The more you make, the more’s at stake. People accustomed to six figure salaries are increasingly among those seeking jobs, as the financial sector crumbles and drags down thousands of related white-collar positions. When Citibank announced recently that it was showing some 50,000 employees — many of them highly paid executives — the door, the departing bankers joined more than 20,000 that Citigroup had already laid off this year. Then there’s the chorus of layoff announcements from other financial firms, from Morgan Stanley to AIG, and suit-count cuts at non-financial firms, from GM to Boeing. Overall, more than 2,100 companies fired at least 50 people in October alone, leaving some 230,000 people suddenly out of a job. That’s why so many $200 pairs of shoes are out pounding the pavement.
But the hiring machine hasn’t shut down altogether. Even as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits approaches a 26-year high, there are still a sizable number of jobs open for reasons unrelated to the economic turmoil. “With people leaving, retiring, and taking other jobs, you still have to have a director of sales, a VP of marketing and a CFO position to fill,” says Marc Cenedella, founder of TheLadders.com, a subscription service that lists jobs paying more than $100,000. “Companies may not be making expansionary or discretionary hires,” says Cenedella of the high-end market, “but with natural turnover, there may be 3.2 million hires a year instead of 4 million in a normal market.”