Posts Tagged ‘jobs’
Thursday, April 18th, 2013
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on April 18th, 2013
Corporate results are showing an eerily similar trend: profits are growing, but revenues are not. Is this mostly related to the fact that companies are not hiring while demand grows very slowly, thereby deriding profits mostly from reduced labor costs and low interest rates? Are existing workers forced to work harder and more efficiently to avoid hiring? The Great Depression has interrupted a decades-long trend of jobs steadily moving to the suburbs and hollowing out urban business districts across the U.S., a study finds.
City centers gained a greater share of employment than their outer rings between 2007 and 2010, according to a report from the Brookings Institute. Big suburban job losses, not large downtown gains — drove the shift and metropolitan economies are more decentralized than they were in 2000. The shift slowed during the downturn: The report follows up on a 2009 study that found a continuous migration of jobs from downtown to the suburbs between 1998 and 2006.
Urban revitalization and the notion of smart growth, which seeks to cluster housing and jobs near transit and entertainment, has had only limited success restoring downtowns. Now, faced with tight budgets wrought by the housing collapse, some metropolitan leaders say they’re redoubling efforts to nudge employers and workers toward locations that maximize the use of transit and existing infrastructure, cut pollution and improve quality of life. Maybe this explains the growth New York is experiencing? We are certainly seeing the results of heightened demand for luxury real estate: pricing on the high end is experiencing HYPER inflation in some areas…..we call it hyper-luxoflation as inflation on the lower end is significantly weaker.
When jobs are near housing and public transportation, commuting times, household expenses and government costs are cut. Not to mention quality of life if the large urban center actually addresses quality of life: yes, those parks and trees and bike lanes actually do make life better for most in New York. Now we are able to see the fruits of Mayor Bloomberg’s labors. With New York now providing so much better park space, trees, cultural centers, etc, the city keeps growing in its desirability for families to stay and not move to the suburbs. Bored suburbanites, or those who have lost their lives to lengthy commutes are moving back. And the jobs are here too.
New companies are moving here as they want to be right in the heart of that activity. Entrepreneurs start ventures that improve their communities: The entrepreneurial vibe necessitates density — density of ideas, people, culture. New York is an accessible place for these startups to get connected. And they are hiring and minting new millionaires weekly……the kind who buy high end real estate.
Monday, July 16th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on July 16th, 2012
It is fact now that US corporations are sitting on almost $ 5 TRILLION in cash, both domestically and internationally. This cash sits idle as corporations’ frustration grows because consumer demand is not strong enough to justify solid, meaningful business investment.
This is my argument: Consumer demand is weak because unemployment is high and consumers are nervous. If that is the case, creating working, SPENDING, functioning consumers should not just be the priority of politicians and government (something most business leaders say is not the responsibility of government!) but should be the NUMBER ONE priority of corporations too. I have much greater faith in corporations ability to do this.
So this is what I am proposing…… $ 5 trillion is enough to pre-pay for 100 million $ 50,000.00 per year jobs for one year. To be more conservative and prudent, just take one third of that amount ($ 1,66trillion) and create 16,5 million $ 50,000.00 per year jobs for 2 years. Can anyone honestly tell me that this investment would not pay off? I don’t believe it would help, I believe it would make our economy SOAR. Just imagine all those people with their $ 50k salaries buying I-pads, stoves, cars, clothing, furniture, homes, etc, etc. The money these people would re-distribute into the economy would fuel demand that would fuel more business investment. (And some of the taxes they would pay could help pay down the deficit.)
Corporations could argue that it is not their role to cure the unemployment problem in the USA….really? Are corporations too weak to invest in their future, even 12 -24 months from now? Yes, they would all take a big hit on their cash positions accounting-wise. But what if the IRS/government stepped in and said all those squirreled away trillions could remain tax exempt but only IF used to create jobs? And surely the increased consumption would re-fuel those cash coffers? Its time to re-evaluate the ridiculous short-sighted quarterly mentality of our economy anyway and this could fuel a change.
A combined effort between corporations and the government is the key to our economic woes in my very humble opinion.
Friday, January 6th, 2012
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on January 6th, 2012
Some good news from the jobs market……while everyone is rambling on about the big numbers, one of the most important indicators, the disparity between those quitting voluntarily because of better job opportunities and those being fired has improved and now the quitters out-number those fired. In Manhattan, a very strong indicator that I see physically is the increase in the number of construction sites: construction employs many who lost their jobs in the GREAT RECESSION.
Monday, December 19th, 2011
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on December 19th, 2011
Cornell University is the winner of a competition to build a new science and engineering campus in the city: An official announcement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected later today.
The city has offered free land on Roosevelt Island and up to $100 million worth of infrastructure. In a major sign of strength, the Cornell bid received a $350 million anonymous donation to help build the campus. Stanford University — another top contender — announced Friday it was pulling its bid.
