Mike: Good day to all. Plenty of news on the economic front this day.  There was good news and some not so good news and that news follows. 
Side note: If you are aware of any layoffs that haven’t made this blog or the media at large, please drop me a note at mike@layofflist.org and I’ll be sure to post them. Also, I’m trying to open up the site to different readers and other useful options, but the site speed slowed considerably, so I had to remove a number of those links. I’ll need to increase the site’s response time before I add more reader options. Let me know if there are any particular readers you would like to see displayed and I’ll add them. Thanks………
Since home sales are such an important employment driver, I think home sales figures reflect job creation in home related industries including; home builders, building suppliers, appliance and furniture manufacturers, heavy equipment manufacturers, mortgage banking, real estate sales, etc.

Well there was good news and bad news on home sales this day. Homes sales increased 2.9% from a downwardly revised March figure, while inventories again increased to 3.968 million from 3.648 million as more people placed their homes on the market. The peak home buying season is upon us and the initial readings are sluggish at best with first-timers and investors driving sales on the lower priced homes and foreclosures. That is likely to lead to further price reductions, which will get us closer to a bottom in housing. High end home sales, those priced the above $730,000, which can’t be Freddie or Fannie financed, have collapsed and that will lead to further price reductions in those homes.  The following graph is from  Calculated Risk and the articles offer their interpretation: 


– Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – increased 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million units in April from a downwardly revised pace of 4.55 million units in March, but were 3.5 percent below the 4.85 million-unit level in April 2008.


– But there were more troubling notes in the housing figures. Home sales are still sluggish compared with a year ago, and the glut of unsold single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums swelled last month, suggesting that a sharp imbalance remains between the supply of housing and demand among potential buyers.

Across the country, existing home sales rose 2.9 percent in April from a month earlier but were down 3.5 percent from a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported. Sales jumped 11.6 percent in the Northeast and were up modestly in the South and the West.

via U.S. Home Sales Remain Sluggish as Supply Soars – NYTimes.com.


-Existing home sales in April increased 2.9% from March to an annualized rate of 4.68 million units (consensus 4.66 million), but remained 3.5% below the year-ago level.  The March number was revised slightly lower to 4.55 million from 4.57 million.

Distressed sales accounted for 45% of all sales in April, which is down from just over half of all transactions in March.

via Briefing.com: Existing Home Sales Report a Mixed Bag.

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* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:
Ed Stein - May 27

Ed Stein - May 27

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News



google1– He has developed a feature that allows browsers to see the each of the 5,700 coalition troops represented by a yellow pin connecting their home town to the spot where they died.

Visitors can view photos of the soldiers, find out how they died and pay their respects in a guest book using Google Earth 5, which is free to download

via Google Earth charts human cost of Iraq and Afghanistan wars with ‘map of fallen’ – Telegraph.



General Economic News



– NEW YORK, May 27 (Reuters) – The highest home loan rates in more than two months drained demand for refinancing last week, dragging total U.S. mortgage applications to the lowest level since early March, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

The average 30-year mortgage rate rose 0.12 percentage point to 4.81 percent, above a low of 4.61 percent two months ago though down more than a percentage point from a year ago.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s measure of demand for loans to buy homes rose by 1 percent, but has shown scant momentum during the keenly watched spring sales season.

via U.S. mortgage applications sink as loan rates rise | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


– May 27 (Bloomberg) — Mortgage applications in the U.S. declined last week, led by a plunge in refinancing as lending rates rose.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of applications to purchase a home or refinance a loan dropped 14 percent to 786 in the week ended May 22, from 915.9 the week before. The group’s refinancing gauge plunged 19 percent, and the purchase measure rose 1 percent.

via U.S. MBA Mortgage Applications Index Fell 14 Percent Last Week – Bloomberg.com.

– ICSC/Goldman Sachs Chain Store Sales Up 0.8% On Week
8:55 AM ET

NEW YORK, May 27 (Reuters) – Redbook Research on Wednesday released the following seasonally adjusted weekly data on U.S. chain store sales:

Year-over-year: Week (w/e 5/23/09 vs year ago) -0.5 pct

Year-over-year:Month (May 2009 vs May 2008) -0.2 pct

Month-over-month: (May 2009 vs April 2009) -0.4 pct

via TABLE-US chain store sales down 0.5 pct last week-Redbook | Reuters

– About 45% of the 4.68 million in April sales were foreclosures and short sales. The large number of these distressed property sales has driven prices lower, year over year. The median price for an existing home last month was $170,200, down 15.4% from $201,300 in April 2008.

Weak demand has kept inventories of unsold homes high. Inventories of previously owned homes jumped 8.8% at the end of April to 3.97 million available for sale. That represented a 10.2-month supply at the current sales pace, compared to 9.6 in March. Bloated inventories, in turn, are depressing prices.

via Home Resales, Inventories Rise – WSJ.com.




– WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 90 percent of economists predict the U.S. recession will end this year, although the recovery is likely to be bumpy.

That assessment came from leading forecasters in a survey by the National Association for Business Economics to be released Wednesday. It is generally in line with the outlook from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues.

About 74 percent of the forecasters expect the recession — which started in December 2007 and is the longest since World War II — to end in the third quarter. Another 19 percent predict the turning point will come in the final three months of this year, and the remaining 7 percent believe the recession will end in the first quarter of 2010.

via Survey: most economists see recession end in ’09 – Yahoo! Finance.



Government Layoff News



calif3– Reporting from Sacramento — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday sent lawmakers his plan to trim more than $5 billion in spending by dismantling or drastically curtailing state programs that provide Californians with healthcare, higher education, welfare, parks, AIDS treatment and counseling, prisoner rehabilitation and other services.

via Schwarzenegger sends lawmakers $5 billion in proposed cuts – Los Angeles Times.



Jack Ohman - May 27

Jack Ohman - May 27



– Detroit — The City Council today approved a $3.6 billion budget that incorporates 315 layoffs and a 10 percent salary cut to city appointees and nonunion employees.


– ANDERSON — Three dozen Anderson Community Schools teachers were laid off Tuesday night as the school board took a painful move to cut costs amid a $5 million budget deficit.

via The Herald Bulletin – Anderson schools lay off 36 teachers.


– The Boston public schools system is issuing layoff notices to 25 teachers this week – far fewer than the hundreds of teachers predicted to lose their jobs earlier this year because of the budget crunch.

via Boston public schools to send out 25 teacher layoff notices this week – The Boston Globe.


tenn-About 700 current state employees would lose their jobs under budget cuts proposed by Gov. Phil Bredesen.

The Democratic governor’s proposal would eliminate 717 filled positions and another 656 vacant jobs.

via Bredesen plan cuts 717 state jobs, 656 vacant positions | tennessean.com | The Tennessean.


– On Friday, seven Hoboken employees lost their jobs and there’s more to follow as Tripodi pursues her plan to eliminate 60 positions, including in the Police Department.

via Another 7 city workers lose jobs; worth $350G – NJ.com.


-More than 300 employees from the two state prisons in Soledad will be laid off as California tries to close its $21.3 billion budget deficit.

via Salinas-area prison employees to lose jobs | thecalifornian.com | The Salinas Californian.


– VERNON — Six more teachers will lose their jobs after the Board of Education and local teachers union failed to reach agreement Tuesday on the prospect of a furlough day during the coming school year.



US and some Canada Layoff News



alcoa1– Alcoa Davenport Works will lay off 243 employees and another 26 have agreed to voluntary quit packages, all effective Monday. The layoffs originally were announced in April.

via Alcoa firms up layoff numbers.


– Kaufmann sold the factory last year and in November trimmed the size of her Oakland office to 17. She thought those moves would help see the firm through the recession. But two factories MKD worked with have gone out of business since then, and clients and potential clients have found it almost impossible to get financing.

via Green prefab firm Michelle Kaufmann Designs is closing | Culture Monster | Los Angeles Times.


– Canadian papermaker Catalyst Paper (CTL.TO) said it is making job cuts, affecting about 100 staff positions, due to a severe decline in demand and the possibility that curtailed production will not restart in the short term.

via UPDATE 1-Catalyst Paper to cut jobs on lower demand | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


– JOHNSON CITY – The Akel wholesale business that provides distribution services to Giant Food Markets will close Aug. 22, putting 35 people out of work – at least at Giant.

via 35 to lose jobs at Akel warehouse | pressconnects.com | Press & Sun-Bulletin.


hospital18– Saint Joseph Mercy Health System to trim equivalent of 350 full-time jobs

via Saint Joseph Mercy Health System to trim equivalent of 350 full-time jobs – Ann Arbor Business – MLive.com.


– A company spokesperson for Graham Packaging confirmed the company cut 24 positions at the Harrisonburg plant, effective Tuesday (5/26). The local plant makes plastic bottles for other businesses. The company is shifting from a 7 day production schedule to a 5 day schedule each week.

via Company Cuts 24 Jobs in Harrisonburg / .


chrysler22– An Android Industries employee tells 23 News that the company sent a letter to workers over the weekend. It said Android will permanently close its Belvidere plant May 30th.

The company employs about 270 workers and makes engines and dashboards for Chrysler vehicles.

via Chrysler supplier to close at end of May .


chrysler23– More than 600 local Chrysler pickup plant workers have accepted voluntary severance and retirement offers, a union official said Tuesday evening.

