Mike: I hope that your weekend was enjoyed.

A couple of important economic reports  - Construction Spending and Pending Home Sales Index - both indicate improvement from previous months. I’ll post more particulars as they are released, but improvement in these sectors is welcomed, especially in the relation to construction and and real estate related jobs.

 

Mike: I sometimes shake my head in amazement at the tone of the Obama administration with regards to businesses and the uber-wealthy. While it’s all tone so far and little substance, it’s at least somewhat refreshing to see the corporate titans squirm in their seats from having to play and pay, instead of just playing and then sending themselves and their profits to the Caymans. The indignity of it all – corporations may be required have to pay their fair share of taxes, just like the citizen taxpayer

 

- Administration officials depicted the move as a way to close unfair tax loopholes that encouraged companies to send jobs overseas. They argued that if it costs the same amount to do business in, say, Ireland as in Iowa, why not do it entirely in Des Moines? Officials said Obama would characterize the move as a way to keep jobs in the United States and fight a system that is rigged against U.S. companies who keep their entire business operation domestic.

Obama also planned to ask Congress to crack down on tax havens and implement a major shift in the way courts view guilt. Under Obama’s proposal, Americans would have to prove they were not breaking U.S. tax laws by sending money to banks that don’t cooperate with tax officials. It essentially would reverse the long-held assumption of innocence in U.S. courts.

via Obama to crack down on business taxes - Yahoo! Finance.

 

Flu News

Mike: Here are a couple ways to track swine flu cases: via Swine Flu Cases Map – Interactive Graphic – NYTimes.com and http://flutracker.rhizalabs.com/.

 

Developer IntuApps is preparing (hoping?) for the approval of a Swine Flu Tracker app for iPhone and iPod touch, a tool that will enable every handset owner on the planet to successfully zig-zag through the hotbeds of the infection. The app will be distributed free of charge, following its approval in the App Store.

via There’s an App for Swine Flu Tracking on Your iPhone – Waiting to be approved by Apple – Softpedia.

 

- In remarks setting the scene for another alert increase, but without saying when, WHO chief Margaret Chan warned against over-confidence following a stabilization in the number of new cases of the H1N1 strain that has proved deadly in Mexico.

Level 6 does not mean, in any way, that we are facing the end of the world. It is important to make this clear because (otherwise) when we announce level 6 it will cause an unnecessary panic,” she told Spanish newspaper El Pais.

via WHO head indicates full flu pandemic to be declared.

 

Don Wright - May 4

Don Wright - May 4

 

* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:
US/Canada
International:

 

- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News -

 

ibm2- Perhaps more than any other U.S. high-technology company, IBM Corp. has been subjected to intense media scrutiny in the aftermath of a string of recent under-the-radar layoffs. Much of that unwanted attention is a direct result of union activism that has taken on a decidedly “we’re mad as hell and we’re-not going to take it anymore” tone. Following an IBM shareholder meeting last week, fighting words like “greed” were being lobbed like hand grenades.

- General Economic News -

 

- May 4 (Bloomberg) — Spending on U.S. construction projects unexpectedly rose in March for the first time in six months as increases in commercial and government projects overshadowed an ongoing drop in home building.

The 0.3 percent gain followed a revised 1 percent drop the prior month, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The advance in non-residential projects was led by building of power plants, hotels and factories.

via Construction Spending in the U.S. Unexpectedly Rose in March – Bloomberg.com.

 

- Pending home sales rose in March for the second consecutive month and are up year over year. The Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors showed a 3.2% gain to 84.6 from February, when it was 82. The index stands 1.6% higher than a year ago.

The consensus forecast of industry experts polled by Briefing.com had predicted no increase in the index.

via March pending home sales in surprise jump - May. 4, 2009 .

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- May 4 (Bloomberg) — Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett lambasted bankers, insurers and regulators for being blind to the possibility home prices could fall, and said their shortcomings caused the worst recession in half a century.

Buffett and Vice Chairman Charles Munger said Wall Street sold subprime mortgage “sewage,” blamed the media and regulators for missing the danger and said the government stress tests of financial firms won’t advance Berkshire’s understanding of the stocks the company owns. Buffett hosted a record 35,000 people at the Omaha, Nebraska-based firm’s annual meeting May 2 and spoke at a news conference yesterday.

via Buffett Lambastes Bankers, Insurers for ‘Stupidity’ (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.

