The Economic Times of India (link) says that nearly one third of the city of Waterloo's office/plant space is owned or leased by RIM. That seems like a lot, but the Waterloo Record supports the figure; it says that RIM occupies 2M SF of office/plant space (mostly in the city of Waterloo) in a total market across Waterloo Region of 12-13M SF.
The Record also says that the local layoff announcements will hit about 3,000 locally. Since our local RIM employee base pre-layoff was about 9,000, that would suggest that around 10% of our office space will become vacant due to this initial contraction of RIM.
The Economic Times also says of Waterloo, "The company has nourished virtually every family here; for, each job at RIM has created seven jobs." I haven't seen this anywhere else; I suppose it could be a general statistic? That figure suggests that the ripple effect of 3,000 layoffs could affect 20,000 other jobs. However, again according to The Record, there are currently 1,300 vacancies at local high-tech companies, which suggests an unemployed pool of more like 1,700, which times 7 is more like 12,000. Our area has some big hitters (Open Text, Sybase, Google, Desire2Learn, etc) as well as about 500 high-tech startups - and great infrastructure for promoting startups. No doubt, some talented RIM employees will not just find other jobs but will also start companies, reducing the ripple effect even further. So the total impact on area employment is unknown.
If anyone has any other info or thoughts, please leave a comment or send me an email.
Meanwhile, a video spoof has Steve Jobs doing a drive-by shooting of a BlackBerry in Uptown Waterloo (link).
RIM dominates the Waterloo real estate market
Life after RIM: Waterloo Region real estate and RIM
KW Real Estate discussion on Canadian Money Forum