Mike: The ever important Jobless Claim  report shows  jobless claims fall to 623,000.   

– WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The number of new layoffs declined by 13,000 to 623,000 last week, while the number of people collecting state unemployment benefits rose by 110,000 to a record 6.79 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

via Initial jobless claims fall to 623,000 – MarketWatch.



Mike: While Wednesday’s existing homes report showed some minor sales improvement, today’s New Home Sales  figures are highly anticipated. New homes sales are another job harbinger, since building new homes produces jobs from logging to real estate fees.
New homes sales rose by 1,000 or 0.3% to 352,000 from a revised March figure of 351,000. Any improvement is good news, but with a glut of new homes langusihing on the market, a large rebound in sales wasn’t likely. The March figure was revised downward by 5,000 from 356,000. 

To get a comprehensive look at the latest housing reports see the following story at  Calculated Risk: New Home Sales Flat in April.



The Census Bureau reports New Home Sales in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 352 thousand. This is essentially the same as the revised rate of 351 thousand in March.

via Calculated Risk: New Home Sales Flat in April.


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* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:



Mike: I find it amazing that the feds in both US and Canada give billions of taxpayer dollars to the autocos and then they threaten to build cars in China for import to North American markets. It probably won’t be long before GM threaten that again, but at least for this week they have backed off that plan. 

– DETROIT (AP) — United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger says General Motors Corp. has agreed to build subcompact cars in one of its existing U.S. factories and will not produce cars in China for sale here.

Ken Catalino - May 28

Ken Catalino - May 28


Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


apple2– While many companies have been forced to cutback on their investment or close their doors completely, Apple is expanding its retail presence. Not only is the company building new retail stores, it is also renovating existing stores to better fit the messaging of the company.

Johnson told USA Today that Apple plans to remodel 100 locations this year. The changes will give the company more room to display products and offer bigger spaces for customer training.

via Apple continues investing during bad economy | Apple – CNET News.


General Economic News


– May 28 (Bloomberg) — Orders for U.S. durable goods hovered near the lowest level in 13 years in April as demand for business equipment weakened, indicating that investment will be one of the last areas of the economy to recover.

Orders rose 1.9 percent from the previous month after a revised 2.1 percent drop in March that was more than twice as large as previously estimated, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. A rebound in automobile orders and a jump in defense spending spurred the gain in April.

via U.S. Durable-Goods Orders Hover Near 13-Year Low (Update2) – Bloomberg.com..


Mike: While it’s good to see durable orders increase, the main driver of that increase was defense spending. 

Jobless Claims
8:30 AM ET
-Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits declined to a seasonally adjusted 623,000 in the week ended May 23 from a revised 636,000 in the prior week. It was the second straight week in which initial claims fell.
New Home Sales
10:00 AM ET
– WASHINGTON, May 28 (Reuters) – Sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes rose slightly less than expected in April, a government report showed on Thursday, and the previous month’s figures were revised down to show a steeper fall.

The Commerce Department said sales rose 0.3 percent to a 352,000 annual pace, from a downwardly revised 351,000 in March. March sales were revised to show a 3 percent decline, which had been reported as a 0.6 percent slide.

via U.S. new home sales rose 0.3 pct in April – Reuters News.

– March 5 (Bloomberg) — Americans fell behind on their mortgages and banks seized homes at a record pace in the fourth quarter as unemployment rose to a 15-year high and real estate values tumbled.

Mortgage delinquencies increased to a seasonally adjusted 7.88 percent of all loans, the highest in records going back to 1972, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today. Loans in foreclosure rose to 3.30 percent, also an all-time high.

via Mortgage Delinquencies Rise to Record on Job Losses (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.


Government Layoff News


– A resolution marking the Los Angeles City Council’s official passage of the 2009-10 budget, which includes 1,200 layoffs, was unanimously approved Wednesday with little discussion.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has five business days to sign or veto the $7 billion spending plan.  

As budget deliberations began, the city faced a $529 million deficit. To close that gap, the budget calls for 1,200 layoffs and 26 furlough days for civilian employees — equal to a 10 percent pay cut — and stops the Los Angeles Police Department’s efforts to increase the size of the force.  

via It’s Official: City Budget, 1,200 Layoffs Approved | NBC Los Angeles .


– The MBTA Advisory Board is slashing the T’s operating budget by almost $30 million and cutting wages by more than $130 million, which effectively eliminates 1,200 of the T’s 6,000 jobs.


– With the state’s embattled probate court system on the brink of bankruptcy, the state Senate approved major reforms Wednesday night that will cut the number of probate judges from the current 117 to 50.

via 67 Judges To Lose Jobs Amid Probate Reforms — Courant.com.



