Mike: Best of Friday to you all and thanks for visiting The Layoff List.
Today’s monthly jobs report came in better than expected at 539,000 for job losses, but the unemployment rate still increased to 8.9%, which is the highest recorded since September 1983. The article below has a number of points that factored into this lower figure and they are worth considering on a point-by-point basis

The Labor Department tally released Friday wasn’t nearly as deep as the 620,000 job cuts that economists were expecting, and was helped by a burst of federal government hiring of temporary workers to prepare for the 2010 Census. The rise in the unemployment rate from 8.5 percent in March matched economists’ forecasts.

Mike: Media are finally including the all-important U6 unemployment model, which gives a more complete picture of current unemployment. The graph below, from John Williams’ http://www.shadowstats.com/ shows the U6 rate vs. the generally reported U3 rate. Congratulations to the media for finally giving unemployment figures a more complete review.

If  laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time work are included, the unemployment rate would have been 15.8 percent in April, the highest on records dating back to 1994. The total number of unemployed now stands at 13.7 million, up from 13.2 million in March.

Mike: As you can see below, the burst of federal hiring, especially regarding Census jobs, kept the jobless losses from being much worse. It needs to be understood that these are temporary jobs and many of these same folk will be back on the unemployment line once their Census jobs complete later this spring. Renewed Census hiring will occur this fall and it’s likely many of those now working for Census will be rehired

The slower pace of job losses — along with 66,000 more federal jobs — helped to temper the overall payroll reductions in April. The pick up in federal employment was mainly due to hiring of temporary census workers.

Mike: While the reported numbers were improved, the revised numbers continue to increase, so it’s likely that today’s reported 539,000 will increase. In fact, the revised numbers for the past two months show an additional 66,000 job losses.  The revised numbers don’t seem to make much headline, but those are substantially higher revisions.

The US job market needs to create 120,000 jobs per month just to break even. So not only did the US lose 539,000 jobs, it didn’t create the 120,000 a month needed for new entries into the workforce. To look at it another way, if US employers create 779,000 jobs next month, they will erase the 539,000 lost in April, plus add the 120,000 new jobs for a break-even April and the 120,000 new jobs needed for May. I mention that simply to make a point and not to dwell on the negative. I just think it’s wise to look at the real state of affairs and not the spun state of affairs

Job losses in February and March turned out to be deeper, according to revised figures. Employers cut 681,000 positions in February, 30,000 more than previously reported. They cut 699,000 jobs in March, more than the 663,000 first reported.

via Layoffs slow to 539K in April; jobless rate rises – Yahoo! Finance.

 Chart of U.S. Unemployment




Mike: I was glad to see the following post from Naked Capitalism, which appears to cut through the unemployment numbers similar to what I attempted to describe above:

The unemployment figures just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are totally cosmetic: We lost a whole lot more than 531,000 unemployed.

First, the “seasonal adjustment”, which is a black box that can tweek me into looking like Dumbo the flying elephant. They’re knocking off ±65,000 workers for no clearly discernible reason.

via naked capitalism: Guest Post: “Ruminations on the Latest Unemployment Figures from the Bureau of Lies and Statistics”.


If you want to read an excellent review of today’s unemployment report, I urge you to read the following:

A total of 270,000 goods producing jobs were lost (higher paying jobs), and the service sector was clobbered once again as well. Last moth I stated “Government lost 5,000 jobs, a welcome event, but I expect this to change in the months ahead along with various stimulus programs.”

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Jobs Contract 16th Straight Month; Unemployment Rate Soars to 8.9%.


Mike: Here’s a nice tool from Google that allows you to see the unemplyment rate by state or county: Unemployment rate by state/county – Google



Chris Britt - May 8

Chris Britt - May 8


Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


msft7– Those layoffs are now seeping through to products, with several being scaled back supposedly due to the loss of workforce. While no product is actually being killed off entirely, the .Net Micro Framework, MSN Direct Service, and the ResponsePoint phone system are all taking significant hits.

