Mike: Plenty of news to digest this day. Economic numbers that weren’t as bad as expected seems to have lifted the spirits of many, but I wouldn’t want to get to cheerful until the job numbers stabilize. The fact that GM has to close most plants for nini weeks will affect more than just GM and those affects could be far and wide, since this country’s manufacturing base is heavily influenced by auto production.

Have a great weekend and I’ll update this post throughout the weekend when the news warrants.

Today’s job related economic reports bring us Durable Goods Orders (Durable goods fall less than expected in March) and New Home Sales . Thursday’s jobless claims number proved disappointing, but the stock market shrugged off those numbers and rose again. At least that’s good news for those of you still holding stocks. Durable goods orders and new home sales came in less worse than expected and the bank stress tests seem to be ok. What that all means is that things aren’t as bad as they appear, at least that’s what the stock market is indicating by it’s contining upward trek. Less worse is good, I think.

Mike: The latest government attempt to save the consumer from banks insatiable appetite for more of your hard earned money is the consumer credit card “Bill of Rights.” I have my own credit card interest rate story: Last week I received a notice from Discover that my interest rate is going from 10.25% to 16.49% effective June 15. That interest rate affects will affect any balance I have on my card at that time. The odd thing about this is that they had just lowered my interest rate to 10.25% last month! I called to ask why this was occurring and the representative said that it is happening at all banks; this wasn’t occurring because my credit score worsened, or that I was late with payments – it’s just happening. I don’t usually carry a balance, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, like job loss, I have a balance on my Discover card. I hope to not have a balance by June 15, so I don’t have to pay those outrageous interest rates. I told the representative that with defaults rising, it’s an odd time to be applying the screws even tighter. She wasn’t much for conversation. So, we as taxpayers bail out these banks with billions in giveaways, and they turn around and try to take even more from that beaten down taxpayer.

Any legislation that is passed is likely to be less onerous to the credit card companies than appears from the statements of our elected and clueless representatives. After all, many of these same representatives receive a fair amount of campaign contributions from these credit card companies/banks. You can see bank contributions at Commercial Banks: Money to Congress – OpenSecrets.org. Hopefully the legislation that does pass helps the credit card user more than the credit card companies, but I won’t hold my breathe in anticipation. The new bankruptcy laws were trumpeted by Congress as helping the consumer to better manage credit card problems, but it ended up being a money maker for credit card companies instead, which shouldn’t be a surprise. I’ll have more on this later….

The following two articles show the overall intent of this developing legislation:

Hidden fees and rate hikes must be eliminated, Obama said. Companies also need to explain their rules to customers in “plain language,” partly to help them shop among different companies for the best deal.

Another requirement: “More effective oversight and more effective enforcement so that people who are issuing credit cards but violate the law, they will feel the full weight of the law.”

via Obama tells credit card execs to expect new legislation – The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency.


Summary of the proposed Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights

Dan Wasserman - Apr 24

Dan Wasserman - Apr 24

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

apple– Apple’s increased retail revenue in the second fiscal quarter came at the expensive of many people’s jobs, SEC filings reveal. While the company managed to push retail revenue from $1.45 billion in Q208 to $1.47 billion in Q209, documents show that the company employed only 14,000 people in stores full-time. During the first fiscal quarter of the 2009, the company was using 15,600 full-time workers.

via MacNN | Apple axes 1,600 full-time retail positions.


msft1– Microsoft’s tally of direct worldwide employees declined by 800 people between February and March — the first significant sign of the job cuts announced by the company three months ago. The company employed 95,029 people globally as of last month, compared with 95,830 the month before that, according to company figures.

General Economic News

– WASHINGTON (AP) — Demand for big-ticket U.S. manufactured goods fell less than expected in March, raising some hopes that the long slide in manufacturing is nearing an end.

