January 29 – 588,000 file new unemployment claims – Actual unemployment 18%? – Kodak pictures 4500 less jobs – AstraZeneca to dissolve 7400 jobs – 2000 more jobs gone at Cessna – Black and Decker cuts 1200 – Ford Credit less 1200 jobs – Bon-Ton strips 1150 of jobs – Hershey kisses 150 goodbye – Toshiba deletes 4500 temps – IBM continues cutting jobs – 3M plans more layoffs
Mike: A couple readers have asked if I can add layoff rumors or announcements that miss the general news media reports. I’d be glad to offer that option, but I’ll need your input to make that happen. If you know of any layoff news or rumors that you would like posted, feel free to either place them in the comments section or email me and I’ll be sure that all reasonable requests are posted. Your privacy will be respected and I won’t share any email address information. Thanks.
Mike: Good day to all. The morning is starting out a little gloomy with the up to 4500 layoff announcement at Eastman Kodak. That once proud company is now a shell of its former glory and could fade from the landscape entirely at a not to distant point.
Mike: There are more people paying attention to actual unemployment numbers, which are considered much higher than those reported by the government. I have argued for the past few months (see, The Real Unemployment Numbers, The Real Layoff Numbers – Weekend Update) that the government needs to report numbers that reflect reality, instead of numbers that reflect delusion. The following report is another that agrees with the notion that actual unemployment is reaching levels up to 18%:
* True Unemployment Rate May Be Twice The Government Numbers
The official unemployment rate may also be dramatically inaccurate based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics method of calculation. Consider the chart below from Shadowstats.com.
– If the government was still calculating the unemployment rate using the same criteria and methods that had last been used during the Clinton administration, the “official” unemployment rate today would be closer to 18%.
- Microsoft and IBM Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* IBM has had two rounds of layoffs within the past two weeks, a company spokesman said.
“We did this last week on the 21st and today,” said IBM spokesman Doug Shelton, referring to the layoffs.
Shelton would not comment on how many IBM employees were laid off, what departments they worked in and where they were located.
* Sources close to eWeek report that layoffs will continue at IBM. The technology firm has cut 2,800 employees from its roster already, and that number is expected to climb. The cuts have come from both IBM’s software and sales divisions.
* ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-TV) — KTTC has confirmed that significant numbers of layoffs have happened at the Rochester IBM plant. The “resource actions” had been scheduled by the computer firm for days, and had been the source of anxiety for many workers whose personnel reviews had been set for this week.
An inside source tells the NewsCenter the number is as many as 800. Most of the cuts happened in the Systems and Technology Group. The Rochester Chamber of Commerce says about 4,400 people work inside the sprawling IBM complex along U.S. 52 in northwest Rochester.
Today’s big job news comes at 8:30 when the initial claims number is released: Bloomberg.com: Economic Calendar.
8:30 AM ET
8:30 AM ET
The number of initial claims is close to the 26-year high of 589,000 reached in late December, though the work force has grown by about half since then.
The four-week average of initial claims, which smooths out fluctuations, rose to 542,500, from 518,250, according to the government report.
The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans continuing to claim unemployment insurance for the week ending Jan. 17 was a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the highest on records dating back to 1967. That’s an increase of 159,000 from the previous week and worse than economists’ expectations of 4.65 million.
10:00 AM ET
Purchases dropped a more-than-forecast 15 percent to an annual pace of 331,000, the lowest level since at least 1963, according to a report from the Commerce Department today in Washington. Other reports showed orders for durable goods slumped for a fifth month and a record number of Americans were collecting jobless benefits.
* Three city unions that refused to give up their 2009 pay raises might instead lose a week’s pay under new budget cuts announced yesterday by Columbus officials.
Mayor Michael B. Coleman said up to 1,300 city employees, including himself and other nonunion managers, will face five-day “temporary layoffs” in the coming months — unpaid days off that will save an estimated $1.65 million.
* Cuts May Lead to Layoffs for 15,000 NYC Teachers
NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Thousands of New York City teachers may be forced to learn a harsh lesson in economics, if the state and city decide to follow through with proposed education budget cuts.
* ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) – Eastman Kodak says it is eliminating 3,500 to 4,500 jobs, or 14 percent to 18 percent of its payroll, as it posted a $137 million loss for the fourth quarter.
Kodak says sales and profits from both digital and film-based photography products plummeted.
Mike: A. Perez continues to drive this company into the ground, yet he continues to tap the till for $ 9,478,434.00 (2007) via Antonio M. Perez Profile – Forbes.com. Failure is an option for Perez types, since win or lose they still score big.
* The Rochester, N.Y.-based photo products maker said the job cuts include 2,000 to 3,000 positions that were announced in late 2008.
“The second half of 2008 will go down in history as one of the most challenging periods we have seen in decades,” said Antonio M. Perez, chairman and CEO. “We built significant momentum following the completion of our corporate transformation, and our business results were on track through most of 2008, with digital revenue up 10% in the first half of the year, following double-digit growth in the second-half of 2007.
* Many Kodak employees are talking about the news of job cuts and fourth quarter loss announced today. News 10NBC was outside Kodak headquarters when some employees were leaving. At least two people said they will find out tomorrow whether they’ll still have a job or not.
One woman said 160 out of 800 people will be let go tomorrow in one department that’s 20 percent of the department. Some said the only saving grace is the termination package Kodak is offering.
* AstraZeneca said it will expand its restructuring program to save $2.95 billion annually by 2013, with the bulk of the savings coming by 2010. The company previously forecast savings of $1.98 billion. The program will lead to additional job cuts of 7,400, taking the total to 15,000 by 2013.
* Black & Decker Corp. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit tumbled 77 percent on a large restructuring charge and declining demand as the prior year benefited from a hefty tax settlement.
The power tools manufacturer also announced job cuts totaling approximately 1,200 positions and cautioned that its first-quarter results would be hurt by declining sales and a stronger U.S. dollar.
* Ford Motor Credit, the lending and financing arm of Ford Motor Co., will cut about 20% of its U.S. staff, or about 1,200 jobs, as part of a restructuring plan announced in meetings with employees Wednesday.
* Morganton – Viscotec told 100 employees on Wednesday they will be laid off at least through February.
* Delta Apparel Inc. will shutter its textile manufacturing facility in Fayetteville, N.C., and consolidate the jobs to plants in North Carolina and Honduras.
The move will cut 107 jobs, the Duluth, Ga.-based clothing company said. The Fayetteville campus will continue to employ 550 associates in sewing, screen printing, retail packaging, distribution, and product and art development, along with all sales and administrative functions for M. J. Soffe.
* LIMA, Ohio (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says it will stop production for two weeks next month at its engine plant in northern Ohio.
The automaker also will lay off as many as 70 employees indefinitely at the factory in Lima.
* BERKELEY, Calif.—Hershey Co. has announced plans to close Scharffen Berger’s West Berkeley manufacturing plant and the San Francisco factory that makes Joseph Schmidt chocolates…..
About 150 employees will be affected by the closures, which will happen sometime this year.
* The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch reported that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will close its rubber mixing plant in Radford, Va.
The plant mixes rubber stock for Goodyear plants, the report said. Goodyear laid off 31 workers at the plant in December; the remaining 18 employees will be cut when the plant is closed on Jan. 30.
* Morrison & Foerster announced today (Wednesday 28 January) that it is making 53 lawyers redundant across its offices in the US.
* CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — In another blow to a large, iconic agency, Leo Burnett USA today eliminated about 75 jobs, or 4% of its work force.
* In response to economic conditions, Morrison & Foerster has announced that it is is laying off more than 200 people.
The firm confirmed today that the layoffs include 53 attorneys and 148 staff members, reports Above the Law. According to the law firm’s website, MoFo has more than 1,000 attorneys in 17 offices worldwide.
* McALLEN — BBVA Compass Bank plans to lay off 80 employees in the Rio Grande Valley as part of a 10 percent company-wide reduction in workforce, a spokesman said Wednesday.
* NEW YORK — ESPN’s top executive told employees that he’s instituting a hiring freeze and won’t give any raises to top executives as one of television’s most successful enterprises feels the effect of the economy.
