Mike: Good day and I hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend. The first day of the week generally is the slowest for US job cut announcements and rather busy for international announcements, which seems to be the case this day. 

Today brings us the S&P Case-Shiller HPI, which “tracks monthly changes in the value of residential real estate in 20 metropolitan regions across the U.S..”  S&P Case-Shiller HPI “reported home prices tumbled by 19.1 percent in the first quarter, the most in its 21-year history.” The remainder of the week brings us plenty of other housing news, so we’ll see how those economic recovery green shoots are doing.  

Today also brings us the Consumer Confidence number, which came in a a robust 54.9 and that was the biggest jump since April 2003. I’m not quite sure what to make of this number, but consumer confidence continues to be an important indicator of the nation’s economic health. Does increased consumer confidence lead to an improved economy, or does an improved economy lead to consumer confidence? I think the latter, and I see it being influenced by two issues in particular; gas and stock prices. Below is the comparison between consumer confidence and the DJIA. If this comparison can be used to look at consumer confidence, then consumer confidence should improve this month, but with the price of gas increasing, that improvement may be muted (muted it wasn’t). 

I found it interesting this morning before the stock markets opened that the market’s mood was rather sour because of the North Korean nuclear test, but as soon as the Consumer Confidence number was known, the markets forgot all about North Korea and nukes. Nukes, who cares, as long as those consumers are happier. There are some good deals to be made in the auto and home area, but what is bought now won’t be bought later, so this new euphoria may be short lived, especially if job numbers continue to be brutal. But for now, celebrate and buy things. Happy days are here again – at least according to this report. 

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* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:



Dilbert - May 25

Dilbert - May 25


Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


msft12– Microsoft’s new search engine is reportedly dumping its codename, Kumo, in favor of the brand name Bing. To get the word out, Microsoft is planning a massive advertising campaign to launch its new search brand. Bing’s debut will feature a $80 to $100 million online, TV, print, and radio advertising campaign, according to AdvertisingAge.

General Economic News


– NEW YORK (AP) — Home prices fell at the fastest annual rate ever in the first quarter, but the pace of month-to-month declines continues to slow, a closely watched housing index showed Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller National Home Price index reported home prices tumbled by 19.1 percent in the first quarter, the most in its 21-year history.

Home prices have fallen 32.2 percent since peaking in the second quarter of 2006 and are at levels not seen since the end of 2002.

The 20-city index fell by 18.7 percent in March from the year before and the 10-city index lost 18.6 percent. Those declines were a bit better than February’s and marked the second straight month the indexes didn’t post record drops.

via S&P: Home prices fall by record 19.1 percent in 1Q – Yahoo! Finance.

– May 26 (Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. consumers jumped this month to the highest level since September, reflecting growing perceptions that the job market will improve.

The Conference Board’s sentiment index surged to 54.9, higher than forecast and the biggest gain since April 2003, the New York-based research group said today. Another report showed home prices continued to plunge.

Recent jumps in the stock market, low mortgage rates and smaller job losses are brightening consumers’ outlooks and fueling forecasts that the economy will return to growth in the second half of the year. Still, the loss of wealth from the slump in real estate values and still-tight credit may temper a comeback in consumer purchases, muting the recovery.

“News that things are improving in the economy is helping consumer sentiment,” James Knightley, an economist at ING Financial Markets in London, said before the report. “We’ve seen stock prices rise in recent weeks and mortgage rates have fallen.”

via U.S. Consumer Confidence Jumps to Highest Level Since September – Bloomberg.com.



– The Bureau Of Labor Statistics’ Mass Layoff Events statistic indicates that the wholesale firing by corporations is accelerating once more after a small respite in the January to March period.

via Mass Layoff Events Accelerating — Seeking Alpha.


– The numbers are sobering.

Since the beginning of 2009, the state Employment Development Department has received notice of nearly 2,000 San Gabriel Valley jobs that have been or will be cut.

But those are just the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notices, which apply only to California business with 75 or more employees that are either closing or laying off 50 or more workers.

They don’t begin to reflect the total number of cuts that are happening throughout the state as the recession grinds along. On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that California led the nation in job losses last month as employers cut 63,700 positions.

EDD spokesman Patrick Joyce emphasized that the WARNs capture only a fraction of the state’s total number of layoffs and closures.

via Layoff notices don’t capture the big picture – SGVTribune.com.


– “As a general rule, when you go back to work in this environment, you’re going to be making less than you did before, certainly to start with,” said Healy, regional manager of a shipping company. “Maybe you never get it back.”

For those wondering how big a financial hit is in store if they get kicked out of their jobs during this brutal recession, a group of researchers has calculated an answer — by tracking the victims of the equally brutal recession in the early 1980s.

