Sunday, December 21, 2008

Charlottesville Albemarle Economic Downturn, December 2008

"Insulated" economy? Sadly, no.

Like the rest of the United States, the Charlottesville / Albemarle area is suffering from the Recession, the housing downturn, and the world-wide credit crisis.

*Local bankruptcies have skyrocketed, according to the DP. Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 19, there were 175 families who filed for bankruptcy protection. During the same period in 2006, there were 22 filings.

That's an increase of 695.5%.

The DP article tells the story of someone who is filing due to "bad decisions" and "bad luck," including using credit cards and relying on a home-equity line of credit to make ends meet. Additonally, by the end of this year, this individual will have lost her job at a real estate firm.

The monthly job growth report shows that October was a month in which the Charlottesville area was ranked the worst out of all Virginia’s nine metropolitan areas again. The area has lost about 1000 jobs in the past year. [Thanks, Keith.]

*UVa is set to lose $23M in state funds over two years. What will this do to hiring and operating costs? Perhaps in response to this news and to the recent loss of $1 Billion from the endowment, as well as to the fact that 4th Quarter endowment investment losses will no doubt be shocking,

*UVa seems to be seeking a federal bailout.

The upcoming state legislature session seeks to close the $2.9B budget shortfall.

As part of the cost-cutting measures, state funding cuts $1.88M from City schools.

Nothing pretty in this picture.


Anonymous said...

Besides the lexis/nexis, luckstone, invista layoffs, there are the store closings: A&N, Circuit City, the art galleries on the Mall, Glassner jewelers at Barracks Road. Surely there will be more after the holidays. People just aren't shopping the way they used to. Personally, I feel like $100 is the new $1000. And this is coming from someone who lost very little in the recent stock crash.

Keith said...

You are downright wrong on one of your statements. Charlottesville does not have "
*The area's jobless rate is highest in the state, again."
It has the 17th best unemployment rate in the Country, and the lowest in the state.
The article states that Charlottesville has lost more jobs than any other area as a percentage of workforce. This is very different.
Charlottesville is number 1 in the state at 3.4% unemployment.
Danville is the worst in the state at 354th (out of 369) in the Country at 9.8%.

Real C'ville - The Bubble Blog said...

Thanks for clarifying that, angry Keith.

DP: The monthly job growth report shows that October was the second straight month in which the Charlottesville area was ranked the worst out of all Virginia’s nine metropolitan areas.

mason dixon said...

Eh, unemployment numbers are going to rise after the holidays w/the seasonal workers losing jobs. Plus the big box stores cutting back. Plus the smaller stores that will inevitably close. Plus the car salesmen and salon workers. Plus the Starbucks employees. Plus the continuing evaporation of housing industry jobs.

Let's not forget UVa's spring/summer layoffs. Right now Sandridge says none are planned. But he's also been careful to say that 'no one knows what the next six months will bring.' (paraphrase from Hook article).

Additionally, this area seems to have a good number of people who are "consultants" or work in a way that doesn't allow them to qualify for unemployment wages (architects, designers, biz, etc.). If they have fewer clients, they have less spending power. This isn't a scientific observation, obviously.

Also not a scientific observation: thinking we're at the beginning of a long period of high bankruptcies and foreclosures. Personally know two people facing each (for a total of four).

We're ok for the moment but like everywhere else we're going to go down for a time before we even out.

Anonymous said...

ok, so i'll be the hardass who says what many are thinking. was it 'bad luck' or 'bad decisions' that would lead somebody to keep having children while living on credit cards and a HELOC?

Montpellier said...

Anonymous, yeah, sometimes I wonder what people are thinking...

I've got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach these's slowly replacing gleeful schadenfreude.

Rob said...

let the econonmy fall, maybe people will start paying off debt and begin saving money. Consumption can only last but so long.
Sorry to all of those feeling the burden of the downturn.
Someone should let the Belmont sellers in on the fact the economy has slowed...even Charlottesville's economy

DonaldG said...

This may be of interest to some of those at GE who are facing layoffs. There is a company in Greenbsoro, NC that is looking for Test Engineers with industrial electonics backgrounds and the pay is not bad at all and they are even offering to pay relocation. That's rare in today's market. If you know anybody, you might want to tell them about the openings. I think the website is
The HR girl there is very helpful and actually called me about it, but I am looking to retire. They have a boat load of positions open right now- she also mentioned a Team Manager, Electronic Technicians, Purchasing and a Soldering Specialist. I've lived in Winston-Salem before, and Greensboro is real nice. If I was younger, I'd move, but I've got kids here in Charlottesville.

Take care.