Tuesday was the final day for Chrysler’s U.S. hourly workers — including those from the Fenton pickup plant and the idled minivan plant — to accept the current round of voluntary severance and retirement incentives. The packages take effect today.

via 05/27/2009 – More than 600 pickup workers opt for Chrysler retirement, severance packages – STLtoday.com.


– Out the door go 45 staffers, leaving seven people in place to pursue its remaining strategic alternatives. Barring a last-minute save, the developer says that it may be forced to shutter the company entirely.

via On the brink, Metabasis slashes staff once again – FierceBiotech.


– LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Kirby Risk Service Center is eliminating 34 employee positions.

via Kirby Risk lays off 34 more employees.


– Kato Engineering is reducing its workforce by 94 employees, effective Friday.


The permanent reductions are necessitated by changing economic conditions and declining demand for the firm’s products, company spokesperson Emily Umbright said

via The Free Press, Mankato, MN – Kato Engineering lays off 94.


– Effective last week, the University of Utah museum cut three of its 15 full-time positions and reduced the working hours of remaining full-time staff by 20 percent, said Gretchen Dietrich, the museum’s interim director.

via U. of U. fine arts museum cuts staff – Salt Lake Tribune.


– Delta Faucet Co. announced today that it is discontinuing an assembly and brazing operation in Greensburg, cutting 265 jobs.

The Carmel-based company said it is consolidating that work into its Jackson, Tenn. plant, citing a need for cost efficiency.

via Delta Faucet to shed 265 jobs in Greensburg | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star .


– The company, which is based in Perry, will be eliminating 105 employees, Public Relations and Advertising Manager Jeri Briegge said.

via Stillwater NewsPress – Ditch Witch eliminates 105 positions.


– Company spokesman Mike Siemienas said 55 employees will lose their jobs. The office is expected to close by July 31.

via South Portland Allstate Employees Will Lose Jobs – Portland News Story – WMTW Portland.


cummins-filtration1– Cummins Filtration told state officials last week that it will lay off another 69 employees at its Viroqua plant because of the recession and decline in customer demand.

via Jackson County Chronicle – Thisjustin.


– Young Touchstone laid off 140 employees on Wednesday.

The lay offs occurred at the company’s plants at 1000 Young Drive in Lexington and 200 Smith Lane in Jackson. a total of 70 employees, totaling 30 percent of the company’s local workforce, was laid off from each of the two plants.

via Young Touchstone lays off 140 | jacksonsun.com | .



International Layoff News



shell– Up to 24,000 jobs are at risk in Shell after the Anglo-Dutch oil group unveiled plans for a major restructuring.

The oil giant this morning revealed a shake-up in which its exploration and production, gas and power and oil sands units are to be merged into two new divisions.

via Shell restructuring puts 24,000 jobs at risk – Times Online .


shell1– The reorganization will affect around 24,000 Shell staff, but a company spokesman declined to comment on how many jobs may be cut.

via AFP: UK energy giant Shell unveils major restructuring.


– Workers at Northern Foods Ltd have spoken of their shock after being told they are likely to lose their jobs.

Almost 350 jobs could go after the company announced plans to cease production at the food factory in Brighton Street, west Hull.

via Northern Foods workers’ jobs shock.


gsk– REDUNDANCIES at GlaxoSmithKline are set to begin, with up to 75 members of staff to lose their job by the end of this year.

via DARTFORD: Up to 75 GlaxoSmithKline workers to be made redundant by end of year (From This Is Local London).


gavel20– Herbert Smith has concluded its redundancy consultation with all those due to leave the firm opting for voluntary redundancy.

In April the firm revealed plans to cut 84 positions from its London practice while also freezing salaries at the 2008-09 levels (20 April).

via Herbies finds 84 volunteers to take redundancy | News | The Lawyer.


– Troubled mail order firm Freeman Grattan Holdings is seeking to cut another 160 jobs in Bradford.

It is the second major jobs blow at the firm which in January said it was closing its Bradford call centre at a cost of up to 800 jobs.

via Grattan set to cut another 160 jobs (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus).


newspaper14– ANTWERP—A lack of advertising revenue has forced De Morgen, one of Belgium’s major newspapers, to lay off 15 staff members, mainly reporters and editors.

via Epoch Times – Belgian Newspaper ‘De Morgen’ Lays Off 15.


– No-frills airline Ryanair expects to create 700 jobs in Birmingham during its next financial year as it doubles its passenger numbers at the airport.

via Ryanair expansion at Birmingham expected to create 700 jobs.


finnair– Finnish national carrier Finnair Oyj (FIA1S.HE) will this week start talks with staff over cost saving plans which could include up to 1,200 job cuts, the company said on Wednesday.

via UPDATE 1-Finnair talks with staff may lead to 1,200 job cuts | Reuters


– Education Minister Liz Constable has repeatedly said no current assistants – who normally help students with learning disabilities – would lose their jobs, but that there were 450 more than was currently needed in schools.

via 450 WA teaching assistant jobs to be cut | PerthNow.