The Commerce Department said Friday that orders for durable goods dropped 0.8 percent last month, about half the 1.5 percent decline that economists expected. A rise in orders for commercial and military aircraft helped cushion weakness elsewhere.

via Durable goods fall less than expected in March – Yahoo! Finance.


New Home Sales
10:00 AM ET
– March new home sales down 0.6%


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New home sales in March fell by 30.6% from a year ago to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 356,000, the Commerce Department reported this morning.

This is 0.6% below the revised February rate of 358,000, but well below the March 2008 estimate of 513,000, the department said.

There were 311,000 new houses for sale at the end of March, or a 10.2-month supply at the current sales pace. A three- to six-month supply is considered a normal market.

via March new home sales down 0.6% | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press.

– The U.S. recorded 2,933 mass layoffs in March, up 6% from February and the largest number since the government began keeping records in 1995, the Labor Department said today.

The report is another sign that employers have continued to slash jobs even amid other signs that the recession may be bottoming.

Still, there was some relative good news in the report: Although the number of jobs cut via mass layoffs was a record 299,388 last month (seasonally adjusted), that was a modest 1.3% increase from February.

via ‘Mass layoffs’ hit new high, but pace slows | Money & Company | Los Angeles Times.


Chan Lowe - Apr 24

Chan Lowe - Apr 24


Mike: The response of Virginia Republicans to their rejection of federally funded unemployment insurance benefits is interesting. Here is this gem: “we are doing everything possible to help those people,” said House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford County. Yes, Bill, you are doing everything you can except what 49 other states have done during this period of high unemployment and that’s extend the benefits. The feds are giving this money to the states and while a few rules changes are required, it’s not a permanent change. Once the crises is over, go back to your normal way of doing business, but don’t make a bad situation worse for grandstanding purposes. Even TX finally voted to use federal unemployment funds, so i think that VA should also apply some common sense. Sorry, I know, common sense and politician is an oxymoron.

– RICHMOND — Republican legislative leaders on Thursday defended their decision to reject $125 million in enhanced federal unemployment benefits — and they lashed back at Democrats who have accused the GOP of abandoning jobless Virginians.

“I think it’s disingenuous to go around and say Republicans have turned their back on the unemployed when, in fact, we are doing everything possible to help those people,” said House Speaker Bill Howell, R-Stafford County.

via GOP defends stance on unemployment benefits – Roanoke.com.


– General Motors’ decision to shut down 13 assembly plants for up to 11 weeks this summer will disrupt far more than the lives of nearly 24,000 workers. It will damage part suppliers, local businesses and state economies.

Government Layoff News


– Issaquah School Board members voted unanimously to lay off 158 of its 1,097 teachers Wednesday night, after district officials presented their reduction in force plan.

Teachers can expect to receive layoff notices by May 1.

via Issaquah schools could lay off 158 teachers : The Sammamish Review – News, Sports, Classifieds in Sammamish, WA.


– FORT COLLINS – Layoffs are expected to be in the mix of potential fixes for a projected $5 million shortfall in Fort Collins’ general fund for 2009.

City Manager Darin Atteberry said Thursday he does not know how many jobs will be lost but added the cuts are likely to be “minimal.”

via 9NEWS.com | Colorado’s Online News Leader | City of Fort Collins expects layoffs.


– CHESTER — The Chester County school board has approved a proposal to cut 51.5 jobs, including teachers, in the face of a state budget crisis that has slashed millions from schools.

via Chester schools to cut 50-plus jobs | The Herald – Rock Hill, SC.


– The Board of Education voted 5-0 Wednesday night to send layoff notices to 83 teachers. The trustees also unanimously approved, in two separate actions, the elimination of 10 nonteaching positions and a reduction in hours for 142 classified employees — from bus drivers to clerk typists to nutrition service workers.

via Rialto trustees agree to cut 83 teacher positions next year | Inland News | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California.


