I do not know what you call it but I call it the "10 year cycle". It seems to me, every ten years; the airline business follows a definite upturn then downturn cycle. Currently of course, we are in a downturn and will be for another year by my calculation.
Your window for comfort in this business must be calculated correctly for ultimate job security. For example, around 1991 to 1993, it was very difficult to find work, that being the last downturn. The current downturn started about 6 months before 9/11, so the downturn this time started February 2001, in my opinion.
To be successful, you must use this to your advantage, especially in the large airline market. The downturn will last one more year but we are through the worst of it. We will slowly climb out but there will still be apprehension and new employment will be slim.
When the upturn starts only the strongest will hire, with sporadic layoffs still present in the industry. There will be airline losses, those not prepared will go out of business and that group will flood the market.
Here are my thoughts; employment for new A&P mechanics will be limited to bottom dwelling airlines and cargo outfits. This hiring will start about next year and mechanics with 3-5 years experience, who lost jobs in the downturn, will be absorbed by the surviving majors who made it through the downturn.
I know this sounds a little crazy and not very scientific but it's something I have watched since I started in this business. I always listened to the old-timers and what they had to say. This is how I came up with this crazy idea.
My advice, never get out of the business stick with it. Once you get out and try to get back in you are shunned unless the employer is desperate. If you must, get hired by some less than desirable operators, and keep your aviation experience in motion. Always keep in contact with old friends and help each other job hunt.
Hire in early in the upturn for major airlines and never hire in late in the cycle. Late in the cycle would be the last three years in the 10-year cycle. So in effect you really have seven years to get hired to be comfortable.
If anyone would like to thoroughly debunk my idea fine but its what I have noticed. Of course, other factors come into play, for example A&P shortages. For the most part however my theory has remained constant and I hope you can use my advice.