Archive for December, 2008

Wednesday – Motorola Hangs Up on 400 – Interface Rolls 530 (out the door) – MSFT Rumors Still Floating – Toledo Ends 1000 Jobs – Jobless Claims Drop 94,000

                    

Mike: Wednesday should be a relatively light layoff day as companies prepare for the upcoming holiday. Once the new year begins, the layoff news will likely be more active

The important unemployment number is the number of laid-off workers continuing to draw unemployment benefits increasing by 140,000. This indicates that it’s more difficult to find new work once you are released from a job.  The reduced unemployment claims (-94,000) have to be attributed to a holiday shortened work week and the desire of some employers to keep workers on the payroll through the holidays. And for some companies, it’s just bad PR to layoff during the holidays. 

What I don’t understand is why both the continuing claims increasing by 140,000 and the new claims dropping by 94,000 were both unexpected. 

 

 

* WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of laid-off workers continuing to draw unemployment benefits has surged again, as finding new jobs becomes even more difficult amid a deepening recession.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that people continuing to draw unemployment benefits increased by a larger-than-expected 140,000 to 4.5 million for the week ending Dec. 20, the most recent period for which that information is available. That was the most since early December 1982, when the country was emerging from a deep recession, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.

via Continuing jobless claims rise sharply in December: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Jobless claims drop by much more than expected –  

* WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits slumped 94,000 last week, government data on Wednesday showed, but seasonal factors were likely behind this unexpectedly large decline with the labor market remaining very soft.

 

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 492,000 in the week ended Dec 27 from an unrevised 586,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. It was the lowest reading for initial claims since the week ended November 1, 2008 and the steepest decline since 1992.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 565,000 new claims as the country’s year-long recession continued to chill employment, and a separate reading on so-called continued claims hit a 26-year high.

A Labor Department official said the timing of the year-end holidays and volatility in seasonal factors was likely to blame for the large decline in initial weekly claims and warned this situation could persist for several more weeks.

via Jobless claims drop by much more than expected: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Microsoft News/Rumors -

 

* SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Speculation has surfaced that Microsoft Corp. might have to move beyond its current hiring slowdown and even cut jobs, as Wall Street analysts pare their outlook for the company amid the economic gloom.

Rumors of layoffs at Microsoft emerged last week on a Web site published by an anonymous, self-described employee who writes as “Mini-Microsoft.” A number of comments from posters describing themselves as fellow employees pegged mid-January as a timeframe for as much as 10% of Microsoft’s roughly 95,000 jobs to be cut.

via Speculation about Microsoft cutbacks heats up - MarketWatch .

 

* If the rumored layoffs do go down, will it be the price Microsoft pays for the over-hiring during the past few years that has led to 94,286 employees worldwide? Mini-Microsoft thinks so.

“Let’s say we are having intensive cutbacks and/or RIFs and layoffs. It is absolutely essential that Microsoft steps back and asks, ‘Whoa, how did we get here and who was leading us?’ How did we go on a drunken hiring binge and continue it even though a year ago most of us realized we were dropping into a recession? It’s irresponsible leadership.”

via Microsoft Layoffs: A Fire or Just Blowing Smoke? – CIO – Blogs and Discussion.

 

* Reportedly, Microsoft has already started the internal drill of informing employees that the company is readying major layoffs to its worldwide operations and it’s not a small cut either. As per the various blogs, insiders feel that things are looking grim while a few managers have leaked information about substantial workforce reductions on January 15, 2009.

So effectively, the company seems to be toying with the idea of pruning about 10 per cent of its 90,000 strong workforce to tide over the downturn which, according to net reports, could go up to 15,000 or 17 per cent of the total workforce.

via MS in mess: Is Microsoft headed for layoffs?- Jobs-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times.

 

Microsoft getting ready to lay off 17% of staff *

via Fudzilla.

 

Mass Microsoft Layoffs Confirmed? *

General Economic News -

 

Mike: While a furlough is preferable to a layoff, it still strains household budgets that depend on a steady income. This is a tactic that will be used more often in the new year.  Companies that take the furlough route must believe that their ecnomic fortunes will soon change and that keeping their employees is better than laying them off and possibly losing them.

 

* NEW YORK (AP) — Here’s the vacation no one wants, courtesy of the recession: Forced time off without pay.

Financially struggling universities, factories and even hospitals are requiring employees to take unpaid “furloughs” — temporary layoffs that amount to one-time pay cuts for workers and a cost savings for employers. This year, the number of temporarily laid off workers hit a 17-year high.

“If they do it once, I think it’s easier for them to try to do it again,” said Carrie Swartout, who researches traumatic brain injuries at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Maryland is requiring unpaid time off for 67,000 of its 80,000 employees as it struggles with a budget crisis. The state says the furloughs will save an estimated $34 million during the fiscal year.

State governments, facing lower revenues but stymied by the long process required to cut public sector jobs, are using furloughs as a quick way to trim payrolls. Private-sector businesses — from automakers to small businesses — are shutting down factories and offices as sales drop.

via The Associated Press: Companies force workers to take unpaid vacation.

 

Mike: I shouldn’t be surprised that a politician is willing to stop unemployment payments to 77,000 for a demand that has little to do with the people who are due their payment. I saw this same tactic back in the 90s when the senate Republicans held back their support for extending unemployment because they were concerned that people take advantage of the program. While some certainly do, the vast majority would rather be working than collecting a couple hundred dollars a week.  While an audit request is the governor’s right, it shouldn’t be used to threaten unemployment benefits.

 

* AIKEN, S.C. – Time is running out for the 77,000 people who collect unemployment benefits in South Carolina.

On Thursday the state must stop printing checks unless Governor Mark Sanford requests a $146-million federal loan to bail out the state’s unemployment agency.

Governor Mark Sanford says he will not request that $146- million federal loan until he has it in writing that the Employment Security Commission will agree to an audit by the state’s watchdog agency.

via South Carolina could be running out of unemployment money | Breaking News, Weather, Sports and Entertainment for Georgia and South Carolina | Local News .

 

Mike: Some yearly layoff tracking of high tech jobs in Oregon:

 

* Tallying tech layoffs at year’s end

Categories: Job cuts

Through November, Oregon’s high-tech employment was down 2,400 jobs from a year earlier. That decline, 4.1 percent, is the sector’s steepest fall since February 2004.

via Tallying tech layoffs at year’s end – Silicon Forest – The Oregonian – OregonLive.com.

 

* Computer maker Dell Inc. said Wednesday that Michael Cannon, president of global operations, and Mark Jarvis, chief marketing officer, will leave the company as part of a global restructuring.

 

- Municipal News -

 

* Major layoffs are coming to the city of Toledo. Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner’s office sent the letters out today. According to the president of local-seven, city employees with local-seven and AFSCME Local 2058, which represent more than 1,000 union workers, received notice today from the mayor’s office that they’ll be laid off beginning Friday, February 13th.

via City layoffs - 12/30/08 – Toledo News – 13abc.com.

 

* The Finkbeiner administration sent out more than 1,000 layoff notices yesterday to city employees for a citywide shutdown that could last for up to a week of all nonsafety service employees.

“The number of days has yet to be determined, but the first workday [of the layoff] would be Tuesday, Feb. 17, since that Monday is a holiday,” said Robert Reinbolt, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner’s chief of staff. “It will certainly be through that week. Whether it extends into the next week is yet to be determined.”

via toledoblade.com — 1,000 city employees get notice of layoffs.

 

* WOONSOCKET — With officials raising the possibility of laying off as many as a third of the community’s police officers and firefighters, the City Council and representatives of Mayor Susan D. Menard met in closed session for about three hours Monday night to ponder a response to the expected loss of $3.2 million in non-school state aid.

via In Woonsocket, layoffs loom | projo.com | The Providence Journal Woonsocket | .

 

BRIDGEPORT — Another 51 city employees are being laid off as officials continue cutting costs to plug a $20 million deficit and avoid a possible state takeover of city finances.

via Bridgeport lays off 51 workers – The Connecticut Post Online.

 

* BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. – Commissioners in Beaver County have approved the 2009 budget, but it requires hardships in the form of layoffs to cover a deficit of more than $1 million.

Department heads and row offices were delivered a mandate to cut budgets by 10 percent with layoffs expected.

via 2009 Beaver Co. Budget Considers Layoffs – News- msnbc.com.

 

 

 

dilbert12-31

dilbert12-31

 

 
- US and some Canada News -

 

Motorola (MOT) will fire another 400 employees to cut costs, the struggling cellphone maker said today in a SEC filing. That’ll be another $25 million in Q4 severance charges.

That’s in addition to the roughly 1,500 employees Motorola decided to fire in October. So since the beginning of last year, Motorola has announced some 12,000 job cuts.

via Motorola Firing 400 More Workers (MOT).

 

* Schaumburg-based Motorola Inc. said late Tuesday that it approved cost reductions that would include 400 layoffs, according to a federal filing.

Motorola said the action was approved Dec. 23 to cut the 400 workers, which would result in a pretax charge, or write-off, of about $25 million during its fourth quarter, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

via Daily Herald | Motorola outlines layoffs in SEC document.

 

Distributor Baker & Taylor has laid off 60 of 3000 staffers in a restructuring aimed to emphasize its library and education outreach and to reduce resources directed to home entertainment retailers.

via Baker & Taylor Layoffs Target Retail, Not Libraries – 12/30/2008 – Library Journal.

 

* Dec 30 (Reuters) – Modular carpet manufacturer Interface Inc (IFSIA.O) said it will cut 14 percent of its global workforce, or 530 jobs, and cease manufacturing operations at its facility in Belleville, Canada, to reduce costs amid softening demand.

via UPDATE 1-Interface to cut 530 jobs; sees Q4 charges | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .

 

* Actavis Totowa announced today that it has agreed to temporarily close its Falls River, New Jersey manufacturing facility, as well as another in Riverview and a packaging plant in Taft as part of a Consent Decree it has reached with federal regulators.  The Falls River Actavis plant made several generic drugs, including Digitek, that were subject to recalls this year.

via Actavis Agrees to Close Digitek Plant.

 

* The only good news Tuesday for about 257 Sealed Air Cryovac employees is that they might have a job for another ten months.

Sealed Air Corp. sent letters to Cedar Rapids employees indicating that the company will be closing the food packaging plant at 1125 Wilson Ave. SW in six to 10 months.

via Sealed Air to close C.R. plant in 2009 | GazetteOnline.com – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City.

 

* Several NewsChannel 9 news department staffers have opted for retirement or have been given layoff notices.

They include some some producers and assignment editors, including several with long tenures at the local TV station.

via 12/30/2008 – NewsChannel 9 Has Layoffs, Retirements In News Department – Happenings – Chattanoogan.com.

 

* GREENSBORO — Roadway Express and Yellow Transportation in Kernersville expect 200 to 500 employees to be affected by layoffs and the closing of a trucking terminal in March, a company official said Tuesday.

via Trucking layoffs expected : News-Record.com : Greensboro, North Carolina.

 

AOM Healthcare Solutions of Deerfield Beach, a licensed pharmacy and diabetes products supplier, filed notice Tuesday with Florida’s Agency for Workforce Innovation that it planned to lay off 353 employees effective Jan. 16.

via AOM Healthcare Solutions: Sale forces 353 layoffs — South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com.

 

* SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency announced Monday that it will close its North Shore office, issue mandatory unpaid furlough days, and might cut staff in the early part of 2009 to help close a more than $500,000 budget deficit.

via TRPA eyes layoffs to close budget gap | TahoeDailyTribune.com.

 

* WHEELING — Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack has undergone a position consolidation.

The end result is 30 less management, supervisory, director and front line staff.

via – Layoffs at Wheeling Island, Hotel, Casino and Racetrack

 

* A local automotive supplier is laying off more than a hundred workers. Magna Exteriors and Interiors will slash jobs after the first of the year. Three years ago the company announced a collaboration with Chrysler, operating its paint shop at Toledo’s south assembly plant. Now Magna Exteriors and Interiors is cutting its workforce.

via Local automotive supplier layoffs - 12/30/08 – Toledo News – 13abc.com.

 

MADISON, Wis. – A Wisconsin company that designs and builds health care facilities has informed the state it will lay off more than 100 workers.

via Erdman Company to lay off more than 100 — chicagotribune.com.

 

* In an internal restructure of some departments within our TV station, CBS 2 has laid off six people this week. The decision is directly related to these challenging economic times.

via CBS 2 announces staff layoffs | KBCI CBS 2 – News, Weather and Sports – Boise, ID Boise, Idaho | News .

 

* (Source: The Roanoke Times)By Duncan Adams, The Roanoke Times, Va.

Dec. 30–Andrew Kelderhouse, president of Fralin & Waldron, said that he recalls no other double-digit layoff during his 31 years with the construction and real estate development company.

In late October and early November, the Roanoke County-based company laid off 11 employees.

via Builder Says 11 Layoffs Were Necessary: Fralin & Waldron of Roanoke County Idled Some of Its Construction Workers Earlier in the Fall. .

 

* The group that owns the Grand Junction Free Press and newspapers in Glenwood Springs and Aspen is cutting several positions at those papers and has shut down more of its weekly publications.

The Grand Junction Free Press has laid off two of its five reporters, in addition to at least two more staffers in recent weeks.

via Owner cutting staff at several newspapers, including Free Press.

 

* HARRISONBURG, Va. – Tyson Foods will lay off 45 workers at its Harrisonburg plant on Friday.

The company says the layoffs will reduce the number of employees at the plant to 375.

via Tyson to lay off 45 at Virginia plant – dailypress.com.

 

* The sale of Troyer Farms to Bickel’s Snack Foods Inc. was completed on Monday, and the new owners did not hire 32 workers — mainly part-time employees.

via GoErie.com: Jobs cut in Troyer sale.

 

Allina Hospitals & Clinics is closing its Center for Outpatient Surgery at Abbott Northwestern’s Sartell Outpatient Center.

The Minneapolis-based health provider said Monday the surgery center outside St. Cloud will close on Jan. 23. The closing means 22 employees, including 10 nurses, are losing their jobs.

via Allina closing Sartell surgery center, 22 jobs cut – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal: .

 

Thirty more ABX Air workers have been given permanent layoff notices, the company said Tuesday, as operations at the DHL Air Park continue to spiral down.

via 30 more laid off at ABX.

 

* FAIRBORN, Ohio — A local company in Fairborn said it has temporarily laid off 20 employees.

About two weeks ago, Cemex had a little more than 100 employees working for the company. However, on Dec. 18, 20 employees were laid off.

via 20 Cemex Employees Laid Off – News Story – WHIO Dayton.

 

* North Sky Communications, a telecommunications contractor, has permanently laid off 57 employees in Woodinville, according to a notice filed with the state Employment Security Department.

via Business & Technology | Telecom contractor lays off 57 | Seattle Times Newspaper.

 

* The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has laid off 17 employees, three of whom worked in the local area.

via Diocese Of Wheeling-Charleston Lays Off 17 Employees - News Story – WTOV Steubenville.

 

* MIDLAND, Pa. (AP) — A Pittsburgh-area stainless steel manufacturer has laid off more than 200 people since October.

President of the USW Local 1212 at Midland Steve Clutter says only about 10 of the 230 people who had worked at the plant still have jobs.

via Pittsburgh-area stainless steel plant lays off 200 - NewsFlash – PennLive.com.

 

* Thurston County has eliminated more than 80 full-time-equivalent jobs to cut costs, and today is the last day of work for 28 employees.

One other employee, who works in the treasurer’s office, will stay on until March 31. The remaining reductions stem from jobs being left unfilled.

via Today is final day of work for 28 county employees – South Sound – The Olympian – Olympia, Washington.

 

VANDALIA, Ohio — Employees at two local companies found out on Tuesday that they have lost their jobs.

The Mazer Corp. in Vandalia closed its doors on Tuesday and notified 200 employees by letters and e-mail that they were out of a job.

Company officials said it simply ran out of money and was forced to close the facility.

In Butler Township, the EFTEC company notified 45 employees that it was closing. Company officials said it was consolidating operations with a facility in Michigan.

via 2 Local Companies Announce Job Losses - News Story – WHIO Dayton.

 

* CALHOUN, GA. — It’s a familiar story in Georgia and across the South. Another textile mill is shutting down its operations.

 

- Mohawk Industries is closing its spun yarn operations in Calhoun, resulting in the loss of 160 jobs. Workers were informed Tuesday.

via - Mohawk to shutter Calhoun spun yarn plant-

 

* A Barnwell County textile plant is closing after more than 50 years of operation – a move that will affect 125 workers.

- Milliken & Co. has announced it will start cutting operations in January and closing its doors for good by mid-2009.

via Biz bits 123108 – The Augusta Chronicle.

