Mike: While I’m a bit tired of having to post bad news on a daily basis I’ll start the weekend with some sunny news for a change, since it looks like a bright and warming weekend for us winter-weary upstate NYers. A
After further review, it looks like the news isn’t as rosy as I’d hoped it would be, so after a long pause I’ll give you some more reality after the following good news stories.
Believe it or not there are a few communities that seem to be beating back the job loss gremlins In Pictures: Best Cities For New Jobs. An example is Sioux Falls, SD where banking and health care opportunities appear to be abundant:
* Sioux Falls, S.D. – Net employment outlook: +14%:
Despite recent economic news, financial services are flourishing in Sioux Falls. Citigroup built its headquarters there, and Wells Fargo, HSBC and Premier Bankcard employ close to 3,000 people. In addition to the banks, Avera Health and Sanford employ more than 10,000 people.
Mike: The following article shows that the months with the largest mass layoffs are behind us (or ahead of us if you’re less optimistic):
December – Rank: No. 1 – Average % of Annual Mass Layoffs, 1998-2007: 12.6%
January – Rank: No. 2 – Average % of Annual Mass Layoffs, 1998-2007: 12.2%
Mike: A hands-on approach is the best way to assist the millions of people going through the foreclosure process. So the effort below is a good sign, but there needs to be hundreds of these busses or efforts to truly make a dent in the foreclosure numbers. Maybe instead of giving billions to failing and corrupt banks, we give a few million to these grassroots efforts that make an immediate difference:
* Around 10,000 people had registered for the free counseling service before the event began Friday and a total of 20,000 were expected to participate over three days, said organizer Carmon Orta.
“Everyone is in an unaffordable mortgage right now whether it be that they were in a predatory loan and got duped into a bad interest rate or because of the economy they have a job loss,” she said. “We will go to the lender’s CEO’s office. We will go and do what we have to do to sit with them until they sign a contract with us and agree to have real solutions and modifications for people.”
* NACA provides the most effective solution for owner-occupant homeowners with an unaffordable mortgage who are not investors. NACA is recognized as the most effective in restructuring mortgages by permanently reducing the interest rate and/or mortgage amount to a payment the homeowner can afford. NACA can enforce and achieve these solutions with major lenders/servicers and is advocating against others. Follow the procedures stated below. If you are beginning the process take the first step by attending a workshop now. All of NACA’s services are Free.
Mike: While the grandstanding governors of a few states are refusing improved unemployment benefits for their citizens, most governors are notso foolish:
* “One million New Yorkers will have unemployment benefits that they would not have had without this legislation,” said Hinchey.
New unemployment benefits may help thousands in Southern Tier
The federal government will help thousands of people hold on to their unemployment benefits a little longer. Congressman Maurice Hinchey and other leaders announced the extension of benefits Friday. As our Neil St. Clair tells us, it’s a move many believe came at just the right time.
That legislation is part of the Federal Economic Recovery Plan and the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will extend unemployment payments and deadlines, while putting an extra $25 a week in some unemployed pockets.
Mike: More news as the weekend evolves.
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* If Google revolutionised Internet search engines, and Gmail revolutionised free e-mail, then one thing’s for sure: Google Voice, unveiled on Thursday, will revolutionise telephones.
It unifies your phone numbers, transcribes your voicemail, blocks telemarketers, and elevates SMSs to first-class communication citizens. And that’s just the warm-up.
Mike: While many in the US deride some of the latest US socialist tendencies, I think a little socialism isn’t always bad, as the story below proves. Why not hold these executives hostage for the failing of their businesses? Many larger businesses receive outrageous tax breaks for the promise of more jobs, yet these same businesses chop jobs at the first sign of lower profits. Powerful CEOs should be held accountable for their actions and if necessary be removed from their post if they have failed their workers. Why is it that business executives readily dismiss their employees during hard times, but are lothe to dismiss themselves for destroying shareholder value? While the French may not be the cup of tea of everyone, but they are certainly not shy about demanding equal treatment when it comes to job losses. I think their American counterparts could learn a lesson form these French workers, by demanding accountability from the executive crowd:
* Workers at a Sony plant in southwestern France have freed two of the company’s top executives after holding them overnight in a dispute over severance pay.
Serge Foucher leaves Sony factory in Pontonx-sur-l’Adour after workers held him hostage overnight, 13 Mar 2009
Sony France chief executive Serge Foucher emerged from the plant Friday with his human resources director, Roland Bentz. Workers released the men after the two sides agreed to restart talks on the severance package.
Mike: The continuing saga of TX governor Perry and his rejection of unemployment funds. Perry supports those that don’t need help in favor of those who do. Class act:
* AUSTIN – Democratic lawmakers and labor leaders plan an all-out fight to overturn Gov. Rick Perry’s rejection of federal stimulus money for unemployed Texans.
House Democratic leader Jim Dunnam says that if Texas rejects the stimulus money, employer tax payments per worker will at least double.
“A hundred percent political,” House Democratic leader Jim Dunnam of Waco said Friday, referring to Perry’s rejection a day earlier of $556 million of stimulus money for unemployment insurance.
Texas AFL-CIO legal director Rick Levy, referring to Perry’s upcoming primary challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, said, “It appears to be much more about primary politics than solving the problems of Texas workers and business owners.”
Mike: I love reading the following inference to ” if enough public interest is expressed.” What that means to my cynical eye is that the company may find interest in the area IF the town buys them a building, gives them outrageous tax breaks, trains the potential employees and then allows the company to sign a waiver if they don’t come through with any jobs even after all their demands are met. Here in NY, there are many companies that have taken advantage of tax break legislation and then merely ignored their promises to create jobs by never producing job one. Company CEOs scamper away with the largess provided by NY legislators and the companies are never held accountable. It’s a sting that happens repeatedly with the consent of clueless and complicit elected officials.