General Economic News


Mike: I’ll bet that these small business owners, the life-blood of an economic recovery, are certainly glad that their tax money is going to save the banks that are now strangling their businesses. The bailout was and will remain a big mistake. The banks and hedge fund types get a free ride, while those who paid for the bank’s survival are continually punished

– For small business owners, a line of credit can be a lifesaver, giving them a buffer against cash-flow problems and enabling them to handle regular expenses such as payroll. But beginning in March, according to documents obtained by BusinessWeek, JPMorgan Chase suspended credit lines for a large number of business owners. According to someone familiar with the matter, the move affected thousands of businesses. They had been clients of Washington Mutual before Chase bought the ailing bank in September 2008. The documents show that Chase tasked a special group inside the bank with responding to inquiries from borrowers.


– According to the Labor Department, the U.S. economy shed 539,000 jobs in April, better than the 600,000 anticipated, with unemployment climbing to 8.9%, its highest mark since 1983. A burst of hiring from the federal government helped stem the tide during the month, but the pace of job losses in the manufacturing payrolls also slowed.

via Unemployment Jumps, But Job Losses Slow – Forbes.com.



Lisa Benson - May 8

Lisa Benson - May 8



– WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesalers slashed inventories for a seventh straight month in March as businesses struggled to get stockpiles in line with plunging sales.

The Commerce Department said Friday that wholesale inventories dropped 1.6 percent in March, much larger than the 1 percent fall that analysts had expected. That followed a 1.7 percent drop in February, the largest monthly decline on records that go back 17 years.

Wholesalers also saw sales plunge 2.4 percent in March, the fifth decline in six months.

via Wholesale inventories fall more than expected – Yahoo! Finance.


Mike: One of the downsides of a rapid economic recovery will be rapidly increasing prices for petroleum products. It wasn’t long ago that the US was paying $4 a gallon for gas and with some believing that full recovery is right around the corner, $3 a gallon gas may not be too far ahead. I’d rather pay $3 a gallon for gas than not have a job, but don’t be surprised if you have to pay much more for an economic recovery.

oil-rig– Light, sweet crude for June delivery was up $1.44 at $58.15 a barrel after climbing to a high of $58.29 a barrel earlier in the session.

via Oil climbs above $58 – May. 8, 2009 .


canadaDespite this increase, overall (Canadian) employment has fallen by 321,000 since the peak in October 2008. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.0% in April, remaining at its highest level in seven years, with the growth in employment coinciding with an increase in the labor force.

via RTTNews – Economic News, Economic Reports, Global Economic News,Global Economic Reports, Economic Market Analysis… .


nyc2Mike: While paying for services is always a good idea, I’m not sure that working homeless need to pay nearly 50% of their income for rent at a shelter. They should be encouraged to save their money in order to leave as soon as possible.

Bankers: $700 billion – pay back what you can, when you can and keep those millions in bonuses! Working homeless: pay us nearly 50% of your minimum wage income to cover rent at a rathole and do it now! The fairness of the system: Priceless……..

via Public Shelters in New York Begin Charging Rent for the Working Homeless – NYTimes.com.

– Vanessa Dacosta, who earns $8.40 an hour as a cashier at Sbarro, received a notice under her door several weeks ago informing her that she had to give $336 of her approximately $800 per month in wages to the Clinton Family Inn, a shelter in Hell’s Kitchen where she has lived since March.


Government Layoff News


Mike: Since I live near Rochester, I see how this dysfunctional school system continues to crank out a high school graduation rate of 40-50%. They plan on spending $700 million on a 32,000 student population, which equals spending of about $21,875 per student. You can get a decent college education at a state university for that price, but this school district can only graduate about 50% for $21,875 per student investment. In this scenario, as in most other city school districts across the country, the administrators, school district retirees and unions are the beneficiaries of this out-sized spending, while the students continue to suffer the shortcomings of these poorly managed, money-sucking school systems. That’s why I refer to these school system beasts as the education industrial complex.  As warned of the military industrial complex by President Eisenhower, school systems are now in the same category

– The budget eliminates about 230 positions and at least 200 of those are teaching positions.

via EDUCATION: City school district budget squeaks in under $700 million – News Articles – Rochester City Newspaper.


-The Winslow Township school board, after listening to emotional pleas from workers hoping to save their jobs, voted Wednesday night to lay off 162 staff members, including 40 teachers.

via Winslow Twp. school board to lay off 162 | Philadelphia Inquirer | 05/08/2009.


