Those Laid Off Face Area's High Living Costs

FROM manufacturing to engineering, seekers of high-tech jobs in New England are having to bear in mind the region's high costs, especially for housing. Some who are unemployed could be forced by high mortgage payments to sell their homes and search for work in other areas of the country. The median price for a home in the Boston area was $188,600 in the second quarter of 1989, according to the National Association of Realtors. Glenn Richards of Newburyport, Mass., is one former high-tech employee who chose to stay in the area. He was laid off from Wang Laboratories last summer after working for 10 1/2 years as a project manager with the company's broadcasting operations.

Things haven't been easy for him, his wife, and two young children since then.

``I can kind of squeak by for a while,'' he says. ``My wife works part time and I can get some money doing some freelance work.''

The Richards family did consider moving out of the area once. But despite the gloomy picture of Boston's high-tech community (box), Mr. Richards figures it isn't all that bad. He recently had two promising job interviews, one at a high-tech firm in Cambridge.

``I'm reasonably confident I'll be able to get back into the swing of things in this area,'' he says.

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