'd be picking up work after the muni planners were gone (not sure how well that went overall...).

    Krugman et al are also starting to think outside of their econobox and wonder if the old days of rapid growth are ending, and we see a bad trend in wage depression (what capital wants), so no good reason to be hopeful. We are running out of resources.

    "The two great aims of industrialism — replacement of people by technology and concentration of wealth into the hands of a small plutocracy — seem close to fulfillment." -- Wendell Berry
    Until that quote breaks, not much will change.
    Last edited by ColoGI; 28 Dec 2012 at 9:26 PM.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    Most of the jobs listed, I believe, are existing positions. But as Hink says, maybe we are seeing more turnover in these jobs.
    My observations have been the same out here (this goes for any government job, not just the planning ones). I have been noticing more people retiring though, which should be increasing the turnover rate.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  10. #10
    If they are local government jobs, they are most likely jobs that have already been allocated for in budgets (i.e. existing vacant jobs being filled). If they are private jobs, that might actually signify some organic growth. Unfortunately, it's hard to determine how fast companies are growing back, if at all, or if things are still just shifting around (e.g. one company goes out of business, another absorbs some of their scraps, etc.).

  11. #11
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Sure the overall job market may be improving, but not for public sector employees, or for professions that rely on land use development.

    The City I work for is still projecting budget shortfalls through 2017.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    No longer a click to open/go to a job ad ? or is it my computer setting ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  13. #13
    Purely anecdotal, it feels like hiring may finally be starting to pick up.
    The content contrarian

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    I don't know - jury's out for me.

    From the field I can tell you I got an email this week from my PM about several openings I NEED filled to which she said our recent openings aren't bringing in the talent we're accustomed too.

    Food for thought.


    Recovery will be trickle down, just as it was the opposite to develop.

    Federal Govt. hiring and openings will recover first, then state 1-3 years later, and finally local govts. 1-2 years after that. There are isolated pockets of development and growth that are driving the need for planners and engineers, but not nationwide.
    @GigCityPlanner

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