Warning: It’s a very depressing answer.

via Laid off? You’ll likely never make as much — chicagotribune.com.


– WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) — The wave of U.S. housing foreclosures is being amplified as once-creditworthy homeowners lose their jobs and fall behind on mortgage payments, experts say.

The development is shifting the pattern of foreclosures from those who took advantage of risky subprime or other exotic mortgages to the far more common prime loans granted to applicants with acceptable financial histories, The New York Times reported Monday.

“We’re about to have a big problem,” Morris Davis, a real estate expert at the University of Wisconsin, told the newspaper. “Foreclosures were bad last year? It’s going to get worse.”

via Job layoffs accelerate home foreclosures – UPI.com.



Gary Markstein - May 24

Gary Markstein - May 24


– NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — With the Memorial Day weekend and summer driving season approaching, motorists are facing a familiar trend — surging gasoline prices.

But while pump prices have increased nearly 17% over the last 24 days, and are likely to go even higher over the coming weeks, experts don’t foresee anything like the record levels of 2008.

via Gas prices continue their recent surge, but won’t match ’08 – May. 21, 2009 .



Government Layoff News



– Issaquah School District Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said today some — and possibly all — of the158 teachers marked for layoffs may be able to keep their jobs.

via Issaquah School District will recall most teachers who received layoff notices : The Sammamish Review – News, Sports, Classifieds in Sammamish, WA.


– CASTLE ROCK — The town has laid off six people, set a pay freeze for 2010 and mandated three furlough days this year in an effort to make up a budget shortfall due to the tough economic times.

via More job cuts for Castle Rock – The Denver Post.


– Due to state budget cuts, the office, 9531 Rayne Road, is set to close its service counter by March and eliminate three service employees.

via The Journal Times Online > Local News > DNR eliminating local service counter, cutting three jobs.


– Faced with a 50 per cent reduction in its budget for library services and positive learning environment, School District 2 yesterday laid off 67 people, leaving the district with only eight library assistants and five school intervention workers who deal with behaviour problems.

via timestranscript.com – English schools lay off 67 | BY ALAN COCHRANE – Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada.


– The Shasta County Sheriff’s Department has issued 25 layoff notices and will begin releasing 150 jail inmates to address a budget shortfall of more than $3 million.

via Sheriff plans 25 layoffs, 150 early releases – Sacramento News – Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee.


– Nortel Networks Corp. (NT/TSX) made a request to a French court on Monday to allow the Canadian telco to liquidate one of its two subsidiaries in France as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

via Nortel could dissolve French unit; cut 700 R&D jobs – FP Posted .


– TAMPA — Thirty-nine Hillsborough County Clerk of Court employees lost their jobs today, a spokeswoman said.

via Hillsborough clerk cuts 39 jobs today .


– SPRINGBORO — The Springboro Board of Education is expected tonight, May 26, to approve laying off eight employees to balance the district’s budget.

via Springboro school board to lay off 8, consider rehiring retirees.


– A $3.5 billion spending plan for the 2009-10 fiscal year for the City of Detroit won approval today from the City Council, bringing the city closer to 334 layoffs and 10% wage cuts for non-union employees.



US and some Canada Layoff News



– Morgan Insulation will shutter its Erwin plant by July 13, and 42 employees now working at the plant will lose their jobs, company officials confirmed to The Erwin Record Friday.


– Minnesota State University Moorhead has to cut about $9.5 million from its budget next year, but the president expects to limit layoffs to eight to 15 jobs.

via Layoffs will be minimal at MSUM | INFORUM | Fargo, ND .


– The ferry corporation eliminated 35 senior management and administrative positions in January and said there would be further reductions. Now seven members of the Ferry and Marine Workers Union have accepted severance packages, according to B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall.

via B.C. Ferries cuts jobs as ridership declines .


sovereign-bank2– Sovereign Bank confirmed today that it will lay off another 81 full-time employees in Rocky Hill in July in a motor vehicle financing unit that is closing down.

via Sovereign Bank Confirms 81 Additional Layoffs — Courant.com.


– In what the Washington Business Journal describes as the “end of an era,” Celera is shuttering its remaining 41,000-square-foot facility in Rockville, MD and laying off 20 of its 25 local staffers.

via Celera closing up shop in Rockville – FierceBiotech.


bank-montraeal– – BMO reported $80-million in severance costs in connection with the elimination of about 1,100 management jobs, or roughly 3% of its workforce.

via Bank of Montreal cuts 1,100 jobs as profit falls 44%.


