Mike: The news of today will be Obama signing the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. I’ll post linksto the final versions of the bill and grab some lines form the legislation that are job related. Let’s see some of the highlights of this $800 billion dollar baby:
* Money for jobs:
  • Prevents teacher layoffs and other cutbacks in education and other key services, by establishing a $53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund.
  • Provides $27.5 billion for modernizing roads and bridges. This investment creates jobs in the short term while saving commuters time and money in the long term. States have over 6,100 projects totaling over $64 billion that could be under contract within 180 days.
  • Provides $8.4 billion for investments in transit and $8 billion for investment in high-speed rail.  States have 787 ready-to-go transit projects totaling about $16 billion.
  • Provides $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments.
  • Provides billions to modernize federal and other public infrastructure.
* Additional unemployment benefits:
  • Continues through December 2009 the extended unemployment benefits program (which provides up to 33 weeks of extended benefits) that is otherwise scheduled to begin to phase out at the end of March 2009 – thereby helping an additional 3.5 million jobless workers.
  • Increases unemployment benefits for 20 million jobless workers by $25 per week, and encourages states to modernize their UI systems to keep up with the changing workforce with expanded coverage.
  • Temporary suspension of federal income tax on the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits received in 2009. 

* Some links to the details:

Mike: The following gives a break down of the COBRA benifits package in the stimulus bill:
* — The subsidy will pay 65% of your monthly COBRA bill directly to the employer (in the form of a payroll tax credit) once you have paid 35% of the bill. If you did not elect to continue your insurance coverage under COBRA — say, because the bill was too steep — your former employer is now required to give you another chance to sign up. If you did elect to buy the COBRA insurance and have been paying the full cost of the insurance, the subsidy is retroactive to Sept. 30, 2008. Your former employer must give you that subsidy either as a credit toward future COBRA payments, or as an outright refund if you are no longer enrolled (this retroactive provision is new to the bill and had not been anticipated in any earlier version of the measure).

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


ibm8* Some of the workers being let go by IBM in the U.S. and Canada have a chance to remain with the company — if they’re willing to move to Brazil, India, China or a dozen other lower-wage countries. But the expatriate employees would likely be paid at local salary rates.


General Economic News


* Japan’s economy, the second-largest in the world after that of the United States, shrank at an annual rate of 12.7% in the final three months of last year, the government said Monday. It was the biggest contraction since a surge in worldwide oil prices precipitated an economic crisis in 1974.

via Japanese downturn is worst in 35 years – Los Angeles Times.



Mike Luckovich - Feb 15

Mike Luckovich - Feb 15


gm15chrysler1* As General Motors and Chrysler race to submit plans for assuring their long-term viability, President Barack Obama’s decision to make his top economic advisers responsible for the multibillion-dollar auto bailouts demonstrates how high the stakes have become—for Detroit, for Washington and for the nation’s economy.

via GM, Chrysler race to submit viability plans — chicagotribune.com.


* NEW YORK (Reuters) – The severe U.S. factory slump appeared to be getting even worse this month while sentiment among home builders shows few signs of recovering after the bursting of the housing bubble, data showed on Tuesday.

U.S. homebuilder sentiment held near all-time lows in February, suggesting sales of new single-family homes would be meager as long as mortgage foreclosures flood the market, the National Association of Home Builders said.

Factory activity in New York State fell to a record low in February, the New York Federal Reserve said, with new orders and employment falling sharply as the U.S. recession deepened.

The New York survey suggested that January’s minor halt in the worsening of factory data was an aberration rather than a signal of recovery that would also bring about a rebound in the economy.

via U.S. housing and factories grim in February – Yahoo! Finance.


* If JetBlue customers book a flight between Feb. 1 and June 1 this year and loses their jobs on or after today, they could be eligible for a full refund if they notify the airline at least two weeks before the trip.


Municipal News


Mike: The stimulus package may not be coming soon enough to save California from collapse:

* LOS ANGELES — The state of California — its deficits ballooning, its lawmakers intransigent and its governor apparently bereft of allies or influence — appears headed off the fiscal rails.

Darrell Steinberg, left, the State Senate president pro tempore, conferring Monday with his Democratic colleagues.

