While Microsoft lays off thousands, at least one entity continues to hire: the Seattle Police Department. The city will hire 80 officers this year--not as many as last year, when it took on an extraordinary 111 officers, but still pretty good considering what's going on everywhere else.
The hiring boom stems in part from political will. During budget planning, Mayor Greg Nickels and City Council one-upped each other as they proposed adding new officers to the street in response to community demand. But the police department is also one of those "safe" jobs that, as the The New York Times reported recently, everyone is looking for right now. It hires "in the best of economies and the worst of economies," spokesperson Sean Whitcomb says. "We're like school teachers and nurses."
While the police department has had problems filling its positions in the past, recruiting is now "a lot easier," Whitcomb says. He attributes that not only to the lousy economy, but the "damn good" contract scored by the Seattle Police Guild last summer, making the department the best paid in the state. Salaries start at $60,000 and rise to $79,000 after four-and-a-half years.
Even for former Microsofties, that's got to be looking pretty good right now. The application process is described here.