Mike: I hope you all had a fine weekend. I wasn’t able to publish a full weekend post, but I’ll publish this a little early and update as the day moves along.
Mike: The following reminds me of the AIG fiasco. Here you have the state of Nevada, which has one of the fastest growing unemployment rates and leads the country in foreclosuers, finding a way to give its executives larger salaries. In AIG’s case it’s a case of rewarding employees for driving the company into the ground and then having to exist solely on the backs of the taxpayer. In Nevada, and I’m sure other states, you have executives that oversaw the current financial crises in employment and housing. While they may not have been able to do a great deal about the employment situation, they could have at least raised some of the many housing debacle issues, such as over development, consumer protection with mortgage writing, and properly overseeing the housing appraisal, mortgage broker and real estate sectors. They have proved to be poor stewards yet they still think they deserve increased salaries and benefits. The AIG’ method of rewarding failure is unfortunately becoming more the rule than the exception.
* CARSON CITY, Nev. — Gov. Jim Gibbons’s chief of staff is continuing to defend salary increases in the governor’s office, saying that overall payroll costs have been cut by 11 percent.
Some employees in the governor’s office have seen significant pay boosts but only because they were promoted to new jobs with added duties, Josh Hicks said.
Mike: New York holds firm its reputation for having the most dysfunctional legislative body in the country asit continues to swindle the public that it serves. Say one thing and do another. Mr. Patterson and the Democrat controlled legislature were a breath of fresh air – for about two weeks………
ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson, with much fanfare, last year ordered a “hard” hiring freeze to help contain costs for the deficit-plagued state budget.
But since October, more than 8,000 people have been added to the state’s payroll.
The new state workers — from college professors and snowplow operators to state troopers and even a ski school instructor — are on top of the more than 31,000 people hired during a previous three-month hiring period examined last fall by The Buffalo News during the freeze period, which began last July 30.
- Boeing handing out another 900 layoff notices
- Postal service to slash more than 3,000 jobs
- Santa Cruz County unemployment hits 13 percent
- February existing home sales rise by 5.1 percent
- Superferry Lays Off 240 Employees –
- Playboy Enterprises Closing NYC Offices, 100 Laid-Off
- Corning to close Va. plant, put 200 out of jobs
- General Economic News
– Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News –
* The number of workers that IBM Corp. employs in the U.S. declined by about 5% last year, but the company’s overall headcount is increasing because of overseas hiring.
IBM finished 2008 with 115,000 U.S. employees, down from the 121,000 it reported at the end of 2007, according to its most recent annual report released this month. Overall, IBM finished 2008 with 398,455 employees worldwide, an increase of nearly 12,000 or about 3%.
* In a letter leaked to Microscope, Dell told its employees that it was beginning a 90-day consultation period with staff, with compulsory job losses anticipated across the board as it places priority on maintaining margins.
Existing Home Sales
10:00 AM ET
Mike: These housing clowns make a small seasonal jump in housing seem like a reincarnation of the bubble years. They don’t mention that sales are down 3.6% from February 2008. Also, home sales are being driven by foreclosure sales, which is bound to keep the lid on any home price increases. While an increase in housing sales is better than a decrease, it’s the numbers behind the numbers that make the difference. Take a look at the following blog if you want the real housing story: http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/index.html. Don’t listen to the real estate mantra that demands “buy now, or be priced out forever!”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously occupied homes jumped unexpectedly in February by the largest amount in nearly six years as first-time buyers took advantage of deep discounts on foreclosures and other distressed properties.
Economists said sales, while still at levels not seen since 1997, may finally be coming back to life after declining sharply following the stock market plunge last autumn.
* Single family homes sales rose 4.4% in February, but are still 3.6% below year-ago levels. Prices for single family homes fell 15.0% in the year ending in February. Sales of condos in February rose 11.4%, but are still down 13.1% over the year. Prices of condos fell 18.7%.
Mike: The following echos my March 13 post “Grandstanding TX gov. rejects unemployment Stimulus money,” where I discussed the bizarre actions of TX governor Perry and his refusal to accept stimulus money for the unemployed of his state. Here the NY Times puts it into perspective:
* Republican governors who have been threatening to refuse federal aid rather than sensibly expand state unemployment insurance programs are putting ideology ahead of the needs of their constituents.
The two most prominent grandstanders — Rick Perry of Texas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — should listen to lawmakers and taxpayers in their own states who are demanding that they do what’s best for their most vulnerable citizens.
*WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is hoping it has finally come up with the right formula to resolve the nation’s worst banking crisis in 70 years. The program Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will unveil Monday seeks to tap the resources of the government’s $700 billion bailout fund, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as well as private investors.
The goal is to buy as much as $1 trillion in bad assets that are weighing on banks’ balance sheets, stifling their ability to resume more normal lending to families and businesses. The loan crunch is depressing economic activity and making the current recession more prolonged and severe.
Mike: The unemployment numbers are getting to the startling stage. And these numbers are on the light side of the government estimate, since discouraged workers are not included. For if they were, the unemployment rate would likely near 20%.
* SANTA CRUZ – For the past three years, the percentage of local jobless workers in February was about the same as in January. This year, the numbers are growing – unemployment in Santa Cruz County rose from 12.6 percent to 13.1 percent.
* WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – U.S. employers stepped up mass layoff actions in February, government data showed on Friday, hurt by the severe economic downturn.
The Labor Department said the number of mass layoffs — defined as job cuts involving at least 50 people from a single employer — rose by 542 in February from January to a seasonally adjusted 2,769.
Mike: Instead of those tourist bus trips to the famous digs of movie and TV stars, we now gawk at the lavishness of the corrupt banking thieves. I guess it’s not much different than taking a home tour of money criminals past, such as Bonnie & Clyde, Al Capone, Michael Milken and Ken Lay.
