Mike: Unemployment’s affects on individuals and families can be severe. Those affects range from damaged self esteem to damaged finances. The following article contains some excellent information on how we are thinking as a country and how that translates to the actions we are taking as this recession unfolds

Job insecurity is at its worst in 33 years of polls; holiday spending plans, their worst in data back 23 years. Americans report cuts in work hours and pay, and concerns about making the rent or mortgage, heating the house, paying for retirement. In all, it’s an extraordinary loss of confidence — with repercussions in families across economic and political lines.

via ABC News: Recession’s Toll Is Written in Cutbacks, Layoffs and Worry.

Mike: The following shows that the unemployment situation is expected to deteriorate further:  

A report released today seems to indicate that 60 percent of organizations expect they may lay off employees in 2009–but those figures need some explaining.

The Society for Human Resource Management survey asked HR executives at the end of October: “How likely is it that your organization will lay off employees in the next 12 months?” One-quarter of the respondents said “somewhat likely,” 35 percent said “very likely,” and 40 percent said “not likely.”

via Majority of Employers Expecting Layoffs, Survey Shows – The Inside Job (usnews.com).

Mike: Patterson seems like a man with a plan to close the state’s bloated budget, but with the unions and the Republican and Democrat state legislators both against any type fo budget cut, he has his work cut out for him. This is the perfect example of why the NY state legislature has the reputation of being the most dysfunctional in the nation:  

Gov. David Paterson wants to cut more than 3,000 jobs from the state work force as one of many ways the state can save money.

Paterson proposed the move, and several other measures, on Tuesday as he released his $121.1 billion budget proposal for the state’s 2009-10 fiscal year, which starts next spring. The state faces $15.4 billion in deficits over the next 15 months.

via Paterson’s plan calls for 3,100 job cuts – The Business Review (Albany): .

Mike: For more on the dysfunctional angle mentioned above:

New York State’s legislative process is broken. This report documents five key weaknesses and compares New York’s process with those in other state legislatures and in the U.S. Congress. Together, the problems identified here deprive New Yorkers of the government they deserve. Indeed, New York’s legislative process limits legislators’ consideration of legislation – whether counted in hearings,

debate, amendments, readings, conference committees, or even simply legislators’ presence when they vote – far more than any other legislature. Neither the U.S. Congress nor any other state legislature so systematically limits the roles played by rank-and-file legislators and members of the public in the legislative process.

via The Big Apple: “New York’s legislature is the most dysfunctional in the nation” (Brennan Center).

The state of North Carolina could run out of money to pay unemployment benefits next year as layoffs increase, but officials say they plan to borrow if necessary to keep the money flowing rather than raise business taxes.

State officials said they will borrow from a federal backup fund to pay jobless claims if the state benefit fund runs dry, The News Record of Greensboro reported Wednesday.

via News-Talk 1110 WBT | News Story: NC government has plan to keep jobless payments.

RALEIGH (WTVD) — It’s yet another sign of the tough economic times. State officials say they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people signing up for financial assistance.

Since June of this year, roughly 90,000 have signed up for food stamps. There are now more than 100,000 in the program than there were at this time last year.

via Thousands sign up for food stamps – 12/17/08 – Raleigh News – abc11.com.

Mike: If you have missed some mass layoff announcements, you can catch up to those announced in the previous month by visiting:

The Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) program collects reports on mass layoff actions that result in workers being separated from their jobs. Monthly mass layoff numbers are from establishments which have at least 50 initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) filed against them during a 5-week period. Extended mass layoff numbers (issued quarterly) are from a subset of such establishments—where private sector nonfarm employers indicate that 50 or more workers were separated from their jobs for at least 31 days.

via Mass Layoff Statistics Home Page.

Mike: Let’s move on to the latest job loss announcements: with Western Digital being the big announcement this morning:

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Western Digital Corp., the world’s second-largest maker of hard-disk drives, plans to cut 2,500 jobs and halt most of its production for almost two weeks after orders slowed……

Western Digital also plans to reduce the use of temporary workers and make executives, including Chief Executive Officer John Coyne, take pay cuts. The economic slump has led to lower prices than forecast, and the company now expects the slowdown to last through the middle of 2009, Coyne said in the statement.

via Bloomberg.com: U.S..

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Western Digital Corp.

12.50, +0.68, +5.8%) said Wednesday it is laying off about 2,500 workers and is cutting its outlook for the fiscal second quarter.

via Western Digital to cut about 2,500 jobs or 5% of staff – MarketWatch .


TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said Wednesday it will close its plant in Albany, Ga., cutting 1,400 jobs.