Since the fall, when lawmakers began trying to attack the gaps in the $143 billion budget that their earlier plan had not addressed, the state has fallen into deeper financial straits, with more bad news coming daily from Sacramento. The state, nearly out of cash, has laid off scores of workers and put hundreds more on unpaid furloughs. It has stopped paying counties and issuing income tax refunds and halted thousands of infrastructure projects.

via California Lawmakers Struggle to Strike Budget Deal – NYTimes.com.




* LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – California, which is on the brink of running out of cash, will notify 20,000 state workers on Tuesday their jobs may be eliminated, a spokesman for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Monday.

The announcement came a day after California lawmakers narrowly failed to pass a $40 billion budget that would have plugged the state’s deficit with a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts.

via With no budget, California to cut 20,000 state jobs | Politics | Reuters .


Two Fostoria firefighters will be laid off by the end of this month, as city officials continue to reduce their 2009 budget.

via 1330 WFIN News with Tom Sheldon and Scott Jennings – Findlay Ohio.


* After certain votes, there were cheers — and tears — of joy. After others, just a sense of dull pain as the 80-plus teachers and employees in the crowd whispered to one another, confirming that it was a friend or colleague that had just been cut.

via Atwater Elementary School District board cuts 49 jobs – atwater – Merced Sun-Star.


* WEST WARWICK, R.I.—The West Warwick School Committee is expecting to send layoff notices to more than half of the district’s 360 teachers.

via 188 teachers to get pink slips | turnto10.com.


* Plano Independent School District board members plan to eliminate more than 150 teaching jobs in an attempt to offset a budget shortfall.

via Plano to Cut More Than 150 Teaching Jobs | NBC Dallas-Fort Worth


* GRAND HAVEN — The painful downturn in auto sales is hitting auto supplier Shape Corp., leading to its first-ever cut of 230 hourly and white-collar employees.

via Confirmed: 230 jobs at Shape Corp. in Grand Haven eliminated today – West Michigan Business News – MLive.com.


* YOUNGSTOWN — The layoff of 11 workers from the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center means longer waits for counseling appointments, reduced services for youth in detention and the absence of a receptionist, said Judge Theresa Dellick of the juvenile court.


US and some Canada News


gm17* DETROIT: General Motors Corp., presenting a dire outlook for the future, said Tuesday it may need $30 billion in total government financing to weather the economic downturn and would cut 47,000 jobs worldwide and shutter five more U.S. factories in a massive restructuring plan.

via GM seeks up to $30B in aid, will cut 47,000 jobs – International Herald Tribune.


gm18* Beating the deadline, General Motors tells the government it needs up to $16.6 billion more in taxpayer aid, boosting its federal lifeline to around $30 billion. Detroit’s biggest automaker says it needs $2 billion by March to avoid bankruptcy.

In return, GM plans to cut 47,000 jobs worldwide and close five more U.S. plants, bringing the total to 14 over the next three years. If its plan works, it believes it will break even by 2012.

via GM wants extra $16.6B; will cut 47,000 jobs, close 5 more U.S. plants – On Deadline – USATODAY.com.


chrysler2* Chrysler LLC said Tuesday it plans to slash an additional 3,000 jobs, discontinue the manufacturing of three vehicle models and cut $700 million in costs this year in exchange for another $2 billion in federal loans.

via Chrysler to cut 3,000 more jobs – St. Louis Business Journal: .


chrysler3* Chrysler, the troubled US car manufacturer, has said it intends to cut 3,000 jobs and will seek an additional $5bn from a US government bailout as it fights for its survival.


smithfield* SMITHFIELD, Va. (AP) — Smithfield Foods say it plans to cut 1,800 jobs and close six factories as part of a restructuring.


lennox* Lennox Industries announced Monday a reduction in its work force at its Stuttgart plant that makes air conditioning units.

Effective immediately. 242 hourly employees and 14 salaried employees have been laid off, according to a company statement,

via Lennox Lays Off 256 Workers at Stuttgart Plant – ArkansasBusiness.com .


* OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – An Omaha company has eliminated 43 jobs and plans to cut hours for about 800 workers.

A Lozier Corp. spokeswoman says production-line workers at the Omaha plant will work 32-hour weeks instead of 40.

via NTV – KHGI/KWNB/WSWS-CA – Where your news comes first. – Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings, Lincoln | Lozier announces job cuts at Omaha, Neb., plant.


* “The likelihood will be layoffs. There’s a sense of panic among people at the moment,” said Paddy Musson, the local union president who represents more than 650 full- and part-time teachers, counsellors and librarians. “This is truly a shock.”

via London Free Press – News- Fanshawe shortfall sparks layoff fears.


