Mike: Good day to all. Today’s economic reports include weekly retail sales and the S&P Case-Shiller HPI, which tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 US metropolitan regions. This index has declined in every quarter since 2nd quarter, 2006. Housing price stability is vital to an improved economy. Obviously, if home prices continue to  fall, that leads to more foreclosures and less available home equity; neither of which signifies a strong economy.  Swine flu is still making headlines and people nervous, so here’s a way to track the bug: Google maps app –  swine flu tracker


Mike: Onto one of those more difficult conversational moments. I’m currently without a regular job and I notice that many of my friends and family have a tough time breaching the unemployment subject. Most ask a quick question like: Are you working yet? Did you find a new project? How’s the job situation? Once I answer that I’m not working full-time, it just goes quiet and the subject changes to something lighter, such as baseball or the weather. How do you approach those who have lost their job? How do those who have lost their job respond to the questions of their well meaning, but uncomfortable friends and family? The following two stories are examples of that difficult to broach subject


A FEW months ago, I was having lunch with a friend who had just heard that her husband had lost his banking job. I commiserated and when the bill came, I reached to pay it — but then hesitated, because I didn’t want her to feel like a charity case. We ended up splitting the check.

Unfortunately, it was not the last time I faced the dilemma of how to react appropriately when hearing of a friend’s job loss. While much has been written on coping with being laid off, there is far less on what to say and do when someone close to you is suddenly unemployed.

via Shortcuts – Navigating a Delicate Subject – A Friend’s Layoff – NYTimes.com.


– But what do you say? With unemployment at 8.5 per cent, almost all of us know at least one person who has been laid off. Of course we want to offer comforting words and acknowledge the loss, but it’s tough to know what’s appropriate and what could be unintentionally hurtful.

“The best thing you can do is be compassionately considerate,” says Peter Post, author of “The Etiquette Advantage in Business” and director of the Emily Post Institute. “Don’t tip-toe around and pretend it’s not there. You can’t ignore it. But don’t make the person feel like an object viewed in a window either.”

via CTV.ca | What should you do when your friends get laid off?.

Stuart Carlson - Apr 28

Stuart Carlson - Apr 28


* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:


Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


– It’s tough for laymen to know just how serious (or not) the current outbreak of swine flu will become. Sunday’s press conference at the White House was enough to rattle me, especially since it came after the email I got from Steve, my friend and doctor, on Friday: “Medically, this is VERY scary!!!” He’s not normally a three exclamation point guy.

If you’re interested in tracking swine flu cases there is now a Google maps app to help. As I type this it’s received 49,167 views.

via Track Swine Flu via Google Maps – News and Analysis by PC Magazine.


General Economic News – 

-NEW YORK (AP) — In another sign the housing crisis could be reaching the bottom, home prices dropped sharply in February but for the first time in 25 months the decline was not a record.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed home prices in 20 major cities tumbled by 18.6 percent from February 2008. That was slightly better than January’s 19 percent and the first time since January 2007 the index didn’t set a record.

via The Associated Press: Home prices post 18.6 percent annual drop in Feb..

Mike: I only report the numbers, but when I see two conflicting reports I scratch my head in wonder. Below you can see that consumer confidence increased markedly in April, but the story below that shows that two in five workers in WA are fearful of job loss. How can consumer confidence bounce up, yet there are so many worried about job loss? The job loss fears story is from one state only, but I would think it reflective of many others. Any ideas why the disconnect? Are you feeling more confident; and if so, why? I’m bewildered again
– April 28 (Bloomberg) — Consumer confidence jumped more than forecast in April as stocks rallied, mortgage rates dropped and Americans thought more jobs will become available, adding to signs the recession may be easing.

The Conference Board’s sentiment index climbed to 39.2, the highest level since November, from 26.9 in March, the New York- based research group said today. The gain was the biggest since November 2005.

via Consumer Confidence in U.S. Jumps More Than Forecast (Update2) – Bloomberg.com .


– Two out of every five Washington residents are worried about losing their jobs, according to a survey released Tuesday.

