Mike: Today’s Jobless Claims report shows a marked improvement from last week, but those improvements may have been a result of seasonal distortions in the auto sector. Might as well enjoy that bit of good news, but with continuing claims reaching another record at 6.883 million, any celebration is likely to be muted. More on these numbers later…………….

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell sharply last week but the data was distorted by an unusual pattern of layoffs in the automotive industry, which amplified the decline.

The Labor Department said on Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment insurance fell 52,000, the largest drop since December, to a much lower-than-expected seasonally adjusted 565,000 in the week ended July 4, from 617,000 the prior week.

It was the lowest reading since January. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims to drop to 605,000 from a previously reported 614,000.

However, in a sign of ongoing employment weakness, so-called continued claims of people still on jobless aid after an initial week of benefits rose by 159,000 to a record 6.883 million in the week ending June 27, the latest for which data is available.

via UPDATE 1-U.S. jobless claims drop steeply, skewed by autos | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

Tom Toles

Tom Toles

Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

ibm2– ARMONK, N.Y. — Though IBM is notoriously tight-lipped about its layoffs, many reports suggest that Big Blue has chopped as many as 10,000 workers so far in 2009. Earlier this year the tech giant caused a stir when it was also widely reported that many of these jobs might actually be shipped to other countries such as India. If recent activity is any indication, India appears to have become a strong focal point for the company.

General Economic News

Mike: The following story illustrates how the billions spent on mismanaged, bankrupt auto companies will likely lead to the taxpayer having to pay millions more to clean up their environmental disasters. What has been the personal cost to these auto execs? Nothing.  Most of the auto execs and Boards of Directors of bankrupt auto cos are still employed and making outrageous salaries, but their terrible decisions through the past 40 years will leave the taxpayer with economic and environmental scars that will last for decades to come:

– “It’s going to be very difficult to sell or dispose of them,” GM restructuring chief Albert Koch told the judge in charge of the carmaker’s bankruptcy on July 1. GM estimates the plants’ environmental liabilities at $530 million, he said.

One property the Detroit-based carmaker is ditching is a foundry in Massena, New York, bordered by the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation and the St. Lawrence River. Built to make aluminum cylinder heads for the Chevrolet Corvair in the 1950s, it generated PCB sludge and waste from hydraulic fluids.

$225 Million Cleanup

It would have cost GM an estimated $225 million to clean up the site and restock the river with edible fish if it held on to the property, said John Privitera, a lawyer for the tribe at McNamee Lochner Titus & Williams PC in Albany, New York. Now GM creditors or the state will get stuck with the costs because bankruptcy law permits shedding such obligations.

via GM’s Sleepy Hollow Nightmare Shows Perils for Closing Factories – Bloomberg.com.

Mike: The retails numbers are quite lousy and much of that is blamed on the rainy weather. When I was growing up, it used to be that people would go shopping because the weather was lousy, so I don’t know how much of this poor retail sales figure should be attributed to rain. People shop from late November through Christmas and that’s about the lousiest weather of the year, yet sales are at their highest level. Many people are seeing hundreds of thousands lose their jobs each month, so I would think that’s more of a drag on sales than a few showers.

– The nation’s retailers were already reeling from the new consumer frugality but in June, incessant rain and rising unemployment further dampened sales. Stores that had made strides in recent months reverted to double-digit declines.

Overall, the industry posted a 6.7 percent decline in sales for the month, in contrast to a 3.9 percent increase a year ago, according to the Goldman Sachs Retail Composite Index. Wal-Mart, which had been a bright spot in the retailing world and helped lift the overall industry number, is no longer reporting monthly sales. Retailers are also facing challenging year-over-year sales comparisons because this June there were no tax rebate checks to help bolster shopping.

via June Is Another Weak Month for Retail Sales – NYTimes.com.

Mike: I prefer the way some  British present the facts, since they don’t do the gloss-over that most US “experts” seem to present. The US megaphone is that the stimulus will create enough jobs to stop employment losses and that companies that are receiving million and even billions in taxpayer money will use that cash to create millions of jobs, instead of continuing to off-shore hundreds of thousands of jobs. UK also had a large stimulus package of about $38 billion, which while smaller per person than that of the US stimulus is still a rather large package, but it doesn’t seem to be creating the jobs expected. Maybe the US stimulus package will create those promised jobs, but it’s not going to happen quickly enough for the American public.

