- Update: WASHINGTON (AP) — A record plunge in gasoline prices pushed overall consumer prices down for the third straight month in December, closing out a year in which the change in inflation was the smallest in more than a half-century.
- Microsoft and IBM Rumors/News
General Economic News
US and some Canada Layoff News
* ADOTAS — Microsoft could be the next in line for layoffs.
Google, Motorola and Nortel all announced some type of restructuring this week in the face of the downturn, whether it be layoffs, other cost cutting measures or bankruptcy. But Microsoft is the one everyone is still waiting on, though others just want to be “giddy like school girls.”
* Analyst: Microsoft likely to cut 6-8 percent of staff
In a report issued this morning, analyst Sid Parakh of Seattle’s McAdams Wright Ragen forecasts that Microsoft is likely to cut between 6 percent and 8 percent of its work force.
* We’ve been following Internet rumors that Microsoft (MSFT) would cut employees on January 15, a frenzy of speculation kicked off by a December report on the Mini-Microsoft blog. We were braced for impact, but yesterday no job cuts were announced.
* SEATTLE — Blogs have been abuzz since the Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported Microsoft is exploring “significant workforce reductions.”
Microsoft isn’t talking, but analysts are.
Analyst Rob Helm’s full-time job is to analyze Microsoft. He said the downturned economy and a flat PC Market are to blame for the rumor.
“In the end it’s going to be fewer jobs at one of the world’s greatest companies and it’s going to be really tough on everyone in our area,” he said.
* Utility workers are gearing up for a fight over coming consolidation efforts following last summer’s takeover of Keyspan by National Grid.
The head of the Utility Workers of America Local 369 is warning that National Grid is planning to eliminate scores of operation centers around the region, leading to possibly hundreds of job losses.
* His tool-and-die job at the General Motors stamping plant on 36th Street SW will disappear soon, along with nearly 1,500 others.
Dozens of other men and women sat at a long table at the downtown headquarters of The Rapid, the area’s bus system, filling out applications for 10 part-time jobs.
The lucky ones will be chosen from more than 400 applicants.
“It just seems like nobody’s hiring,” said Scott Shipaila, 42, of Hudsonville, a former auto parts store manager. “You do the applications and the follow-up calls, and you never hear anything.”
The following links show the expected reults for each indicator:
Updat: Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — U.S. industrial production fell twice as much as forecast in December as companies pulled back to try to weather the global economic slowdown. Auto output fell to the lowest in more than a quarter century.
Output at factories, mines and utilities dropped 2 percent, after a revised decline of 1.3 percent in November that was more than double the previously reported decrease, the Federal Reserve said today in Washington. Plant use matched the lowest level since 1983.
Update: NEW YORK (Reuters) – Consumer confidence rose slightly in January but remained at comparatively depressed levels, with expectations of a deep and long recession persisting, a survey showed on Friday.
The Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers said its preliminary index reading of confidence for January rose to 61.9 from December’s 60.1.
Update: WASHINGTON (AP) — A record plunge in gasoline prices pushed overall consumer prices down for the third straight month in December, closing out a year in which the change in inflation was the smallest in more than a half-century.
* As if the constant barrage of troubling macroeconomic news was not enough to tip you off, now something truly appalling has come to our attention. No, it isn’t the new unemployment statistics, credit spreads, the latest report on retail sales, declining home prices, or even producer prices, but the newest sign of economic weakness comes from the reports out of the world’s second largest brewer SABMiller plc (SBMRY.PK). The maker of some of the best selling adult beverages reported that shipments have fallen in the third quarter with demand dropping most in the U.S. and European markets.
* LA Area Port Traffic Collapses in December
by CalculatedRisk on 1/15/2009 09:05:00 PM
Both imports and exports declined sharply in November, but just wait until we see the December trade numbers. Based on LA area port traffic numbers released today, trade volumes collapsed in December.
* Longtime local eateries like Ponderosa, 1490 E. Apple, and Ruby Tuesday, 1710 E. Sherman, are out of business. And some other restaurants and specialty shops, hanging on to see if a brisk holiday season could put them in the black, are following suit.
But it’s not as bad as some might think.
Rumors have been circulating that many other well-known Muskegon businesses have closed or are on the verge of closing, prompting local chamber of commerce officials to surmise that the negative psychology of Wall Street has hit Main Street — at least in Muskegon.
* Besieged by laid-off workers looking for help, Florida’s unemployment system is drawing fire from clients who say the state agency running it can’t handle the demand.
People seeking aid from the Agency for Workforce Innovation say the office’s phone lines are constantly busy or go unanswered and that clients are often disconnected once they get through. They say the state’s Web site — the preferred method for filing a claim — can be so sluggish that it becomes virtually useless.
