Mike: I hope you are all having a fine day. This day brings the weekly Jobless Claims number, which is expected to remain steady at 654,000. This is a closely watched number, which has a great deal of impact on government policy, as well as the private sector and the stock market. An improving number will indicate that current fiscal policy is having a positive effect on the job market: more people are working which leads to more spending and an uptick in stock prices. A worsening number indicates that government policy is ineffectual: fewer people are working which leads to less spending and downward pointing stock prices. We’ll know the reaction when the Jobless Claims is released at 8:30 EDT.

Mike: Some better news and some worse news from the jobless claims number , but nothing that seems surprising. The continuing claims is likely to keep rising since unemployment benefits have been extended for a greater number of weeks. As long as the fed keeps funding extended unemployment, the continuing claims number should also increase. Once those extended benefits are exhausted, the continuing claims number will decrease. So seeing a declining continuing claims number is not necessarily a reason to think that jobs are being created.

* Highlights

The number of unemployed keep rising. Continuing jobless claims for the March 7 week rose a very steep 185,000 to a record 5.473 million. It’s taking longer and longer for the jobless to find work. Initial claims for the March 14 week did fall back 12,000 but remain at a severely high 646,000 for a four-week average of 654,750. Initial claims as well as the insured employment rate, at 4.1 percent, are the highest since the early 80s.

Bloomberg.com: Economic Calendar.


* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:


Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

Mike: A little off topic here, but an IE upgrade is long overdue. I avoid using IE as much as possible because of frequent crashes and slow performance:

* SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft Corp. will release a new version of Internet Explorer Thursday, adding features meant to speed up common Web surfing tasks and bringing the browser’s security measures in line with those of major competitors.

via Microsoft adds shortcuts, security to new browser: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.


* Boulder’s largest private-sector employer, IBM Corp., reportedly is in talks to purchase Sun Microsystems Inc., Broomfield’s biggest, in a move that has analysts pondering corporate culture clashes and possible job losses.

General Economic News


Jobless Claims
8:30 AM ET
* The number of people collecting state unemployment benefits jumped by 185,000 to a record seasonally adjusted 5.47 million in the week ending March 7, while new claims dipped by 12,000 to 646,000 in the week ending March 14, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average of new claims rose by 3,750 to 654,750, the highest level in 26 years. The insured unemployment rate – the proportion of covered workers who are receiving benefits – rose by two-tenths of a percentage to 4.1%, the highest in nearly 26 years.
* NEW YORK (AP) — A private sector group’s index of leading economic indicators dropped less than expected in February, but its broad decline of the past 19 months persisted and is unlikely to end until next year.

The New York-based Conference Board’s monthly forecast of economic activity fell 0.4 percent last month. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 0.6 percent decline.

via Leading indicators drop less than expected in Feb. – Yahoo! Finance.

* NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) – Factory activity in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region shrank less severely in March, a survey showed on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank reported its business activity index at minus 35.0 in March versus minus 41.3 in February. Any reading below zero indicates contraction in the region’s manufacturing sector.

via Philly Fed factory activity slump moderates – Forbes.com.


Mike: The below story shows how Citi is spending your hard earned tax money. These egotistical, narcisstic, greedy and corrupt bank execs cannot be controlled without strict oversight of taxpayer funds. I think of it this way: would you go to a bank and tell them to give you $50,000 to bailout your failing business and then tell the bank that you are going to use some of that money for new office wallpaper and a chandelier? I’m not sure the bank would think that you are using those bailout funds responsibly. But on the other hand, maybe Citi is the plaice to go for irresponsible loans! With the spotlight on AIG, Citi may have thought that they could sneak this one past the tired eyes of the taxpayer.

* March 19 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit and his lieutenants, after the U.S. government injected $45 billion of cash into the bank.

* NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. jobs sector hit hardest by the recession, construction, may not reach bottom until sometime next year.