City officials hope a new school will spawn hundreds of new companies, along with tens of thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity over the next three decades. Now THAT’S what I call a strong plan for long term AND short term job creation: jobs for design and building now, and a school that will be a draw for the best from around the country and the world. Now if only Mr. Bloomberg (or a clone) went to Washington……wouldn’t it be nice if all these “presidential” political hacks actually provided this kind of thinking as opposed to their tired, pathetic, partisan drivel.
New York’s future looks bright indeed.
Saturday, October 15th, 2011
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on October 15th, 2011
With real unemployment soaring closer to 20%, unemployment has become the key problem in resolving our fiscal woes. Unemployed people cannot spend the way employed people do and the economy is suffering mostly from lack of demand. The saddest part of this story is that there are indeed hundreds of thousands of well paying jobs out there, but the workers applying for these jobs are simply not sufficiently skilled. Reuters reports that SIEMENS has over 3,000 vacancies waiting to be filled, but there are not enough skilled workers. Maths and science are ESSENTIAL in the new high tech world we have created, and until we invest the time, effort and money necessary to educate and re-educate, the unemployment figures will remain high. With housing generally down the toilet in most parts of the country, this source of jobs has dried up for the time being. I do however feel certain that a sizeable building boom is about to hit New York…..and that can be only good for employment figures. Till then, we should focus on training the unemployed the maths and science skills necessary to get those jobs that sit there waiting….
Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on October 6, 2011
With Steve Job’s passing, certainly one of the greatest losses of 2011, it may be a good time to look at his company as a case study for the future of other companies in the USA. I write this on a MAC, own an I-pad, I-pod and love them all. These inventions have revolutionized our lives and have especially made life as a real estate broker better. Does the answer to the USA’s horrible unemployment rate lie in the name Steve Jobs?
Lets be blunt about Apple’s success, a huge success, and one of America’s greatest: Genius product is designed in the United States….The company employs about 35,000 people in the USA. Most of its products are manufactured (cheaply) in China. About 300,000 jobs are in China. Yes, 35,000 in the USA, 300,000 in China. The super-low cost of production translates to a super-profitable company. Apple sits on $ 76 billion in cash reserves. The questions we should be asking now are:
1) If Apple manufactured its products in the USA, would it be the success it is to-day?
2) If Apple had half its cash reserves because it sacrificed some of its profits to produce some of its goods domestically would these employed Americans have the capacity to consume more (thereby creating more consumers for Apple products….and real estate!) and maybe lifting Apple’s sales (and profits) pretty close to where they are to-day?
3)Would Apple be the success it is to-day if its profits were lower? Would Wall Street have abandoned the company?
4) Why does Apple not pay a dividend to its shareholders?
5) $ 76 billion would pay for over 300,000 US jobs paying $ 50,000/year for five years. Those 300,000 jobs in China do not result in many Apple product consumers as they are mostly low paying jobs. Which jobs would serve Apple AND the USA best?
My big picture question about Apple is the same question I ask about many other highly successful US companies that manufacture most of their goods in China: Had we kept most of these jobs in the USA, would the additional manufacturing costs with reduced profits have produced less of a return than a much lower unemployment rate with a much healthier and stronger (consuming) middle class that may indeed have compensated for the loss in profits by being in a position to spend more?
The lesson from Apple is that it, like many other companies, have indeed been creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, but not in the USA. These jobs were shipped off to China to boost profits. It has worked. The only problem is it has left some companies super-profitable, and their owners super-rich, but it has left the US economy in deep trouble. What has happened is the same as what happened to the small retailer: Large retailers with huge buying power buying directly from manufactures, could cut pricing dramatically while retaining profitability…..thereby driving small retailers out of business. Think of the middle class as a small retailer. The sooner we resolve the unemployment crisis, the sooner foreclosure sales will slow and Americans will be in a better position to own a home…..and start consuming without government assistance. The more people are earning, the more taxes are collected…..is it time for some trickle up economics?
There has to be a happy compromise somewhere. But it will require some honesty.
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
Posted by Leonard Steinberg on June 21, 2011
NY1 reported yesterday on the new automated parking garages opening up in New York, a system where a mechanized system takes your car and parks it in a compartment without the need of a parking attendant. The cars are stacked on top of one another in ‘contained areas’. The process takes under 3 minutes from drop off to your car being fully positioned and parked.
This system is not very new at all: Automated Parking Solutions installed this system very effectively at 1 York Street a few years ago, the infamous Enrique Norten designed condominium at the edge of Canal Street that recently broke a record for the sale of its penthouse for over $ 22million. The system stems from a company based on the Swiss/Italian border and is used extensively throughout Europe and the Far East. It is an extremely efficient system and cost effective too: you can park almost double the number of cars this way as opposed to the traditional way. It also minimizes the scratches and dings associated with the traditional parking garage.
