Mike: Hello to all. Today is rather quiet for economic reports, but Thursday will bring us a new Jobless Claims number, which is expected to remain above 600,000.

Mike: Bill would require drug test for unemployment check – Local – Bradenton.com “All it says is that if you’re going to draw unemployment, you should be able to withstand a random drug test,” explained Bennett Monday. “I think it’s fair.”

The story illustrates how some lawmakers view the unemployed. They don’t see the unemployed as those who lost work through no fault of their own or because lawmakers let financial companies run roughshod over regulations; no, they see the unemployed as likely drug users. I think a better way to use those drug enforcement funds would be to test these lame, shallow legislative clowns for drugs. These guys get paid for racking up huge state budget deficits, allowing developers to overbuild (which led directly to the housing debacle), and ignoring financial crises until it’s too late to make a difference, yet they want to test the unemployed for drugs? When the unemployed are employed, they pay the salaries of these elected jokers and unemployment benefits are taxed, at least on the federal level. Many state’s unemployment funds are nearly bankrupt, so why not spend those drug test dollars on helping the unemployed and not making their lives even more miserable. Sure, there are some who may get high while on unemployment, but should everyone be subject to a drug test for collecting unemployment benefits?

Bennett has this on his resume: The runaway leader in committee fund-raising among senators is Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, whose Citizens for Housing & Urban Growth has raised more than $767,000 over three years.via State: Riding a soft money train.

Below are his top four contributors by industry. As you can see, Senator Bennett received his largest contributions for the real estate industry. Since Florida real estate became one of the biggest housing bubbles in the country, shouldn’t he be asked to take a drug test for letting that happen?

Real Estate $3,850
Hospitals & Nursing Homes $2,000
Gambling & Casinos $2,000
Lawyers & Lobbyists $1,384

Senator Bennett is proudly associated with the Florida Home Builders Association and received the Appreciation and Recognition Award, 2003. Shouldn’t Senator Bennett be the one taking the drug test for failing to see the emergence of the Florida housing bubble? Guys like this make a mockery of responsibility and justice. Senator Bennett finds it within him to spend time and resources bashing the unemployed, while kissing up to the real estate, gambling and legal lobbies. You can write the fine Senator at bennett.mike.web@flsenate.gov to give him your views. You now know mine.

bennett1* MANATEE — Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has filed a bill in the Florida Legislature that would require random drug testing for those who draw unemployment compensation benefits.

The bill would create a drug deterrence program in the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation, according to the bill, S.B. 2062.

“All it says is that if you’re going to draw unemployment, you should be able to withstand a random drug test,” explained Bennett Monday. “I think it’s fair.”

via Bill would require drug test for unemployment check – Local – Bradenton.com.

* Larger llayoff announcements and important economic reports:


Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

apple9* Rumors that Apple laid off 50 salespeople last week has created quite a stir online prompting the company’s PR to respond and deny the rumors. Meanwhile, CNET sources claim the layoffs are indeed true.

General Economic News

* For job seekers who think the odds are stacked against them: confirmation in the numbers came Tuesday.

The number of job openings this year is down a dramatic 31 percent from a year ago, according to a little-remarked survey issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

via Job openings drop 31 percent | ajc.com.

Mike Luckovich - Mar 10

Mike Luckovich - Mar 10

* Under the economic stimulus program, laid-off workers no longer have to pay the full cost of continuing coverage with their former employers. A government subsidy will reduce their share to 35 percent. Their former employers will pay 65 percent, which they will re coup with a federal tax credit.

via COBRA subsidy unleashes questions by laid-off workers, employers – Cleveland.com.

* NEW YORK — Amy VanDeventer has always been a cheapskate. The recession is taking her to new extremes.

Before the economy tanked, she was still wearing maternity clothes from her last pregnancy, clipping coupons and using hand-me-downs to dress her daughters, ages 2 and 3. Now, she’s salvaging bagel scraps left on their plates for pizza toppings and cutting lotion bottles in half so she can scrape out the last drops.

via CTV.ca | Tightwads stretch dollar even further amid recession.