Jim Morin - May 4

Jim Morin - May 4

- Government Layoff News -

 

- Hudson Valley school districts will shed more than 300 jobs next school year to keep tax-levy increases low in budget proposals that go before voters May 19.

via Mid-Hudson schools plan 300 job cuts - recordonline.com – The Times Herald Record.

 

- San Jose City Manager Debra Figone’s proposal Thursday to close a $77.5 million budget deficit would lay off as many as 149 employees, close libraries nearly half the week, eliminate the police mounted patrol and reduce traffic enforcement.

via Proposed San Jose budget would lay off 149 employees, cut library hours – San Jose Mercury News.

 

- ”Overall, we’re looking at cutting $17.8 million out of a budget and that budget is 90 percent salaries,” said Steve Martin, a Durham School Board Member. “What the Superintendent has proposed is cutting 377 positions total.”

 

- US and some Canada Layoff News -

 

 

delphi- Kokomo – About 200 workers are out of a job at the Delphi plant in Kokomo.

 

Mike: I am seeing the trend of the story below happening more and more as companies realize that business is not going to get better quickly. Many of those who were told that they would return are now faced with the ugly realization that their good paying jobs are not permanently gone.

wabash-Wabash National Corp. has told nearly 800 workers who were laid off over the winter that it does not expect to recall them.

The Lafayette-based truck-trailer manufacturer notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development of the decision on Friday, saying the decision was prompted by declining demand projections for new trailers.               

IBJ.com – Indianapolis Business Journal – Story Detail.

 

faurecia- Following Chrysler’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last week, Tong said Faurecia laid off approximately 150 associates in Cleveland in order to respond to changes in customer’s production schedule.

 

chicken-of-the-sea- A tuna cannery in American Samoa is closing in part because of a rise in the minimum wage mandated by recent changes to federal law.

San Diego-based Chicken of the Sea International says it will close its COS Samoa Packing plant at the end of September.

The cannery has more than 2,000 workers and is one of the territory’s largest employers.

via American Samoa cannery to close amid wage hike - Forbes.com.

 

dawn-food- Dawn Food Products a company that has been around for 80 years announced that it would be closing its Ossian location at the end of June 2009. 59 employees will be effected by the

 

- River Ranch Fresh Foods expects to lay off 210 employees and end harvest operations at its Abbott Street facility in Salinas on or about June 1, the company said in a notice to the Monterey County Workforce Investment Board.

via River Ranch Fresh Foods warns of layoffs in Salinas | thecalifornian.com | The Salinas Californian.

 

-Auto and home insurer Mercury General Corp (MCY.N) posted an 18 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit, hurt by lower net premiums earned, but beat market estimates, and said it cut 360 jobs in the quarter.

via UPDATE 1-Mercury General Q1 oper profit falls; cuts 7 pct jobs

 

-Fraser Papers Inc. is laying off 100 workers and dropping production at its Madawaska mill in response to weakened demand for its paper.

via Fraser cuts 100 jobs in Madawaska | Mainebiz.

 

- Ambulance service closure to cost 116 jobs

IBJ.com – Indianapolis Business Journal – Story Detail.

 

hospital1- BENNINGTON — Three high-level executives at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington have lost their jobs as part of an effort to ease an ongoing financial crisis at the hospital.

 

- The New Jersey Nets have laid off 10 front office employees as part of cost-cutting measures that come after Nets Sports & Entertainment lost $27.8 million in fiscal 2009.

via Nets cut front office staffing, lay off 10.

 

blue-cross-blue-shield- Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey says 170 employees received layoff notices Monday. The company says another 83 open positions will not be filled.

via New Jersey’s largest health insurer cuts 253 jobs | AP | 05/04/2009.

 

- Says reduced about 40% of its workforce – SEC filing

via BRIEF-Sunstone Hotel says cut 40% jobs - Forbes.com.

 

newspaper1- Little Rock – The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has told its newsroom employees that another round of layoffs is coming.

via Democrat-Gazette Employees Warned of Layoffs|Channel 7 News.

 

-High Point, NC — American Express is making cuts locally and citing the economy. The company will cut approximately 100 jobs from their Business Travel division.

via American Express Travel Closing Triad Location Eliminating Jobs | digtriad.com | Triad, NC | Local and State News Article.

 

- KNOXVILLE — Atlantic Southeast Airlines is laying off 30 people at Tri-Cities Regional Airport effective June 23 after losing a bid to continue handling ground operations for Delta Airlines there, however, there is a chance many of them will get to work for the new contractor, Mesaba Airlines, an Atlantic spokeswoman said today.

via ASA lays off 30 at Tri-Cities airport : Business : Knoxville News Sentinel.