With one in five U.S. construction workers out of a job, prospects for the sector remain dim amid ongoing cuts in construction spending, a decline in nonresidential projects, and concerns that government stimulus will take months to have any measurable effect, industry experts say.

via U.S. construction jobs seen weak for rest of 2009 | Special Coverage | Reuters .


* WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Department of Labor today will make available to employers nationwide a free database of 1,921 job candidates with disabilities seeking employment in a wide variety of fields. Federal employers can tap into this ongoing recruitment resource online at https://WRP.gov, and private sector, other government and nonprofit employers can request unlimited searches by calling a toll-free telephone number.

Municipal News


* The Stark County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities has delivered layoff notices to 11 of its adult workshop specialists.

via MRDD lays off 11 – Canton, OH – CantonRep.com.


* Budget cuts and staff reductions in New Hanover County will require the elimination of one county department, consolidation of two others and reduced hours at the public libraries.

via County eliminating human relations department, reducing library hours | StarNewsOnline.com | Star-News | Wilmington, NC.


* IRONTON — Six employees with the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services will be laid off April 6.

via Lawrence, Ohio, Job and Family Services staff cut – The Herald Dispatch.


* Twenty-nine Eagle Point School District employees received pink slips Monday in preparation for what is expected to be a difficult financial year in 2009-10



* MANNING — Clarendon County’s work force received another blow Friday when Trimaco LLC of Manning announced the layoff of 10 employees. According to Corporate Human Resources Manager Kay Finley, the layoff was a reduction in force due to a lagging economy.

via The Item – South Carolina.


* NAPLES — Naples Airport Authority laid off nine people and cut the hours of all full-time airport employees who are not management to 32 hours per week.

US and some Canada News


cat9* But on Tuesday, Sites — who works on excavators at the company’s Aurora plant — received one of 665 envelopes given to production workers who will be laid off in June. Another 150 support and management employees in Aurora also will be cut then, Caterpillar announced Tuesday.

cat8* Caterpillar Inc. said Tuesday it is laying off 289 employees in Georgia —- part of a restructuring that will eliminate 2,454 jobs as the global economy takes its toll on the Peoria, Ill.-based construction and mining equipment maker.

via Caterpillar layoffs will hit 289 at Georgia plants | ajc.com.


* Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq:PCBC), a community bank holding company, today announced plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 300 employees, or approximately 22% of its total full-time equivalent staff, in an ongoing effort to improve its cost structure.

finisar-corp* Finisar Corp., a California manufacturer of optical telecommunications equipment, said it planned to lay off 55 employees who work at its Horsham facility in response to a slowdown in product demand.

via Finisar to cut 55 jobs in Horsham | Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/18/2009.


* HiRel Systems LLC will close a plant in Hillsboro in April, according to a filing made public Tuesday.

More than 50 workers will lose their jobs.

via HiRel Systems to close Hillsboro plant, lay off 50 – Portland Business Journal: .


* Citing “unprecedented financial challenges,” the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation announced on Thursday a plan to lay off 200 workers and eliminate another 200 positions through attrition, part of a move to close a $316 million budget gap. The announcement touched off outrage within District Council 37, the powerful municipal labor union that represents the workers.

* AMHERST, N.Y. – American Steamship is warning its crews that there may not be work for everyone this shipping season.

The Buffalo-area Great Lakes shipping company has notified the New York state Labor Department that layoffs may be coming, though it’s not yet known how many.

via Layoff warning at American Steamship in upstate NY — Newsday.com.


toro1* The Toro Company announced a temporary layoff of approximately 235 workers at its Tomah location. The layoffs are expected to begin April 20 or within 14 days thereafter. The company said that employees were notified of the layoffs in March.

cerus-corp* Hoping to save some $10 million a year, Cerus Corp. will lay off 31 people, or nearly a third of its workforce.

via Cerus Corp. to cut 31 people: bizjournals.com Business News – MSN Money.