– Toledo Public Schools could close two elementary schools and cut more than 100 staff positions in an effort to close a $10 million budget gap.

toledoblade.com — .


– School boards in Bainbridge Island, Bremerton and North Kitsap moved Thursday to issue layoff notices by the statewide deadline of May 15.

via Pink Slips Will Soon Wallpaper School Districts Around Kitsap : Top Stories : Kitsap Sun.


– The reductions come as a result of severe budget cuts brought on by the nationwide economic crisis as well as the state’s shortfall of more than $300 million. The state still has not determined exactly how much state aid each district will receive so districts are struggling to plan for the coming year.

via USD 398 Board of Education cuts staff | Peabody Gazette-Bulletin | May 8, 2009.


– Those teachers, all in their first year with the district, received letters from the district last week about their jobs. Superintendent Kathleen Corbin also met with each of them.

via Brownsburg prepares to cut seven teachers | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star .


– Plant operations director Bob Anderson had to cut $480,000 from his department. Much of it comes from reducing custodians and other staff contracts. He said schools will still undergo deep cleaning in the summer but it may not be as it was in the past.

via Details released on Tempe Union High School District cuts.


– The school was forced to eliminate a few positions and programs in order to keep the budget under $25 million. Cuts to the school district include five staff positions, as well as eliminated several junior varsity sports teams at the high school. The school will also get rid of its BOCES services.

via News 10 Now | 24 Hour Local News | TOP STORIES | Hannibal school budget cuts several positions .


– The State Police post in Brighton is one of 48 across Michigan that will be affected by 100 trooper layoffs announced earlier this week

via WHMI 93.5 FM Radio Station for Livingston County Michigan with News, Traffic, and Weather Service for Howell and Brighton.


– The Solvang Elementary School Board approved the layoff of seven of its 30 teachers Tuesday night, the final step in staff reductions that began with preliminary pink slips issued in March.

via Solvang lays off 7 of 30 teachers.


– Superintendent Thomas Shorkey said the district identified about 75 layoffs for the spring at the district’s annual staffing day Wednesday.

via Port Huron schools to cut more teachers, bring fewer back | thetimesherald.com | The Times Herald.


– PUEBLO – Massive layoffs are coming to the Pueblo city school district.   In a special meeting Thursday evening, the D-60 board voted to not bring back 77 teachers.  The vote was unanimous, with one member absent.  Budget cuts and a changed funding formula are cited as reasons for the layoffs.



US and some Canada Layoff News



severstal1– About 3,100 workers at Severstal Wheeling Inc. and Severstal Warren Inc. are affected by the decision, the company said. Some already have lost jobs in earlier rounds of cutbacks, but spokeswoman Bette Kovach declined to provide a breakdown.


gm6– The General Motors Powertrain plant in Tonawanda will shut down for up to two months this summer. The employees were informed of the temporary layoffs Thursday afternoon. The plant normally shuts down for two weeks each summer but this year the plant will shut down for at least four weeks and could it stay shut down for up to eight weeks. The layoffs will affect nearly 1,000 hourly and salaried employees in Tonawanda.


gm7– General Motors will temporarily close the GM Powertrain plant in Spotsylvania from June 1 to July 12.

via Fredericksburg.com – Spotsy GM plant closing for 6 weeks .


cummins– COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – Chrysler’s problems are costing more Hoosiers their jobs. Columbus-based Cummins Inc. will layoff over 600 hourly employees next week.

The company is temporarily closing its midrange engine plant in Walesboro. Workers there build diesel engines for Dodge.

via City winces at news of Cummins layoffs.


magna-international– For now, Young still has his job. Others, like David Oquendo, don’t know.

“I’ll find out tomorrow. It’s a wait and see game,” Oquendo said.

As is the duration of the layoffs. Stanton says they could last through the summer.

via News 10 Now | 24 Hour Local News | ALL NEWS | Layoffs expected at New Process Gear .


– Student loan company Nelnet Inc. will layoff about 250 employees in order to close its local operations by the second quarter 2010.

via Nelnet to lay off 250, close Jacksonville operations – Jacksonville Business Journal: .