* The bus pulled to a stop, and a pastor whose sister-in-law was facing foreclosure, a laid-off steelworker with a wife and five children, and a few of their colleagues nervously stepped out, like sightseers in some exotic land, The New York Times’s Manny Fernandez reported from Fairfield, Conn.
The exotic land was a residential neighborhood here in one of the wealthiest places in America, Fairfield County, where, at the end of a cul-de-sac a short walk away, an executive at the American International Group lived.
* WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Postal Service will be cutting more than 3,000 jobs and offering nearly a quarter of its work force early retirement as part of its efforts to streamline operations amid the worsening economy, the agency said Friday.
The Postal Service said work force cutbacks will save the agency $100 million annually.
Among the job cuts are 1,400 district administrative staff positions and another 1,400 mail processing and management jobs nationwide. More than 500 employees will be out of a job with the closure of six district offices that house only administrative functions, the agency said.
* The U.S. Postal Service said Friday it will cut jobs, offer early retirement to tens of thousands of employees and close administrative offices, the latest round of cutbacks in the last year.
The Postal Service plans to close six of its 80 district offices this year, and reduce administrative staff positions at the district level by 15 percent, including 1,400 mail processing supervisor and management positions at nearly 400 facilities around the country.
Mike: With state, county and city budgets coming into focus, the potential layoff numbers are being announced. Many of these layoffs might not materialize because of stimulus money going to localities, but the layoff numbers could nonetheless be quite large as the stories below indicate:
* D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty Friday unveiled a fiscal 2010 budget that calls for eliminating more than 1,600 jobs, freezing tax exemptions and imposing new fees to help the city close a roughly $800 million shortfall.
* County Executive Steve Levy sent out layoff notices to 2,200 county employees Friday and agreed to use $30 million from the county’s rainy day fund to equal what he is seeking in union concessions.
The 60-day warnings, which went out by letter, are sent to a far larger number than the 386 positions on the layoff list because the county also must notify those who would move to lower job titles under the county’s bump and retreat system.
*OSHKOSH, Wis. – An Oshkosh school district official says more than 40 teachers will receive initial layoff notices Monday.
* FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Fort Wayne Community Schools will eliminate 49 teaching positions from next school year’s district payroll as part of a plan to cut $4 million from its budget, school officials said.
* The Collingswood Board of Education has unveiled a spending plan that calls for the elimination of 10 positions.
* Boeing’s third round of layoffs this year will affect 710 workers in the Puget Sound area starting May 22, according to a WARN notice received by the state.
Of the workers, 458 of them are in the Machinists union, three are in the International Union of Operating Engineers, 13 are in the Society of Professional Engineering Employees and 236 are not in a bargaining unit.
* Boeing Co. is handing out another 900 layoff notices, 650 of those to Commercial Airplane workers in the Puget Sound area.
Spokesman Tim Healy says the 60-day warnings sent out Friday will take effect May 22 or later. He says they are part of the planned 10,000 job cuts this year that Boeing announced in January.
* As a result, Poniard will cut eight employees, or 12 percent of its staff. It will evaluate “strategic alternatives” for the preclinical programs it’s cutting. The company did not say how much the cuts would extend its cash runway.
* After Friday night, close to 130 workers will be without a job in Chambers County.
* Otherwise production has stopped at the plant, which is scheduled to close today leaving about 75 employees jobless.
* Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. this week began laying off up to 10 percent of its corporate workforce, cuts that could lead to roughly 100 lost jobs in Chicago.
* An employee with the company tells Indiana’s NewsCenter that the company is cutting 6-percent of it’s workforce company wide.
* Right now, the company is asking for volunteers to accept buyout offers; That would include severance pay and extended insurance benefits. Aisin officials say, if that doesn’t work, they may have to implement involuntary layoffs; That would include limited benefits, but the potential to be rehired.
* The regional trucking arm of YRC Worldwide Inc. told customers it will shutter 11 service centers operated by its Holland brand.
The centers mostly are in the northeast but include a center in Wichita. The closings will affect 350 employees, including 20 in Wichita but none in the Kansas City area.
* The Denver Post’s business arm laid off 40 employees Friday as the first phase of a planned 200-worker reduction of its 1,050-person staff over the next few weeks.
* According to an article published Friday, those leaving the company include Editor Don Nelson. Also leaving are a news assistant and two reporters who previously wrote for the Courier-Times and The Argus.
* In addition to the 82 companywide layoffs — 60 full-time and 22 part-time employees — the Observer also plans to reduce the hours of some employees. The company’s plan to save costs also includes a one-week furlough for employees later this year if economic conditions don’t improve.
* LEXINGTON, KY — The Lexington Herald-Leader has cut 15 percent of its workforce as 49 full-time and 4 part-time employees were laid-off Monday morning.
* Fort Smith – Another 30 to 35 workers will be laid off at the Trane Air-Conditioning Plant in Fort Smith on Monday.
* Hanesbrands Inc. spokesman Matt Hall says 46 workers are being laid off from its Virginia Service Center. Separately, CPFilms says it’s axing 45 jobs. Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Hanesbrands employs about 300 people in Martinsville.
* Advance Engineered Products intends to lay off 96 employees and reduce operations to a single shift.
* FRISCO, Colo. (AP) ―The Henderson mine west of Denver has laid off 50 workers as parent company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. struggles with a decrease in global demand for molybdenum and falling metals prices.
* Southwest Windpower laid off 14 workers at its Flagstaff manufacturing plant on Friday. Chief executive Frank Greco says lower-than-expected revenues over the last few months forced the company to make the move.
* WEST BRANCH, IOWA: Acciona Windpower plans to cut employment by 58 at its one-year-old West Branch factory in response to slackening demand for wind turbines.
* About 100 positions will be lost when Air Labrador discontinues its Dash 8 regional service at the end of April.
* Troutman Sanders said Friday that the firm will lay off associates and offer staff a voluntary buyout, which is likely to be followed by a layoff. The 778-lawyer firm also has pushed back the start date for its 2009 first-year associates to January and shaved two weeks off its summer associate program.