* Syracuse, NY–The owner of the New Process Gear auto parts plant in DeWitt today said it will begin closing the plant and transfer operations elsewhere.

gm3* GM is idling all shifts that work on the rear-wheel drive, 6-speed at the Toledo plant for one week.

Another round of layoffs at GM’s Toledo Powertrain plant. About 600 hourly workers at Toledo Powertrain and about 25 workers in the aluminum department at the Powertrain plant in Defiance will be laid off next week because of a slow down in work at GM’s assembly plants.

via Another round of layoffs for GM Powertrain – 3/18/09 – Toledo News – 13abc.com.


* The company would not give specific numbers, but we’ve been told by other sources that 158 workers will be laid off.

via Knapheide announces layoffs : News : KHQA .


western-carolina-university* Under a budget cut scenario announced last Friday (March 13), 31.75 employees will be laid off from Western Carolina University due to state budget cuts.

* Faced with a loss in its endowment of more than 20 percent, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art quietly laid off six employees from its staff of 109 last month, and can’t rule out further reductions of staff in the coming months.

via New Haven Advocate: News – Layoffs at the Wadsworth.


ford1* Up to 50 hourly workers at Ford Motor Co.’s Woodlawn stamping plant are facing temporary layoffs of one- and two-week durations between now and late June.

via Layoffs hit Ford’s Woodlawn plant – Business First of Buffalo: .


unilever-foodsolution* Unilever Foodsolutions this summer will close its Wichita plant as the European company transitions away from its custom-produced foods business.

The closing will put 110 employees out of work. Employees were given 60-day layoff notices earlier this month, while 60 received notices in January.

via Unilever Foodsolutions to close Wichita plant – Wichita Business Journal: .


* GREENWOOD, Miss. — PYCO Oil Mill has laid off 30 workers amid a continued decline in cotton production in the Delta.

* AmericasMart, the 7.7-million-square-foot retail and gift complex in downtown Atlanta, has laid off just under 10 percent of its staff of about 250.

via AmericasMart lays off almost 10% of staff | ajc.com.


gw-lisk* Thirty employees at G.W. Lisk Co. will lose their jobs this week as the company reduces its workforce 6 percent. The private, locally-owned company makes electronic parts used in transportation, construction and mining, factory automation and the aerospace industries.

via G.W. Lisk lays off 30 – Canandaigua, NY – MPNnow.


* PC Connection at the DHL Commerce Park in Wilmington has laid off 12 to 14 employees in a companywide cutback due to the bad economy.

via PC Connection lays off dozen.


* COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Olympic Committee has laid off 54 employees as a key part of its plan to trim its budget by 5 percent to deal with rough economic times.

via The Associated Press: USOC lays off 54 as cost-cutting measure.


* Kosciusko Community Hospital laid off 11 of its 850 employees last week, according to KCH CEO Steve Miller. He said the positions are spread across the hospital and will have no impact on the quality of care provided at the hospital.

via KCH Lays Off 11; Health Care Providers Eye Expenses.


gavel16* A faltering economy has led to layoffs at another Kansas City law firm. Polsinelli Shughart PC let go of nine attorneys and 16 other staff members.

via Polsinelli Shughart lays off nine attorneys, 16 others – Kansas City Business Journal: .


* The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties laid off 10 paid employees this week.

us-steel6* About 200 workers at the Fairfield (Ala.) Works of U.S. Steel Corp were temporarily laid off this week amid growing concerns that the plant might join the list of company facilities idled by the deepening global economic crisis.

via Log in to AMM.com.


crain-communications*New York – Crain Communications, a publisher of business trade magazines including Advertising Age, Crain’s New York Business and TelevisionWeek, has laid off 150 employees and cut salaries for all staff by 10%, PaidContent reported, citing anonymous sources.

via Report: Publisher Crain Lays Off 150; Cuts Salaries | Digital Media Wire.