 

* It wasn’t the New Years greeting that nearly 90 employees at a Belleville plant were wishing for this afternoon.  Workers at Interface Flooring on Lahr Drive in the Northeast Industrial Park were informed, late this afternoon, before leaving for their New Year’s break that the facility will be closing at the end of February leaving all of them without a job.

via Mix 97 | News Team » Blog Archive » Belleville Plant Closing in New Year.

 

* CEDAR RAPIDS – The Sealed Air Cryovac Plant in Cedar Rapids is closing. About a month ago, Cryovac warned employees the plant might shut down.

Now, more than 250 workers know they will lose their jobs sometime within the next six to ten months.

via Cryovac Closing Cedar Rapids Plant | KCRG-TV9 Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Local News .

 

Mike: A little humor from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes”


 

- International News -

 

* Australia – UNEMPLOYMENT is tipped to near one million with 400,000 losing their livelihoods through 2009, despite expected dramatic interest rate cuts.

In a gloomy new year outlook, economists are predicting unemployment could rise through 2009 from its current 4.4 per cent level towards 8 per cent, costing a further 400,000 people their jobs and pushing the number of unemployed to more than 900,000 – the worst level in a decade.

via Jobless headed for one million in 2009 | PerthNow.

 

* BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s unemployment rate rose to 10.8 percent in November as the world financial crisis slowed economic growth.

The national statistics office says joblessness increased from 10.1 percent in October, and from 9.4 percent in the same period of 2007.

via The Associated Press: Unemployment climbs to 10.8 percent in Colombia.

 

THE country is facing the bleakest three months since the mid-1980s, as opposition politicians warned it could be worse if the Government does not take action to halt the downward spiral.

The country’s main body for personnel managers, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), predicted yesterday that redundancies will soar to about 2,270 a week in the period between New Year and Easter, sending unemployment above the 10pc mark.

via Jobless rate ‘will rise to 10pc in next three months’ – Irish – Independent.ie.

 

* PARIS, Dec 30 (Reuters) – French unemployment jumped sharply in November as companies laid off large numbers of short-term and fixed contract workers in response to the growing economic slowdown, data on Tuesday showed.

Figures from the Economy Ministry showed headline unemployment rose by 64,000 to 2,068,500 in November, the largest rise since at least 1993.

via Business Feed Article | Business | guardian.co.uk .

 

* Security will be foremost on voters’ minds when elections in Israel take place in February, following the military assault on the Gaza Strip, but the importance of the economy should not be ignored. After a mostly crisis-free 2008, new forecasts from the Bank of Israel on Wednesday showed that Israel’s economy is set to run out of steam in 2009, with expected annual growth of 1.5%, down from a preliminary 4.1% in 2008.

via Grim Outlook For Israel’s Economy - Forbes.com.

 

Mike: Happy New Year Australia and a Happy New Year to all! -

 

 

- Hiring News

 

* Hiring for an early census office that will eventually need about 1,000 workers in Cedar Rapids will begin in earnest next month.

The office based at 221 Second Ave. SE, Suite 240, will “lay the ground work” across Eastern Iowa for local census offices that will do most of the counting for the 2010 census, according to Jerry Young, a partnership coordinator for the Census Bureau.

via Census to hire 1,000 temporary workers in Cedar Rapids | GazetteOnline.com – Cedar Rapids, Iowa City.

 

 

Mike: Today’s layoff news should be quieting for the New Year holiday, but if there are any dramatic announcements, I’ll post them for you. All the best for you and yours this upcoming New Year.………..

 

Lalo Alcaraz - Dec. 28

Lalo Alcaraz - Dec. 28

 

 

top

Tuesday – AMD to Add 1500 More to Layoff Rolls? – NBC to Send Layoff Signal to 500? MSFT Rumors Still Flying – MPC Shuts Down on 150

Mike: Microsoft rumors are still flying and they are listed below. With high tech companies like AMD chopping costs with possible large scale layoffs, it won’t be a big surprise to see other high techs do the same in the new year.

Layoff announcements are slow this holiday week, but there are e a growing number of municipalities that are cutting back services along with their payrolls. I’ll highlight those cuts and add more to the list as they are announced

 

 

Mike: I’m amazed that they find an  “unexpected” drop in consumer confidence number surprising, as shown in the below story.  Did these experts think that consumers would be more cheerful with increasing job losses, stagnant (until it drops again) stock market, record falling home prices and tight credit conditions to name a few? I know that this number usually is a reflection of gas prices, but there are other reason for consumers, you and I, to not feel confident. I know of people that have perfect credit and the credit card companies are reducing their limits form $10,000 to $500. In fact, I have a credit card that went from a $5000 limit to $300. Those type of issues don’t give people a confident financial glow:

 

* NEW YORK – Consumer confidence hit an all-time low in December, dropping unexpectedly in the face of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks and other investments.

The Conference Board‘s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 38 in December from a revised 44.7 in November. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index to rise incrementally to 45.

via December consumer confidence drops to all-time low – Yahoo! News.

more about “MoneyWatch Video – CBSNews.com“, posted with vodpod

 

 

NPR.org, December 30, 2008 · Home prices plummeted a record 18 percent over the yearlong period ending in October as slowing sales and foreclosures pushed the U.S. housing market further into recession, a report released Tuesday shows.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that home prices dropped at a record rate during the 12-month period, with all 20 metropolitan areas measured showing price declines — and 14 showing record drops.

Phoenix and Las Vegas continued to be the weakest markets, with each reporting annual declines of about 32 percent. San Francisco saw a 31 percent drop, and Miami, Los Angeles and San Diego were close behind, with declines in the range of 29 percent to 26.7 percent.

via Home Prices Take Record Plunge : NPR.

 

Microsoft News/Rumors – 

 

According to Fudzilla, web chitter chatter to this affect is now “no longer a rumour but a fact” and it would see Microsoft’s 90,000 global workforce trimmed by approximately 15,000 jobs come 15 January. As to which countries or departments will be hit worst that remains up in the air but it is said EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and MSN could be hit hardest by the redundancies.

* Calling for a 10% reduction on the company’s payrolls, Reback said in his report for the institutional investors of Microsoft, this would result in an approximately 10% gain in its earnings per share. The software giant had close to 91,000 employees on its payrolls at the end of July-September quarter. Earlier in October, Microsoft had put in place a hiring freeze on some of its divisions, such as entertainment and devices businesses that make products like X-Box and Zune.

via Microsoft asked to lay off over 9,000 employees.

 

* With economic conditions looking dark even in the mid-term, however, the company may be gearing up (perhaps even inadvertently) for layoofs after all. Commentary on the blog of long-standing anonymous, internal critic Mini-Microsoft reveals a pattern of internal preparation for workforce reductions which, whatever the company ultimately decides to call them, amount to significant layoffs.

via The CIO Weblog: Microsoft layoffs may be imminent.

 

* But according to solution providers, Microsoft has been quietly reducing channel head count and cutting channel marketing budgets, although this hasn’t yet had any major effect on their business.

I’ve seen them make a number of cuts — my marketing budget from Microsoft has declined 80 percent this year,” said one source, who requested anonymity.

via Analyst Says Microsoft Should Lay Off 10 Percent - The Channel Wire – IT Channel News And Views by CRN and VARBusiness.

 

General Economic News -

 

People Pulling Up to Pawnshops Today Are Driving Cadillacs and BMWs

Well-to-Do Turn to Last-Resort Lenders; Putting Up Diamonds, Dumpsters as Collateral

 

Typically, pawnshop customers have a household income of about $29,000, according to Dave Adelman, president of the 2,400-member National Pawnbrokers Association. But operators around the country say they are seeing a surge in new activity fueled in part by a different clientele: middle- and upper-middle-class customers facing ravaged stock portfolios, tightened bank credit and unexpected layoffs. In areas dogged by high unemployment and foreclosure rates, the pawn business is especially robust.

- Rick LaChappelle, owner of four pawnshops in Maine, calculates he has lent about 33% more money this year than last. “The banking industry is not giving out any money right now,” he said. “So people are relying on second-tier lending institutions.”

 

via People Pulling Up to Pawnshops Today Are Driving Cadillacs and BMWs – WSJ.com.

 

- Municipal News – 

 

* ELYRIA — Some Elyria firefighters will likely be laid off as acting Fire Chief Glenn Saddler attempts to cut 6 percent from the department’s budget for next year, Saddler said Monday.

Saddler said that while he has a number in mind for how many firefighters would likely lose their jobs, he did not want to make it public until all other money-saving options have been examined.

via – Elyria Fire Department layoffs likely

 

* Dwindling financial support from the state likely will lead to the closure of county medical clinics in Tulare and Lindsay and the laying off of 225 county employees, Tulare County officials said Monday.

Preliminary layoff notices will go out today to workers in the Health and Human Services Agency, officials said.

via Tulare County may close health clinics | visaliatimesdelta.com | Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register.

 

* The state auditor is expected to report today that the Cuyahoga County recorder’s office has too many workers and needs to cut positions.

County Administrator James McCafferty, who reviewed a draft of the report, on Monday said Auditor Mary Taylor recommends eliminating 17 positions from an office that employs about 100 people.

via Audit to recommend job cuts at Cuyahoga County recorder’s office - Cleveland.com.

 

* Kindergarten classes could grow to nearly 40 children. Some 55 million meals for poor students might not be served. Art classes will likely be history. And hundreds of teachers could lose their jobs.

That’s the bleak outlook for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2009 as officials face $400 million in cuts next month and further reductions in state funding. The $400 million comes on top of a series of other cuts, taking the total to nearly $1billion this school year.

via Layoffs loom for LAUSD - ContraCostaTimes.com.

 

- US and some Canada News – 

 

* Sunnyvale (CA) –AMD announced that it laid off more people than previously anticipated in an effort to get closer to a breakeven point. The company also expects another impairment charge related to the $5.4 billion acquisition. There is no number yet, but the charge will be “material”. AMD took two impairment charges earlier this year, amounting to about $2.5 billion.

In an SEC filing, the company said that it cut 600 people from its staff during the current quarter, about 100 more than previously announced. The additional layoffs could be a reaction to the deteriorating economic environment, that has made it virtually impossible for the company to reach is breakeven point, which is believed to be somewhere in the $1.5 billion revenue (per quarter) neighborhood. The layoffs will cost the company about $70 million.

via TG Daily - AMD lays off more people, expects additional ATI charge.

 

* The Sunnyvale, California-based chip maker, Advanced Micro Devices, appears to be ending 2008 with a fresh new round of bad news, as the company is expected to lay off more of its employees, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission………….

In the upcoming year, the company is expected to announce even more layoffs, as a result of the spin-off of its manufacturing unit, as well as other business streamlining efforts, according to industry sources. Approximately 1400 to 1500 additional layoffs are expected to be announced in 2009, consequently enabling the company to deal with a total combined headcount of about 14000 by the end of next year.

via AMD to Lay Off More People in Q4 2008 – Cites $70 million in restructuring cots – Softpedia.

 

* BURBANK — City and county officials expressed concern about an unstable job market after online rumors circulated Thursday that NBC Universal will eliminate 500 jobs nationwide.

In October, NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker called for a 3% cut of the company’s annual $16.7-billion budget. He asked for specific reductions in travel and entertainment expenses, promotions, staffing fees and other areas.

via Burbank Leader > Business.

 

* Erie Shipbuilding Co. is laying off employees.

No one from the company, 220 E. Bayfront Parkway, returned phone calls Monday to the Erie Times-News.

Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the state Department of Labor and Industry, said the department had been in contact with the company and confirmed the layoffs.

Fleming did not know how many people were being let go, nor whether the moves were temporary or permanent.

- WSEE-TV’s “Newswatch’’ reported that up to 30 people are being laid off.

via GoErie.com: Layoffs set at Erie Shipbuilding.

 

* The economic downturn in the United States has hit the biggest employer in Meductic: cymbal-maker Sabian Ltd.

John Teague, vice-president of operations at Sabian, confirmed last Tuesday the company has had to let 16 workers go in the past several weeks.

via bugleobserver.com – Layoffs at Sabian – Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada.

 

* NAMPA — Following layoffs and a bankruptcy filing, we have just received confirmation that MPC Computers is shutting its doors.

MPC says, effective immediately, nearly 150  workers at its Nampa facility will be let go.  The remaining 50 local employees will be given varying departure dates over the next few months.

via MPC Computers shutting its doors at Nampa plant | KTVB.COM | Idaho Business | Boise, Idaho News, Weather, Sports & Traffic.

 

* The decision to close a bakery that shipped specialty bread products to Florida from a Flowers Foods-affiliated bakery in Fort Smith will eliminate 82 positions.

The Fort Smith Baking Company, a subsidiary of the publicly traded Flowers Foods Inc., said Monday that 48 employees and 34 subcontracted workers will be out of a job on Friday.

via NWAnews.com :: Northwest Arkansas’ News Source.

 

* The company has no relation to the Wall Street titan Lehman Brothers investment bank, which also toppled into bankruptcy this year.

New Haven’s Lehman Brothers closed on Dec. 9, forcing about 20 people out of their jobs. For 98 years, it produced high-end engravings, fine stationery and a lot of wedding invitations.

via New Haven Independent: New Haven’s Lehman Bros., Too, Goes Belly Up.

 

* MCKEESPORT (KDKA) ― Precoat Metals announced Monday that it would be closing its McKeesport plant.

“There’s a lot of people over there who are very upset and don’t know what to do now,” said Walter Plesniak, who has worked at the plant for 38 years.

Union officials estimate about a third of the people who work at the plant have been there for more than 20 years.

via Precoat Metals To Close McKeesport Plant In March – kdka.com .

more about “kdka.com – Video Library“, posted with vodpod

 

 

* MARSHFIELD, Wis. – Prefabricated and modular homes are a segment of the housing market also hit hard by the current recession.

- Wick Building Systems in Marshfield has laid off about 70 employees and has taken the unprecedented step of closing the local plant for two months — in January and February.

via Modular home industry hit by recession — chicagotribune.com.

 

* Vignette Corp. said last week it had cut a portion of its staff, though the content management software company declined to give a specific figure.

via Vignette cuts unspecified number of workers - Austin Business Journal: .

 

* Dec 29 (Reuters) – Cogdell Spencer Inc CSA.N said it will eliminate 115 jobs and all executive incentive compensation for fiscal year 2009, and the specialty real estate investment trust also slashed its quarterly dividend as it tries to reduce costs.

The company said its Erdman subsidiary, which provides advanced planning, engineering and construction, and development services, will cut about 115 jobs, effective January 6 to 9.

via UPDATE 1-Cogdell Spencer to cut jobs; reduces dividend | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

 

* BRADENTON — Intertape Polymer Group Inc., a manufacturer of plastic and paper packaging goods, is eliminating 152 jobs as part of several cost-saving measures it is implementing due to economic conditions.

via Intertape to cut jobs, reduce costs - Business – Bradenton.com.

 

Fewer than 50 employees at United Fixtures Interlake plant on Howard Street in Niles will indeed be laid off today, an employee in human resources in the Niles office confirmed late Monday.

The South Bend administration office and distribution center at 4300 Quality Drive, the employee said, are not affected.

United Fixtures, headquartered in Naperville, Ill., manufactures rack storage systems and fixtures.

via United Fixtures cuts jobs in Niles | WSBT South Bend – Your Local News Leader | Local News .

 

* FAIRBORN — An employee population of 417 people faces a “mass reduction in force” beginning Feb. 13 at the Teleperformance USA call center, 57 Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, according to a Dec. 11 letter from company Human Resources Vice President Jackie Stiteler to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

via Fairborn-based employer might cut 417 jobs .

 

United Launch Alliance expects to lay off at least 16 workers at Vandenberg Air Force Base in February, but company officials said cost-saving measures will mean issuing fewer pink slips than first estimated.

via 16 launch jobs may be lost at VAFB.

 

Roadway Express Cutting 150-200 Jobs in Meridian- 

via Roadway Express Cutting Jobs in Meridian .

 

Gardner Denver Inc., which has a manufacturing facility in Peachtree City among its worldwide holdings, has announced it will cut 9 percent of its global salaried workforce and enact a hiring freeze in light of “deteriorating global economic decisions” and as it integrates its acquisition of CompAir Holdings Limited.

via Gardner Denver announces global job cuts | The Citizen Online.

 

* COLUMBIA – South Carolina residents will continue to receive unemployment benefits through March 2009 thanks to an agreement reached between the South Carolina Employment Commission and the Governor’s Office, according to SCESC Communications Specialist Rodney Welch.

via The Item – South Carolina.

