Mike: My job has been a little easier so far this week with the reduced number of layoff announcements, which may be an indication that there’s a slowdown in layoff activity, at least in the short-term.

These’s plenty of retail economic news out there today and it’s a very mixed bag. I’ll let the people in the know give you their impressions. I’ll stay away from the main stream media outlets, since they merely skew everything to a point where I can’t trust most of their analyses:

Retail Sales Continue to be Weak

via Retail Sales Continue to be Weak – RetailSails — Seeking Alpha.

From Bloomberg:

July 14 (Bloomberg) — Sales at U.S. retailers rose in June, helped by incentives at car dealers and higher gasoline prices that boosted service-station receipts.

Good, right?

Not so fast:

Purchases excluding automobiles and gasoline dropped for a fourth consecutive month

via More Media Misdirection: Retail Sales – The Market Ticker.

Walt Handelsman

Walt Handelsman

Mike: I had to dump this news at the top since it made my blood boil when reading it. Here you have a company so connected to Washington, (Geithner, Paulson, Rubin, etc.) that it cannot fail, but it cannot be stopped from screwing the American taxpayer. They grab $10 billion in TARP funds, get preferential treatment with regard to AIG and then have the gall to pay out up to $900,000 in bonuses PER person. If this doesn’t make you angry enough to contact your congressional rep, than nothing will and these taxpayer beatings will continue to happen at your expense. These companies have no ethics, morals, humanity, decency or empathy. They exist for greed and greed alone. You, the taxpayer, are their peon and will remain a peon until you demand to be treated as an equal. Here’s where you and I can vent that anger: Contact your congressional representative

The investment bank Goldman Sachs delivered a clear signal that the good times are returning on Wall Street by milking a recovery in financial markets to generate profits of $3.44bn (£2.12bn), raising the prospect of average pay packages of as much as $900,000 for its employees.

Goldman’s success has generated its fair share of detractors. Critics point out that the bank was the biggest counterparty in financial insurance policies to the insurer AIG and that its collateral calls contributed to the US company’s collapse, requiring AIG to seek $150bn of government aid.

Furthermore, Goldman itself received $10bn from the US government’s troubled asset relief fund, which it paid back last month to avoid any further caps on dividends or remuneration. The firm converted to a ‘bank holding company’ last year, allowing it to take retail deposits, as the business model of a standalone Wall Street bank came under threat.

via Goldman Sachs staff set for bumper bonuses as bank earns $38m per day | Business | guardian.co.uk .

“I believe Tim Geithner only represents part of Wall Street – Goldman Sachs,” he says, suggesting Goldman was the “primary beneficiary of the AIG bailout” and notes Goldman alum Stephen Friedman serves on the board of the NY Fed. (Hank Paulson and Robert Rubin, with whom Geithner had frequent meetings in the past year, are also Goldman alum.)

via Tim Geithner Too Close to Goldman Sachs to Be Treasury Secretary Critic Says: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance.

-Max Keiser: “Does the US Secretary of the Treasury work for the people or does he work for the banking system on Wall Street?”

Dr. Paul Craig Reports: “He works for Goldman Sachs.”

via Tim Geithner, Employee of Goldman Sachs? | The Big Picture.

Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Navigation links to today’s stories:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News

Mike: Remember the headlines from a couple months ago about the dangers of H1N1? Well, it’s still out there and still causing problems.

google– HYDERABAD: Google India has had to shut down one of its offices in Hyderabad after one of the employees was confirmed to be suffering from the H1N1 flu virus.

Of the 250 employees in this particular office of Google, 95 were sent to the AP General and Chest Hospital on Tuesday to undergo the swine flu test. Of these, seven employees showed swine flu symptoms and were quarantined even as Google office shut its office for two days for its premises to be sanitised.

via Swine flu scare shuts Google office in Hyderabad – Hyderabad – City – NEWS – The Times of India.

This map and the data behind it were compiled by Dr. Henry Niman, a biomedical researcher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, using technology provided by Rhiza Labs and Google. The map is compiled using data from official sources, news reports and user-contributions and updated multiple times per day.

via FluTracker – H1N1 Swine Flu and Influenza Outbreak Tracking from Rhiza Labs.


General Economic News

– ICSC-Goldman Store Sales

[Report][Bullet7:45 AM ET

After reporting last week that retail same-store decreased by 5.1% in June YoY, The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) said that comparable same-store sales for large chain stores fell by 0.7% in the first week of July vs a year ago, while same-store sales decreased 0.9% on a week-over week-basis, the first weekly drop in a month.

via Retail Sales Continue to be Weak – RetailSails — Seeking Alpha.

Separately, the Labor Department reported a 1.8 percent increase in the Producer Price Index, a measure of prices paid by retailers to factories and farmers, more than double economists’ forecasts. The index rose 0.2 percent in May.

