Mike: A very light layoff announcement day for US this Friday. I can’t recall a quieter Friday, so that’s the good news. I’ll be in the great outdoors this weekend, so updates will not occur from Saturday morning at 10:00 until Sunday evening at the earliest. I need a little back to nature time. On the lighter side, I added a couple of Jay Leno clips at the end of the post, since Friday was his last Tonight Show full-time host show. Have a great weekend……………

There is plenty of economic news to consider this Friday that will indicate if the country’s economic health is improving or declining.  The GDP report is likely the most important of today’s releases and it showed continued weakness.  Economic reports follow:

GDP is defined as the value of all goods and services produced within the geographic territory of an economy in a given interval, such as a year.

via GDP Definition – What is GDP?.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy sank at a 5.7 percent pace as the brute force of the recession carried over into the start of the year. However, many analysts believe activity isn’t shrinking nearly as much now as the downturn flashes signs of letting up.

The Commerce Department’s updated reading on gross domestic product, released Friday, showed the economy’s contraction from January to March was slightly less deep than the 6.1 percent annualized decline first estimated last month. But the new reading was a tad worse than the 5.5 percent annualized drop economists were forecasting.

via Economy dips at a 5.7 percent pace in 1Q – Yahoo! Finance.


Then there’s the Chicago PMI report, which shows business conditions in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan:


Monthly measure of the business conditions based on surveys of purchasing managers across Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Referring to a benchmark of 50, the report is considered to reflect expansion when printing a reading of 50 or higher. Conversely, a reading of 49 and lower would be indicative of contraction.

via Chicago PMI – United States.


Mike: The Chicago PMI “unexpectedly” weakened? Did these experts think that the tens of thousands of auto and associated layoffs would be a positive for the area? It must bet difficult sitting in those 50-story towers of wealth and seeing what’s happening on the streets below. 


– Business activity in the Chicago region contracted at a faster pace in May, surprising analysts who had expected improvement. The Chicago purchasing managers index fell to 34.9 in May from 40.1 in April, according to a survey of corporate purchasing managers released Friday.


Finally we have the Consumer Sentiment report, which shows the consumers mood with regard to purchasing. This follows the trend of the Consumer Confidence report from earlier in the week, showing healthy improvement. Consumers are back to consuming, or at least thinking about it:


A survey of consumer confidence conducted by the University of Michigan. The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI) uses telephone surveys to gather information on consumer expectations regarding the overall economy.

via Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI).


WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. consumer sentiment rose in May, reaching the highest level since September, as more Americans feel the end of the recession is approaching, according to a survey released Friday by the University of Michigan and Reuters.

The consumer sentiment index rose to 68.7 from 65.1 in April. In mid-May the estimate was 67.9. Economists were looking for a final May result of 68.

via Consumer sentiment rises in May; better times seen – MarketWatch.



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* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


dell2– Dell dispensed a dose of reality to investors who hoped tech’s worst days were over. The computer maker said May 28 that first-quarter earnings tumbled 63%, and sales dropped 23%. On the heels of a tepid sales forecast from rival Hewlett-Packard last week, Dell’s report showed that corporations shied away from buying computers in recent months and that they’re holding off on placing new orders.

General Economic News



8:30 AM ET

The nation’s gross domestic product declined 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009, the U.S. Department of Commerce said Friday, but the drop was less than the 6.3 percent in the final quarter of 2008.

The economy’s 5.7 percent Q1 shrinkage was also less severe than the expected 6.1 percent decline that the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) had forecast a month ago, based on partial data.

via GDP shrinks in early 2009, but less than in late 2008 – Denver Business Journal: .

Chicago PMI
9:45 AM ET

According to the Institute of Supply Management-Chicago and Kingsbury International, Ltd., the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index dropped to 34.9 in May from 40.1 in April.  That was well below the consensus estimate of 42.0 and is indicative of a manufacturing sector in contraction given the reading below the dividing line of 50.0.

via Briefing.com: Chicago PMI Disappoints.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Optimism over the U.S. government’s stimulus programs to combat the recession lifted consumer confidence in May to its highest level in eight months, a survey released on Friday showed.

