Mike: Good day to all. Today’s big news comes from the labor department at 8:30 and that is the Jobless Claims number, and here it is:

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Signaling persistent labor market weakness, the number of workers filing initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 654,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The smoothed average of new claims over the past four weeks rose 6,750 to 650,000 — the highest level since October 1982. The number of people receiving unemployment checks in the week ending Feb. 28 rose 193,000 to a record 5.32 million. The four-week average of these ongoing claims increased 124,250 to 5.14 million, also a record high level.

via U.S. weekly initial jobless claims rise 9,000 to 654,000 – MarketWatch .


Mike: There are some locations where the recession is more like a depression. During the 1930s, the depression jobless rate was about 20%:

Marion County has the second highest unemployment rate in the state. The 22 percent unemployment doesn’t even factor in recent layoffs at the Beneteau boat plant and the closing of US components.

According to unemployment officials, this is the highest unemployment rate Marion County’s seen in 19 years.

via Unemployment tops 22 percent in Marion County : News : WPDE .


Steve Kelley - Mar 12

Steve Kelley - Mar 12

* Larger llayoff announcements and important economic reports:



Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


apple12* The Apple rumor mill is running amok these days. Inside sources tell all about Apple layoffs and of a mysterious Apple device in the works, likely a large iPod Touch, rumored to hit the market this fall. (As always, there isn’t a peep of confirmation out of Cupertino.)

apple11* It’s hard to make sense of the conflicting reports of recent layoffs at Apple (AAPL). Valleywag’s gossip editor in two separate posts said as many as 50 employees were laid off here and there.

General Economic News


Jobless Claims
8:30 AM ET

* WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose 9,000 last week and so-called continued claims notched a fresh record as a year-long U.S. recession continued to slam the labor market, data on Thursday showed.

Retail Sales
8:30 AM ET
* March 12 (Bloomberg) — Sales at U.S. retailers in February fell less than forecast and January’s gain was almost double the previous estimate, indicating the biggest part of the economy may be starting to stabilize.

The 0.1 percent decrease reflected a slump in demand for cars and followed a revised 1.8 percent jump in January, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Purchases excluding automobiles unexpectedly climbed 0.7 percent.

via February Retail Sales in U.S. Decreased Less Than Forecast – Bloomberg.com .

* WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories fell 1.1 percent in January, a government report showed on Thursday, as companies scaled back output to address sagging demand.

The Commerce Department said December’s inventories were revised to show a 1.6 percent drop, previously reported as a 1.3 percent decline. Motor vehicle and parts inventories dived 4.4 percent in January, the steepest drop since July 2005, it said.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast business inventories falling 1.0 percent in January.

via U.S. inventories fall 1.1 percent in January | Reuters .

* The ranks of the unemployed now total 12.5 million people. One of them is Al Martinez, who was recently laid off in January from his job as a columnist for The Los Angeles Times. In a recent post on his personal blog, Mr. Martinez describes the “intense feelings of rejection” that accompany sudden unemployment.

via The Isolation of Unemployment – Well Blog – NYTimes.com.


* WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite halts on new foreclosures by several major lenders, the number of households threatened with losing their homes rose 30 percent in February from last year’s levels, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.

Nationwide, nearly 291,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice last month, up 6 percent from January, according to the Irvine, Calif-based company. While foreclosures are highly concentrated in the Western states and Florida, the problem is spreading to states like Idaho, Illinois and Oregon as the U.S. economy worsens.

via Foreclosures up 30 percent in February – Yahoo! Finance.

Mike Luckovich - Mar 11

Mike Luckovich - Mar 11


Municipal News


* Sarasota County will eliminate 56 positions from its workforce of roughly 2,200 in preparation for a mid-year budget reduction March 23.

via Sarasota County announces layoffs ahead of budget reduction – Tampa Bay Business Journal: .


* DENHAM SPRINGS — Denham Springs city government laid off 10 employees as a result of tough economic times, Mayor Jimmy Durbin confirmed Wednesday.

via 2theadvocate.com | News | Denham Springs lays off 10 — Baton Rouge, LA.


* Regions Financial Corp. laid off at least seven workers at its local loan center in the Birmingham area as part of a minor work force adjustment, a spokesman said.

via Regions Financial cuts several Birmingham loan jobs – Birmingham Business Journal: .


