This is just like when I hear about engineering jobs that are going unfilled. Total bull, the "unfilled" jobs are either just agencies resume mining or the job description looks something like this.
PhD level electrical engineer needed to design, develop, and support product X. Must have 5 plus years in FPGA development, experience with FPGA company X required. Must have schematic entry and PCB design experience with software package X. Must be able to design, develop and support related injection molding software using Autodesk Inventor 2012. For the lighting aspect of the product the engineer must be familiar with ray tracing program X. Must have experience developing optics.
Must be a dynamic team player (insert a whole bunch of overused HR "keyword fluff here").
International travel of up to 50% required. Fluent Mandrain required.
Okay so now as silly as that might sound? There are jobs out there where they expect all that and if you don't have one thing (say a masters but not a PhD) or you know Inventor 2010 but not 2012, then you are not a "good fit" and they keep looking. When they do find that golden candidate that fits all that? They are surprised he isn't willing to work for $12 an hour in California...
Idiots, the HR field now? I swear the "professional" agencies that try to recruit talent are staffed by 20 something's who spend most of their time on facebook and let their software sift for key words. I am quite certain I could put Xilinx FPGA experience in a resume and on that same resume list one of my previous jobs as "axe murderer" and I would still get contacted about job openings. There is nothing more frustrating than these recruiters not even bothering to read a resume before contacting you.
I am not sure what industry you are referring to. Intel, TI, Cypress Semi, Wipro to name a few have in the past laid off workers in India.
Also, labor laws are very different in India and layoff is not an option in most industries.
I have seen the "culture of layoff" only in US companies. In India Layoff is the last thing a company will resort to in difficult times as the Indian companies believe that the real strength of the company lies in their people. These Indian companies will freeze pays, stop new hiring, sometimes impose pay cuts on senior and middle management but will not lay off. This helps the companies to survive in the long term
My great grandfather was a Mortician and from what I hear very busy year round. I should have followed in his steps instead of going into RF engineering, at least I'd have a steady flow of cutomers especially after all the failed execs jump off the roof.
Unless people are prepared to move, perhaps internationally, I am not sure you could encourage engineering as a career, hand-on-heart. Kids can still do an Engineering degree but they would probably be better off doing something else afterwards if they want to stay closer to home.
Just an update on this, for the record. I spoke with a TI spokeswoman. She reminded me that TI said at the time the National acquisition was announced that there would be some jobs cut as the companies merged. The total number is about 350, mostly in support functions in areas such as HR and legal. No engineers or salespeople are being let go, she said.
PS- How does the TI layoff fit in with our thesis? Well, I'd say it's another company-specific action that doesn't necessarily mean more layoffs at other firms. It's an ugly fact that when two companies the size of TI and National get together, there are bound to be some "redundancies" and job cuts. We'll see if what we can find out if engineering jobs are involved.