* Howmet has now laid off six more workers –– and this time, all of those laid off were salaried employees.

via Howmet Lays Off Six More Workers.


bridgestone* NORMAL — More Twin City workers will be out of a job next month, additional victims of a sliding economy.

Bridgestone Firestone Off Road Tire in Normal will lay off 67 hourly workers, effective March 1. Nashville, Tenn.-based parent company Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, formerly Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, announced the decision Monday.

via Pantagraph.com | News | Bridgestone to lay off 67 at Normal tire plant.


* Faced with rising cancellations of group meetings and lower occupancy rates, the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine laid off 30 full-time employees Monday.

via Gaylord Texan lays off 30 employees | Business | Star-Telegram.com.


louisiana-pacific1* Louisiana-Pacific Corp. said Monday that it will curtail production indefinitely at its laminated veneer lumber mill here, resulting in the layoff of 91 employees.

via Louisiana-Pacific plans to cut 91 jobs in Wilmington | StarNewsOnline.com | Star-News | Wilmington, NC.


* Sunwest Management Inc. is laying off 25 employees from its Salem home office, the company announced Monday.

via Sunwest to cut 25 Salem jobs | StatesmanJournal.com | Statesman Journal.


* On the heels of losing a major client and weathering a tough economic climate, Sullivan Higdon & Sink has laid off workers.

Managing partner Sam Williams won’t say how many employees were affected.

via SHS lays off staff | Business Updates | Kansas.com.


* Room & Board, Edina, Minn., whose sales have fallen 30 percent since last year, laid off 116 people, around 18 percent of its workforce, according to a report on Friday in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.

via Furniture Retailer Room & Board Lays Off 116 People, or 18 Percent of Workforce : Home Furnishings Business.


* Scotch Lumber Co. became the third southwest Alabama sawmill to announce a shutdown in the last two weeks, saying today it would lay off 100 workers.

via Scotch Lumber to lay off 100; indefinitely close sawmill in Fulton, Ala. – Breaking News from the Press-Register – al.com.


* MARION, Iowa – Marion-based multinational consulting company Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. says it will cut 78 jobs by

via Marion consulting company to cut 78 jobs — chicagotribune.com.


gaylord-entertainment* Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment Co. told its employees Monday that it would lay off 350 positions throughout the company, about 3.5 percent of its total work force.

via Gaylord to cut 350 jobs – Nashville Business Journal: .


camtek* Camtek Ltd. (CAMT: News ), a manufacturer of automatic optical inspection systems and related products, Tuesday said it is implementing additional reduction of its global work force by 68 employees.

via RTTNews – Latest Earnings,Upcoming Earnings, 


cumulus-media1* Cumulus Broadcasting, which operates six Lexington radio stations, has announced a second restructuring that will look to cut more than 250 jobs in its markets.

via Cumulus Broadcasting to cut more than 250 jobs – Daily Business Report – Kentucky.com.


butterball* Butterball LLC of Garner, N.C., has announced it will cut about 150 positions at its Huntsville facility.  

via Butterball Laying Off 150 at Huntsville Plant – ArkansasBusiness.com .


ovonic-energy* Ovonic Energy Products LLC said the decline in auto sales, particularly for General Motors products, means it won’t be able to recall laid-off employees as planned.

via Layoffs to continue at Ovonic Energy – Business Courier of Cincinnati: .


fossil1* Fossil Inc. reported a 13 percent decline in fourth-quarter earnings largely due to a stronger U.S. dollar and forecast lower 2009 results.

To cut costs, the Richardson-based watch and accessories maker, is eliminating about 260 positions, or 4 percent of its employee base, while all executive officers and senior vice presidents are taking a pay cut, the company said Tuesday.

via Fossil to cut jobs, salaries after earnings drop | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News |


* One of Greater Baltimore’s largest home builders plans to lay off nearly 60 people this spring in response to the sagging housing market, adding to the mounting number of layoffs across the region. Maryland’s unemployment rate in December reached 5.8 percent, a 15-year high.

via Winchester Homes, Federal Reserve cutting Maryland jobs – Baltimore Business Journal: .


acco-brands* Acco Brands Corp (ABD.N) will cut salaries across the board and may reduce more jobs due to falling sales in a tough economy, the office supply products maker said in a regulatory filing.

