Mike: Microsoft rumors are still flying and they are listed below. With high tech companies like AMD chopping costs with possible large scale layoffs, it won’t be a big surprise to see other high techs do the same in the new year.
Layoff announcements are slow this holiday week, but there are e a growing number of municipalities that are cutting back services along with their payrolls. I’ll highlight those cuts and add more to the list as they are announced.
- Microsoft Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
Mike: I’m amazed that they find an “unexpected” drop in consumer confidence number surprising, as shown in the below story. Did these experts think that consumers would be more cheerful with increasing job losses, stagnant (until it drops again) stock market, record falling home prices and tight credit conditions to name a few? I know that this number usually is a reflection of gas prices, but there are other reason for consumers, you and I, to not feel confident. I know of people that have perfect credit and the credit card companies are reducing their limits form $10,000 to $500. In fact, I have a credit card that went from a $5000 limit to $300. Those type of issues don’t give people a confident financial glow:
* NEW YORK – Consumer confidence hit an all-time low in December, dropping unexpectedly in the face of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks and other investments.
The Conference Board‘s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 38 in December from a revised 44.7 in November. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index to rise incrementally to 45.
* NPR.org, December 30, 2008 · Home prices plummeted a record 18 percent over the yearlong period ending in October as slowing sales and foreclosures pushed the U.S. housing market further into recession, a report released Tuesday shows.
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that home prices dropped at a record rate during the 12-month period, with all 20 metropolitan areas measured showing price declines — and 14 showing record drops.
Phoenix and Las Vegas continued to be the weakest markets, with each reporting annual declines of about 32 percent. San Francisco saw a 31 percent drop, and Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego were close behind, with declines in the range of 29 percent to 26.7 percent.
* According to Fudzilla, web chitter chatter to this affect is now “no longer a rumour but a fact” and it would see Microsoft’s 90,000 global workforce trimmed by approximately 15,000 jobs come 15 January. As to which countries or departments will be hit worst that remains up in the air but it is said EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and MSN could be hit hardest by the redundancies.
* Calling for a 10% reduction on the company’s payrolls, Reback said in his report for the institutional investors of Microsoft, this would result in an approximately 10% gain in its earnings per share. The software giant had close to 91,000 employees on its payrolls at the end of July-September quarter. Earlier in October, Microsoft had put in place a hiring freeze on some of its divisions, such as entertainment and devices businesses that make products like X-Box and Zune.
* With economic conditions looking dark even in the mid-term, however, the company may be gearing up (perhaps even inadvertently) for layoofs after all. Commentary on the blog of long-standing anonymous, internal critic Mini-Microsoft reveals a pattern of internal preparation for workforce reductions which, whatever the company ultimately decides to call them, amount to significant layoffs.
* But according to solution providers, Microsoft has been quietly reducing channel head count and cutting channel marketing budgets, although this hasn’t yet had any major effect on their business.
“I’ve seen them make a number of cuts — my marketing budget from Microsoft has declined 80 percent this year,” said one source, who requested anonymity.
* People Pulling Up to Pawnshops Today Are Driving Cadillacs and BMWs–
Well-to-Do Turn to Last-Resort Lenders; Putting Up Diamonds, Dumpsters as Collateral
Typically, pawnshop customers have a household income of about $29,000, according to Dave Adelman, president of the 2,400-member National Pawnbrokers Association. But operators around the country say they are seeing a surge in new activity fueled in part by a different clientele: middle- and upper-middle-class customers facing ravaged stock portfolios, tightened bank credit and unexpected layoffs. In areas dogged by high unemployment and foreclosure rates, the pawn business is especially robust.
– Rick LaChappelle, owner of four pawnshops in Maine, calculates he has lent about 33% more money this year than last. “The banking industry is not giving out any money right now,” he said. “So people are relying on second-tier lending institutions.”
* ELYRIA — Some Elyria firefighters will likely be laid off as acting Fire Chief Glenn Saddler attempts to cut 6 percent from the department’s budget for next year, Saddler said Monday.
Saddler said that while he has a number in mind for how many firefighters would likely lose their jobs, he did not want to make it public until all other money-saving options have been examined.
* Dwindling financial support from the state likely will lead to the closure of county medical clinics in Tulare and Lindsay and the laying off of 225 county employees, Tulare County officials said Monday.
Preliminary layoff notices will go out today to workers in the Health and Human Services Agency, officials said.
* The state auditor is expected to report today that the Cuyahoga County recorder’s office has too many workers and needs to cut positions.
County Administrator James McCafferty, who reviewed a draft of the report, on Monday said Auditor Mary Taylor recommends eliminating 17 positions from an office that employs about 100 people.
* Kindergarten classes could grow to nearly 40 children. Some 55 million meals for poor students might not be served. Art classes will likely be history. And hundreds of teachers could lose their jobs.
That’s the bleak outlook for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2009 as officials face $400 million in cuts next month and further reductions in state funding. The $400 million comes on top of a series of other cuts, taking the total to nearly $1billion this school year.
