Mike: Tuesday brings us the always important Existing Home Sales and a couple of weekly retail reports. Existing Home Sales will show if new home sales are brisk or continuing to languish. Well, it looks like sales increased, but were below expectations. I couldn’t find a headline that read “April existing home sales revised down and May sales did not meet expectations,” so I had to use the WaPo following story. The note that sales increased for the second straight month should not be a surprise because this is home buying season and sales increase this time of year. I’ll add some analysis from the experts as it’s released:

The National Association of Realtors said sales rose 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.77 million units from a downwardly revised 4.66 million pace in April. The May reading was below market forecasts for a 4.81 million-unit pace. However, sales increased for a second straight month.

via May U.S. existing home sales rise 2.4 percent – washingtonpost.com.

Mike: A more accurate housing sales headline has been released:

Sales of existing homes rose a less-than-expected 2.4 percent in May compared to April, the National Association of Realtors reported moments ago.

The May sales rate converts to an annual sales rate of 4.77 million homes. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected May to produce an annual rate of 4.81 million homes.

The median sales price in May was $173,000, down from $207,900 in May of last year, but up from $166,600 in April.

via The Ticker – Existing Home Sales Rise Tepidly In May – Economy Watch .

Mike: Continuing claims: I mentioned after last week’s jobless claims report that the decrease in continuing claims to 6.69 million was more likely a result of exhaustion of unemployment claims than a result of people finidng new work. Here’s a discussion from Continuing Claims “Exhaustion Rate” | The Big Picture and  Exhausted Claims part II | The Big Picture, which shows how unemployment claims are being exhausted, so a fall in the number of continuing claims is not a surprise, but it shouldn’t be considered a result of  job creation. I’ll post a graph from those fine posts, but please take the time to review these discussions at The Big Picture.

There’s often discussion about how unemployment will depress home sales and other larger purchases, but there is little discussion about how the economic effects of unemployment exhaustion. If a family has one of the wage earners on unemployment and they are making $300 a week in benefits, that helps enough to pay for groceries and utilities. But once those benefits are exhausted, where are these families going to get the needed funds to pay bills? Unemployment benefits exhaustion will likely lead to more foreclosures, credit card defaults, bankruptcies and the dropping of health insurance. So as the continuing claims number shrinks the economic pain placed on these families will increase until there is adequate job creation.

Unemployment Benefit Exhaustions Regular State UI Final Payments - Data from 1972 to 2009

Unemployment Benefit Exhaustions Regular State UI Final Payments - Data from 1972 to 2009 (courtesy of The Big Picture)

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Tom Toles

Tom Toles

Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

myspace2– CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — MySpace said Tuesday that it plans to cut about 300 jobs at its overseas offices as part of a restructuring of its international operations, as it tries to reposition itself against stiff competition from rival Social-networking sites.

General Economic News

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Chain-store sales for the week ended June 20 fell 0.9% from the year-earlier period, according to a survey released Tuesday by the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs. On a week-over-week basis, sales were unchanged.

via Retailers’ weekly sales fall from year ago: survey – MarketWatch.

8:55 AM ET

NEW YORK, June 23 (Reuters) – Redbook Research on Tuesday released the following seasonally adjusted weekly data on U.S. chain store sales:

Year-over-year: Week (w/e 6/20/09 vs year ago) -4.2 pct

Year-over-year:Month (June 2009 vs June 2008) -4.5 pct

Month-over-month: (June 2009 vs May 2009) -4.4 pct

via Business finance news – currency market news – online UK currency markets – financial news – Interactive Investor.

-WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales of previously owned homes in the United States rose at a slower-than-expected pace in May, an industry survey showed on Tuesday, pointing to a sluggish recovery from the severe economic recession.
Mike: I’m always amazed at the sunny skies attitude during the most severe recession since the Great Depression, but it’s telling that those sunny skies are laid upon the back of an overbought, fragile stock market. Seeing improvement in those 401K accounts is reason for some cautious celebration, but basing your positive attitude on a stock market rally is bound to be disappointing when it retreats from it’s lofty levels.
– Fewer people say they’ve prospered over the past year than in decades, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. Over the past two months, however, expectations for the future have brightened significantly amid rising optimism about a stock market rebound and economic turnaround.
Economist Allen Sinai attributes the sunnier outlook to a stock market that is climbing from its low point — people can see the value of hard-hit retirement accounts begin to rebuild — and a sense that the Obama administration is pursuing an aggressive agenda. There’s relief that the country hasn’t slid into a 1930s-style depression.

via Despite everything, more Americans see sunny skies ahead – USATODAY.com.