John Sherffius - May 28

John Sherffius - May 28


– The Recovery School District has laid off 45 security guards in a cost-cutting move, according to the district’s security director Eddie Compass.

via RSD lays off 45 security guards to cut costs – NOLA.com .


– Utica — Utica Community School officials have to cut more than $6 million from the budget, which will include about 80 employee layoffs.

via Utica schools to layoff 80 employees | detnews.com | The Detroit News.


– (CHICAGO) (WLS) — The Gary school board has voted to lay off 110 teachers and staffers. That’s a reversal of the decision board members made at their previous meeting.

via Gary school board announces layoffs – 5/27/09 – Chicago News – abc7chicago.com.


– SEBASTIAN — The city engineer and two employees in the finance department have been laid off and other full-time city employee may be required to take 12 unpaid days off and have their pay frozen as the city looks to cut costs.

via Sebastian lays off three employees, others facing 12 unpaid days off : Indian River County : TCPalm .


– New Echota State Historic Site will be open only on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays beginning June 16 due to major cuts in the Georgia Department of Natural Resources budget.

via Calhoun Times.


– One licensed probationary teacher’s position in the early childhood special education department was cut.

An additional 45 classified staff members had their positions cut completely or partially.

via 66 positions in District 191 cut at year’s end | Savage Pacer.



US and some Canada Layoff News



chrysler24– This moves affects about 270 workers at Android, who make engines and dash boards for the cars made at the nearby Chrysler Assembly plant.


splenda– Tate & Lyle PLC will indefinitely shutter its 120-worker Splenda plant in McIntosh, the company said Tuesday, saying a more efficient plant in Singapore can make as much of the artificial sweetener, known generically as sucralose, as the company now needs.


– Dartmouth Medical School will lay off 12 employees and cut approximately 10 percent from its $237-million operating budget as part of the College-wide effort to reduce expenditures by $72 million over the next two years, DMS Dean William Green said an interview with The Dartmouth. The layoffs will go into effect on a rolling basis through the month of July. No grant-funded or faculty positions will be cut.

via TheDartmouth.com | DMS announces layoffs, 10-percent budget cut.


– LAKEWOOD RANCH – In the waning days before its merger with a California company, human resources outsourcing company Gevity has laid off at least 50 employees, or about 10 percent of its work force, including the company’s top five executives.

via Gevity lays off staffers | HeraldTribune.com | Sarasota Florida | Southwest Florida’s Information Leader.


– MADISON, Wis. – Alliant Energy is cutting more than 150 jobs and shutting down four generators at its Rock River plant as it looks for ways to reduce costs.

via Alliant cutting more than 150 jobs — chicagotribune.com.


lockheed1– OWEGO – Lockheed Martin said it probably will lay off at least another 120 people, although it does not have additional details.

via Lockheed to lay off another 120 workers | stargazette.com | Star-Gazette.


-JLG Industries will lay off 115 workers at its Shippensburg plant. The layoffs at the 560 Walnut Bottom Road facility will occur July 28.

An earlier version of this story, based on information from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, reported that 208 workers will be laid off.

via Shippensburg plant expects to lay off 115 – PennLive.com.


– ABBEVILLE — Milliken & Co.’s decision to close the Sharon Plant could affect Abbeville County in more ways than the loss of jobs.

The global company announced May 20 it is selling its automotive body cloth division, a move that affects the Abbeville and Sharon plants in Abbeville County. In Abbeville, the plant will operate under the new company, Autotex, but the Sharon plant will be phased out, resulting in 140 people losing their jobs.

via Index Journal | Greenwood, SC | News.


revlon– NEW YORK (AP) — Revlon Inc. said Thursday it will cut 400 jobs worldwide to help cut annual costs by $30 million as the cosmetics company continues to grapple with a softening economy.

via The Associated Press: Revlon to eliminate 400 jobs in restructuring.


– Independent oil and gas producer Devon Energy Corp. on Thursday said it plans to combine its international and gulf divisions into one offshore division, a measure that could result the elimination of up to 75 jobs.

via Devon Energy to merge divisions, cut up to 75 jobs – Forbes.com.


-Approximately 200 production workers at Fairfield Manufacturing Co. in Lafayette have been laid off their jobs.

via Fairfield cuts 200 jobs | jconline.com | Journal and Courier.


gulfstream– Gulfstream Aerospace and an affiliate plans to cut 25 percent of their combined work force, or 219 people, employed at Love Field in Dallas, as the recession affects the aviation industry, Private Jet Daily reports.

via Gulfstream to cut jobs at Love Field in Dallas | Air Capital Insider | Wichita Eagle Blogs.


jack-in-the-box1– Jack in the Box will cut 61 jobs in Buena Park next month as part of plan to contract out transportation services at its seven U.S. distribution centers, the company confirmed today.

via Jack in the Box axes 61 O.C. distribution jobs – Handling Hard Times – OCRegister.com.