The Findlay, Ohio-based company will keep open plants in Findlay; Texarkana, Ark.; and Tupelo, Miss. The tire maker and distributor, which had been conducting a capacity study of its four plants, announced the decision in a conference call.

via The Associated Press: Cooper Tire to close Albany, Ga., plant.

Caterpillar: Caterpillar Inc. plans two, one-week shutdowns of three plants in East Peoria in February and March, according to United Auto Workers Local 974.

These temporary shutdowns, which would bring production and demand into line while putting more than 1,200 workers on temporary layoff, would follow a one-week shutdown the first full week of January at the company’s plant in Pontiac, a UAW official said.

via Temporary layoffs will idle some Caterpillar plants in East Peoria – Peoria, IL – pjstar.com.

Robert Bosch: ANDERSON COUNTY — The Robert Bosch plant in Anderson today started offering voluntary severance packages to all 1,380 employees, the Anderson Independent-Mail has learned.

Speaking under condition of anonymity, one employee at Robert Bosch LLC of Anderson told the Independent-Mail meetings have been scheduled for all shifts announcing the company’s plans to offer voluntary severance packages to employees and outline additional plans to extend seasonal shut downs of key production lines through mid-February 2009.

via Bosch to slash production, cut jobs : Local Business : Anderson Independent-Mail.

Huhtamaki Plastics Inc. is closing its Phoenix production plant and will cut 73 jobs.

A Finnish plastics and packaging manufacturer is shutting down its Phoenix plant near 44th and Van Buren streets. The closure will occur during the first quarter of 2009.

via Huhtamaki Plastics closing Phoenix plant, cutting 73 jobs – Phoenix Business Journal: .

Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (ROCK: News ) on Tuesday announced the closing of its Enterprise, MS, facility and the consolidation of its manufacturing operations into two other existing facilities, with no anticipated impact on sales.

via RTTNews – Gibraltar – Quick facts Articles, Positive EPS Surprises, News Analysis, Earnings, Audio News…. .

The Stanley Works announced Monday it will close its Pittsfield hand tool manufacturing plant that employees 25 workers.

via Pittsfield plant to close, 25 lose jobs: Rutland Herald Online.

KNOX — Congress’ failure to bail out the Big Three automakers has a local impact: The parent firm of Knox’s MPI filed bankruptcy Friday, Dec. 12,

However, efforts are already underway locally to find a buyer for MPI – also known as Indiana Fine Blanking.

via The Pilot News – MPI files bankruptcy, buyer being sought.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Citation Corporation of Lufkin has announced that it will begin its layoffs February 15th. All 325 of its employees will be affected . But even before employees knew citation was closing, Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas had been working with the company to prepare for the massive layoffs.

Citation Preparing Employees for Massive Layoff Scheduled For February

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) – International Paper Co.’s mill in Pineville will shut down a paper machine for 15 days, affecting 180 workers.

The company, in a news release Tuesday, said the downtime will begin Dec. 23. The mill employs 225 people.

via WDAM.com Laurel-Hattiesburg, MS The Pinebelt’s Choice For News, Sports and Weather | International Paper plans 15 day layoff at mill.

As many as 100 Miami University employees could lose their jobs next year, Miami University President David Hodge told the college’s board of trustees on Dec. 12.

via Miami U. foresees ’09 job cuts – Business Courier of Cincinnati: .

Eaton Corp. (ETN) again cut its fourth-quarter earnings forecast, citing a bigger-than-expected demand drop and the stronger dollar, impacts the conglomerate expects will continue hurting results in 2009 and result in more job cuts.

via Eaton Cuts 4Q Forecast, Sees More Job Cuts Coming.

Closing Strikes Deep

Readers continue to weigh in on Syracuse China’s demise

via Closing Strikes Deep – syracuse.com.

Wyndham Vacation Resorts have announced the closing of its Springfield call center next February. 400 jobs will be lost.

Officials at Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad say 25 train crew members based in Springfield will be furloughed because of a slow down in the economy

via KTTS 94.7 FM, Country’s Best | Springfield, MO | KTTS.com > News > Story Detail .

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (AP) – Century Aluminum of West Virginia is shutting down one potline at its Ravenswood plant and is considering halting all production because of slumping prices.

via Century Aluminum Considers February Shutdown.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Newell Rubbermaid slashed its fourth-quarter and 2008 earnings outlook on Wednesday, blaming a deep deterioration in the global economy, and said it would cut up to 1,000 jobs to combat the downturn.

via Newell cuts outlook and jobs | Reuters .


