Mike: I hope you all had a fine Christmas Day. Friday should be a relatively quiet day for layoff announcements and financial news, but here is what is out there right now:    

Mike: The following is a repost, but I think it bears another look: After ignoring economic storm warnings and sinking the country’s financial ship, I don’t think that this group of civil servants should even consider a pay raise at this time.  Send CONgress a message by going to –  Congress.org – and placing your congressional pay raise vote: 


Under existing law, as part of a deal to give up outside income from speeches and other sources, Congress receives an automatic pay raise unless it votes otherwise. In January, Congress will receive a raise of $4700. This will increase the average Member’s pay to about $174,000 or a 2.8% increase.

– Does Congress deserve a raise this year? A bill was introduced to reject the pay increase, but it died in committee. Tell Congress what you think about this pay increase.

(29,655 messages thus far)

3% Say Congress Should Accept the Pay Raise

97% Say Congress Should Reject the Pay Raise

via Congress.org –  , which allows you to easily find and contact your congressional reps.


Microsoft Rumors-News – 

* I’ve been competing with Microsoft for years, at Lineo, Novell, and now Alfresco. But I can’t even remotely get excited by the prospect of a big layoff at the software giant, with some speculation suggesting it could go as deep as 10 percent of Microsoft’s 91,000 full-time employees.

via Microsoft gearing up for layoffs? Let’s hope not | The Open Road – CNET News.

* Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is said to be preparing large scale job cuts due to declining revenue growth as the recession worsens.

Analysts have already started downgrading performance of MSFT stock in light of the economic conditions. The latest downgrade Friday from Citigroup’s Brent Thill said that “the slowdown that the company saw in October intensified into November and continued into December.” Thrill predicted revenue for the June 2009 fiscal year of $62.5 billion, up just 3%, and below the company’s guidance for 7%-10% growth.

via Microsoft Rumored to be Preparing Large Scale Jobs Cuts.

* NEW DELHI: Internet is abuzz with reports that software giant Microsoft may be readying pink slips. Some speculations suggest that layoffs could

be as high as 10 percent of Microsoft’s over 90,000 full-time employees.

According to site newsoxy.com, “Insiders who work for the company say that things are looking grim while a few managers have leaked information about substantial workforce reductions on January 15, 2009.”

via Pinkslips coming at Microsoft? – Software & Services-News-Indiatimes – Infotech.

* Let’s hope that Microsoft doesn’t listen to Wall Street’s call. After all, look at the Wall Street’s recent track record of driving the economy not just into a ditch, but off a cliff. Would you want to take advice from people who drive like that?

via This Is No Time for Microsoft Layoffs – Computerworld Blogs.


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General Employment News– 

Mike: The report below presents some interesting facts about how the newly unemployed are likely to have a more difficult time finding new employment. While the article ignores the differences in reported unemployment numbers from the 1980s to 2008  – the process was changed during the Clinton admin to eliminate discouraged workers from the reported unemployment numbers – it explains how some high paying jobs will not return:

* Pink (as in slips) is the new brown. This fall a number of economists began predicting that unemployment would rise to 8% during this recession, up from a reading of 6.5% in October. It would be the highest jobless rate in years. But put into historical perspective, that forecast isn’t too bad. A quarter of all adults were out of work during the Great Depression. More recently, unemployment reached 7.8% in the early 1990s, and climbed all the way to 11% in the beginning of the 1980s. We recovered from both of those recessions looking quite sprightly. But beyond the headline number is a growing unease among economists and job-market watchers that, for the approximately 2.3 million people who may be asked to leave their cubicles and workspaces in the next year, it might be harder this time around for them to regain their piece of corporate America than in past recessions.


* If you’re feeling down, don’t worry. You’ve got company. Economists and psychologists say that recessions tend to make nearly everyone less happy.

