Mike: Thursday’s Jobless Claims report shows that weekly claims increased, but continuing claims decreased for the first time after increasing for the past 21 weeks. The four-week moving average, which smooths weekly volatility fell to 615,000. The news media is trumpeting the continuing claims decline without mentioning the effect of people losing their unemployment benefits. There is likely a jobs component, but an ending of jobless benefits shouldn’t be heralded as a turnaround in the jobs market. I’ll wait till later in the day to see what the experts think of this continuing claims improvement, but the fact that jobless claims increased from last week is a sign that the job market is still in difficult times.

– WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week but the number of people staying on the benefit rolls after collecting an initial week of aid fell for the first time since January, a government report showed on Thursday.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance rose 3,000 to a higher-than-expected seasonally adjusted 608,000, the Labor Department said. Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting claims to dip to 600,000 from a previously reported 601,000.

However, so-called continued claims tumbled 148,000 to a smaller-than-anticipated 6.69 million in the week ending June 6, the latest week for which data is available. It was the lowest level since May 9, and the largest one-week drop since November 2001.

via U.S. jobless claims rise in latest week | Reuters .

Mike: After reading some blog replies at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/ I found a statement that fits the continuing claims number a little better:

“It is unlikely that new hiring has picked up in any meaningful fashion,” Joshua Shapiro, chief economist with MFR Inc., a consulting firm, wrote in a note to clients. “More probable is that long-term unemployed are starting to fall off the rolls.”

via Total Unemployment Claims Drop.

Mike: If you wonder why some, like myself, remian skeptical of green shoots pronouncements from government officials and the talking heads of MSM, take a look at the following for that answer:

Here is merely a sampling:

August 1st, 2007 – Paulson: “I see the underlying economy as being very healthy,”

October 15th, 2007 – Bernanke: “It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve – nor would it be appropriate – to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions.”

The Confidence Game In Quotes

Austrian Filter has taken the time to put together all the relevant quotes over the past 2 years that demonstrate how profoundly Bernanke and Paulson have been misrepresenting (or simply misunderstanding) just how extensive the crisis we are in, is. One can only imagine why anyone would ever believe anything Ben Bernanke (or any other vapid disseminator of groundless optimism) has to say anymore, after two years of outright hyperbole and unfounded green shootery.

via Zero Hedge: The Confidence Game In Quotes.

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Steve Kelley

Steve Kelley

Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

msft4– – Microsoft Corp. has announced that it plans to bring around 100 jobs to Utah and rent an office building at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi for a software development operation.

General Economic News

Jobless Claims
8:30 AM ET

WASHINGTON — The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose slightly as expected last week, suggesting that while job losses have moderated since the beginning of the year, a rapid turnaround in labor-market conditions is unlikely.

Meanwhile, total claims lasting more than one week plunged by their largest amount since November 2001, breaking a streak of 21-straight increases in a rare reprieve for the unemployed in this recession.

via Jobless Claims Rise Slightly – WSJ.com.

The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading economic indicators — designed to forecast activity in the next three to six months — rose 1.2 percent, the biggest gain since March 2004. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 0.9 percent increase in May.

via Leading economic indicators up more than expected – Yahoo! Finance.

The better reading from the Philly Fed Index has overshadowed the Empire number for the time being, no doubt because there were “improved” readings across most components that are part of the report.  In particular, the new orders index went to -4.8 from -25.9 while shipments actually picked up to 2.1 from -19.0.

via Briefing.com: Philly Fed Index Better than Expected.


– – DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally said government regulation in many ways has hurt innovation among businesses and manufacturers in the United States.

“We’ve become so stymied with regulation,” said Mulally Wednesday during a panel discussion on innovation in manufacturing at The National Summit in Detroit. “We have to say enough is enough and get back to freeing people up.”

Pulling on his experience as the head of Boeing and now Ford, Mulally said U.S. businesses need to be at the forefront of innovation again. Corporate scandals, government bailouts and bankruptcy filings have put a blemish on the business sector.

“We’ve got to make it cool to be in business again,” he said. “We really have to re-polish the value of what business brings to mankind.”

via Ford CEO says regulation often hurts innovation – Yahoo! Finance.