Even those who do get registered aren’t guaranteed success, which means a longer wait for that first check.
* Three weeks ago, Patricia Smith’s unemployment check didn’t come in the mail.
So, the Lansing woman tried to contact state officials to check on her money. She dialed and dialed – sometimes dozens of times a day – but could never reach an employee at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency.
“I would constantly redial. One day, I hit redial for four hours. That’s no joke,” said Smith, 53, who lost her job as an administrative assistant and customer service representative last fall.
* For the last couple months, Shawn O’Donahue and a group of architects casually bounced around the idea of working together.
They had the experience and the synergy, but were gainfully employed with other firms. When the economy turned south, that quickly brought into focus what their next move should be: start their own firm.
* When he submits his budget next week, O’Malley will ask the legislature to approve between 500 and 1,000 layoffs, aides said, in an executive branch work force of more than 70,000.
* MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The Berkeley County Commission is eliminating four jobs and leaving four other positions vacant as it tries to avoid a projected $1.5 million budget deficit.
* SUNDERLAND, Vt. — The Orvis Co. is laying off 38 people at its Sunderland headquarters and its Manchester fishing rod manufacturing plant.
And Plasan Carbon Composites of Bennington is planning to lay off 92 employees.
* The state now has fewer people to monitor sex offenders, drug dealers and other felons walking the streets on probation. The Department of Corrections is laying off 66 probation officers to save money. The lay offs are raising concerns about public safety.
via Probation Office Cuts .
* CHULA VISTA — Sweetwater Union High School District employees have been offered a retirement-incentive plan as officials try to eliminate a potential $18 million deficit.
Superintendent Jesus M. Gandara sent a memo outlining the package to the district’s 6,000 employees yesterday. They would be expected to retire between June 13 and July 26.
Despite the offer, which could be withdrawn if too few workers sign up, layoffs still may loom.
* KANSAS CITY (AP) – A proposed Kansas City budget would eliminate up to 400 city jobs, increase taxes and cut funding in almost all departments.
Mayor Mark Funkhouser released the budget yesterday.
* LANCASTER — Twelve city positions will be cut from the 2009 budget. The cuts include five firefighters, five unfilled police department positions and two other unfilled city jobs.
* Parker Hannifin Corp. has laid off about 40 people from its Mayfield Heights headquarters, the company confirmed this afternoon.
* Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Saks Inc., the U.S. luxury clothing chain, said it will cut about 1,100 corporate and store positions, 9 percent of its total workforce, because of the deteriorating economy.
The company also said it eliminated merit-based wage increases this year for all employees and suspended its matching contribution to the 401(k) retirement-savings plan.
* Auburn Hills-based auto supplier Continental Automotive Systems plans to cut about 10 percent of its North American workforce over the next few months.
About 24 jobs will be cut locally, mostly at manufacturing sites, as the company eliminates positions related to the restructuring of its powertrain components division that followed its merger with Siemens VDO last year.
* Hatteras Yachts laid off more than half the workforce at its New Bern plant on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of a companywide restructuring plan to stay afloat.
The company cut 330 workers, said Bill Naumann, Hatteras Yachts chairman, and is redesigning its business model “to make us more nimble.” The cuts included employees in management and in production jobs.
* About 73 employees at Waynesboro’s Mohawk Industries will be laid off, Councilwoman Lorie Smith confirmed Thursday.
In addition to the layoffs, the carpet backing manufacturer will leave idle two of the plant’s machines, Smith said. Although Smith said she is not surprised by the announcement, she said the city needs to help those that no longer have a job.
* According to several major newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, Smurfit Stone plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in the coming weeks.
The company operates a paper mill in Florence County.
* Los Angeles-based Oversee.net is not immune to the stormy economy, and told socalTECH Thursday that is cutting 18 percent of the firm’s workforce, or a total of 38 people, including some managers.
* Intimate apparel maker Maidenform Brands Inc. said Thursday that it plans to cut 24 jobs – representing 9 percent of its corporate staff – and lowered its 2008 earnings estimate, as weak consumer spending continues to batter retailers.
* Charming Shoppes Inc (CHRS.O), a retailer of women’s plus-size apparel, said it will slash about 225 jobs as part of its cost-cutting efforts.
* Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compound producer PolyOne will cut about 370 jobs and close at least one plant in a cost-savings move amid a prolonged demand slump, the US company said on Thursday.
The Cleveland-based company said it will close its Niagara facility in Ontario, Canada, cut back other production, eliminate 370 positions and reduce the work schedules of another 100-300 employees “as a result of recent unprecedented declines in demand due to the deteriorating global economic climate”.