The good news, though, is that recent research suggests as long as you don’t lose your job, your mood probably won’t sour as much as the GDP. What’s more, you’re unlikely to stay feeling down for long, even if the recession turns out to be a particularly long and economically painful one.

via Recession Not as Depressing as it Seems – TIME.


* CHICAGO – The number of unemployed Americans will continue to grow throughout 2009 and will level out in the first half of 2010, according to Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Employment levels may stay flat until well into 2011 and job creation even then will show only moderate gains. It may be 2013 before we start to see the level of employment growth associated with a healthy and expanding economy.

via MidwestBusiness.com: Midwest Business & Technology News.


Mike: Putting a layoff behind you and releiving some ex-employer frustration is good therapy, but the best therapy is finding a new gig. In the West, layoffs can still earn satircal and humerous responses, but you’re not likely to see this type of tame response from those who lose jobs in countries that don’t provide an adequate safety net:

* Getting laid off has long been one of life’s loneliest experiences.

People are singled out, stripped of their professional identities and escorted out of buildings where some have spent most of their adult lives.

But watch out. As a wave of layoffs washes over the United States and beyond, some of the pink-slipped masses are going public, fighting back with satirical songs on YouTube and rapid-fire Twitter streams read ’round the globe.

via Layoffs spark public venting – San Jose Mercury News.

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International News

Mike: I don’t think you’ll see GM, Ford or Chrysler offer to stop layoffs for the good of the country at large. This would be a nice trend, but there would be cries of socialism and communism from those in the US who believe that only bailing out the well-off is governments responsibility:

* Major truck manufacturer Isuzu Motors Ltd. has canceled a plan to lay off 550 fixed-term contract workers this month, the company said Wednesday.

In November, Isuzu announced it was to terminate employment contracts with about 1,400 fixed-term contract and dispatch workers.

The company said it had reconsidered its decision to lay off the fixed-term contract workers because the economic downturn has made it very difficult for people to find new jobs. It said it also had received a string of requests from the government asking it to maintain its current employment levels.

via Isuzu drops plan to shed 550 workers : Business : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).

Mike: During the early months of the US run toward recession, I read Canadian publications that insisted that Canada wouldn’t have a housing bust or a recession. Unfortunately, like their US counterparts, they ignored reality and believed that housing prices would increase rapidly forever and that would prevent a recession. As reality returns to the Canadian landscape, it’s becoming obvious that the world’s recession will negatively impact the Canadian economy

* It is official. Canada is now in recession. And job losses are on the way. Don’t be fooled by rosy predictions of a quick turnaround.

The country’s number-one bank, the Royal Bank of Canada (rbc), just announced that the United States has dragged Canada’s economy into recession. The report said the Canadian economy is heading down a “rocky road” as the global economy falters and prices for key Canadian commodities slide. Canada will post no growth in 2009 and the jobless rate will climb as high as 7.4 percent.

via Canada Enters Recession | theTrumpet.com.

Mike: An interesting and entertaining read of the world’s current financial crises:

Fiscal Insanity Virus Strikes Canada, Sweden, Italy, IMF

The world health organization has confirmed new cases of the extremely contagious Fiscal Insanity Virus (FIV) that is rapidly spreading the globe. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is one of the latest victims as evidenced by the headline Flaherty gives banks deadline to lend more.

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Fiscal Insanity Virus Strikes Canada, Sweden, Italy, IMF.

* TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s production of cars, trucks and buses marked its steepest drop in at least four decades in November, an industry group said Thursday, as the fallout from the U.S. slowdown crimped auto demand.

Vehicle production in Japan, home to Toyota Motor Corp. and other major automakers, plunged 20.4 percent in November compared to the same month a year ago to 854,171 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

via Japan auto production marks worst drop since 1967: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

* TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s contracting economy got a slew of bad news Friday when government figures showed that industrial production plunged by its biggest margin on record in November, the jobless rate jumped and household spending fell.