– While there are plenty of 20-something, ramen-eating entrepreneurs coding into the wee hours of the morning, the demographic with the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity consists of those between the ages of 55 and 64, according to a study released today by the The Kauffman Foundation. The study found that folks in the 20-34 age range were the least likely to start companies. The research built on an earlier study that found that average age of entrepreneurs in the U.S. was 39.

Jeff Stahler

Jeff Stahler

Government Layoff News

The following article from Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis shows how states are going to be feeling the money pinch to their budgets and how that is going to affect jobs, services and taxes. I am seeing many more state/county/town layoff notices of late even with the bounty of stimulus money floated to these municipalities. Unless property and other taxes/fees are substantially raised, budget cuts will be excellerated and that will include large job cuts.

– What a Bad April Does to State Budget Processes

An April income tax shortfall comes at the worst time of year for two reasons. First, by the time it is recognized in late April or mid-May, it is just 6-10 weeks before the end of the fiscal year for 46 states. For states without large cash balances, this can create a cash flow crunch or even a cash flow crisis. There is not enough time to enact and implement new legislation cutting spending, laying off workers, raising taxes, or otherwise obtaining resources sufficient to offset the lost revenue before the June 30 end of the fiscal year. As a result, a state without sufficient cash on hand to pay bills must resort to stopgap measures to “roll” the problem into the future.

via States in Deep Trouble Over Plunging Income Tax Revenues

– After months of anticipating massive cuts blamed on rising personnel costs and the down economy, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors passed a $4.3 billion budget on Wednesday that calls for laying off about 800 workers and decimating programs – many in public health and social services.

– PORTLAND, Ore. — Up to ninety employees will be laid off from the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services, and more pink slips could follow, according to City Commissioner Randy Leonard.

– STOCKTON — San Joaquin Delta College trustees by a 4-3 vote late Tuesday approved eliminating 86 positions, 44 of which are filled, cuts that would harm programs for students who are disabled or face academic or financial challenges.

via Delta trustees vote to eliminate 86 positions (11:52 a.m.) | Recordnet.com.

– – Faced with $7 million in budget reductions, Anoka County plans to cut 36 positions — with corrections, service centers and libraries among the hardest hit. But few, if any, layoffs are expected.

via Anoka County official says 36 jobs will go.

– – The Jasper County Council approved the layoff of 19 county employees this month to help balance next year’s budget, officials said.

– BRIDGEWATER – Nearly 90 Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District teachers received pink slips Friday, B-R School Committee Chairman Ronald Pacy said.

via Pink slips sent to almost 90 Bridgewater-Raynham teachers – Bridgewater, MA – Bridgewater Independent.

-MONROVIA – The city council voted Tuesday to adopt a $60.7 million budget that will eliminate 22 city positions through layoffs, hiring freezes and early retirements in order to help close a $2.6 million budget deficit.

via Monrovia eliminates 22 jobs at City Hall – Pasadena Star-News.

– MODESTO, CA – Ten Modesto police officers found out Wednesday that they would be out of a job in two weeks as part of the city’s effort to fill its budget shortfall, Modesto police officials confirmed.

via Modesto Lays Off 10 Police Officers | News10.net | Sacramento, California | News .

– WESTERNPORT — The Westernport Mayor and Town Council unanimously approved a fiscal 2010 budget that addresses chronic funding shortfalls by imposing higher water, sewer and garbage fees, and laying off five town employees.

via Westernport approves 2010 budget, lays off 5 workers – Keyser, WV – Mineral Daily News-Tribune.

– DANVERS – Two Danvers police officers and two Danvers firefighters were laid off on Thursday, June 11, in response to their unions’ decisions not to accept wage freezes and in fulfillment of an earlier promise by town officials to cut jobs.

via Danvers police and fire hit with layoffs – Danvers, MA – Danvers Herald.

– Although most of the reduction has come through attrition that has occurred over the last year, library officials say they must lay off 12 employees to cope with a shrinking property tax base.

via KCK Public Library plans to cut a dozen employees – Kansas City Star.

– Four of 12 elementary media specialists and two high school media positions will be eliminated. In addition, one high school assistant principal, three high school counselors, the director of fine arts, and two clerical positions will also be eliminated.

via Troy schools reduces staff at libraries.