Municipal News

Mike: There are likely to be thousands of municipal layoffs in the near future, but it will be difficult to keep up to the “proposed” or “planned” layoffs. In that regard, from now on I’m going to try and just post confirmed municipal layoffs.

calif* The Los Angeles Board of Education approved issuing preliminary layoff notices to about 9,000 employees Tuesday despite a large demonstration by the teachers union and some board members’ concerns over potential harm to educational quality.

* Two weeks after voting against mass layoff notices for teachers and school nurses, the Visalia Unified school board voted unanimously Tuesday to cut 71 nonteaching jobs.

School officials tried to soften the blow to employees with pledges to work with the labor union to keep people employed, but made no promises.

via Visalia Unified to cut 71 jobs – Local – fresnobee.com.

* Superintendent Steve Jennings said the layoff notices — which are being sent in response to a 2009-10 budget deficit estimated between $4.2 and $4.7 million — are a conservative response to the current economic situation.

via School district delivers 95 layoff notices | SierraSun.com.

* CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a 7-2 vote, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board decided to move forward with a plan to cut 456 teachers and 83 assistant principals on Tuesday night.

via Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools To Cut 456 Teachers – Charlotte News Story – WSOC Charlotte.

* Poudre School District will eliminate an unspecified number of classified employee positions to help cut the district’s 2009-10 budget.

via PSD to cut jobs | coloradoan.com | The Coloradoan,.

* Six school districts held board meetings Tuesday, and five of them decided to hand out layoff notices.

via 5 school districts approve layoffs | Bakersfield Now | Local & Regional News .

* PHELAN • The Snowline Joint Unified School District is issuing pink slips to 80 employees — an action that eliminates 18 percent of the district’s teaching faculty.

via Phelan school district lays off 80 | phelan, district, lays – Local News – Victorville Daily Press.

* With the state budget finally passed, the Gridley Unified School District sent out layoff notices to teachers and employees, reducing 7.8 full-time equivalent teaching positions. Some received layoff notices, while others will have a reduction of their hours.

via Gridley teachers receive layoff notices – Gridley, CA – Gridley Herald.

* SANTA ANA – The Santa Ana Unified School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to send out 530 layoff notices as officials work to erase a projected budget deficit caused by state budget cuts.

By law, school districts have until March 15 to notify teachers and other certificated employees in danger of losing their jobs for the next school year. Actual layoffs take place May 15. The county Department of Education estimates that more than 2,000 teachers could receive a layoff notice by March 15 as the county’s school districts struggle to overcome about $8.4 billion in cuts to education approved by Sacramento lawmakers last month.

via Santa Ana Unified to send out 530 pink slips | officials, school, teachers, district, employees – News – OCRegister.com.

* Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s administration today laid off 11 sheriff’s deputies to close a mushrooming budget gap caused by the economic downturn and required other sheriff’s employees to take three furlough days this year.

US and some Canada News

sony-pictures1* LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., the movie studio subsidiary of the Japanese electronics maker, is laying off nearly 250 people and eliminating nearly 100 open positions in an effort to cut costs.

via The Associated Press: Sony Pictures to cut nearly 350 jobs.

national-semiconductor* Faced with a steep decline in sales, chip maker National Semiconductor Corp. said Wednesday it will eliminate more than one-quarter of its work force, eliminating 1,725 jobs.

via National Semiconductor to cut 1,725 jobs – Forbes.com.

national-semiconductor1– National Semiconductor Corp. on Wednesday posted a lower third-quarter profit and announced plans to eliminate more than 1,600 jobs in an effort to cut expenses.

via National Semi posts lower profit, sets job cuts – MarketWatch .

* Officials would not comment on the matter or put a number on how many workers at the Dulles campus lost their jobs yesterday, but AOL has said that it has plans to reduce its domestic headcount by 700 people. More cuts may be on the way; the company intends to finish the current round of layoffs by the end of March.