Output at the nation’s manufacturers tumbled 8.1 percent from October, the largest drop since Tokyo began measuring such data in 1953, as Japan’s automakers and others slashed production to cope with slowing global demand. A government survey predicted further declines of 8 percent in December and 2.1 percent in January.

via The Associated Press: Japan factory output has biggest fall on record.

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 – US and some Canada Layoff News – 


* The sluggish economy has reeled in Diamond Chain Co., one of Indianapolis’ oldest businesses, which will temporarily lay off 64 hourly employees, or about 15 percent of its work force.

via 64 workers laid off temporarily at Diamond Chain in Indianapolis | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star .


Mike: The snippet below was all I could find at this time. Does anyone have any other news about Digirad?

* Poway-based Digirad Corp. (Nasdaq: DRAD) will be among the next to add to the list of local unemployed.

via San Diego Source > News > Digirad to layoff staff in restructuring.


* MERCED — Employees at Merced County’s Human Services Agency will find out by mid-January whether they’re among the 35 workers who’ll be laid off, officials said Tuesday.

via The Modesto Bee | Layoff notices coming for 35 Merced County workers.


*  GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – More than 130 people will lose their jobs at the Seaview Resort and Spa, state officials confirmed Tuesday.

via Seaview notifies state it will lay off 134 workers .


* Monday on 14 News, we told you Century Aluminum was cutting 20 salaried jobs from its Hawesville plant.

Now another Hancock County aluminum maker is also downsizing. Aleris International is laying off 32 workers from its plant in Lewisport effective January 5th.

via 14 WFIE, The Tri-State’s News Leader: More job cuts in Hancock County.


(Crain’s) — Local architecture firms, including heavyweights Solomon Cordwell Buenz, DeStefano & Partners and Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP, have had major layoffs in recent months, as building projects have slowed locally and worldwide.

SCB laid off about 30 employees and cut 10 vacant positions in October and November, roughly one-fourth of the firm’s Chicago office. DeStefano earlier this month laid off 15 people, 10% of its staff, and also instituted 10% pay cuts for all employees in 2009.

Sources say Chicago-based SOM, meanwhile, has recently fired upward of 100 people here to cut costs.

via Chicago Business News, Analysis & Articles | Job cuts hit local architecture firms | Crain’s .


* The Trane Air Conditioning Plant, one of Bay County’s premier employers, completed a 50-person layoff.

The plant manufactures commercial air conditioning equipment in the Lynn Kaven Industrial Park.

via More Layoffs in Our Area .

DriveSol Worldwide Incorporated, a Troy, Michigan-based manufacturer of steering column components located in Watertown, announced last week that it will be forced to close down its local facility due to dire financial problems. The closure is expected to occur by March 15.

via Town Times – DriveSol to close To lay off 241 employees.

* Athens, GA – The Invista yarn-processing plant in Athens has laid off 50 workers and has shut down operations until early next month.
via – Athens yarn plant lays off 50 workers.

* KAMIAH, Idaho (AP) – An outdoor recreation ranch in north-central Idaho has laid off 33 workers because of declining business.

via NBC Newschannel 6 Where News Comes First – Kamiah’s Flying B Ranch lays off 33 workers.


* The job picture is getting gloomier in the final days of the year, with new layoffs in Austin and nationwide.

In Austin, software maker Vignette Corp. said Wednesday that it had laid off workers, but it provided no details other than that the cuts were in the single-digit percentages. The company has about 200 workers here, spokeswoman Melanie Brenneman said.

via New layoffs in Austin, across nation.


It’s not turning out to be a season of hope for 46 Escondido city employees.

The city is finalizing plans to lay off the workers to help close a projected $7.4 million budget gap caused by sharply declining sales tax revenue.

via 46 city employees targeted for layoffs.


* RICHMOND, CA (KGO) — It’s going to be a nervous Christmas for people who brighten the season by delivering holiday packages. There are rumblings of possible layoffs at UPS facilities throughout the Bay Area. It all hinges on how well the company performs during this tough shipping season.

via UPS workers hear rumors of layoffs for newer employees – 12/24/08 – San Francisco News – abc7news.com.