The increasing unemployment rate and fears about the economy’s getting worse have made workers more pessimistic, the Washington State Workplace Confidence Survey shows.

via Almost half of us worry about losing our jobs.



Chris Britt - Apr 28

Chris Britt - Apr 28


– US chain store sales down 0.7 pct last week

Government Layoff News


– GAINES TOWNSHIP — The Byron Center Public Schools board on Monday agreed to issue layoff notices to 30 teachers, effective next school year, as the district works to close a projected $2.1 million budget gap.

via Byron Center Public Schools will issue layoff notices to 30 teachers – Grand Rapids News – The Latest News, Blogs, Photos & Videos – MLive.com .


– About 20 workers will lose their jobs as part of a budget-balancing plan that proposes eliminating 74 positions, including about 54 that already are vacant.

via Fremont to lay off about 20 workers – Inside Bay Area.


– Effective July 1, a total of 26 staff members at Coldwater Community Community Schools will be laid off.

via Coldwater Schools to layoff 26 employees – Coldwater, MI – The Daily Reporter.


– As many as 220 educators in the Bethel School District could lose their jobs at the end of this academic year after receiving layoff notices Monday.

via Local News | Bethel School District gives layoff notices to 220 teachers | Seattle Times Newspaper.


– Faced with budget cuts, the Hesperia Unified School District school board voted Monday night to cut 27 non-teacher positions for the next school year.

via Board votes to lay off 27 non-teacher school staff | school, board, year – Local News – Hesperia Star – The Star of the West.


– EATON, Ohio — With Preble County tightening its belt in every department, the May 5 special election will be conducted with fewer polling places and poll workers.

via Preble cuts polls, staff | pal-item.com | Palladium-Item.


– CHIPPEWA FALLS – The Bloomer school district has eliminated two sports teams and several teacher’s aides to help balance a 2009-10 budget that showed a $244,000 deficit, according to Superintendent Mary Randall.

via Leader-Telegram Online.


– Superintendent Don Grotting tells NewsChannel 7 that the school board met Monday night and has approved reducing the district’s staff by 20 employees in the coming school year.


US and some Canada Layoff News



gm7– Update: General Motors Corp. on Monday announced plans to scrap its Pontiac brand, cut 23,000 U.S. factory jobs by 2011 and close 16 auto plants as part of a speeded-up restructuring effort to win billions more government aid.In total, GM is increasing by more than 7,000 the job cuts it announced on Feb. 17, and will whack dealer ranks by an additional 500. The automaker also will close another plant, raising the total to 16 of its 47 U.S. manufacturing plants by 2012.

via GM to cut 23,000 U.S. factory jobs by 2011, shed Pontiac | detnews.com | The Detroit News


gm8-MONTREAL (AFP) — The Canadian branch of troubled US automaker General Motors said on Monday it would cut 5,900 jobs in Canada by 2014 — nearly 60 percent of its workforce here — in a restructuring bid.

via AFP: GM Canada to cut 5,900 jobs by 2014.


gm9– Industry officials said in addition to the 6,000 direct job losses, another 14,000 eventually will disappear at dealerships and a further 18,000 will be out of work in the parts sector.

via TheStar.com | Business | GM Canada to kill 38,000 jobs .


gm10– DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Corp. told its dealers Tuesday that it will force 1,000 to 1,200 underperforming locations to close their doors as the automaker tries to thin dealer ranks to make the remaining outlets more profitable.


timken1– Update: CANTON — Timken Co., the Canton industrial bearing and steel maker, said Monday that low global demand for some products will result in at least 3,000 job cuts through the rest of 2009.

via Timken plans to cut at least 3,000 more jobs – .


magna-international– Magna International Inc. MG.A-T is cutting 725 jobs temporarily at one of its largest parts-making plants in Canada amid a major trim in production of trucks and sport utility vehicles by General Motors Corp.