 

- Cut and consolidate seems to be the favorite tactic of b2b publishers trying to weather the most severe downturn many of these companies have ever seen. IDG Communications confirmed to minonline that it is making substantial reductions in its overall workforce and combining formerly independent units into a single company. CIO, ComputerWorld, InfoWorld, Network World, CSO, IT World and Industry Standard now will be combined into a single business based in Framingham, Mass.

via IDG Cuts 8% of Staff and Reorganizes :: MinOnline.

 

- Making the budget the right size means we have to reduce expenditures,” YME School Board Chair Elmo Volstad said in a serious, earnest tone as he called for resolutions eliminating 14 teaching positions at the YME board meeting Monday evening.

via Granite Falls Advocate Tribune – News.

 

- Sierra Pacific Industries closed its small log mill in the Plumas County town of Quincy, putting 150 people out of work. A big hit for a community of 5,000. The last thing a small community needs in this economic climate and loss of those paychecks is only the beginning of the impact.

via Sierra Town Takes Big Hit–150 Jobs Lost / Northern Nevada, Reno, Lake Tahoe, News Now .

 

- EUSTIS – A call center plans to hand out layoff notices to all of its more than 400 employees by the end of the month, the company’s corporate office said today.

via Accent Marketing Services LLC in Eustis to lay off all of its nearly 500 employees – OrlandoSentinel.com.

 

- Searles had hoped to get 10 more days from We Energies to try to pay an overdue bill of about $27,000, which dates back four months. Instead, he was forced to close and lay off 23 employees.

via Brady Street Café, studio close; 23 laid off - JSOnline.

 

- Today, Pathway eliminated 39 jobs, or about 19 percent of its workforce, leaving it with a staff of about 170, according to CEO Paul Buckman. The company made the cutbacks because it had to settle for $42.3 million in its latest round of venture capital—not the $55 million it was shooting for. That meant it was on pace to run out of cash by the end of 2010, before it expects to turn profitable in the first half of 2011.

via Pathway Medical Cuts One-Fifth of Staff as Fundraising, Sales Projections Fall Short | Xconomy.

 

Staff at Covalon has been reduced from 41 individuals to a complement of 28. The Company estimates annual financial savings of almost $900,000 in direct costs. The Company estimates related severance costs to be $95,000.

via Covalon Announces Significant Cost Reductions.

 

- FAIRFIELD TWP. – For the first time in more than a dozen years, Butler Tech plans to lay off teachers in anticipation of $1.3 million in state funding freezes, lower local tax revenue and a drop in enrollment

via Butler Tech to cut 8 teachers | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com.

 

- The proposed CSU budget for next year spares workers from furloughs but forces about 40 layoffs and requires resident undergraduates to pay 9 percent higher tuition.

 

 

- International Layoff News -

 

- LONDON (Reuters) – WPP, the global advertising company, is to cut 7,200 jobs this year as the recession forces companies to slash their advertising costs, reports The Observer.

About half of this number has already been lost, with the rest expected to go by the end of 2009, said the newspaper citing sources close to the company.

via WPP to reportedly cut 7,200 jobs | Reuters .

 

- LONDON, May 3 (Reuters) – Software group Sage will announce 1,000 job cuts alongside its interim results this week, The Sunday Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

via Sage to axe 1,000 jobs-report – Forbes.com.

 

- Harman Technology, the Mobberley-based company formed in 2004 to buy the Ilford Imaging photographic paper business from the receivers, has entered into consultation with its workers which could lead to nearly a quarter of the workforce losing their jobs.

via Up to 80 jobs under threat at Harman – Crain’s Manchester Business .

 

- Experts believe that placing LDV into administration could threaten more than 2,500 jobs at dealerships and suppliers.

via LDV redundancies loom - Telegraph.

 

- Unions say hundreds of Telstra workers are about to lose their jobs as part of the company’s ongoing redundancy program.

via Telstra poised for major job cuts: unions - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

 

- DUBLIN Airport Authority (DAA) is expected to axe up to 350 jobs at the country’s three main airports as part of a €70m cost-cutting plan.

via DAA to cut 350 jobs at three major airports – National News, Frontpage – Independent.ie.

 

anglo-platinum-Anglo Platinum (Angloplat) was targeting platinum output of 2.4 million ounces this year and had shed 4 195 jobs to cut costs, the mining group said last week.