 

* iQor Inc. is laying off 73 employees at its Greensboro call center.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company filed a WARN (Workers Adjustment Notification Act) notice with mayor’s office late Monday, stating that the layoff will take place on or around Feb. 28 at its Northline Avenue call center near Friendly Center.

via GSO call center laying off 73 – The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area: .

 

BRIDGEPORT — Another 51 city employees are being laid off as officials continue cutting costs to plug a $20 million deficit and avoid a possible state takeover of city finances.

So far, Mayor Bill Finch has laid off 73 workers and eliminated or refused to fill 98 positions. With the latest round of layoffs, 222 jobs will have either been eliminated or left unfilled.

via Bridgeport lays off 51 workers – The Connecticut Post Online.

 

Allegheny Technologies Inc. on Tuesday provided details of recent layoffs, totalling 209 workers, at its Midland plant in Beaver County.

The company issued a WARN Act notification with the state Department of Labor & Industry. Of those laid off, 205 were union employees and four were salaried employees.

via Allegheny Technologies details Midland layoffs – Pittsburgh Business Times: .

 

* PONTIAC, Ill. – About 260 employees of a central Illinois storage-rack factory are at risk of losing their jobs, in what would be the latest blow to the community of Pontiac.

That’s according to executives at Pontiac’s Interlake Material Handling plant.

via Layoffs threatened at central Ill. plant — chicagotribune.com

 

* Vertis Communications lays off 91 — Print and DM shop to close due to merger with American Color Graphics. Layoffs there bring the BNET ad agency layoff counter to 6,231.

via Advertising Roundup: 91 Layoffs at Vertis; Obama Stomache-Ache Ad; Levy Most Likeable; And More … | BNET Advertising Blog | BNET.

 

Wells Fargo & Co. is cutting 53 jobs at its auto-loan center in Tempe, Ariz., as result of the bank’s pending merger with Wachovia Corp.

via Wells cuts 53 jobs in Arizona - Charlotte Business Journal: .

 

* Most California companies must give their employees 60 days’ notice before laying off more than 50 workers. Since Jan. 1, 2007, these companies have laid off roughly 136,000 California workers.

via Interactive database: See who is laying off workers - Sacramento News – Local and Breaking Sacramento News | Sacramento Bee.

 

*    Interlake’s Pontiac plant “may be” permanently closed about the end of February, according to a required notice given to employees this week, although efforts today by The Daily Leader to reach corporate spokesmen on the future of the plant were unsuccessful.

via Pontiac Interlake plant may close in 2009 - Pontiac, IL – Pontiac Daily Leader.

 

Mohawk Industries has announced plans to discontinue operations at the company’s Calhoun, Georgia spun yarn manufacturing facilities.  Company officials informed employees of the decision during meetings Tuesday.  A gradual phasing out of operations will begin later this week and will be completed by February 27, 2009.

At the time of the announcement, 160 individuals worked at the Calhoun spun yarn facility.  During the coming weeks, Mohawk’s Human Resources Department will assist the employees, offering available job opportunities at other company facilities as well as working with state officials to facilitate job fairs with local employers and employment agencies.

via More Layoffs at Mohawk Industries | industries, mohawk, operations – Local News – WTVC Newschannel9.com.

 

Interface Inc. says it will lay off 14 percent of its worldwide work force, or about 530 employees, to cope with weakening demand for its carpet products.

The commercial carpet producer says the reductions will cut manufacturing, sales and administration jobs.

via Interface plans to lay off 530 employees worldwide – BusinessWeek.

 

* SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 30 (Reuters) – Mobile phone maker Motorola Inc (MOT.N) said on Tuesday it will lay off 400 more employees in the fourth-quarter than it originally planned, resulting in additional charges.

In October, Motorola announced a cost-reduction plan that included cutting a total of 3,000 jobs, with 1,500 coming in the fourth quarter. The change means 1,900 will be in the fourth quarter although the overall total will not change.

via Motorola speeds up layoffs, adds to 4th-qtr charge | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

 

 

Adams - Dec. 30

Adams - Dec. 30

 

 

- International News -

 

* Downsizing deals – Massive layoffs scheduled in Russian metal industries.

Mr Andrei Vetluzhskikh, chairman of the Sverdlovsk regional trades union federation said that “About 100,000 jobs, mainly at metallurgical plants are forecast to be cut next year.”

via SteelGuru – News.

 

* Delphi suspends plant in China

U.S. car parts maker Delphi Corp. has suspended work at a factory in Suzhou because of shrinking demand amid the global economic slump, a media report and a staff member said. The factory west of Shanghai in the city of Suzhou makes compressors for General Motors Corp. China’s own once-booming auto market is seeing sales fall from double-digit growth rates as demand cools.

via Daily Briefing | ajc.com.

 

More than 200 miners from Sase mine in Srebrenica will be left jobless next month due to a dramatic drop in production of lead and zinc in the mine in effect of the global economic crisis, the company confirmed on Friday.

via Over 200 miners to be laid off in Srebrenica :: emportal :: SEE news.

 

Chanel, one of the most high end French fashion names, is to lay off 200 Paris based staff. When global brands like Chanel are firing people right and left whereas at the same time Five and Dime stores are doing the same, it states that clear across the board people are feeling the effects of the depression.

via Chanel laying off hundreds of people : Tribble Ad Agency : The Advertising Agency of Record.

 

Lenovo plans to announce a business reorganization in mid-January next year, which includes adjustments to its business structure and layoffs, according to a Chinese-language sina.com report citing sources in Lenovo.

via Lenovo to reorganize business in mid-January, says report.

 

* SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean officials say unemployment rose to 7.5 percent at the end of November as the global financial crisis slowed loans to businesses.

 

- Hiring News -

 

* APAC Customer Services Inc. is adding 120 new jobs right after the first of the year, Utica Mayor David Roefaro said Monday night.

via APAC to add 120 jobs – Utica, NY – The Observer-Dispatch.

 

* Oakbrook Terrace, IL – infoZine – America’s Best Companies (ABC) has announced they plan to hire 2,000 people over this holiday season, despite the country’s financial crisis.

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Mike: The layoff news was busier than I expected this day. I’ll add any late breaking news, but hopefully it’s quiet. Till tomorrow………………..

 

Ben Sargent - Dec. 24

Ben Sargent - Dec. 24

 

Monday – Big 2 Bailout Day – UK Could Lose 600,000 Jobs in ’09 – MSFT Rumors Still in Play – Odyssey Ends for 170 Jobs (12-29-08)

                                       

Mike: A rather quiet layoff news start to the week. I’ll post layoff news as it is announced, but till then I’ll offer some other employment and economic reads. Check out the Weekend Update for the latest layoff stories from the past few days:

 

Mike: Paul Krugman is one of the best economists in the land and he presents a chilling tale if the Obama stimulus package isn’t adequate:
                                    

more about “Recession: Hitting Bottom Video – CBS…“, posted with vodpod

 

-  Microsoft News/Rumors – 

 

Mike: The comments are still in the air, but have subsided over the last couple days. Here’s what is making the rounds today:

 

* Despite hiring at a rapid clip for the last few years, even Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) may not be immune to the rounds of layoffs hitting the technology industry recently.

Though unsubstantiated, dozens of comments at Mini-Microsoft, a blog popular with Microsoft employees, point toward the possibility of big job cuts at the company. And now, at least one financial analyst has signed onto the idea. That would be quite the turnaround for a company that’s grown its workforce by roughly a third since 2005.

via Microsoft Layoffs Coming? – Microsoft Blog – InformationWeek.

 

Mike: The Indian press is busy with the Microsoft news. I find it amusing that they mention that Microsoft has been “asked” to remove 10% of its workforce. Asked?


* Software giant Microsoft has been asked to lay off around 9,100 employees (around 10%) to tell the market that profits are more significant than revenue growth in difficult times.

In a report on Microsoft, Brokerage firm Oppenheimer & Co’s analyst Brad Reback stated that such layoff exercise would be a profitable move for the company.

via Microsoft Advised To Cut 9,100 Jobs | Top News.

 

* Bangalore: Adding more to the employee woes, software giant Microsoft has been asked to slash 10 percent of its workforce, which amounts to around 9,100 employees. The firm had close to 91,000 employees on its payrolls at the end of July-September quarter.

via Microsoft asked to lay off 9100 employees.

 

* Catching up: Microsoft layoff rumors

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Mini-Microsoft has drawn an ominous red circle on his calendar around Jan. 15. That day, the anonymous, unsanctioned company blogger suspects, could bring news of a substantial round of layoffs at Microsoft. While his post of last week (just after I stepped out for vacation) is clearly labeled as rumor, even the thought of cuts at one of the region’s biggest (and heretofore most stable) employers can only send shivers down the spine of Seattle’s cold and wet economy.

via Microsoft Pri0 | Catching up: Microsoft layoff rumors | Seattle Times Newspaper Blog.

 

- General Employment News

 

  Mike: A massive surge in municipal bankruptcies will result in massive layoffs for non-vital personnel unless the feds start pumping money into the hands of these entities:

* Massive Surge In Municipal Bankruptcies Coming John Moorlach, the accountant who predicted the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy sees Up to 10 Municipal Bankruptcies in Coming Year via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis.  
Mike: Let’s hope that this isn’t just throwing good money down a bottomless pit.


* The U.S. Treasury is expected to transfer $9.3 billion to General Motors and $4 billion to Chrysler, but Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Economy.com, predicts that over the next few years taxpayers will pay a total of $75-$125 billion to keep the Big Three out of bankruptcy. via ABC News: Monday Is Payday for Chrysler, GM.  


Mike: It’s interesting to note that the Big 3 are profitable in other countries and from the following interview, the Big 3 may be trying to kill their US manufacturing and union heavy shops in order to start importing vehicles into the US.  While the following information comes from a UAW member, it does bear some thought:

* The danger of this that I see, as well, is that, you know, in the ’90s, when the auto companies were making billions of dollars, they were taking profits out of North America and investing them overseas in Europe, South America and Asia. So there’s been a huge transfer of assets overseas. Now, those assets would remain protected in bankruptcy. So what, in effect, they’ve done is undermined the manufacturing base in the United States so that they could become a major importer to the United States. You see, they already have fuel-efficient—small fuel-efficient cars that they’re making in Europe and in Asia and in South America. They’re ready for import. And they would like to be like Toyota. Yes, Toyota has plants in the United States, but Toyota imports about 46 percent of all the cars it sells in the United States. That’s what General Motors is setting itself up to do, and they’re going to use this capitalist disaster to help them wipe out the dealerships and close the plants. And Congress is just going to help them strong-arm the unions into giving up any job security or gains.

 

Mike: Some interesting stats and information concerning various state unemployment benefit packages:

*The federal average weekly benefit is $293 a week, and about 38% of the jobless receive payments, but state by state the numbers vary wildly. Mississippi joins Puerto Rico on the low end of the spectrum. Its weekly maximum is $210, with weekly payments averaging $180.77 going to about a quarter of that state’s jobless. In South Dakota and Texas, just 18% and 20% of the unemployed receive benefits, respectively. That compares with Massachusetts’ average weekly benefit of $383.77 to 57% of its jobless workers, or Hawaii’s $414.17 average weekly payment and 42% recipient rate.

via Jobless Benefits, State by State – BusinessWeek.

 

* (Source: The Dallas Morning News)By Sheryl Jean, The Dallas Morning News

Dec. 29–Texas’ factory output worsened in December, and manufacturers’ six-month outlook remains weak, according to a survey released Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Most of the 109 companies surveyed from Dec. 16 to 23 reported a decline in capital expenditures planned for 2009 as the national economy is expected to remain weak. The company outlook index dropped to its lowest level since the monthly survey began in June 2004.

via Dallas Fed: Texas Factory Output Declines, Outlook Worsens .

 

* Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — Micron Technology Inc., the U.S. maker of computer-memory chips, will have to raise money soon because the company is running low on cash, according to Wachovia Corp.

The company’s net cash declined by $474 million during the November quarter as memory-chip prices plunged, Wachovia analyst David Wong said today in a report. While prices have improved lately, they’re still so low that most memory makers will post “significant losses for many quarters yet,” he said.

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.

 

* In moves that will surprise no one who has followed the barrage of grim economic news, architecture firms across the country are laying off workers at unprecedented levels.

Over the past few months, Perkins Eastman, one of the country’s largest firms, has let go 10 percent of its staff, or about 80 of 800 employees, according to Bradford Perkins, FAIA, firm chairman. “It’s very unfortunate when this happens,” says Perkins, adding that the cuts are the deepest in the firm’s 24-year history.

via Layoffs Sweep Architecture Profession as Economy Worsens | News | Architectural Record.

 

- International News -

 

* LONDON (SHARECAST) – At least 600,000 people could be out of a job in 2009 and others will face pay freezes, according to a report published today.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said that the time between New Year and Easter will be the worst since 1991. It predicts in the first quarter of the year, there could be as many as 300,000 job losses.

via ShareCast – News you can use.

 

* LONDON (AP) — More than 600,000 people in Britain will be laid off in 2009, making next the worst year for job losses in 18 years, a leading personnel group forecast on Monday.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual report predicted that, including people who lose their jobs for other reasons such as contracts ending, the country’s economic slowdown will push 1 million more people into unemployment by the end of next year than were out of work in October of this year.

via The Associated Press: 600,000 UK layoffs in ’09, says personnel group.

 

* Dec 29, 2008 (DVB)–More than 5000 workers lost their jobs when clothing factories in Hlaingtharyar industrial zone in Rangoon closed down recently, while others are facing salary cuts.

The closures come not long after the Burmese regime said the world economic crisis would not affect Burma.

via Democratic Voice of Burma.

 

* MANILA, Philippines – Toledo Mining Corp. said it had laid off some 600 workers and contractors while some directors took pay cuts as dampened demand took its toll on nickel operations in the Philippines.

via Business – Toledo Mining lays off 90% of workforce – INQUIRER.net.

 

* The global economic crisis is forcing Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) to make more layoffs in Israel, and it will fire an additional 200 employees in January. The billing and CRM software house is facing a difficult 2009 after several years of growth. The company expects zero growth as telecommunications carriers, its primary customers, cut spending.

via Amdocs to lay off 200 more in Israel.

 

* With the economy in recession — it’s the 12th month of recession, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research — and with no sign of improvement on the horizon, carriers are in survival mode. With load factors deteriorating and freight rates at historic lows, they are seizing on every option they can to staunch the bleeding. They are cutting capacity by eliminating at least one of their Asia-Europe or trans-Pacific loops and combining others in vessel-sharing agreements with erstwhile competitors. New World Alliance partners APL Ltd., MOL and Hyundai Merchant Marine are laying up 40 vessels, and APL has announced 1,000 layoffs worldwide.

via Gulf Shipper Online.

 

- US and some Canada Layoff News -

 

* The Bloomberg administration may be considering a buyout plan for veteran city workers.

A spokesman Saturday said Mayor Michael Bloomberg has not ruled out any options in an effort to try and close the city’s looming budget gap.

via NY1 | 24 Hour Local News | Politics | Bloomberg May Consider Worker Buyout Plan .

 

* Citing the economic downturn and reduced demand for fuel, construction firm Cianbro Corp. of Pittsfield will reduce both its total workforce and employee hours at a new manufacturing facility in Brewer……

Under the plan, about 50 workers will lose jobs at the Brewer facility, which employs about 700. Also, employees hours will be reduced from 50 to 70 hours per week down to a typical 40-hour workweek.

via Economic downturn forces layoffs at Cianbro.

 

* NEW YORK, Dec 29 (Reuters) – DHP Holdings II Corp, parent of fireplace and heater maker Desa Heating, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it would pursue an orderly wind down of its businesses, citing the sagging economy and credit crunch………

After layoffs in December, the company employed 292 people, who will help wind down remaining business operations.

via Desa Heating parent files for bankruptcy | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

 

* Ashford Hospitality Trust, a real estate investment trust specializing in the hotel and hospitality sector, says the company is maneuvering to maintain its strong liquidity position.

In a statement, the Dallas-based REIT indicated that future cost-cutting measures would include job cuts, salary freezes and benefit reductions.

Ashford (NYSE: AHT) did not elaborate on how many positions would be impacted or when the changes would take place.

via Ashford Hospitality announces layoffs – Dallas Business Journal: .

 

* The AT&T Business Solutions Customer Service unit in Richardson could be laying off up to 78 employees in the new year, according to a letter filed with the Texas Workforce Commission.

