Monday, December 20, 2010
Family separation -- the new normal?
I'm hearing people plan for this, I'm seeing it in the workforce and I'm seeing it in my Facebook news feed. While I don't doubt that most (if not all) of the affected families are planning for reunion of some sort, there will undoubtedly be a small (but non-zero) number of families which will be hurt by this. This is a new twist to the two-body problem, which seems to hit young marrieds more than families with kids.
I suspect that the trend is quite strong in chemistry. While the past expansion in pharma/biotech had spread beyond the traditional hubs (SD, SF, BOS, NJ, NC), one imagines that the post-2003 era of mergers and layoffs has hit the smaller places (the Seattles of the world) harder. I don't doubt there are many people getting hired on in one of the hubs (where the remaining jobs are), renting a small apartment in the big city and keeping their families elsewhere, where the cost of living is lower and the quality of life may be higher.
Let's hope this trend(let?) reverses itself, as/when/if things get better.