* SILVER CITY — A new call center could be coming to Silver City if enough public interest is expressed, according to the Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments.
* WASHINGTON (AP) — American International Group is giving its executives tens of millions of dollars in new bonuses even though it received a taxpayer bailout of more than $170 billion dollars.
AIG is paying out the executive bonuses to meet a Sunday deadline, but the troubled insurance giant has agreed to administration requests to restrain future payments.
The Treasury Department determined that the government did not have the legal authority to block the current payments by the company. AIG declared earlier this month that it had suffered a loss of $61.7 billion for the fourth quarter of last year, the largest corporate loss in history.
* Troubled US insurance giant AIG says it has agreed to demands from the Obama administration to restructure its bonus payments to staff.
Bonuses for top executives are to be sharply cut in 2009, AIG’s Chairman Edward Liddy wrote in a letter to US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Mike: This shows the desperation many of our less fortunate citizens are enduring, while the bonus babies at AIG suck up $165 million in taxpayer money:
Sacramento’s humble “tent city” has gone international.
Across the country and around the world, newspaper readers and television viewers are being introduced to the sprawling campground where 100 to 200 homeless men and women sleep each night.
* Friday the 13th came with a pink slip for 13 Multnomah County employees who are the first trickle of what by June 30 will likely become a flood of county workers hitting the unemployment line.
* Six employees were laid off by the city of Aspen, and two others will have their hours cut, officials announced on Friday.
* Columbia County school officials eliminated nearly 100 jobs Tuesday.
The school board approved dropping 60 non-teaching jobs, including 23 paraprofessionals in elementary schools, eight middle-school clerical positions and 10 technical support staff.
* Five hundred local employees will be laid off as the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche prepares to close its Palo Alto research offices, the firm disclosed Friday. The layoffs will begin in late summer and continue over the following 12 months as operations wind down, said Jacqueline Wallach, vice president of communications.
* Trelleborg Wheel Systems in Hartville is closing sometime around May 10, putting its 90 employees out of work.
The company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice with the state of Ohio on March 12, in which Trelleborg states that it will permanently cease operations at its plant at 61 State Route 43 North. Workers will be let go either on or within 14 days of May 10, the company reported.
* JANESVILLE, Wis. – The Janesville manufacturer Hufcor Inc. said Friday it is eliminating 100 jobs in the midst of the recession and declining orders.
* Iceberg/Penguin, one of the Sturgis area’s large employers, plans to cut nearly two-thirds of its work force in mid-May.
According to a press statement issued Friday, the layoffs will affect about 150 of the 250 employees at the manufacturing facility at 1855 W. Chicago Road and the Howe, Ind., warehouse.
* Celestica Inc. plans to close its Oxnard location, removing 81 jobs from the community next month.
* Nurses and officials at New Milford Hospital are trying to figure out how to reduce nursing positions without layoffs.
The hospital and union leaders announced Tuesday that 11 nursing positions will be lost as part of a hospital-wide reduction.
* Wilton Armetale Co. in Mount Joy announced Friday that it is laying off the company’s last 15 factory workers and will shut down its manufacturing plant in Mount Joy.
* BC Ferries CEO David Hahn confirmed in a written statement Tuesday that the company is cutting 35 executive and administrative jobs.
* Union Tank Car Co. is cutting its production and its work force at its Alexandria location as well as its plant in Sheldon, Texas, the company said Friday.
The tank-car manufacturer will cut production of rail cars by 20 percent at both locations. It’s a move that will affect approximately 158 hourly and salaried employees.
* San Francisco Chronicle employees on Saturday voted to accept steep concessions to their contract as part of a deal that is expected to cut at least 150 jobs from the newsroom and other departments, yet keep the paper from closing.
* Excela Health will cut another 70 jobs from both management and the rank-and-file in an effort to save $6 million in operating costs, hospital officials announced Friday.
* SYLVA – Weak demand caused by the housing slump is forcing the closure of the T&S Hardwoods sawmill, putting 76 employees out of work.
“We’re all tied to the housing industry. If you don’t build, you don’t use lumber,” said Jack Swanner, general manager at the mill.
* CHICAGO, March 14 (UPI) — One of Chicago’s top law firms has laid off 89 lawyers and 140 staffers, a leaked internal memo indicates.
The memo said Sidley Austin’s London office also would be downsized, although few details were included, The Chicago Tribune reported.
* Local glass-fiber products maker Dielectric Solutions laid off an undisclosed number of workers this week, but remains operational, as the slowing economy continues to take its toll on manufacturing companies.
* Michelin has handed pink slips to another 42 workers in Nova Scotia.
This time the layoffs affect flexible work staff at the tire-maker’s plants in Bridgewater and Granton, Pictou County, said Karen Gordon, a company spokeswoman in Toronto.
* Yesterday afternoon, all 40 United Steelworkers at Hexpol Compounding in Magog learned of their plant closing as of June 26.
*More than 300 union members at Welsh Country Foods abattoir in Gaerwen and over 500 union workers at Grampian Country Foods sites in Llangefni and Sandycroft will join a national action over a jobs cull.
* Tesco’s decision to move some of its logistics operations in-house has led to 150 DHL Exel Supply Chain employees being made redundant.
* Halliwells has launched its fourth redundancy consultation with up to 30 jobs under threat, while the UK top 50 law firm’s entire 2009 trainee intake has been deferred.
* Meat-processing firm Dunbia has announced that 80 of its Westmeath workforce will lose their jobs.
* A MASSIVE blow to Worthing’s ailing employment situation has been dealt by insurance giant Norwich Union.
The company has brought forward by 12 months the closure of its site at The Warren, Broadwater, and a fresh raft of redundancy notices have been issued to many of the remaining 430 staff.