In a filing, AT&T Business Solutions, a unit of AT&T that is located at 2270 Lakeside Blvd. in Richardson, says it will not know for sure how many reductions will be made until the Richardson division determines how many employees will enter into voluntary severance agreements, retire or move into other positions.

via AT&T Bus. Solutions faces up to 78 layoffs – Dallas Business Journal:

 

Cambridge Health Alliance will soon announce a plan to make cuts including layoffs and closures. CHA officials had already planned to make significant cuts to absorb an anticipated loss of $95 million in state and federal money next year, due to a transfer of funding to expand health care coverage through the state’s health care reform law.

 

* (Bristol, Indiana) – RV Parts supplier Odyssey Group has shut its doors here and put about 170 out of work. The company broke the news in a notice to the state.

According to old news reports, Odyssey was riding strong sales in 2006 when it broke ground on a 200,000-square-foot warehouse complex in Elkhart. Apparently, it couldn’t survive the recent plummet of the RV market.

via Odyssey Group Closes Down; 170 Jobs Lost – Manufacturing & Technology eJournal.

 

* Walter Industries Inc. plans to close its Kodiak Mine in Shelby County, Ala., due to high operational costs, difficult operating conditions and a challenging pricing environment for Kodiak’s product.

Walter Industries, based in Tampa, expects to recognize a pre-tax charge of about $20 million in this quarter, mostly related to the non-cash impairment of mining facilities and equipment.

About 90 contract miners will be displaced by the closure, but the company will offer most of them positions at other mining operations, a statement from Walter Industries says.

via Walter Industries to close mine – Tampa Bay Business Journal: .

- Hiring News -

 

It’s no easy task to recruit people with proclivities for science into schools – and to keep them long enough to nurture a talent for teaching. But over the next decade, schools will need 200,000 or more new teachers in science and math, according to estimates by such groups as the Business-Higher Education Forum in Washington. Already, many districts face shortages: In at least 10 states, fewer than 6 out of 10 middle-school science teachers were certified when the Council of Chief School Officers compiled a report last year.

via Wanted: More science and math teachers in the US – Yahoo! News.

 

* North Dakota lawmakers and businesses are working on ways to lure more high-tech employees like Meadows.

As of Dec. 1, the state had an estimated 165 applicants for 261 jobs in computer and math fields, Job Service North Dakota figures show.

Gov. John Hoeven is proposing a $40 million needs-based tuition assistance program for North Dakota students.

State Sen. Tony Grindberg, R-Fargo, headed the interim Workforce Committee that will introduce a bill to help pay college tuition for North Dakota students who meet certain academic requirements or enroll in a two-year career or technical program in fields with high job demand. The bill would also give state income tax breaks for qualifying residents.

via Ap |  Grand Forks Herald  | Grand Forks, North Dakota .

 

Mike: We should all be thrilled that we can employ the convict and shelh the librarian: So sad…..

* Self-help books, best-sellers, graphic novels and history — these are among the popular books with inmates at the King County Jail.

But beginning in January, it won’t be a librarian making the deliveries. Instead inmates, working under the supervision of a corrections officer, will be handing out the books.

The county’s Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention will save about $240,000 annually by ending its contract with the King County Library System, which historically has provided librarians and a collection of books for the jail’s inmates.

via County shelves jail librarians.

 

* Erdman, a Madison-based health-care facilities design company, will be hit with a staff cut, effective in early January.

Parent company Cogdell Spencer said Monday about 115 jobs will be eliminated as part of an effort to cut costs by $17 million a year. The impact of the job cut will be felt “companywide” throughout Cogdell Spencer, Erdman chief executive Scott Ransom said.

via WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL.

 

* WILSON, OK ― Another round of layoffs hit Texoma on Monday, and the company had to call in security. Energy company High Sierra laid off more than 20 workers and closed down their operations at Hull’s Oil Field.

via More than 20 laid off at Wilson energy company .

 

Mike: More as the announcements are made, but this is likely to be a rather quiet week. If you have any suggestions on the type of stories you would like to see, pass them along and I’ll see they are made available………..

 

Mike: More on Tuesday………..

 

Jeff Stahler - Dec 28

Jeff Stahler - Dec 28

 

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Weekend Update – Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Bitter Pill to 800 in ’08 – Qualex Processes 300 (out the door) – Livin’ on Tulsa Time (without a job)

                                 

Mike: It has been a rather quiet weekend for employment news, but the pace should pick up on Monday

Mike: The Microsoft layoff rumors and the layoff announcements are quiet today so far. If you have Microsoft, or other companies layoff information, pass it along and I’ll post it quickly

 

I’ll start today’s post with some recent unemployment/layoff  news and a little later this weekend I’ll follow-up with some unemployment data:

 

Mike: The following article highlights how most workers aren’t able collect unemployment. While many of these workers may have been fortunate enough to find employment quickly in good times, they will have a much more difficult time securing employment this time around. Contractors, such as many 1099s, aren’t eligible for unemployment benefits, which could lower that 37% further. More as I get some facts: 

 

* On Friday, when the Chrysler plant in Newark, Del., shut its doors, more than 1,000 autoworkers joined the ranks of the unemployed.

At least they will be able to get unemployment insurance.

Most jobless workers can’t.

Across the U.S., only 37 percent of workers who lose their jobs typically collect unemployment benefits, according to Labor Department statistics.

They often miss out because they didn’t earn enough while working, or their work history was not continuous enough to make them eligible under state unemployment laws

via Many laid off get no benefits | Richmond Times-Dispatch.

 

Mike: This article shows how some businesses are not following the law with regards to giving employees adequate layoff notice. But as long as the oversight agencies don’t enforce the law, there won’t be much recourse for the employee. After all, these businesses must wonder why they should follow the law when so many other,  especially those in the financial sphere, didn’t bother to take the law into consideration when making decisions

* As the realities of the economic downturn set in, droves of companies are shedding employees, sometimes offering them notice required under federal law, sometimes not.

The Sugar Law Center, a nonprofit organization based in Detroit that assists workers in WARN Act lawsuits, said its call volume has more than doubled since September, when the recent wave of layoffs and business closings started.

Concerned workers are increasingly phoning that agency to find out if their former employers followed the 20-year-old federal law, which requires many employers to notify employees 60 days before a massive layoff or plant closing.

Businesses are asserting that because of the economic conditions that have come to a head in the past two months, that alone allows them to not give notice to workers,” said John Philo, Sugar Law Center’s legal director. ”That defeats the purpose of the law.”

via Ohio.com – WARN act falls short for job layoffs .

 

- General Employment News

 

* As America slides into an economic depression, Tulsa businesses are feeling the impact and some are laying off employees.
Here are some of the most recent developments:

via Tulsa starts to experience job layoffs.

 

* Nine employers alone will have laid off at least 2,744 employees in Los Angeles County this month, with bankrupt department store chain Mervyns accounting for more than 60 percent of the job losses, according to state data.

Hayward-based Mervyns told the state Employment Development Department that it was to have laid off 1,742 workers at 16 of its Los Angeles County locations as of Dec. 23. The notices were filed in compliance with the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires at least 60 days advance written notice of an intended plant closing or mass layoff.

via Los Angeles Business Journal Online – business news and information for Los Angeles California.

 

* The Society for Human Resource Management recently released a new poll that shows 48 percent of organizations laid-off employees in 2008. Even worse, 60 percent of surveyed organizations said they expect to lay off employees in the next 12 months. Executives (1 percent) are the least likely to be laid off, followed by sales positions (3 percent), then middle management (6 percent). Most of the expected coming layoffs will involve technical/professional positions (13 percent), unskilled labor positions (13 percent), and administrative positions (11 percent).

via Poll: 3 out of 5 Employers say Layoffs Likely in ’09 — Occupational Health & Safety.

 

* Leaders of Valley non-profits say requests for their services have multiplied in recent months, while a shortage of donations has forced them to cut staff and programs.

Some say they fear the coming year will be even worse.

“We’ve seen a drastic increase, particularly in our housing services,” said Shawn Pearson, executive director of FIBCO Family Services in Phoenix. “The need increased in the last six months by about 400 percent.”

via Demand for assistance soars as foreclosures, layoffs take toll.

 

* MADISON, Wis. – The state has hired 83 more workers to deal with a surge in unemployment claims.

Department of Workforce Development spokesman Richard Jones says the new short-term workers have already been hired and will boost the group by 20 percent.

Some are agency retirees and will start by January at hourly salaries of between $15 and $17 an hour.

via Workers hired to deal with unemployment claims – chicagotribune.com.

 

Mike: NJ is one of many states that will grapple with exploding budget deficits and less money to pay for services:

 

* The first adjustments will be made on the fly. More than $1.2 billion in changes will be required for the current $32.9 billion state budget, now that tax collections are expected to be less than $31.5 billion this year. The state can drain its $600 million surplus for part of that, but it expects to make lots of smaller changes as well, nibbling away at spending in a way officials hope can get them through when combined with federal aid.

The unemployment fund is nearly broke. The transportation fund lacks long-term funding, as does the open-space fund. New Jersey’s income tax relies heavily on the year-end bonuses Wall Street has slashed. Car sales are down more than 40 percent, a direct hit on a big sales-tax driver. Businesses are losing money. New Jersey is down 34,400 jobs in 2008.

“It’s about as bad as we’ve seen in several decades,” said Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex, the budget committee chairwoman. “Unemployment, foreclosure, bankruptcy — government is not immune to the fallout. Tax revenues support our budget.”

via Economic woes loom large as N.J. closes ’08 | Daily Record | Daily Record.

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- US and some Canada News

 

* Kansas City Public Television parted ways with 10 percent of its work force this week, including a producer on its series “Ruckus,” the station’s production manager and the volunteer coordinator.

In a statement, KCPT said “current economic conditions” led to a drop in giving to Kansas City’s only locally owned-and-operated TV station. One of the positions affected was part time.

Before the layoff, 75 employees worked at KCPT, which has been under the direction of interim CEO Susan Stanton since summer. Besides the economic downturn, KCPT saw its fall fundraiser at Liberty Memorial rained out, and it eliminated its on-air auction

via KCPT announces layoffs as donations dip – Kansas City Star.

 

* Newell Rubbermaid, owner of Dymo Corp. in Stamford, recently announced plans to lay off 8 percent to 10 percent of its work force, but could not say whether its Connecticut operation will be slashed.

The Atlanta-based maker of home and office products has yet to determine whether any of the 60 employees at Dymo will be affected, said Connie Bryant, Newell Rubbermaid’s public relations manager.

via Dymo parent plans to cut jobs – The Advocate.

 

* There are unconfirmed reports out of Kerrville, TX that Mooney Aircraft has laid off more workers. The Kerrville Daily Times reports one of about 40 workers allegedly laid off Tuesday contacted the paper, advising them of the layoffs.

via .:: Aero-News Network: The Aviation and Aerospace World’s Daily/Real-Time News and Information Service ::..

 

* DURHAM, N.C. — A North Carolina company that offers wholesale photofinishing services for retail businesses is cutting nearly 300 jobs as it closes labs in Texas, Pennsylvania and Canada.

The Herald-Sun of Durham reports that Durham-based Qualex Inc. says it will cut 50 jobs from its headquarters in Durham. The company also will close photofinishing laboratories in Dallas; Allentown, Pa.; and Hamilton, Ontario.

Qualex is a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Co.

via NC-based photofinishing firm to cut 300 jobs | Business news | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

 

* NEW YORK – Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb said Tuesday it will eliminate another 10 percent of its work force through 2010 as it works to pare costs before it loses patent protection on key drugs.

The New York-based company says it will eliminate 800 positions by the end of 2008, including filled and vacant jobs worldwide. Bristol-Myers Squibb estimates it will save $1 billion by 2012 as a result of the moves, which come on top of $1.5 billion in cost cuts announced in December 2007. Those cuts will eliminate about 4,300 jobs through 2010.

The company had about 41,000 employees at the end of 2007. The company said in July that it would announce new cost savings plans by the end of the year.

Bristol-Myers did not provide an estimate of what the job cuts will cost. The company said the moves will allow it to address both short-term and long-term challenges and uncertainties.

via Bristol-Myers Squibb to cut 10% of workforce - The ReporterBusiness: Serving North Penn, Indian Valley and neighboring communities.

 

* Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc., a Dallas-based hotel real estate investment trust, said Friday that it has cut jobs, frozen salaries and reduced staff benefits while suspending its common stock dividend to cut costs and boost capital.

via Dallas-based Ashford Hospitality Trust cuts jobs amid slump | [an error occurred while processing this directive] .

 

* The souring economy has grounded FedEx Corp.’s plans for opening its sorting hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport in June.

Instead, the company said yesterday, it will be late September at the earliest before cargo-sorting operations start at the $228 million hub.

And when operations do begin, the company is likely to have at least 50 percent fewer full- and part-time employees than it has pledged since committing to the 425,000-square-foot hub in April 1998.

via FedEx Hub later date, fewer jobs .

 

* CINCINNATI — Layoffs hit the Hamilton County Sheriff’s department this Christmas. As of Thursday, 87 deputies were out of a job, laid off as part of the county’s deep budget cuts.

via 87 Ohio Sheriff’s Deputies Laid Off At Christmas: Top News Stories at Officer.com.

 

* RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) – Some newly laid off workers are spending this Christmas Eve wondering what they’ll do next. 

Rehrig International, which manufactures shopping carts, closed its Richmond headquarters Wednesday. The company filed for bankruptcy back in September.

via NBC12 News, Weather Sports, Traffic, and Programming Guide for Richmond, VA | Workers laid off at Rehrig International.


* About 120 workers at ICON Metal forming, a Corydon, Ind., auto parts plant, were laid off this week but were told they could return in six to eight weeks — depending on General Motors’ fortunes.

via 120 at ICON in Corydon laid off | courier-journal | The Courier-Journal.

 

* Larry Robbins’ Glenview Capital laid off about a dozen of its 85-member staff last week, The New York Post reported.

In a move to cut costs as it struggles with performance losses this year, the firm has also warned emplopyees to expect a reduction in overall compensation next year, The Post said, citing unidentified sources.

via Glenview Capital Said to Lay Off A Dozen Staff, Reduce Pay – Mergers, Acquisitions, Venture Capital, Hedge Funds — DealBook – New York Times.

 

* MATAMORAS — Despite the chain’s reportedly successful holiday season, about 100 temporary seasonal workers at WalMart stores in Matamoras and Honesdale were laid-off this week and last.

via Pike County Courier - Happy holidays – You’re laid-off – Straus Newspapers .

 

* Pima County’s Development Services department as of next month will be down to less than half the 183 employees it had budgeted 18 months ago. The department lost 50 in the 2007-2008 fiscal year. The staff has been reduced by another 25 over the past five months, mostly through transfers to other departments. Another 23 will be laid off so, as of next month the department will be down 87 employees.

via News : Tucson Insider: Planners laid off in county, but not city – Inside Tucson Business – newspaper, business news, opinion, classifieds.

 

- Philadelphia to lay off 140 city workers; cancel 200 cop hires -

 

* MILLERSBURG, Pa. – The last day on the job for the police chief of this small central Pennsylvania town will be Wednesday after the Borough Council fired him to avoid a tax increase.

via To save money, town cuts job of police chief | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/27/2008.

 

So last week, when Mac Steel announced a widespread, indefinite layoff of close to 80 percent of its work force, several of its local suppliers and supporting businesses made plans to lay off workers as well.

Rob Leimenstoll is a former Mac Steel employee who opened his own business nine years ago. When Mac Steel shuts down production Jan. 16, all seven of his employees will be laid off.

via Mac Steel layoffs produce ripple effect – Jackson, Michigan News – Jackson Citizen Patriot – MLive.com .

 

* We are hearing that most of Bill Davis Racing’s employees were laid-off earlier this week following the sale of the team to Marty Gaunt and Mike Held. Despite the bad news, all team members are getting a chance to reapply for their position with the team. They will begin bringing back employees after the first of the year.

via BDR Employees Laid-Off; But… | The Nascar Insiders.

 

Mike: While not the traumatic experience of a layoff, furloughs can dent the paycheck for those on tight budgets. Plenty of furloughs are occurring with workers of government entities, so I’ll just list a few:

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- -International News

 

* And one analyst predicted some of Canada’s big mining companies will go bankrupt before conditions start to improve.

“I think you’ll have five bankruptcies before the second quarter (of 2009) ends, and some of them will be sizable entities,” predicted Andrew Martyn, a vice-president at Toronto-based investment adviser Davis-Rea Ltd.

“The metals side is just on the edge of apocalyptic. It looks horrible.”

Several Canadian companies – from Vale Inco, Xstrata Canada, Rio Tinto Alcan and others – have scaled back expansions, cut jobs and shut down unprofitable mines to conserve cash and get through one of the industry’s most difficult periods in decades.

via nbbusinessjournal.com – On the edge of apocalyptic – Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada.