ESPN and ABC Sports chief George Bodenheimer said he expected 200 jobs will be cut within the next year, mostly positions currently unfilled.
* SHELDON, Iowa (AP) – Rosenboom Machine & Tool is laying off 64 full-time employees from its facilities in Spirit Lake and Sheldon.
*Pella Corp.’s Macomb manufacturing plant will lay off 100 of its 350 workers beginning Monday, a company official said Wednesday.
* The Los Angeles Opera announced Tuesday that it had laid off 17 employees, representing 17 percent of its staff, The Los Angeles Times reported. The company said it was imposing pay cuts of around 6 percent for its remaining staff, though some higher-paid employees received an 8 percent cut.
* A group of contract workers at Hewlett-Packard lost their jobs late last week.
The workers were part of the LaserJet enterprise solutions group, responsible for testing printers.
Between 20 and 30 people were released on Friday.
* PLEASANTVILLE — Reader’s Digest Association Inc. says it will cut about 280 jobs, or 8 percent of its global work force, and implement other cost-cutting measures.
* The Cambridge Health Alliance, owner of three hospitals and 30 health clinics, is eliminating 300 full-time jobs and closing six centers as it tries to balance its books.
* FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The last major apparel maker in a North Carolina county says it will shut down a fabric manufacturing division and move some of the work to Honduras to save money.
The Fayetteville Observer reported Thursday the decision will cut 107 jobs at the M.J. Soffe plant in Cumberland County by June. About 550 jobs will remain at Soffe’s plant on U.S. 301 in Fayetteville.
* SUTHERLIN — Orenco Systems Inc. in Sutherlin laid off 46 workers today as the manufacturer of wastewater treatment products struggles with an overall decline in sales.
* CHICAGO -(Dow Jones)- 3M Co. (MMM) said Thursday it would cut capital spending by a third this year and halt its share repurchase scheme to conserve cash.
The company also said more employee layoffs are likely in 2009 and has temporarily furloughed more than 1,000 employees.
* Marlborough, MA-based Sepracor announced that it plans to cut 530 company jobs and another 410 contract positions as it refocuses its marketing activities. The layoffs, which will claim about one in five jobs at the company, were prompted by the economic crisis that has roiled the biotech industry.
* Teradyne Inc. late Wednesday said it will cut 14 percent of its workforce and instate a 10-percent temporary pay cut in response to “worldwide economic conditions.”
The announcement accompanied the North reading, Mass., company’s fourth-quarter earnings release, which showed sharp deterioration in Teradyne’s core electronics-technology business.
* Anchorage telecom company ACS is laying off about 20 employees, or about 2 percent of its workforce, the company said this week.
* OAKDALE (AP) — Oakdale’s Boise Cascade Plant will temporarily discontinue the production of plywood panels beginning Monday, resulting in layoffs.
Boise Cascade blamed a decline in new home construction and the nation’s economic crisis for the production halt.
* Canada’s Isotechnika has already announced that it’s pursuing partnerships, merger deals, asset sales and other “strategic alternatives.” And in a release this morning, the developer is adding layoffs and other unspecified budget-cutting moves.
“Since the timeline for completion of any strategic alternative is unknown, the company must reduce its cash burn rate,” says Isotechnika in a release. Just how many people it plans to terminate or lay off temporarily was not spelled out in the release.
* SCHOFIELD, Wis. (AP) – A central Wisconsin fan manufacturer is cutting more jobs.
– Greenheck Fan Corp. says it is eliminating another 155 jobs at its headquarters in Schofield due to a slowdown in new orders of commercial and industrial fans.
* DIXFIELD — About 190 employees at Irving’s Forest Products mill have been out of work this week, and are expected to be laid off again for a week at a time in February and March.
* United Steelworker District 6 Area Supervisor Jack Ostroski today confirmed to SooToday.com that Local 9548 members have received temporary layoff notices from Tenaris Algoma Tubes.
“We haven’t got the schedules yet, so we aren’t sure exactly how many,” Ostroski said. “But it’s over 400 for sure.”
* Home decor merchant Plow and Hearth reportedly laid off at least 45 workers in two rounds last week. And according to a report from Madison County, VA, news television station NBC29, more job cuts are expected at the cataloger.
