Mike: Good day. The economic news for this day is primarily the MBA Mortgage Applications Index, which showed weakness due to increasing interest rates. This is the busiest time of year for home sales, yet mortgage application increased only 1.1% for the week and that’s with historically low interest rates. Refinancing decreased 12% due to those same higher interest rates. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but there seems ot be a complacency about the housing market that all will be better soon, when actually this situation continues to show problems and unemployment is one of those drivers along with increasing interest rates. There is a positive aspect to higher interest rates and that is lower home prices. As interest rates increase, home prices will decrease, since people can only afford a certain level of payment. When homes become affordable this crises will see an end, but not until that time.

A secondary issue with increasing interest rates is that those who have tried to refinance and are in the system may lose that preferred interest rate that they originally desired. With banks being very slow to respond to the deluge of callers for lower refinancing and purchase applications, those deals may no longer exist. A friend of mine has been trying for months to get Citi to file the paperwork for a lower interest rate, but the rep said they are so far behind that it will still take months to get everything in order. So if you applied for a 4.5% refinance or mortgage rate and didn’t lock it in for at least three months, those rates won’t be available if banks delay the process past the lock date.

NEW YORK, June 10 (Reuters) – A spike in U.S. mortgage rates drove down total home loan applications last week as demand for refinancing shriveled to the lowest level since November, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Borrowing costs have soared as bond yields have risen, even as the Federal Reserve has sopped up hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds to keep rates low and stimulate the housing market.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped 0.32 percentage point in the June 5 week to 5.57 percent. That was nearly a full point above the record low rate of 4.61 percent in March, the trade group said.

via RPT-Rising U.S. mortgage rates sap loan applications | Reuters .

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Steve Benson

Steve Benson

Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

Mike: I see the two below stories are wonder how they connect. First you have large companies lining up for free federal billions while in the second story you have these same businesses threatening to move profits and jobs offshore because they may have to pay taxes. So they run with hands extended to the government stimulus giveaway, but then complain when taxes have to be paid. It’s disturbing that all these companies grew to their gigantic size with US taxpayer funded government grants, lobbyist influences on Congress when Congress writes law, tax breaks for every conceivable reason and lower effective tax rates than most other industrialized countries. Yet these same companies that grew large and extremely profitable on the backs of the US taxpayer are now complaining that they may have to pay fair taxes. So take the taxpayer money, grow to enormous proportions and then take your jobs and profits offshore. Just another example of the slow destruction of the US economy by business and its insatiable demand for excessive profit.

Who is going to pay for the billions in bailouts, stimulus funding and increased deficits? Why the taxpayer of course, while big companies shirk their responsibilities by moving profits offshore.

– NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Big companies, ranging from AT&T to Dell to FedEx to Tyson Foods, are among those cashing in on the billions of dollars of federal stimulus money that is rolling out the door.

Some $4.3 billion of federal money is already funding more than 1,500 projects. Of that total, 85%, or $3.6 billion worth, has been funneled to big business.

via Big companies make hay off stimulus – Jun. 9, 2009 .

– – REDMOND, Washington (CNN) — Should a bridge that would connect two campuses at Microsoft’s headquarters be funded with $11 million from the federal stimulus package?

Critics of using stimulus money for the bridge say it would give the software giant a break on a pet project. They also say it serves as a warning sign of how some stimulus money is not being used to finance new projects but is being diverted to public works already under way.

via Critics slam Microsoft bridge as waste of stimulus money – CNN.com.

– I know, it sounds like an exaggeration. But look at it this way. If there were a power ranking of U.S. companies, like the ones compiled by football writers for National Football League teams, Microsoft would surely be first or second to Google. But last week, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer came to Washington to announce what Microsoft would do if Obama’s multinational tax policy is enacted.

It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said, “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S.” If Microsoft, perhaps our most competitive company, has to abandon the U.S. in order to continue to thrive, who exactly is going to stay?

via Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead: Kevin Hassett – Bloomberg.com.

General Economic News

– MBA Purchase Applications

[Report][Bullet7:00 AM ET

June 10 (Bloomberg) — Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell last week to the lowest level since February as a jump in borrowing costs discouraged refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of applications to purchase a home or refinance a loan dropped 7.2 percent to 611 in the week ended June 5, from 658.7 the prior week. The group’s refinancing gauge declined 12 percent, while the purchase index gained 1.1 percent.

via U.S. MBA Mortgage Applications Index Fell 7.2 Percent Last Week – Bloomberg.com.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. trade gap widened for the second straight month in April after hitting its lowest level in nine years in February, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted trade gap widened 2.2% to $29.16 billion in April as exports fell faster than imports.

via Trade gap widens slightly in April – MarketWatch.