* Sonus Networks Inc. on Tuesday said it would cut an additional 60 jobs, or about 6 percent of its work force.

via Sonus Networks announces additional job cuts – Forbes.com.

* Mercury General Corp. said it took action Monday to eliminate approximately 360 employee positions, around 7 percent of the insurance company’s workforce, a move it estimates should save an annual $22 million.

newspaper3* The paper has notified its roughly 170 employees that their jobs will end between March 18 and April 1, but said that it could shut down at any time.

via Seattle paper says workers told jobs will end | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

newspaper4* Faced with continuing declines in revenue, The Telegraph announced Tuesday it will eliminate 18 jobs and cut the wages of many remaining employees.

via Telegraph to cut pay, work force – Business – Macon.

newspaper5* Three dozen workers have notified The Buffalo News they will accept a buyout offer but the newspaper may still lay off another 21 employees in order to cut costs.

via 36 News’ workers take buyout; layoffs loom – Business First of Buffalo: .

newspaper6* Four South Carolina newspapers owned by McClatchy Co. have announced job and pay cuts this week, with The State of Columbia laying off 38, including three vice pres

via 4 more McClatchy papers in SC cut jobs, pay – Forbes.com.

newspaper7* The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet are cutting about 11 percent of their staffs and reducing employees’ pay because the recession has hurt the newspapers’ advertising revenue, publisher Sara Johnson Borton announced Tuesday.

via islandpacket.com | Island Packet, Beaufort Gazette to cut staff 11 percent.

newspaper8* MIAMI — The publisher of The Miami Herald says about 175 employees will lose their jobs as the newspaper cuts costs.

via Miami Herald to lose 175 employees as part of cost cutting | Gainesville.com | The Gainesville Sun | Gainesville, FL.

newspaper9* DUBUQUE – Woodward Communications, Inc., which is the parent company of the Telegraph Herald and East Dubuque Register, says it will eliminate 24 positions and re-structure several departments.

Lisa Benson  - Mar 11

Lisa Benson - Mar 11

* PHILLIPSBURG | Warren Hospital will lay off 24 employees and leave another 24 vacancies empty to conform to what hospital officials call a “comprehensive business plan.”

via Warren Hospital to cut 48 jobs as other Lehigh Valley hospitals feel economic pinch – lehighvalleylive.com.

* LEWISBURG — Fewer admissions and more charity cases are forcing Evangelical Community Hospital to cut the equivalent of 28 full-time positions, officials announced Tuesday.

via The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA – Evangelical slashes 28 jobs.

* Last year, Premier Shawn Graham said 25 per cent of the civil service will be eligible for retirement over the next five years. He said that gave government an opportunity to downsize without layoffs.

The government has said it won’t cut the civil service by 25 per cent in the budget, but hasn’t been more specific than that.

via dailygleaner.com – Hundreds of jobs to be cut – Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada.

* Twenty-two Ohio State University Extension employees who work in counties across the state lost their jobs last week, with more staff cuts expected soon.

via The Columbus Dispatch : OSU Extension slashes 22 jobs as state lowers its contribution.

* DES MOINES, Iowa – Principal Financial Group has announced that it will cut 60 positions in its health business, including 20 positions in its Des Moines headquarters.

via Principal Financial Group announces layoffs –– chicagotribune.com.

* Spuncast Inc. has informed state officials that it has laid off 13 more workers from the company’s Watertown plant because of a continuing downturn in business.

via Spuncast adds to layoffs – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .

gavel8* The law firm layoffs tally since Feb. 27 topped 2,500 today, with news that Venable is eliminating 16 attorneys, five paralegals and 43 staff members.

via Venable Cuts 16 Attorneys and 48 Staff; 11-Day Legal Layoffs Tally Tops 2,500 | ABA Journal – Law News Now.

* Armstrong World Industries has announced it is shutting down production at its Mobile plant in May. 172 jobs will be lost.

via Mobile Company Announces Layoffs – Alabama Mobile Economy Jobs – WKRG.com.