* Sunnyvale (CA) –AMD announced that it laid off more people than previously anticipated in an effort to get closer to a breakeven point. The company also expects another impairment charge related to the $5.4 billion acquisition. There is no number yet, but the charge will be “material”. AMD took two impairment charges earlier this year, amounting to about $2.5 billion.
In an SEC filing, the company said that it cut 600 people from its staff during the current quarter, about 100 more than previously announced. The additional layoffs could be a reaction to the deteriorating economic environment, that has made it virtually impossible for the company to reach is breakeven point, which is believed to be somewhere in the $1.5 billion revenue (per quarter) neighborhood. The layoffs will cost the company about $70 million.
* The Sunnyvale, California-based chip maker, Advanced Micro Devices, appears to be ending 2008 with a fresh new round of bad news, as the company is expected to lay off more of its employees, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission………….
In the upcoming year, the company is expected to announce even more layoffs, as a result of the spin-off of its manufacturing unit, as well as other business streamlining efforts, according to industry sources. Approximately 1400 to 1500 additional layoffs are expected to be announced in 2009, consequently enabling the company to deal with a total combined headcount of about 14000 by the end of next year.
* BURBANK — City and county officials expressed concern about an unstable job market after online rumors circulated Thursday that NBC Universal will eliminate 500 jobs nationwide.
In October, NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker called for a 3% cut of the company’s annual $16.7-billion budget. He asked for specific reductions in travel and entertainment expenses, promotions, staffing fees and other areas.
* Erie Shipbuilding Co. is laying off employees.
No one from the company, 220 E. Bayfront Parkway, returned phone calls Monday to the Erie Times-News.
Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor and Industry, said the department had been in contact with the company and confirmed the layoffs.
Fleming did not know how many people were being let go, nor whether the moves were temporary or permanent.
– WSEE-TV’s “Newswatch’’ reported that up to 30 people are being laid off.
* The economic downturn in the United States has hit the biggest employer in Meductic: cymbal-maker Sabian Ltd.
John Teague, vice-president of operations at Sabian, confirmed last Tuesday the company has had to let 16 workers go in the past several weeks.
* NAMPA — Following layoffs and a bankruptcy filing, we have just received confirmation that MPC Computers is shutting its doors.
MPC says, effective immediately, nearly 150 workers at its Nampa facility will be let go. The remaining 50 local employees will be given varying departure dates over the next few months.
* The decision to close a bakery that shipped specialty bread products to Florida from a Flowers Foods-affiliated bakery in Fort Smith will eliminate 82 positions.
The Fort Smith Baking Company, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Flowers Foods Inc., said Monday that 48 employees and 34 subcontracted workers will be out of a job on Friday.
* The company has no relation to the Wall Street titan Lehman Brothers investment bank, which also toppled into bankruptcy this year.
New Haven’s Lehman Brothers closed on Dec. 9, forcing about 20 people out of their jobs. For 98 years, it produced high-end engravings, fine stationery and a lot of wedding invitations.
* MCKEESPORT (KDKA) ― Precoat Metals announced Monday that it would be closing its McKeesport plant.
“There’s a lot of people over there who are very upset and don’t know what to do now,” said Walter Plesniak, who has worked at the plant for 38 years.
Union officials estimate about a third of the people who work at the plant have been there for more than 20 years.
* MARSHFIELD, Wis. – Prefabricated and modular homes are a segment of the housing market also hit hard by the current recession.
– Wick Building Systems in Marshfield has laid off about 70 employees and has taken the unprecedented step of closing the local plant for two months — in January and February.
* Vignette Corp. said last week it had cut a portion of its staff, though the content management software company declined to give a specific figure.
* Dec 29 (Reuters) – Cogdell Spencer Inc CSA.N said it will eliminate 115 jobs and all executive incentive compensation for fiscal year 2009, and the specialty real estate investment trust also slashed its quarterly dividend as it tries to reduce costs.
The company said its Erdman subsidiary, which provides advanced planning, engineering and construction, and development services, will cut about 115 jobs, effective January 6 to 9.
* BRADENTON — Intertape Polymer Group Inc., a manufacturer of plastic and paper packaging goods, is eliminating 152 jobs as part of several cost-saving measures it is implementing due to economic conditions.
* Fewer than 50 employees at United Fixtures Interlake plant on Howard Street in Niles will indeed be laid off today, an employee in human resources in the Niles office confirmed late Monday.
The South Bend administration office and distribution center at 4300 Quality Drive, the employee said, are not affected.
United Fixtures, headquartered in Naperville, Ill., manufactures rack storage systems and fixtures.
* FAIRBORN — An employee population of 417 people faces a “mass reduction in force” beginning Feb. 13 at the Teleperformance USA call center, 57 Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, according to a Dec. 11 letter from company Human Resources Vice President Jackie Stiteler to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
* United Launch Alliance expects to lay off at least 16 workers at Vandenberg Air Force Base in February, but company officials said cost-saving measures will mean issuing fewer pink slips than first estimated.
* Roadway Express Cutting 150-200 Jobs in Meridian-
* Gardner Denver Inc., which has a manufacturing facility in Peachtree City among its worldwide holdings, has announced it will cut 9 percent of its global salaried workforce and enact a hiring freeze in light of “deteriorating global economic decisions” and as it integrates its acquisition of CompAir Holdings Limited.