 

* Dec. 25 (Bloomberg) — Renesas Technology Corp., the world’s largest privately held chipmaker, said it plans to cut 1,000 temporary jobs by March 31, eliminating all such workers.

The Tokyo-based company has about 26,000 full-time employees, spokesman Hirotaka Ohno said by telephone today. He declined to comment on the extent of personnel cuts prior to the 1,000 jobs that will be eliminated from January.

via Bloomberg.com: Japan.

 

* Dec. 26 (Bloomberg) — A Mizuho Financial Group Inc. brokerage unit aims to cut as many as 200 jobs and will reduce executives’ pay by as much as 25 percent to increase profit.

via Bloomberg.com: Japan.

 

More than 30,000 estate agents have lost their jobs since the start of the credit crisis, according to research which highlights how the housing crash has wreaked havoc across the economy.

It means that almost half of the estimated 80,000 estate agents who were in work 18 months ago have since been made unemployed.

via Housing market crash has led to 32,000 estate agents losing their job – Telegraph.

 

* Multibillion-dollar spending cuts followed by a number of layoffs prior to Christmas have some hard-hit oilpatch players fearing widespread job reductions in the new year.

Suncor confirmed this week it has told several hundred contractors — including engineers and other professionals — not to come back for its Voyageur oilsands project as planned in early January, while executives spend much of the month deciding how exactly to trim $3 billion from its capital budget for the year, and how many contractors would need to return.

via Drastic oilpatch spending cuts leave workers fearful for jobs.

 

* More than 100,000 people have been laid off in recent months by the gems and jewellery industry in India because of the global slowdown in demand and lack of adequate credit, an industry leader said in this hub for the sector in Gujarat.

‘This is for the first time in four decades that the diamond industry is facing such a severe liquidity crunch,’ said Mehul Choksi, director of the leading gems and jewellery manufacturer and exporter Gitanjali Group.

via Over 100,000 people laid off in India’s gems, jewellery sector.

 

UK developer, Free Radical, maker of such games like HAZE and TimeSplitters has laid off 140 of its employees, leaving a skeleton crew of 40, and it’s also up for sale.

via 140 Laid Off from Free Radical – G4tv.com.

 

* TOKYO, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Panasonic Electric Works (6991.T), the building materials unit of consumer electronics maker Panasonic Corp (6752.T), said it will close three additional plants in Japan and cut 800 workers as a slowing economy hits demand.

via Panasonic Electric to shut 3 plants, cut 800 jobs | Industries | Consumer Goods & Retail | Reuters .

 

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- -Hiring News

 

Mike: The Census Bureau will be hiring, so I’ll post a link to the Census Bureau in the links area. With a planned large federal stimulus, there should be plenty of opportunities in government the next couple years. Might as well earn back some of those tax dollars:

 

* The Jobs @ Census site was designed to help prospective employees match their interests and experience with one of the many positions available at the Census Bureau.

via Jobs at Census.

 

Jobs are scarce these days, however, one entity is preparing to hire about 1.4 million workers across the United States to help with the 2010 Census.

via Crescent-News.com – Need a job? Census Bureau plans to hire 1.4M temporary workers.

 

* The U.S. Census Bureau is looking for people to work for the 2010 census.

The bureau will hire about 600 people in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties to help update the Census Bureau’s address lists.

By 2010, there will be more than 310 million people living in an estimated 130 million homes across the country, according to the Census Bureau. Everyone must be counted in order to ensure seats are apportioned fairly in the U.S. House of Representatives and the state Legislature, and that government funding is distributed appropriately.

“The census is important for our area because there could be a shift in government funding from Santa Cruz to Watsonville,” said San Jose census office manager James Kamenelis.

Peak hiring will be February through the end of May 2010 for temporary assignments, most lasting eight to 12 weeks. Pay will range from $22 to $25 per hour for field positions, including field workers, crew leaders and field supervisors.

via U.S. Census wants you for 2010 count – San Jose Mercury News.

 

* The nation’s economy may be soft, but the U.S. Census Bureau will be hiring in Kansas soon.

Regional Manager Dennis Johnson, whose Kansas City, Mo., office oversees six states, says the bureau plans to hire about 1,000 people in Kansas, with at least a few workers in every county.

via Census planning to hire about 1,000 in Kansas - Kansas City Star.

 

KALAMAZOO — Organizers of the 2010 U.S. Census are seeking to hire the first of what will be more than 500 workers needed locally to conduct the once-a-decade population count.

The initial round of testing begins with seven sessions, the first scheduled for Saturday.

via U.S. Census workers needed – The Kalamazoo Gazette Online – Michigan Newspaper – MLive.com .

 

The State Department has asked for funding for 1,500 new positions for the current fiscal year. Of these, roughly 800 are Foreign Service and 700 civil service, said Luis Arreaga, director of recruitment, examination and employment at the department. Many of those positions are being filled because of attrition but about 160 are new. “We consider that a down payment,” said Mr. Arreaga.

via The U.S. Foreign Service Is Hiring - NYTimes.com.

 

* Workplace expert Challenger, Gray & Christmas will hold its annual job-search call-in next week.

The Chicago firm is suspending its normal business operations Monday and Tuesday to take calls from anyone needing job-hunting advice. The call-in runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days and is free. The telephone number is 312-332-5790. With job cuts continuing to rise, the service is likely to be more crucial than ever.

via Job hunting? Free call could change your life | ajc.com.

 

Mike: A little humor from The Unger Report:

* Well, actually, the wolf has broken down the door. He’s lying on your couch, eating the last can of beans from your pantry and running up your cable bill by watching pay-per-view movies. Plus, he’s shedding fur all over the place.

But who is this wolf who’s intruded into your life? Let’s start with the leader of the pack.

Link to listen:  Being A Leader Is More Than Fancy Shoes

 

Mike: A couple weekend laughs from The Onion and SNL:

more about “Report: Nation’s Wealthy Cruelly Depr…“, posted with vodpod

 

 

 

 

more about “Saturday Night Live – Reliable Invest…“, posted with vodpod

 

Mike: That’s most of the announcements this weekend. Till Monday …………………..

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Friday – MSFT Still Buzzing – 50 Trane Jobs at End of Line – DriveSol Steers 241 to Unemployment – UPS to Deliver Bad News? (12-26-08)


Mike: I hope you all had a fine Christmas Day. Friday should be a relatively quiet day for layoff announcements and financial news, but here is what is out there right now:    

Mike: The following is a repost, but I think it bears another look: After ignoring economic storm warnings and sinking the country’s financial ship, I don’t think that this group of civil servants should even consider a pay raise at this time.  Send CONgress a message by going to –  Congress.org and placing your congressional pay raise vote: 


CONGRESS GETS A PAY RAISE. DO THEY DESERVE IT?

Under existing law, as part of a deal to give up outside income from speeches and other sources, Congress receives an automatic pay raise unless it votes otherwise. In January, Congress will receive a raise of $4700. This will increase the average Member’s pay to about $174,000 or a 2.8% increase.

Does Congress deserve a raise this year? A bill was introduced to reject the pay increase, but it died in committee. Tell Congress what you think about this pay increase.

(29,655 messages thus far)

3% Say Congress Should Accept the Pay Raise

97% Say Congress Should Reject the Pay Raise

via Congress.org –  , which allows you to easily find and contact your congressional reps.

 

- Microsoft Rumors-News – 

 
* I’ve been competing with Microsoft for years, at Lineo, Novell, and now Alfresco. But I can’t even remotely get excited by the prospect of a big layoff at the software giant, with some speculation suggesting it could go as deep as 10 percent of Microsoft’s 91,000 full-time employees.

via Microsoft gearing up for layoffs? Let’s hope not | The Open Road – CNET News.

* Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is said to be preparing large scale job cuts due to declining revenue growth as the recession worsens.

Analysts have already started downgrading performance of MSFT stock in light of the economic conditions. The latest downgrade Friday from Citigroup’s Brent Thill said that “the slowdown that the company saw in October intensified into November and continued into December.” Thrill predicted revenue for the June 2009 fiscal year of $62.5 billion, up just 3%, and below the company’s guidance for 7%-10% growth.

via Microsoft Rumored to be Preparing Large Scale Jobs Cuts.

* NEW DELHI: Internet is abuzz with reports that software giant Microsoft may be readying pink slips. Some speculations suggest that layoffs could

be as high as 10 percent of Microsoft’s over 90,000 full-time employees.

- According to site newsoxy.com, “Insiders who work for the company say that things are looking grim while a few managers have leaked information about substantial workforce reductions on January 15, 2009.”

via Pinkslips coming at Microsoft? – Software & Services-News-Indiatimes – Infotech.

* Let’s hope that Microsoft doesn’t listen to Wall Street’s call. After all, look at the Wall Street’s recent track record of driving the economy not just into a ditch, but off a cliff. Would you want to take advice from people who drive like that?

via This Is No Time for Microsoft Layoffs – Computerworld Blogs.

 

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- General Employment News

Mike: The report below presents some interesting facts about how the newly unemployed are likely to have a more difficult time finding new employment. While the article ignores the differences in reported unemployment numbers from the 1980s to 2008  – the process was changed during the Clinton admin to eliminate discouraged workers from the reported unemployment numbers – it explains how some high paying jobs will not return:

* Pink (as in slips) is the new brown. This fall a number of economists began predicting that unemployment would rise to 8% during this recession, up from a reading of 6.5% in October. It would be the highest jobless rate in years. But put into historical perspective, that forecast isn’t too bad. A quarter of all adults were out of work during the Great Depression. More recently, unemployment reached 7.8% in the early 1990s, and climbed all the way to 11% in the beginning of the 1980s. We recovered from both of those recessions looking quite sprightly. But beyond the headline number is a growing unease among economists and job-market watchers that, for the approximately 2.3 million people who may be asked to leave their cubicles and workspaces in the next year, it might be harder this time around for them to regain their piece of corporate America than in past recessions.

 

* If you’re feeling down, don’t worry. You’ve got company. Economists and psychologists say that recessions tend to make nearly everyone less happy.

- The good news, though, is that recent research suggests as long as you don’t lose your job, your mood probably won’t sour as much as the GDP. What’s more, you’re unlikely to stay feeling down for long, even if the recession turns out to be a particularly long and economically painful one.

via Recession Not as Depressing as it Seems – TIME.

 

* CHICAGO – The number of unemployed Americans will continue to grow throughout 2009 and will level out in the first half of 2010, according to Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Employment levels may stay flat until well into 2011 and job creation even then will show only moderate gains. It may be 2013 before we start to see the level of employment growth associated with a healthy and expanding economy.

via MidwestBusiness.com: Midwest Business & Technology News.

 

Mike: Putting a layoff behind you and releiving some ex-employer frustration is good therapy, but the best therapy is finding a new gig. In the West, layoffs can still earn satircal and humerous responses, but you’re not likely to see this type of tame response from those who lose jobs in countries that don’t provide an adequate safety net:

* Getting laid off has long been one of life’s loneliest experiences.

People are singled out, stripped of their professional identities and escorted out of buildings where some have spent most of their adult lives.

But watch out. As a wave of layoffs washes over the United States and beyond, some of the pink-slipped masses are going public, fighting back with satirical songs on YouTube and rapid-fire Twitter streams read ’round the globe.

via Layoffs spark public venting – San Jose Mercury News.

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- International News-
 

Mike: I don’t think you’ll see GM, Ford or Chrysler offer to stop layoffs for the good of the country at large. This would be a nice trend, but there would be cries of socialism and communism from those in the US who believe that only bailing out the well-off is governments responsibility:

* Major truck manufacturer Isuzu Motors Ltd. has canceled a plan to lay off 550 fixed-term contract workers this month, the company said Wednesday.

In November, Isuzu announced it was to terminate employment contracts with about 1,400 fixed-term contract and dispatch workers.

The company said it had reconsidered its decision to lay off the fixed-term contract workers because the economic downturn has made it very difficult for people to find new jobs. It said it also had received a string of requests from the government asking it to maintain its current employment levels.

via Isuzu drops plan to shed 550 workers : Business : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri).

 
Mike: During the early months of the US run toward recession, I read Canadian publications that insisted that Canada wouldn’t have a housing bust or a recession. Unfortunately, like their US counterparts, they ignored reality and believed that housing prices would increase rapidly forever and that would prevent a recession. As reality returns to the Canadian landscape, it’s becoming obvious that the world’s recession will negatively impact the Canadian economy

* It is official. Canada is now in recession. And job losses are on the way. Don’t be fooled by rosy predictions of a quick turnaround.

The country’s number-one bank, the Royal Bank of Canada (rbc), just announced that the United States has dragged Canada’s economy into recession. The report said the Canadian economy is heading down a “rocky road” as the global economy falters and prices for key Canadian commodities slide. Canada will post no growth in 2009 and the jobless rate will climb as high as 7.4 percent.

via Canada Enters Recession | theTrumpet.com.

Mike: An interesting and entertaining read of the world’s current financial crises:

- Fiscal Insanity Virus Strikes Canada, Sweden, Italy, IMF-

The world health organization has confirmed new cases of the extremely contagious Fiscal Insanity Virus (FIV) that is rapidly spreading the globe. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is one of the latest victims as evidenced by the headline Flaherty gives banks deadline to lend more.

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Fiscal Insanity Virus Strikes Canada, Sweden, Italy, IMF.

* TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s production of cars, trucks and buses marked its steepest drop in at least four decades in November, an industry group said Thursday, as the fallout from the U.S. slowdown crimped auto demand.

Vehicle production in Japan, home to Toyota Motor Corp. and other major automakers, plunged 20.4 percent in November compared to the same month a year ago to 854,171 vehicles, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said.

via Japan auto production marks worst drop since 1967: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

* TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s contracting economy got a slew of bad news Friday when government figures showed that industrial production plunged by its biggest margin on record in November, the jobless rate jumped and household spending fell.

Output at the nation’s manufacturers tumbled 8.1 percent from October, the largest drop since Tokyo began measuring such data in 1953, as Japan’s automakers and others slashed production to cope with slowing global demand. A government survey predicted further declines of 8 percent in December and 2.1 percent in January.

via The Associated Press: Japan factory output has biggest fall on record.

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 - US and some Canada Layoff News

 

* The sluggish economy has reeled in Diamond Chain Co., one of Indianapolis’ oldest businesses, which will temporarily lay off 64 hourly employees, or about 15 percent of its work force.

via 64 workers laid off temporarily at Diamond Chain in Indianapolis | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star .

 

Mike: The snippet below was all I could find at this time. Does anyone have any other news about Digirad?

* Poway-based Digirad Corp. (Nasdaq: DRAD) will be among the next to add to the list of local unemployed.

via San Diego Source > News > Digirad to layoff staff in restructuring.

 

* MERCED — Employees at Merced County’s Human Services Agency will find out by mid-January whether they’re among the 35 workers who’ll be laid off, officials said Tuesday.

via The Modesto Bee | Layoff notices coming for 35 Merced County workers.

 

*  GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – More than 130 people will lose their jobs at the Seaview Resort and Spa, state officials confirmed Tuesday.

via Seaview notifies state it will lay off 134 workers .

 

* Monday on 14 News, we told you Century Aluminum was cutting 20 salaried jobs from its Hawesville plant.

Now another Hancock County aluminum maker is also downsizing. Aleris International is laying off 32 workers from its plant in Lewisport effective January 5th.

via 14 WFIE, The Tri-State’s News Leader: More job cuts in Hancock County.

 

(Crain’s) — Local architecture firms, including heavyweights Solomon Cordwell Buenz, DeStefano & Partners and Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP, have had major layoffs in recent months, as building projects have slowed locally and worldwide.

SCB laid off about 30 employees and cut 10 vacant positions in October and November, roughly one-fourth of the firm’s Chicago office. DeStefano earlier this month laid off 15 people, 10% of its staff, and also instituted 10% pay cuts for all employees in 2009.

Sources say Chicago-based SOM, meanwhile, has recently fired upward of 100 people here to cut costs.

via Chicago Business News, Analysis & Articles | Job cuts hit local architecture firms | Crain’s .

 

* The Trane Air Conditioning Plant, one of Bay County’s premier employers, completed a 50-person layoff.

The plant manufactures commercial air conditioning equipment in the Lynn Kaven Industrial Park.

via More Layoffs in Our Area .

DriveSol Worldwide Incorporated, a Troy, Michigan-based manufacturer of steering column components located in Watertown, announced last week that it will be forced to close down its local facility due to dire financial problems. The closure is expected to occur by March 15.

via Town Times – DriveSol to close To lay off 241 employees.

 
* Athens, GA – The Invista yarn-processing plant in Athens has laid off 50 workers and has shut down operations until early next month.
via – Athens yarn plant lays off 50 workers.


