Mike: Monday’s job loss news was rather light, but today we are seeing quite a few job loss announcements. Let’s get to the latest news:

The N.C. Commerce Department says more than 160 companies in the state employ more than 17,000 workers who make parts for cars, trucks and heavy equipment. Many of the plants already are feeling the crunch.

ASMO North Carolina, which makes motors used in power windows and air conditioners, is closing plants in Thomasville and Mount Airy early next year. The closings will reduce the company’s work force by 202 jobs.


Mike: The following are a couple announcements detailed by two locations – one in the corporate location and the other in the layoff location:

Super Steel Products Corp. of Milwaukee announced Monday that it will close its factory in Glenville, N.Y., in April, in a move that will result in the loss of 175 jobs, according to a notice sent to the New York Department of Labor.


Super Steel Schenectady Inc. will close early next year, eliminating up to 200 jobs. The company is a division of Super Steel Products Corp., headquartered in Milwaukee. The manufacturing company opened its 180,000-square-foot facility in Glenville in the mid-1990s, initially building $70 million worth of trains for General Motors Corp.


Lasco Bathware Inc., an Anaheim-based maker of bathtubs, showers and whirlpool tubs, is closing a plant near Austin, Texas, and laying off 100 workers.


Mike: The following are the type of decisions that businesses and communities are going to be dealing with in the months to come. There will be a few winners, but the losers will be in the majority:

NEWPORT NEWS – Auto parts giant Continental AG and its local union are in negotiations that could end with hundreds of new jobs flooding into the local plant, or the closing of the 37-year old factory.

“The corporation is looking at the possibility of moving work from Newport News to Columbia, S.C., or moving work from Columbia, S.C. to here,” union spokesman Homer Tipton said Monday.


Pittsburgh Glass Works, the former auto glass unit of PPG Industries Inc., announced three plant closings and 150 layoffs to keep pace with slumping auto demand.

PGW will shutter production at its Oshawa, Ontario glass fabrication site in the first quarter of 2009, and close two satellite assembly plants in Newark, Del., and Cambridge, Ontario later in 2009.


Mike: Any manufacturing that deals with housing, as shown in the following article, is going to be in deep trouble as this financial crises unfolds:

Galax, VA– Vaughn-Bassett Furniture told 400 employees Monday morning that they will be out of a job in 60 days.

Doug Bassett, told WFMY the plant closing is because of credit and economy issues. He said they will not sell the plant or any of the equipment. They believe the economy will turn around and they can reopen a portion of the plant.


Mike: Part-time workers are not included in the generally reported unemployment numbers released by the feds and that skews the numbers, which should reflect a higher number:

Nationally, the official, most-cited unemployment rate has risen to 6.5 percent. In Georgia, the rate has climbed to 7 percent. Those levels are up significantly from the past several years. They are higher than jobless rates during and after the 2001 recession. Yet, by historical standards they are not horrible.

The U.S. jobless rate hit 7.8 percent in the aftermath of the 1990-91 recession. It crested at 10.8 percent in the early 1980s and reached 9 percent in the mid-1970s. And, of course, during the early 1930s, about one-in-four workers was jobless.

Then why do so many people bemoan the job market? Is it worse than that official unemployment number?


Mike: Bad financial times bring out the best of scams, so beware of that “do we have a deal for you” line:

In October, the unemployment rate hit a 14-year high of 6.5 percent. That was bad news for the more than 240,000 people who lost their jobs during that period. But for people who prey on unemployed workers, the high jobless rate is an opportunity to scam vulnerable job seekers out of their money and personal data.

Scam artists know that when times get rough and bills are due, even the most sophisticated job hunters can fall prey to their employment schemes.


Mike: The auto news is getting worse by the day. The Big 3, if we can still call them that, had sales that were terrible:

 NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. light vehicle sales at General Motors and Chrysler plunged more than 40 percent in November, while Ford’s sales dropped 31 percent, battered by an economic storm that has sent consumer demand for new vehicles to the lowest level in more than 26 years.


IOWA CITY, Iowa – International Automotive Components says it is cutting 37 jobs from its factory in Iowa City

The Detroit-based company blames a dramatic slowdown in car manufacturing and the country’s economic downturn for the cuts. 


JPMorgan Chase is laying off 3,400 Washington Mutual employees in Seattle, according to spokesman Tom Kelly. That’s more than 80 percent of the 4,300 people it employs in the city.


Mike: State budget cuts usually lead to job cuts:

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter on Monday ordered state agencies to cut another 3 percent from their budgets because of the sputtering economy that has reduced tax revenue.


Mike: Following are a few articles about various local unemployment trends. If you are looking for a place to relocate, might as well pick a place that isn’t getting crushed by lousy job numbers:

For the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News region, the rate remained at 4.3 percent, the third lowest among major metro areas, according to BLS data. Among major metro areas, the Washington, D.C., region had the lowest rate at 4.1 percent. Oklahoma City was second at 4.2 percent.


The Kansas City area’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in October, down from 6.2 percent in September but up from 5 percent in October 2007, according to statistics the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsreleased Tuesday.



The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday reveals that Colorado — and seven metro areas included in the report — posted a higher month-to-month rise in the unemployment rate.

For the state as a whole, the jobless rate rose to 5.3 percent in October from 4.9 percent in September. The October number is preliminary, and shows the number of people without jobs increased to 147,400 from 136,400 since September.



Regional unemployment rates in October were little changed in most of the state’s labor markets compared with September, with rates rising in eight, dropping in five and unchanged in four.

The highest rate last month was in the Flint region at 10.9 percent. The lowest rate was the Ann Arbor region’s 6.1 percent.




The Triangle’s unemployment rate in October jumped by nearly 2 percentage points year over year but was down a tick from September, new state data show.

The local unemployment rate, unadjusted for seasonal effects, was 5.3 percent in October, according to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina. In October 2007, that figure was 3.6 percent.



Nebraska officials say the state unemployment rate in October matched the revised September rate of 3.6 percent.


The Labor Department says the unemployment rate in the statistical metropolitan area it defines as Washington-Arlington reached 4.1 percent in October. That is up from 3.9 percent in September, and sharply higher than the area’s 3 percent unemployment rate a year ago.

Baltimore’s jobless rate is 5.1 percent, up from 3.6 percent a year ago.



Mike: Factory Closings:

Another local business is closing its doors. Air Vent in Enterprise has manufactured ceiling tiles and attic ventilation products for buildings.

The closing of the plant is another blast to industry in the area. Burlington Industries closed in Stonewall in 2002. That factory took with it about 900 jobs, and the community is still trying to bounce back from that.

Air Vent closing its doors will mean dozens of people will be looking for new jobs, and all they can do is start putting in applications for new employment.



Mike: Today’s unemployment news was good for some locations like Nebraska, but bad for places like Flint, MI. As this financial mess moves forward, the towns that can avoid massive layoffs will be that much stronger once the economy rebounds. Let’s hope that time frame is sooner rather than later.

Jerry Holbert - December 2

Jerry Holbert - December 2

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