Mike: As the following story illustrates, the big investment banks are back to doing what they do best – giving out-sized bonuses to their flock.

– As the big Wall Street banks repay their loans and get back to the business of making ungodly profits, money will stop flowing from Washington to Wall Street and continue gushing in the opposite direction. The political will to limit executive compensation or enact dramatic risk regulation will be weakened, and, like it or not, 2010 and on could look very close to 2006 and before.

via Are Goldman Sachs’ New Record Bonuses Good? – The Atlantic Business Channel.

– Less competition and a jump in revenue from trading foreign currency, bonds and fixed-income products have boosted Goldman’s bottom line, the paper reported Sunday, sourcing Goldman insiders. London staff were recently briefed on the firm’s prospects and told to expect big bonuses if, as forecast, Goldman wrapped up its most profitable year ever, the Guardian reported.

Dwane Powell

Dwane Powell

– WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of mass layoffs by U.S. employers rose last month to tie a record set in March, according to government data released on Tuesday that suggested the labor market has yet to stabilize.

The Labor Department said the number of mass layoff actions — defined as job cuts involving at least 50 people from a single employer — increased to 2,933 in May from 2,712 in April, resulting in the loss of 312,880 jobs.

It was the largest loss of jobs connected to mass layoffs on records dating to 1995.

via Number of mass layoffs in U.S. ties record | U.S. | Reuters .

Government Layoff News

– NEW BRITAIN — – Even after securing more than $1.5 million in contract concessions from teachers, the city will still have to cut 18 teaching jobs next month.

via 18 New Britain Teachers Will Be Laid Off After Givebacks — Courant.com.

– But with a reorganizing and consolidation of several departments, eight city employees will lose their jobs……

Also, 41 vacant or frozen positions are being eliminated next year, a “cost avoidance” of $2.5 million.

via Aurora will lay off eight as part of reorganization – The Denver Post.

– BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio — More than a dozen layoff notices went out Monday to employees at the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office in another attempt to try to meet budget demands.

via Belmont County Lays Off 13 Sheriff’s Employees, Jail Administrator – News Story – WTOV Steubenville.

– MIDDLEBORO – The School Department has laid off 14 staff members, and more could be on the way in other town departments after the town discovered it may be another $500,000 in the hole due to discrepancies in the 2009 free cash certification.

US and some Canada Layoff News

– About 600 MSU employees’ positions might be affected by the approximately $50 million in cuts the university is instituting during the next two years, MSU officials said.

– The independent natural gas producer said in a statement Monday that it “eliminated less than 50 positions of over 3,300” at its Oklahoma City headquarters. The statement did not indicate if the company cut jobs at other locations or what kind of jobs were lost.

via The Associated Press: Chesapeake says it has cut 50 jobs in OKC office.

– After a massive recall this week for possible contamination of E. coli 0157:H7, Nestle chocolate chip cookie dough takes more heat as the cause of over 200 workers to be laid off in the Virginia plant where the dough is manufactured.

via Chocolate chip cookie dough causes over 200 people to be laid off.

– It also said it will cut 200 jobs, or about 2 percent of its work force, and consolidate smaller plants although it did not identify them.

via Steelcase posts break-even 1Q, plans 200 job cuts: Associated Press Business News – MSN Money.

harvard– Harvard University is cutting 275 jobs and reducing the hours of another 40 to cope with what the university says is a 30 percent drop in the value of its endowment.

via Harvard cutting 275 jobs – Boston Business Journal: .

-Previously, The9 President Chen Xiaowei disclosed that the company would not kick off layoffs or cut down salaries even if it lost the exclusive operating right of World of Warcraft (WoW) in Mainland China.

via NTES,NTES,NCTY NetEase: The9 Slashes Jobs.

– UC Santa Barbara officials are planning for salary cuts and a furlough plan for all employees and faculty to help address the fiscal crisis.

via Daily Sound — More cuts likely at UCSB.

cessna5– A year ago Cessna looked recession proof with a large backorder of plane orders and more than 12,000 employees on payroll. Now, more than half of those workers are laid off and most of the employees who kept their jobs are being forced to take an unpaid month off as the assembly line grinds to a halt.

via Cessna begins four-week plant shutdown – KSN TV .

– Roughly 125 Newell Rubbermaid employees will be without a job when temporary layoffs at the Winfield plant peak in late August, according to a company spokesperson.

via Newscow – Rubbermaid layoffs to peak at 125 in August.

– Layoff notices were given to 130 employees at Saskatoon’s Case-New Holland (CNH) manufacturing plant last week, the company confirmed Monday.

via Case-New Holland issues 130 layoff notices .