The jump in the price index is likely to bring back debate of which direction inflation is headed. Weak unemployment and wage data have largely constrained retailers’ pricing power, but surges in energy prices beyond the control of retailers have proved significant.

via Producer Prices Jump, Led by Energy – NYTimes.com.

Retail Sales
8:30 AM ET

However, outside of autos and gas stations the sales results were disappointingly weak, suggesting consumers remained wary of stepping up discretionary spending despite signs the recession may be drawing to a close.

via Autos lift retail sales as inflation perks up | U.S. | Reuters .

8:55 AM ET

U.S. national chain store sales fell 1.7% in the first week of July versus the previous month, according to Redbook Research’s latest indicator of national retail sales released Tuesday.

via WMT = Redbook: US Retail Sales -1.7% First Week July Vs June.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories fell 1 percent in May, marking a ninth consecutive monthly decline, pressured by a steep drop in stocks of autos and parts, Commerce Department data showed on Tuesday.

via U.S. business inventories fell 1 percent in May | Markets | Hot Stocks | Reuters .


It’s time for a serious second stimulus — not a hodge podge of pork and transfer payments, but a truly big and bold infrastructure program (like what we were promised the first time, but which didn’t happen) to put people to work.

via 10 Reasons Employment Is Worse Than You Think: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance.

Nick Anderson

Nick Anderson

Government Layoff News

– Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is prepared to cut another 2,000 jobs from the general fund, state officials told state employee union and exempt employee association leaders in a conference call this morning. The cuts could be part of a deal that must close the state’s $26.3 billion fiscal gap, which widens by $25 million each day lawmakers fail to enact a budget.

via The State Worker: Another 2,000 general fund jobs could be axed, administration says.

Mike: I’m not sure what will be more deadly, the extra guns on the street or fewer police officers, but needless to say, if both occur at once it won’t be a pretty picture  ………….

– SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA – The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors could approve the layoffs of 202 sheriff’s deputies Tuesday. The fear of less deputies may be behind a gun sales surge.

According to the state attorney general’s office, gun sales are up 40 percent in Sacramento County since November. It is the biggest growth of any county in the state.

via Looming Deputy Layoffs May Be Behind Gun Sales Surge | News10.net | Sacramento, California | Local News .

– CALGARY – Thirty City of Calgary employees in development and building approvals received layoff notices Monday, a result of declining permit revenues and a sign of the city’s struggle to balance its books in a tightening economy.

via City of Calgary cuts 30 jobs amid budget balancing .

– Hamilton County will likely reveal at the emergency meeting how much departments will have to cut their budgets in order to balance the 2009 budget.

Layoffs are likely, as the county grapples with yet another month of plummeting sales tax revenue.

via More county layoffs ‘inevitable’ | Cincinnati.com | Cincinnati.Com.

– Cadillac Area Public Schools made $680,000 dollars in cuts. Monday night, the school board voted to layoff eight teachers and nine paraprofessionals.

via 9&10 News: Seventeen Layoffs for Cadillac Area Public Schools.

– LAKEMOOR – Five village employees have been laid off as Lakemoor officials try to combat a mounting deficit.

via Northwest Herald | Five village employees laid off in Lakemoor.

– In a packed board meeting, the Moreno Valley Board of Education announced that the district’s approximately 1,850 teachers had agreed to each take two furlough days to save jobs threatened by layoffs.

via Moreno Valley teachers agree to furlough days | Inland News | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California.

– Mayor Richard Daley today said 431 city employees would be laid off Wednesday if two holdout unions don’t agree to unpaid days off and other cost-cutting measures.

via Daley says 431 city workers to lose jobs if no deal by midnight | Clout Street – local political coverage.

– The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs is laying off 24 employees, but the agency says all divisions will remain open.

via S.C. Consumer Affairs laying off 24 employees | SCNow.

– FALL RIVER — Police have voted to accept an 8 percent pay cut, saving the city about $530,000 this fiscal year, city and police officials announced Monday.

As part of the three-year agreement approved by the 145-member Fall River Police Association at a union meeting last week, salaries will return to their current levels for the following two fiscal years, reports the Standard-Times.

via Fall River police agree to pay cut – BostonHerald.com.

US and some Canada Layoff News

-Oscient has cut 280 of its 305 jobs this year as part of an effort to preserve cash and reduce debt. In February, it eliminated 100 jobs, and in June, it cut its 150-person sales force and 30 other positions.

– Finding out the Dixon plant will close this fall. A decision that will wipe out 211 jobs when the economy is down and out. Workers expect that the plant will close for good in early October. They’ll receive a severance package and retraining opportunities.

via Johnson Controls to close Dixon plant – WQAD.