Four County Paramedics and 5 trainees will be laid off in the next 2 weeks in a move County Executive Coons says will save almost 350 thousand dollars.

via 1150AM WDEL • WDEL.com • Dependable News, Delaware’s Views.


130 of 150 Toledo police layoffs to come from patrol ranks

toledoblade.com — .


– The proposed budget calls for:

More than 1,000 layoffs across county departments, including 588 from the sheriff’s department.

Closure of seven fire stations countywide.

A $5 million cut in public health programs

via County proposes deep cuts, 1,000 layoffs to balance budget | MyDesert.com | The Desert Sun.


– Superintendent Terry Gregersen says the number of cuts is not yet known, but it could be as many as 15 of the 35 workers, maybe more.

via KELOLAND.COM – SD School For The Deaf Braces For Layoffs.


– Holland Public Schools will lay off about 28 to 30 teachers this fall, according to Holland Education Association President Charles Bullard.

via Teacher layoffs announced – Holland, MI – The Holland Sentinel.


– Mayor Mark P. Hawke said yesterday he has sent out layoff notices to three firefighters and three Public Works Department workers.

via telegram.com News.


– Though salaries and benefits will increase for some staff, the Oregon Trail School District will eliminate 46.5 full-time equivalent positions next year, Superintendent Shelly Redinger said in her budget message Wednesday. The district-paid PERS rates will also decrease by 17 percent.

via Oregon Trail district will cut 46.5 positions next year – OregonLive.com.


– Dozens of Spokane County employees are taking a 15% pay cut to avoid anyone being laid off.

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US and some Canada Layoff News



cessna– WICHITA – Cessna Aircraft is planning to hand out 60-day layoff notices Wednesday to perhaps as many as 2,800 people, sources said this week.

wells-fargo– Wells Fargo & Co. plans to eliminate about 150 jobs in its investment banking and capital markets business as part of its acquisition of Wachovia Corp., a source familiar with the situation said today.

via Wells Fargo to eliminate 150 investment banking jobs | CharlotteObserver.com.


trinity-railTrinityRail North American Freight Car Inc., a railroad equipment manufacturer in Cartersville, will lay off 659 hourly and administrative employees during the coming months and will close Aug. 5.

– Arena Pharmaceuticals yesterday cut 130 jobs, about one third of its work force, in an attempt to conserve cash as it prepares to file for regulatory approval of an obesity drug.

– DeLong Sportswear in Albia has closed its doors for good.

About fifty workers no longer have a job at the plant, where they produced letter jackets.

via Albia plant closes leaving 50 unemployed : News : KTVO3 .


– MILFORD — About 58 jobs will be affected as printing equipment manufacturer Mark Andy Inc. said it will shut down its manufacturing and engineering operations in Milford

via Milford company to layoff 58.


– PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Outdoors outfitter L.L. Bean Inc. notified employees Friday that it plans to lay off 200 to 240 workers in Maine because of lagging sales.

via The Associated Press: L.L. Bean to lay off more than 200 employees.


– International Textile Group Inc. said today that it has cut 100 jobs recently at its White Oak denim manufacturing plant in Greensboro — about 25 percent of the work force there.

via International Textile Group cuts 100 jobs from denim manufacturing plant in Greensboro.


– In announcing the measures, Leonard F. Leganza, Eastern’s chairman, president and CEO, did not say where or how many jobs were cut.

via Eastern posts loss, job cuts The Republican-American .


Mike: And I thought I was drinking enough Bacardi to keep these guys employed!

bacardi– SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Bacardi Corp. says it is eliminating 77 jobs at its rum distillery in Puerto Rico as part of a restructuring.

via Bacardi cuts 77 jobs at Puerto Rico rum plant: Associated Press Business News – MSN Money.


newspaper3– Hearst Corp. cut 44 jobs at its Connecticut newspapers on Friday and plans to eliminate another 80 positions within three months as part of a consolidation and cost cutting effort.

via Hearst eliminates 44 newspaper jobs – The Advocate.