* NORTH ADAMS — Beset by a worldwide drop-off in demand for personalized stationery, Crane & Co. on Tuesday announced the elimination of 70 hourly and salaried jobs in its stationery division, where it also implemented a 9 percent wage reduction for the remaining employees.

via More layoffs, cuts – Berkshire Eagle Online.


* IOLA, Kan. (AP) — Industrial and automotive products maker Gates Corp. is laying off 68 more workers at its Iola plant.

via Gates Corp. to lay off 68 more workers at Iola plant – KFSM.


mm-mars* Company officials say more than 20 people are being laid off. Click the video link to the right for more on this developing story.

via M&M Mars Laying Off Workers – Local News – WTVC Newschannel9.com.


* All avenues were explored, and NIACC’s strategic planning for implementing anticipated budget cuts means 7 full-time employees will be laid off, 6 positions will go unfilled, 3 strategic personnel restructuring assignments will be implemented, program offerings will be re-evaluated in comparison to area needs

via More Cuts at NIACC – KIMT.com – Iowa & Minnesota Together .


* Swanson Group, which is headquartered in Glendale, is reducing lumber production and laying off about 112 employees in Roseburg, Glendale and other divisions. The layoffs are effective March 31.

Ingram Book Co. laid off 30 employees from its distribution center in Green. For those employees, Tuesday was their last day on the job.

via Layoffs hit 140 workers | The News-Review – NRtoday.com.


ustream* Ustream, a live streaming video service based in Mountain View California, has laid off 4 people, or about 10% of staff, we’ve confirmed. At least two of the four staff let go were Director level or higher.

via 10% Layoffs At Ustream .


Mike: Bill Day is a fine cartoonist who will land on his feet someplace:

* BILL DAY, veteran political cartoonist at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, tells Comic Riffs that he has just been let go by the newspaper as part of more than a dozen layoffs announced by the paper there today.

graco-inc* NEW YORK (AP) — Graco Inc. said Wednesday it will cut an additional 180 jobs, or 8 percent of its global work force, to reflect a drop in demand for its fluid handling systems and components.

via The Associated Press: Graco to cut 180 jobs as 1Q orders drop.


* About 10 Mead Johnson employees in Evansville have lost their jobs as part of greater changes affecting the company’s medical sales division throughout the country.

via Mead Johnson reduces local workforce by about 10 : Local : Evansville Courier Press.


ramtron* Colorado Springs-based Ramtron International, a developer of random access memory and other semiconductor products, said Tuesday afternoon that it is cutting 17 percent of the firm’s workforce, as well as reducing salaries of its employees by 5 to 12 percent. The firm said it now employs 102 worldwide.

via Ramtron Cuts Workforce, Salaries.


* Xcorporeal, Inc.has terminated 19 employees, or 73% of its staff, as a result of general economic conditions and a deterioration in its liquidity position.

via XCR Xcorporeal Cuts 73% Of Workforce.


yazaki* Yazaki North America in Canton Township — which supplies advanced power and data networks for auto companies worldwide — is one of those companies feeling the pinch of the current economic slowdown. Company officials have announced that approximately 150 people have accepted severance packages, reducing its workforce at the North American headquarters by about 10 percent.

via Yazaki sheds 10 percent of its workers | hometownlife.com | the Observer & Eccentric Newspapers, Mirror Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies.


newspaper22*The Ledger-Enquirer said Tuesday it is cutting its work force for the third time in less than a year as part of a restructuring by its parent firm, The McClatchy Co.

via Ledger-Enquirer.com | 03/18/2009 | Ledger-Enquirer eliminates 20 positions .


* NEW YORK Interpublic Group media agency Universal McCann this week laid off 59 staffers, or almost 8 percent of its U.S staff. The cuts hit employees working on accounts across the board in UM’s New York, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco offices.

via Updated: UM Cuts 59 Employees.


capital-group* The company’s new layoff warning was first reported Tuesday by the online fund-industry newsletter ignites.com.

Capital Group employs about 2,500 people in California, mainly in Los Angeles and Orange counties. That includes portfolio managers, analysts and customer-service representatives.

via American Funds parent Capital Group plans more job cuts | Money & Company | Los Angeles Times.