– Twenty-seven paraprofessionals in Rochester public schools officially lost their jobs Tuesday, another way the $9.3 million in cuts from earlier this year are taking shape.

via Postbulletin.com: Rochester, MN.

– It calls for laying off 23 staff members (mostly from the police and fire departments) to save $6.3 million, asking the remaining staff members to take a 5% pay cut to save $3.6 million, offering early-retirement incentives to save $3.5 million and reducing overtime pay by $1 million.

US and some Canada Layoff News

synovus– Synovus, the second-largest banking company based in Georgia, said Wednesday it plans to cut roughly 650 jobs over the next two years.

– – Twenty jobs in the retail division of Chase USA have been eliminated and about 200 more Springfield employees will shift from retail to the credit card division on site, a spokesman said today.

via Chase USA eliminates 20 jobs in Springfield | News-Leader.com | Springfield News-Leader.

– – The Guggenheim Foundation is eliminating 25 jobs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum despite record attendance at the New York institution, The New York Times reports.

via In the Arts: Guggenheim Museum Cuts Jobs – Philanthropy.com.

att– The telecom giant, which bought BellSouth a little over a year ago, quietly launched the internal changes on Wednesday and said that some management jobs will be cut to avoid duplication of duties. The company did not say how many jobs would be cut.

via Shakeup will trim AT&T executive jobs | ajc.com.

stock-building-supply– According to the filing with the state, the plant will close on August 31st, eliminating all 156 jobs.

via Rotterdam business closes and eliminates 156 jobs | company, court, jobs – Local News – WRGB CBS 6 Albany.

– LORAIN — Fifty-six employees of Kerr Beverage Co. will lose their jobs July 17 when the sale of company assets in Lorain, Huron and Erie counties are expected to be finalized with the Columbus-based Superior Beverage Group.

via Kerr being sold; 56 to lose jobs Morning Journal: Serving Lorain, Erie, Huron and western Cuyahoga counties.

– KETTERING — Reynolds and Reynolds, a provider of management software and services to auto dealerships, has laid off employees in the past week, while trying to recruit others, a company spokesman said today, June 17.

via Reynolds and Reynolds acknowledges recent layoffs.

– The nation’s recession and increased use of other electricity-generating fuels hit home for 61 coal miners who were laid off at the West Elk Mine in Somerset on Tuesday and Wednesday.

via 61 miners get pink slips at Somerset mine.

– Bank of Hawaii, citing economic conditions, is laying off 12 people from its investment services division.

via Bankoh to cut 12 workers in investment services division – Hawaii Business – Starbulletin.com .

– The Salisbury SEMCO plant, manufacturers of metal ductwork, was closed Friday, June 12. Forrest Hook, director of manufacturing, said Tuesday afternoon that the closure is due to the economy that has reduced orders for his firm. The decision to close the Salisbury plant put 22 area persons out of work.

via Salisbury SEMCO plant closes – Moberly, MO – Moberly Monitor-Index.

– But as many as 23 employees could be losing their jobs in coming weeks. Eighth Floor has decided to consolidate the Hudson Falls operation with its own, which means the local plant will close. The plant employs 23 full-time workers.

via As result of deal, local plant to close — Page 1 — Times Union – Albany NY:1388:.

exelon– Exelon Corp. is cutting about 500 jobs by the end of August as part of a $350 million cost-savings plan, the Chicago-based company said Thursday.

via Exelon to shed 500 jobs by August — chicagotribune.com.

– The Comair maintenance base at Orlando International Airport will close Sept. 7 claiming 81 jobs.

via Comair closing Orlando maintenance base, cutting 81 jobs – Business Courier of Cincinnati: .

– New Brunswick’s only French-language daily newspaper is cutting costs by laying off six workers and cancelling a pay increase that was to go into effect on July 1.

via French N.B. daily newspaper cuts 6 staff, freezes wages.

– Workers have been told 75 of them will be laid off July 15. The remaining 65 will be phased out when the plant closes its doors Sept. 30.

via Archbold workers get news their plant will close – WTOL.com, Toledo’s News Leader, News 11 | .

clemson1– CLEMSON, S.C. Clemson University’s in-state students will pay 4.5 percent more in tuition and fees next semester after the school Board of Trustees voted Thursday for the hike to make up for a $45 million budget hole.