– The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum will cut 12 jobs, or 9 percent, of its 140-person workforce, despite a significant increase in visitors this year, museum officials said today.

via Museum cuts staff and budget – Daily Business Update – The Boston Globe.


– Accent Marketing Services, a customer service call center near Kansas City International Airport, will lay off 163 of its 269 employees on July 31.

via Accent Marketing Services call center to lay off 163. – Kansas City Star.


– Steuben Glass has notified the United Steelworkers’ local that it plans to lay off 20 union employees, about 30 percent of its work force, on Monday.

via Steuben Glass to lay off 20 union workers | stargazette.com | Star-Gazette.


npr– Washington – National Public Radio (NPR) has laid off 13 employees, in only the second round of layoffs at the company in the past 25 years, the Washington Post reported.

via NPR Lays Off 13 Employees, Plans Furloughs | Digital Media Wire.


eaton– Forty-four of Eaton Corporation’s Mountain Home employees have fallen victim to the economy. Plant Manager Jim Gardner said Thursday the layoffs were effective as of Wednesday.

via Eaton lays off 44 of its workers | baxterbulletin.com | The Baxter Bulletin.


norfolksouth– Thirteen Carmen from Williamson Norfolk Southern railroad yard received notice Thursday morning they will be joining the ranks of the unemployed.

via The Williamson Daily News – 13 laid off at Williamson Norfolk Southern.


medtronic– Medtronic Inc. laid off 240 manufacturing workers at its Santa Rosa vascular division today, cutting 20 percent of its Sonoma County work force as it shifts production work to a lower-cost facility in Ireland.

via Medtronic lays off 240 workers | PressDemocrat.com | The Press Democrat | Santa Rosa, CA.


– PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) — A Pine Bluff plant that makes electrical transformers and parts has laid off 40 workers, citing the slowdown in home construction.

via Central Moloney lays off 40 from its Pine Bluff transformer plant – KFSM.


Six employees, including an editor and a critic, were laid off yesterday by Phoenix Media/Communications Group, which owns The Boston Phoenix and other alternative weeklies and websites.

via Local weekly announces layoffs, wage cuts – Daily Business Update – The Boston Globe.


– L.C. King Manufacturing, which makes Pointer Brand denim jeans, overalls and jackets, laid off 15 of its 35 employees, owner Jack King said Thursday. The company typically lays off some workers in the spring, but this year’s total is higher than usual.

via Pointer Brand Lays Off 15 | TriCities.


newspaper4– SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — The Morning News of Springdale says it has laid off nine workers in its newsroom as the newspaper copes with the economic downturn.

via Morning News of Springdale lays off 9 in newsroom, plans furloughs and cuts newspaper size – KFSM.


Snyder Industries laid off 10 employees last week, the latest local company to fall victim to the worst recession in decades.

via JournalStar.com – Lincoln, Nebraska – News – Business.


– The province’s only beef packing plant, XL Foods, is starting a lengthy shutdown Friday, meaning 200 workers are laid off. The shutdown is set to last until the end of September.

via 200 Laid Off in Moose Jaw | News Talk 980.


– Timken Aerospace told WMUR-TV that 45 of the plant’s 700 workers will be laid off in two weeks. The company said the poor economy has led to decreased demand for its products, and that its other facilities have experienced larger layoffs.

via Timken Aerospace lays off NH workers – WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-.


carrier– TYLER – Carrier Corporation Spokesperson Michelle Caldwell tells KETK approximately 140 hourly employees were laid off at the Tyler plant Friday.

via Carrier Corp. Lays Off Another 140 People Friday | KETKnbc.com | The News Station.


hospital7– DAVENPORT, Iowa – Genesis Health System has temporarily suspended its annual across the board salary increases. They hope it will says about 150 jobs and preserve the quality of care for it’s patients.

via Genesis Health System Announces Layoffs and Salary Changes – WQAD.


