Mike: The monthly unemployment numbers show a marked improvement over the previous seven months, but the unemployment rate increased to 9.4% due to more people looking for work. The lower job loss figure is good news, but the higher unemployment number shows the difficulty in finding new work. One reason, in my opinion, why more people are looking for work is that more people are losing their unemployment benefits. Remember, this recession is over two years old and although large job losses didn’t occur until summer 2008, many of those who were laid off last year are exhausting their unemployment benefits. That can also be seen in yesterday’s report of fewer continuing claims, which may not indicate a return to work, but an exhaustion of unemployment benefits.

The loss of 345,000 jobs is still an indication that the economy is still is difficult times, but that the rapid rate of job loss has begun to lessen somewhat. The 2nd quarter is also peak hiring time, so the latest numbers may reflect those yearly hiring practices.

Employers slashed jobs at a much more measured rate than expected in May, even as the unemployment rate soared above 9 percent for the first time in 26 years, the Labor Department said today.

According to data that simultaneously show how deep the recession has become and offer hope that it might taper off in the months ahead, a net total of 345,000 net jobs were cut in May — terrible by most standards but the smallest rate of job loss since September.

via Jobless Rate Hits 9.4 Percent in May; Layoffs Slow – washingtonpost.com.

Mike: But as can be seen by the below graph, U6 unemployment is now at 16.4%, which is a more complete description of unemployment. U6 is described as by the BLS:

Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers, plus total employed part time for economic reasons.

Note: Marginally attached workers are persons who currently are neither working nor looking for work but indicate that they want and are available for a job and have looked for work sometime in the recent past. Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached, have given a job-market related reason for not looking currently for a job. Persons employed part time for economic reasons are those who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.

Chart of U.S. Unemployment

Mike: The following report has some excellent information regarding the true state of unemployment, but I have to take issue with a statement within this article, which is “In many countries, it’s regarded as a good thing” when referring to involuntary part-timers might have a silver lining. What this clueless Brookings Institute expert fails to mention is that most part-timers don’t qualify for health benefits, so saying that being part-time is regarded as a good thing in other countries misses a huge point. All other Western industrialized countries offer everyone health care regardless of employment. Paying for an individual health insurance policy can cost $200-$500 a month with much higher premiums of over $1000 per month for family plans.

There may be a silver lining for voluntary part-time work, but not for involuntary part-time work where you receive little if any benefits. I wish these experts would compare apples to apples instead of apples to turnips.

The ranks of involuntary part-timers has increased by 4.9 million in the past year, according to a May study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Many economists now predict unemployment won’t peak until 2010. And since employers generally increase the hours of existing workers before hiring new ones, workers could be looking for full-time jobs for some time.

Even so, one economist said the increase in involuntary part-timers might have a silver lining. Gary Burtless, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institute, said employers are likely cutting back everyone’s hours instead of laying off people.

“In many countries, it’s regarded as a good thing,” he said.

via Temp work helps mask joblessness among Americans – Yahoo! News.

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* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:
Jerry Holbert

Jerry Holbert

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Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

msft1– Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer offered an unwelcome economics lesson to the Obama administration this week: Higher taxes have consequences that Washington policy-makers may not especially like.

Ballmer said on Wednesday that if Congress enacts President Obama’s plans to impose higher corporate taxes, it makes sense for Microsoft to move jobs offshore.

via Microsoft Warns Of Tax Law Consequences | Econwatch – CBS News.

General Economic News

Mike: Sure, businesses complain about high taxes all the time; that’s just their job, but when elected representatives start spending the equivialent of $1,000,000 per job, then it’s getting out of hand. Yes, some temporary construction jobs will be created and the county will collect property taxes (unless those were eliminated to have Apple build there), but it still seems like a very expensive way to create jobs. Instead of creating jobs for $1 million each, why not just give those same 50 people, $50,000 each for 20 years. I know that sounds crazy, but doesn’t giving a highly profitable company like Apple $46 million dollars in tax breaks for 50 jobs a little crazy, too? Hmmm, maybe I’ll relocate to North Carolina and hire someone to help me with my blog and see if the state will give me $1,000,000 for hiring that person! Time to look for Gov. Perdue’s phone number………….