This is the perfect example of how technology brings efficiencies to our world, but the human cost is obvious: with this machine the need for parking attendants is sharply reduced, again eliminating jobs just like self check out machines have done so throughout the world. These machines boost efficiencies and profits, and while they eliminate low paying jobs, they do create higher paying jobs as they require tech support. The message is clear: simple jobs requiring minimal education are being swallowed up by technologies and to truly address the jobs crisis we currently face, intense education is essential. The word is that tech-savvy staffing is the toughest to find right now. An investment in education and re-education is critical to a jobs recovery.
Another trend this system highlights is how space is being more and more efficiently utilized: Every square inch counts now, and the days of excessive, wasted space are over, especially in large cities where the cost of space is at a premium.
Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
In CRAINS, a report on the strength of the New York for hiring…..certainly a good thing for real estate when the strength of the employee pool is best in the country…. Whats good for business, is good for real estate values.
SEEN IN CRAINS: Here’s a bit of good news for New York businesses: The high costs of setting up shop here are more than offset by the low risk of recruiting and hiring.
An Aon Consulting report found New York City had the second-lowest risk levels in the world for recruiting, employing and relocating employees. (Toronto finished first.) Some elements of employer risk that the report measured include the inability to find enough people with the right qualifications and the likelihood of high turnover within the company.
Of the five major criteria in the report, the city finished first in “education” and second in both “demographics” and “talent development.” It ranked 12th in “government support” and 23rd in “employment practices.”
Population size played a major role in New York City’s ranking, said Rick Payne, chief research officer of Aon Consulting’s Global Research Center, based in Singapore. He also noted the presence of elite higher education institutions like Columbia and New York universities.
“New York has a significant advantage over other cities in the United States because of the breadth and depth of the talent it has,” Mr. Payne said. “When employers look at where they should locate, they should not only look at costs…. If the availability of talent isn’t there, you’re taking a high risk.”
Mr. Payne also called New York City a “gateway” to the U.S. and cited immigration as a factor in the quantity of high-quality employees. The report stated that New York City has “a large diverse multilingual workforce, which is increasingly critical in a global work environment.”
Los Angeles, another “gateway” in Aon’s eyes, finished as the second-highest American city, but 10th overall. Chicago was right behind at No. 11, and Boston finished 13th. Detroit fared the worst of all U.S. cities, finishing 40th out of the 90 cities around the world that qualified for the study, based on population and business investment.
Mr. Payne said this report will show employers which cities are most likely to have people with the skills necessary to excel at their companies. Even criteria such as crime are a factor, he said, because it increases costs and has an impact on productivity.
“We look at the fundamental causes of the problems that companies face, and look at the fundamental causes of the supply of labor,” Mr. Payne said.
The wide range of components involved in the study—25 overall—cover a wide spectrum of employment factors, said Jennifer Loftus, national director for Astron Solutions, a New York-based human resource consulting firm.
She noted the importance of education, pointing out that cities rank higher for getting their youth “work force ready.” She also found companies could benefit from developing their employees and giving them skills they did not have coming in.
The city’s wealth of talent and what some might call its dog-eat-dog atmosphere bode well for New York companies. Yet with the unemployment rate still above 9%, there are not enough positions to go around for job hopefuls.
“From the employer’s perspective, [New York City] is a good place to be, because it has a diverse talent pool,” she said. “From the employee’s perspective however, you’re competing against top talent, which makes it harder.”
Friday, September 17th, 2010
The city’s faster-than-expected recovery continued in August: the local economy added 6,500 private sector jobs, continuing to surpass the nation’s growth rate. Jobs were added mostly in the real estate and banking arenas.
New York’s August unemployment rate held steady at 9.4%, according to a report released Thursday by the state Department of Labor. The state unemployment rate rose to 8.3%, from 8.2% in July, while the national jobless rate stands at 9.6%
Saturday, August 28th, 2010
The economy is experiencing a unique problem: unemployed people who are able to find good jobs in alternative cities are unable to take the jobs as they cannot sell their homes as many mortgages are worth more than the homes in this current market.
Why not introduce a NATIONAL HOUSE-TRADE BANK/DATA BASE, whereby someone could trade their home and mortgage for someone else’s similar home/mortgage value in the City they need to move to? Whereas both properties would still retain an inflated value in to-day’s market, over time this will correct itself, but more importantly, it will minimize the significant expense of foreclosure to the economy and speed up hiring.
“This could boost the economy by helping those un-employed to take a job, thus reducing stress on the government funding, and also reduce the number of foreclosures and sales happening below market values,” says Leonard Steinberg, managing director of Prudential Douglas Elliman and leader of the LUXURYLOFT team. “An employed person spends more, thereby boosting the economy a third way. It’s time for politicians and banks to get creative and practical!”