– On the eve of the Budget ACC has confirmed that 220 jobs are being axed, bringing the total number of public sector jobs lost this year to about 1,200, says Labour’s State Services Spokesperson Grant Robertson.



Hiring News and News You Can Use



– – Dear Karen: Can a small-business owner collect unemployment? My company has revenue, but not enough to pay me a salary.

Answer: It depends on how the business is structured and whether it is paying into California’s unemployment insurance fund.

Sole proprietors aren’t required to contribute to the fund, so they aren’t eligible to collect benefits, said Kevin Lilly, an attorney and shareholder at Littler Mendelson in Los Angeles.

“However, a small-business owner that owns a Subchapter S-corporation could collect unemployment, as the owner of the corporation is normally reported as an employee and the officers of a corporation are employees by statute,” he said.

If you want to stay in business, you could secure outside employment and if your company generates any profit at the end of the year, distribute it to yourself as a bonus or a dividend, Lilly said.

via Can small-business owners collect unemployment? – Los Angeles Times.


– Greenville-based LAH Development LLC, which has six employees, is embarking on a $1 million project that will create 100 jobs within three years, the state announced Tuesday.

via Wind turbine firm to create 100 jobs in Darke County – Dayton Business Journal: .


– CIO – In recent days, “less bad” has become the favored description of much of the economy, including the IT industry. However, the number of positions needed for efficient operation of data centers has remained strong, continuing to show overall growth even in a down economy. (For more background on hot IT skills now, see “Data Center Skills Discussion Sparks Debate” and “Top Virtualization Skills Enterprises Want Now.”)

via Hot Data Center Jobs: Cloud, Virtualization, Green.


– Kristin Konopka sent out nearly 100 copies of her résumé in January in search of receptionist work, but got only one callback. That’s when Ms. Konopka, a 29-year-old New York actress and yoga teacher, took her master’s degree and academic teaching experience off her résumé.

The calls started coming in. The slimmer version of her résumé landed in 30 in-boxes and earned her three callbacks and two interviews. “It definitely picked up the interest,” says Ms. Konopka, who realized quickly that people don’t “want to hire anyone who is overqualified.”

via The-New-Resume-Dumb-and-Dumber: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance.


-Diagnostic Devices Inc. will move much of it manufacturing business to North Carolina — adding about 100 jobs in the next two years.

via DOTmed.com – Diagnostic Devices Inc. Moving Operations to USA .


– News 10NBC has learned that J.P. Morgan Chase Bank will be adding 250 jobs in Rochester.

via www.WHEC.com – J.P. Morgan Chase to add 250 jobs to Rochester .


– The 5-story tower will house the hospital’s new critical care and surgery facilities and should add 1,400 jobs and $41 million in income to the Asheville community, according to Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce estimates.

via Mission’s new tower to add up to 1,400 jobs | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times.


– The Dana Corp. employees, who were let go about five months ago, went back to work Tuesday afternoon, plant manager Harland Sarbacker said.

via Dana calls 70 back to work – www.thenewsenterprise.com.


– The company that developed the BlackBerry is planning to expand its Atlanta operation, a move that could bring 200 jobs to Alpharetta, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

via BlackBerry developer to add 200 jobs in Alpharetta | ajc.com.


– A California company is bringing 600 new jobs to Lafayette. Alorica Inc., based in Chino, Calif., is investing $3 million to remodel and equip a 49,000-square-foot facility at 181 Sagamore Parkway S. The site was formerly occupied by Silent Thunder.

via PM Update | jconline.com | Journal and Courier.


– And finding full time work is tougher than it has been in 25 years. But more and more people are having luck at freelancing websites.

via Find Freelance Jobs though Websites – Cincinnati breaking news, weather radar, traffic from 9News | Channel 9 WCPO.com .


– More than 200 jobs are expected to be created this summer when construction begins on the $65 million dollar Duluth airport project.

via 200+ New Jobs In Duluth | Northland’s NewsCenter NBC 6, CBS 3, My 9, and Northland CW for Duluth MN / Superior WI | Local News .


– Clearwater, Fla.-based JetAmerica said 34 nonstop passenger flights a week will start July 13 at Toledo, Ohio; South Bend, Ind.; Melbourne, Fla.; Newark, N.J.; Minneapolis and Lansing, Mich. Twenty-eight flights start or end at Newark Liberty International Airport. The carrier will add six more flights — from Toledo to Minneapolis — starting Aug. 14.



Mike: See you on Thursday…………………..


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Tom Toles - May 27

Tom Toles - May 27





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