– CATOOSA, Okla. – Industrial service provider Harsco Corp. plans to cut 185 jobs at the Port of Catoosa near Tulsa because of the economy.

via Harsco Corp. cuts 185 jobs at Port of Catoosa | AP | 05/07/2009.


newspaper4– SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Union-Tribune is cutting 192 jobs in another round of layoffs affecting all departments at the newspaper.

via The Associated Press: San Diego Union-Tribune cuts 192 jobs.


 – WICKLIFFE, Ky. — A subsidiary of Ohio-based NewPage Corp. says the paper manufacturer is cutting 52 jobs at its Wickliffe, Ky. mill, replacing the manager and closing the plant for a week to reduce production costs.

via Ky. paper company cutting jobs, closing for a week.  


– LexisNexis, a legal and news information provider based in New York, is eliminating 35 jobs in Bellevue, according to a company statement released Thursday. The local office has about 300 employees.

via Business & Technology | LexisNexis cuts 35 jobs in Bellevue | Seattle Times Newspaper.   


hospital5– VALHALLA – Westchester Medical Center expects to cut about 100 more full-time jobs by the end of the year.

via Med Center to cut 100 more jobs through attrition | lohud.com | The Journal News.


– About 50 workers are expected to lose their jobs when Teknor Color Company stops manufacturing at its Hebronville plant in Attleboro in the coming months.

via 50 lose jobs at Attleboro plant | turnto10.com.


– Just one week after inking a $407 million pact with Bayer–which included a $35 million up-front payment–San Diego-based Ardea Biosciences says it’s cutting 47 percent of its workforce.

via Ardea cuts half its workforce – FierceBiotech.


– Harco Industries is cutting 106 jobs in Moraine, in response to General Motors Corp. production reductions, according to public records.

via Moraine manufacturer cutting 106 jobs – Dayton Business Journal: .


norfolk-southern– Rail freight giant Norfolk Southern Corp. notified state officials of plans to cut 86 workers this summer at the Buckeye Yard on the west side of Columbus.

via Norfolk Southern cutting 89 jobs at Buckeye Yard – Business First of Columbus: .


– NILES, Mich. – The Tyler Refrigeration Co. plant in Niles will be closing within three months, putting about 500 people out of work.

Farmington, Conn.-based parent company Carrier Corp. announced Friday it will quit making and selling Tyler-branded commercial refrigeration products.

via Niles refrigeration plant closure to cost 500 jobs — chicagotribune.com.


– Baltimore money manager Legg Mason Inc. has eliminated 20 workers in mutual fund administration roles at its Light Street headquarters.

via Legg Mason cuts 20 jobs in Baltimore — baltimoresun.com.


gavel5– McDonough Holland & Allen PC, Sacramento’s second-largest law firm, has laid off four attorneys and 13 staff to cut costs as revenue continues to decline.

via McDonough lays off 17, as other law firms in region retrench, cut pay – Sacramento Business Journal: .


hospital6– BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) – Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington has laid off 60 employees and slashed hours for 30 others to cope with a projected $1.3 million deficit.

via Bennington hospital lays off 60 – Fox 44 – Burlington and Plattsburgh News, Weather and Sports – Fox44.net | .


– The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts laid off three full-time people this week in the wake of the ongoing economic woes locally and nationwide.

via Suffolk News-Herald | SCCA lays off 3.


– KAWARTHA LAKES-The Catholic board has issued layoff notices to 24 teachers and 20 educational assistants for the next school year because of declining enrolment.

via Catholic board laying off 24 teachers, 20 assistants – The Lindsay Post – Ontario, CA .


– WAMPSVILLE — The third-shift at Diemolding has been laid off affecting “probably around 23 to 26 people,” said Dennis O’Brien, company president.

via Diemolding lays off 3rd shift – The Oneida Daily Dispatch News: Serving Oneida, NY and Madison County (OneidaDispatch.com.


– Nearly 150 people are out of work after Spring Air Mattress closed Wednesday, NBC 4‘s Mike Bowersock reported.