– LONG BEACH, Miss. (AP) – ATM maker Triton Systems says it will lay off workers at its Long Beach and Memphis facilities.

Triton spokesman Brian Goff says the company has not decided how many workers will be laid off or when. There are 225 employees in Long Beach and 45 in Memphis.

via ATM maker Triton plans layoffs – WXVT-TV Delta News – More Local News and Weather WXVT.com | .


basf– SENECA — Chemical company BASF has adjusted to a lack of demand in a less than stellar economy.

The Seneca plant site that employs around 350 workers laid off 17 people on Wednesday, said site manager Frank Lamson-Scribner.

via upstatetoday.com – Upstate South Carolina’s leading news and information Web site | The Daily Journal, Daily Messenger, Upstate Lake Living, Golden Corner Shopper.


– A representative from BBDO told me earlier today that the Detroit office has indeed undergone a round of layoffs that hit 25 employees where it hurts.

via BBDO Suffers Chrysler’s Cutbacks – mediabistro.com: AgencySpy.


espn– BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — ESPN has notified about 100 Connecticut employees that they will be losing their jobs.

The layoffs are part of a plan announced by ESPN Chief Executive George Bodenheimer in January, when he told employees the sports television giant would be reviewing its entire operation and also would leave about 200 vacant jobs unfilled.

via The Associated Press: ESPN cuts about 100 jobs, expects to create others.


arctic-cat– Arctic Cat Inc. said today it is cutting 60 more jobs as it works to match production of its snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles with consumer demand.

via Arctic Cat cuts 60 jobs as sales drop by almost half – TwinCities.com.


– The CMG website predicts that a total of 350 CBC jobs will be lost this spring through a mix of layoffs, retirements, nonrenewal of contract employees, and abolition of vacant job positions.

via CBC English Services losing 350 jobs, 45 in Vancouver :: The Hook .


– Stein Mart Inc. is laying off 40 more employees, including 14 at the company headquarters in Jacksonville.

via Stein Mart to lay off 40 more – Jacksonville Business Journal: .


– An official at Chart Industries in La Crosse tells NewsChannel 8 the company plans to lay off about 100 workers effective June 8. This follows a layoff of about 20 employees within the last month.

via 100 to Be Laid Off at Chart Industries – WKBT La Crosse, WI-NewsChannel 8-.


affinia– Guelph auto parts manufacturer Affinia Canada Corp. laid off 115 employees at its Brake Parts Canada Inc. plant in Guelph earlier this week.

via GuelphMercury.com – News – Affinia lays off 115 .


sea-ray– Knoxville-based Sea Ray Boats told the 240 hourly employees at its Knoxville plant this afternoon that it will close the plant and place them on furlough from July 6-Oct.1 because of continuing weak demand in boat sales.

via Sea Ray closing Knoxville plant for 3 months : Business : Knoxville News Sentinel.


– The 11-county diocese hasn’t disclosed its budget shortfall or how many employees will be affected by its cost cutting.

via Madison diocese closes center, cuts staff/pay — chicagotribune.com.


– lorman — Sixty Alcorn University faculty and staff members lost their jobs Wednesday, and university officials have plans for more cuts this week.



International Layoff News



georg-fischerGeneva – Swiss car parts and machinery supplier, Georg Fischer, announced Thursday it would cut 2,300 jobs – 16 per cent of its workforce – in response to a sales slump.

The company reported a 38 per cent drop in sales in the first quarter of 2009. Particularly hard hit was the automotive section of the business, aligned to the overall state of the ailing auto industry.

via Georg Fischer to cut 2,300 jobs due to falling sales – Monsters and Critics.


hp2-Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) said on Thursday it plans to cut 5,700 jobs in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA) over the next two years.



hp1– Hundreds of jobs are to go at the Hewlett Packard plant in Erskine near Glasgow. It is feared that as many as 850 manufacturing jobs could go as the company transfers work to the Czech Republic next year.  A formal announcement is expected this afternoon.


– Kent brewer Shepherd Neame is to make up to 10 people redundant following the start of its new bottling line.

via The Publican – Home – Shepherd Neame announce brewery redundancies.


newspaper15– EDITORIAL staff at Hobart’s The Mercury newspaper are being asked to take redundancies due to “tough economic times”, editor Garry Bailey says.

“We are seeking 10 redundancies with the hope that there will be sufficient volunteers,” Mr Bailey said.

via Newspaper announces redundancies | The Australian.


– Police chiefs in Surrey have launched an angry attack on the government over budget cuts which will mean 50 frontline jobs will be axed.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Surrey | Budget cap costs 50 police jobs.


