Mike: I hope your weekend was a good one and welcome to The Layoff List.

Monday brought us the following job related economic reports: Housing Market Index, which showed further weakness with an “unexpected” decline of 15 from May’s 16, and  Empire State Mfg Survey, which came in at -9.41 and that was a worse reading than the expected -4.5.    So far it looks like economic problems are still in the air as far as the Empire State Mfg Survey and Housing Market Index are concerned.

My cynical self looks at these unexpected weak reports and wonders why they are considered unexpected when 600,000 jobs are being lost each week, interest rates continue to climb, income  and disposable income levels are falling. Credit card debt is at a record along with foreclosures and the experts still see a brightening economic sky for some odd reason.

Here are a couple of cuts; one from today’s Housing Market Index report and housing outlooks from one and then two years ago:

Barrons – MONDAY, JULY 14, 2008

This real-estate rout has been more painful than prior ones, but it may be shorter-lived. Indeed, there are early signs of recovery.

via Bottom’s Up: This Real-Estate Rout May Be Short-Lived – Barrons.com.

Have We Hit the Bottom of the Housing Market? Anecdotal Evidence Says Maybe: August 8th, 2007

Meanwhile, reports of a turn around in mortgage demand and analysis by a Wachovia analyst think that signs are pointing to the market rebounding to a greater or lesser extent.

via Have We Hit the Bottom of the Housing Market? Anecdotal Evidence Says Maybe : The Real Estate Bloggers.

Mike: As you can see, the bottom has been called for two years and it is still being called. These bottom calls come from the real estate community and the experts at Barrons, yet they were both horribly wrong and if you read this stuff and acted on their bottom feelings you lost plenty. The bottom callers will be out for another two years and they will be right eventually, but not today, or last year, or two years ago……………

This has been an unusually quiet layoff announcement day, even for a Monday, which are generally quiet. More news later in the day.

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Mike: I have to laugh at this Ted Rall cartoon, since it relates to what I – and others in much higher regard than I – have stated for the past six months, which states that the stimulus monies issued by the fed would have been much better off in the hands of the people than the hands of the disastrous companies that created this financial disaster. Considering the combination of stimulus funds, banking bailouts and other fed financial wizardry have cost at least $2 trillion, and if you divide that $2 trillion into a simple 100 million, which is roughly the amount of households in US, you could have given each household $20,000. I think the financial crises ends much sooner when households have an extra $20,000 than when corrupt, arrogant and financially irresponsible banks are given billions to manipulate commodity prices.

Ted Rall

Ted Rall

Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

Mike: So these US companies like the free cash that the fed is feeding them, but they don’t want to follow the rules that go along with the funding. These Companies will now spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars tying this rule up in litigation instead of spending those same resources on finding a way to create networking equipment in US. I would bet that there are hundreds of companies and entrepreneurs that  would jump at the chance to produce those parts in US. The networking company’s approach to this free cash seem similar to the bank’s standing that they want free money, but they don’t want to follow compensation or disclosure rules that accompany that money.

Sure, there are likely some inefficiencies with having parts created in US instead of China or elsewhere, but at least give US firms a chance to come up with a solution. I can imagine EU or Chinese people’s reaction if the companies that are receiving their stimulus funds said they were going to use US parts instead of parts made in their own countries. Protesters would fill the streets and the governments would force the companies to comply with the rules. In US the companies rule the Congress and regulatory institutions, so they will likely get their way, unfortunately.

– Requiring parts made in the United States would be “grossly inefficient” and a “radical departure” from normal practice, said Cisco, the largest maker of networking equipment. The comments were filed with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the U.S. agency running the broadband initiative that is part of $787 billion in stimulus spending.

General Economic News

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The slumping factory sector in New York state shrank at a more severe rate in June than during the previous month, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Monday.

The New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index fell to minus 9.41 in June from minus 4.55 in May. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a June reading of minus 4.5.

via NY Fed manufacturing slump deepens in June – Yahoo! Finance.

June 15 (Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. homebuilders fell unexpectedly in June, indicating that a recovery from the housing slump will be slow to develop.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index of builder confidence decreased to 15 this month from 16 in May, the Washington-based NAHB said today. A reading below 50 means most respondents view conditions as poor.

The builder group’s index of current single-family home sales held at 14 for a second month. The gauge of buyer traffic stayed at 13 for the third straight time. A measure of sales expectations for the next six months dropped to 26 from 27, the first decrease since February.

via U.S. Homebuilder Confidence Unexpectedly Fell in June (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.

– June 15 (Bloomberg) — Europe’s economy lost a record 1.22 million jobs in the first quarter as companies cut spending to survive the worst global economic slump in more than six decades.

Employment payrolls in the 16-member euro region fell 0.8 percent from the fourth quarter, when they declined 0.4 percent, the European Union statistics office in Luxembourg said today. The first-quarter drop was the biggest decline since the data series started in 1995. From a year earlier, payrolls contracted 1.2 percent, the first annual decline on record.

via Europe Payrolls Shrink by Record 1.22 Million Jobs (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.