* Layoffs mounted this week at Dura-Bond Industries Inc., with the company’s Steelton, Pa., plant the latest to be hit by the economic downturn and a reduction in exploration and production of natural gas.

via Log in to AMM.com.


* More than 100 employees were offered voluntary buyouts Wednesday afternoon, said company spokeswoman Michelle May. The GE Security plant has about 425 workers.

via Pittsfield: GE Security to cut 100+ jobs | Maine News Updates.


* Social services agency La Causa Inc. plans to lay off 87 employees as a result of terminating its $11 million case management and safety services contract with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

via La Causa to cut 87 jobs – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .


* ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc (ATA.TO) said on Thursday it will cut its workforce by around 240 people to adjust to lower demand.

meadwestvaco* March 19 (Reuters) – Packaging maker MeadWestvaco Corp (MWV.N) said on Thursday it would close two plants to cut costs, eliminating 278 hourly and salaried jobs.

via UPDATE 1-MeadWestvaco to shut two plants, cut 278 jobs | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


federal-express* US parcel delivery giant FedEx said it will cut jobs, working hours and salaries after earnings tumbled in the third quarter as it felt the impact of the global recession.

via FedEx to cut jobs and non-US salaries

* The president of the union that represents Timken steelworkers said Wednesday that Timken has laid off at least 155 union employees at its Canton-area plants since mid-December.

via Union: Timken laid off 155 hourly workers since December – Canton, OH – CantonRep.com.


* Irvine, CA-based Cortex Pharmaceuticals is joining the ever-growing list of biotech companies opting to restructure. The developer is handing out pink slips to half of its workforce, cutting executive salaries as well as research work and scrambling to raise money from a new round of deals.

via Cortex cuts half its staff, scrambles to raise cash – FierceBiotech.


* The warehouse, which distributes bookclub content directly to customers, was once known as BMG Columbia House. Although not entirely unexpected — Direct Brands has been making hints that it would consolidate its operations for some time — it’s still horrible news for the 170 employees who will lose their jobs.

via Layoff Watch: Direct Brands to Close, 170 Jobs Cut | Spartanburg Spark: Because Spartanburg Matters.


* Members of the Lexington Newspaper Guild voted in favor of a Herald-Leader company proposal Wednesday night that would mean the loss of the equivalent of 14 union-covered jobs in the newsroom.

via Herald-Leader union approves wage cuts; 14 jobs to be eliminated – Local – Kentucky.com.


wind3* Acciona Windpower plans to cut employment by 58 at its West Branch facility in response to slackening demand for wind turbines.

via Acciona Windpower to cut 58 jobs at West Branch plant | GazetteOnline.com – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City.


* The Port of Portland will cut about 50 jobs and use furloughs and executive pay reductions to trim $7.5 million from its budget over the next 15 months as it grapples with the weak economy.

Of the 50 job cuts, between 25 and 30 are filled positions.

via Port announces 50 job cuts – Portland Business Journal: .


* INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis financial services provider OneAmerica has cut 114 jobs and adjusted non-salary expenses because of the economy.

via Business & Technology | Indianapolis financial services provider OneAmerica cuts 114 jobs, adjusts expenses | Seattle Times Newspaper.


university-of-rochester* ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The University of Rochester says it has cut 40 jobs and frozen faculty salaries as it copes with a sharp drop in the value of its endowment.

via University of Rochester cuts 40 jobs — Newsday.com.


* Berkeley’s famed Claremont Resort & Spa will lay off 77 workers.

International News


rbs1* AN RBS boss today said the bank was looking to shed 2700 jobs in the UK as part of a plan to cut costs by £2.5 billion over the next three years – including around 260 in Scotland.

via RBS looks to axe 2700 jobs in UK – Scotsman.com Business .