International Layoff News



thyssenkrupp– Germany’s largest steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG said Friday it plans to cut up to 2,000 jobs at its seven plants in Germany by 2011.

via ThyssenKrupp to cut up to 2,000 jobs – Forbes.com.


corus– Corus, the steel producer, said that up to 2,000 jobs could be lost and its facilities on Teesside mothballed after the plant’s main customer walked away from a purchasing agreement.



sony-eric– Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson is planning to cut around 400 jobs in Sweden, primarily at its center in Lund, in a bid to streamline operations through a cost-savings program.


– LONDON – Mindshare is currently making a round of redundancies across its London-based UK and Worldwide operations as part of a cost-cutting drive at the WPP agency.

via Redundancies at Mindshare follow WPP cost-cutting – Brand Republic News – Brand Republic.


– A wireless technology company has announced it is to make 55 staff redundant less than six months after Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan had announced the company was going to recruit 145 extra staff.

via Cork firm to cut 55 jobs – The Irish Times – Thu, May 07, 2009.


gavel4– Shoosmiths has launched a redundancy consultation with 69 jobs likely to be cut, the firm announced today (8 May).


Hiring News and News You Can Use


– WILMINGTON, Ohio – Comedian Jay Leno is taking his tour to southwest Ohio to boost morale in a region wracked by layoffs.

The “Tonight Show” host is putting on two free shows expected to draw thousands of people to the Roberts Centre in Wilmington on Sunday.

via Leno brings comedy show to jobless Ohio residents.


– StarTek needs to hire 75 people by July 1 at its Collinsville location, it announced Thursday.

The new positions are a result of client growth that required additional shifts and hours at the Collinsville site at 2000 Virginia Ave. There currently are 700 employees at that site, according to company spokesman Rosemary Hanratty. via StarTek to hire 75 as workload grows – Martinsville Bulletin.   


– The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is hiring for a number of positions in its Forensics Laboratory. Positions start with an average annual salary of $53,955.


via Forensic Magazine® | News: Metro Police Hiring for Civilian Positions.   


– CROSS LANES, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming is looking to hire roughly 40 new employees right now.

via Tri-State Racetrack and Gaming Hiring Right Now .   


– Escambia County residents who are currently seeking employment may soon find opportunity in Atmore following the creation of more than 50 new jobs slated to begin in June.

via The Atmore Advance > News.


– The recession rolls on, but two Western New York businesses – unlike many employers – are hiring, not eliminating area jobs.

via FNFG, M&T to fill hundreds of jobs – Business First of Buffalo: .


– Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says Medtronic plans to bring in excess of 1,300 jobs to San Antonio.

via Medtronic, some 1,300 jobs coming to Alamo City – San Antonio Business Journal: .


-A federal regulator is opening a satellite office in Jacksonville bringing up to 500 temporary positions to assist with failed banks.


Mike: A somewhat calm day for layoff announcements as most Friday’s seem to be.

People often respond to my site by saying it’s a place they like to visit, but that the subject is sooooo depressing! I can tell you from experience that writing this blog can get gloomy at times, but I think it’s important to get the facts, regardless if those facts are always pleasant. Today I had a dental appointment and was told I needed a root canal…ouch! Should I have told the receptionist to tell the dentist I didn’t want to hear any bad news on my visit? 🙂 No, it’s best to have the unpleasant facts and work with them to improve a situation. The truth (or in my case the facts) will set you free! .…………………….


“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence”

 John Adams



Have a great weekend. If there’s any important job stories released this weekend, I’ll be sure to update the post.

spock1If anyone has seen the new Star Trek film, let me know what you thought of it. This graying Trekkie plans to see it once the crowd thins. Live long and prosper………………




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Mike Luckovich - May 7

Mike Luckovich - May 7



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One Comment to “May 8, 9, 10 – Employers “only” cut 539,000 jobs in April – Unemployment rate spikes to 8.9%, the highest since 1983 – Severstal trims 3,100 – ThyssenKrupp to cut 2,000 – 1,300 Medtronic jobs coming to Alamo City – Tyler Refrigeration chops 500”

  1. Yeah, I also love the “only” 539,000 jobs shed in April. Does anyone know HOW many jobs have to be created to get us out of this mess? Let’s hope we start seeing those numbers go up!


    twitter: __LOMO (that’s two underscores)

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