* KAMIAH, Idaho (AP) – An outdoor recreation ranch in north-central Idaho has laid off 33 workers because of declining business.

via NBC Newschannel 6 Where News Comes First – Kamiah’s Flying B Ranch lays off 33 workers.

 

* The job picture is getting gloomier in the final days of the year, with new layoffs in Austin and nationwide.

In Austin, software maker Vignette Corp. said Wednesday that it had laid off workers, but it provided no details other than that the cuts were in the single-digit percentages. The company has about 200 workers here, spokeswoman Melanie Brenneman said.

via New layoffs in Austin, across nation.

 

It’s not turning out to be a season of hope for 46 Escondido city employees.

The city is finalizing plans to lay off the workers to help close a projected $7.4 million budget gap caused by sharply declining sales tax revenue.

via 46 city employees targeted for layoffs.

 

* RICHMOND, CA (KGO) — It’s going to be a nervous Christmas for people who brighten the season by delivering holiday packages. There are rumblings of possible layoffs at UPS facilities throughout the Bay Area. It all hinges on how well the company performs during this tough shipping season.

via UPS workers hear rumors of layoffs for newer employees - 12/24/08 – San Francisco News – abc7news.com.

 

* When aerospace supplier Mark Haller advertised for an administrative assistant, he got 200 applicants. But when he sought a skilled machinist at more than twice the salary, only 10 applied.

As layoffs hit broad swaths of the economy, skilled jobs in aerospace and other technology manufacturing are going begging. For a variety of reasons, too few people are entering the field, prompting companies to hang on to their skilled workers even in tough times. Some are starting apprenticeship and other programs with technical schools, which have also had trouble recruiting.

via Washington manufacturing jobs go begging in downturn – Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle): .

 

* QUINCY, IL (December 19, 2008) – Gardner Denver, Inc. (NYSE: GDI) announced restructuring initiatives that are expected to be completed in 2009. These initiatives are driven by both deteriorating global economic conditions and the integration of the Company’s October 2008 acquisition of CompAir Holdings Limited (“CompAir”).

……… The Company notified employees representing approximately 9% of its global salaried workforce that their positions would be eliminated within the next nine months, with the majority of affected employees expected to leave the organization by the second quarter of 2009.

via Gardner Denver, Inc. Announces Restructuring Initiatives and Updated Guidance .

 

* DAYTON, Ohio — The economy continues to take a toll on cities and other Ohio municipalities, with additional cuts and cutbacks coming.

Officials at Sugarcreek Township in southwest Ohio announced Christmas Eve they are slashing firefighters’ hours and closing one fire house at night.

The mayor of Warren in northeast Ohio is warning of possible layoffs in the water and wastewater departments because of cutbacks by major local employers including General Motors.

via Ohio Firefighters Get Jobs Cut On Christmas Eve - News Story – WEWS Cleveland.

 

* Thousands of workers from as far away as the Philippines are watching their jobs in Alberta evaporate as the richest oil boom in the province’s history deflates.

Sinking oil prices have forced skittish investors to hedge their bets on half a dozen multibillion-dollar oilsands projects, leaving one of the key engines of Canada’s economy teetering on an uncertain future.

Ben Stacey, a pipefitter from Newfoundland, was making as much as $70 an hour in the oilsands when he was blindsided by sudden layoffs.

via The Moose Jaw Times Herald: National News | Once-booming oilsands face uncertain future.

 

* Budget cuts around the state have forced layoffs and buyouts in almost every sector, and a recent decision to lay off all court reporters next year has people on all sides of the issue upset.

The Utah Judicial Council recently made the decision to eliminate the use of court reporters, who are currently used in first-degree felony cases to make a record of the proceedings. All of the 18 court reporters will remain employed until June 31, 2009, at which point the courts will make the full switch to digital sound and video recordings.

via Daily Herald – Local attorneys upset over court reporter layoffs.

 

* Forty-seven employees of the Royal River Casino in Flandreau will add a job hunt to their list of New Year resolutions this coming January. Management laid of 15 percent of its work force recently.

Officials say it’s not the “¢ Manager says 47 layoffs due to technology advances, not economy slumping economy, but technological advances that are to blame for the layoffs.

via Brookings Register Online.

 

* TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Walter Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WLT) announced today the permanent closure of the Kodiak Mine in Shelby County, Ala., ……….

- Approximately 90 contract miners at the Kodiak mine are expected to be affected by the closure, many of whom will be offered positions at Walter Industries’ other mining operations.

via Walter Industries, Inc. :: Walter Industries, Inc. Announces Closure of United Land’s Kodiak Mine.

 

Mike: I am trying to make this site easier to navigate, so you can spend your time on your areas of interest. Bear with me while I develop this site to be more user friendly. If you have any suggestions on how this site can be improved, please pass them along. Thanks.

 

 

Adams - Dec 26

Adams - Dec 26

link to top

 

Mike: That’s about it for this holiday shortened news week. If the news is active, I’ll post a Weekend Update. I’ll leave you with the following weekend classics…………

Steely Dan – Black Friday

Neil Young – Out on the Weekend

 

Wednesday – 586,000 New Unemployment Claims – Whirlpool Cleans TN of 500 Jobs – MSFT Rumors Still Flying – Macsteel Cuts 300 (12-24-08)

- News of the day -

Mike: New claims for unemployment shot up last week. Why this increased number is considered unexpected is beyond me, since all data seem to point in claims rising dramatically:

WASHINGTON (AP) — New claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, the government said Wednesday, as layoffs spread throughout the economy, more evidence the labor market is weakening as the recession deepens.

 

The Labor Department reported that initial requests for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 586,000 in the week ending Dec. 20, from an upwardly revised figure of 556,000 the previous week. That’s much more than the 560,000 economists had expected.

via New jobless claims jump more than expected: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Mike: One of my gripes with unemployment reports from MSM is that they compare apples to oranges. The report following the graph gives the impression that unemployment isn’t too bad compared to other times, but it doesn’t bother to mention that the unemployment numbers were adjusted during the Clinton administration to omit discouraged workers, which could add significantly to the unemployment rate, as described by Shadow Government Statistics:

Up until the Clinton administration, a discouraged worker was one who was willing, able and ready to work but had given up looking because there were no jobs to be had. The Clinton administration dismissed to the non-reporting netherworld about five million discouraged workers who had been so categorized for more than a year. As of July 2004, the less-than-a-year discouraged workers total 504,000. Adding in the netherworld takes the unemployment rate up to about 12.5%.

via Employment and Unemployment.

Mike: Here, from Shadow Government Statistics is a graph showing the various unemployment rate scenarios. As you can see, real unemployment is likely much higher than reported unemployment:

 

Unemployment Rate Official (U3 & U6) vs. SGS Alternate

Unemployment Rate Official (U3 & U6) vs. SGS Alternate

 

Mike: Now look at the following article and see how they describe unemployment rates without consideration of how those numbers are reported:

(Money Magazine) — Nervous about your job? Join the club. Recent polls show that 30% of Americans are worried about being laid off. Yet most of them won’t be.

- Economists expect the unemployment rate to hit 8% in 2009. That’s more than today’s 6.5%, but it’s no more than it was in the early ’90s and far lower than the rate in the not-so-distant recession of the early ’80s (11%). Why do today’s projections make you feel so scared?

via How bad (really) is 8% unemployment? – Dec. 22, 2008 .

 

Pat Oliphant - Dec. 23

Pat Oliphant - Dec. 23

 

Mike: As consumers cut back on spending they will buy less stuff, which leads companies and small businesses to reduce headcount. And since many companies are cutting back on overtime and benefits, along with lessened weekly hours, incomes are decreasing as well:

* WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumers cut spending for a fifth straight month during November and their incomes shrank, according to a government report on Wednesday that pointed to deepening recessionary pressures.

The Commerce Department said spending contracted by 0.6 percent after falling even more steeply by 1 percent in October. Incomes contracted by 0.2 percent after a slight 0.1 percent gain in October, reflecting the strain that rising unemployment is putting on Americans’ ability to spend.

via Consumer spending posts fifth monthly drop: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

* As a rising number of Americans sign up for unemployment benefits, many of the state-funded trusts that pay them are on the decline.

- At least 12 of them are on the brink of insolvency. In 20 other states, the funds have lost value, even before the big job losses of the past two months. -

via As Unemployment Soars, Some States on Brink of Insolvency | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet.

 

Mike: An interesting read follows. The Brits are more realistic in their financial expectations than the US MSM and talking heads:

* Let’s do the math

We have 1.2 million unemployed construction workers. We have 123,000 unemployed architects and engineers. We have 83,000 unemployed machinery workers. We have 145,000 unemployed transportation-related workers. So that brings us to barely more than 1.5 million of a labor pool the government can tap into for all the new building activity. But the bulk of the joblessness is in financials (up to half a million), retail/wholesale (1.2 million), leisure/hospitality (1.3 million) and health/education (1.2 million). And if investment bankers, shopkeepers, bell captains and medical chart technicians have anything in common it is that they don’t have much experience in shovel-ready activities.

via Deflation Depression II as $10 Trillion Wealth Destroyed :: The Market Oracle :: Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting Free Website.

 

Mike: The following Christmas poem can be completed at the link:

’Twas the night before Christmas, my shopping was done
I’d gotten great bargains, gee, aren’t low prices fun!
But less costly gifts are but small consolation
For my four-o-one K’s brutal devastation.

This year of o-eight ranks surely one of the worst!
It all started when the housing bubble did burst.
How could such a mess happen? And, who should we blame?
The fault lies with culprits far too many to name.

But my rhyme needs a villain, and for me that’s a cinch.
It’s none else but that vandal — the nasty old Grinch,
Who’d slinked into town for some real mischief making
And our long expansion he planned to be breaking.

From that first day on, he was brewing up trouble,
Aiming his sights first on the housing price bubble.
So the Grinch posed first as a home mortgage lender
His too easy loan terms sent some on a bender.

’Twas the Night Before Christmas (The Year of the Grinch) By David H. Resler

 

- Microsoft Rumors/News -

* Any cuts – thought to be Microsoft’s first in its 30-year history – would follow a hiring freeze and come after years of massive expansion, to try and grow a successful online services business. Head count has grown 28 per cent to 91,000 in just two years as it has hired individuals and bought companies like online ads shop aQuantive – Microsoft’s biggest acquisition at nearly $6bn. The payroll has expanded by 49 per cent since 2005, with increases across R&D, sales, marketing, and support.

via Microsoft staff cuts due next month? • The Register.

 

* Analyst: Microsoft staff cuts would be “healthy” -

Responding to unsubstantiated rumors of possible Microsoft lay offs, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Brad Reback wrote in a report Monday that lay offs at Microsoft would be “well-received” by Wall Street and “signal that profitability is more important than revenue growth during this very difficult time.”

via Analyst: Microsoft staff cuts would be “healthy”.

 

* Microsoft Corp could very well be cutting jobs next month before it announces its fiscal year quarterly results. Insiders who work for the company say that things are looking grim while a few managers have leaked information about substantial workforce reductions on January 15, 2009.

via Microsoft Plans To Cut Jobs By 10 Percent.

 

- Housing -

Mike: Yesterday’s housing reports were worse than expected and that will result in continued shedding of housing related jobs. Housing number reviews are now available and I’ll post some of these here:

Calculated Risk has an excellent analysis with some descriptive graphs:

And here is an analysis of existing home turnover (not pretty), and NSA data showing the existing home sales plunge was worse than the headline number.

via Calculated Risk: Even More on Home Sales.

 

- International -

Mike: Life in Russia is bound to deteriorate quickly if oil remains at $40 a barrel and the world economy continues on it’s recessionary ways:

* NOVOKUZNETSK, Kemerovo Region — The working week, like the winter days in this Siberian city, has become shorter since the global financial crisis paralyzed its heavy industry. Paychecks have been cut by a third or more.

Novokuznetsk’s half a million residents, over 60 percent of whom depend on the steel, coal and aluminum industries, dare not contemplate the alternative — mass layoffs — as they struggle to repay bank loans taken out in more prosperous times.

“If nothing changes, we will come up against more serious consequences in February or March,” said Alla Semyonova, director of the city’s employment center. “People have not yet fully grasped what is happening here.”

via .http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/1009/42/373396.htm

 

* MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia and China issued stark warnings on Wednesday about the impact of the crisis on their recently booming economies in 2009, with Moscow saying the downturn could spark unrest in the streets.

Japan also approved a record-high budget aimed at avoiding the worst effects of the crisis and Germany prepared to pump billions of euros into the economy in a new rescue plan in a holiday season marred by a slew of economic bad news.

“We need to take unprecedented measures when in an extraordinary economic situation,” Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said at a news conference after his cabinet backed the 980-billion-dollar (700-billion-euro) budget.

via AFP: Russia, China warn of dire economic straits in 2009.

 

Mike: A harbinger of things to come in the US workforce?

* Applied Materials to lay off 200 in Israel

The layoffs are greater than had been expected.

Yaniv Magal24 Dec 08 16:48

Poor third quarter results by Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) has forced it to lay off staff, including at its Israeli subsidiary. Today, after weeks of speculation, assessments, and media reports, Applied Materials president and CEO Michael Splinter has announced measures that include 200 layoffs at Applied Materials Israel, more than had been expected.

via Applied Materials to lay off 200 in Israel.

 

* It is estimated that Hon Hai has over 400,000 employees worldwide. By this number, Hon Hai will cut 12,000 to 20,000 jobs around the world.

via Hon Hai To Cut 20,000 Staff Globally – ChinaTechNews.com – The Technology Source for the Latest Chinese News on Internet, Computers, Digital, Science, Electronics, Law, Security, Software, Web 2.0, Telecom, and Wireless Industries.

 

* DUBAI (AFP) — Up to 45 percent of the construction workforce in the United Arab Emirates could be laid off, with thousands already having lost their jobs due to the global financial crisis, a report said Wednesday.

via AFP: ‘Massive layoffs’ expected in UAE.

 

- US and some Canada news -

 

* BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) – The number of jobless Georgians continues to grow.

The unemployment rate is especially high in one southwest Georgia county. The national rate is now 6.7-percent, up three points from last year.

- Georgia’s rate is 7.5, also up three points from last year.

via WALB.com News, Weather and Sports for Albany, Valdosta and Thomasville. Leading the way for South Georgia. | Decatur CountyUnemployment double last year.

 

Mike: The chip makers are going to be making some big cuts in 2009, especially if poor earnings are the rule:

* SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc on Tuesday posted a wider quarterly loss, worse than Wall Street predicted, as average selling prices for its memory products declined.

For the fiscal first-quarter ended December 4, the company said its net loss widened to $706 million, or 91 cents a share, compared with a loss of $262 million, or 34 cents a share, a year ago.

via Micron posts lower revenue, wider loss.

 

* Mayor Carty Finkbeiner is announcing city layoffs a day after an arbitrator ruled a plan to save Toledo money through one-day furloughs violates union contracts.

The mayor announced he’s appealing that ruling that says the city has to re-pay the 240 workers forced to take off the day before Thanksgiving without pay. But in the meantime, he’ll lay off many workers around the holidays and for a week in February.

via Finkbeiner announces city layoffs - 12/23/08 – Toledo News – 13abc.com.

 

- Macsteel -

* Gerdau Macsteel, a manufacturer of special bar quality (SBQ) products in Jackson, Mich., sent out Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices Monday to salaried and hourly employees of a plant shutdown and layoff that will go on indefinitely.

via (AMM) Gerdau Macsteel cuts 75% of work force at Jackson SBQ plant – Metal Bulletin .

* The first day of winter vacation for Macsteel workers was anything but a relaxing start to their holiday.

“It made me sick. Everyone spent all those years working there, 35 years or so– they’re out of work too,” says Chuck Smiley, a nine-year veteran of the steel manufacturer.

News that 300 Macsteel employees would be indefinitely out of work come January 16th hung heavy on the shoulders of Tom Dybata, Kasey Heckaman and Smiley— men who feel lost for the time being.

via Macsteel Layoffs Could Cripple Community / WILX News 10 Lansing/Jackson-, Breaking News that’s local from where you live .

 

Whirlpool Corp. is closing its Jackson, Tenn., facility, shedding 510 jobs, according to documents released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The move is part of a plan by Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR) to shrink its workforce by 5,000 workers in the next nine months.

via Whirlpool to close Jackson, Tenn. facility – Nashville Business Journal: .

 

Citigroup – A massive job reduction plan announced by Citigroup last month will make landfall in San Antonio in February when 55 employees at a CitiFinancial Auto facility on Interstate 10 West is closed.

State work force officials reported Monday that Citigroup, CitiFinancial’s parent company, had scheduled the layoffs for the middle of February at a facility at 7550 Interstate 10 West. A letter submitted to the state by Citi said the facility would be closed.

via S.A. CitiFinancial workers facing layoffs.