– Gov. Bev Perdue announced today that Apple Computer will build a new facility in North Carolina. She made the announcement after signing legislation that gives Apple $46 million dollars in tax breaks. North Carolina Public Radio’s Laura Leslie reports.

The facility itself will only employ about 50 full-time workers, but proponents say contract work and the construction project could create hundreds more jobs.

via WFAE 90.7 FM.

– OTTAWA, June 5 (Reuters) – Canada’s unemployment rate spiked to an 11-year high in May as the worst recession since World War Two led to massive lay-offs in the factories of Ontario, once the country’s manufacturing powerhouse.

Statistics Canada said on Friday the net job losses in May totaled 41,800 and the unemployment rate jumped to 8.4 percent from 8.0 percent in April.

via UPDATE 2-Canada jobless rate spikes to 11-year high in May | Reuters

John Deering

John Deering

Government Layoff News

Mike: So the bloated NY State payroll will continue to be bloated, but at least some state workers will have to work more than just a couple years to receive generous pension benefits. NY is going to succumb to its unsustainable spending pratices because over 100,000 people a year are leaving the state due in part to the burdensome taxes imposed by the state and other municipalities. Billionaire Tom Galisano recently changed his residence from NY to FL and that will supposedly save him $13,000 a DAY! NY will continue to burden its dwindling population with higher taxes and service fees in order to fund its bloated budget. NY can just look at CA if it wants to see its future, which is one of near bankruptcy.

– ALBANY – Gov. Paterson and the state’s two major public employee unions are expected to announce a deal Friday to avoid major layoffs, the Daily News has learned.

In exchange for job protection, the Civil Service Employees Association and the Public Employees Federation will okay a new pension plan with lower benefits for new workers.

via Gov. Paterson and unions set to avoid layoffs with pension, buyout deal.

Mike: I mention this often, but it’s worth mentioning it again for my own sanity 🙂 I find it disturbing that these school administrators can so easily layoff useful contributors such as teachers, maintenance and health staff, yet give administrators pay increases! Administrators/managers find it distasteful to layoff administrators/managers, but have no such issue with laying off lower paid, skillful, contributors. For my money, you can get rid of 50% of administrators and hire additional teachers to educate students. It’s also disappointing that so many voters always approve of school budget increases – which in turn increases taxes – due to the fear espoused by administrators that say “If you don’t approve our bloated administrative budget, your children will suffer educationally and they will never go to college or contribute to society.”  Fear works and people vote yes to higher taxes and bloated administrative budgets and salaries.

– Before the Roanoke City school board met in front of the crown on April 7, it had already decided in a closed session to cut fifty eight positions, including the jobs of fifteen teachers. Since then, the board has voted to give ten administrative workers raises.

“The impact on these individuals was of such a scale that it warranted additional compensation.“, says school board member Todd Putney.

Putney says those employees are working much harder, since fifteen positions were cut from central office.  He points out some will no longer be eligible for overtime, which is expected to save money.

Only one of the ten is a four percent raise, which is around the standard cost of living raise.  The rest are anywhere from seven to thirty two percent.

The raises add up to more than $93,000.

via Roanoke City Schools giving raises to administrators, laying off teachers | WSLS 10.

– City officials voted Tuesday to lay off 19 employees and accepted the resignations of four other workers.

Officials said the layoffs could save the city up to $500,000.

via Officials vote to lay off 19 workers, accept resignations of 4 others | hattiesburgamerican.com | Hattiesburg American.

– Saugus Union School District board members issued layoff notices to 19 classified employees this week, Superintendent Judy Fish said.

via Saugus district lays off 19 workers.

– The Clarke County Board of Education on Thursday approved a $122 million budget for the next fiscal year, abolishing 25 teaching positions, but keeping 59 first-grade paraprofessionals whose jobs were on the chopping block.

via School board cuts 25 teaching slots, but keeps parapros | News | OnlineAthens.com.

– MANNING — Twenty-nine Clarendon School District 2 employees are no longer part of the system after officials decided to dismiss retirees working for the district through a letter of agreement, Superintendent John Tindal said Thursday.

via The Item – South Carolina.