* SINGAPORE (AFP) — Struggling Singaporean digital entertainment products maker Creative Technology is to cut 300 jobs globally, mostly in Europe and the United States, the company said.
* DUBLIN’S biggest five-star hotel, The Shelbourne, has been forced to cut jobs less than two years after it re-opened following a major renovation.
The top hotel, which is part of the luxury Marriott hotel group, announced the job losses admitting that the recession has been taking its toll on the business.
* About half of the 400-strong workforce of the Keppel Cebu Shipyard Inc. in Lapu-Lapu City will be displaced once the company closes its ship repair services to focus on ship building.
* WASHINGTON — Layoffs may be sweeping the United States, but one enterprise is hiring roughly 1.4 million people nationwide at salaries of $10 to $25 an hour: the 2010 census.
A small army of laborers will be needed to locate, count and categorize each of the nation’s residents. This spring, 140,000 workers will verify addresses across the country, and in 2010, an estimated 1.2 million census employees will take to the streets to gather information from Americans who didn’t return their census forms, according to U.S. Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner.
The bureau has received an overwhelming response, Buckner said — more than 1 million applicants just for those first 140,000 jobs. Moreover, he’s been hearing from regional census directors that the pool of applicants has been very strong.
Mike: Happy Friday the 13th to all. In these economic times it’s job loss that you have to worry about, not the black cat. Today ended up being a relatively quiet day for larger layoffs, but that’s no consolation to those who did lose their jobs this day.
Mike: First let me say that I find most elected Democrats spineless worms and most elected Republicans hypocritical buffoons, so this isn’t a slam about a party. And please don’t sic Rush on me, since I am merely a humble blogger trying to bring my readers some news.
The following is a rather lengthy rant against a grandstanding governor that finds it politically advantageous to deny expanded unemployment benefits for the citizens he governs even though unemployment is rising and the state’s unemployment funding is running low. Oh, and let me not forget that his state has the highest number of homeless children in the country, which is rising due to unemployment!
The stories below show just how confused is TX governor, Rick Perry. Seems that Mr. Perry doesn’t want the extra unemployment benefits that are part of the stimulus package. Yet he is gleefully accepting the remainder of the stimulus funds that will be aimed at giving businesses millions in federal dollars, but he won’t accept funds for those that were laid off by those same businesses. Many businesses will gladly use the largess of the federal funding to increase their salaries and pay bonuses to executives, but when those funds are directed to the unemployed, the governor thinks it’s a bad idea. Sure, businesses can create jobs, but unemployment benefits help those that can’t yet find a job. To see how senseless the governor’s foolish stubbornness is, see the story titled Texas ranks worst for homeless children. The TX governor doesn’t seem to see a connection between the state’s increasing number of homeless children and unemployment benefits being exhausted. I can only conclude that he’s comfortable with an increasing number of homeless children, but is damned set against a better funded unemployment package, which will likely keep more children in their home until the economy improves.
Mr. Perry will take federal money for road work, which demands that states have laws regarding seat belts and speed limits, but if the feds want to mess with unemployment he brings up the lame excuse of federal interference. Governor, take off that over-sized Stetson and take a look at how your decision to refuse improved unemployment funding affects the citizens and especially the children of your state. The bottom line is that Mr. Perry appears more concerned about a conservative business mantra than conserving the well being of children and families during this time of financial crises. Here are the stories that need to be considered, Mr. Perry:
* HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday rejected $555 million in federal stimulus money that would expand state unemployment benefits, saying the money would have required the state to keep funding the expanded benefits after the stimulus money ran out. Perry, an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill, did accept most of the roughly $17 billion slated for Texas in the plan.
But he said the requirements attached to the federal stimulus money would require a change in the state’s definition of unemployment, expanding coverage to more people and placing more of the state’s tax burden on employers.
Mike: At least there are a few Texans that are thinking clearly, but it’s unfortunate that they don’t hold sway:
* • Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, responded to Perry’s refusal of funds for the unemployed by saying the decision will harm Texan families.
“Gov. Perry’s decision will harm many Texas families. With 26,000 Texans filing new unemployment claims each week, Texans need help now. I am amazed that Gov. Perry would put partisan interests above the interest of already unemployed Texans and those who will unfortunately lose their jobs due to the economy.”
Mike: Here we have a TX county that is seeing its unemployment rate spike to decade high levels, yet Mr. Perry is adamant about not taking federal funds for unemployment:
*AUSTIN – Texas is blowing through its unemployment insurance trust fund, making a tax hike for employers almost a certainty next year, officials said Tuesday.
The state paid $64 million in benefits last week, more than twice as much as in the same week last year, Texas Workforce Commission administrators told a special House panel studying the federal stimulus package.
Larry Temple, the commission’s executive director, testified that the trust fund is expected to have just $48 million on Oct. 1, when it is required by law to have $860 million.
“We’re going to have some tax increases,” he said.
Mike: And here is a little more some common sense from TX:
* Political theater is being played out in Austin at the expense of people who are hurting.
Gov. Rick Perry has yet to say whether he will accept $555 million in stimulus money to assist the unemployed.
Simply put, we are about to see if ideology trumps human need. We are about to see if Texas again leaves federal money on the table, dollars other states gladly will take.
First, let’s point out why the stimulus money is there. OK, it’s self-evident. We’re facing the worst economy since the Great Depression.
Mike: In conclusion, it’s amazing to me that political types like Perry use the unemployed as a foil against the notion of federal intrusion into improved unemployment benefits. Congratulations, Mr. Perry, you won that battle against the have-nots, but then again, your foe doesn’t have much of a lobby presence at the statehouse:
* A new study is showing Texas is the worst in the United States when it comes to the number of homeless children. Whether layoffs or pay cuts, it seems some families just can’t seem to find a way out of financial problems.
The numbers of homeless here in Laredo is also on the rise.