-Continued weak demand for the products of an Ames hydraulic equipment company ( Sauer-Danfoss) mean 145 more people must lose their jobs, the company announced Tuesday.

via Ames company to lay off 145 people | DesMoinesRegister.com | The Des Moines Register.

– To counter continued slowing revenue, most employees at The State Media Co. will be required to take a week of unpaid leave by Nov. 30, the parent of The State newspaper and thestate.com said Monday.

via The State announces furloughs, layoffs – Business – The State.

gm19– DETROIT -(Dow Jones)- General Motors Corp. (GMGMQ) will cut 4,000 U.S. white- collar jobs by Oct. 1 as part of an accelerated plan to shrink its workforce.

The bankrupt auto maker plans to eliminate more than 6,000 salaried jobs by the end of the year, up from an earlier announced reduction of 3,400 workers.

The cuts will be made through a combination of layoffs and separation incentives, GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said. Some workers can opt to either quit and receive six months of pay and benefits or to retire early with full benefits.

via GM To Cut 4,000 Salaried Jobs By Oct. 1.

– COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – A northern Idaho cleaning equipment supplier is eliminating 40 local jobs as it moves production to Mexico over the next six to eight months to save money.

via N. Idaho cleaning supplier moving jobs to Mexico – Northwest – The Olympian – Olympia, Washington.

– The Chapman Forest Products plant in Georgiana will close in less than two weeks, leaving 265 workers without jobs, a Butler County economic development official said Tuesday.

via Georgiana lumber mill closing; 265 losing jobs – Breaking News from the Press-Register – al.com.

– TAMPA, Fla. — A cigar factory in Tampa is closing its doors and laying off nearly 500 workers.

Altadis USA announced Tuesday that it is shutting down its Hav-A-Tampa plant in light of decreasing demand and higher cigar taxes. In a letter to the state, Altadis USA said it plans to terminate 492 positions by Aug. 24.

via Hav-A-Tampa cigar plant closing; 500 lose jobs – Florida AP – MiamiHerald.com.

International Layoff News

– The direct cost of the slump in global demand for diamonds has resulted in the loss of over 1,900 jobs in Namibia, whose diamond sector has been hard hit by the global economic crisis.

via 1,900 Jobs Lost in Namibian Diamond Sector | www.DiamondNe.ws.

fiat– Fiat will close a factory of a subsidiary in Italy, a move that will cut up to 500 jobs, the company said on June 23, citing falling demand in the economic crisis.

via IndustryWeek : Fiat to Close Factory in Italy .

– The senate of Queen’s University has agreed a plan to cut 103 jobs and close its German department.

via BBC NEWS | UK | Northern Ireland | Queen’s agrees 103 job cuts plan.

– In total 188 jobs will be lost within the Individual Savings Accounts (Isa) processing teams based at sites in Moorfields in Liverpool and Wavertree.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Merseyside | Jobs cut at Barclays Isa centres.

– Nine people have lost their jobs while three more have resigned at Invercargill engineering company JK Stevenson.

Hiring News and News You Can Use

– The expansion will result in 200 new, full-time jobs, according to a news release.

via Presidium adding 200 jobs in Somerset – Business First of Louisville: .

– Sam’s Club plans to open a new store on Florida’s Space Coast on July 2 with 220 associates.

via New Sam’s Club to bring 220 jobs to Cocoa – Orlando Business Journal:

– Medco Health Solutions Inc. plans to add another 160 jobs at its automated pharmacy in Whitestown, state officials announced this morning.

IBJ.com – Indianapolis Business Journal – #ArHeadline#.

– Baldor Electric Co. has landed $157,000 in state incentives as part of a consolidation that will create 114 jobs at its Kings Mountain facility, Gov. Beverly Perdue’s office said Tuesday.

via Baldor Electric to add 114 jobs in N.C. – Triangle Business Journal: .

nissan– Nissan Motor Co. plans to create 1,300 jobs in Smyrna, Tenn., when it begins manufacturing its new zero-emission car, officials said Tuesday.

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Mike: Tuesday ends in nasty fashion with thousands of layoffs announced. Those green shoots are getting yellow in a hurry. See you Wednesday………………………..

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich


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One Comment to “June 23 – MySpace to cut 300 international jobs – Mich. State U may cut 590 – Harvard dismissing 275 – May home sales increase 2.4%, but miss expectations – May mass layoffs tie record high – GM to cut 4000 salaried jobs by Oct. 1 – Nissan’s electric car to create 1300 jobs – Hav-A-Tampa: 500 lose jobs”

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