The gradual healing in consumer confidence, which hit a 28-year low in November, has been seen as a sign of an economic rebound from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

via U.S. consumer mood highest in 8 months: survey | Special Coverage | Reuters .

– NEW YORK (AP) — The mortgage crisis is spreading and hitting new heights: Borrowers with good credit now make up the largest share of foreclosures as job losses and pay cuts exact their toll.

A record 12 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were behind on their payments in the first quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. And the trend is predicted to continue until the end of next year, about six months after unemployment is expected to peak.

via The Associated Press: Borrowers with good credit fuel foreclosures in 1Q.



Chuck Asay - May 29

Chuck Asay - May 29



– LONDON (AP) — Oil extended gains above $65 a barrel Friday to reach a fresh six-month high after the U.S. reported a fall in oil inventories and further signs of economic improvement.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was up 67 cents to $65.75 a barrel by late morning in Europe in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the contract rose $1.63 to settle at $65.08, a six-month high and almost double the lows reached in March, when it fell below $35 a barrel.

via The Associated Press: Oil hits new 6-month high above $65.


– Output in Japan surged 5.2 percent from March, the Trade Ministry said in Tokyo. India’s economy, Asia’s third-biggest, grew 5.8 percent, more than the 5 percent analysts predicted. Other releases today showed U.K. house prices unexpectedly rose in May and German retail sales climbed the most in four months.

via Japan, India Revival Adds to Evidence Global Recession Easing – Bloomberg.com.


gm21– May 29 (Bloomberg) — General Motors Corp. U.S. employees represented by the United Auto Workers ratified an agreement that may save the automaker $1.3 billion annually and facilitate a quick exit should GM file for bankruptcy.

The accord was approved with 74 percent voting in favor, the union said today at a news conference. The deal also calls for a health-care fund for union retirees to get a 17.5 percent stake in a reorganized GM. The UAW has about 54,000 members at GM, which employed 243,000 people at the end of last year.

via GM Union Ratifies Agreement That May Ease Bankruptcy (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.



Government Layoff News



– Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday said state revenues for the almost-ended fiscal year have continued to decline and that state agencies will lose a quarter of their June funding.

Perdue, in a letter to top state lawmakers, said he is being forced to lower the state revenue estimate by more than $274 million for the 2009 fiscal year that ends June 30. That is a 1.45 percent drop in the 2009 budget state lawmakers approved earlier this year.

via State agencies to cut 25% in June | ajc.com.


– SANFORD — More than 100 people who used to work for Seminole County are out of a job.

via Seminole County Cuts 101 Jobs – Central Florida News 13.


– So the department is cutting jobs which are the first lay offs in the organization.

20 jobs are being cut and 40 more workers will not be hired as planned.

via Job cuts at the city of Calgary – Headlines – News – 660News – ALL NEWS RADIO – Calgary.


– Sixteen workers at Louisville’s eight Neighborhood Place centers learned yesterday that they are among the 119 people who will lose their jobs July 1 to help balance the city’s budget.

via Neighborhood Place to eliminate 18 jobs | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal.


– The St. Louis Public Schools board approved a leaner $289 million fiscal 2010 budget Thursday night that eliminates 350 positions.

via St. Louis schools to eliminate 350 jobs – St. Louis Business Journal: .


– On May 18, Seattle Public Schools announced a reduction in force (RIF), or layoffs, that could take 20 different instructors from West Seattle schools.

via At least 20 teachers cut from West Seattle schools | West Seattle Herald.


– PALMER – The union representing teachers at Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School has declined to make contract concessions and layoffs are expected, Superintendent Gerald A. Paist said.

via Pathfinder prepares for layoffs – MassLive.com.



–  Buckeye laid off another five workers this month, just as town officials prepare to adopt a significantly pared-down budget.

via More layoffs and buyouts announced for Buckeye.


– NEW LEXINGTON — The Perry County District Library Board will close its Shawnee branch, reduce hours at others and layoff several employees to make up for declining state assistance.



US and some Canada Layoff News



rubbermaid– The local plant employs 490 people, but company officials say it is too early to know how many of them will be affected by the layoffs. The workforce reduction will take effect from June 6 to Oct. 9.

via Arkcity.net: Community – Rubbermaid announces temporary layoff plan (05/28/09).