– Now it seems the rest of the workers will also be out of a job. There are about 143 employees on staff right now.

via Auto supplier closing in Battle Creek | style, margin, bottom – Top Stories – WWMT NEWSCHANNEL 3.

norfolk-southern– MUSCLE SHOALS – Norfolk Southern Corp. will close part of the operations at its Sheffield rail yard, a move that involves cutting 84 jobs.

via Railroad cutting 84 jobs | TimesDaily.com | The Times Daily | Florence, AL.

gavel5– That’s about 25 of the 550 people who work at the headquarters, 8155 T&B Boulevard, just north of Southwind off Hacks Cross.

via Thomas & Betts cuts Memphis jobs : Business News : Memphis Commercial Appeal.

– Massachusetts-based Stride Rite Corp. has notified the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that the company will close its distribution center in Huntington, leaving 120 employees jobless.

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

hospital3– St. Joseph Health System, an Orange-based Catholic hospital operator with three local facilities, said Monday it is cutting 159 local jobs.

via Orange County Business Journal Online.

– GE Capital Corp. has laid off 127 employees at a Bedford, Texas, operation in the past three months, and the company said staff reductions may continue through mid-September.

via GE Capital lays off 127 in Bedford, Texas; more cuts planned – The Connecticut Post Online.

– Robin Wasson says the loss of a single job, much less 29, is substantial in a town as small as Chipman.

via dailygleaner.com – 29 laid off at mill in Chipman | By KYLE MULLIN – Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada.

– Volunteer and Information Kingston, a non-profit agency that acts as a clearing house for information about community programs and volunteer opportunities in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, has laid off three paid staff and is returning to its roots as a volunteer-run organization.

via Volunteer centre lays off three of four paid staff – Napanee Guide – Ontario, CA .

– ASHEVILLE — UNC Asheville is cutting eight current staff jobs and closing two scientific research centers in response to an expected 10 percent reduction in state funding, university officials announced Monday

via UNCA cuts jobs, research centers | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times.

– SALISBURY — Some 30 positions at the Delmarva Media Group — publisher of The Daily Times and its weekly affiliates, including the Ocean Pines Independent — have been eliminated, officials announced Thursday.

via Delmarva Media Group eliminates 30 positions | delmarvanow.com | The Daily Times.

– Colonial BancGroup announced last week it was cutting 136 jobs across its five-state region.

via Daily Commercial.

– About 300 workers at a Prince George, B.C., call centre will be working their last shift on Tuesday after a Dallas-based company decided to close its largest Canadian operation.

via 300 Prince George call centre workers face layoffs.

– LAS VEGAS, Nevada — International Game Technology said it’s laying off another 55 workers at its Reno headquarters this week as it continues to adjust during the recession. Meanwhile, its main competitor says it’s looking to grow.

International Layoff News

– The center-right government announced it would slash the number of employees in its central administrative staff by 1,145 people, or 30 percent, by the start of 2010. In addition, the number of state agencies will be reduced from 73 to 36.

– MORE than 70 workers at a Stockport sportswear firm, which sponsors a number of UK rugby teams, have been made redundant after it fell into administration.

via Deals/Restructuring  /  72 jobs go at Stockport sportswear firm THEBUSINESSDESK.COM.

– We have acted quickly in order to minimise the number of posts at risk and as a result we expect the outcome to result in a small reduction in staff numbers.”

via TBWA Manchester confirms redundancy talks – North West Media News – How-Do.

– Brazil’s JBS SA (JBSS3.SA), the world’s largest beef processor, said on Tuesday it had laid off 742 workers from three plants located in Sao Paulo state.

via Brazil beef group JBS cuts more than 700 jobs | Industries | Consumer Goods & Retail | Reuters .

– Arts Council England has announced the details of its latest restructure, which aims to save £6.5 million a year in administration costs.

via The Stage / News / ACE to cut 130 jobs in latest restructure.

– Around 60 jobs are on the line in border control at MAF Biosecurity and Palmerston North’s office might close in the restructure.

Hiring News and News You Can Use

– If you haven’t already heard, Twitter is a great resource for making the job search a bit easier. Jobs are actually delivered to you, thus reducing a lot of the legwork on your part. TweetMyJobs.com is just another applicatio built on top of the Twitter application.

via Tweet your way to a job with tweetmyjobs.com.

– U.S. Bank announced this spring it would add 300 jobs to its operations in Owensboro. Now, the new facility off the U.S. 60 Bypass and Highway 54 is starting to take shape.

via New home mortgage facility will bring 300 jobs to Owensboro – 14 News, The Tri-State’s News and Weather Leader-.

– Hundreds of Indiana auto parts workers are back to work at the Mid-Range Engine Plant in Walesboro.

via NEWS/TALK 1010 WCSI Radio – WCSI Weather – Columbus Indiana.

– According to Revolution , the company wanted a senior manager based in Minnesota with at least two years of mobile or social media marketing experience, a year’s of active blogging experience, a Bachelor’s degree, and… 250 Twitter followers.

Tom Toles

Tom Toles


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