– The Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, released Tuesday, estimates how many U.S. firms are hiring in a given month. These detailed figures usually come about 30 days after the monthly unemployment rate is released.

Tuesday’s report said there were 2.5 million job openings in April, the lowest number on record since this survey began in December 2000.

Given that approximately 13.7 million Americans were unemployed in April, that works out to nearly 5.5 job seekers for every job opening that month.

via 5 job hunters for each opening in April.

– NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Chrysler and Italian automaker Fiat on Wednesday officially signed a strategic alliance brokered by the U.S. government, one day after the Supreme Court cleared the path for the deal.

Fiat will initially take a 20% stake in the company, which can go up to 35% if it reaches certain fuel-efficiency goals.

via Chrysler, Fiat ink deal – Jun. 10, 2009 .

Paul Szep

Paul Szep

Government Layoff News

– Up to 1,000 Chicago Public Schools non-classroom employees will lose their jobs this year under a reorganization to save $100 million.

About half the layoffs will hit central office — 27 percent of employees there — in the next two weeks, while another 500 will be cut from citywide positions over the next year, sources said.

via Budget cuts to cost 1,000 CPS jobs :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Education.

– CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board voted Tuesday night to lay off 885 employees including teachers, assistant principals, psychologists, and social workers.

The vote came after more than a dozen people addressed the board during a standing-room only meeting at the Government Center in uptown Charlotte. Board members said they had no choice but to make the cuts and voted with little discussion.

via Char-Meck School Board Lays Off Almost 900 Employees – Charlotte News Story – WSOC Charlotte.

– RENO, Nev.—The city of Reno has issued pink slips to about 90 employees who could lose their jobs July 1 unless concessions are reached with employee unions.

via City of Reno issues layoff notices – San Jose Mercury News.

-Montgomery County will abolish 30 jobs to cut costs, amid falling tax revenue, officials announced Tuesday.

via Montgomery County to make more job cuts – Dayton Business Journal: .

– The jobs of the 18 deputies who had previously been suggested for layoff were, at least temporarily, spared as Sheriff Tom Allman was directed Tuesday by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to proceed with the cutting of five sheriff’s service technicians.

via 5 sheriff’s service techs to be laid off – Ukiah Daily Journal.

– To close a $50,000 budget gap, selectmen voted to lay off six employees for three weeks each through the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30. That includes two employees in the police department and one each in the fire, highway, Board of Health and town building departments.

via Six Bridgewater employees laid off to balance books – Bridgewater, MA – Bridgewater Independent.

– More than a dozen school personnel, including seven teachers at the high school and middle school, will be laid off as part of a plan that will eliminate or reduce the hours of more than two dozen town employees.

via 7 teachers, several other town workers to be laid off – Randolph, MA – Randolph Herald.

– The Georgia Department of Revenue has cut 280 jobs to trim its budget.

The cuts equal about 18 percent of its workforce and will save it more than $12 million annually.

via Ga. Dept. of Revenue cuts 280 jobs – Atlanta Business Chronicle: .

– MARION — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office will cut personnel as part of its plan to meet spending reductions mandated by the Marion County Board of Commissioners.

via Sheriff to cut six jobs | marionstar.com | The Marion Star.

– The Stark County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities said Tuesday it will eliminate at least five jobs at its Southgate and Eastgate schools, cut the paid hours of 10 employees by 20 percent and not employ an occupational therapist this summer.

via Stark County MRDD eliminates jobs to cut costs – Canton, OH – CantonRep.com.

– Six teachers were laid off in the Benton Harbor school district this week.

via WSJM AM 1400 & FM 94.9 – BH Schools Lays Off Six Teachers.

– St. Paul, Minn. — The St. Paul School district is laying off 143 teachers to help balance its budget. That’s nearly four times the average number of teachers laid off in the previous four years.

via MPR: St. Paul school district laying off 143 teachers.

– Eighteen part-time Minneapolis Community Service officers say they were shocked and disappointed to learn Wednesday they would be laid off.

US and some Canada Layoff News

ford1– Ford Motor Co. plans to lay off 350 workers from its Louisville Assembly Plant early next month, union and Ford officials said yesterday.