– We will make additional permanent cost reductions and continue to rationalize our expense base to match current demand levels,” Bradley said.

The company expects additional job cuts in the fourth quarter ending June 30.

via Globe Specialty Metals Q3 profit falls, to cut more jobs | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


– The likelihood of a restart of Catalyst Paper’s Elk Falls mill faded further Tuesday as the company indefinitely laid off 55 salaried staff from it’s Elk Falls and Crofton mills while terminating another 42 management positions at its Nanaimo and Richmond offices.

via Staff members at Elk Falls laid off .


– “EServ today implemented a partial reduction of its local work force as a continuation of reductions taken earlier this year,” Karen Modlin of Perot Systems’ media relations/corporate communications said in a brief statement.

via EServ to lay off more of its staff.


– United Way Capital Area laid off 20 percent of its staff Thursday, citing sagging grants and donations to the nonprofit.

via United Way lays off 10 people.


– WWAY TV-Channel 3 has laid off a “minimal” number of workers, General Manager Andy Combs said Thursday.

“Most of them are part-time employees,” he said, and do not involve news-gathering staff or on-air personalities.

via WWAY lays off workers | StarNewsOnline.com | Star-News | Wilmington, NC.


– SiCortex, which wanted to sell energy efficient high performance computers to scientists, financial modelers and other big time users, has called it quits, according to HPC Wire. Most of the employees have been laid off and the company is trying to figure out how to sell its assets. More from HPC:

via Greentech Media.


-Atlas Building Products laid off 50 employees over the winter, their first major curtailment after nine years of steady growth. Owner Hadi Abassi said the bleeding stopped just after the federal budget was announced.

via Reno stimulus .


– A local Metaldyne employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the company had more than 200 people at the height of its workforce. He estimated the current workforce at 130 and said several employees have been notified that they could be laid off.

via Metaldyne in bankruptcy – The Bluffton News-Banner.


– Houston based Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation announced Thursday it will mothball a regional office in the Huntington Banks Building–and move those administrative operations to Pittsburgh.   The company announced the move as one of efficiency and is also closing its regional office in Denver.  

Forty jobs will be affected by the action.  Twenty-five have been offered transfers to Pittsburgh, while 15 will be laid off.   

via WCHS Radio 58.


– KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. – More than 100 people will be out of a job at Eaton Corporation in Kings Mountain on Friday.

via News 14 | 24 Hour Local News | Charlotte | Some 100 Kings Mtn. workers to lose jobs .


– Trelleborg Protective Products, on Bergen Way, Sutton Fields, said today it was to close its East Yorkshire site and continue production in Lithuania.

via Forty-seven jobs to go at Hull engineering firm.


hospital19– MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) — Middlesboro Appalachian Regional Hospital has laid off more than two dozen employees.

via WZTV FOX 17/Nashville.


– Red Deer College has had to lay off 11 instructors as a result of dropping numbers of students in the welding and steamfitter/pipefitter programs.

via Red Deer Advocate – College lays off 11 staff as numbers decline in apprenticeship program.


– PETAL – The Board of Aldermen voted to today to cut 25 city jobs and borrow up to $800,000 to help boost the city’s troubled budget.

via Petal to cut 25 jobs | hattiesburgamerican.com | Hattiesburg American.


– Executive Vice President of Operations Bob Korfmann said the number would be less than 10. The company doesn’t have any plans for any future reductions, but added it can’t make any promises.

via New York Blower lays off more employees.


– Still trying to preserve cash, A.P. Pharma announced that it is once again cutting about a third of its staff. Back in November, the Redwood City, CA-based developer axed a third of its workforce, or 18 people. This time around A.P. is reducing its headcount by 34 percent–11 people.

via A.P. Pharma cuts workforce again – FierceBiotech.


– Coal miner Foundation Coal Holdings Inc (FCL.N) said its Central Appalachian affiliates cut about 60 jobs due to lower production to match reduced demand and decreased shipments.

via UPDATE 1-Foundation Coal cuts production, reduces 60 jobs | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .


– Unfortunately, the Nogales employees and the customers wanted their store to stay too. Friday, six employees will work their last day cleaning up the store.

via Thrift store in Nogales closes, 6 lose jobs – KVOA News 4, Tucson, Arizona – .


pirates– The Pirates have eliminated eight-full time employees on the business side of their operations, through layoffs or buyouts.

via Pirates cut business staff.


– Getty Publications recently laid off 20% of its staff in a move to compensate for a 24% reduction in revenue last year from the endowment that partly subsidizes its publication program. Ten people, including both new and longtime employees, were notified of the layoffs in the middle of April.

via Talkback on Publishers Weekly.


ge– WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa – General Electric has announced it will cut 60 jobs from its plant in West Burlington.

via GE to cut 60 jobs at SE Iowa plant — chicagotribune.com.


hospital20– The Mankato Clinic has completed a $2.4 million electronic records system that, coupled with the flagging economy, will result in the permanent reduction of 50 employees.

via The Free Press, Mankato, MN – Mankato Clinic to cut 50 jobs.


newspaper16– Harshbarger says fewer than 10 positions were cut Friday at the News, comprising editorial and management positions. He said 90 jobs also were eliminated at the partnership, which oversees the business operations at both newspapers.

via The Detroit News plans to cut about 10 jobs – WLNS TV 6 Lansing Jackson Michigan News and Weather – WLNS.COM | .


– Florida Atlantic University will lay off 30 employees, including five tenured professors, as part of its budget reductions, officials said Friday.

via Budget cuts, efficiency cited as 5 FAU tenured professors laid off — South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.


– The San Diego Opera has laid off eight employees and slashed one production from its 2010 season.

via San Diego Source > News > S.D. Opera suffers layoffs, shortens season.


–   The company will be left with “a handful” of workers at the Chehalis Industrial Park to help ship what’s left of its inventory, which was left intact. Though Northwest Cable News reported 16 of the 20 employees are to be laid off, Killgore could neither confirm nor deny that number as of Thursday.

via The Chronicle Online > News > Layoffs Follow Fire.


– OceanFirst Financial, which bought Central Jersey Bancorp this week, will chop operating expenses by 35%, meaning layoffs are expected, according to Asbury Park Press, a central New Jersey newspaper.

Toronto-Dominion Bank plans to terminate some mutual funds: TD Income Trust Capital Yield Fund, TD Private Income Trust Fund and TD Income Trust Pool, according to Reuters. No word on how many employees might be laid off.

via Finance Layoffs: TD Bank and OceanFirst (Dealscape).


deere– Multiple employees have told the Courier that this round involves all employees with less than 10 years of experience. They say that means

approximately 500 of the plant’s 1,000 employees face at least the temporary loss of their jobs.

via The Ottumwa Courier – More layoffs at Deere?.


– – At its peak, just 5 years ago, the plant had over 1,100 employees. That number steadily declined to about 250 people making about $22/hr, who will

soon be unemployed.

via Local manufacturing plant, Martinrea Heavy Stamping, closing doors | TOP STORIES | WHAS11.com | News for Louisville, Kentucky.


gm22– This is the final day for close to 500 people. While production ceases, tool and die operations still continue. A couple hundred employees will

continue to build dies for the new Chevy Volt. The plant still with the capacity to do so and many estimate that work will cease in the first weekor so in December when the plant will likely close for good.

via Final Day for Hundreds of West Mich. GM Workers | mich, day, west – Top Stories – WWMT NEWSCHANNEL 3.


– Cintas Corp. (CTAS) projected fiscal fourth-quarter results below analysts’ expectations as the uniform supplier announced another round of job cuts, putting the reduction during the past year at 12% of its work force.




International Layoff News




-Troubled Scandinavian IT services vendor Tieto is cutting 220 jobs in Finland and temporarily laying off a further 1500 staff in the country as it looks to slash costs.

– Building products group Wolseley has made almost 3,000 redundancies in the UK in its first nine months of trading, the firm said today.

via Wolseley: 3,000 made redundant so far this year | News | Construction News.


– Freenet AG may have to cut 900 jobs after selling its digital subscriber-line business to United Internet AG, Focus magazine reported, without saying how it got the information.

via Freenet May Cut 900 Jobs After Selling DSL Business, Focus Says – Bloomberg.com.