* The board voted to lay off 150 educational assistants, despite objections from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4400, which said layoffs could have been avoided.

via TDSB to lay off 150 educational assistants.


* WINDER – Barrow County Commissioners voted 4-2 Tuesday night to reorganize two of the county’s departments, a move that will eliminate two jobs, demote one worker and change responsibilities for some who are left.

via Barrow merging agencies; some jobs cut | merritt.melancon@onlineathens.com.


* Howard County’s health department has begun layoffs that may total 15 workers by June 30, as officials say slumping income tax and real estate revenues push a projected county budget shortfall toward $10 million in the current fiscal year.

US and some Canada News


ppg* PPG Industries Inc (PPG.N), the world’s second-largest paint and coatings maker, said on Thursday it will cut 2,500 jobs in a restructuring plan aimed at saving $140 million annually.

via UPDATE 1-Paint maker PPG to cut 2,500 jobs in restructuring | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


ppg1* PPG Industries said today it will slash about 2,500 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring plan that is designed to save the paints, glass and chemicals maker about $140 million annually.

via PPG cutting another 2,500 jobs.


methode-electronics* Methode Electronics Inc. (MEI) will cut 850 jobs as the company looks to reduce its exposure to the North American auto industry. Meanwhile, the company swung to a fiscal third-quarter loss on write-downs and restructuring charges.

The company said it would also move manufacturing operations to lower-cost regions to cut costs. After the restructuring, all its manufacturing will be in Mexico, Malta and China.

via Methode To Cut Nearly 25% Of Work Force, Posts 3Q Loss.


weyerh2* Weyerhaeuser will lay off 59 employees at a sawmill in Warrenton, according to a state filing.

A spokesman for the Federal Way, Wash.-based timber giant did not immediately return a call for comment.

via Weyerhaeuser curtails work at Oregon sawmill, lays off 59: bizjournals.com Business News – MSN Money.


aarp* The District-based organization will cut about 240 of its 2,400 jobs nationwide, according to The Hill, citing Kevin Donnellan, AARP’s chief communications officer.

dell5* Dell Inc, the world’s No. 2 maker of personal computers, is cutting more jobs this week as it continues to retool operations.

Dell declined on Wednesday to disclose how many people it is laying off, saying only that they are taking place at its assembly facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and in Central Texas.

The company, which cut 11,000 jobs last fiscal year, is trying to overhaul its cost structure in the face of a punishing recession.

“I can confirm a global workforce reduction this week as part of our ongoing effort to streamline our business,” said Dell spokesman David Frink.

via Dell cutting jobs in North Carolina, Texas | Technology | Reuters .


dell4* The Nashville Business Journal reported today that pink slips will proliferate among workers today at Dell’s manufacturing plant in Lebanon and its distribution center in Nashville, which employ about 3,200 Middle Tennesseans.

A spokesman for Dell didn’t specify how many, though he did say most would be notified by the end of the day. via Nashville – Nashville Scene – Pith in the Wind – Dell Layoffs Coming to Nashville and Lebanon Today





dell6*The latest cut came to light Wednesday, when the company confirmed that it would eliminate jobs this week around the globe. The layoffs will include positions in Central Texas, Winston-Salem, N.C., and at two facilities in the Nashville, Tenn., area, the company said.

David Frink, a Dell spokesman, declined to provide numbers for specific locations, but sources within the company said the cuts would number in the hundreds.

via Dell cuts hundreds of jobs.




bausch-lomb2* Bausch & Lomb Inc. plans to let go of more than 500 employees worldwide and close a plant in India by year’s end.

In a memorandum sent this week to B&L employees, Chief Executive Gerald Ostrov said the company is making cuts from its administrative ranks and at its contact lens manufacturing site in Waterford, Ireland. Combined, the company will cut 495 positions.

via Bausch & Lomb workers brace for layoffs | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle.


bronco-drilling* Bronco investor relations official Bob Jarvis says 604 employees have been laid off and the salaries of field employees cut by about 10 percent.

* Niles America Wintech Incorporated will cut at least 150 workers during the next few months.

Gecom Corporation is closings its plant in April or May – cutting 168 jobs in Winchester.

The third company to announce cuts is Ainak Incorporated, which will transfer its molding process from Winchester, to facilities in China and Indonesia.

via Three Companies In Winchester All Announce Job Cuts .


*HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics factory laid off 11 full-time employees on Monday, according to William Seiberlich of the Saint-Gobain Corp.

via Factory lays off 11 workers – Bennington Banner.


* Gas pump manufacturing company Dresser Wayne recently cut 200 jobs, or 10 percent of it’s worldwide workforce.


* Tufts University has frozen some salaries and laid off more than a dozen staff members but says it will be able to balance its budget for the next two years despite a projected 30 percent dip in its endowment.


big-bird1* Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of Sesame Street and other kids’ programs, is cutting about one-fifth of its work force because of the economic downturn.

The New York-based company said Wednesday that it’s eliminating 67 of 355 staff positions. via TheStar.com | Entertainment | Sesame Street producer announces layoffs .

aol* AOL LLC announced in January it was sharpening the job-cutting ax with the goal of eliminating up to 10 percent of its workforce. Now the ax has fallen. AOL began firing employees Monday, including some at its Dulles operations, according to a report in The Washington Post.


. * ARKADELPHIA (AP) — Ouachita Baptist University says it will cut about 12 percent of its administrative and staff positions, but no faculty members are to lose their jobs. via OBU Announces Staff Cuts – ArkansasBusiness.com .



* Galichia Heart Hospital is eliminating about six full-time staff members as part of a reorganization effort that centers on being more efficient. via Galichia restructures, eliminates six jobs – Wichita Business Journal:


* Altra Holdings Inc. said it has cut nearly 12 percent of its work force company-wide through the end of February.

via AIMC,KIDSQ Parent company of TB Wood’s Inc. cuts work force.


* He said the exact number of job cuts won’t be known for five or six days. He did not say how much production would be reduced.

via The Daily Citizen, Dalton, GA – Shaw to cut jobs at South Pittsburg plant.


newspaper10* FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The Fresno Bee will lay off 63 workers and cut salaries in order to reduce expenses in a weak advertising market.

via The Associated Press: Fresno Bee to lay off 63 people.


* The UJA-Federation of New York is laying-off 15% of its workforce, according to a person familiar with the matter. The layoffs at the charity, which is often described as the world’s largest local charity organization, are a sign of the tough economic times. Tough fund raising in the year ahead is being blamed for the cutbacks.

* HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE) – More layoffs in Hopkins County at the International Automotive Components plant.

The company said 23 hourly workers will be laid off March 16.

via 14 News, The Tri-State’s News and Weather Leader-More layoffs in Hopkins County.


* A tough economy is forcing O’Brien Steel to do something it hasn’t had to do since the recession of 1982. The company laid off 32 workers this week.

* 12 March 2009 – Kerry Ingredients France, part of the Kerry group, will cut 164 positions at its Apt (Vaucluse) plant. The plant, which employs about 330 people, would see its workforce reduced by half.









* GKN laid off a total of 53 hourly workers and 11 salaried employees from facilities in Mebane, Roxboro and Auburn Hills, Mich., according to a press release Wednesday. The Mebane facility is located on Trollingwood-Hawfields Road and employs 545 other workers. The exact number of impacted workers at the Mebane site was not released.

via GKN layoffs impact Mebane facility | gkn, mebane, workers – Top News – Burlington Times News.


firestone* A Firestone official has verified the pending layoff of 71 employees at the Prescott Firestone Building Products facility.

via Firestone to lay off 71 employees in Nevada County – Arkadelphia, AR – Arkadelphia Siftings Herald.


* The orchestra let 12 staff members go Wednesday. Six positions will go unfilled, reducing administrative staff 20 percent.

via The Associated Press: Philadelphia Orchestra cuts staff 20 percent.


* There have been layoffs recently, including 100 employees of the Whistler Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard School.

via Pique newsmagazine| Whistler, CANADA.


* The University of Tennessee Medical Center laid off 15 employees Wednesday.

via WBIR.com | Knoxville, TN | UT Medical Center lays off 15 employees.


national-semiconductor2* Dismal sales of chips that go into cellphones prompted National Semiconductor to announce Wednesday that it will shut down its Arlington plant.

The plant, which opened in 1985, employs 340 people and will be closed in phases over the next 18 to 21 months, said John Conn, vice president and managing director of the Arlington site.

via NSM National Semiconductor will close Arlington plant: 340 will lose their jobs; declining sales of cellphone chips blamed.


owens-corning1* Owens Corning confirmed yesterday that nearly 50 workers at the company’s Guelph plant were laid off earlier this week.

via GuelphMercury.com – News – Owens Corning lays off workers at Guelph plant .