– Britain’s jobs market is continuing to deteriorate as demand weakens across all sectors, the UK’s largest recruitment firm Hays has warned.

It said demand for jobs had fallen further across both the permanent and temporary sectors after a tough past three months.

The group has had to close 15 UK & Ireland offices and slash its own workforce by another 5% in the quarter to June 30, bringing the headcount reduction for the full year to 26%.

Hays said it had seen some signs of stabilisation in the City recruitment market as big banks cherry-pick the best teams after the recent slew of redundancies seen in the financial crisis.

But the trend is likely to be a short-term blip, according to Hays.

via The Press Association: Hays sees no recovery in job market.

Pat Oliphant

Pat Oliphant

– The Government Accountability Office, finds that the $787 billion stimulus package is being used to “cushion” state budgets, prevent teacher layoffs, make more Medicaid payments and head off other fiscal problems.

Gee, who woulda thunk?

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: States Use Stimulus Money for Short-Term Needs.

– -WASHINGTON — U.S. engineering unemployment soared to a record in the second quarter of 2009, nearly doubling on a quarterly basis to 8.6 percent, the IEEE-USA said Tuesday (July 7), citing government figures.

The previous quarterly record for joblessness among U.S. electrical and electronic engineers was 7 percent, reached in October 2003.

via EETimes.com – EE unemployment soared in 2Q to 8.6%.

Government Layoff News

– SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A report shows the state has laid off 71 employees since lawmakers first started cutting the budget last fall.

via State of Utah has laid off 71 employees – KIFI – Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Jackson WY – Weather News Sports-.

– Dr. Hugo Ferlito lost his position as clinical director after serving in that capacity for 21 months. That position was one of six eliminated July 1 when Dientes reduced staffing from 38 to 32 employees in response to the state’s elimination of dental services for adult Medi-Cal beneficiaries statewide, including nearly 19,000 in Santa Cruz County.

US and some Canada Layoff News

– WILMINGTON | PPD Inc. is laying off “fewer than 80” people at its Wilmington headquarters as part of a work force reduction of 270 across North America.

PPD spokeswoman Louise Caudle said Wednesday that “while we have a strong backlog of global business demand for our services, demand in North America has been lower than we had expected.”

via PPD to eliminate 270 jobs, including some in Wilmington | StarNewsOnline.com | Star News | Wilmington, NC.

Mike: OK, so the feds are “talking” about a health care plan that is likely to be a watered down corporate giveaway that lacks any kind of universal component and this hospital is blaming those “talks” for its layoffs! Talk about the hospital (and the reporter) putting the death spin on “health care for all” BEFORE the legislation is even presented is amazing. The PR types at this hospital are getting a jump start on the “health care for all kills jobs and corporate profits” train. Other hospitals are likely to follow this job scare routine to make sure that heath care for all is DOA in the US senate. Congress will do its usual shuffle and universal health care will die at the drawing board because the corporate powers of the large health insurers, pharmaceuticals and hospitals will put the “we won’t contribute to your campaign” fear into the ears of a pathetic, spineless congress.

– AUGUSTA, Ga. – A new proposed government health care plan is one of the reasons University Hospital has laid off 30 employees.

The hospital is bracing for more than $100 million in cuts.

via University Hospital cuts 30 jobs, bracing for $100 million cut | Augusta News, Augusta Weather, Augusta Sports, Augusta Community, for Evans, Aiken & North Augusta | Local News .

– AGCO Corp. of Hesston says it will lay off 154 hourly workers this Friday in response to a slumping agriculture market and world economy.

via AGCO of Hesston says it will lay off 154 more workers – WDAF.

– SENECA, S.C. – A company that makes hospital supplies has laid off 119 workers at its South Carolina plant.

via Hospital supplier lays off 119 workers at SC plant – News Wires – CNBC.com.

newspaper3– CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Enquirer laid off 100 employees Wednesday, including the entire staff of CiN Weekly, as part of a corporate-wide cutback by its parent company.

via CiN Weekly Staff Canned As Enquirer Lays Off 100 – Cincinnati News Story – WLWT Cincinnati.