* Construction delays and design flaws at Oswego County’s $200 million ethanol plant set the project about a year behind schedule and led the owners to file for bankruptcy protection Wednesday, company officials said.
* ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. — An Adams County cabinet plant will close in March 2009, MasterBrand Cabinets Inc. announced Thursday.
The plant employs about 415 workers.
* The bad news in the newspaper business continued to mount on Thursday as The Star Tribune of Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy protection.
Star Tribune management warned last month that it would seek bankruptcy protection if it did not win a series of labor concessions on wages and other matters by Friday. Talks with the major unions broke down last week and had not resumed.
* NEW YORK In a note today to members of the Boston Newspaper Guild — responding to the Boston Globe’s announcement that it seeks to eliminate 50 positions through buyouts or layoffs — its president, Dan Totten, asserts that any further cuts at the Boston Globe should be suffered by management, not editorial staffers.
* PORTLAND– A Tigard, Ore.-based charity that sends doctors and medical supplies to areas throughout the world has laid off nine people.
Medical Teams International spokeswoman Marlene Minor says the nine people, which represent 10 percent of the organization’s staff, were part of a small administrative core.
* Mercy Health Partners on Thursday said that as many as 90 employee layoffs could occur by the end of March, a move it said was prompted by economic conditions.
That number includes 31 Licensed Practical Nurses the hospital earlier announced would be laid off at all three of its Muskegon hospitals.
* COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department has laid off 17 workers and ordered other employees to take three days off without pay because of budget cuts.
* FORT PIERCE — Vernon D. Smith, who founded Riverside National Bank 27 years ago, has retired from the independent financial institute, just as the bank with a heart on its logo cut 35 positions.
* BUCYRUS — Timken laid off 40 full-time employees Monday. More cuts are planned.
“We have notified our associates that 20 more full-time employees will be laid off at the end of this month,” said Lorrie Crum, spokesperson at Timken’s Canton office. “The layoffs are open-ended.”
* O’Reilly Media laid off 30 employees on Thursday in a restructuring effort intended to help the influential Sebastopol tech publisher weather the economic downturn.
* ONEONTA _ Hartwick College cut 14 administrative and support staff jobs Thursday, citing projected budget losses in endowment earnings and gifts, among other economic stresses.
* Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has cut 31 support staff after a redundancy consultation lasting two months.
The consultation began on 14 November and involved 175 employees of the firm.
* Seattle Layoff Update: Cardiac, Medio, Varolii, Vulcan, and WatchGuard Slash Jobs
Gregory T. Huang 1/16/09
Unfortunately, this is fast becoming a weekly roundup of job losses. About the only bright side is that Microsoft hasn’t announced any layoffs—yet. But the following Seattle-area companies have all confirmed significant staff cuts this week (see the updated Xconomy Seattle layoff litany here):
* OCALA – Fire truck manufacturer E-One had another round of layoffs on Thursday, but the exact number of those left out of work remained unclear.
* WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — A North Carolina bank says it will eliminate jobs this year because of an executive mandate for lean operations.
The Winston-Salem Journal reported today that BB&T said it didn’t know how many positions would be eliminated. Spokesman Bob Denham said the reductions would be primarily through attrition and retirement.
* For some county and city residents, the New Year began with the worst possible news. GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms, located in Albemarle County, has laid off approximately 50 employees.
* In the face of an ongoing slump in law firm revenues, Center City’s Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll said today that it had laid off secretaries and other administrative staff.
* WellPoint Inc., the parent of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, said it will eliminate 1,500 jobs throughout its operations in order to reduce its administrative costs.
* NEW YORK (Reuters) – WellPoint Inc (WLP.N) said on Friday that it would eliminate about 1,500 positions, or about 3.5 percent of its workforce, to reduce administrative costs, becoming the latest U.S. health insurer to cut jobs in the face of the weakening economy.
* Brenner Tank in Fond du Lac underwent layoffs Thursday.
Human Resources Manager Dawn Marie Polakoski confirmed the layoffs occurred, though how many workers were let go is not being released.
* Japan’s S.E.S. Co. Ltd. has filed for bankruptcy protection under a rehabilitation law with 14.27 billion yen ($158.4 million) in liabilities.
The company made some headlines in recent times. Last year, S.E.S. reportedly shipped the world’s first 450-mm tool–a next-generation wafer cleaning system, according to sources. The first 450-mm tool, which is said to be a R&D prototype, was reportedly going to South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., according to sources.
* The Winterthur Museum near Greenville has laid off 14 full-time employees and has decided to eliminate 15 jobs that were already vacant.
* The Sheridan Press, 450 Fame Ave., Hanover, will lay off about 35 composition and editorial employees effective Jan. 31.