* Twenty-one workers were issued layoff notices late last month. The non-unionized workers have not been placed on a recall list.

via MacLean lays off 21 – Owen Sound Sun Times – Ontario, CA .


* GLADE SPRING, Va. – Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. will close its plant here May 15, the company announced this week.

According to a letter sent to Washington County, to comply with the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, 119 jobs will be eliminated.

via Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. Shutting Doors In Glade Spring | TriCities.


* Meritor Suspension Systems Co. has announced that it plans to close permanently the Steeles Avenue plant by the end of 2009, putting 165 people out of work.

* Closing the lumber mill, the company’s last operation in the city, would affect about 23 workers. Kolakowski said that Frank Chervan officials said some of those workers would be offered work in Roanoke.

conocophillips2* FARMINGTON — Acting on the continued slump in natural gas prices, ConocoPhillips laid off 22 workers from its San Juan Basin work force, corporate officials confirmed Wednesday.

via ConocoPhillips cuts local oil and gas jobs – Farmington Daily Times.


* Seventeen positions have been cut through layoffs at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, and another seven jobs open through attrition will not be filled, hospital officials said.

via Casa Grande Valley Newspapers Inc..


* Hundreds of workers slated to be laid off at the former Stelco are just months short of qualifying for their pensions.

Now union leaders are asking U.S. Steel to bridge these employees so that they can begin collecting their pensions — rather than rely on Employment Insurance.

via TheSpec.com – Local – Hundreds of Stelco workers fall short of pensions .


* Excel Polymers, LLC announced on Wednesday that roughly 80 employees have been permanently laid off from its Dyersburg facility, with cuts affecting both hourly and salaried personnel.

via Dyersburg State Gazette: Story: Excel Polymers lays off approximately 80 additional employees.


epix-pharmaceuticals* The workforce reduction resulted in 44 jobs lost company wide, including 33 in Massachusetts, a company spokeswoman said.

via EPIX Pharmaceuticals reports loss, job cuts – Daily Business Update – The Boston Globe.


genesee-wyoming* Genesee & Wyoming Inc (GWR.N) will furlough 50 more employees in the next 30 days, in addition to 95 furloughed so far, the railroad operator said during its investor conference call.

Genesee has also reduced about 10 percent of its locomotive fleet since the beginning of 2009 and cut working hours to keep pace with the low demand.

via UPDATE 1-Genesee & Wyoming to cut more jobs, resize fleet | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


hexion-specialty-chemicals* HOUSTON (ICIS news)–US producer Hexion Specialty Chemicals plans to cut about 15% of its workforce this year on expectations that the global recession will last through 2009 and potentially beyond, the company said on Thursday.

Hexion currently employs 7,000 workers, according to its website.

via US Hexion to slash 15% of workforce on long recession fears.


* Crane Merchandising Systems, a division of Crane Co., announced that it will close its St. Louis, Mo. area manufacturing facility in order to consolidate its vending equipment manufacturing operations in Williston, S.C.

via Crane Merchandising Systems To Close St. Louis, Mo. Area Manufacturing Facility.


* The three other plants slated for closure are: Hamel, Minn.; Lumber Bridge, N.C.; and Franklin Park, Ill. All of the closings, which come under Signature Aluminum US, are expected to be completed in the next several weeks.

A steep downturn in the economy and the aluminum industry, along with a tightening credit market, are being blamed for the plant closings.

Employing about 280 locally, the plant sharply curtailed its operations at the start of the month to fewer than 30 workers.

via The Herald, Sharon, Pa. – Signature signing off; plant to close.


* The plan is to shift production to New York City, meaning that 15 to 20 workers will be out of a job.

via Livonian Brothers to close | brothers, close, livonian – Local News – WRGB CBS 6 Albany.


chrysler1* OTTAWA (AP) — A top Chrysler official issued a grim threat to Canadian lawmakers, warning the struggling U.S. automaker may shut down its plants in Canada if it doesn’t get significant labor concessions and government aid.

“Chrysler LLC cannot afford to manufacture products in a jurisdiction that is uncompetitive, relative to other jurisdictions,” president Tom LaSorda told a Parliamentary committee Wednesday night.

via The Associated Press: Chrysler threatens to pull out of Canada.