– BOLTON –  The Nashoba Regional School District sent pink slips to 22 teachers and two other professionals Thursday, a move precipitated by expectations of further cuts on state aid.

via Nashoba Regional School District sends pink slips to 22 teachers – Stow, MA – Wicked Local Stow.

– CARTHAGE — Moore County schools Superintendent Susan Purser said Friday that 90 positions will be eliminated because of dwindling revenues for the upcoming school year.

US and some Canada Layoff News

-BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – Massive job cuts could hit the LSU system soon. LSU Chancellor Michael Martin says 1,900 jobs could be cut system-wide by next month if legislators don’t come up with more state funding for higher education.

trane– COLORADO SPRINGS – The plan to layoff more than 300 workers at Pueblo’s largest employer will happen sooner than expected.

In November Trane Commercial Systems announced 270 workers would be let go by 2011. Now the company says 320 jobs will be lost by this August.

via 320 Pueblo Workers Face Layoffs at Trane – KRDO.com Colorado Springs, Pueblo – Weather, News, Sports – ..

manitowoc-crane1– Manitowoc Crane Group plans to cut 31 jobs at its Port Washington factory, two months after the company slashed 23 positions at the plant.

via Manitowoc Crane to cut more jobs in Port Washington – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .

– Girl Scouts of America has laid-off three employees in the Amarillo Area due to economic pressures.

via Girl Scouts lay off three in Amarillo – KFDA – NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo, TX: newschannel10.com.

– College spokesman Gary Kruchowski said details — including the number of affected employees and the financial impact to the college — would be released Monday, after all employees have been informed.

via Lake Superior College confirms multiple layoffs | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota .

– CONCORD — Southco Inc. laid off 200 employees throughout its global network Wednesday, including 69 at its Delaware County headquarters, officials confirmed Thursday.

via Economy hits Southco Inc., forcing layoffs in Concord – The Delaware County Daily Times : Serving Delaware County, PA(DelcoTimes.com).

– This after Mac steel in Jackson laid off 300 employees indefinitely. The manufacturer in southwest Jackson made the announcement this week. Plant workers say the news is just another blow to their area.

via Layoffs Lasting Longer than Expected at Plant – WLNS TV 6 Lansing Jackson Michigan News and Weather – WLNS.COM | .

– The remaining 165 workers in the stud mill have received temporary layoff notices for next week, and a skeleton crew will remain to keep shipping open and do some maintenance, said Jim Baskerville, regional manager of Okanagan operations for Tolko.

via BCLocalNews.com – Tolko mill workers now face layoffs.

– Penske Logistics has lost a contract with Big Lots and notified the state that it will lay off the 53 truck drivers that it employs at the discount retailer’s warehouse and distribution operation at 300 Phillipi Rd.

via The Columbus Dispatch : Penske to lay off 53 drivers after losing Big Lots pact.

gavel3–  The firm announced today in a firmwide e-mail that it was handing pink slips to 25 lawyers and 47 staff members, The Am Law Daily reports.

via The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times : McDermott, Will & Emery Cuts 25 Lawyers, 47 Staff.

– Lancer Corp., a San Antonio-based manufacturer and distributor of beverage dispensers, announced Thursday that it had laid off workers both in San Antonio and Mexico but did not say how large the layoff

via Lancer lays off S.A., Mexico workers.

international-paper– GEORGETOWN — A machine that makes colored file folders and another that makes envelopes at International Paper Co. will shut down temporarily beginning the last week of June, putting at least 30 people out of work, company officials said.

via International Paper to close two areas – Local – The Sun News.

– AMOA executive director Dana Friis-Hansen said the museum’s operating budget has been reduced 10 percent from 2008 in anticipation of lower revenues from admissions, events and fundraising.

via AMOA cuts jobs, salaries – Austin Business Journal: .

– MADISON, Wis. (CNS) — The Diocese of Madison announced May 28 that because of a downturn in its investment income in the past fiscal year, it is freezing all salaries and cutting several positions across the 11-county diocese.

via Tough economy forces Madison Diocese to freeze salaries, cut jobs .