According to that study, 5 percent of children living in Texas are homeless and even local shelters are beginning to see more families looking for help.
Mike: I think Colbert has the right idea: )
- Sportsman’s Warehouse to cut 2000
- Roche-Genentech Takeover Will Cost 1,500 Jobs in N.J.
- Sunoco to cut 750 salaried jobs
- Advanced Energy announces 330 layoffs
- Sea Ray lays off 140
- Freightliner soon to cut over 2,000 area jobs (previously announced)
- Roche acquisition will lead to 400 job cuts in Nutley
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* Meanwhile, last week Google just announced it’s stepping up its free Google Health medical records service, which launched in May, by allowing patients to share records with friends and family. Records include everything from lab test results to prescriptions. Additionally, Google also just revealed that it’s pairing up with fellow tech powerhouse, IBM, for a software that enables people, like diabetes patients, to transfer data from glucose meters and other personal-health monitoring products directly to their Google Health records.
* The iPhone 3.0 countdown is officially on: Apple has announced plans to reveal the next generation of its iPhone operating system at a media event next Tuesday. While the company’s keeping up its usual wall of mystique, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most discussed features users want to see. I’m no psychic, but some of these seem to be shoo-ins for inclusion — and maybe the St. Patrick’s Day unveiling will bring a little Irish-style luck for your favorite feature.
* At least 200 people. That’s the best gauge of the depth of IBM’s secretive mass layoff at the Essex Junction microelectronics plant announced at the end of January.
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* Uncle Sam’s vaunted reputation as a boss who offers secure jobs to his workers is taking a hit from an Internal Revenue Service decision to lay off more than 1,400 employees, even as it plans 1,000 additional hires.
* OTTAWA, March 13 (Reuters) – Canada’s economy lost more jobs than expected in February as the global downturn triggered widespread layoffs, another sign the country’s recession may be more severe than many previously thought.
Statistics Canada said net job losses totaled 82,600 in the month, compared with forecasts for a decline of 52,500. It was the fourth straight month of declines.
* WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Independent stores and local businesses are closing up shop across the United States as the recession hits American cities’ main streets, the National League of Cities reported on Thursday.
Calling the trend a “retail meltdown,” the group said that in three out of five cities at least one local retailer has shut down in the past year.
* More than 400 teachers, counselors and special-program instructors will receive pink slips this week as the Capistrano Unified School District grapples with a $25 million budget shortfall for 2009-2010.
* The school board voted Wednesday to approve reduction-in-force layoffs for two program assistants, seven part-time teachers and nine full-time teachers. A community and business liaison was also not rehired for next year due to uncertain state and federal funding.
* Easterwood estimated that 12 to 15 state parks employees were laid off during the winter. The system is delaying hiring spring and summer seasonal help for as long as possible, he said. Very few full-time positions are being approved.
* TAMPA – The city plans to lay off another 20 employees over the next several months.
* Sportsman’s Warehouse will shutter 23 of its stores nationwide — including all three of its Minnesota outlets — as the Midvale, Utah-based retailer struggles to reduce debt.
Stores in Woodbury, Coon Rapids and St. Cloud will close in the next 60 days after completing liquidation sales, according to Stu Utgaard, chairman. About 200 employees in Minnesota will lose their jobs out of about 2,000 job cuts companywide, he said.
* Sportsman’s Warehouse of Utah will liquidate its Rogers store and 22 others and intends to sell 15 more stores to a Canadian cooperative, according to a notice posted on the company’s Web site late Tuesday.
* The Roche takeover of Genentech will cost 1,500 jobs in New Jersey as sales and marketing positions are axed there. R&D staff look more secure, according to the Star-Ledger. The company will also change its name to Genentech.
* Sunoco Inc. announced today that it will reduce its salaried workforce by approximately 750 positions in 2009, which represents about 20 percent of the workforce, in a move expected to save more than $300 million by year-end 2009.
* In January, the company said it would cut over 2,100 jobs due to sagging sales. The cuts will come from plants in Mount Holly — some 600 people — and Gastonia — some 275 people — in Gaston County and from the plant in the town of Cleveland – some 1,300 people — in Rowan County.
* More layoffs plagued Fort Collins today as Advanced Energy Industries Inc. announced it will be cutting 330 employees worldwide, which equates to 22 percent of its workforce.
Of that 330, 104 employees in Colorado will be losing their jobs. There are still 450 employees working locally for AE, said Lawrence Firestone, AE CEO.
* NEW YORK – United Technologies Corp. will cut about 1,500 jobs in Connecticut in 2009, or about 6 percent of its workforce in the state, Chief Executive Louis Chênevert said in an interview Thursday.
* Boston College is freezing some salaries and eliminating some administrative positions after its endowment dropped by 25 percent in the past six months, according to a letter by the college’s President William P. Leahy.
Non-salary operating expenses will be cut by 2 percent. An unspecified number of open administrative jobs will be cut, which is expected to generate about $1.5 million in savings, the letter to the college community said.
* DENVER – The owner of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center has announced it is laying off workers because of the economic downturn.
Kroenke Sports Enterprises executive vice president Paul Andrews wouldn’t reveal the number of employees let go because Kroenke Sports is a private company.
* PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) – PC Connection has laid off more than 60 workers in New Hampshire, citing poor sales since the economic downturn.
* GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — Viking Range Corp. has laid off 87 more employees, bringing the total since April to 213.
Wednesday’s layoffs were the fourth round for the maker of upscale kitchen appliances since last April. The company let 57 workers go last month.
* FARGO, N.D. – The Forum says it is eliminating 25 more full-time jobs and the Grand Forks Herald is cutting eight.
* In recent months, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has shuttered a third of its 23 retail stores around the country, including outlets in Century City and Pasadena, citing faltering revenue amid the nation’s economic crisis. Today the museum announced additional cuts in full- and part-time merchandising staff, bringing the total positions lost to 127.