International Layoff News

ryanair– LONDON (AFP) — Irish low-cost airline Ryanair on Wednesday said it would cut 650 more jobs in Ireland, blaming the move on government hikes in taxes amid a deep recession in the eurozone member nation.

via AFP: Ryanair says to cut 650 more jobs in Ireland.

gkn– The engineering group GKN has announced a further 900 job cuts and plans to raise £423m through a rights issue.

The Worcestershire-based company, which makes components for the car and airline industries, said 2,700 people had left the group in the five months to the end of May, 300 more than previously expected, with another 600 scheduled to go.

via Engineering group GKN cuts more jobs and raises more cash | Business | guardian.co.uk .

– -Ninety-five jobs are to go at a chicken processing plant in Angus.

The 2 Sisters Food Group is closing its cutting division in Letham, near Forfar, and moving the work to its factory in the West Midlands.

via BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Chicken firm set to axe 95 jobs.

– “Today, Tuesday, we are informing workers at the Traiskirchen site (in Austria) that we are forced to phase out the mixing and gumming activities in Traiskirchen, which employs a total of 195, by the end of this year,”

via Tyres & Accessories.

– Ukraine-focused oil and gas firm Cadogan Petroleum Plc (CADP.L) may restate prior financial statements after identifying irregular payments, cut further jobs

via UPDATE 1-Cadogan may restate, cut more jobs | Industries | Energy | Reuters .

– A Bathgate-based clothing company is to close its distribution plant with the loss of 60 jobs.

via BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Sportswear plant to cut 60 jobs.

– Derry City Council is to begin a trawl for voluntary redundancies ahead of a radical shake-up.

The council says the overhaul has the full support of elected members but it has not yet published the details.

via BBC NEWS | UK | Northern Ireland | Foyle and West | Council to shed jobs in shake up.

– The Visiocorp plant at Taree is shutting with a loss of more than 200 jobs, blaming the economic downturn.

via Union dismissive of SA jobs offer – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

– National Foods is cutting 34 jobs from its Riverland production workforce of 175, based at Berri.

via National Foods cuts Riverland jobs – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

– ELECTRONICS firm X-Fab is likely to make 65 workers redundant at its Roborough factory after it failed to receive enough orders for one of its high-tech products.

via 65 Plymouth manufacturing jobs set to go.

– Finnish wood processing group Metsäliitto said Thursday it would temporarily lay off all personnel working at its sawmills for at least two weeks.

The temporary layoffs are to affect 380 people.

via NewsRoom Finland.

gavel9– Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has completed its redundancy consultation, with the firm laying off 85 members of staff.

via BLP completes redundancy consultation with 85 staff laid off- Legalweek .

– LONDON (Dow Jones)–Bus and rail company Go-Ahead Group PLC (GOG.LN) Thursday said it expects its full-year operating performance to be in line with expectations, but said it continues to assume economic conditions will remain difficult until 2011 and warned of further job cuts.

via Article – WSJ.com.

– Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, two U.K. banks owned by National Australia Bank Ltd., plan to cut 156 jobs, the Unite labor union said.

via Clydesdale, Yorkshire Banks to Cut 156 Jobs, Unite Union Says – Bloomberg.com.

– MORE than 40 jobs at Brentwood Council are set to be axed in a restructuring move to save money.

via Council to axe 40 jobs (From Bren

– Izhavto human resources director Gennady Chernenko told journalists that the plant employs more than 5,000 people in Izhevsk, the capital of the western Russian republic of Udmurtia.

Hiring News and News You Can Use

– June 17 (Bloomberg) — Chrysler Group LLC, the U.S. automaker created out of bankruptcy last week, said it will resume production at seven vehicle plants the week of June 29.

The facilities are in Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Ontario and Mexico, the company said today in a statement. Chrysler reopened a Detroit car factory on June 15. Other assembly plants may not open until late July after they are reconfigured to build 2010 models, spokeswoman Dianna Gutierrez said in an interview.

via Chrysler to Restart Seven Auto Plants Week of June 29 (Update1) – Bloomberg.com.

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Mike: Till Friday……………………

Ted Rall

Ted Rall


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