* Law firm Saul Ewing said Monday it has laid off seven lawyers and seven staff members.
* Cost-cutting measures in the new budget include the reorganization of the Congregational Services staff group, the elimination of several staff positions, reduced travel budgets, and electronic delivery of several UUA publications.
* Bristow Group Inc (BRS.N), which provides helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, said it would reduce work force by less than 10 percent, citing challenging market conditions.
* East Providence, RI — Victoria & Co., the East Providence firm that designs, markets and distributes wholesale fashion jewelry and other products for its owner, the Jones Apparel Group, Inc., is cutting about 70 jobs in Rhode Island.
* LDS Test & Measurement LLC has decided to close its operations in Middleton, resulting in the loss of 51 jobs.
* HONOLULU — The Hawaii Superferry Saturday laid off 240 employees as it prepares to shut down operations in Hawaii for the time being.
* ABP Induction LLC, a Brookfield provider of induction heat treating, forging and other metal treating services, has informed the state of Wisconsin that because of various order cancellations and postponements by customers, it has laid off 31 workers at its Brookfield site.
* NEW YORK (AP) — Playboy Enterprises is closing its Manhattan office and laying off employees as it struggles with falling advertising revenue and a gloomy economic climate.
* Newseum spokeswoman Susan Bennett said Monday the museum laid off 13 people last week. Combined with an earlier round of cuts in November, the museum staff has been reduced by 31 positions to 219 jobs from 250 jobs.
* Corning Inc. will close its Danville plant by the end of the year, putting about 200 people out of jobs.
* Trucking company USF Holland Inc. will layoff 39 employees at its Glenmont plant on April 3, according to a notice filed with the state Labor Department today.
* “What’s happening now in retail is you’re having a dominoes effect as one goes out they’re all starting to fall,” says Sofos.
A trend not happening only in Waikiki – but across town, to both big and small businesses.
* TOKYO (AFP) — Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, struggling to return to profit, said Monday that it would cut 1,000 jobs and close 50 branches over three years in a bid to cut costs.
The megabank will shed the jobs through retirement and reducing hiring, said a company spokesman who declined to be named.
* Daewoo Electronics said it would slash 40 percent of its workforce, or 1,000 to 1,200 employees, and shed its unprofitable TV and air-conditioner businesses.
* LONDON: The Daily Mail and General Trust said Monday it expects to shed a thousand jobs in its Northcliffe Media unit, which produces more than 110 local publications.
The trust said advertising revenues at Northcliffe Media were expected to be down 37 percent in the current quarter, worse than the group’s overall drop of 24 percent.
* Electrical retailer Apollo 2000 and gas appliance supplier Arrow Distributors have gone into administration, making 50 drivers redundant.
* Levi Strauss said it has agreed with trade unions on a severance package for the 549 people who will lose their jobs by the end of June, when the factory in the southern city of Kiskunhalas is scheduled to close.
* Berks County-based Carpenter Technology is closing a plant in Europe as sales and operating margins fall below estimates. Carpenter says the plant in Crawley, U.K. is a metal strip manufacturing facility, and it employs 33 people.
* SIXTEEN workers at Gippsland Aeronautics have been made redundant.
The job cuts follow weeks of uncertainty for many of the company’s 100 employees, who were stood down five weeks ago because of a lack of work.
* Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, will this week make public a restructuring plan that includes a second wave of redundancies after an examination of the airline’s business under Alan Joyce, its new chief executive.
Staff and unions will be told the job losses are needed to match reduced capacity requirements as passenger revenues have deteriorated.
* Following speculation around the city during the weekend, DTZ Otago branch manager Stephen Cairns was contacted yesterday and confirmed the six full-time and one part-time jobs would cease on April 17 when DTZ closed its doors.
* Mayer Brown has revealed that is set to restructure its London office, a move which could see the loss of 55 jobs.
The firm is expecting to lose up to 23 associates and 32 support staff, including secretaries, as a result of the restructuring, which is likely to hit transactional areas such as corporate and real estate the hardest.
* Renew’s specialist building division which downsized by 14 per cent last autumn is to be trimmed back by a further 23 per cent.
* South African leasing and capital equipment firm Eqstra Holdings plans to cut 7 percent of its workforce as it freezes expansion plans owing to weak demand for its products and services, it chief said.
* Renew’s Specialist Building division – already downsized by 14% last autumn – is to suffer a further trimming back so that total capacity will be down by 37% in total.
* It is reported that Gibraltar Industries has made significant cuts in its headquarters staff as it reels from the deep slumps in its main construction and automotive markets. As per report, Gibraltar is making the cuts to stem what company officials have predicted will be further losses during the current quarter.
* LONDON (AFP) — Aircraft maker Airbus is to cut some 250 jobs in Britain, as struggling airlines cut their order books in response to the global economic downturn, unions and the company said.
* UBS, the world’s biggest wealth manager, has laid off a team of six private bankers in Singapore who were managing wealth for Turkish clients, sources told Reuters on Monday.
* Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. will cut workforce by 70 employees. It is understood that all employees which will go on early retirement are over the age of 50.
* Plastics processing machinery producer Krauss-Maffei is looking to lay off 10% of its 2,000 staff, with negotiations already underway with the works council in Munich.
* Vodafone has become the latest major British employer to impose a pay freeze on its workforce.
In a telling sign of the recessionary times, the mobile giant has shelved pay rises and forbidden bonuses for its 10,000 staff in the UK.
* AROUND 80 people are expected to be made redundant from a company that makes windows and conservatories.
* With the unemployment rate in California now into double digits, the state Employment Development Department is stepping up its efforts to provide unemployment insurance benefit assistance by opening its call center phone lines from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning March 21 — and by hiring 400 additional staff to keep up with demand.