– Faced with an $18.3 million budget cut from the state of Wyoming’s block grant, the University of Wyoming is taking a multi-pronged approach to address the reduction, including eliminating 45 full-time employees, eliminating target programs, reducing state funding for intercollegiate athletics, reducing library collection budgets, future tuition increases and more.

On Friday, 13 employees at the Topeka-based organization were informed their jobs would be eliminated effective July 2.

via KHPA cuts 14 staff positions | CJOnline.com.

– Eleven employees of the MAC were laid off in just the last few days. A few months ago four others were laid off, with the total number of people being laid off representing nearly a third of the MAC’s total staff.

via MAC cuts back on hours, staffers – KXLY.com: News, Weather and Sports for Spokane, WA and Coeur d’Alene, ID | .

lockheed– OWEGO — Lockheed Martin announced today that the approximately 100 subcontract employees who had been working on the VH-71 presidential helicopter program will be laid off.

– Tailor Welded Blanks recently trimmed its Monroe plant staff by 38 workers largely due to auto industry’s struggles.

via MonroeNews.com – The Monroe Evening News, Monroe, MI.

– BATH, Maine (AP) – Bath Iron Works has notified its largest union of another 58 temporary layoffs as the shipyard transitions to the Navy’s next-generation destroyer.

via Shipyard lays off another 58 workers | NECN.

– Midstate Manufacturing has laid off 135 employees.

Plant manager Shawn Pitman said today that the company’s workforce is working with existing and new customers to try to diversify the company’s business in order to be able to call back employees as soon as possible.

via Manufacturing firm reports 135 layoffs – Galesburg, IL – The Register-Mail.

– Capital Group Cos., an investment management firm that sells and manages the American Funds family of mutual funds, will lay off 133 local workers over the next two weeks, a spokesman said Thursday.

via Investment company plans to layoff 133 local workers | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com .

– Tennessee-based Manchester Tank shut down the plant Thursday and said it was the result of reduced demand and the bad economy.

via Petersburg manufacturer lays off 66 | Richmond Times-Dispatch.

hospital4– Deaconess Hospital is laying off about 50 employees as patients, struggling with a tough economy, put off medical care.

via Deaconess Hospital to lay off 50, cut weight loss center – Business Courier of Cincinnati: .

– PORT ANGELES –Westport Shipyards announced today that employees were laid off at its Port Angeles cabinet shop and its facilities in La Conner this week.

Company officials declined to say how many workers lost their jobs, or provide any other information.

via Westport cuts staff at PA shop — Port Angeles Port Townsend Sequim Forks Jefferson County Clallam County Olympic Peninsula Daily NEWS.

– Foundry President Michael Lombardi says the company will lay off 287 workers from the Columbia City plant and 174 in Fort Wayne. Lombardi cites the loss of business from General Motors Corp.

via Fort Wayne Foundry closing 2 plants, idling 461 — chicagotribune.com.

– Plum Creek announced Thursday afternoon that they are closing their Evergreen stud sawmill and stud remanufacturing plant indefinitely on June 26th. The moves means that 63 employees will lose their jobs.

via Evergreen sawmill closing indefinitely – Montana’s News Station – Fair. Accurate. To the Point. –.

– The Wayzata, Minn.-based company announced Friday it would eliminate all of the plant’s 57 hourly and salaried positions as part of the closure. Spokesman Warren Djerf says about a half-dozen employees will be offered transfers to other Nortech facilities.

via Nortech Systems closing Garner, Iowa, plant in response to sluggish industrial products demand – WQAD.

– As part of a plan to shave $50 million in expenses this year, CUNA Mutual Group this week notified 52 employees their jobs would be cut in 30 days and announced the company will move from a defined benefit pension plan to a cash-balance pension plan for remaining employees.


– Paragon Industries Inc has announced that it will lay offat least 105 more people in Sapulpa and Muskogee in July 2009.

via Steel Guru : Downsizing deals – Paragon to lay off 105 more people in Sapulpa and Muskogee .