– Chief Financial Officer Ray Sadowski said Thursday that he did not know how many positions would be cut.

via Avnet’s profit dives; layoffs planned.


– About 50 paperboard employees of Clearwater Paper will be temporarily laid off for a week starting May 4.

via CLW Clearwater Paper sets temporary layoffs: About 50 paperboard employees will be off for a week.


– Tough economic conditions have forced Tejon Ranch Co. to lay off 6 percent of its full-time work force, the publicly traded company said in an e-mail Wednesday.

via TRC Layoffs at Tejon Ranch.


– Friday is the last day of work for those on a weekly shift; Sunday is the last day for weekend workers.

via CTV Montreal – Layoffs at Pratt and Whitney – CTV News, Shows and Sports — Canadian Television.


gm6– The 20% cut could mean as many as 45 marketing jobs will go at GM from its 220 marketing department in Detroit.

via General Motors to cut 20% of marketing staff – Brand Republic News – Brand Republic.


– Jackie Buck from the Red Cross say the organization is going to have to rely on volunteers to step up and do the jobs six people were paid to do. Those people will lose their jobs at the end of the month.

via Cen. Ala. Red Cross lays off staff – WSFA 12 News Montgomery, AL |.


– Citing a weak outlook for capital equipment sales this year, prenatal test maker Sequenom said April 23 it is trimming 30 employees, or about 12 percent of its workforce, to conserve cash.

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


According to an unnamed source in the company, 103 employees in the Caterpillar Research and Development Facility in Mossville are being permanently laid off today

via CAT Lays Off More in Mossville | WEEK News 25 | Local News .


– BROOKLYN — Upscale German men’s clothing maker Hugo Boss, whose American suit production plant is in Brooklyn, will end 13 to 15 union warehouse jobs there today, the Workers United union said Thursday.

International Layoff News




Mike: The two stories that follow show the same disconnect as I have seen in other news stories both from the US and abroad. Here we have workers ready to riot while businesses are tipping champagne glasses as confidence rises from historically low numbers. I’m not quite sure how to interpret this, but if I had to guess I would say that once the citizenry becomes rebellious, there may be some cause for hope that the worst is over – for now…………

– BERLIN, April 23 (UPI) — Observers fear that Germany, Europe’s largest economy, could be gripped by social unrest this year because of mass layoffs sparked by the worst recession since the end of World War II.

via In Germany, mass layoffs may spark social unrest – UPI.com.


– German business confidence has risen from its lowest level in more than 20 years, a survey has indicated.

– The Bay Trading fashion chain has collapsed into administration, putting 1,000 jobs at risk. The 270-strong chain was put into administration by its parent company Alexon after credit insurers withdrew cover for the ailing business. Accountants from Deloitte have been appointed as administrators.

– Nearly 20 posts at the University of Bath could be made redundant as part of cost-cutting measures.

via BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Job redundancies for university.


– The chain’s decision stems from the need to reorganise its store working hours, rather than difficult trading, according to Retail Week, the trade magazine.

via Monsoon puts staff on redundancy alert – Telegraph.


toshiba– Electronics company Toshiba is axing 270 jobs at a Devon factory as it switches manufacturing to Poland.

via Teletext West and West Country News – Toshiba axes 270 workers .


– Amann Industries in Co Kerry has confirmed plans to close in the coming year with the loss of 220 jobs.

via 220 workers to lose jobs at Tralee textile factory – Business, Ireland – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk.


– The new dismissals are at Usiminas’ Cubatao steel mill near Santos in Sao Paulo State. Usiminas did not reveal how many people it planned to cut, but unions said they believed it would be 450 out of the 5,500 workforce.

via Brazil Steelmaker Usiminas To Shed Jobs At Cubatao Mill.


– Workers at engineering business FG Wilson “from managing director down” face a 10% pay cut and a four-day week as it seeks to prevent further job losses.

via FG Wilson workers facing 10% pay cut – Business News, Business – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk.