* Law firm Blank Rome said Thursday it has laid off 27 associates and 52 support staff.
* Sidley Austin, one of Chicago’s top-tier law firms, laid off 89 lawyers and 140 staff employees in its U.S. offices Thursday, according to an internal firm memo the Tribune obtained.
* An Auburn auto-parts manufacturer says it’s laying off 152 workers. That’s half of Formed Fiber Technologies workforce, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.
* Sea Ray was hit again by the struggling economy on Thursday. The Knoxville plant laid off 70 employees, and the Riverview plant let go another 70 people, according to Brunswick, Inc. spokesman Dan Kubera.
The watercraft company did file warn notices with the state. The notices, which were filed Feb. 2, said the Riverview layoffs began March 9 and end May 30. Three-hundred workers would be affected. Sea Ray Vonore layoffs began Jan. 9 and affect 118 employees.
* Longtime Simpson College Sports Information Director Matt Turk was one of three Simpson employees laid off recently in what officials called a staff reorganization.
College officials do not plan to fill the sports information director position. Two additional full-time employees were laid off in the past two weeks, but their positions will be replaced, said Simpson College President John Byrd.
* lso, 32 full- and part-time positions will be eliminated when the childcare center at St. Vincent — which provides service to 60 families of employees or past employees — merges with a similar center at sister hospital St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center after the school year ends.
* Fry’s Food Stores laid off about 90 Arizona grocery workers Thursday in response to the deepening economic recession.
* U.S. Steel said today it is idling more production at its Clairton coke plant, citing continuing weak demand. The company did not say how many workers will be laid off.
The move follows last week’s announcement that about 1,500 workers at two of the steel producer’s Canadian mills would be laid off.
* You know times are tough when Big Bird and Cookie Monster can’t catch a break. Sesame Workshop, the non-profit producers of Sesame Street and other children’s programs will be eliminating 67 of its 355 staff positions, the New York based company announced today.
* ELLUS Health Inc. (TSX: BLU) disclosed that it has reduced its workforce by approximately 45%, effective immediately. The company did not disclose the number of employees that were laid off. As at December 31, 2007, BELLUS employed 170 people.
* The 15 to 20 people who will lose their jobs, were notified of the decision two weeks ago.
* Roche may shed more than 400 jobs next year at its Nutley office campus in the wake of its announced $47 billion acquisition of Genentech, a gene-based drug company.
* A German-based maker of juke boxes and vending machine equipment has announced it is closing its Gurnee, Ill. plant and shifting operations to Trumann, the American home of Baldwin Piano.
* Geiger International Inc., a Lake Mills manufacturer of office sofas and chairs, plans to lay off 34 employees by May 11.
* The company, which cut about 90 positions, said the restructuring would allow the company to operate for the next two years without additional equity financing.
* A company spokesman says the layoffs were made in an effort to manage costs and remain competitive in today’s market. Employees were informed of the layoffs Wednesday. There are currently 465 employees working at the Youngstown facility.
* The Forum, facing deteriorating economic conditions, announced Thursday the elimination of the equivalent of 25 full-time positions.
* Imperium Renewables, the Seattle-based biodiesel producer, has laid off 24 employees, a majority of the staff at its large Grays Harbor plant.
* With increasing budget pressure from the state of Georgia, Columbus State University eliminated 16.5 staff positions this week, laying off 12 employees.
* Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney is cutting 23 positions from its staff, hospital officials announced.
* Canada’s Bellus Health–formerly known as Neurochem–is cutting its staff by 40 percent.
* REDLANDS, Calif.—The Hershey Co. is closing down its Redlands distribution center and moving to Utah.
About 90 local jobs will be lost.
* Another 19 jobs have been eliminated at HealthNow Inc., the Buffalo-based parent company of BlueCross BlueShield of WNY.
* BRADENTON — A local boat supplier is cutting 24 jobs because of economic conditions affecting the marine industry.
Taylor Made Systems, a manufacturer of windshields and canvas products for boat builders, notified the state Thursday that it would be laying off one-fourth of its work force.
* Zurich-based Panalpina said it would cut between 1,400 and 1,600 jobs across all operations in response to “clearly declining freight volumes caused by the current financial and economic crisis.
* The workforce will be reduced to 1,800 from 2,600 as large parts of the software are already developed, according to the newspaper. SAP will transfer most of the programmers to its flagship project Business Suite, the FTD said.
* ANZ has confirmed it will cut 500 jobs, mostly from its Melbourne operations, and move them to India by the end of the year.
* RECRUITMENT firm Michael Page International has become the latest recruitment company to slash staff in the deepening economic crisis, axing 50 jobs and warning that more could follow.
* NCRI – 2,000 part-time workers were laid-off in Rolling and Pipes Mill Corporation (ARPCO) in the southwestern city of Ahwaz.
* Baker & McKenzie’s London office has launched a formal redundancy consultation that will see the loss of between 60 and 85 jobs.
* Forty-five jobs have been lost with the closure of a BMW car dealership in Limerick.
* In total, 41 people have been made redundant at the Wester Gourdie firm.
* BANGALORE: Blackstone-owned Gokaldas Exports, which reported its first ever loss in the last quarter, has unleashed a fresh restructuring
exercise slashing 3,000 jobs and shutting three of its units in Bangalore.
* Up to 13 warehouse staff will be axed after more than 70 per cent turned down a 34-hour working week in a ballot.
* SeaWorld, Aquatica and Discovery Cove said Wednesday they are aggressively hiring 450 people for the Spring Break season, which runs from April 4 through April 19.
* The Johns Creek and Sandy Springs joint 911 Center is scheduled to be fully operational in late summer. As part of the start-up process, the center is focusing on hiring 53 full time employees.
* A job fair promising a paycheck for 100 people in nearby LaGrange, Ga., is shaping up to be a hot draw.