– ElderHealth Northwest, the state’s largest provider of community-based care centers for elderly people, announced Tuesday that it will lay off nearly 40 people in King and Snohomish counties, as a result of deep budget cuts passed in Olympia.

via ElderHealth Northwest laying off nearly 40 people.


stock-building-supply1– The Raleigh, N.C.-based building and construction materials supplier notified Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation that it will be closing its Homestead plant on or about July 12 and laying off about 141 employees.

via Stock Building Supply to lay off 141, close Homestead plant – South Florida Business Journal: .


– LENOIR, N.C. — Furniture Brands International cut about 250 jobs at plants in North Carolina and Mississippi last week due to a soft retail market, according to a story in the Hickory Daily Record.

via Report: Furniture Brands lays off 250 at U.S. plants – 2009-05-26 14:13:57 | Furniture Today.


– As the holiday weekend commenced Christianity Today International announced it was closing Today’s Christian Woman, Campus Life College Guide, Glimpses (an insert on Christian history), and Church Office Today. Thirty staff will lose their jobs as a result of the cut backs. In January CTI had shuttered two other titles and sold a third.

via Christianity Today Closes Four Titles, Lays Off 30 :: MinOnline.


– The largest employer in Elmvale will be shutting its doors in July, leaving more than 100 people in the community of 1,700 out of a job.

Transcontinental Bayweb employees were informed of the closing yesterday.

via Elmvale plant closing – The Barrie Examiner – Ontario, CA .


– Essex Manufacturing, Inc. to close distribution center here after 60 years in city

via Essex Manufacturing, Inc. to close distribution center here after 60 years in city | www.news-reporter.com | News-Reporter.


– Gaspereau Press is cutting staff and scaling back its publishing program in response to what co-owner Andrew Steeves describes as a “short-term credit crunch” heading into the upcoming fall season.

via Quill & Quire » Gaspereau cuts staff, postpones fall titles.


– Delta Dental of California will cut 93 full-time jobs at its offices in Rancho Cordova due to the loss of state funding for Medi-Cal adult dental benefits, company officials have announced.

via Delta Dental loses 93 jobs due to Medi-Cal cuts – San Francisco Business Times: .


rheem– Rheem is reducing 50 salaried positions from its Fort Smith manufacturing operation as part of a companywide move to cut jobs by offering early retirement packages.

via Rheem to cut 50 management jobs in Fort Smith | The City Wire .


– Syracuse, NY–Crouse Hinds, a division of Cooper Industries, today told 32 workers that they will be laid off due to slow sales, a union official said.

via Crouse Hinds cuts 32 jobs – syracuse.com.


– Custom window treatments maker Hunter Douglas Fabrication Co. is closing its longstanding plant inside Pinellas Park’s Gateway Center, laying off 191 workers.



International Layoff News



nikon1-TOKYO (AP) — Japanese camera maker Nikon Corp. said Tuesday it will cut 1,000 jobs to try to stem losses this year.

The company will slash 800 non-regular employees, such as contract and part-time workers, from its domestic manufacturing work force of 2,900 by March 2010, said company spokesman Katsuhiko Kaneko. It plans to cut another 200 from its marketing and servicing staff in Japan and overseas.

via Nikon to slash 1,000 jobs amid looming loss – Yahoo! Finance.


siemens– German industrial giant Siemens is set to cut more than 1,000 jobs in software and metals engineering subsidiaries in Austria, the firm said.

Siemens was planning to shed some 850 staff in its Austrian software branch until the end of September, the local worker’s council said.

via Siemens to cut over 1,000 jobs.


-The Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB Ltd. (ABB) plans to cut 540 jobs at half a dozen facilities in France, union sources said Tuesday, adding that the move would affect 20% of the company’s French workforce.


riotinto– May 26 (Bloomberg) — Rio Tinto Group will cut 121 jobs from its Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia state to reduce costs amid lower prices for the gem, the Australian Financial Review reported.

via Rio Tinto Cuts 121 Jobs at Argyle Diamond Mine, Review Says – Bloomberg.com.


– Australian software firm eServGlobal Ltd (ESGq.L) (ESV.AX) said it expected earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of A$3 million ($2.34 million) for the full year, excluding restructuring costs, and that it would cut 13 percent jobs.


– REDUNDANCIES: Princess Yachts announced on 22 May it was to move its redundancy plans on a stage at the end of its 90-day consultation period by laying off more than 300 of its workers.

Princess: cuts 300 jobs

The overall number of job losses is lower than was anticipated by Princess when it announced back in March that it would be making cuts.

via Boating Business: Princess Yachts cuts 300 jobs.


– WORKERS who slogged it out for no pay to help Riviera at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show were among the latest group of employees sacked yesterday.

Less than a day after spruiking of their Sanctuary Cove success, 150 workers at the troubled Coomera-based manufacturing plant were retrenched.

via 150 axed after helping Riviera – Local News – Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.


