I’ve been hearing the line for months now. The Sioux Falls economy is such that we are relatively immune from the recession or, at worst, there will be limited impact. Whether it was optimism, hope or delusion, the last 24 hours or so demonstrates that head-in-the-sand feeling should be replaced by the consternation expereicned across the country.
I certainly can’t recall all of them, but there’s been plenty of smaller layoffs and furloughs at various places in the state. But today’s announcement that Hutchinson Technology is closing its plant here comes less than 24 hours after Gov. Rounds announced a budget that even he admits hurts. Hutchinson had already laid off a couple hundred but the closing means 300 more will lose their jobs. Not only does it make it highly unlikely that one of the city’s 25 largest employers will ever be back in operation here, it will be tough for those losing their jobs to find employment with similar pay and benefits.
That also creates a cycle with the state budget. Tax revenues go down during a time the need for government services is likely to increase. From education to the arts to health and human services, everyone in the state will be affected. We all have our own budgetary preferences and priorities but I don’t envy the burden the governor and every legislator has during the next several weeks in coming up with a budget.
Yet this news reinforces the thing that came to mind every time I heard about layoffs and furloughs. I am fortunate to be in a field that, at least in modern memory in our area, has generally not been hit to the point of shutting offices or laying off people. (It’s hard to type with your fingers crossed!) All of us with steady jobs and income need to be thankful of that and be even more mindful of those who don’t.
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back
“My Hometown,” Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A.