* Sears Holdings Corp. is laying off 19 employees at the Sears Logistics Services Inc. shipping and warehouse operation in the Hanover Industrial Estates.
* San Diego’s Cymer said yesterday it will lay off 100 workers, cut salaries for remaining employees and eliminate the company’s contribution to retirement accounts in the wake of steep declines in orders for semiconductor equipment.
* BENNINGTON — Plasan Carbon Composites is planning a series of “staged layoffs” that will affect 92 employees at their Shield Drive plant while Orvis Co. laid off 26 people from its home office in Sunderland on Thursday and 12 people from its fishing rod manufacturing plant in Manchester.
* Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs and make other budget cuts this year in another blow to the state’s economy.
* After recently saying it could return a second production shift to its San Antonio plant by April, Toyota overnight said it will continue running a single shift until demand for its Tundra full-sized pickup improves.
* Varian Inc. plans to cut 240 regular employees and 80 temporary positions, and close some facilities.
The company did not give details of the cuts and facilities to be closed.
* SEATTLE, WA (2009-01-16) The Governor and lawmakers face a six billion dollar (and growing) shortfall in the next two year budget cycle. But some cuts are already being made to keep the current budget in the black. As a result, Washington State is about to lose nearly half of its taxpayer-funded drug treatment beds.
via kplu NewsRoom.
* Circuit City Stores Inc., the nation’s second-biggest consumer electronics retailer, said Friday it had run out of options and will be forced to liquidate its 567 U.S. stores. The closures could send another 30,000 people into the ranks of the unemployed.
* FOUNTAIN — McCormick Sawmill laid off 13 people in the last three weeks or so, but these layoffs can’t be attributed entirely to the faltering U.S. economy.
Certainly, the timber industry is hurting, but what hurts more in Fountain is that the town’s largest employer lost $318,000 in an embezzlement case that sent Alice Clark to jail for 15 months.
* Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort today (Friday, January 16) reduced its workforce by 8.6 percent. The reduction impacted both salary and hourly employees.
* The downturn in the U.S. publishing industry is spilling over into the retail sector. After dismal holiday sales, which dipped by 5.2% in the nine-week run-up to Christmas, the beleaguered U.S. retailer Barnes & Noble has laid off 100 employees at its corporate headquarters in New York – a 4% reduction in staff. According to The New York Times, CEO Stephen Riggio said in a statement that this “was the first time in the company’s history that it had cut jobs.”
* One of Chippewa Falls’ largest employers, TTM Technologies, is cutting about 14 percent of its workforce nationally, citing weak demand for printed circuit boards.
Most of the company’s layoffs, 374 full-time and 55 temporary employees, will come from the closure of TTM’s Redmond, Wash., plant.
* SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Advanced Micro Devices Inc. plans to cut 1,100 jobs, 9 percent of its global staff, as the slumping chip maker retrenches during a slowdown in sales of personal computers.
* Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drugmaker, may fire almost a third of its U.S. sales force, or as many as 2,400 workers, in a plan under consideration by senior management, people familiar with the discussions said.
Pfizer, based in New York, is trimming its U.S. sales operation to save money as top-selling products lose patent protection. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler may detail cost-cutting plans at an investor presentation Jan. 28, said Barbara Ryan, a Deutsche Bank analyst in Greenwich, Connecticut, in an interview last month.
* The Milipitas, Calif.-based company, which once called Ottawa home to one of two corporate headquarters and employed 11,000 local people at its peak, said it had cut approximately 20 jobs from its Ottawa facility.
JDSU’s local plant currently has about 400 employees working and both research and development and customer service, said spokespers
* Harry & David, one of the icons of Oregon businesses, is feeling the pinch of the economy — just like the rest of us.
As reported this morning in the Medford Mail Tribune, the southern oregon “gourmet food and gift retailer” has laid off about 10 percent of its workforce of 1,100 nationwide.
* Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — Hertz Global Holdings Inc., the second-largest U.S. rental-car company, will cut more than 4,000 jobs to reduce costs as businesses and consumers slow travel because of the North American recessions.
* Hertz Global Holdings Inc said on Friday that it would cut more than 4,000 jobs in a worldwide restructuring through the first quarter due to falling demand, and the car rental company’s shares fell nearly 9 percent.
* John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital laid off three non-union employees Thursday and has plans to further reduce its workforce by 36 union employees.
* Six months after purchasing Seco Manufacturing in Redding, Trimble Navigation is downsizing in response to diminishing global demand for its products.
The Sunnyvale-based company announced this week a 10 percent reduction to its work force, which will leave Trimble with about 3,700 employees, company spokeswoman LeaAnn McNabb said Thursday.