– A CATERING equipment firm has announced plans to shed nearly a third of its staff resulting in 45 job losses.

American owned Central Bottling International revealed it wants to cut jobs at its Plumtree Farm Industrial Estate base in Bircotes.

via 45 jobs go at firm – Doncaster Today .


– A quarter of the workforce at luxury furniture companies Smallbone of Devizes and Mark Wilkinson Furniture are to be made redundant.

Up to 100 jobs are to be lost the new owner of the companies, Leo Caplan, announced last week.

via Up to a quarter of furniture jobs to go in Devizes and Bromham (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald).


– HARARE, May 28 2009- Zimbabwe’s struggling national carrier Air Zimbabwe management this week sent 300 workers on a forced two week leave after failing to pay them their full salaries.

via Radiovop:::Zimbabwe latest news, Zimbabwe news, Zimbabwe situation, Zimbabwe online, Zimbabwe daily news , Your gateway to Zimbabwe news – Air Zim to Lay Off Workers.


– Sources have let us know that Sweden-based developer GRIN is going to be hit with some serious layoffs that are due in part to poor sales of Bionic Commando and Terminator: Salvation. It is estimated once the layoffs are all made official, it could see more than 160 employees in total let go.

via Fudzilla – Layoffs coming to GRIN dev team.


fl-smidth– “Based on the current market situation it is considered necessary to make an additional staff reduction of around 700 employees,” the firm said and gave no further details.

via UPDATE 1-FLSmidth Q1 core profit tops consensus, orders dive | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


– Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), France’s biggest retail bank, said on Wednesday it would cut 199 jobs as part of an internal merger of its consumer credit divisions Sofinco and Finaref.

via Agricole to cut 199 jobs in internal units merger | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .


– Insulin producer Bioton has officially informed the Labor Office of a plan to carry out mass lay offs from its current workforce of 635. The firm intends to reduce the number of staff by 170 employees with the first redundancies to begin in June.



Hiring News and News You Can Use



– ONE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S biggest moves to help individuals during the economic crisis has been the extension of unemployment benefits. But as the recession drags on, now even those extensions are running out for many — bringing with it a whole new level of economic stress.

How are people coping when the unemployment checks dry up? For some it means hard choices, like dipping into their retirement savings, selling the family car or moving in with their parents.

Many people find that unemployment benefits aren’t even enough to pay the bills — laid-off workers receive on average $295.05 a week, according to the Department of Labor — but it definitely helps them get by.

via Trying to Cope When Jobless Benefits Run Out at SmartMoney.com.


– NEW YORK STATE — The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is creating jobs and now these new positions are just a click away. Effective immediately, any job created with stimulus funds must be posted on the state labor department’s website.

via Capital News 9 | 24 Hour Local News | POLITICS | NYS job bank on the web .


– American LaFrance plans to move all production operations to the Berkeley County plant. The $1.69 million investment is expected to create 216 new jobs within the next three to five years. Workforce needs, growth potential and market access were key drivers in the decision to move operations to Berkeley County.

via American LaFrance to Create 216 Jobs in Berkeley County – CoStar Group.


– The Professional Marketing (PM) Forum has launched a free membership scheme to help the growing band of marketers who have been made redundant from professional services firms as a result of the recession.

The free membership is available to anyone actively seeking a new marketing position, giving them access to members-only networking events, a directory and a library of past particles published in its in-house magazine.

via Networking group offers free membership for laid-off marketeers – Crain’s Manchester Business .


– One of the great under-reported/unreported stories about the economy is that American employers have 3 million jobs they can’t fill.  What we are seeing in the midst of  the weakest economy in several decades and a national unemplyment rate approaching 10%, is that employers have huge numbers of jobs which can’t be filled.

via 3 Million Unfilled Jobs in the US – Wally Altes – Former president, Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce – timesunion.com – Albany NY.


– “In the four years we have performed this research, the same positions appear on the list again and again,” said Jonas Prising, President of the Americas. “Despite the current economic instability and high unemployment, there are still skills that the U.S. workforce seems to lack.”


– Indianapolis – Indiana’s strength in biotechnology and logistics is credited as the reason for a life science firm expanding in Indianapolis and creating 125 new jobs.

via Biostorage Technologies to create 125 new jobs in Indy – WTHR | Indianapolis.


– In a recession, every job counts and in Dedham this weekend, they’ll be hiring for 700 new jobs. Retailers with the new Legacy Place retail complex will hold a job fair.


Mike: Today was a busy day for economic news and layoff announcements. Tomorrow should be a little quieter, as it is most Friday’s. Till then……


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Gary Varvel - May 28

Gary Varvel - May 28




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