Cellular phone company T-Mobile will be recruiting Monday and Tuesday to fill positions at its national returns center.
* The Internal Revenue Service is now accepting applications locally for qualified revenue agents to work in the Large and Mid-Size Business Division’s Toledo and Lima offices.
Available positions include Audit Team Members who conduct tax examinations of large and mid-sized corporations. The starting salary range for these positions is from $67,613 to $80,402 depending upon education and experience.
* Exodus Machines, Inc. promises to create 21 jobs in the next few months, growing to 82 full-time employees within five years. Workers are expected to average about $25 per hour with benefits.
Mike: Today ended up being a relatively quiet day for larger layoffs, but that’s no consolation to those who did lose their jobs this day. After a busy week, I need a laugh. I hope you all have a fine weekend……………..
March 12 – Jobless claims rise 9,000 to 654,000 – Record 5.3 million collecting unemployment – PPG exits 2,500 – US Hexion to slash about 1000 – Methode Electronics dumps 850 and moving jobs off shore – Dell continues job cuts – Bronco Drilling Lays Off > 600 – Bausch & Lomb eyes 500 cuts – Foreclosures up 30 percent in February – Chrysler threatens to pull out of Canada
Mike: Good day to all. Today’s big news comes from the labor department at 8:30 and that is the Jobless Claims number, and here it is:
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Signaling persistent labor market weakness, the number of workers filing initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 654,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The smoothed average of new claims over the past four weeks rose 6,750 to 650,000 — the highest level since October 1982. The number of people receiving unemployment checks in the week ending Feb. 28 rose 193,000 to a record 5.32 million. The four-week average of these ongoing claims increased 124,250 to 5.14 million, also a record high level.
Mike: There are some locations where the recession is more like a depression. During the 1930s, the depression jobless rate was about 20%:
Marion County has the second highest unemployment rate in the state. The 22 percent unemployment doesn’t even factor in recent layoffs at the Beneteau boat plant and the closing of US components.
According to unemployment officials, this is the highest unemployment rate Marion County’s seen in 19 years.
- Methode To Cut Nearly 25% (850) Of Work Force
- AARP cuts 240 jobs
- Bausch & Lomb to cut 500 worldwide
- Foreclosures up 30 percent in February
- Bronco Drilling Lays Off More Than 600
- US Hexion to slash 15% of workforce
- Chrysler threatens to pull out of Canada
- PPG to cut 2,500 jobs in restructuring
- Delta Airlines to take control of Skywest; 300 Utah jobs in jeopardy
- Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
– Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News –
* The Apple rumor mill is running amok these days. Inside sources tell all about Apple layoffs and of a mysterious Apple device in the works, likely a large iPod Touch, rumored to hit the market this fall. (As always, there isn’t a peep of confirmation out of Cupertino.)
* It’s hard to make sense of the conflicting reports of recent layoffs at Apple (AAPL). Valleywag’s gossip editor in two separate posts said as many as 50 employees were laid off here and there.
8:30 AM ET
* WASHINGTON, March 12 (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose 9,000 last week and so-called continued claims notched a fresh record as a year-long U.S. recession continued to slam the labor market, data on Thursday showed.
8:30 AM ET
The 0.1 percent decrease reflected a slump in demand for cars and followed a revised 1.8 percent jump in January, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Purchases excluding automobiles unexpectedly climbed 0.7 percent.
10:00 AM ET
The Commerce Department said December’s inventories were revised to show a 1.6 percent drop, previously reported as a 1.3 percent decline. Motor vehicle and parts inventories dived 4.4 percent in January, the steepest drop since July 2005, it said.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast business inventories falling 1.0 percent in January.
* The ranks of the unemployed now total 12.5 million people. One of them is Al Martinez, who was recently laid off in January from his job as a columnist for The Los Angeles Times. In a recent post on his personal blog, Mr. Martinez describes the “intense feelings of rejection” that accompany sudden unemployment.
* WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite halts on new foreclosures by several major lenders, the number of households threatened with losing their homes rose 30 percent in February from last year’s levels, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.
Nationwide, nearly 291,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice last month, up 6 percent from January, according to the Irvine, Calif-based company. While foreclosures are highly concentrated in the Western states and Florida, the problem is spreading to states like Idaho, Illinois and Oregon as the U.S. economy worsens.
* Sarasota County will eliminate 56 positions from its workforce of roughly 2,200 in preparation for a mid-year budget reduction March 23.
* DENHAM SPRINGS — Denham Springs city government laid off 10 employees as a result of tough economic times, Mayor Jimmy Durbin confirmed Wednesday.
* Regions Financial Corp. laid off at least seven workers at its local loan center in the Birmingham area as part of a minor work force adjustment, a spokesman said.
* The board voted to lay off 150 educational assistants, despite objections from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4400, which said layoffs could have been avoided.
* WINDER – Barrow County Commissioners voted 4-2 Tuesday night to reorganize two of the county’s departments, a move that will eliminate two jobs, demote one worker and change responsibilities for some who are left.
* Howard County’s health department has begun layoffs that may total 15 workers by June 30, as officials say slumping income tax and real estate revenues push a projected county budget shortfall toward $10 million in the current fiscal year.
* PPG Industries Inc (PPG.N), the world’s second-largest paint and coatings maker, said on Thursday it will cut 2,500 jobs in a restructuring plan aimed at saving $140 million annually.
* PPG Industries said today it will slash about 2,500 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring plan that is designed to save the paints, glass and chemicals maker about $140 million annually.
* Methode Electronics Inc. (MEI) will cut 850 jobs as the company looks to reduce its exposure to the North American auto industry. Meanwhile, the company swung to a fiscal third-quarter loss on write-downs and restructuring charges.