* COLUMBIA – South Carolina residents will continue to receive unemployment benefits through March 2009 thanks to an agreement reached between the South Carolina Employment Commission and the Governor’s Office, according to SCESC Communications Specialist Rodney Welch.
* iQor Inc. is laying off 73 employees at its Greensboro call center.
The Columbus, Ohio-based company filed a WARN (Workers Adjustment Notification Act) notice with mayor’s office late Monday, stating that the layoff will take place on or around Feb. 28 at its Northline Avenue call center near Friendly Center.
* BRIDGEPORT — Another 51 city employees are being laid off as officials continue cutting costs to plug a $20 million deficit and avoid a possible state takeover of city finances.
So far, Mayor Bill Finch has laid off 73 workers and eliminated or refused to fill 98 positions. With the latest round of layoffs, 222 jobs will have either been eliminated or left unfilled.
* Allegheny Technologies Inc. on Tuesday provided details of recent layoffs, totalling 209 workers, at its Midland plant in Beaver County.
The company issued a WARN Act notification with the state Department of Labor & Industry. Of those laid off, 205 were union employees and four were salaried employees.
* PONTIAC, Ill. – About 260 employees of a central Illinois storage-rack factory are at risk of losing their jobs, in what would be the latest blow to the community of Pontiac.
That’s according to executives at Pontiac’s Interlake Material Handling plant.
* Vertis Communications lays off 91 — Print and DM shop to close due to merger with American Color Graphics. Layoffs there bring the BNET ad agency layoff counter to 6,231.
* Wells Fargo & Co. is cutting 53 jobs at its auto-loan center in Tempe, Ariz., as result of the bank’s pending merger with Wachovia Corp.
* Most California companies must give their employees 60 days’ notice before laying off more than 50 workers. Since Jan. 1, 2007, these companies have laid off roughly 136,000 California workers.
* Interlake’s Pontiac plant “may be” permanently closed about the end of February, according to a required notice given to employees this week, although efforts today by The Daily Leader to reach corporate spokesmen on the future of the plant were unsuccessful.
* Mohawk Industries has announced plans to discontinue operations at the company’s Calhoun, Georgia spun yarn manufacturing facilities. Company officials informed employees of the decision during meetings Tuesday. A gradual phasing out of operations will begin later this week and will be completed by February 27, 2009.
At the time of the announcement, 160 individuals worked at the Calhoun spun yarn facility. During the coming weeks, Mohawk’s Human Resources Department will assist the employees, offering available job opportunities at other company facilities as well as working with state officials to facilitate job fairs with local employers and employment agencies.
* Interface Inc. says it will lay off 14 percent of its worldwide work force, or about 530 employees, to cope with weakening demand for its carpet products.
The commercial carpet producer says the reductions will cut manufacturing, sales and administration jobs.
* SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Mobile phone maker Motorola Inc (MOT.N) said on Tuesday it will lay off 400 more employees in the fourth-quarter than it originally planned, resulting in additional charges.
In October, Motorola announced a cost-reduction plan that included cutting a total of 3,000 jobs, with 1,500 coming in the fourth quarter. The change means 1,900 will be in the fourth quarter although the overall total will not change.
– International News –
* Downsizing deals – Massive layoffs scheduled in Russian metal industries.
Mr Andrei Vetluzhskikh, chairman of the Sverdlovsk regional trades union federation said that “About 100,000 jobs, mainly at metallurgical plants are forecast to be cut next year.”
via SteelGuru – News.
* Delphi suspends plant in China
U.S. car parts maker Delphi Corp. has suspended work at a factory in Suzhou because of shrinking demand amid the global economic slump, a media report and a staff member said. The factory west of Shanghai in the city of Suzhou makes compressors for General Motors Corp. China’s own once-booming auto market is seeing sales fall from double-digit growth rates as demand cools.
* More than 200 miners from Sase mine in Srebrenica will be left jobless next month due to a dramatic drop in production of lead and zinc in the mine in effect of the global economic crisis, the company confirmed on Friday.
* Chanel, one of the most high end French fashion names, is to lay off 200 Paris based staff. When global brands like Chanel are firing people right and left whereas at the same time Five and Dime stores are doing the same, it states that clear across the board people are feeling the effects of the depression.
* Lenovo plans to announce a business reorganization in mid-January next year, which includes adjustments to its business structure and layoffs, according to a Chinese-language sina.com report citing sources in Lenovo.
* SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean officials say unemployment rose to 7.5 percent at the end of November as the global financial crisis slowed loans to businesses.
* APAC Customer Services Inc. is adding 120 new jobs right after the first of the year, Utica Mayor David Roefaro said Monday night.
* Oakbrook Terrace, IL – infoZine – America’s Best Companies (ABC) has announced they plan to hire 2,000 people over this holiday season, despite the country’s financial crisis.
Mike: The layoff news was busier than I expected this day. I’ll add any late breaking news, but hopefully it’s quiet. Till tomorrow………………..