– More than 100 jobs have been axed at Herethere resort with more on the way, according to the CEO of Yacht Tours.


– Bauer Media is to axe jobs at its radio group a week after it announced it was cutting staff in its advertising and magazine divisions.

via Bauer Media to axe radio jobs | Media | guardian.co.uk .


dell1– THE second phase of the winding down of the Dell plant at Raheen will see upwards of 400 workers laid off this week, bringing the total to 850 over the last eight weeks.

via Another 400 jobs losses at Dell.


– BUCHAREST, May 25 (Reuters) – Romania will axe 3,700 railway jobs this year, mostly workers close to retirement, Transport Minister Radu Berceanu said on Monday, as part of moves to restructure outdated and highly-subsidised state firms.

via Business Feed Article | Business | guardian.co.uk .


– Over a dozen ship-repair workers held a protest yesterday morning, after being laid off by their employer, Maritime Preservation Ltd, last Friday.

via Trinidad News, Trinidad Newspaper, Trinidad Sports, Trinidad politics, Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago News, Trinidad classifieds, Trinidad TV, Sports, Business.


gavel19– Herbert Smith has completed its redundancy consultation with 84 members of staff laid off in London.

The consultation, which concluded at the end of last week, resulted in 82 voluntary redundancies, meaning the firm will only have to make two compulsory layoffs.

via Herbert Smith lays off 84 as consultation closes – Legal Week, legal news, comment, events and legal jobs.


– Netstal-Maschinen (Näfels / Switzerland; www.netstal.com) is indeed feeling the effects of the economic crisis. However, CEO Bernhard Merki said orders are down by “only” 30-35% year-on-year.

via Plasteurope – PIE News – Ticker.


– Brazilian steel group Usiminas (USIM5.SA) said on Tuesday it will cut 810 employees, or 6 percent of its workforce, by the end of May as it shut three of its five blast furnaces because of a slump in demand.

via Brazil Usiminas to cut 810 more jobs | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


goodyear– Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) said it will discontinue consumer-tire production at a French plant as it cuts high-cost manufacturing capacity globally, affecting about 820 jobs, or 68% of the plant’s work force.

via Goodyear To End Consumer-Tire Output At French Plant.


– Andrew Gardiner is leaving commercial property agents DTZ as the firm announced another wave of 130 redundancies across the UK.



Hiring News and News You Can Use



– The good news: The Internal Revenue Service is hiring, in fact, the agency plans to hire about 8,000 people this year.

The bad news: They’re all being trained to audit you.

via Federal News Radio 1500 AM: IRS is hiring.


– With unemployment rates soaring towards 9% and poised to hit 11% by the end of the year, college graduates are facing the toughest job market in years.

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Jobless Graduates Face Dismal Jobs Market.


– Green collar jobs are poised to play a major role in the recovery of the economy and the environment. Green collar jobs can be defined as blue-collar jobs with an environmental twist. Typical positions included under the green collar umbrella would be renewable energy manufacturing, certain construction positions, and those that perform energy efficiency upgrades. Now, one Massachusetts firm is adding HAZMAT workers to this list.

via Green job opportunity: Environmental cleanup | MNN – Mother Nature Network.


– Walmart has begun accepting applications to fill about 100 new jobs at its newest Green Country location in Owasso.

via Walmart to add 100 jobs in Owasso | KJRH.com .


– Lee County commissioners voted unanimously today to designate $1.7 million in economic development money to try to create 350 new jobs here.

via Lee County designates $1.7 million to try to create 350 new jobs | news-press.com | The News-Press.


– Chesapeake, VA – A new state-of-the-art exercise facility just opened in Chesapeake. Gold’s Gym Family Fitness Center at Chesapeake Square is a brand new, multi-million dollar, 60,000 square foot facility.

via Gold’s Gym to bring 100 local jobs .


– RALEIGH, N.C. — A specialty food company says it plans to build a commercial bakery in central North Carolina that will add more than 170 jobs over the next three years.

via Food company to build bakery and create 172 jobs – State | Reflector.com .


– LITTLE ROCK — To make sure Arkansas’ needy get appropriate public assistance, the state Department of Human Services plans to hire 112 temporary family support specialists with federal stimulus money, DHS officials said Tuesday.

via DHS hiring 112 temporary employees with federal stimulus funds | Arkansas News .


– Research in Motion has apparently identified a 40-acre site near North Point Mall. Plans include high-tech jobs that will earn annual salaries of around $70,000, according to the Chronicle’s report. The Chronicle did not name its source.


Mike: A busy day for internation joblosses, but rather quiet for the US. Let’s hope tomorrow is quiet as well.  Till then.…………………


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John Deering - May 26

John Deering - May 26





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