St. Paul, Minn. — Select Comfort, one of the nation’s leading bed retailers and creator of the Sleep Number bed, is cutting about 120 jobs at its Plymouth headquarters.

via MPR: Select Comfort to drop 120 Minn. employees.

Mike: As stores leave, so do the jobs:

Experts say Atlanta, Las Vegas, and retail hubs in California and Florida are at real economic risk if thousands of more stores shutter in 2009.

Forecasts look bleak

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), in its most recent forecast, expects that 6,100 chain stores will shutter this year, the highest level since 2004 “as the U.S. recession continues to take its toll on the retail sector and its job market.”

via Dead stores and malls threaten community livelihoods – Dec. 17, 2008 .

ORLANDO — One day after the Arena Football League announced it would not have a 2009 season, we’re now learning about massive layoffs at the Orlando Predators.

The vast majority of the Orlando Predators staff will be out of work, with the contingency that they will be back if the league resumes operations in 2010.

via Massive Layoffs At Orlando Predators – Bright House Sports Network.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville seminary that trains pastors for Southern Baptist Convention member churches is cutting its budget, freezing hiring and postponing capital projects.

via Baptist seminary cuts budget, expects layoffs | www.tennessean.com | The Tennessean.

NEW YORK—4Kids Entertainment is laying off 15 percent of its workforce as part of a cost-cutting plan designed to deal with the impact of a “challenging” economic environment.

The layoffs are being made across all of the children’s programming and merchandising company’s subsidiaries and divisions, 4Kids said today. The move will cost the company approximately $375,000 in severance costs for the fourth quarter of 2008.

via 4Kids cuts heads to lower costs – 12/17/2008 7:13:00 AM – Playthings.

The Symphony cited declining ticket sales and a drastic decline in individual and corporate donor contributions as the main reasons for the canceling of the 2009 season. Its annual Family Concert scheduled for April 2009 was also axed.

via Santa Clarita Symphony cancels 2009 season due to economy | TicketNews.

Flash memory chip maker Silicon Storage Technology Inc. said Wednesday it plans to cut 120 jobs, or 17 percent of its work force, to lower costs amid the global economic turmoil.

via Silicon Storage to cut 120 jobs, lowers outlook – BusinessWeek.

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Kingsway Financial Services Inc., a Canadian insurer, said it plans to cut 162 jobs, freeze salaries and eliminate most bonuses in a bid to return to profitability.

via Bloomberg.com: Canada.

FedEx Corp. stunned investors a week ago by slashing its annual profit forecast, sending the stock down the most in 21 years. Job cuts may be next at the shipper, a proxy for the U.S. economy.

via FedEx may cut jobs | APP.com | Asbury Park Press.

The fallout from Markus Dohle’s reorganization of Random House has begun. It’s unclear how many people were laid off yesterday (or how many still will be), but according to a source in the foreign rights world, a partial restructuring of the company’s subsidiary rights operation has forced the elimination of at least two positions from Gina Centrello’s Random House Publishing Group.

via Observer.com Mobile: Shake-Up in Random House Sub Rights Department as Layoffs Begin .

One of the city’s oldest HIV/AIDS clinics, the original Whitman-Walker Clinic was vacated yesterday for more modest accommodations down the street. Worse yet, the move was accompanied by tens of layoffs.  According to the Washington Blade, that’s a sign of the financial times.

via Vox Populi » Hard times for the Whitman-Walker Clinic.

BOSTON — Boston Medical Center announced Wednesday that it will be cutting about 130 full-time employees as part of an effort to save the hospital about $114 million.

The cuts come after the state announced it was reducing Medicaid and health care funds for medical centers.

via Hospital Announces Job, Budget Cuts – Health News Story – WCVB Boston.

The picture is more grim in Albany, where the Cooper Tire plant is shutting down.

The company decided to cut production at one of its four U.S. plants, due to a decline in demand.  After weighing their options, Cooper Tire opted to keep its plants in Findlay, Ohio, Texarkana, Arkansas, and Tupelo, Mississippi.

via WSB News on wsbradio.com.

Syracuse, New York (WSYR-TV) – The Syracuse City school district stands to lose $25 million to $30 million under the governor’s proposed budget.

That equates to losing 10 percent of its workforce — or 350 to 400 positions.

via Superintendent: Budget could cost Syracuse district 400 jobs – NewsChannel 9 WSYR .