– The consultant confirmed that it had reduced staff numbers by 19% between October and March. However, it is understood that the figures from September to April show that it has cut its workforce in the Middle East by about 25%.

via Currie & Brown cuts quarter of Middle East staff – Building.


thorntons– Tayside’s largest legal firm today said it was cutting up to 20 jobs just months after it announced it was axing 50 staff because of the credit crunch (writes Graham Huband).

Thorntons — which has offices across the region and in Edinburgh and employs around 360 staff — today confirmed the second round of redundancies and blamed the situation on the global recession.

via Evening Telegraph: News.


– A FACTORY which manufactures gas products in Wrexham is under threat of closure with the loss of 200 jobs.

via 200 jobs under threat at Wrexham gas factory – Flintshire Chronicle.


– Ten workers have been made redundant at Gillies Metaltech in Oamaru.

via 10 metal workers made redundant | Otago Daily Times Online.


– Finsbury Orthopaedics, a ground breaking firm in the forefront of medical engineering, is making major redundancies at its Leatherhead offices.

Hiring News and News You Can Use-

– By 6 a.m. Friday, hundreds had already lined up. An Abilene, Texas-based construction company anticipates completing the $400 million Florida Power and Light facility by the end of 2010.

Opportunities at the job fair include carpenters, pipe fitters, plumbers, electricians and assembly workers. Applications will be taken 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Timer Power Park, 14100 Citrus Blvd., Indiantown – or people can apply online at http://www.tcjobs.org

via Hundreds line up for solar energy plant jobs – Florida AP – MiamiHerald.com.


– The water park resort announced Thursday that it was accepting applications for more than 300 positions, including lifeguards, cashiers, pool cleaners and maintenance workers. Applicants should be at least 16 and able to work through the summer, weekends and evenings.

via Schlitterbahn accepting applications for 300 jobs at KCK water park – Kansas City Star.


– It’s going to take 2,100 people to build the Las Brisas Energy Center.

It will take 4 and a half years of construction to complete the project on 80 acres of land, and anybody can apply.

via Las Brisas Announces Jobs To Become Available – Corpus Christi, TX | KRISTV.COM |.


– North Canton Mayor David Held held a news conference this morning in the Hoover Complex Auditorium to announce that Absolute Health Services and Altercare of Ohio Inc., owned and operated by the Schroer Group Inc., will lease 57,000 square feet of office space in the Hoover Complex’s B Building. The move will bring 250 professional jobs to North Canton.

via Ohio.com – 250 more jobs coming to former Hoover site .


– MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is adding 405 civilian jobs this year, more than tripling the number of expected hires, the New Hampshire Union-Leader reports.

via Maine Wire – wbztv.com .


– Home Depot will join its competitor in the CenterPoint Commerce and Trade Park and bring at least 350 jobs to the area with the aid of state funds.

Mike: Plenty of news to digest this day. Economic numbers that weren’t as bad as expected seems to have lifted the spirits of many, but I wouldn’t want to get to cheerful until the job numbers stabilize. The fact that GM has to close most plants for nini weeks will affect more than just GM and those affects could be far and wide, since this country’s manufacturing base is heavily influenced by auto production.

Have a great weekend and I’ll update this post throughout the weekend when the news warrants.

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Tom Toles - Apr 24

Tom Toles - Apr 24


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One Comment to “April 24, 25, 26 – Credit Card Bill of Rights? – Cessna may cut 2,800 more jobs – Apple axed 1600 in first quarter – L.L. Bean to lay off up to 240 – Medtronic lays off 240 – Trinity Rail to dump 659 – Stanley to eliminate 550”

  1. Imee says:

    I didn’t know that even Apple had to lay off a lot of people. So many companies are letting people go, it’s not like they have a choice. It’s no wonder so many people are turning to online and telecommute jobs just to get by.

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