via UPDATE 1-Acco Brands cuts salaries, plans more job cuts | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


weyerh1* About 20 employees at Edson’s Weyerhaeuser mill will be laid off at the beginning of March after the company announced last week it would adopt a “reduced operating posture” to accommodate sluggish demand.

via 20 jobs cut at Weyerhaeuser mill – Edson Leader – Alberta, CA .


abx-air* ABX Air Inc. is cutting 347 more employees at the Wilmington Air Park in southwest Ohio, bringing total job cuts for the company to more than 2,400 over the past six months.

via ABX cuts 347 more jobs in Wilmington – Business First of Columbus: .


johnson-controls* Officials at the Johnson Controls Inc. facility in Norman on Monday confirmed it cut about 80 employees Friday in response to dwindling demand for its products.

via Norman’s Johnson Controls cuts 80 jobs amid slowdown | NewsOK.com.


miniature-precision-components* Miniature Precision Components Inc. of Walworth has informed state officials of its intention to lay off 100 more employees from its plant in Prairie du Chien.

via MPC laying off 100 more in Prairie du Chien – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .


* Emanuel Medical Center is going through tough times, but is committed to assisting employees affected by the reduction in as many ways as possible.

According to Vandeveer, a total of 20 people have been eliminated. “Despite this reduction in workforce, Emanuel Medical Center continues to operate at the nationally recognized nurse-to-patient ratio, ensuring the same level of quality healthcare the community has come to expect from EMC,” said Vandeveer.

via The Forest Blade > Archives > News > Reduction in workforce at Emanuel Medical.


* Broken Arrow-based RL Hudson, a designer and supplier of molded rubber and plastic components, is reducing its workforce by 20 positions — 17 at its headquarters location here and three at its sales and distribution center in Greer, S.C.

via Broken Arrow Ledger – Broken Arrow, Oklahoma – Neighbor Newspapers > News > Hudson trims workforce.


* RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — A spokesman at Ramtex, Inc. said Tuesday the company’s losses have doubled in the past year, prompting the closure of its textile plant in Ramseur and 205 workers being laid off.

via Randolph County Textile Plant Closing; 205 Jobs Cut – Money News Story – WXII The Triad.


* BISMARCK, N.D. — Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and three sister utilities plan to consolidate five call centers into two, sell an office building in Seattle, do away with customer walk-in traffic and cut about 130 jobs in eight states over the next nine months.

via Casper Star-Tribune Online – Breaking.


* Despite buyouts in December meant to avoid layoffs, Windsor Locks-based Hamilton Sundstrand today cut 47 hourly jobs from its payroll, according to a union official.

via Journal Inquirer > Business > 47 jobs gone in WL.


* PLAQUEMINE — The owner of financially troubled River West Medical Center has laid off about half of  the hospital’s staff  in a cost-cutting move he says is aimed at keeping the hospital  open for business.

via 2theadvocate.com | News | Half of hospital staff laid off — Baton Rouge, LA.


* ALLENDALE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Nicholas Plastics has given notice to Allendale Township that it will be permanently closing its entire facility.

The closure will result in the permanent layoffs of all 103 employees at the facility on 48th Avenue.

via Nicholas Plastics closing, 103 to be laid off | plastics, allendale, closing – Top Stories – WWMT NEWSCHANNEL 3.


* GOSHEN –– Dutchmen laid off about 100 workers Friday, a company official confirmed.

The move leaves about 600 people working for Dutchmen in five plants in Goshen and Middlebury.

via Dutchmen confirms 100 laid off Friday | WSBT South Bend – Your Local News Leader | Local News .



agilent* Agilent Technologies Inc. (A) said it will cut 600 jobs, or about 3% of its work force, as it reported fiscal first-quarter net income dropped 47% on lower sales because of the recession.

via Agilent Technologies To Cut 600 Jobs; 1Q Net Down 47%.


* Modine Manufacturing Co.

Further, the company is mulling a 30% reduction in global senior leadership, a 25% workforce reduction in its headquarters, with a comparable reduction planned in its European headquarters, apart from other measures like reduction in manufacturing overhead and suspension of quarterly cash dividend.

via RTTNews – Breaking News, financial breaking News, Positive EPS Surprises, Stock research …. .


They were among 17 job cuts that the shoemaker said will save $2.5 million annually. The staff reductions became effective Feb. 16, the day they were announced.

via San Diego Business Journal Online – business news for San Diego, California .