The job cuts at Magna’s Formet pickup truck and SUV frame-making facility in St. Thomas, Ont., will leave about 200 people working and will remain in effect until the GM plants come back on line, Magna said in a statement.

via reportonbusiness.com: Magna cutting 725 jobs as GM demand for truck parts dwindles.


american-axle– Starting in mid-May, when the supplier starts its summer shut down, American Axle told the union that it will start moving axle work from Detroit to Guanajuato, Mexico, said Bill Alford, president of UAW Local 235, which represents workers at American Axle’s local factories.

Alford said the move would result in several hundred layoffs.

via American Axle to cut Detroit jobs | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press.


– Hundreds more coal miners are out of a job after Appalachian Fuels Lays off employees in Pike County.

A letter sent to employees said the layoffs are due to weak market conditions.

No one from the Appalachian Fuels office in Ashland has returned our calls yet, but the letter says the layoffs are temporary

via Hundreds Of Coal Miners Are Laid Off.


– Monahan Filaments in Middlebury is laying off half its work force. The bristle manufacturer is letting go of about 50 employees starting in June. Both union and management positions are being eliminated.

via Layoffs at Monahan Filaments – WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-.


– BUFFALO, N.Y. – A North Buffalo company will be shutting down sending thirty-seven workers to the unemployment lines. SPX Process Equipment , the WCB Flow Products of Buffalo, is undergoing a restructuring.

via North Buffalo mfg plant to close | WIVB.com.


– The J. Paul Getty Trust will slash its workforce by 14% — a loss of 205 jobs — under a newly adopted budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year that begins July 1. In a statement released Monday,

via Getty Trust to slash budget and lay off 97 workers | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times.


level-3– BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Level 3 Communications Inc. is cutting 150 positions to further “flatten” the organization and cost structure, officials said in the Broomfield-based company’s earnings report Tuesday.

via Level 3 reports lower Q1 revenues, cuts 150 more jobs : Breaking News : Broomfield Enterprise.


– After its fifth consecutive quarterly loss, Amcore Financial of Rockford, Ill., has announced cost-reduction measures including elimination of 116 jobs, decreases in executive pay and an adjustment of branch hours.



– About 100 employees at the University of Toledo will be laid off, UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs announced Tuesday.

via toledoblade.com — .


– Los Angeles – Entertainment and pop culture blog network Buzz Media laid off virtually all of those involved with its Idolator music blog, leaving founding editor Maura Johnston to operate the site “as a solo project of sorts,” according to a post on Idolator.com from Johnston.

via Buzz Media Cuts Staff at Music Blog Idolator to One | Digital Media Wire.


hutchinson-technology– Hutchinson, Minn. — Hutchinson Technology says it is cutting another 300 jobs. The company has announced job cuts totaling more than 40 percent of its workforce since last fall.

via MPR: Hutchinson Technology cuts more jobs.


sothebye28099s– At the end of last year Sotheby’s laid off about 15 percent of its global work force. On Tuesday, the ailing auction house announced that it was planning a further 5 percent drop in its head count.

via More Job Cuts Planned at Sotheby’s – ArtsBeat Blog – NYTimes.com.


atmel– California-based Atmel Corp. laid off 266 employees from its Colorado Springs semiconductor plant Tuesday, its second round of layoffs in five months amid slumping sales.

via Atmel lays off 266 workers | atmel, colorado, springs – Breaking News – Colorado Springs Gazette, CO.


– KJR-AM, the flagship station for UW football and men’s basketball, laid off at least three employees today, apparently as part of corporate downsizing.

via Husky Football Blog | Husky flagship station lays off three | Seattle Times Newspaper Blog.


– With the end of CCR’s corporate marketing department, all staffers are leaving the company, including senior vice president of marketing Sanda Coyle and her top executvies.

The company didn’t specify how many employees were affected by the cutback.

via MediaPost Publications Clear Channel Radio Axes Corporate Marketing 04/29/2009.



International Layoff News



wind– COPENHAGEN (AFP) — The world’s biggest wind energy group, Vestas of Denmark, said Tuesday it would cut 1,900 jobs in northern Europe due to slumping demand, and posted a 70 percent rise in first-quarter net profits.

via AFP: Danish wind firm Vestas cuts 1,900 jobs.


nokia– Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, said on Tuesday it would reduce investment in creating new services, helping it to cut further 450 jobs.

via Nokia to hone services focus, cut jobs | Reuters .


sca– Swedish paper maker SCA will close 11 factories and cut 2200 jobs in Europe, some 14% of its workforce there, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.