United Auto Workers and Ford officials are in negotiations that could delay or stop the action, but local union leaders are bracing for job losses, said Steve Stone, building chairman for UAW Local 862 at the Fern Valley Road plant.

via Ford plans to cut 350 jobs at Assembly Plant | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal.

– Gardner Denver plans to close its Thomas Products Division plant in Sheboygan this summer, leaving 22 workers without jobs.

via Gardner Denver to close Sheboygan plant – The Business Journal of Milwaukee: .

– KENOSHA, Wis. – MeadWestvaco Corp. a Virginia-based packaging company says it plans to lay off about 65 workers from its office-products group in Kenosha.

via Va. company to lay off 65 from Kenosha plant — chicagotribune.com.

talbots1– Talbots Inc. continued to trim its work force with another round of layoffs affecting 264 people, including nearly 200 employees in Massachusetts, as the apparel retailer reacts to steep sales declines at its stores.

via Talbots cuts nearly 200 jobs in Massachusetts as part of its latest round of layoffs – Brockton, MA – The Enterprise.

– Roughly 30 people lost their jobs from the county attorney’s office to the sheriff’s office. Residents will even notice the cuts at your neighborhood library.

via KSTP TV – Minneapolis and St. Paul – Carver Co. cuts at least 30 jobs.

– San Francisco-based Crystal Dynamics again feels the lash of layoffs, as Eidos confirms with Kotaku that around twenty-five employees have been let go from the Tomb Raider development studio.

via Kotaku – Crystal Dynamics Loses Another 25 Jobs – Crystal Dynamics.

– Stone said 23 people remain on active duty at Dataupia. She would not comment on how many people were laid off. But a data sheet published by the company in April indicated that Dataupia had 60 employees at that time, indicating that about 37 people have lost their jobs. (We’ve updated the Boston Tech Layoff Tracker accordingly.)

via Drastic Cuts at Dataupia—Company Lays Off Majority of Staff While Hunting for New Investors | Xconomy.

– By company policy, their benefits will continue for 90 days; but at that point, if they have not been called back, their employment would end.

via The Journal Times Online > Money > Putzmeister lays off 23% of work force, adds to previous cuts.

– D.E. Shaw & Co. is cutting costs by cutting and reorganizing some of its back-office staff.

via D.E. Shaw Cuts 25 Back-Office Jobs | FINalternatives.

– SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Cadence Design Systems Inc. says it is eliminating 225 full-time positions, or 5 percent of its global work force, in a move to save $30 million a year.

The company, which makes semiconductor manufacturing equipment and software, said the work force reductions are expected to be completed in the second half of fiscal 2009.

via The Associated Press: Cadence to cut 225 jobs, or 5 pct of work force.

– The move will put 121 people out of work. Metalcraft said in a release sent to WFMY News 2 said all the employees have been told of the plan.

via 121 Jobs Cut When Metalcraft Of Mayville Closes Its Greensboro Facility | digtriad.com | Triad, NC | Local and State News Article.

– Wednesday, Ixia (XXIA: News ), a provider of test systems for Internet Protocol-based infrastructure and services, said that it will implement a company-wide restructuring initiative, which includes a substantial reduction of staff. As part of the restructuring the company expects a charge in the second quarter.

via RTTNews – Breaking News, financial breaking News, Positive EPS Surprises, Stock research …. .

– We’ve confirmed with a representative from MRM that the San Francisco office has undergone layoffs today, though we could not get a concrete number. In total we are hearing anywhere from 20-33 are going home without jobs due to the lost Microsoft CRM business.

via 20-30 Laid Off from MRM SF – mediabistro.com: AgencySpy.

– Stanley/LaBounty in Two Harbors has laid off 31 employees as a reaction to a lack of market demand.

via LaBounty to lay off more than 30 employees | Lake County News Chronicle | Two Harbors, Minnesota .

gavel5– Bass Berry & Sims has laid off 32 employees, including 10 associate attorneys.

via Bass Berry Sims lays off 32 employees – Nashville Business Journal: .

– The recession has touched the Colusa Casino Resort and forced it to lay off 42 employees in the past week, casino management has confirmed.

via Colusa Casino lays off 42 | casino, colusa, hotel – Local News – Colusa Sun Herald.

– Employees at Shaw Tulsa Fabricators were told Wednesday morning that the west Tulsa pipe manufacturer will shut its doors in August.