* WEATHERSFIELD — RTI Niles has eliminated the jobs of nearly 20 salaried workers because of slow sales.

via Vindy.com Local News Youngstown, Warren, Columbiana Ohio -Slow sales force elimination of salaried jobs at RTI Niles.

alcoa1* The Alcoa Howmet plant in Wichita Falls announced Tuesday that it plans to lay off 150 employees next month.

“We communicated yesterday to our workforce that approximately 150 hourly employees may be affected by layoffs scheduled for early or Mid-April,” said Human Resources Manager Jim Ingalls in a prepared statement.

via Howmet announces more layoffs : Local : Times Record News.

* Maine’s largest wildlife conservation organization is cutting jobs and reorganizing in a bid “to fit challenging economic times.” The organization says it will eliminate 12 positions by September from its pool of 60 full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees.

via Maine Audubon Announces Layoffs, Reorganization – 3/10/09 10:57 AM EST.

toro* The Toro Company in Tomah made the announcement Tuesday (March 10) and says the 235 people will be out of a job by April 20. Toro says the global recession makes it hard to say when the employees could return to work, but hopes to have them return between June and August. Toro says the employees will get extended health insurance coverage and be able to use the company’s employee assistance program.

via Company Announces Layoffs for 235 People / .

* Employees at the theme park tell us the number of people let go in recent weeks is in the hundreds. However, Disney would not confirm the layoff numbers, saying only that those figures are speculative.

* While he did not provide an exact number, Crisman said that since the layoffs began a few months ago, the company — formerly known as InterfaceFABRIC Inc. and Guilford of Maine — has reduced combined employment at its three Maine plants from about 650 to between 450 and 500.

via True Textiles hit with another round of layoffs – Bangor Daily News.

* The world’s largest grower and seller of carrots — Wm. Bolthouse Farms Inc. of Bakersfield – has told state officials that it expects to lay off 93 workers by the end of March.

drake* Almost 50 employees at the Drake Center and University Hospital will be laid off, the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati said Tuesday.

via Drake, University laying off 50 | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com.

Mike: Hat tip to reader Noel for the following information. It’s difficult to keep up with all the layoff announcements, so please pass them along and I’ll be sure to post them.

* WHEELING – Employees at Severstal Wheeling Inc. learned Monday the temporary idling of the arc furnace at Mingo Junction is imminent.

Ken Aspenleiter, president of United Steelworkers Local 1190, said Severstal’s caster, electric arc furnace, and the 80-inch hot strip mill would be idled for an indefinite period by the end of March because of a lack of orders resulting from the global economic downturn.

“They said it would be temporary and that the minute a turnaround begins, we would be ready for a startup immediately,” he said.

The shutdowns will occur in an orderly manner to allow the equipment to be maintained and restarted as efficiently as possible when business picks back up.

Aspenleiter said because of that it wasn’t determined how many workers would be laid off, with maintenance and fire watch crews to remain employed.

via Electric Arc Furnace Idle At End of Month – News, Sports, Jobs – The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register.

fleetwood2* Fleetwood Enterprises became the latest recreational vehicle manufacturer to scale back on Monday, announcing plans to shutter two plants in Eastern Oregon that employ a total of 415 people.

via Oregon trailer maker closing two plants, cuts 415 jobs – OregonLive.com.

* About 80 workers at a pair of Windsor parts suppliers are out of work after the companies abruptly closed their doors Tuesday.

Employees of Aradco Management ULC and Aramco Management ULC, both owned by U.S.-based Catalina Precision Products, were called at home Monday evening and told not to report to work for their scheduled Tuesday shifts, according to Gerry Farnham, president of Canadian Auto Workers union Local 195 which represents the workers.

via Doors close abruptly at 2 plants .

pepsi* The soft drinks Pepsi-Cola and Mountain Dew will no longer be bottled in Columbus, and 66 employees are losing their jobs because of that by late April.

via Ledger-Enquirer.com | 03/10/2009 | Pepsi bottler closing plant in Columbus, 66 to lose jobs .

belo-corp* Television broadcasting company Belo Corp., the parent company of San Antonio’s KENS Channel 5, said Wednesday the company will be cutting 150 positions companywide, suspending the company’s 401(k) matching contributions for all employees and reducing the salaries of employees who are part of the management compensation programs by 5 percent.

via Belo Corp. to cut 150 jobs – San Antonio Business Journal: .