* The mutual fund company, in the midst of laying off at least 3,000 employees including analysts at its investment unit, is also hiring. The company is adding new analysts and other investment professionals, and says it plans to expand research offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo this year.
* The city of Albuquerque is hiring 100 people for lifeguard positions.
* Most of the returning workers are on the production side, though there’s no word on exactly how many will return to work.
* Scheduled for the next two years, the new program is expected to help about 300 low-income young people by tacking a work component onto existing career camps.
Mike: A fairly active layoff announcement day, but at least the stock market reacted favorably to the Obama toxic asset feast that will make taxpayers the owner of more bank garbage. At least Spring Break is upon us, so who cares about those trivial matters. It’s time to party in in warm weather, as the following Daily Show video highlights. Enjoy your evening and till tomorrow………….
Mike: Today is shaping up to be a quiet day on the economic report front, but layoff announcements are numerous and large this Friday.
Mike: The following story illustrates one of the reasons why so many are upset at the AIG bonuses. The union rejected a contract offer for further lowering of wages, which may or may not be a good idea (in this economy, I personally think it’s a bad idea, since you can demand higher wages when the economy improves in a couple years). These workers were being asked to rewrite a contract, so why can’t the financial destruction wizards at AIG rewrite their contracts? If they don’t want to rewrite their contracts, then they can take the same course as the union members at New Process Gear by saying no and moving on. I am constantly amazed that the financial destruction wizards feel that they need to be treated differently than other workers. With tens of thousands of Wall Street layoffs occurring over the past six months, there is certainly going to be a talent pool to choose from if those AIG wizards decide to pack their bags and move on because their bonuses were withheld.
Union leaders spent last week explaining the agreement, which hinged on the plant’s ability to break even in operations by July, in the midst of a recession. If it did, workers would keep their wages of $20.16 per hour. If it came close to break-even, their wages would be cut to $16 per hour, and if the plant missed the mark altogether, the company would close it.
“It’s a terrible contract. I couldn’t vote for that,” said Mike Capriotti, 53, of Lyncourt, who has worked at the plant for 15 years. Capriotti was so intent on the vote that he waited at the union hall for almost three hours Tuesday evening to learn the result.
Rejecting the agreement sealed the fate of the plant’s 1,400 union and nonunion workers.
Mike: Crooks tend to keep a low profile. As you can see, there are plenty of holes in the AIG argument that the bonuses are obligated.
* AIG’s initial arguments that the bonuses were contractually obligated didn’t wash with New York Attorney Bruce Blakeman, who said bonuses, by nature, are discretionary and not ironclad obligations. He said AIG should make public the terms of the contract and the names of those being employed, especially because the public is funding those bonuses.
AIG also is facing the wrath of state governments. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has subpoenaed the company for documents related to the bonuses and actions in Connecticut.
Mike: And what may be the most disturbing aspect of this bonus fiasco is that so many people knew about the bonus package, but were clueless to the potential public outrage. This shows that those in government and in the financial kingdom are completely disconnected from the plight of the person on the street. They sit in their comfortable lairs and blissfully ignore those that they work for; the taxpayer.
Interviews with senior Federal Reserve and Treasury officials, as well as members of Congress, leave little doubt that the bonus program was a disaster hiding in plain sight. Mr. Geithner is not the only one who appears not to have understood the populist fury the bonuses would set off.
Career staff officials at the Treasury, Fed and Federal Reserve Bank of New York exchanged e-mail messages about the A.I.G. bonus program as early as late February, according to a person familiar with the matter. A.I.G. itself revealed the bonus plan in regulatory filings last September.
Mike: You know that your congressional representative is getting plenty of heat on an issue when they can move this fast to address an issue. We have to keepthe heat on this crowd of civil servants and make certain that they are working for the people and not just the large campaign contributors.
The second paragraph below is even more bizarre than the bonus issue. The same companies that have stolen billions of taxpayer dollars aren’t even paying their fair share of taxes! You would think that they would at least have the courtesy to pay their taxes with some of the billions they’ve been given, but then again, they feel as if they don’t need to follow the rules; only those silly people on the street below need to do that.
* Reporting from Washington — Struggling to keep ahead of public outrage, the House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill to recoup the lion’s share of the $165 million in bonuses paid to executives of American International Group Inc.
But the infuriating news just kept coming. A prominent congressman said 13 financial firms that had received an injection of government money owed more than $220 million in unpaid taxes. And Citigroup Inc., which has received $45 billion in federal money, planned to spend $10 million for new offices for its top executives, Bloomberg News reported.
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Thursday he expects less acquisition activity in the economic downturn since targets will be less likely to sell at depressed valuations.
* WASHINGTON (AP) — Unemployment rose in all but one of the 372 metropolitan areas tracked by the Labor Department at the start of 2009 and areas of California were among the hardest hit, according to government data released Thursday.
That means jobless rates rose in January in 99.7 percent of the cities compared with a year ago. By comparison, in January 2008, one month into the current recession, unemployment increased in only 234 metro areas, or 63 percent.
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa, where the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.4 percent, was the only metro area that didn’t see an increase. All 49 metro areas with more than 1 million people saw their rates rise in the past year, the department said.
* The city of West Linn laid off one employee last week to offset declining revenues in the building department.
* MEMPHIS — FedEx’s profits have nose-dived 75 percent from year-ago levels, prompting the company to slash 1,000 more jobs and cut $1 billion in expenses.
The Memphis-based express delivery giant on Thursday reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of 31 cents per share — significantly worse than the 48 cents per share analysts predicted.
* Rio Tinto Limited (RIO) said its aluminium production subsidiary Rio Tinto Alcan would slash around 1,100 jobs. The measure was one of a raft of cost-cutting programmes announced by the company as the mining giant struggles with the global economic downturn.
* The latest closing will cost 1,400 jobs at New Process and hundreds more in companies that depend on the plant.