Neurobiological Technologies “We are deeply disappointed that Viprinex did not improve overall patientoutcomes in our clinical study,” said Paul E. Freiman, president and chief executive officer. “This news is a significant set-back for our clinical program. Once we obtain the data and we have analyzed the results from thisstudy, which we expect to occur in early 2009, we will determine whether wewill pursue any further development of Viprinex. In the meantime, we are implementing plans we have developed to reduce our expenses, which will likely result in a significant reduction in our overall headcount if we determine that future development of Viprinex is not warranted.”

via Neurobiological Technologies: Viprinex Does Not Pass Interim Futility Analysis Further Enrollment in Viprinex Clinical Studies – FierceBiotech.

An estimated 50 people will lose their jobs at the Dow Seadrift Operations‘ Nordel MG hydrocarbon rubber unit, Site Manager David Pankratz said.

“(This is) tough news and certainly a tough impact for many of the people who work at Dow,” Pankratz said.

Dow plans layoffs at Seadrift plant


The city of Plattsburgh, N.Y., is cutting jobs to try to resolve budget problems. A police officer, six workers at the Municipal Lighting Department and an employee from the finance office will lose their jobs if the city council approves Mayor Donald Kasprzak’s proposal.

via WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-Plattsburgh Cuts Jobs.

The state’s budget cuts are being felt close to home.

News 3 has learned the state has plans to close the Commonwealth’s Center for Children and Adolescents, which is a psychiatric home for children.

Nearly 150 people will be laid off and the patients will be transferred to other facilities

via Children’s Psychiatric Hospital to Close.

Mike: In a state rated near the bottom for educational achievement, it’s alarming that AL is aiming to chop the education budget

The Ledger-Enquirer reports that Alabama budget proration of 12.5 percent could lead to layoffs in East Alabama school systems, but not until the school year’s end, said at least one area superintendent.

“We may have to lay off some nontenured staff at the end of the school year,” said Larry DiChiara, superintendent of Phenix City Public Schools. “We’re not going to lay people off at the first semester break — we may have some folks who retire and we may not fill their positions.”

via Around the Web – Alabama Gov. Riley cuts education budget 12.5 percent.

Package carrier United Parcel Service Inc. blames a drop in package volume for its decision to close its Next Day Air night sort operations at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, according to a letter the company filed with the Texas Workforce Commission.

The change will cause the reduction of 72 staff positions — all of which will take effect after Feb. 8, Atlanta-based UPS (NYSE: UPS) said in its letter to the TWC.

via UPS to lay off 72 at Dallas Airport – Business First of Louisville: .

BISMARCK — Workers at North Dakota’s Bobcat plants have started a six-week layoff, the longest shutdown they can recall.

Bobcat says the shutdown at its plants in Bismarck and Gwinner, affecting about 2,000 workers, will last until Feb. 2, is to give dealers time to move inventory in the troubled economy.

via Workers start 6-week layoff at Bobcat plant |  Grand Forks Herald  | Grand Forks, North Dakota .

Mike: NASCAR and racing teams are hitting the wall, financially:

STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Gillett Evernham Motorsports will layoff about 65 employees in several departments as part of scaling back its Nationwide Series program next season.

via Gillet Evernham to layoff about 65 as it scales back its Nationwide program for 2009 — themorningcall.com.

Regal Beloit Corp. has notified the state Department of Workforce Development of its plans to shut down its Neillsville plant between Feb. 10 and April 30, 2009. The plant closure will affect 37 workers.

via Regal Beloit, Mortgage IT plan layoffs – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .

NEW YORK (AP) — Health insurer Aetna Inc. says it will eliminate 1,000 jobs, or about 2.8 percent of its work force, to reduce costs.

The Hartford, Conn., company says it will take a charge of about $35 million in the fourth quarter along with the moves. It says the job cuts will allow it to reduce administrative expenses and focus on areas with greater potential growth, but did not specify what business areas or regions will be involved in the changes.

via Aetna to eliminate 1,000 jobs in cost-cutting move – Yahoo! Finance.

Many insurers have begun layoffs, and most of Aetna’s competitors have been projecting enrollment declines for 2009. Aetna expects to add 800,000 members in the first quarter of 2009 but hasn’t said whether it expects enrollment to shrink after that.

via Aetna To Lay Off 1,000 — Courant.com.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will lay off 17 full-time employees at the end of the year.

Spokesman Paul Bernish said the job cuts are part of a 28 percent budget reduction for 2009.

The cuts reflect both the sagging attendance the riverfront museum has experienced in the second half of this year and the expectation that the economic crisis will hurt all the more in 2009, he said.

via Freedom Center laying off 17 staff members – Business Courier of Cincinnati: .