The group said the job cuts were in line with its target headcount reduction of 10 000 by the end of this year.

via Business Report – Angloplat cuts 4 195 jobs to reduce costs.

 

- Finnish cabling maker PKC said in a statement Monday it would cut 128 jobs at its wiring harness factory in Kempele.

via Finland’s PKC cuts 128 jobs in Kempele .

 

- Sunrise Senior Living Inc (SRZ.N) said it will cut about 150 jobs to reduce spending and that its chief financial officer’s employment would be terminated as part of the downsizing.

via UPDATE 1-Sunrise Senior to cut 150 jobs; replaces CFO | Reuters .

 

- Mortgage financier Quest Capital Corp (QC.TO)(QCq.L) said it plans to cut jobs to reduce overhead costs amid a weak credit market, and that its Chief Executive Officer Stephen Coffey will step down.

via UPDATE 1-Quest Capital to cut jobs, CEO to step down | Reuters .

 

-Kuwaiti mobile operator Mobile Telecommunications Co (ZAIN.KW) (Zain) will cut its 15,500 workforce by about 2,000 staff through to 2011 to cut costs and boost its margin, the firm said on Monday.

via UPDATE 1-Kuwait’s Zain plans 2,000 job cuts to 2011 | Reuters .

 

- Ernst & Young, one of the world’s biggest auditing companies, is reportedly encouraging its staff in China to leave the company.

via Ernst & Young Cuts Staff In China - ChinaCSR.com – Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability News for China.

 

-A labor dispute at the Hanita metal factory came to a close yesterday, after the Histadrut labor federation and the factory’s union signed an agreement with management under which 27 employees will be laid off.

via Metalworks labor dispute ends with deal to lay off 27 – Haaretz – Israel News .

 

- Supermarket chain Blue Square Israel Ltd. (NYSE: BSI; TASE: BSI) reportedly plans to fire 120 employees

 

 

- Hiring News and News You Can Use-

 

- NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — As unemployed Americans struggle to find full-time work, many will have to settle for positions that are easier to come by – freelance.

Freelance professionals now make up more than a quarter of the U.S. working population, or 26%, according to a survey by human resources consulting firm Kelly Services, Inc, up from 19% in 2006.

via With full-time jobs scarce, workers are forced to freelance - May. 4, 2009 .

 

- LANDER, Wyo. – Seventy-five new jobs are coming to Lander, with the opening of Safeway’s “Lifestyle” store. The company broke ground last month on the nearly 45,000-square-foot store in Lander’s new business park. Store owners say at least that many new employees will be added to the already 30 employees manning Lander’s current store. News of the store’s groundbreaking was released by the Wyoming Business Report.

via rivertonradio.com – West Central Wyoming’s leading news and information web site.

 

- When freshly minted college grads stream into the work force this summer, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. will give 1,500 of them cubicles and business cards.

via Survey: Six Pittsburgh-area companies to hire hundreds of college grads - Pittsburgh Business Times: .

 

- The U.S. Census Bureau is looking to fill management positions in its offices in Elk Grove, Sacramento and Placerville as it prepares for next year’s count.

via Job Front: Census Bureau is hiring in region – Sacramento Business, Housing Market News | Sacramento Bee.

 

- DALLAS -- The Regus Group , the world’s largest provider of fully furnished and equipped offices with 1,000 locations in 75 countries, today announced that it is hiring 50 new positions for its corporate office located at 15305 Dallas Parkway, suite 300 in Addison.

via dBusinessNews :: Daily Business News Delivered to Your Desktop.

 

-Shacknews noticed that over on Gearbox’s website, the company is recruiting for “all projects,” and furthermore, the Alien project was listed at time of press as “in-development” (currently it lists development as “TBA,” having updated that specific page on the website as of today).

via Gearbox Software is hiring, Aliens: Colonial Marines still in development.

 

- Company officials will be taking applications from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 and at the same time on Thursday, May 7 at the New Hartford Shopping Center, said Bill Bender, general manager of the Save-A-Lot store there.

via Save-A-Lot wants to hire between 20 to 25 employees – Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch.

 

- Government jobs may be aplenty and growing. Some estimates range from 250,000 to 600,000 new jobs, primarily due to the stimulus bill and changing government priorities, says Stewart Liff, author of Managing Your Government Career, who also suspects those numbers are too high.

 

Mike: Another Monday where the international layoffs outpaced the US/Canada cuts. Tuesday may be a different story. We can hope it remains relatively quiet. Till then ………………………….

 

 

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Ted Rall - May 4

Ted Rall - May 4

 

 

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