The company said it would also move manufacturing operations to lower-cost regions to cut costs. After the restructuring, all its manufacturing will be in Mexico, Malta and China.
* Weyerhaeuser will lay off 59 employees at a sawmill in Warrenton, according to a state filing.
A spokesman for the Federal Way, Wash.-based timber giant did not immediately return a call for comment.
* The District-based organization will cut about 240 of its 2,400 jobs nationwide, according to The Hill, citing Kevin Donnellan, AARP’s chief communications officer.
* Dell Inc, the world’s No. 2 maker of personal computers, is cutting more jobs this week as it continues to retool operations.
Dell declined on Wednesday to disclose how many people it is laying off, saying only that they are taking place at its assembly facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and in Central Texas.
The company, which cut 11,000 jobs last fiscal year, is trying to overhaul its cost structure in the face of a punishing recession.
“I can confirm a global workforce reduction this week as part of our ongoing effort to streamline our business,” said Dell spokesman David Frink.
* The Nashville Business Journal reported today that pink slips will proliferate among workers today at Dell’s manufacturing plant in Lebanon and its distribution center in Nashville, which employ about 3,200 Middle Tennesseans.
A spokesman for Dell didn’t specify how many, though he did say most would be notified by the end of the day. via Nashville – Nashville Scene – Pith in the Wind – Dell Layoffs Coming to Nashville and Lebanon Today
David Frink, a Dell spokesman, declined to provide numbers for specific locations, but sources within the company said the cuts would number in the hundreds.
* Bausch & Lomb Inc. plans to let go of more than 500 employees worldwide and close a plant in India by year’s end.
In a memorandum sent this week to B&L employees, Chief Executive Gerald Ostrov said the company is making cuts from its administrative ranks and at its contact lens manufacturing site in Waterford, Ireland. Combined, the company will cut 495 positions.
* Bronco investor relations official Bob Jarvis says 604 employees have been laid off and the salaries of field employees cut by about 10 percent.
* Niles America Wintech Incorporated will cut at least 150 workers during the next few months.
Gecom Corporation is closings its plant in April or May – cutting 168 jobs in Winchester.
The third company to announce cuts is Ainak Incorporated, which will transfer its molding process from Winchester, to facilities in China and Indonesia.
*HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics factory laid off 11 full-time employees on Monday, according to William Seiberlich of the Saint-Gobain Corp.
* Gas pump manufacturing company Dresser Wayne recently cut 200 jobs, or 10 percent of it’s worldwide workforce.
* Tufts University has frozen some salaries and laid off more than a dozen staff members but says it will be able to balance its budget for the next two years despite a projected 30 percent dip in its endowment.
* Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of Sesame Street and other kids’ programs, is cutting about one-fifth of its work force because of the economic downturn.
* AOL LLC announced in January it was sharpening the job-cutting ax with the goal of eliminating up to 10 percent of its workforce. Now the ax has fallen. AOL began firing employees Monday, including some at its Dulles operations, according to a report in The Washington Post.
. * ARKADELPHIA (AP) — Ouachita Baptist University says it will cut about 12 percent of its administrative and staff positions, but no faculty members are to lose their jobs. via OBU Announces Staff Cuts - ArkansasBusiness.com .
* Galichia Heart Hospital is eliminating about six full-time staff members as part of a reorganization effort that centers on being more efficient. via Galichia restructures, eliminates six jobs – Wichita Business Journal:
* Altra Holdings Inc. said it has cut nearly 12 percent of its work force company-wide through the end of February.
* He said the exact number of job cuts won’t be known for five or six days. He did not say how much production would be reduced.
* FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The Fresno Bee will lay off 63 workers and cut salaries in order to reduce expenses in a weak advertising market.
* The UJA-Federation of New York is laying-off 15% of its workforce, according to a person familiar with the matter. The layoffs at the charity, which is often described as the world’s largest local charity organization, are a sign of the tough economic times. Tough fund raising in the year ahead is being blamed for the cutbacks.
* HOPKINS CO., KY (WFIE) – More layoffs in Hopkins County at the International Automotive Components plant.
The company said 23 hourly workers will be laid off March 16.
* A tough economy is forcing O’Brien Steel to do something it hasn’t had to do since the recession of 1982. The company laid off 32 workers this week.
* 12 March 2009 – Kerry Ingredients France, part of the Kerry group, will cut 164 positions at its Apt (Vaucluse) plant. The plant, which employs about 330 people, would see its workforce reduced by half.
* GKN laid off a total of 53 hourly workers and 11 salaried employees from facilities in Mebane, Roxboro and Auburn Hills, Mich., according to a press release Wednesday. The Mebane facility is located on Trollingwood-Hawfields Road and employs 545 other workers. The exact number of impacted workers at the Mebane site was not released.
* A Firestone official has verified the pending layoff of 71 employees at the Prescott Firestone Building Products facility.
* The orchestra let 12 staff members go Wednesday. Six positions will go unfilled, reducing administrative staff 20 percent.
* There have been layoffs recently, including 100 employees of the Whistler Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard School.
* The University of Tennessee Medical Center laid off 15 employees Wednesday.
* Dismal sales of chips that go into cellphones prompted National Semiconductor to announce Wednesday that it will shut down its Arlington plant.
The plant, which opened in 1985, employs 340 people and will be closed in phases over the next 18 to 21 months, said John Conn, vice president and managing director of the Arlington site.
* Owens Corning confirmed yesterday that nearly 50 workers at the company’s Guelph plant were laid off earlier this week.
* Twenty-one workers were issued layoff notices late last month. The non-unionized workers have not been placed on a recall list.
* GLADE SPRING, Va. – Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co. will close its plant here May 15, the company announced this week.
According to a letter sent to Washington County, to comply with the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, 119 jobs will be eliminated.
* Meritor Suspension Systems Co. has announced that it plans to close permanently the Steeles Avenue plant by the end of 2009, putting 165 people out of work.