But parent company 1-800-Flowers.com would not confirm the job loss specifics. When contacted, spokesperson Joe Pititto referred to a statement 1-800-Flowers.com had prepared on Monday:
* Less than a week after announcing plans to lay off
220 hourly employees, Alcoa Davenport Works suffered another blow Wednesday with the elimination of 41 salaried positions.
* NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW.O) will cut between 500 and 600 jobs in the current quarter as the biggest U.S. online broker, under pressure from low interest rates and a falling stock market, struggles to contain costs.
* Boston Store parent The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., a retailer with significant corporate operations in Milwaukee, said it will cut 1,150 jobs and suspend its 401(k) plan contributions in an initiative to boost operating income by $70 million a year.
* Business credit-card company Advanta said Thursday that it lost $43.8 million in the fourth quarter largely because of credit losses, and that it would cut its dividends and expenses, including jobs and marketing.
The Spring House, Pa., company (NASDAQ:ADVNA) said it “will have approximately 300 fewer employees and operating expenses for 2009 are expected to be between 20 percent and 25 percent lower than those reported for 2008.”
* OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A Dallas-based company has closed its Oklahoma City railcar manufacturing plant just more than a week after closing a plant in Tulsa.
Trinity Industries says it’s shutting down Trinity Tank Car in Oklahoma City because of a falling demand for railcars.
– The closing puts 250 hourly and administrative employees out of work.
* Toronto-based Celestica is closing its circuit board manufacturing plant in Arden Hills, Minn. That will put nearly 600 people out of work.
* The Lozier facility in Cedar City, which manufactures display shelves and other store fixtures for stores such as Wal-Mart, will end production March 9.
Gwen Miller, a senior accounting major from Spanish Fork and intern at Lozier said the company is closing because of the hard economic times right now and because it’s one of the smaller plants.
* SAN JOSE, Calif. — Hit hard by the IC downturn, Japan’s Toshiba Corp. outlined several cost-cutting moves, including plans to delay two NAND flash fabs. The company also reduced its capital spending and will cut 4,500 temporary workers.
Toshiba (Tokyo) is delaying the construction of a fab in Yokkaichi from spring of this year until 2010. The company is postponing building another fab in Kitakami, based in northern Japan. Last year, Toshiba and its partner, SanDisk Corp., announced the fabs, which were geared for NAND flash production.
* The Disney-ABC Television Group today laid off several hundred people, citing the weakening economy. Group President Anne Sweeney sent an e-mail to the approximately 7,000 television group employees, saying that after months of trying to adjust the business to the worsening economic climate, “we’re now faced with the harsh reality of having to eliminate jobs in some areas.”
* Cessna Aircraft Co. said Thursday it plans to lay off another 2,000 workers, or about 13 percent of its work force, as the slumping worldwide economy is forcing more customers to cancel or delay orders for new aircraft.
* Chicago ad agency Leo Burnett USA said it will lay off 250 people, almost 15 percent of its workforce. Ugly, really ugly… But firing people is the way of life now. The Advertising agency claimed that the layoffs were only partly a response to the recession and partly, it said, an effort to “better position” the company in a rapidly changing industry. In other words, because they have to change their definition of the term “Advertising”. Even Arc Worldwide has hit with the layoffs. Leo Burnett is owned by Publicis Groupe.
* DANBURY – Cartus, one of the city’s largest employers, announced dozens of layoffs in a statement released Thursday.
The company said they workforce was reduced by 74 employees throughout the United States. Officials declined to comment on how many of those employees worked in the city.
* The solar thermal company confirmed it laid off about 10 percent of its staff, a spokeswoman said Monday. The layoffs occurred in January (laid off employees told us they began in December.)
* Jan 29 (Reuters) – U.S. trucking company Arkansas Best Corp (ABFS.O) swung to a quarterly loss, hurt by decelerating tonnage levels and competitive pricing pressures, and said it shed about 1,100 jobs in the fourth quarter.
* SunPower, San Jose’s leading solar company, announced layoffs this morning.
“I can confirm that SunPower has made a small reduction in its worldwide workforce — approximately 60 out of 5,000,” Stephen Wright, the company’s director of corporate communications, said in an email.