“Today is a very difficult morning after, after what is certainly very big news and very difficult news, not only for our employees, but for the central New York community,” D’Angelo said.
* Union leaders spent last week explaining the agreement, which hinged on the plant’s ability to break even in operations by July, in the midst of a recession. If it did, workers would keep their wages of $20.16 per hour. If it came close to break-even, their wages would be cut to $16 per hour, and if the plant missed the mark altogether, the company would close it.
“It’s a terrible contract. I couldn’t vote for that,” said Mike Capriotti, 53, of Lyncourt, who has worked at the plant for 15 years. Capriotti was so intent on the vote that he waited at the union hall for almost three hours Tuesday evening to learn the result.
Rejecting the agreement sealed the fate of the plant’s 1,400 union and nonunion workers.
* SAN FRANCISCO—Chip gear vendor Lam Research Corp. will eliminate 375 jobs, or 10 percent of the company’s workforce, as a cost-cutting measure, the company said Thursday (March 19).
* Bassett Furniture says in a news release that it plans to cut 50 additional jobs this year, as part of a plan to help the company save between seven and eight million dollars.
* The Daily News will eliminate 45 positions and cut wages for others, Publisher Patrick Doyle announced in a letter to employees.
* The Commercial Appeal has begun a series of layoffs delayed from earlier this month.
* CLEVELAND — KeyCorp this week cut 120 technology jobs, 100 of them in Greater Cleveland.
* Jenner & Block said Thursday it has eliminated 34 support staff in its Chicago and Washington offices.
* Katten Muchin Rosenman announced today that they have laid off a total of 23 lawyers and 46 staffers, but what’s more interesting are the steps the firm says it’s taking to avoid further layoffs: namely, cutting salaries by 20 percent for associates who did not bill within 200 hours of their billable hours target (2000) in 2008.
* Since October 2008, Manatt Phelps laid off a total of 12 attorneys, 3 paralegals and 32 administrative staff nationwide, the firm says in a written statement provided to Above the Law.
* BP Amoco has announced plans to lay off 52 employees at its Naperville location beginning May 11. Employees were notified as of March 12, while Naperville City Council members learned of the layoffs in a packet that was distributed this week.
* Fifty-eight people will be laid off in Sacramento, and 142 will lose their jobs in Hayward. All will receive a severance package of two months’ pay and benefits, Bernheimer said.
* SASKATOON — Areva Resources Canada Inc. is laying off about 100 employees after the company decided it was not economical to move ahead with mining a specific deposit at its McClean Lake property.
* MANITOWOC – Koenig & Vits, operators of the aluminum rolling mill on Mirro Drive, will begin a permanent elimination of 23 salaried and 63 hourly production employees beginning in May and continuing through July.
* CEDAR RAPIDS — Changes in St. Luke’s Home Care and Women’s Health Spa will affect 43 positions and leave 120 home patients needing to find alternative care.
* Rourke said he couldn’t discuss a specific number of layoffs but said “the reductions have been across the board in all our businesses,” including the Marysville and Port Huron plants.
* The work force reduction affects approximately 40 production workers, and was prompted by a downturn in business for the plant that produces wiring harnesses and performs cable manufacturing and custom assembly operations.
* A total of 77 workers lost their jobs as a result of eliminating the third shift on Sundays at the Golden Moon Casino, according to Warren Strain, communications director for Pearl River Resort.
* Motorsports Authentics, a joint merchandising venture by the country’s two largest speedway owners, laid off 40 employees Wednesday, said Joe Mattes, the company’s new interim president.
* International Paper Co. will lay off 58 at its Mount Vernon container plant as it shifts from a four-shift, seven-day-a-week operation to a three-shift, five-day operation, it has announced.
* The release said about 60 hourly and 11 salary employees will be impacted. At its peak, the plant had more than 200 employees.
* TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Direct Brands, formerly known as Columbia House, decided to consolidate their DVD and Music Club services to a plant in Pennsylvania, resulting in layoffs.
The closing means 147 more jobs will be lost in Terre Haute.
* ROTHSCHILD — Wausau Homes has eliminated 79 more jobs, and its sister company WH Transportation will cut 49 positions, the company confirmed Thursday.
* FRANKFURT (AFP) — ThyssenKrupp plans to shed more than 3,000 jobs, a press report said on Friday, the first time a German industrial group would slash permanent posts as a result of the country’s recession.
* German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp (TKAG.DE) plans to cut more than 3,000 jobs or about 1.5 percent of its total staff amid a slump in demand, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
The cutbacks will affect the group’s steel and car parts unit as well as its shipyards, the newspaper cited people close to the situation as saying.
* It has been reported this morning that Dell are to cut a further 230 jobs in Ireland representing 10% of its workforce.
* In an interim management statement published this morning, the Cambridge-based firm said that 20 redundancies had been made in the first four months of its financial year, which began on 1 November, on top of the 200 redundancies announced at the end of October.
* Says plan will lead to net reduction of 91 jobs
* Finnish wiring maker PKC said in a statement Thursday it would launch a round of statutory cooperation procedure talks with the aim of closing a wiring harness factory in Kempele in Finland with the loss of up to 226 jobs.
via NewsRoom Finland.
* The FBI announced a hiring blitz in January to fill more than 2,100 professional staff positions. The job postings run the gamut from scientists to accountants to auto mechanics. In addition, the bureau said it wants to hire 850 FBI agents.
What happened next caught many at the FBI by surprise. More than 270,000 people applied over about six weeks. The FBI said about 70,000 people seek positions in a normal year.
* Another Columbia Falls lumber mill plans to resume operations after a layoff.
Officials with F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co. plan to restart its sawmill next Monday, after a seven-week shutdown.
Mike: More news as the day unwinds…………….