* First Group has announced plans to cut 3,500 jobs – representing 3 per cent of its cost base – over the next year in one of the most drastic responses yet by a bus and rail group to the economic downturn.

* Around 850 jobs, out of a total workforce of 4,000 are to be cut in the voluntary program.

via Ghana Telecom Cuts 850 Jobs.


* LONDON – Aegis, the Carat and Vizeum parent company, said today that it planned to cut 5 per cent of its workforce, around 780 staff, as part of a cost-saving programme.

* Nearly 60 people will be laid off from 2 Plovdiv firms.

This was announced by the municipal coordinator of KNSB Tatyana Miran, cited by radio Plovdiv.

via News.bg – More laid off people in Plovdiv.


big-huge-games* Sources close to the studio say that Big Huge Games, developer of the Rise of Nations series and Catan for Xbox Live Arcade, has been given notice by THQ, which has intentions to close the studio within 60 days.

via THQ Cuts Down Big Huge Games, Lets Go Two More – Kotaku Australia.


* Jewett-Cameron Trading Co. Ltd. (JCTCF: News , JCT.TO) said it will reduce 5% of its workforce. The staff reduction also includes chief financial officer, Terry Schumacher.

via RTTNews – Latest Earnings,Upcoming Earnings,


* New Zealand based infrastructure consultancy Opus is planning to cut its British workforce of 360 by 75.

via Opus to cut British workforce by 75 as struggles with revenue | BUSINESS.


* Sources inform ”Globes” that Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. will shortly send 70 employees over the age of 50 on early retirement.

via Zim cuts workforce by 10%.


* NEW YORK, March 17 – Hoya Corp plans to cut the Japanese workforce in its digital camera operations to less than 400 employees from about 800 currently, the financial daily Nikkei said in its Wednesday edition.

via Hoya to cut Japan digital camera workforce-Nikkei.


* A MEAT processing factory in Wirral will close and cost 300 workers their jobs.

via Liverpool Daily Post.co.uk – News – Liverpool News – Three-hundred jobs lost as Wirral factory Tulip closes .


* Up to 280 jobs are going at gas and electrical appliance retailer Apollo 2000 and a sister firm which have gone into administration, KPMG said.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Jobs going at electrical retailer.


* Landor is in the process of making six redundancies.

Hiring News

* CLEARWATER, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PODS Enterprises has experienced solid business gains, leading the company to hire an additional 116 employees for its Clearwater headquarters and other locations across the U.S. and Canada to accommodate its growth in the moving and storage industry.

via PODS Hiring 116 to Meet Growth Demands.


* The United States Census Bureau is looking to hire in our area for the 2010 census.

Officials say they are hiring 80 people total in Steuben, Schuyler and Chemung counties.

via U.S. Census Bureau Is Hiring – WETM 18 Online .


* TAIPEI – BRITISH banking giant HSBC Holdings said on Thursday it is planning to hire 200 people in Taiwan to expand its mortgage business on the island.

Mike: As you can see from the above list, it was another tough day in the job loss area. Yesterday may have been an anomaly or I missed plenty of announcements. If you are aware of any layoffs that are not listed here, please drop me a note at mike@layofflist.org, or leave your news in the comments area. Thanks. Till tomorrow ……………………..


[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.798304&w=425&h=350&fv=autoPlay%3Dfalse]

Mike: Wednesday started out quiet and remained that way. This has to be the quietest weekday for layoff announcements in a couple of months. If this is a trend, it’s a trend we can all live with.
Mike: The fine people at The 405 Club (http://www.the405club.com/) are running their first major event on March 25th (4-7pm @ The Galway Hooker Pub) called the PROJECT 405 PARTY. It’s a casual gathering with recruiters, advisers, counselors, and fellow unemployed New Yorkers. So if you are in the NYC area, stop by the event and visit with this fine gathering. Their poster follows. Please pass it along to all that may benefit and be sure to visit http://www.the405club.com/ for additional information.
Jeff Stahler - Mar 19

Jeff Stahler - Mar 19


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