Mike: Congress has enough trouble passing legislation that takes years let alone three weeks. More good intentions gone bad. Here, we’ll give you $100, but we want $300 back for doing so………..

– WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama increased unemployment benefits as part of his economic stimulus, he also made some Americans ineligible for hundreds of dollars a month in food stamps.

Under the economic recovery plan, laid-off workers have seen a $25 weekly bump in their unemployment checks as part of a broad expansion of benefits for the poor. But the law did not raise the income cap for food stamp eligibility, so the extra money has pushed some people over the limit.

Laid-off workers and state officials are only now realizing the quirk, a consequence of pushing a $787 billion, 400-page bill through Congress and into law in three weeks.

via The Associated Press: STIMULUS WATCH: $25 check may cost you food stamps.

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich

bombardier– MONTREAL (AP) — Bombardier is reducing its 10-year industry forecast for business jet deliveries by nearly 15 percent from last year because of the global recession.

The world’s third-largest aircraft manufacturer said Monday it now expects there will be 11,500 business jets delivered by the industry between 2009 and 2018.

Bombardier said the industry for new business aircraft will face challenges of a negative public perception about the use of private planes and a difficult economic climate.

via The Associated Press: Bombardier cuts 10-year jet forecast.

Government Layoff News

– More than 700 civilian employees may be laid off and more than $100 million in cuts to city services are on the table.

– WESTFIELD – School officials on Friday hand-delivered layoff notices to 34 teachers informing them they will not be employed effective June 30.

via 34 Westfield teachers get layoff notices – MassLive.com.

– Our Foothills Bureau reports Catawba County Schools will cut 69 teaching positions, 100 teacher assistant positions, in addition to cutting jobs from the central office.  Catawba County Schools currently employs more than 2,200 people.

via GoBlueRidge.net – Catawba County Schools to Cut 200 Jobs – Constantly Updated High Country NC News Source.

– – District Business Manager Laura Shivers said personnel eliminated from the budget included 2.4 teaching positions at both the elementary and high schools, and a total of eight classified members who were not all full-time.

via Glendale schools cut staff, noncontact school days | The News-Review – NRtoday.com.

– The Town Board unanimously voted to eliminate 17 town positions, and to abolish 30 vacant positions, during an abruptly called meeting on Friday.

via The Suffolk Times.

– The Retirement Division of the State Treasurer’s Office has mailed letters to approximately a thousand State of Vermont employees informing them that they are eligible to apply for voluntary retirement under the 2009 incentive program passed in the recent special legislative session and signed into law by Governor Jim Douglas. The letters were mailed June 12.

uspsContinued automation, attrition and early retirements have helped pare the number of full-time employees to 636,000 from more than 800,000 in 2000. Mr. Potter said the Postal Service has reduced excess capacity but said it must become still “leaner and more efficient,” and cut “tens of thousands” more jobs.

The agency is reviewing 3,100 post offices and retail outlets — out of 36,700 — for possible closure or consolidation, and it expects decisions by Oct. 1. Since 2000, the agency has shut 1,337 post offices and outlets, and since 2005 it has closed two of 380 mail-processing centers and consolidated nine. Dozens of other proposed closures or mergers were rejected, many following local resistance.

via Post Office Looks to Scale Back – WSJ.com.

US and some Canada Layoff News

– James Stevens of United Steelworkers International said 165 workers and a management team of about 50 would lose their jobs at the Perth Amboy location by mid-September. This includes about a dozen who live in Perth Amboy, said Michael Keller, city director of community development.

via Perth Amboy steel plant shuts after 30 years – NJ.com .

– The company, historically benevolent to employees, has ceased matching contributions to its 401(k) program. Out of its 1,000 employees, it has laid off about 100 since November, including 20 people in January, and has announced an unpaid five-day furlough for employees.

via Even Forbes Is Pinching Pennies – NYTimes.com.

– The Holland Sentinel says the company employed about 20 people. Dick Sligh, who owned Grand Craft from 1984 to 2005, says the plant first shut down in December, leaving about eight boats unfinished.

via Classic boat maker Grand Craft Corp. shuts down — chicagotribune.com.

– The Greater Nevada Credit Union of Nevada has closed two offices and laid off 27 employees, officials said Friday.

via Greater Nevada Credit Union lays off 27, closes 2 branches | www.rgj.com | Reno Gazette-Journal.

usair– US Airways is planning to reduce its flight attendant ranks by about 400 staff due to a lower-than-expected rate of attrition and planned capacity cuts for the fall.

In the carrier’s internal newsletter AboutUS the carrier requested voluntary leaves of absence and furloughs, but warned it would impose the cuts if required.

via US Airways To Cut 400 Flight Attendants | AVIATION WEEK.

– TV Guide Network in the US is laying off 38 staff – around 11% of its workforce – after owner Lionsgate Entertainment sold a 49% stake in the company last month.

via C21Media: .

– The moves include a round of job cuts. TechWeb declined to say how many positions are being eliminated.

via TechWeb cuts jobs, shifts executives :: BtoB Magazine.

– GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) – About 60 employees of a Grants Pass plant that makes water quality testing equipment will lose their jobs or be transferred to the company’s Loveland, Colo., facility.

Hach (hahk) Company has given notice to the employees that they will lose their jobs in phases beginning Aug. 3. That’s confirmed by a letter from the company’s headquarters to the state of Oregon.

via Grants Pass testing manufacturer to lay off 60 – KTVZ.com Central Oregons News, Weather and Sports Leader – .

– The closing will result in the elimination of about 100 jobs in the plant and administrative offices and among drivers.

International Layoff News

– As many as 10,000 jobs are at risk of being lost in Ireland’s construction sector in the coming year as the slowdown hits road building, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association has warned.

via Up to 10,000 jobs could go in Irish civils sector, CECA claims | News | Construction News.

– UP TO 500 jobs are under threat at the troubled regional lender Suncorp-Metway, which is considering a restructure of its banking division as bad debts mount in the commercial property sector.

The bancassurance group has been reviewing its lending business since updating the market last month about its financial prospects for the financial year ending June 30.

via Suncorp staff brace for cuts as loan book sours.

– The workforce at Norske Skog Parenco will be cut by 170-200 persons as a result of this shutdown. Norske Skog Parenco currently has 428 employees.

– Swiss aviation maintenance firm SR Technics is to cut between 200 and 300 jobs by the end of the year as a result of the downturn in the industry, Swiss agency ATS reported Sunday.

via Swiss aviation firm SR Technics to cut 300 jobs: report.

– Assmang shut five of its six charge-chrome furnaces at the Machadodorp Works, Executive Director Jan Steenkamp said by mobile phone today. Cato Ridge is running at 60% capacity, with the No. 1, 2 and 6 ferromanganese furnaces operating, Assmang said May 22. The No. 5 high-carbon ferromanganese unit was shut April 7 after the closure of the No. 3 and No. 4 units.

via BusinessDay .

– Gloucestershire County Council has announced it will cut more than 200 administrative and management jobs as it struggles to make up a £60m funding gap.

via Gloucestershire County Council to cut more than 200 jobs.

– In a bid to save £14 million, Nottingham City Council is expected to make more than 450 job cuts.

The council is encouraging 200 of its ex-employees to apply for different roles within the organisation, though the number of vacant posts remains unknown, according to thisisnottingham.co.uk.

via Axed Nottingham City Council workers may need debt advice.

Hiring News and News You Can Use

– Talk about radar love: A $10.4 million expansion of radar testing facilities at Tobyhanna Army Depot is expected to create 160 additional permanent jobs in two years.

via Tobyhanna Army Depot to add 160 jobs | PoconoRecord.com.

– GOSHEN, Ind. – Coachmen Industries, no longer part of the slumping recreational vehicle industry, could start hiring soon as part of a $3.5 million expansion that it expects to create more than 200 jobs.

via Coachman gets tax break to create 234 jobs — chicagotribune.com.

– More applicants are flocking to online marketplace OnForce in search of IT contract jobs. The company reports a big surge in Q1 in new applicants wanting to become IT service professionals with the marketplace. Other trends for Q1 include the growth of paychecks for home theater jobs, while VOIP also commanded a hefty fee.

– Economic development officials are playing their cards close to their vests, but the Atlanta Business Chronicle says that Georgia is on a short list of states competing for a major biotech project that could deliver around 1,000 jobs.

via ‘Project Boss’ could deliver 1,000 biotech jobs to GA – FierceBiotech.

– AUBURN, Maine (AP) — TD Banknorth says it plans to open a new customer-service call center in Auburn that will employ up to 500 workers.

via Bank to open Auburn call center with 300 new jobs – Fosters.

– A new Walmart store slated to open in Chesterfield later this summer has started the process of hiring 400 associates. The store will be hiring both full-time and part-time employees.

via New Chesterfield Walmart Adding 400 Jobs – WRIC Richmond News and Weather – .

– Granite City steel is reopening. Union members say the idled steel mill will fire up again soon, meaning thousands of laid-off mill workers will once again have a job and, more importantly, a paycheck.

via Back to Work For Granite City Steel Workers – KTVI.

– PITTSBURGH (AP) — A union representative says United States Steel Corp. plans to recall about 800 laid-off workers at a plant in Canada.

The president of the United Steelworkers’ Local 1005 says the Pittsburgh-based company has said it will recall the workers at its plant in Hamilton, Ontario, sometime this summer.

via The Associated Press: Union: US Steel to recall 800 workers in Canada.

– CARROLLTON, Ky. — A new plant is bringing 20 new jobs to Carrollton.

The grand opening of Airgas Incorporated’s new air separation plant caps a $30 million investment in the facility. The plant has the capacity to liquefy at least 350 tons per day of nitrogen, oxygen, and argon for bulk delivery.

via Plant Brings Jobs To Carrollton – Money News Story – WLKY Louisville.

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Mike: Have a good evening and I hope that tomorrow is as light with layoff announcements as it was today.

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman


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