* The scientific instruments maker Varian is bringing out the budget axe with plans to chop 320 full-time and temp workers and shutter some of its facilities. Varian is also freezing salaries and implementing restrictions on new hires and spending. The company made the moves as it announced preliminary first quarter earnings of 50 to 54 cents, well below the Street’s expectations of 63 cents a share.
* PEMBERVILLE — Pemberville’s Modine Manufacturing Co. has confirmed it is closing its Wood County plant and permanently laying off 65 workers.
* PolyOne, a polymer production company and one of the industrial anchors of Niagara Falls, Ont., will be closing its doors later this spring.
Workers at the Chippawa Creek Road plant were told of the pending closure late Thursday, Niagara Falls officials said. The company employs 50 people.
* SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Despite new jobs and businesses in the Upstate, another plant is closing down due to the economic crisis.
The 75 employees of the plant are being offered opportunities at the company’s other plants.
* NEW YORK (Reuters) – General Electric Co (NYSE:GE – News)’s GE Capital unit will cut between 7,000 and 11,000 jobs, the CNBC television channel reported on Friday, citing sources.
GE had said it would reduce costs at GE Capital by about $2 billion this year, according to the report.
* Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — General Electric Co.’s finance arm may cut 7,500 to 11,000 jobs, or at least 10 percent of its workforce, because of the global financial slump, people familiar with the company’s plans said.
The reductions are part of GE Capital’s announced plan to reduce expenses by $2 billion this year, said the people, who didn’t want to be identified because the numbers aren’t public. The savings goal also includes expenses such as office closings.
* The ax has fallen at Federated Media Publishing, the online advertising company founded by former journalist John Battelle. Seven of the company’s 90 employees were laid off Friday.
* The radio and billboard company with the largest presence in Tampa could scale back operations and lay off employees, according to a report Friday that Clear Channel Communications Inc. is looking to shed about $400 million in costs.
Layoffs could happen Jan. 20, the New York Post reported, and take place in Clear Channel’s radio, outdoor advertising and international divisions.
* NEW YORK (Reuters) – Clear Channel Communications Inc, which operates radio stations and outdoor advertising space, plans to lay off about 7 percent of its U.S. staff, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The newspaper, citing a person familiar with the situation, said the move will affect about 1,500 employees — mostly in ad sales — of the 20,000 work force in the United States.
* ORLANDO, Fla. — One of America’s largest time-share companies has eliminated another 1,000 jobs during the past month.
Orlando-based Westgate Resorts once employed about 11,000 people. President David Siegel said it was down to about 7,000. The cuts were nationwide and some jobs were eliminated through attrition.
* The RAB, citing the economic slowdown, has cut 10% of its staff, or five jobs. The news was preceded by a fake e-mail purportedly from RAB President-CEO Jeff Haley that contained an inaccurate list of executives who were being laid off and false information about their salaries.
* ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – Advent Solar in Albuquerque has announced 55 layoffs. The company laid off nearly half its work force last spring — 68 people.
Monday, it said the additional 55 layoffs resulted from a tight credit market that makes it impossible for the company to raise the money it needed to move from development to manufacturing.
* Lord Corp., a homegrown Erie company located now in Cary, N.C., announced Friday that 11 of its employees in northwestern Pennsylvania will be laid off.
Those layoffs are part of a larger job-cutting move that will eliminate about 3 percent of the company’s 2,600 worldwide work force.
* Rio Tinto, parent company of Kennecott Utah Copper, one of the largest copper producers in the nation, is cutting its Utah work force by 241 workers.
The company said Friday it will lay off 66 employees and 175 contractors at several divisions including Kennecott Utah Copper, Kennecott Land, Kennecott Exploration and the Rio Tinto service functions.
* Making what its president called “a tough decision” to cut staff in hopes of avoiding deficits or programming cuts, the Orange County Performing Arts Center announced Friday that it has eliminated seven full-time and three part-time jobs, while mandating cost reductions across all departments. The lost jobs represent a 6% reduction in the full-time workforce of about 100.
* Philadelphia law firm Blank Rome said Friday it has laid off an undisclosed number of lawyers and support staff as it adjusts to the economy and less demand for its services.
* REEDSBURG — Grede Foundries announced Wednesday that it is laying off approximately 140 employees at its Reedsburg plant, which is nearly 25 percent of its workforce.
* National bank Wells Fargo & Co. said Thursday it will not retain 175 employees from Wachovia who do not fit Well Fargo’s employment eligibility requirements.
* Carrollton Specialty Products will be closing its Moberly plant this summer, leaving about 200 people without a job.
The company provides specialty packaging and hand assembly for greeting-card companies, and its biggest customer, Hallmark Cards Inc. of Kansas City, alerted the company last week that it would be drastically reducing its orders for this year, Carrollton Specialty Products CEO Erin Boster said.