– Air New Zealand is reducing capacity by a further 3%, and is signalling 80 job losses.

via Air NZ signals 80 job losses as it reduces capacity by 3 percent | BUSINESS News.


– Two shipyards in Gdynia and Szczecin on the Baltic coast will be closed down as of June with a loss of over 9,000 jobs. The yards were forced into liquidation by the European Commission, which found they had received illegal government aid, TVN24 reports.

via Polish Market Online .:. Polish Market Online .:. 9,000 jobs lost in two collapsed Polish shipyards..


– THE operator of Teesport in Middlesbrough has today announced plans to axe around 120 staff to cut costs if the nearby Redcar steel works shuts.

via nebusiness.co.uk – News – Business News – PD Ports plans to axe 120 jobs .


– Now administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP have insisted they had no option but to make 60 redundancies with immediate effect.

via Smethwick glaziers cut 60 jobs : Express & Star.


– Accountancy firm KPMG yesterday announced it is cutting its Bermuda workforce by nine due to the impact of “the unprecedented global economic situation”.

via The Royal Gazette.


– Supermarket giant Asda is set to create some 3,500 retail jobs in Scotland over the coming three years as part of a £260 million investment plan.

via Asda to create 3,500 retail jobs across Scotland – The careers and jobs UK News Channel.


– Sappi announced that it would reduce the number of jobs at its Swiss Biberist plant by 47 by the next year.

via EUWID: Sappi to cut 47 jobs at Biberist plant.


– Brazilian mining company Vale (VALE.N)(VALE5.SA) said on Friday it plans to lay off 300 workers as it braces for a global economic slowdown caused by the credit crisis.

via Brazil’s Vale to lay off 300 to brace for slowdown | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


volvo1– STOCKHOLM (AP) — Swedish truck maker AB Volvo on Friday said it would cancel some previously announced layoff plans in its Powertrain unit, saving 600 jobs after reaching a deal with a labor union to instead slash salaries and working hours.

via Volvo Cuts Salaries, Saves 600 Jobs .


– Demolition contractor Keltbray has announced a 10% pay cut and shed about 90 staff after suffering a fall in work and revenue.

via Keltbray cuts pay and staff in bid to ‘remain competitive’ – Building.


– PD Ports has written to the 600 staff at its Teesport site warning of the risk of redundancy to about 120 posts.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Tees | Redundancy risk to 120 port jobs.


– The bitter reality of Newcastle United’s relegation from the Barclays Premier League struck home in brutal fashion yesterday, when it emerged that 120 members of the club’s administrative and commercial staff are set to lose their jobs.



Hiring News and News You Can Use



– JACKSONVILLE, FL — Saft America wants to build a new plant in Jacksonville worth $200 million, creating 800 jobs.

via Battery Company Wants To Create 800 Jobs in Jacksonville | Firstcoastnews.com | Local News.


– A shortage of qualified job candidates continues despite the economic downturn, according to Manpower Inc.’s annual Talent Shortage Survey.

The company says 30 percent of employers worldwide are struggling to find qualified personnel. Positions in the skilled trades, sales, technical work and engineering remain the most difficult for employers to fill globally.

via Survey: Firms struggle to fill jobs – Charlotte Business Journal: .


– The donation center will bring 40 new jobs to the area, including on-staff physicians and technicians and an annual payroll of more than $1 million. The total economic impact of the center is estimated at $12 million, company officials said.

via Plasma center creating 40 local jobs – Dayton Business Journal: .


– KIRKSVILLE – Hollister Inc., has entered into an agreement with Wi-Fi Sensors, Inc., on a deal that will sell its facility, allow it to remain in operation, and bring a new business to Kirksville that expects to create 100 new jobs.

via New company to bring 100 jobs to Kirksville – Kirksville, MO – Kirksville Daily Express.


– Preferred Credit Repair, LLC (PCR) moved a national call center to the old Food Lion plaza on 29th Street this month.  Business owners Russell Tompkins and Matthew Jolley say their market is national, and the need is everywhere.


Mike: I hope  you all have a fine weekend and in honor of Jay Leno’s handoff of  The Tonight Show to Conan O’Brien, here’s a few Jaywalking clips, that both make me laugh and make me fearful :)…………………….


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