Tags: COBRA, cut jobs, economic, employment, factory closing, firing, hiring, job loss, jobs cut, laid off, layoffs, plant closing, positions eliminated, redundancies, staff cuts, unemployment, workforce reduction
March 19 – New jobless claims fall to 646,000 – Record 5.47 million continue to receive unemployment – RBS looks to axe 2700 UK jobs – CAT to lay off 800 more workers in Aurora – Pacific Capital Bancorp sheds 300 – MeadWestvaco to shut two plants, cut 278 jobs – Citi may spend $10 million for office updates – NYC Hospital System to Cut 400
Mike: I hope you are all having a fine day. This day brings the weekly Jobless Claims number, which is expected to remain steady at 654,000. This is a closely watched number, which has a great deal of impact on government policy, as well as the private sector and the stock market. An improving number will indicate that current fiscal policy is having a positive effect on the job market: more people are working which leads to more spending and an uptick in stock prices. A worsening number indicates that government policy is ineffectual: fewer people are working which leads to less spending and downward pointing stock prices. We’ll know the reaction when the Jobless Claims is released at 8:30 EDT.
Mike: Some better news and some worse news from the jobless claims number , but nothing that seems surprising. The continuing claims is likely to keep rising since unemployment benefits have been extended for a greater number of weeks. As long as the fed keeps funding extended unemployment, the continuing claims number should also increase. Once those extended benefits are exhausted, the continuing claims number will decrease. So seeing a declining continuing claims number is not necessarily a reason to think that jobs are being created.
The number of unemployed keep rising. Continuing jobless claims for the March 7 week rose a very steep 185,000 to a record 5.473 million. It’s taking longer and longer for the jobless to find work. Initial claims for the March 14 week did fall back 12,000 but remain at a severely high 646,000 for a four-week average of 654,750. Initial claims as well as the insured employment rate, at 4.1 percent, are the highest since the early 80s.
- CAT to lay off 800 more workers in Aurora
- Caterpillar layoffs will hit 289 at Georgia plants
- Pacific Capital Bancorp Announces Plan for 22% (300) Reduction
- Publisher Crain Lays Off 150
- Graco to cut 180 jobs
- MeadWestvaco to shut two plants, cut 278 jobs
- -ATS Automation cuts 240 jobs
- Citigroup May Spend $10 Million for Executive Suite
- City Hospital System to Cut 400 Jobs
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
– Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News –
Mike: A little off topic here, but an IE upgrade is long overdue. I avoid using IE as much as possible because of frequent crashes and slow performance:
* SEATTLE (AP) — Microsoft Corp. will release a new version of Internet Explorer Thursday, adding features meant to speed up common Web surfing tasks and bringing the browser’s security measures in line with those of major competitors.
* Boulder’s largest private-sector employer, IBM Corp., reportedly is in talks to purchase Sun Microsystems Inc., Broomfield’s biggest, in a move that has analysts pondering corporate culture clashes and possible job losses.
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The New York-based Conference Board’s monthly forecast of economic activity fell 0.4 percent last month. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 0.6 percent decline.
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The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank reported its business activity index at minus 35.0 in March versus minus 41.3 in February. Any reading below zero indicates contraction in the region’s manufacturing sector.
Mike: The below story shows how Citi is spending your hard earned tax money. These egotistical, narcisstic, greedy and corrupt bank execs cannot be controlled without strict oversight of taxpayer funds. I think of it this way: would you go to a bank and tell them to give you $50,000 to bailout your failing business and then tell the bank that you are going to use some of that money for new office wallpaper and a chandelier? I’m not sure the bank would think that you are using those bailout funds responsibly. But on the other hand, maybe Citi is the plaice to go for irresponsible loans! With the spotlight on AIG, Citi may have thought that they could sneak this one past the tired eyes of the taxpayer.
* March 19 (Bloomberg) — Citigroup Inc. plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit and his lieutenants, after the U.S. government injected $45 billion of cash into the bank.
* NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. jobs sector hit hardest by the recession, construction, may not reach bottom until sometime next year.
With one in five U.S. construction workers out of a job, prospects for the sector remain dim amid ongoing cuts in construction spending, a decline in nonresidential projects, and concerns that government stimulus will take months to have any measurable effect, industry experts say.
* WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Department of Labor today will make available to employers nationwide a free database of 1,921 job candidates with disabilities seeking employment in a wide variety of fields. Federal employers can tap into this ongoing recruitment resource online at https://WRP.gov, and private sector, other government and nonprofit employers can request unlimited searches by calling a toll-free telephone number.
* The Stark County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities has delivered layoff notices to 11 of its adult workshop specialists.
* Budget cuts and staff reductions in New Hanover County will require the elimination of one county department, consolidation of two others and reduced hours at the public libraries.
* IRONTON — Six employees with the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services will be laid off April 6.
* Twenty-nine Eagle Point School District employees received pink slips Monday in preparation for what is expected to be a difficult financial year in 2009-10
* MANNING — Clarendon County’s work force received another blow Friday when Trimaco LLC of Manning announced the layoff of 10 employees. According to Corporate Human Resources Manager Kay Finley, the layoff was a reduction in force due to a lagging economy.
* NAPLES — Naples Airport Authority laid off nine people and cut the hours of all full-time airport employees who are not management to 32 hours per week.
* But on Tuesday, Sites — who works on excavators at the company’s Aurora plant — received one of 665 envelopes given to production workers who will be laid off in June. Another 150 support and management employees in Aurora also will be cut then, Caterpillar announced Tuesday.
* Caterpillar Inc. said Tuesday it is laying off 289 employees in Georgia —- part of a restructuring that will eliminate 2,454 jobs as the global economy takes its toll on the Peoria, Ill.-based construction and mining equipment maker.
* Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq:PCBC), a community bank holding company, today announced plans to reduce its workforce by approximately 300 employees, or approximately 22% of its total full-time equivalent staff, in an ongoing effort to improve its cost structure.