* Advertising agency Arnold Worldwide will cut about 40 employees, or about 7 percent of its staff, and scale back pay for most of its senior staffers this week due to the continued slumping economy, according to sources at the company.

via Arnold cuts 40 jobs, scales back salaries – Boston Business Journal:

* ATLANTA (AP) – The Grady Health System is cutting 150 positions.

Hospital officials said Wednesday the cuts do not include key medical or patient care positions and are necessary amid the worsening economy, funding cuts and rising number of uninsured patients.

via WRCB Channel 3 Chattanooga News, Weather | Grady Health System forced to cut 150 jobs.

a-air* American Airlines, struggling with a slump in travel, will lay off 323 flight attendants on April 1, according to one of its unions.

via Union says American to lay off 323 next month – Forbes.com.

dell1* FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — The Dell plant located in southern Forsyth County that opened in 2005 is laying off 300 workers, a source confirmed to WXII Wednesday.

via Source: 300 Laid Off At Forsyth County Dell Plant – Money News Story – WXII The Triad.

dell3* Dell (NSDQ:Dell) has confirmed rumors that it will cull hundreds of workers from its payroll this week.

A spokesperson for the No.2 computer maker told The Austin American-Statesman that the cuts began Wednesday at Dell’s factories in Central Texas and North Carolina.

via Dell Sounds Knell For Hundreds Of Employees – Hardware – IT Channel News by CRN and VARBusiness.

* The merger of two area trucking terminals operated by Roadway and Yellow Transportation has resulted in about 70 layoffs.

via 70 laid off in merger of truckers : Business : The Buffalo News.

* Ada — Holcim and Flex-N-Gate, two major employers in the Ada area, were recently forced to go through a reduction in force due to economic circumstances.

via AdaEveningNews.com – Ada, Oklahoma – Major Ada employers reduce workforce.

siemens* URBANA — Officials at Seimens Energy and Automation said they plan to close their Urbana facility one year earlier than expected, a move that will lead to the loss of 174 jobs this summer.

via Siemens to close Urbana facility, cut 174 jobs.

* Automotive supplier Bourns Inc. said Wednesday that it will close its Janesville plant in 12 to 18 months, a move that will put 148 employees out of work.

via Bourns closing Janesville plant – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .

* MOBILE, Ala. — Armstrong World Industries Inc. will lay off 172 workers and indefinitely idle its Mobile ceiling tile plant on May 8, saying slowing commercial construction worldwide forced it to cut capacity.

via Armstrong to idle Mobile plant, lay off 170-plus workers in May – Breaking News from the Press-Register – al.com.

* Niles America Wintech: The maker of switches for cars will lay off at least 150 workers during the next few months, cutting from 224 employees down to about 50.

GECOM Corp.: The manufacturer of door locks, latches and lift-gate systems will relocate its Winchester operations to Frankfort or Greensburg, Ind., and close the facility in April or May. The Winchester plant employs 168.

Ainak Inc: The company makes rubber and plastic parts, metal stampings, hose assemblies and foam. It will go from 123 full-time and 14 temporary employees to 33.

via Winchester plants to cut 450 jobs – Local – Kentucky.com.

* A company spokesperson says about 180 jobs will be eliminated. Wilton Products, Inc.,

International News

* “We are developing an action plan to reduce our U.S. costs,” chief executive Alexei Mordashov said during a conference call. He said 9,000-9,500 jobs may be cut at Cherepovets.

via Severstal to cut costs at U.S. ops, jobs in Russia | Deals | Regulatory News | Reuters .

continental-ag* March 11 (Bloomberg) — Continental AG, Europe’s second- biggest auto-parts manufacturer, plans to eliminate at least 1,900 jobs by the end of March 2010 and reduce tiremaking in the region because of falling vehicle sales.