* Closing the lumber mill, the company’s last operation in the city, would affect about 23 workers. Kolakowski said that Frank Chervan officials said some of those workers would be offered work in Roanoke.
* FARMINGTON — Acting on the continued slump in natural gas prices, ConocoPhillips laid off 22 workers from its San Juan Basin work force, corporate officials confirmed Wednesday.
* Seventeen positions have been cut through layoffs at Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, and another seven jobs open through attrition will not be filled, hospital officials said.
* Hundreds of workers slated to be laid off at the former Stelco are just months short of qualifying for their pensions.
Now union leaders are asking U.S. Steel to bridge these employees so that they can begin collecting their pensions — rather than rely on Employment Insurance.
* Excel Polymers, LLC announced on Wednesday that roughly 80 employees have been permanently laid off from its Dyersburg facility, with cuts affecting both hourly and salaried personnel.
* The workforce reduction resulted in 44 jobs lost company wide, including 33 in Massachusetts, a company spokeswoman said.
* Genesee & Wyoming Inc (GWR.N) will furlough 50 more employees in the next 30 days, in addition to 95 furloughed so far, the railroad operator said during its investor conference call.
Genesee has also reduced about 10 percent of its locomotive fleet since the beginning of 2009 and cut working hours to keep pace with the low demand.
* HOUSTON (ICIS news)–US producer Hexion Specialty Chemicals plans to cut about 15% of its workforce this year on expectations that the global recession will last through 2009 and potentially beyond, the company said on Thursday.
Hexion currently employs 7,000 workers, according to its website.
* Crane Merchandising Systems, a division of Crane Co., announced that it will close its St. Louis, Mo. area manufacturing facility in order to consolidate its vending equipment manufacturing operations in Williston, S.C.
* The three other plants slated for closure are: Hamel, Minn.; Lumber Bridge, N.C.; and Franklin Park, Ill. All of the closings, which come under Signature Aluminum US, are expected to be completed in the next several weeks.
A steep downturn in the economy and the aluminum industry, along with a tightening credit market, are being blamed for the plant closings.
Employing about 280 locally, the plant sharply curtailed its operations at the start of the month to fewer than 30 workers.
* The plan is to shift production to New York City, meaning that 15 to 20 workers will be out of a job.
* OTTAWA (AP) — A top Chrysler official issued a grim threat to Canadian lawmakers, warning the struggling U.S. automaker may shut down its plants in Canada if it doesn’t get significant labor concessions and government aid.
“Chrysler LLC cannot afford to manufacture products in a jurisdiction that is uncompetitive, relative to other jurisdictions,” president Tom LaSorda told a Parliamentary committee Wednesday night.
* Twelve people in eastern P.E.I. will lose their jobs over the next two months as Cabinetmaster winds down operations at its facility in Lower Montague.
*SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Delta Airlines announced Thursday that they will take control of ground baggage operations for Sky West, a regional airline associated with Delta.
* HELENA – The Montana Tunnels metal mine near Jefferson City has issued 60-day layoff notices to about 90 percent of its remaining work force. That’s because lower commodities prices and the global credit crisis have made it difficult to find investors.
* Staff at Wrekin Construction were called to a meeting at the company’s head office in Shifnal at 4pm today where the majority, believed at be about 450 workers, were made redundant with immediate effect. The company employs 530 workers.
* Finland’s largest telecommunications operator TeliaSonera is cutting at least 318 jobs from its broadband unit in Finland. In Helsinki, 154 jobs are going, while Jyväskylä will lose 50 and Tampere will lose 30 TeliaSonera jobs.
* Finnish machinery and equipment hire group Ramirent said in a statement Thursday it had decided to cut a further 150 jobs after a 26-per cent year-on-year drop in January-to-February sales.
. * Sofia. 719 people of Navigation Maritime Bulgare’s ships crew will be laid off,company’s Executive Director Hristo Donev told Focus News Agency.
* THE North-east’s last remaining paper mill yesterday announced plans to axe 10 per cent of its workforce.
Around 48 jobs are expected to go at Stoneywood Mill, near Bucksburn, Aberdeen.
* NCR, the cash-machine manufacturer based in Dundee since post-World War II, has announced plans to cut about 250 jobs.
* Vodafone Turkey has announced plans to cut approximately 260 jobs as part of a restructuring program after reporting a 14.5% decline in revenue for the fourth quarter 2008.
* Time Warner Inc’s AOL said on Thursday it is closing a research unit in China, shedding 56 jobs as part of global cost cutting measures.
* THE Gwent resort hosting next year’s Ryder Cup made 48 people redundant last month and may have to axe up to 22 more posts.
* Baker & McKenzie’s London office has launched a formal redundancy consultation that will see the loss of between 60 and 85 jobs.
* The Department of Parliamentary Services will cut about 25 security jobs from Parliament House by the middle of the year.
* Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele recently stated that the company would be laying off 36 employees, from their manufacturing and administration arms. The cut does not represent an immense portion of their labor force, but such companies are not known for making hasty lay-off decisions.
* In the Laurens County community of Clinton, a new company called Force V Environmental LLC plans to employ 189 people at a new vinyl window and door factory, said Marvin Moss, executive director of the Laurens County Development Corp., the county’s industrial recruiting organization.
* WILLISTON — More jobs will come to Barnwell County when Crane Co. consolidates its vending operations into its Dixie-Narco facility in Williston.
The announcement came Wednesday from Gov. Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Barnwell County and SCANA. The consolidation of the North American vending operations to South Carolina has the potential to increase employment at the Barnwell County facility by 1,000 jobs over the next five years. Hiring is expected to begin within the next 14 months.
Mike: Another busy day with unemployment claims rising and a record number of people still collecting unemployment. That’s enough bad news for the day, so let’s end it with a laugh…………
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