 

Mike: Why can the Yankees sign three players for contracts totalling about $375 million? Because the fine people of New York state paid for the new $1 billion dollar City Stadium in Manhattan. San Diego and other cities may be finding that having a ball team can end up costing the municipality more revenue than it brings in, both financially and culturally. And now that cities need to cut costs, they need to weigh the value of publically funded sports teams vs. the value of libraries, parks, protective services and schools:

* “The pride and presence of a professional football team is far more important than 30 libraries.” Intelligent people laughed when former pro-football-team owner Art Modell made the comment. Now San Diego, painfully broke, is the butt of the joke. It is discussing closing libraries while its establishment lobbies for subsidies for a team owned by a billionaire who is in much better financial shape than the City

via San Diego Reader | Football Yes, Libraries No.

 

Mike: Better a pay cut or a spot in the UE line? I bet most will volunteer to cut the paycheck:

About 700 Agilent employees in Delaware will see pay cuts of up to 10 percent under cost-saving measures the company announced Monday.

But they are expected to be spared the layoffs that will take place elsewhere in the company.

Agilent plans to cut 500 full-time jobs and eliminate 300 temporary positions. The company has a total of 20,000 employees.

via Agilent workers in Del. prepare for pay cuts | delawareonline | The News Journal.

 

Mike: That $100 billion wasted could have been put to good work producing jobs at home:

* An unpublished federal report has concluded the US reconstruction effort in Iraq has been a $100 billion failure. It found that the rebuilding has not done much more than restore what was destroyed during the invasion and the looting that followed. We speak to journalist T. Christian Miller of the investigative website ProPublica, who obtained a copy of the report. [includes rush transcript]

via Democracy Now! | Federal Report Finds $100B Failure in US Reconstruction of Iraq.

 

* Tuesday was a sad day for more than 3,000 General Motors Corp. workers in Janesville, Wis., and Moraine, Ohio, as the auto giant ended production at SUV plants in each city.

As the last SUV rolled off the production line in Janesville at GM’s oldest plant, Karen Green promised herself she would keep her emotions in check.

via-3,000 lose jobs as GM closes two SUV plants.

 

* (NECN) – The Boston teacher’s union says hundreds of teachers could lose their jobs if the state follows through on expected cuts to fill a budget gap, according to the Boston Herald.

- Boston teacher layoff video necn.com -

 

AllianceBernstein is the latest firm to announce cutbacks, as the deepening financial crisis has cut into the firm’s profits. The $452 billion firm saw its assets under management decrease by approximately $30 billion, or 6.2%, in November 2008 alone. The layoffs will affect members of the investment staff as well as client services and marketing employees. The firm’s research staff, which the firm had steadily built up within the last few years, has been reduced by an estimated 8% to 10%.

via Fund Times: AllianceBernstein Announces Layoffs and New CEO – Morningstar Fund Times.

 

* Quaker Chemical Corp. said it has cut 80 positions, mostly in North America and Europe, as it responds to a fall in the fortunes of customers in the steel and automotive markets.

via Quaker Chemical cuts 80 positions – Philadelphia Business Journal:

 

* A corporate restructuring of Charter Communications will cut 75 jobs, the St. Louis Business Journal reported Tuesday.

via news: Report: Charter to cut 75 jobs; local impact uncertain.

 

* In a letter released to The Woonsocket Call, Menard said that if the unions do not make concessions, she will resort to layoffs. Union leaders said the mayor has threatened to eliminate the jobs of 45 firefighters and 30 police officers.

 

* Some employees at the Alabama Department of Archives and History have been told the department may be forced to layoff workers as a result of state budget cuts.

via Budget Cuts Hit Alabama’s History – Budget Cuts Alabamas Budget Alabama Department Of Archives And History – WKRG.com.

 

* COPIA, the cash-strapped wine and food institute in Napa, Calif., has closed its doors for good, after a bankruptcy filing on Dec. 1 and subsequent revelations that the nonprofit corporation could no longer meet operating expenses or service its debt.

via Napa Culinary Center, in Debt, Forced to Close – NYTimes.com.

 

Mike: Some good news for state workers in OK:

* OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Brad Henry said Monday that he doesn’t expect state employees to be furloughed or terminated over the next year or so.

via Tulsa World: Governor sees no furloughs or job cuts .

 

* ATLANTA (Reuters) – Retailers can be expected to speed up a wave of store closures, restructurings and job cuts in the coming weeks, hoping to get a fresh start in early 2009 after more than a year of recession.

Many store chains have waited for the holiday shopping season to end before taking more aggressive steps, but will aim for more cost cutting by the close of their retail fiscal year in early January and throughout calendar 2009, economists and consultants said.

via Stores to ramp up closings and job cuts in early ’09 | Reuters .

 

* Unable to pay rent at its Bothell, WA headquarters, stem cell company CellCyte Genetics announced that it will shut down operations. “We presently do not have sufficient cash to fund our operations, and have curtailed substantially all activities,” the company said in its quarterly report, according to the Seattle Times.

* Steel slowdown leads to 111 layoffs in New Castle

A New Castle plant that processes stainless steel has fired four salaried workers and will lay off 111 employees for as long as six months.

Pennsylvania-based ATI Allegheny Ludlum, a specialty metals maker, told the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that cutbacks at the Henry County rolled steel facility are necessary because of a reduction in orders.

via Steel slowdown leads to 111 layoffs in New Castle | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star .

 

* Denver-headquartered American National Bank laid off 62 employees across all of its 40 locations throughout Colorado and Wyoming, officials confirmed Tuesday.

About one-third, or 20, of the layoffs occurred in Western Colorado branch locations. The bank operates in Grand Junction, Fruita, Telluride and Aspen, among 15 branches this side of the Continental Divide.

via American National cuts workforce of 800 by 62 in Colorado and Wyoming.

 

* With another half-dozen layoffs last week, the Chicago Reader’s editorial staff is now less than half the size it was when the free weekly newspaper was acquired by Creative Loafing Inc. just 17 months ago.

via Report: Chicago Reader lays off another six | Tower Ticker.

 

* Blackhawk Learning Connection, a day-care center for children 6 weeks to 10 years old on the city’s near southeast side, had to make staff reductions and do some creative scheduling to make it through 2007, the first year in as long as most can remember that the agency failed to receive a United Way grant.

via More United Way cuts feared – Rockford, IL – Rockford Register Star.

 

 

* About two dozen county employees were laid off for 2009 as a result of revenue shortfalls.

County commissioners approved a 2009 budget on Tuesday that is millions of dollars smaller than this year’s budget. The Daily Herald reported Wednesday that there had been no layoffs.

While the sheriff’s office — which makes up half of the county employees — managed to avoid layoffs, other departments were cut back.

via Daily Herald – Two dozen positions axed in county budget.

 

* Update:

COLUMBIA, Tenn. – A middle Tennessee company is laying off 125 employees just two days before Christmas.

The job cuts are happening at Johnson Controls Inc. in Columbia, Tenn.

via 125 Laid Off At Columbia Plant – News- msnbc.com.

 

* Now another Hancock County aluminum maker is also downsizing. Aleris International is laying off 32 workers from its plant in Lewisport effective January 5th.

“The national economy has finally hit us here at home too,” said Jack McCaslin, Hancock County Judge Executive.  “Most of the time our industries are the type that can sustain a whole lot of downturn.”

via 14 WFIE, The Tri-State’s News Leader: More job cuts in Hancock County.

 

* HANNIBAL, Mo. — A brake cables plant in northeast Missouri is closing by the end of the year.

A representative for DURA says the company plans to close a plant in Hannibal. Employees have been told the plant’s operations are moving to Mexico and Milan, Tenn. DURA has been gradually phasing out jobs at its Hannibal North plant since March.

via Hannibal’s DURA plant to close – Missouri | State & regional – Belleville News-Democrat.

 

* POCA, W.Va. — A 3M plant in Poca that employs 10 full-time workers as well as some contract workers will close in April.

“We told our employees in early December that the facility’s operations would be consolidated with our manufacturing facility in Guin, Ala.,” said Donna Fleming Runyon, a spokeswoman at 3M’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minn. “By consolidating, we expect to help us be more competitive and continue to provide excellent service to our customers.”

via The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports – News – Poca 3M plant to close .

 

* Cadence Innovation, a Troy-based automotive supplier that has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is closing its Hillsdale plant.

 

The company has notified the Department of Labor and Economic Growth it is closing the plant at 29 Superior St. and laying off 133 workers. Employees also received a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification letter.

via Hillsdale plant is closing – MLive.com.

 

* One of the biggest employers in the Flathead Valley is planning to shut its doors.

We talked with company officials about the announced layoffs at Columbia Falls Aluminum Company, which came so close to Christmas.

Columbia Falls and the Flathead Valley were hit hard Tuesday with the news that about 200 jobs will be lost.

via Montana’s News Station – Fair. Accurate. To the Point. -Columbia Falls plant closing.

 

* ASHEBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina company is closing after 82 years of producing a hand-built rocking chair popularized by President John F. Kennedy, who used them in the White House.

The News & Record of Greensboro reported Wednesday that P&P Chair Co. of Asheboro has quit production. Owner Beth Page said her husband, the son of one of the founders, died last month and this seemed like the right time to wind down the business.

via NC makers of rocking chair favored by JFK to close – BostonHerald.com.

 

* GRENADA, Miss. — A newsprint mill in Grenada will shut down for a month in January.

The Grenada facility employs at least 200, officials say, working in four 12-hour shifts.

via Grenada mill to shutdown during January – BostonHerald.com.

 

Christina Aguilera – The Christmas Song

 

- Hiring -

 

Mike: Let’s end today’s post with some good news:

* HIRING: BREWER (AP) — At a time when many employers are slowing production and cutting jobs, the Cianbro (CHIN’-broh) Corp.’s Eastern Manufacturing Facility in Brewer is adding workers as it builds modules for an oil refinery expansion in Texas.

via WCSH6.com | Portland, ME | Work Force At Cianbro Plant Grows To 700.

 

* CLEVELAND CO., N.C. — Their website ultimateconcerts.com has its own buzz.

If they make good on their promise people in Cleveland County will consider them ultimate “jobs”, 2,835 jobs.

Freddie Douglas likes the thought of new jobs in Cleveland County, “As far as the economy around here, we need it.”

via Internet Company To Create Thousands Of Jobs In Cleveland County – Charlotte News Story – WSOC Charlotte.

 

* AT&T Inc. today announced that AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets will add nearly 75 new jobs in Vermont as a result of its completed acquisition of the Vermont assets of Rural Cellular Communications, a provider of rural and suburban wireless communications services doing business in Vermont under the Unicel brand.

 

 

Mike: And since this is supposed to be a joyful day, let’s hear some holiday cheer starting with The Boss:

Carol Of The Bells – Trans Siberian Orchestra

Loreena McKennitt- Good King Wenceslas

 

 

Mike: I want to wish all my readers a wonderful holiday. See you on Friday………..



A Wonderful Christmas Time – Paul McCartney

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – BNL

 

Tuesday’s Housing Numbers Disappoint – Textron’s Job Turbulence Worsens – Congressional Pay Raises?? – No Job Guarantee at Guaranty – MSFT Rumors Persist

Mike: Today’s top economic reports are both related to housing.  New and existing home sales numbers will be released at 10am and both are expected to point toward less activity on both fronts, which means less housing related employment. If you are looking for some excellent housing related information, I recommend that you look at the following sites, which are also posted on the links section of the page. The authors of these sites were in the forefront of calling the housing bubble, while the MSM  and talking heads were yelling to buy now or be priced out forever:

http://mrmortgage.ml-implode.com/

http://www.thehousingbubbleblog.com/index.html

http://optionarmageddon.ml-implode.com/

A few other informative sites include:

http://www.housingwire.com/

http://patrick.net/housing/crash.html

 

Mike: Existing homes sales fell by a larger than expected amount:

Existing home sales sink by 8.6 percent in November, as prices plunge a record 13.2 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — A real estate group says sales of existing homes plummeted far more than expected last month as buyers reeled from October’s big plunge on Wall Street. The median sales price fell by the largest amount on record.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell 8.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.49 million in November, from a downwardly revised pace of 4.91 million in October.

Sales had been expected to fall to a pace of 4.9 million units. according to Thomson Reuters.

The median sales price plunged 13.2 percent in November to $181,300, from $208,000 a year ago. That was the lowest price since February 2004 and the biggest year-over-year drop on records going back to 1968

via November existing home sales fall by 8.6 percent: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Mike: New home sales also fell by a larger than expected amout. This bodes ill for any immediate relief for construction, mortgage and real estate employment:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes slowed in November to the weakest levels since 1991, according to Commerce Department data on Tuesday that offered fresh evidence of housing market distress.

The seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 407,000 was down 2.9 percent from October and was the lowest rate since January, 1991.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales would notch a 420,000 rate compared with a downwardly revised 419,000 in October, previously reported as 433,000.

via New home sales fall 2.9 percent in November: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Mike: I don’t like to even post this economic reading, since it is virtually tied to the price of gas. Gas price goes up, sentiment goes down and vice-versa; but here is the report:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Consumer confidence rose in December due to declining prices, although job losses and falling income continued to weigh on sentiment, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its final index reading of confidence for December rose to 60.1 from November’s 55.3.

via Consumers’ mood boosted by lower prices in December: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

US firm Textron, world’s leading maker of corporate jets, has expanded its job cuts to 2,200 amid global downturn.

The maker of Cessna aircrafts and Bell helicopters said the figure included previously announced cuts in its Cessna and Bell divisions.

via BBC NEWS | Business | Cessna company loses 2,200 jobs.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Industrial conglomerate Textron and information technology firm Unisys announced Monday that they would cut a total of 3,500 jobs to reduce costs as economic activity slows.

The Providence, R.I.-based Textron said it would cut about 2,200 job cuts worldwide, expanding on a previously announced restructuring plan. The company said the plan may cost $65 million by the end of the quarter, but save $100 million in 2009.

via Textron, Unisys to cut 3,500 jobs in slowing economy – Dec. 23, 2008 .

 

Mike: After ignoring economic storm warnings and sinking the country’s financial ship, I don’t think that this group of civil servants should even consider a pay raise at this time.  Send CONgress a message by going to the site listed below and place your congressional pay raise vote

- CONGRESS GETS A PAY RAISE. DO THEY DESERVE IT?

Under existing law, as part of a deal to give up outside income from speeches and other sources, Congress receives an automatic pay raise unless it votes otherwise. In January, Congress will receive a raise of $4700. This will increase the average Member’s pay to about $174,000 or a 2.8% increase.

- Does Congress deserve a raise this year? A bill was introduced to reject the pay increase, but it died in committee. Tell Congress what you think about this pay increase.

via Congress.org – .

 

Hamilton County Commissioners Monday adopted a $1.2 billion budget that reduces general fund spending by more than $32 million and eliminates hundreds of jobs but realigns spending to preserve sheriff patrols in Green, Anderson and Colerain townships.
The new spending plan includes a general-fund budget of $239.4 million, or $1.3 million less than the budget proposed by Hamilton County Administrator Patrick Thompson in November. Thompson’s budget proposed the elimination of 532 jobs. The final number of job cuts isn’t yet known, but won’t likely exceed 500, said Bridget Doherty, an aide to Commissioner David Pepper.

via Hamilton County cuts spending to 1999 levels – Business Courier of Cincinnati: .

The number of worker in line for unemployment benefits because of large-scale job cuts jumped more than 50 percent in Ohio in November, according to a federal report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 120 dismissals of 50 or more workers in the state last month, up from 58 a year ago, seasonally unadjusted. Resulting first-time unemployment insurance claims hit 11,680, up 59 percent from 7,369 in November 2007.

via Mass job cuts jump in Ohio in November – Business First of Columbus: .

The recession is taking its toll on Wilmington’s public radio station, WHQR. On Monday, they announced four key positions will be cut from its staff.

The general manager, news director, and development director will be out of job in about a month. The fourth position being cut is the programming director, a spot that’s been vacant for a few months.

via WHQR announces cuts will be made | WWAY NewsChannel 3 | Wilmington NC News.

The Weyhaupt Bros. pork processing plant has suddenly closed in Belleville. Last summer, owner Amy Bouvet announced that the parent company of the business at 1510 Lebanon Ave., Porco Inc., had reorganized. The business included a retail market that sold pork chops, tenderloins and sausages, along with milk, cheese, eggs and beverages directly to the consumer. The market and the plant are now locked up. …

via Several businesses close in the metro-east – Metro-east news – Belleville News-Democrat.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – IT services company Unisys Corp (UIS.N) said Monday it will slash 1,300 jobs, or more than 4 percent of its work force, and suspend matching contributions to its U.S. 401(k) plan as it moves to cut $225 million in costs.