* British precision engineer Renishaw Plc (RSW.L) warned of an operating loss for the second half as monthly sales continued to fall and said it would cut 500 jobs globally to reduce costs, sending its shares down 25 percent.

via UPDATE 1-Renishaw warns of H2 loss, to cut 500 jobs | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .

* Flextronics International Ltd (FLEX.O), the Singapore-based contract electronics manufacturer, said on Tuesday it is cutting jobs and closing facilities to cope with a weaker global economy.

via UPDATE 1-Flextronics to cut jobs, close facilities | Industries | Technology, Media & Telecommunications | Reuters .

* A Sony Australia spokeswoman said that the company would announce details of the changes to its sales division next week and confirmed that some staff would be made redundant as a result of the changes.

via Sony Australia to cut jobs | Australian IT.

* LONDON — Japanese carmaker Toyota said Wednesday it will cut pay and production by 10 percent at its British plants, for one year starting from April 1, to cut costs while avoiding layoffs.

via Toyota to cut UK production and wages by 10 pct | Business news | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

* Teachers are in danger of losing their jobs in roughly one third of Sweden’s 290 municipalities, a sign that the weak economy is now set to take its toll on the country’s schools.

via Layoffs hit Sweden’s schools – The Local.

* UK engineering firm Renishaw is slashing 500 jobs worldwide, weeks after asking its staff to agree to a 20% pay cut.

via Engineering firm Renishaw cuts 500 jobs despite pay cut | Business | guardian.co.uk .

* Britain’s Imperial Tobacco Group Plc’s (IMT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) Altadis unit said on Wednesday that it had agreed with unions to cut up to 780 jobs in Spain.

via Altadis agrees 780 job cuts in Spain with unions | Industries | Consumer Products & Retail | Reuters .

* The Guardian Media Group is making significant cuts at its Surrey and Berkshire regional newspapers, with 95 jobs, four offices and two newspapers set to go.

via Two closures and 95 jobs axed at GMG south regionals – Press Gazette.

* March 11 (Bloomberg) — Aveng Ltd., South Africa’s second- largest construction company, forecast a fall in second-half profit and said it has cut as many as 450 jobs after losing mining contracts.

via Aveng Forecasts Fall in Profit, Has Cut 450 Mine Jobs (Update2) – Bloomberg.com .

* Korn/Ferry – The company provided fourth-quarter revenue outlook, below the consensus, and also said it would cut more jobs and consolidate premises in an effort to align its cost structure.

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

* Accountants Deloitte today said that it is seeking 70 voluntary redundancies from its workforce of 1,200 in Dublin, Cork and Limerick. This is about 6% of its staff.

Hiring News

* Lt. Governor Lee Fisher announced 430 new jobs were coming back to the Wilmington Air Park.

via Lt. Gov. Fisher announces up to 430 new jobs in Wilmington Air Park | Buckeye State Blog.

* This is the type of news we can expect to hear more of over the next few years as the Green Tech industry kicks into overdrive. Greentech Manufacturing (aptly named), has announced plans for the construction of a new eco-friendly construction plant in Douglas, Georgia that will employ 320 people.

via GreenTech Manufacturing Bringing 320 Jobs To Georgia.

* Hewlett Packard(HPQ Quote – Cramer on HPQ – Stock Picks) plans to create 500 jobs in Ireland over the next 12 months as the tech firm boosts its lucrative services business.

Mike: Another busy day for layoff announcements and the pace quickened this afternoon. Dell is slashing jobs and the full announcement should be available tomorrow. Thursday will also bring the much anticipated jobless claims number for last week. Till then………………….

Mike: I used to enjoy listening to the rantings of Jim Cramer, but he has turned into a psychopathic liar and doesn’t even seem to mind being seen as one. Jim, f you are wrong, admit it, if you are right, pat yourself on the back, but don’t lie and pat yourself on the back. Enjoy……

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Steve Kelley - Mar 11

Steve Kelley - Mar 11



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