– AMES, Iowa (AP) — At least 200 workers will take early retirement as the school deals with budget shortfalls, according to Iowa State University.

via Omaha.com – The Omaha World-Herald: Metro/Region – ISU cuts cost with 200 retirements.

– OKLAHOMA CITY — Four workers at American Heart Association offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City have been laid off as part of staff reductions.

via American Heart Association in Okla. lays off 4 | AP Texas News | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.15:06:22

gannett6– At least 20 journalists were laid off Wednesday at The Arizona Republic in the latest round of job cuts issued by the nation’s largest newspaper chain, Gannett Co. Inc., sources close to the paper confirmed.

via Gannett lays off 20 at Arizona Republic – Phoenix Business Journal: .15:07:51

– NEW ORLEANS – UNO will eliminate nine senior administration positions, including two vice chancellors and two dean positions and will not fill 20 vacant faculty positions as they meet the reduced budget allocated to them by the state this year.

International Layoff News

corus– Steelmaker Corus has confirmed plans to cut a further 366 jobs at its plant in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire.

via BBC NEWS | UK | England | Humber | Corus plans another 366 job cuts.

– BUDAPEST, July 9 (Reuters) – Japanese car parts supplier Denso Corp will lay off up to 800 workers at its Hungarian plant by the end of September, national news agency MTI reported on Thursday, citing the company.

-Approximately 80 employees will be laid off. Michelin is providing severance packages for the employees and is working with the employees to help them make a transition, said Tate Hoxworth, Michelin spokesman said.

via Michelin closed its Mexican retread plant | GreenvilleOnline.com | The Greenville News.

– 177 employees of Telecom Fiji LTD stand to lose their jobs in the coming months.

via FBCL – News .

– Mondi said that some 240 employees might be affected by its organisational alignment, which represented around 4,1% of Mondi’s permanent employee complement in South Africa.

via Mondi to mothball SA paper plant, layoff staff .

– Photronics Inc. said Wednesday it would close its manufacturing facility in Shanghai, cutting 75 jobs.

via Photronics shuts Shanghai plant, cutting 75 jobs – MarketWatch.

– Ten Coffee Republic coffee and deli outlets have closed with the loss of 66 jobs, administrators for the firm have confirmed.

via The Press Association: Jobs axed as coffee shops close.

alcatel-lucent– Franco-American telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA) plans to cut an additional 1,000 jobs in France in 2009 and 2010, union representative Marc Marandon told Reuters on Thursday.

via Alcatel-Lucent to cut 1,000 jobs in France-union | Industries | Technology, Media & Telecommunications | Reuters .15:01:17

us-steel– U.S. Steel’s (X.N) Serbian unit is to shed up to 250 administrative jobs as demand for its products has plumetted amidst the global economic downturn, the local company’s spokesman said on Thursday.

Hiring News and News You Can Use

– Fluor Corp. expects to add more than 100 jobs in Greenville as the result of new work to build and operate military bases in Afghanistan.

via Fluor adding jobs for military work | GreenvilleOnline.com | The Greenville News.

– Liberty National Life Insurance Co. has opened three branches in the Charlotte area and plans to hire about 300 workers in sales and management positions.

via Liberty National Life Insurance to hire 300 in Charlotte – The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area: .

– The company wants to create 100 jobs over the next five years and carry an average annual payroll of more than $3 million.

Mike Luckovich

Mike Luckovich


2 Comments to “July 9 – Jobless claims fall 52,000 to 565,000 – Continuing claims reach another record at 6.883 million – Auto factory clean-ups to cost taxpayer at least $500 million – PPD to eliminate 270 jobs”

  1. Harold says:

    Unemployment claims dropped because 50 thousand people ran out of bennifits and could not file a claim . This is another pathethic play on statistics and people should be ashamed of thier selves for posting an artical designed to manipulate the truth and build false confidence in our fellow americans .

  2. layofflist says:

    Harold, you are correct in thinking that the statistics presented by government and the media are often manipulated to produce the best result. I’ll post some stats that reflect actual unemployment later in the day. Many people seem to like to read the positive spin of media outlets, but many like you and I prefer the facts, in order to better prepare and plan.

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