* A Columbus manufacturing plant will close in March due to “the current and foreseeable economic conditions in the auto sector.”
TWB Co., a manufacturer of laser-welded steel sheets for General Motors, Ford, Subaru and BMW, among others, will idle its Indiana manufacturing plant and move operations to its plan in Monroe, Mich., according to a press release from the compan
* In what is becoming a familiar story, professional building supply company 84 Lumber has gone through another round of store-closings and eliminated about 185 jobs between those sites and its headquarters in Washington County.
* In the latest instalment of corporate downsizing, Penn West Energy Trust confirmed Friday it has cut a number of senior management positions to bring costs in line.
* PEKIN — After cutbacks this fall, an additional 14 employees of MGP Ingredients Inc. in Pekin were subject to temporary layoffs on Tuesday, according to Vice President of Corporate Relations Steve Pickman.
via Pekin Times – News.
* Boise Inc. spokeswoman Karen Punch on Friday said additional job cuts are planned for the St. Helens mill.
“We have identified some additional job eliminations beyond what we have announced in November, and we’re in the process of communicating those to employees this week,” Punch said.
* The oil company ConocoPhillips, citing a steep decline in oil and gas prices, said it would cut 4 percent of its work force, or about 1,300 jobs, and said it expected big write-downs on some of its exploration and production assets.
January 17 News
* Albertsons has notified the state that it will be closing its store at 1901 Military Trail, in West Palm Beach, and laying off 87 employees.
The company also plans to close stores in Ocala, where 107 people will be let go; Tallahassee, where 110 employees will be laid off; and Orlando, where 77 employees will lose their jobs, according to state records.
* CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Heinz Quality Chef in Cedar Rapids plans to layoff 35 employees at its facility in southwest Cedar Rapids.
Company officials with the Pittsburgh-based company cited the poor economy for the move, which was announced on Friday.
* Brenner Tank in Fond du Lac is citing the sluggish economy for a Thursday layoff of an undisclosed number of employees.
Brenner Tank has had to adjust its operations due to the country’s financial woes.
* Job cuts appear likely at Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin, although the number probably will be small.
Wellpoint Inc., the Indianapolis-based health insurer that owns runs Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans here and in 13 other states, said Friday it will cut 600 employees and eliminate another 900 unfilled positions across 25 states. The company wouldn’t name any of the targeted states, but spokeswoman Kristin Binns said the cuts would occur in most places where Wellpoint has major operations.
* Sweetbay closing seven stores, opening three
Tampa-based Sweetbay Supermarket will close seven underperforming grocery stores, including three in Hillsborough County, said the company’s Belgian parent, Delhaize Group. The remaining four stores targeted for closing are in Fort Myers, Sarasota and Charlotte County.
* The doors will close at seven Sweetbay supermarkets in Florida, including five in the Tampa Bay area, as the grocery store chain looks to better position some of it stores.
The closings could affect as many as 700 employees statewide, but most of them will be offered positions in other Sweetbay stores, said spokeswoman Nicole LaBeau.
* Northeast Phoenix’s last Kmart store will close Sunday, the latest retail casualty in an economic downturn that has sunk numerous large stores and dozens of smaller shops.
For northeast Phoenix, the closures leave huge gaps on numerous corners.
* PEMBERVILLE — Pemberville’s Modine Manufacturing Co. has confirmed it is closing its Wood County plant and permanently laying off 65 workers.
The company told local officials in April that the plant was to be closed because of dwindling demand of the copper-brass radiators and other vehicle heating and air conditioning components constructed there. It filed a required notice with the state this week saying the shutdown was occurring.
* General Motors Corp. is laying off an unknown number of workers at its Tonawanda engine plant in response to economic conditions that have caused a decline in demand and a resulting drop in production.
Spokeswoman Nina Price said the company was still determining the production numbers for the GM Powertrain plant and evaluating how that would affect its employees. She said she could not disclose details until she has those figures and can communicate them to employees.
* Communications giant AT&T intends to permanently close its wholesale operations at 220 N. Meridian St. and 240 N. Meridian St. in Indianapolis, resulting in 112 layoffs. The majority of those will involve customer service representatives. This action does not constitute a complete shutdown of all of AT&T Service operations in Downtown Indianapolis, the company said in a notice to the state.
» Kokomo-based manufacturer Haynes International said it will shed 12 percent of its worldwide work force and implement a salary freeze for its salaried employees. The company did not specify a number or locations for the cuts. Haynes employed 1,138 workers as of fall.
» Holm Industries intends to close its plastic extrusion operations in Scottsburg, laying off 71 workers by March.