* Twelve people in eastern P.E.I. will lose their jobs over the next two months as Cabinetmaster winds down operations at its facility in Lower Montague.

delta1*SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Delta Airlines announced Thursday that they will take control of ground baggage operations for Sky West, a regional airline associated with Delta.

via Delta Airlines to take control of Skywest; 300 Utah jobs in jeopardy – ABC 4.com .


* HELENA – The Montana Tunnels metal mine near Jefferson City has issued 60-day layoff notices to about 90 percent of its remaining work force. That’s because lower commodities prices and the global credit crisis have made it difficult to find investors.





International News


* Staff at Wrekin Construction were called to a meeting at the company’s head office in Shifnal at 4pm today where the majority, believed at be about 450 workers, were made redundant with immediate effect. The company employs 530 workers.

via Wrekin workers laid off : Shropshire Star:

* Finland’s largest telecommunications operator TeliaSonera is cutting at least 318 jobs from its broadband unit in Finland. In Helsinki, 154 jobs are going, while Jyväskylä will lose 50 and Tampere will lose 30 TeliaSonera jobs.

via Helsingin Sanomat – International Edition – Business & Finance.


* Finnish machinery and equipment hire group Ramirent said in a statement Thursday it had decided to cut a further 150 jobs after a 26-per cent year-on-year drop in January-to-February sales.

via NewsRoom Finland.


saab* STOCKHOLM : Swedish carmaker Saab, trying to survive as an independent unit after it was cut loose by troubled parent General Motors, said Thursday it would lay off 750 of its 4,100 employees in Sweden.

. * Sofia. 719 people of Navigation Maritime Bulgare’s ships crew will be laid off,company’s Executive Director Hristo Donev told Focus News Agency.

via FOCUS Information Agency.


* THE North-east’s last remaining paper mill yesterday announced plans to axe 10 per cent of its workforce.

Around 48 jobs are expected to go at Stoneywood Mill, near Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

via Jobs cut in North-east’s last paper mill – Scotsman.com News .


* NCR, the cash-machine manufacturer based in Dundee since post-World War II, has announced plans to cut about 250 jobs.

via NCR factory to cut 250 jobs in Dundee | Scotland | stv News.


* Vodafone Turkey has announced plans to cut approximately 260 jobs as part of a restructuring program after reporting a 14.5% decline in revenue for the fourth quarter 2008.

via VOD Vodafone Turkey cuts 260 jobs.


* Time Warner Inc’s AOL said on Thursday it is closing a research unit in China, shedding 56 jobs as part of global cost cutting measures.

via Time Warner’s AOL closes China R&D unit, sheds 56 jobs | Industries | Reuters .


* THE Gwent resort hosting next year’s Ryder Cup made 48 people redundant last month and may have to axe up to 22 more posts.

via Celtic Manor confirm redundancies (From South Wales Argus).


* Baker & McKenzie’s London office has launched a formal redundancy consultation that will see the loss of between 60 and 85 jobs.

via Bakers to cut up to 85 jobs from London office – Legal Week, legal news, comment, events and legal jobs.


* The Department of Parliamentary Services will cut about 25 security jobs from Parliament House by the middle of the year.

via Parliament House to cut security jobs – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).


* Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele recently stated that the company would be laying off 36 employees, from their manufacturing and administration arms. The cut does not represent an immense portion of their labor force, but such companies are not known for making hasty lay-off decisions.

Hiring News


* In the Laurens County community of Clinton, a new company called Force V Environmental LLC plans to employ 189 people at a new vinyl window and door factory, said Marvin Moss, executive director of the Laurens County Development Corp., the county’s industrial recruiting organization.

via Two companies to create 250 jobs | GreenvilleOnline.com | The Greenville News.


* WILLISTON — More jobs will come to Barnwell County when Crane Co. consolidates its vending operations into its Dixie-Narco facility in Williston.

The announcement came Wednesday from Gov. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Barnwell County and SCANA. The consolidation of the North American vending operations to South Carolina has the potential to increase employment at the Barnwell County facility by 1,000 jobs over the next five years. Hiring is expected to begin within the next 14 months.

via Local News | Aiken Standard | Aiken, SC .


Mike: Another busy day with unemployment claims rising and a record number of people still collecting unemployment. That’s enough bad news for the day, so let’s end it with a laugh…………



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Jerry Holbert - Mar 12

Jerry Holbert - Mar 12














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