* RENO, Nev.—International Game Technology, the world’s largest maker of slot machines and casino management systems, announced Thursday it will lay off an additional 200 workers as the recession takes a deepening toll on the casino industry.
* SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – An industrial fiber manufacturer says it will lay off 20% of its work force at a North Carolina plant.
The Salisbury Post reported Thursday that Performance Fibers of Richmond, Va., said the cuts were effective immediately. The firm manufactures polyester fiber used in tires, conveyor belts, fire hoses and safety belts.
* Ultratech (UTEK) this morning posted Q4 sales of $34.1 million, up from $29.7 million a year ago, but below the Street consensus of $35.8 million. Profits for the quarter were 17 cents a share, 3 cents better than estimates…………..
The semiconcudcor equipment company also said it is cutting staff by 9% and reducing salaries for most employees by 5%-20%.
* Union Station Kansas City Inc. has cut $4.8 million from its cost structure in response to the tough economy, in part by eliminating more than 40 full- and part-time employees and continuing last year’s wage freeze in 2009.
* MALACCA: Some 1,295 workers from five factories were laid off recently while several other factories were cutting down on production instead of laying off workers.
However, all is not lost as some have been offered jobs at other factories here.
A RM2.3bil investment in Alor Gajah to manufacture solar panels is anticipated to create 7,000 jobs this October.
* Tough economic times will soon result in layoffs at an Antigua-based land development company owned by Texas billionaire Allen Stanford.
Employees of Stanford Development Company say they have received letters telling them more than 200 of them will be dismissed Feb 1.
* Thirty eight textile companies have closed shop in Nigeria, just as government is yet to redeem its pledge to bailout the ailing sector, General Secretary of the National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) Comrade Issa Aremu has said.
* French car maker Renault (RENA.PA) said on Thursday it would cut a shift at its factory in Palencia, northern Spain, meaning 400 temporary workers would be laid off.
* Paragon Labels is reported to be cutting 50 jobs at plants across the UK as a result of falling demand and high raw material costs.
* Law firm Linklaters today announced plans to cut up to 270 UK jobs.
The company said it would launch a 90 day consultation with staff after which between 100 and 120 lawyers and 130 and 150 business support staff were expected to lose their jobs.
* BRUSSELS, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Belgian-French financial services group Dexia (DEXI.BR)(DEXI.PA) is set to announce 700-800 job cuts for this year and a sharp reduction of bonuses, Belgian daily De Standaard said on Thursday.
* A further 15 zavvi stores have been closed with immediate effect, leaving 48 stores remaining across the UK.
The closures see the loss of 295 jobs, said administrators from Ernst & Young.
As stock levels fall the administrators looked to cut costs by shutting the stores.
* More than 150 Sussex workers have been axed and almost 1,000 others will be forced to work a fourday week.
Vacuum equipment manufacturer Edwards, formerly BOC Edwards, said it plans to make up to 176 people redundant at its base in Shoreham as it shifts work to Korea to cut costs.
* London Underground has revealed it is to cut 1,000 jobs.
The firm said no front-line staff or Tube drivers would go but the cuts would come by cutting temporary and administrative posts.
* BASE metals miners Kagara and Panoramic Resources have revealed more than 230 additional job losses.
* While Frederick County Workforce Services has been “tremendously busy” helping the growing pool of job-seekers in the wake of increasing layoffs, a few employers — especially in health care, life sciences and security — are hiring, said director Laurie Holden.
“Believe it or not, there are still jobs out there,” Holden said. “There are just a lot more competition for those jobs.”
Holden’s agency held a job fair last week where employers including Frederick Memorial Hospital and e-EndUSA, a Frederick electronics recycling company, tried to find suitable candidates amid the roughly 300 job-seekers who attended. Employers also included Admiral Security Services, State Farm Insurance, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Cianbro and SAIC-Frederick.
Mike: Another day and another day of brutal layoff news. The abovelist tellsthe tale, so let’s end this evening with a laugh or two and hope that tomorrow brings better news……………
Obama pushes his $825 billion stimulus plan, and Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about Pluto.