* Tulare District Hospital capped a busy week by announcing an undetermined amount of layoffs Friday, listing the state budget crisis as a major reason.
According to a hospital report, TDH is making the layoffs to deal with a 10 percent decrease — or $1.8 million — in money from the state.
* BENNINGTON — Bennington County’s work force has been dealt another severe blow with the announcement of layoffs for more than 100 local employees.
Plasan Carbon Composites will be laying off 92 employees from its automotive division, according to Dalton Blackwell, vice president.
Meanwhile, the Orvis Co., which sells fly-fishing equipment, accessories and clothing, has laid off 39 employees between its home office in Sunderland and its “rod shop” in Manchester, according to spokesman James Hathaway
* COMMERCE – Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center is laying off approximately 45 employees in an attempt to curb losses.
* The U.S. unit of Emaar Properties EMAR.DU, John Laing Homes, will cut jobs and review operations due to the credit crisis and global economic downturn, a company official said in remarks published on Saturday.
The layoffs will run across John Laing Homes’ operations, focused mainly in Southern California and Colorado, which have been hit hard by the financial meltdown, Abu Dhabi-based daily newspaper The National reported.
* Vicor Corp. has indefinitely suspended its semi-annual dividend and is looking to cut its workforce by about 6 percent, according to regulatory filings.
The Andover, Mass., power-component manufacturer (Nasdaq: VICR) did not disclose how many of its more than 800 Massachusetts staff would be impacted. The company employs about 1,114 people worldwide.
* LENOX — For the second time in three months, Canyon Ranch has laid off a small number of employees at its Lenox resort.
* TERRE HAUTE — A union spokesman confirmed Friday evening that an additional 25 layoffs have been announced at Bemis Company.
* TERRE HAUTE — A union spokesman confirmed Friday evening that an additional 25 layoffs have been announced at Bemis Company.
* Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is laying off 65 staff across its offices, according to firm spokeswoman Sheila Turner. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog.
* The economic slump is starting to take its toll on at least one Austin engineering company.
Bury+Partners Inc. laid off approximately 30 employees at the beginning of January, according to former employees and sources who do business with the company.
* Overland Storage this week cut its workforce and implemented an across-the-board pay cut in the wake of the economic downturn.
The moves, however, have solution providers concerned about the company’s future.
Overland on Thursday said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had decided to cut its workforce by 53 employees, or about 17 percent. This would be in addition to the employees let go last month.
* Portland-based Mercy Corps is laying off 22 employees, the same week that another local relief group announced staff cuts, as private donations slow with the recession.
* WATERBURY, Conn. – Waterbury Hospital says it will cut about 10 percent of its work force, the equivalent of 160 full-time positions, by the end of September.
* An international tool-making company confirmed Friday that it will likely close its West Central Street plant by June, potentially ending four decades of operations there and putting 80 employees out of work.
Rick Secor, a spokesman for Snap-on, said a final decision had not been made, but the closing was likely so the firm could maximize its productivity and efficiency.
* Ethanol producer VeraSun Energy is putting several of its ethanol plants up for auction and among those is one in Siouxland.
The plant in Albert City, Iowa is one of seven plants that will be put up for auction.
* In yet another sign of Japanese automakers’ deepening distress, Toyota Motor Corp. between February and April plans to make just half the number of vehicles it produced the previous year, a major newspaper reported Saturday.
* A rail firm has sparked outrage after announcing plans to cut 480 jobs, just weeks after increasing its fares.
South West Trains, which runs services throughout southern England and into Waterloo station, said it could not rule out compulsory redundancies.
via Teletext National News .
* Honda Motor said it is cutting 3,100 jobs in Japan and reducing domestic production because of a slump in demand due to the economic downturn.
Honda will not renew contracts with 3,100 temporary workers by the end of April, a spokeswoman said.
* Update: Finnish telecom component company Elcoteq said on Thursday it would slash 5,000 jobs worldwide, accounting for a quarter of its staff, and would close four factories in the United States, Russia, Romania and China.
“The first measure is to close the plants in Arad, Romania, Richardson, US, and St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as to consolidate the plant in Shenzhen, China, to the plant in Beijing,” the company said in a statement.
* Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) — Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the brewer of Budweiser and Stella Artois, will open a New York office and move some managers there from its Belgian base to implement cost cuts following the $52 billion merger that formed the company.
* Employees at the German-owned car components company, Kostal, have been told the company is seeking 300 redundancies between its two factories at Abbeyfeale in Co Limerick and in Mallow in Co Cork.
* JOHANNESBURG, Jan 16 (Reuters) – De Beers, the world’s top diamond producer, will cut production, capital spending and jobs this year as the global recession hits demand for luxury goods, officials said on Friday……
The job cuts in South Africa would be less than 1,000 out of a total work force of 3,500, Gould added.