Mike: The unemployment rate during the Depression was estimated at 25%, so Rock Hill, SC is approaching that Depression era figure. Many parts of US are experiencing near depression unemployment, but the news outlets make it sound like all is well and getting better, which is not the case.

County Supervisor Carlisle Roddey estimated as many as 150 workers are employed at the plant, which he said has operated in the county for at least 40 years. The plant at one point employed around 300, Roddey said.

– The announcement comes as Chester County recently climbed to the top of the state’s unemployment list, with a 21.8 percent jobless rate.

via Philips Products to close Chester plant | The Herald – Rock Hill, SC.

cessna1– Cessna Aircraft Co. on Friday handed out 700 60-day layoff notices to salaried employees.

Company spokesperson Angela Baldwin says the layoffs are part of the 1,300 cuts announced in April when the company stopped work on its Columbus program.

via Cessna issues 700 layoff notices – Wichita Business Journal: .

International Layoff News

– HELSINKI, June 5 (Reuters) – Nordic bank Nordea (NDA.ST) will cut 150 jobs in Finland through voluntary redundancies, trade union Suora said on Friday.

via Nordea to cut 150 jobs in Finland -union | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .

– Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, in Brixworth, which makes the engines in the cars of Formula 1 teams Brawn GP and McLaren-Mercedes, confirmed “approximately 50” jobs were being lost by the company, which employs about 500 staff

– DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland’s unemployment rate hit a 13-year high of 11.8 percent in May as a deepening recession pushed the welfare lines to record lengths, the Central Statistics Office reported Friday.

via Ireland’s unemployment rate hits 13-year high of 11.8 percent; welfare claims at record high – Los Angeles Times.

rbs– The decision to axe 28 posts was part of a business restructure and efficiency drive, the company said.

– Sonol Israel Ltd. today unveiled efficiency measures, which include laying off 20 gas station managers.

via Sonol layoffs fuel Histadrut anger.

– This week a spokesman for the company said: “Forty-six people from the shopfloor and engineering areas were made redundant, as announced at the beginning of May.

via Redundant Avon staff at Melksham told to go (From This Is Wiltshire).

– More jobs are to be axed at troubled telecommunications giant Nortel’s plant in Monkstown.

via Nortel expected to shed more staff at Monkstown – Business News, Business – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk.

– Commercial printer Pindar is set to make 14 redundancies at its Preston plant, as well as decommissioning two ageing Heidelberg machines.

via Pindar to cut 14 staff after buying new kit | printweek.com | Post Press and Finishing News and Jobs from the Finishing Bindery Sector | PostPress and Finishing.

-The supermarket group says it poached 500,000 shoppers a week from its rivals, helping to boost sales by 8.2% in the 13 weeks to the start of May.

via Morrisons cuts 10,000 staff pensions – mirror.co.uk.

– Timaru company Mid-land Contracting has been forced to lay off 12 staff due to a lack of work.

via Mid-land forced to lay off 12 staff | Stuff.co.nz.

– Harare — Troubled national carrier Air Zimbabwe intends to retrench 420 workers within the next 12 months owing to viability challenges and the global economic recession that has also severely affected airlines worldwide.

via The Southern Times.

– More than 200 jobs will be lost in Cork following the announcement by a pharmaceutical firm that it is to cease manufacturing and the closure of part of meat processing factory.

Hiring News and News You Can Use

– Two hundred associates are being sought to help staff a new Home Depot Regional Distribution Center that will be located on Gateway Boulevard off Ohio 63 and Interstate 75 in Monroe.

via Home Depot Rapid Deployment Center hiring for 200 positions.

– Google recruiters have allegedly been told not to hire staff from companies such as search rival Yahoo and biotechnology specialist Genentech.

A former Google human resources employee, who left the company last year, told the story to Silicon Valley’s Mercury News.

via Ex-Google worker reveals dodgy hiring practices – vnunet.com.

gm14– GM, which this week sold the Hummer off-road vehicle brand to Chinese company Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Company Ltd, has decided to re-emerge from bankruptcy as a smaller company. The deal will save 350 dealerships and 13,000 jobs at Saturn and its U.S. retailers, GM said.

Mike: More news as the day progresses……………..

Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson

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