* When aerospace supplier Mark Haller advertised for an administrative assistant, he got 200 applicants. But when he sought a skilled machinist at more than twice the salary, only 10 applied.

As layoffs hit broad swaths of the economy, skilled jobs in aerospace and other technology manufacturing are going begging. For a variety of reasons, too few people are entering the field, prompting companies to hang on to their skilled workers even in tough times. Some are starting apprenticeship and other programs with technical schools, which have also had trouble recruiting.

via Washington manufacturing jobs go begging in downturn – Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle): .


* QUINCY, IL (December 19, 2008) – Gardner Denver, Inc. (NYSE: GDI) announced restructuring initiatives that are expected to be completed in 2009. These initiatives are driven by both deteriorating global economic conditions and the integration of the Company’s October 2008 acquisition of CompAir Holdings Limited (“CompAir”).

……… The Company notified employees representing approximately 9% of its global salaried workforce that their positions would be eliminated within the next nine months, with the majority of affected employees expected to leave the organization by the second quarter of 2009.

via Gardner Denver, Inc. Announces Restructuring Initiatives and Updated Guidance .


* DAYTON, Ohio — The economy continues to take a toll on cities and other Ohio municipalities, with additional cuts and cutbacks coming.

Officials at Sugarcreek Township in southwest Ohio announced Christmas Eve they are slashing firefighters’ hours and closing one fire house at night.

The mayor of Warren in northeast Ohio is warning of possible layoffs in the water and wastewater departments because of cutbacks by major local employers including General Motors.

via Ohio Firefighters Get Jobs Cut On Christmas Eve – News Story – WEWS Cleveland.


* Thousands of workers from as far away as the Philippines are watching their jobs in Alberta evaporate as the richest oil boom in the province’s history deflates.

Sinking oil prices have forced skittish investors to hedge their bets on half a dozen multibillion-dollar oilsands projects, leaving one of the key engines of Canada’s economy teetering on an uncertain future.

Ben Stacey, a pipefitter from Newfoundland, was making as much as $70 an hour in the oilsands when he was blindsided by sudden layoffs.

via The Moose Jaw Times Herald: National News | Once-booming oilsands face uncertain future.


* Budget cuts around the state have forced layoffs and buyouts in almost every sector, and a recent decision to lay off all court reporters next year has people on all sides of the issue upset.

The Utah Judicial Council recently made the decision to eliminate the use of court reporters, who are currently used in first-degree felony cases to make a record of the proceedings. All of the 18 court reporters will remain employed until June 31, 2009, at which point the courts will make the full switch to digital sound and video recordings.

via Daily Herald – Local attorneys upset over court reporter layoffs.


* Forty-seven employees of the Royal River Casino in Flandreau will add a job hunt to their list of New Year resolutions this coming January. Management laid of 15 percent of its work force recently.

Officials say it’s not the “¢ Manager says 47 layoffs due to technology advances, not economy slumping economy, but technological advances that are to blame for the layoffs.

via Brookings Register Online.


* TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Walter Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WLT) announced today the permanent closure of the Kodiak Mine in Shelby County, Ala., ……….

Approximately 90 contract miners at the Kodiak mine are expected to be affected by the closure, many of whom will be offered positions at Walter Industries’ other mining operations.

via Walter Industries, Inc. :: Walter Industries, Inc. Announces Closure of United Land’s Kodiak Mine.


Mike: I am trying to make this site easier to navigate, so you can spend your time on your areas of interest. Bear with me while I develop this site to be more user friendly. If you have any suggestions on how this site can be improved, please pass them along. Thanks.



Adams - Dec 26

Adams - Dec 26

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Mike: That’s about it for this holiday shortened news week. If the news is active, I’ll post a Weekend Update. I’ll leave you with the following weekend classics…………

Steely Dan – Black Friday


Neil Young – Out on the Weekend



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