* The Finnish airline Finnair has announced that it is making more than 120 employees redundant, following co-determination talks with representatives of personnel.
“The cutbacks in different parts of the concern are coming from cargo, scheduled flights, technology, management, and catering”, says Taneli Hassinen, the airline’s spokesman on economics and investor relations.
* Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — Japan’s economy weakened in all of the country’s nine regions over the past quarter as slumping exports prompted companies to cut production and fire workers, the central bank said.
The regional economy has been “deteriorating,” the Bank of Japan said after cutting its assessment in all areas for a second quarter, according to the report released in Tokyo today.
via Bloomberg.com: Japan.
* SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. announced a major restructuring Friday, consolidating business operations into two divisions as South Korea’s most powerful and iconic corporation deals with the slowing global economy and expectations of looming red ink.
The new organization was included in an announcement of personnel changes at the company as well as at the broader Samsung Group of which it serves as flagship.
* Jan. 16 (Bloomberg) — WS Atkins Plc, the U.K.’s biggest engineering-design company, plans to cut 210 jobs at its Middle East operations as the region’s construction industry slows and clients defer or cancel projects.
* AROUND 70 jobs could go at the hotel which is to host next year’s Ryder Cup golf tournament, it was revealed today.
The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport is conducting a wide-ranging review to cut costs which may, a spokesman said, include a number of redundancies.
* AROUND 100 jobs are set to go at Johnson Matthey’s Royston plant, the company has confirmed.
The chemicals firm is to consult with employees over the possible redundancies at its Orchard Road plant.
* HUNDREDS of workers at a distribution centre near Rugby could be facing the axe after the owners of Argos and DIY chain Homebase announced it might cut up to 350 jobs.
* MADRID, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Spain on Friday forecast what could be its worst recession in five decades for this year before a 2010 recovery many analysts judged over-optimistic given the mass destruction of jobs in a credit-starved economy.
* Gent (Belgium), January 16 – EskoArwork (www.esko.com) will restructure its worldwide workforce by approximately 10%. In addition, the company will reduce its operational spending. The current economic slowdown and 2009 global outlook has led to this decision, despite profitable growth in 2008.
* Toyota Australia’s Altona plant will be shut down for eight days in response to reduced demand in domestic and export markets.
Production of four-cylinder Camry and six-cylinder Aurion models will cease for eight days between March and May 2009, affecting 3,500 employees.
* THIRTY jobs were under threat last night at a courier firm’s call centre.
Workers at City Link in Splott, Cardiff, were yesterday told they would lose their posts next month.
One staff member at the Portmanmoor Industrial Estate centre, who asked not to be named, said: “We are devastated. People have been crying.
* Colliers CRE, the property services group headed by Sir John Ritblat, is to cut a further 70 jobs after revenue fell by a third last year.
The company said yesterday that it had reduced costs by £15m in 2008 but that more jobs would be lost as it prepared for a slow start for the property sector in the new year.
* Charles Schwab Corp. said today it is adding 500 jobs to its Colorado operations, an expansion that will be aided by as much as $1 million in cash incentives from the state.
* GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Hiring has already surpassed original estimates at the Honda Aircraft Co. plant in North Carolina where a new $4 million business jet will be manufactured.
* LEBANON — Hiring of up to 625 people for jobs at a new patient billing and collection center at Lebanon VA Medical Center will start in 2010, said Robert Callahan, center director. Applicants will need to apply at http://www.USAJOBS, the federal hiring Web site, Callahan said.
* At a time when layoffs and government cutbacks dominate the daily news, there’s a glimmer of hope in the local economy.
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting hundreds of people in central Pennsylvania to fill full- and part-time temporary jobs for the 2010 Census.
* JOHNSTON – Global property insurance giant FM Global added 180 full-time workers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts during 2008 and “is anticipating continued employment growth in 2009,” the company said today.
* Carleton Life Support Systems brought good news to the Quad-City economic scene Friday with an announcement that it will grow by 80 jobs as it moves its air-to-air refueling business from California to Davenport.
Mike: The layoff news took a turn for the worse as the day progressed. The numbers are getting larger, especially when you see 30,000 losing their jobs at one location as happened to Circuit City. The job cuts aren’t being kind to any profession, but tech, manufacturing, mining and health care seemed especially brutal today. I’ll update this posting as needed.
- The weekend is upon us, so let’s end it with a little weekend music and humor………
Mike: This is in honor of Citi bank breaking in two today and for Bank of America securing another $20 billion for another bailout.
Jonh Mellencamp – Wild Night
Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Knock on Wood