In addition, Unisys said it will forgo salary increases in most of its markets next year.

via Unisys slashes 1,300 jobs | Reuters .

- Aleris International is laying off 32 employees at its Lewisport plant effective Jan. 5.

Employees of the aluminum mill were informed of the decision last Wednesday, said Melissa Olmstead, director of human resources at Aleris’ Beachwood, Ohio, headquarters.

“We’re continuing to respond to economic conditions,” she said.

via ARS Aleris will lay off 32; Job cuts effective Jan. 5.

CARSON CITY — Manufacturer Chromalloy Nevada laid off more employees because of a continued slowdown, a spokesman with the business’s parent company said last week.

The 75 workers laid off Wednesday and Thursday at the jet engine parts manufacturing and repair plant may be rehired in January if the airline business picks up, said Andrew Farrant of New York-based Sequa Corp.

via Chromalloy cuts another 75 jobs in Carson City | TahoeDailyTribune.com.

FREEPORT, Maine — Hit hard by the recession, Maine’s L.L. Bean is considering company restructuring, cost cutting and even layoffs.

An e-mail memo from President and Chief Operating Officer Chris McCormick obtained by the Times Record newspaper of Brunswick, Maine, indicates the catalog retailer missed its sales targets by “10 percent or more.” And the new year isn’t looking any better.

via L.L. Bean: Layoffs possible in new year | burlingtonfreepress.com | The Burlington Free Press.

BOLTON LANDING, N.Y. (AP) – The new owner of 1 of the Adirondacks’ biggest resorts is laying off up to 200 employees and shutting down its main operations for the winter.

Sagbolt LLC, a subsidiary of Delray Beach, Fla.-based Ocean Properties Ltd., said Monday that The Sagamore resort on Lake George will close from Jan 4. through March because of the weak economy.

via RNN-TV: New York’s Hudson Valley News Authority – National News and Politics — Adirondack resort plans layoffs, winter closure.

- Pilgrim’s Pride has announced the loss of more than 500 jobs at its Suwannee County chicken processing plant. Ray Atkinson, director of corporate communications for Pilgrim’s, said Tuesday that 505 of the nearly 1,400 workers at the plant would be laid off in coming months.

via Suwannee Democrat – UPDATE: 500 TO LOSE JOBS AT PILGRIM’S.

Suwannee County’s job market is suffering a major blow with the announcement that the Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing plant in Live Oak will lay off 505 of its 1,400 workers in February and March.

via Area firm cuts 505 jobs | GatorSports.com | The Gainesville Sun | Gainesville, FL.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The University of Tennessee Health Science Center plans to cut as many as 200 jobs next year, though university officials said the final number hasn’t been decided.

via Chattanooga Times Free Press | Job cuts planned for UT Health Science Center.

 

 

 

The South Korean government said yesterday it would cut 19,000 jobs at 69 public firms in the fourth stage of its public sector reform program.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said the job cuts would be carried out gradually through a natural phasing-out process and voluntary retirement over three to four years, given the current grim economic situation and bleak job market.

via S. Korea to axe 19,000 state workers.

A number of other construction projects intended to symbolize Russia’s economic might have been put on ice amid deepening financial woes. The powerful state gas monopoly Gazprom, too, has shelved plans to build a glossy $2 billion headquarter building in St. Petersburg.

There are many other, less visible signs of the global financial crisis’s deepening impact on Russia.

- The crisis had so far largely spared the Russian population, mainly because share ownership and private pensions are still rare. But ordinary Russians have begun feeling the pinch in recent weeks, prompting talk of looming social unrest.

via Financial Crisis In Russia Holds Threat Of Social Unrest – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2008 .

 

Mike: It looks like you had better bring your own cab if you want to be a cabbie in NYC:

Like Melissa Plaut before them, it’s being reported that “thousands of New York City residents laid off in the financial crisis have turned to driving taxis.” One problem: now there are too many cabbies and not enough cabs. Harlem Yellow Cab says they’re “sending people home every shift without a car. It’s a very bad situation.”

via Gothamist: Unemployed Masses Become Cabbies.

 

Mike: A little good news is nice to see on occasion:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy is sinking deeper into recession and companies are shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs, but the technology firms that Santa Fe, N.M., venture capitalist Trevor Loy invests in haven’t stopped growing.

In fact, they’re still adding to their payrolls, and they plan to continue doing so next year. The firms that Loy is funding are developing products such as state-of-the-art water purification systems and the next generation of construction site surveying cameras.

via McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/22/2008 | Amid the economic wreckage, some sectors still hiring.

- Fewer United Launch Alliance workers will lose their jobs in February, the company announced Monday.

The company’s projected layoff of 350 workers has been reduced to 172. Only 23 positions will be lost at Cape Canaveral, which has about 800 ULA workers. Nationwide, the company employs about 4,200.

“It’s certainly a lot more encouraging than it was,” ULA spokesman Mike Rein said.

via ULA cuts its layoff estimate | floridatoday.com | FLORIDA TODAY.

 

Mike: And some decent advice is always useful when going through stressful times:

-How to Keep Your Job in Uncertain Times-

Meredith Haberfeld

People are contacting me left and right these days with understandable concern about their job security. We all know corrosive worry and concern isn’t good for us and can even reduce our performance level, which can ultimately lead to job loss, the very thing we are all trying to avoid. The real focus is getting one’s head out of the worry pit and back in the game to put oneself in the best situation to keep their job and their careers on track.

via Meredith Haberfeld: How to Keep Your Job in Uncertain Times.

 

Mike: If offered a reduced salary or benefits to keep your job, this may be a good time to accept those reductions:

- A growing number of employers, hoping to avoid or limit layoffs, are introducing four-day workweeks, unpaid vacations and voluntary or enforced furloughs, along with wage freezes, pension cuts and flexible work schedules. These employers are still cutting labor costs, but hanging onto the labor.

And in some cases, workers are even buying in. Witness the unusual suggestion made in early December by the chairman of the faculty senate at Brandeis University, who proposed that the school’s 300 professors and instructors give up 1 percent of their pay.

via More Companies Cutting Labor Costs, but Not the Labor – NYTimes.com.

 

Mike: Canceled contracts will not be such a surprise in 2009 as companies try to control spending:

-Telecom contractor North Sky Communications laid off 27 people in Sherwood this month after Verizon scrapped unspecified construction plans.-

“Verizon is delaying the start date for certain projects until the second half of 2009, thereby requiring that we lay-off many employees until that work resumes (presuming that it will),” North Sky President Rodney Kuenzi wrote in a letter to the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. “This news surprised North Sky management because just weeks ago we understood that our work with Verizon was on schedule to begin immediately.”

via Layoff watch: North Sky Communications – Silicon Forest – The Oregonian – OregonLive.com.

WILKES-BARRE – Luzerne County commissioners this morning voted to lay off 27 employees and approve a contract with a Philadelphia firm Reed Smith LLP to work on litigation over the 2009 budget allocation for the county judiciary.

via Breaking News: County lays off 27 workers 1:34 p.m. | News | citizensvoice.com | The Citizens’ Voice .

My Choice Medical Holdings, which offers practice management services for plastic surgeons, expects to cut nearly 50 jobs at its Stroudsburg facility by Dec. 31.

via Monroe medical company to cut 50 jobs – themorningcall.com.

 

 

Mike: If you do get laid  off, wouldn’t it be somewhat comforting to at least get a classy farewell from your employer, as Charlie Rose offered last week?

- Microsoft news:

Mike: The Microsoft rumors continue to float and no response from the corporates in Redmond:

Search Biz: MSFT Layoff Rumors, Google Chrome Complicates Mozilla Relationship & More

Dec 22, 2008 at 2:34pm ET by Matt McGee

There are several gloom-and-doom reports in circulation today about Google, Microsoft, Web 2.0, and the entire Internet sector, for that matter — not exactly how you’d like to start out a holiday week, but so be it. Let’s get started, shall we?

via Search Engine Land: Must Read News About Search Marketing & Search Engines.

“Life after layoffs: How to move forward after a job loss,” an EDN business story posted last week.

- Once considered a safe haven in the layoff storm, rumor has it Microsoft will slice its headcount in January. And as each December day passes, it’s becoming harder and harder to imagine how many smart, solid workers will be filing for unemployment in Q1 2009. The numbers since September are staggering and, like it or not, the unfair fact is that at some point in a career, most people will face a, or multiple, layoffs.

via Life after layoffs: Preparing an ICE kit – Now Hear This! – Blog on EDN – 1750000175 .

The software giant has thus far avoided the layoffs that some of its competitors have had to succumb to in the rough economic climate, but that’s about to change, according to the blog Mini-Microsoft. They’re hearing January 15 could be the day it goes down, and we have a seperate source hearing the same thing. On that day the bottom “10 percent-ers” (presumably, those performing the worst) could be gone — as many as 5,000 to 10,000 employees. Damn.

via Roundup: Rumors of layoffs at Microsoft, Tweeting a plane crash, music video fighting and more | The Industry Standard.

Mike: A different kind of rumor than the job loss variety:

Microsoft shares rose 97 cents to $27.42 Monday, partly on a rumor the software giant would shake loose $10 billion to pay a one-time cash dividend of $1 per share.

Although the source of the story — an unnamed person quoted in a French newspaper — seems flimsy, investors want a piece of Microsoft’s money so badly they’re willing to believe it.

via Rumor raises Microsoft.

 

Mike: It looks like the rumor mill is ripe with other possible tech layoffs:

- Gov. Jim Douglas says he’s heard rumors about possible layoffs at IBM, but so far the company has not confirmed anything to him or to the state.

Last month, IBM laid off more than 100 temporary workers. And back in June, 180 IBM employees were laid off.

via WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-IBM Rumors Reach Montpelier.

 

Mike: The imports will be hurting for cash and slashing jobs in the new year. It won’t be as deadly as the Big 3, but it will be painful to many:

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) — The worst U.S. auto market since the early 1990s may force Toyota Motor Corp. to do something that was once unthinkable: cut its North American payroll.

Asia’s largest automaker, which hasn’t shed workers in 24 years of building cars in the U.S., is exhausting options to trim costs after halting work on a Prius plant in Mississippi, idling a Texas truck factory for 15 weeks and planning to pare U.S. and Canadian output next month.

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.

 

 

 

Mike: Here are some afternoon announcements. At least these companies didn’t have their layoffs on Christmas day

 

* The Columbia Falls Aluminum Company notified its employees Tuesday morning that the plant will be shutting down its operations within the next 60 days.

The closure will eliminate the jobs of the roughly 200 employees at the plant, and comes on the heels of a spate of layoffs over the last several months by some of the Flathead’s biggest employers.

via Breaking: Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. Notifies Workers It Will Shut Down | Flathead Beacon.

 

* GRAND HAVEN – Shape Corp. says it will idle about 400 employees beginning Jan. 5.

The Grand Haven-based auto parts supplier says the layoffs will be the first in its 34-year history.

via Grand Haven auto parts company to lay off 400 | lansingstatejournal.com | Lansing State Journal.

 

*  Kenworth will see another layoff after the New Year and return from holiday shutdown.

Robin Easton, treasurer of Kenworth’s parent company Paccar, confirmed Tuesday there will be fewer than 100 people laid off, but declined providing an exact number. Affected employees have already been notified and will be let go about a week after workers return in mid-January, he added.

via Kenworth announces more layoffs | chillicothegazette.com | Chillicothe Gazette.

 

* COLUMBIA, Tenn. — A middle Tennessee company is laying off 125 employees just two days before Christmas.

The job cuts are happening at Johnson Controls Inc. in Columbia, Tenn.

The company makes seats and consoles for car manufacturers, including the GM plant in Spring Hill.

via 125 Laid Off At Columbia Plant – Nashville News Story – WSMV Nashville.

- Video: Columbia Plant Lays Off 125 Workershttp://www.wsmv.com/video/18345534/index.html

 

Mike: I assume that circus clowns, prop comedians, mimes, plate spinners, Three Stooges impersonators and jugglers will also want to get a piece of the bail out pie

As the auto industry continues to crash and burn, the Big Three aren’t the only ones in need of a bailout — it appears musicians could use one as well.

In automaker-dependent Detroit, artists have come out to shine a grim light on their ailing music scene, with many pointing out the devastating effect the failing auto sector has had on live music, record stores and the bands.

With thousands of job losses, who do you think is coming out to see shows?” former Verve Pipe front-man Brian Vander Ark told the Windsor Star [via The Daily Swarm]. “I watched the Senate hearings; these executives all want a golden parachute. It’s difficult to get people to buy tickets now, and that has everything to do with the auto industry.”

via Exclaim News: Detroit Musicians Call For Bailout Similar To Auto Industry .

 

Mike: The 10% UE rate in parts of Ohio will move it’s way in all directions as the new year develops. And the rate is likely greater than 10% if you include forced part-time workers and those who have stopped looking for work:

* Unemployment rates for November jumped above 10 percent in three northwest Ohio counties, according to figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Job and Family Services.

As the statewide rate stayed unchanged last month at 7.3 percent, the jobless rate climbed in Huron County to 10.6 percent from 9.6 percent the month before; in Ottawa County to 10.3 percent from 8.3 percent; and in Van Wert County to 10.9 percent from 9.9 percent. The Van Wert figure is the highest among the state’s 88 counties.

via toledoblade.com — Jobless rate jumps above 10% in northwest Ohio.

 

Mike: A few states have already borrowed from the fed to fund their UE benefits and that trend is likely to continue:

more about “States’ Unemployment Funds Low Video …“, posted with vodpod

 

* Guaranty Financial Group Inc. plans to lay off 10 percent of its workers by the middle of next month, company officials confirmed Tuesday.

The Austin-based company, which is the parent of Guaranty Bank, notified affected workers about the job cuts last week, spokesman Rusty LaForge said.

Guaranty, which employed about 2,900 workers before the cuts, is laying off about 250 workers in non-customer-contact positions such as accounting and information technology, he said. It’s unclear exactly how many of the layoffs are in Austin, LaForge said.

via Guaranty to eliminate 10% of workforce – Austin Business Journal: .

 

* In a Form 8-K, Pharmacopeia (Nasdaq: PCOP) announced that on December 19, 2008, it reduced its workforce by approximately 28% through termination of positions. The Company notified the 22 affected employees of their termination dates, all of which will be as of January 2, 2009. Substantially all of the severance cost is expected to result in future cash expenditures.

via StreetInsider.com – Pharmacopeia (PCOP) Reduces Workforce by 28%.

 

Mike: The natives are getting restless as CA continues on its austerity ways:

* In further fallout from California’s economic recession, Orange County officials disclosed plans today to lay off nearly 60 probation department employees and to eliminate 92 beds at a juvenile correctional camp.

Word of the cutbacks came the same day that 1,000 angry workers stormed the Orange County Hall of Administration to protest previously announced plans to lay off 210 social service employees.

via O.C. plans 60 more layoffs amid protests – Los Angeles Times.

 

* At the restive Dec. 9 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, a long list of parking citation increases was passed without so much as a peep. The packed audience spilling out into the City Hall courtyard was more concerned with across-the-board cuts to city services and employee layoffs than a $10 increase to all parking citations—and rightly so. But just so our readers are not surprised when a $30 expired meter fine appears on their windshields after parking in front of one of the city’s soon-to-be-closed community centers, we got the lowdown on the jackups. 

via- Price of Santa Cruz Parking Ticket Jumps -

 

Just a few days before Christmas, Automotive Components Holdings LLC has announced it will lay off as many as 830 Visteon Corp. workers at its ACH plant in Saline beginning in January.

Total overall employment at the plant won’t change, however, as the company plans to replace those employees with Ford Motor Co. workers who are either laid off or who previously transferred to a different plant. The laid-off workers are currently in the Ford’s jobs bank and are from around southeast Michigan.t.

via Up to 830 ACH workers to be replaced by Ford workers at Saline plant - Ann Arbor, Michigan Business News – with The Ann Arbor News – MLive.com.

 

We just got a call that Entertainment Marketing Associate Robert Gallardo sent out his ‘good-bye’ letter to his co-workers at the Weekly.

- Apparently there are EVEN more layoffs to be announced tomorrow…Christmas Eve.

via BREAKING: More Layoffs at LA Weekly – mediabistro.com: FishbowlLA.

 

Mike: As the news cycle ends for most employment announcement, I’ll leave you with a little humor. Till tomorrow……

 

Ben Sargent - Dec. 22

Ben Sargent - Dec. 22

 


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