* Finisar Corp., a California manufacturer of optical telecommunications equipment, said it planned to lay off 55 employees who work at its Horsham facility in response to a slowdown in product demand.
* HiRel Systems LLC will close a plant in Hillsboro in April, according to a filing made public Tuesday.
More than 50 workers will lose their jobs.
* Citing “unprecedented financial challenges,” the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation announced on Thursday a plan to lay off 200 workers and eliminate another 200 positions through attrition, part of a move to close a $316 million budget gap. The announcement touched off outrage within District Council 37, the powerful municipal labor union that represents the workers.
* AMHERST, N.Y. – American Steamship is warning its crews that there may not be work for everyone this shipping season.
The Buffalo-area Great Lakes shipping company has notified the New York state Labor Department that layoffs may be coming, though it’s not yet known how many.
* The Toro Company announced a temporary layoff of approximately 235 workers at its Tomah location. The layoffs are expected to begin April 20 or within 14 days thereafter. The company said that employees were notified of the layoffs in March.
* Hoping to save some $10 million a year, Cerus Corp. will lay off 31 people, or nearly a third of its workforce.
* Syracuse, NY–The owner of the New Process Gear auto parts plant in DeWitt today said it will begin closing the plant and transfer operations elsewhere.
* GM is idling all shifts that work on the rear-wheel drive, 6-speed at the Toledo plant for one week.
Another round of layoffs at GM’s Toledo Powertrain plant. About 600 hourly workers at Toledo Powertrain and about 25 workers in the aluminum department at the Powertrain plant in Defiance will be laid off next week because of a slow down in work at GM’s assembly plants.
* The company would not give specific numbers, but we’ve been told by other sources that 158 workers will be laid off.
* Faced with a loss in its endowment of more than 20 percent, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art quietly laid off six employees from its staff of 109 last month, and can’t rule out further reductions of staff in the coming months.
* Up to 50 hourly workers at Ford Motor Co.’s Woodlawn stamping plant are facing temporary layoffs of one- and two-week durations between now and late June.
* Unilever Foodsolutions this summer will close its Wichita plant as the European company transitions away from its custom-produced foods business.
The closing will put 110 employees out of work. Employees were given 60-day layoff notices earlier this month, while 60 received notices in January.
* GREENWOOD, Miss. — PYCO Oil Mill has laid off 30 workers amid a continued decline in cotton production in the Delta.
* AmericasMart, the 7.7-million-square-foot retail and gift complex in downtown Atlanta, has laid off just under 10 percent of its staff of about 250.
* Thirty employees at G.W. Lisk Co. will lose their jobs this week as the company reduces its workforce 6 percent. The private, locally-owned company makes electronic parts used in transportation, construction and mining, factory automation and the aerospace industries.
* PC Connection at the DHL Commerce Park in Wilmington has laid off 12 to 14 employees in a companywide cutback due to the bad economy.
* COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Olympic Committee has laid off 54 employees as a key part of its plan to trim its budget by 5 percent to deal with rough economic times.
* Kosciusko Community Hospital laid off 11 of its 850 employees last week, according to KCH CEO Steve Miller. He said the positions are spread across the hospital and will have no impact on the quality of care provided at the hospital.
* A faltering economy has led to layoffs at another Kansas City law firm. Polsinelli Shughart PC let go of nine attorneys and 16 other staff members.
* The American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties laid off 10 paid employees this week.
* About 200 workers at the Fairfield (Ala.) Works of U.S. Steel Corp were temporarily laid off this week amid growing concerns that the plant might join the list of company facilities idled by the deepening global economic crisis.
via Log in to AMM.com.
*New York – Crain Communications, a publisher of business trade magazines including Advertising Age, Crain’s New York Business and TelevisionWeek, has laid off 150 employees and cut salaries for all staff by 10%, PaidContent reported, citing anonymous sources.
* NORTH ADAMS — Beset by a worldwide drop-off in demand for personalized stationery, Crane & Co. on Tuesday announced the elimination of 70 hourly and salaried jobs in its stationery division, where it also implemented a 9 percent wage reduction for the remaining employees.
* IOLA, Kan. (AP) — Industrial and automotive products maker Gates Corp. is laying off 68 more workers at its Iola plant.
* Company officials say more than 20 people are being laid off. Click the video link to the right for more on this developing story.
* All avenues were explored, and NIACC’s strategic planning for implementing anticipated budget cuts means 7 full-time employees will be laid off, 6 positions will go unfilled, 3 strategic personnel restructuring assignments will be implemented, program offerings will be re-evaluated in comparison to area needs
* Swanson Group, which is headquartered in Glendale, is reducing lumber production and laying off about 112 employees in Roseburg, Glendale and other divisions. The layoffs are effective March 31.
Ingram Book Co. laid off 30 employees from its distribution center in Green. For those employees, Tuesday was their last day on the job.
* Ustream, a live streaming video service based in Mountain View California, has laid off 4 people, or about 10% of staff, we’ve confirmed. At least two of the four staff let go were Director level or higher.
via 10% Layoffs At Ustream .
Mike: Bill Day is a fine cartoonist who will land on his feet someplace:
* BILL DAY, veteran political cartoonist at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, tells Comic Riffs that he has just been let go by the newspaper as part of more than a dozen layoffs announced by the paper there today.
* NEW YORK (AP) — Graco Inc. said Wednesday it will cut an additional 180 jobs, or 8 percent of its global work force, to reflect a drop in demand for its fluid handling systems and components.
* About 10 Mead Johnson employees in Evansville have lost their jobs as part of greater changes affecting the company’s medical sales division throughout the country.
* Colorado Springs-based Ramtron International, a developer of random access memory and other semiconductor products, said Tuesday afternoon that it is cutting 17 percent of the firm’s workforce, as well as reducing salaries of its employees by 5 to 12 percent. The firm said it now employs 102 worldwide.