– April 28 (Reuters) – Troubled subprime lender Cattles Plc (CTT.L) said on Tuesday it proposed to close its direct distribution car retailer, Welcome Car Finance, to preserve cash and improve liquidity, and would cut about 130 jobs within the group.

via UPDATE 1-Cattles to shut car retailer unit, cut 130 jobs | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .


– Cargotec also said on Tuesday it would reorganise its Hiab and Kalmar businesses, aiming to save 15 million euros ($19.5 million) by the end of the year at a cost of 25 million including 350 job cuts.

via UPDATE 1-Cargotec Q1 profit slides, outlook gloomy, cuts jobs | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


tv2– Owner MEN Media announced this morning that the combined effects of the recession and structural changes to regional media meant that 41 out of the Manchester-based broadcaster’s staff of 100 would be facing redundancy.

via Channel M to cut 41 jobs .


– About 50 jobs could be axed by Birmingham International Airport, which has seen passenger numbers fall.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | West Midlands | Birmingham Airport to axe 50 jobs.


– Hit hard by the IC downturn, Kulicke & Soffa Industries Inc. (K&S) has cut 250 more jobs and announced a plan to transfer its manufacturing operations currently based in Israel to China.

via EETimes.com – K&S cuts jobs, shifts production to China.


– Approximately 725 salaried and hourly workers at Formet’s plant in St. Thomas will be laid off temporarily as of next week.

via Formet furlo’s another 725 – St. Thomas Times-Journal – Ontario, CA .


– A rumored sharp drop in global ad spending by Philip Morris could spell big trouble for Leo Burnett/Chicago, where the cigarette giant has long been one of the agency’s flagship accounts.

via Source: 300 jobs could be cut at ad firm Burnett :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Lewis Lazare.


– Executive recruiter Heidrick & Struggles International Inc (HSII.O) posted a surprise first-quarter loss, and said it would cut more jobs, sending its shares down 22 percent.

via UPDATE 2-Heidrick posts surprise loss, to cut more jobs | Deals | Regulatory News | Reuters .


– About 470 jobs hang in the balance as clothing maker Lane Walker Rudkin – which once employed Prime Minister John Key – goes into receivership owing more than $50 million.



Hiring News and News You Can Use



– In hard times, metropolitan areas in Texas and college towns hold out the best opportunities for employment.
– The Sun Belt just might recover, but employment prospects look grim in Michigan, Ohio and California.

via Worst Cities For Jobs – Forbes.com.


– Toshiba plans to create more than 100 energy-related jobs at a new Charlotte-area location, a person familiar with the project said Monday – a big win for business recruiters’ efforts to grow the region’s energy cluster.

via Toshiba bringing jobs to the area | CharlotteObserver.com.


– The Flexaust Co., a hose and ducting manufacturer, announced Tuesday it will expand its Warsaw operations, creating up to 20 new jobs and expanding training opportunities for existing employees.

via Warsaw plant growing_ adding 20 jobs | The Journal Gazette, Fort Wayne, Ind..


– Toshiba America Nuclear Energy will add 194 jobs in Mecklenburg County after receiving a grant from state officials this morning worth as much as $4.88 million over nine years.

via Toshiba nuclear division to add 194 jobs – Business – News & Observer.


-MARTINSVILLE, Va. — American of Martinsville will consolidate with Barcalounger Home, resulting in 94 new jobs and securing 121 existing jobs at the company’s Redd Level facility.

via Furniture company adding jobs in Martinsville, Va. : News-Record.com : Greensboro & the Triad’s most trusted source for local news and analysis.


– Mars Petcare US plans to add a research-and-development facility at its existing Kansas City manufacturing site, update production capabilities at the site and create as many as 157 additional full-time jobs within a year.


Mike: More news later……………………


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Matt Davies - Apr 28

Matt Davies - Apr 28



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