Mike: Our Canadian neighbors are going to be hit as hard as the US during this recession:

Accounts receivable management and business process outsourcing giant NCO Group laid off around 40 percent of its workforce this week at a call center in British Columbia, Canada.

The BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), a group representing the workers at the call center, said Tuesday that the employees were “technical service representatives” at NCO’s Surrey, B.C. office, in the outskirts of Vancouver.

via InsideARM: NCO Cuts 175 Jobs at Canadian Call Center.

WOOD-TV Channel 8, the NBC affiliate in Grand Rapids, Mich. is seeking to eliminate 15 or more positions through buy-outs, a staffer has told Messenger.

via Michigan Messenger » WOOD-TV Channel 8 in Grand Rapids cutting staff.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – More than 100 workers will soon lose their jobs at the Henkel Corporation in South Buffalo.

The company which makes industrial adhesives will either be closed or sold but will not remain in operation.

via Henkel Closing | WIVB.com.

Separately, a spokesman for the Knopf Publishing Group that assumed control of the Doubleday and Nan A. Talese imprints in the recent reorganization said that there had been layoffs Wednesday in the Doubleday imprint.

via New Editor at Random House, Layoffs at Doubleday and Broadway – ArtsBeat Blog – NYTimes.com.

The company that will release one of the most widely anticipated films made in Oregon has laid off 65 workers.

But officials for Laika Inc., the Phil Knight-owned company that will unveil Coraline to the world in February, say the move is normal in the free-floating animation industry. The decision came after executives decided to end production of “Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure,” which would have been Laika’s second large-scale project.

via Laika cuts 65 jobs – Portland Business Journal: .

The economy is forcing another Tulsa business to shutdown. Trinity Restoration will close its shop at 97th and Memorial.

via Trinity Restoration to close South Tulsa location – KJRH.com .

Middlesex, NY: Sharon Cornelius, owner of Colonial Bouquet at the Loomis Barn, will close her shop later this month after 25 years of making original floral arrangements.

Both Cornelius, 62, and Dolores Lee, who has been delivering Colonial Bouquet arrangements for 14 years, will retire on Dec. 31.

via Loomis Barn’s Colonial Bouquet to close shop – Rochester, NY – MPNnow.




Mike: The layoff news was coming fast today and tomorrow looks to be very busy as well since at 8:30am the Initial jobless claims is announced. Here’s a primer on those numbers:


Initial jobless claims measure the number of filings for state jobless benefits. This report provides a timely, but often misleading, indicator of the direction of the economy, with increases (decreases) in claims potential signalling slowing (accelerating) job growth. On a week-to-week basis, claims are quite volatile, and many analysts therefore track a four week moving average to get a better sense of the underlying trend. It typically takes a sustained move of at least 30K in claims to signal a meaningful change in job growth.

via Yahoo! Briefing Economic Calendar Terms.

Mike: The US Department of Labor has a slew of information about various employment data. The ETA News Releases located at http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/main.htm has a listing of Labor Department grants that are given to states for various reasons, including grants for those affected by manufacturing industry layoffs. Here is a sampling: 


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced an $859,829 grant to assist approximately 464 Florida workers affected by manufacturing layoffs at 12 companies within Citrus, Levy and Marion counties.

via ETA News Release: U.S. Department of Labor announces nearly $860,000 grant to assist Floridians affected by manufacturing industry layoffs [12/11/2008].

Mike: Some late breaking news about the autos, who are still patiently waiting for their piece of the bailout pie:

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Chrysler LLC, awaiting a federal rescue as its cash dwindles, will shut all 30 of its plants for at least a month starting Dec. 19 as unsold cars and trucks pile up at showrooms.

Ford Motor Co. said it will idle most of its North American assembly plants for the first week of January, while General Motors Corp. said a new factory making engines for the Chevrolet Volt electric car is being delayed to conserve cash.

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.

Mike: The auto problems are certainly far reaching and if the autos fail to survive the carnage will be great:


NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — The industry’s largest holding company, Omnicom Group, is preparing a massive layoff of nearly 5% of its global work force of 70,000, according to executives close to the situation.

The executives would not confirm which divisions or agencies would be affected by the estimated 3,500 job loss, but it is believed that BBDO, the agency for ailing Chrysler, which lost its flagship U.S. brand Pepsi business this year, would particularly feel the ax. Earlier today, Ad Age reported that Omnicom media agency PHD was laying off 30 people and closing its Atlanta office.

via Omnicom Set to Cut Up to 3,500 Jobs – Advertising Age – News.


Mike: On that note, I’ll close out today’s layoff news with a little humor:


Stahler - Dec. 17

Stahler - Dec. 17








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