* Xcorporeal, Inc.has terminated 19 employees, or 73% of its staff, as a result of general economic conditions and a deterioration in its liquidity position.
* Yazaki North America in Canton Township — which supplies advanced power and data networks for auto companies worldwide — is one of those companies feeling the pinch of the current economic slowdown. Company officials have announced that approximately 150 people have accepted severance packages, reducing its workforce at the North American headquarters by about 10 percent.
*The Ledger-Enquirer said Tuesday it is cutting its work force for the third time in less than a year as part of a restructuring by its parent firm, The McClatchy Co.
* NEW YORK Interpublic Group media agency Universal McCann this week laid off 59 staffers, or almost 8 percent of its U.S staff. The cuts hit employees working on accounts across the board in UM’s New York, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco offices.
* The company’s new layoff warning was first reported Tuesday by the online fund-industry newsletter ignites.com.
Capital Group employs about 2,500 people in California, mainly in Los Angeles and Orange counties. That includes portfolio managers, analysts and customer-service representatives.
* Layoffs mounted this week at Dura-Bond Industries Inc., with the company’s Steelton, Pa., plant the latest to be hit by the economic downturn and a reduction in exploration and production of natural gas.
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* More than 100 employees were offered voluntary buyouts Wednesday afternoon, said company spokeswoman Michelle May. The GE Security plant has about 425 workers.
* Social services agency La Causa Inc. plans to lay off 87 employees as a result of terminating its $11 million case management and safety services contract with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.
* ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc (ATA.TO) said on Thursday it will cut its workforce by around 240 people to adjust to lower demand.
* March 19 (Reuters) – Packaging maker MeadWestvaco Corp (MWV.N) said on Thursday it would close two plants to cut costs, eliminating 278 hourly and salaried jobs.
* US parcel delivery giant FedEx said it will cut jobs, working hours and salaries after earnings tumbled in the third quarter as it felt the impact of the global recession.
* The president of the union that represents Timken steelworkers said Wednesday that Timken has laid off at least 155 union employees at its Canton-area plants since mid-December.
* Irvine, CA-based Cortex Pharmaceuticals is joining the ever-growing list of biotech companies opting to restructure. The developer is handing out pink slips to half of its workforce, cutting executive salaries as well as research work and scrambling to raise money from a new round of deals.
* The warehouse, which distributes bookclub content directly to customers, was once known as BMG Columbia House. Although not entirely unexpected — Direct Brands has been making hints that it would consolidate its operations for some time — it’s still horrible news for the 170 employees who will lose their jobs.
* Members of the Lexington Newspaper Guild voted in favor of a Herald-Leader company proposal Wednesday night that would mean the loss of the equivalent of 14 union-covered jobs in the newsroom.
* Acciona Windpower plans to cut employment by 58 at its West Branch facility in response to slackening demand for wind turbines.
* The Port of Portland will cut about 50 jobs and use furloughs and executive pay reductions to trim $7.5 million from its budget over the next 15 months as it grapples with the weak economy.
Of the 50 job cuts, between 25 and 30 are filled positions.
* INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis financial services provider OneAmerica has cut 114 jobs and adjusted non-salary expenses because of the economy.
* ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The University of Rochester says it has cut 40 jobs and frozen faculty salaries as it copes with a sharp drop in the value of its endowment.
* Berkeley’s famed Claremont Resort & Spa will lay off 77 workers.
* AN RBS boss today said the bank was looking to shed 2700 jobs in the UK as part of a plan to cut costs by £2.5 billion over the next three years – including around 260 in Scotland.
* First Group has announced plans to cut 3,500 jobs – representing 3 per cent of its cost base – over the next year in one of the most drastic responses yet by a bus and rail group to the economic downturn.
* Around 850 jobs, out of a total workforce of 4,000 are to be cut in the voluntary program.
* LONDON – Aegis, the Carat and Vizeum parent company, said today that it planned to cut 5 per cent of its workforce, around 780 staff, as part of a cost-saving programme.
* Nearly 60 people will be laid off from 2 Plovdiv firms.
This was announced by the municipal coordinator of KNSB Tatyana Miran, cited by radio Plovdiv.
* Sources close to the studio say that Big Huge Games, developer of the Rise of Nations series and Catan for Xbox Live Arcade, has been given notice by THQ, which has intentions to close the studio within 60 days.
* Jewett-Cameron Trading Co. Ltd. (JCTCF: News , JCT.TO) said it will reduce 5% of its workforce. The staff reduction also includes chief financial officer, Terry Schumacher.
* New Zealand based infrastructure consultancy Opus is planning to cut its British workforce of 360 by 75.
* Sources inform ”Globes” that Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. will shortly send 70 employees over the age of 50 on early retirement.
* NEW YORK, March 17 – Hoya Corp plans to cut the Japanese workforce in its digital camera operations to less than 400 employees from about 800 currently, the financial daily Nikkei said in its Wednesday edition.
* A MEAT processing factory in Wirral will close and cost 300 workers their jobs.
* Up to 280 jobs are going at gas and electrical appliance retailer Apollo 2000 and a sister firm which have gone into administration, KPMG said.
* Landor is in the process of making six redundancies.
* CLEARWATER, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PODS Enterprises has experienced solid business gains, leading the company to hire an additional 116 employees for its Clearwater headquarters and other locations across the U.S. and Canada to accommodate its growth in the moving and storage industry.
* The United States Census Bureau is looking to hire in our area for the 2010 census.
Officials say they are hiring 80 people total in Steuben, Schuyler and Chemung counties.
* TAIPEI – BRITISH banking giant HSBC Holdings said on Thursday it is planning to hire 200 people in Taiwan to expand its mortgage business on the island.
Mike: As you can see from the above list, it was another tough day in the job loss area. Yesterday may have been an anomaly or I missed plenty of announcements. If you are aware of any layoffs that are not listed here, please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your news in the comments area. Thanks. Till tomorrow ……………………..