The factory, which opened in 2006 and has 168 employees, makes pipe for construction.

via Tulsa World: Shaw to close west Tulsa pipe plant .

– Rockwell Automation Inc., which employs 163 workers, said Tuesday that it would be closing its Sumner plant by December 2010.

via WCFcourier.com – Waterloo and Cedar Falls Iowa News Homepage | News » Breaking News.

– Ann’s House of Nuts will close its manufacturing facility in Jessup and lay off 83 employees as of July 13, according to a notice the company filed with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

via Ann’s House of Nuts to shutter Jessup plant, lay off 83 – Baltimore Business Journal: .

– Harland Clarke is closing its 101-employee check printing plant in Salina.

The company informed employees Tuesday of the shutdown that will take place in November. It also will close a plant in Chicago later this year.

via Harland Clarke is closing Salina printing plant – syracuse.com.

– Interforest Ltd. will close its production facilities on July 10, putting 120 people, including production workers and office staff, out of work

via Interforest to close plant – Owen Sound Sun Times – Ontario, CA .

gm17– General Motors Corp. has decided to extend the temporary summertime closing of seven factories, including its car plant in Oshawa, because widespread temporary shutdowns will not be enough to control a burgeoning supply of some models, the company said yesterday.

via TheStar.com | Business | General Motors extends summer plant closings .

gm18– OSHAWA — General Motors will extend the summer shutdown of the Impala line by one week, but the Camaro line will stay up and running.

International Layoff News

– Schlott Gruppe AG said its supervisory board approved a restructuring program, including cutting about 350 jobs, aimed at securing the future of the company.

via Schlott Gruppe to Cut About 350 Jobs in Restructuring Program – Bloomberg.com.

bhp-billiton– BHP Billiton Ltd (BHP.AX) will lay off all 450 workers at its Indonesian coal project after deciding not to go ahead with the project, the mining firm said on Wednesday.

via BHP to cut 450 jobs at Indonesian coal project | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .

– More than 80 jobs are to go at an engineering company in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.

The closure of the SKF Super Precision Bearings factory is being blamed on a global decline in orders.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Gloucestershire | Jobs to go at ball bearing firm.

gavel4– The firm generated revenues of £104.3m over the 12-month period, down from £125.6m the previous year. As a result it has launched a redundancy consultation with up to 85 jobs affected, including fee-earners, support staff and secretaries.

via Wragges to cut 85 more jobs as a result of turnover slump | News | The Lawyer.

– A Heanor factory is to make 13 office staff redundant as it continues to try and cut costs during the economic downturn.

via 13 jobs will go at Heanor firm – Ripley Today .

– The Rockwell Automation plant that opened in Dublin 30 years ago will close next year, impacting 145 workers.

via Dublin plant to lay off 145, close next year – Business – Macon.

– ONE of Dungannon’s largest construction companies has temporarily laid off 35 staff as it struggles with a slump in orders.

via Dungannon construction company lays off staff and cuts pay – Tyrone Today .

– Brazilian beef processor Independencia SA [INDALI.UL] said on Wednesday it was shutting four units and laying off 1,100 workers because of lower demand for beef.

Hiring News and News You Can Use

-Anyone looking for a job? (Sick humor)  Look at twitter.com/larimercounty  or twitter.com/fortcollinsjobs  They have quite a few listed, it is easy to find, read, etc.  They both contain helpful information as well as other information regarding Larimer County.

via Larimer County and Fort Collins Jobs on Twitter.

– It’s bad enough to lose your job. But it’s a double whammy when you lose your health insurance, too. Two decades ago, Congress began requiring companies to allow their former employees to stay on the group health insurance plan for 18 months (more if the employee is totally disabled or if the employee dies and leaves dependent children) as long as they paid the full cost of coverage plus a small administrative fee.

via Laid off? COBRA insurance subsidy may apply. Here’s how | Business | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

– The “clean-energy economy” grew 9.1 percent between 1998 and 2007 to 777,000 jobs. While that is just half a percent of all U.S. jobs, the clean-energy economy is poised to grow significantly with financial support from the public and private sectors, the Pew (pdf) concludes.

via Green Jobs Sector ‘Poised for Explosive Growth,’ Study Says – NYTimes.com.

– DANVERS — Millipore Corp. opened a new manufacturing facility inside its Cherry Hill Corporate Center building yesterday in a move that will produce 120 jobs here by the end of the year, company officials said.

Mike: Till tomorrow…………………

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Mike Thompson

Mike Thompson


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