* SANTA ANA: The day before it announces its fourth-quarter results, Ingram Micro has cut 300 people, or approximately 8 percent, of its North American workforce.

via [ Integrated mar.com ].


triumph-apparelTriumph Apparel Corporation’s closing of its York County facilities will result in the loss of 226 jobs, the company said in a letter made public Tuesday.



International News


rr-donnelleyRR Donnelley will phase out 477 jobs over the next nine months as it closes a former Banta operation established to service computer maker Dell, say reports in the Irish Times and Limerick Leader newspapers.

via Donnelley Closing Banta Ireland Plant – 2/16/2009 7:22:00 AM – Graphic Arts Online.


gm16* Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp., the biggest U.S. carmaker, may close or sell as many as four plants under a spending-reduction drive in Europe as it tries to meet U.S. government-aid terms, a person familiar with the plans said.

via Bloomberg.com: Europe.


* THIRTY workers are to be made redundant at Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminium plant at Bell Bay.

General manager John Lemberg said that the aluminium price had dropped by 70 per cent.

via Rio Tinto cuts Tassie jobs Tasmania News – The Mercury – The Voice of Tasmania.


* Kibbutz Maagan Michael-controlled Plasson Industries Ltd. (TASE: PLSN) has laid off 70 of its 1,500 employees, amounting to 4% of its global workforce. Most of the laid off employees are in Israel, including salaried employees and kibbutz members.

via Plasson lays off 70.


virgin-blue* VIRGIN Blue will lose up to 400 jobs as the airline continues to battle the worsening effects of the global economic crisis.

via Virgin Blue to cut up to 400 jobs | Business Breaking News | News.com.au.


* Truck maker DAF is to scrap 400 jobs in Eindhoven in June when it has used up the full 24 weeks government period which allows firms in financial difficulty to reduce employees’ working hours, news agency ANP reports on Tuesday.

via DutchNews.nl – DAF to scrap 400 jobs in Holland.


* Leeds City Council has announced plans to cut about 650 jobs over the next year.

via Leeds council plans to cut 650 jobs.


* Up to 650 jobs – more than a third of its workforce – are to be cut at cross-Channel ferry operator SeaFrance, it was announced on Tuesday afternoon.

via 650 jobs to be cut at SeaFrance | KentOnline| News.


gm13* GM Thailand is slashing 790 jobs as it has found the temporary leave scheme with a 75% monthly pay to its production staff, which expired last month, not good enough to stop the company from bleeding financially.


lenovo* Update: China’s top personal computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. (SEHK: 0992) clinches its plan for cutting jobs in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, brewing to lay off about 550 employees there.

via LNVGY Lenovo to Cut 550 Jobs in Europe, Middle East, Africa.


* PERTH – More than 300 jobs will be lost when the world’s largest nickel producer, Russia’s Norilsk Nickel, suspends its two nickel operations in Western Australia.

via 330 jobs to go with Norilsk suspending WA mines – Business – BrisbaneTimes.


* Bangalore, Feb. 17 In what could turn out to be one of the largest retrenchments in the Indian auto sector, global auto parts major Federal-Mogul Corporation is undertaking a massive lay-off in one of its key plants in the country.

via The Hindu Business Line : Federal-Mogul to lay off 600 workers at Bangalore plant .


* Building products and sugar maker CSR Ltd has axed 539 jobs and cut its full year profit guidance owing to a faster than expected deterioration in Australian and New Zealand building markets.

via Business Spectator – CSR cuts 539 staff, lowers guidance to maximum $140m.


Atlantis, the Dubai luxury hotel on a palm-shaped island, has cut 70 staff  three months after a star-studded grand opening of the $1.5 billion mega-resort.

via Trade Arabia – Middle East business information | Trade news portal .


* Aussie IT services firm SMS Technology and Management today revealed it had shed 167 staff between June 2008 and the end of the calendar year.



Hiring News



Dilbert - Feb 16

Dilbert - Feb 16

Let’s end the day with a little humor from a Daily Show classic………….


[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.784834&w=425&h=350&fv=autoPlay%3Dfalse]

more about “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Offic…“, posted with vodpod




Mike: The day was especially busy for the smaller layoffs, but Chrysler hit it hard at the end of the day with its announcement of 3000 layoffs. Wednesday and Thursday seem to be th ebusiest days for layoffs, so hold on for the ride……………..

Take a look at http://alphainventions.com/ to see a wide variety of blogs that may be worth a visit.


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