Mike: With the holidays quickly approaching, the job loss news would be expected to calm a bit, but it’s known that plenty of job losses occur around the end-of-year holidays due to companies having to arrange their budgets for fiscal realities.
I hope you all have a fine Thanksgiving holiday.
Here’s a sampling of the past day’s activities:
This was today’s big number, which is still very high and in recession numbers territory, but the headline indicates improvement that really isn’t justified unless it’s being done for cheerful holiday purposes.
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fell to 529,000 Last Week
Initial jobless claims declined by 14,000 to 529,000 in the week that ended Nov. 22, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The four-week moving average of initial claims rose to 518,000, the highest since January 1983, from 507,000.
Mike: While job loss violence isn’t likely to occur on a wide scale in the US, the following article illuminates how job loss is viewed in China, since there are few unemployment or social welfare benefits available to the Chinese people:
GUANGZHOU, China (AFP) — Hundreds of laid off workers rioted in southern China amid a dispute over severance pay, smashing offices of a toy factory and clashing with police, state press said Wednesday.
Mike: Job losses in the US affect many industries in Canada, especially those in the auto industry: I think that the 2110 recovery mantra is a little optimistic.
Beleaguered automakers in Canada will wipe out at least 15,000 jobs and post staggering losses of more than $3.1 billion this year and through 2009 before starting a recovery in 2010, according to the Conference Board of Canada.
Rutland, Vermont – November 25, 2008 Rutland County is bleeding jobs.
Area manufacturers have laid off more than 300 workers over the past 6 months.
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) reported last week that the Massachusetts unemployment rate increased from 5.3 percent in September to 5.5 percent in October.
“Ohio’s labor market continued to reflect a weakening national economy,” said ODJFS Assistant Director Sherry Keys-Hebron. “Job losses occurred in both the goods-producing and service-providing industries as the unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.3 percent.”
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) reported today that the unemployment rate in metro Hinesville rose to a preliminary unadjusted rate of 7.2 percent in October, up 2.2 percentage points over the year from October of 2007.
Mike: I tend to agree with the sentiments of the following article. I was unemployed for an extended period in the early 90s and I remember having minimal savings and hoping for an unemployment extension. I believe it was Senator Nichols (OK) who in the senate debate to extend benefits another six weeks was firmly against the extension and delayed the vote for a period of time. After some sort of compromise, the senate voted for the extension, but I was watching intently and quite aggravated and nervous that Nichols was delaying the extension. If jobs aren’t available, an extension is required.
Our View: Unemployed need help in hard times
“In such a weak labor market, unemployed workers are much more likely to exhaust their unemployment insurance benefits before they can find a job,” said Chad Stone, chief economist for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, prior to the extension in benefits was approved.
The number of ALCOA Tennessee Operations layoffs announced Oct. 30 — estimated to affect 114 workers — has been cut almost in half.
LITTLE ROCK — Figures released Friday show Arkansas’ unemployment rate rose five-tenths of a percentage point in October, matching the steepest rise ever, in a sign the national economic downturn is beginning to affect the state.
Mike: A couple of TX financial stories follow that indicate an economy that is faring better than the national economy, but with oil and energy prices crashing, I think that the economy of TX is just a little behind the curve at this point:
Unemployment rate is low in the Big Bend
Texas banks are still in good shape compared to the rest of the nation.
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate rises to 6.8%
Mike: While the taxpayer is being forced to bail out the banking sector and its theives, it’s the cities and states that are going to suffer the most during this extended downturn. The only way that cities and states can meet their obligations is to either cut costs, which includes large layoffs, or raise taxes. The citizenry won’t stand for tax hikes during a recession, so cutting costs is the step most likely to occur. The feds need to pump some money into the states and cities in order to avoid increasing job losses. States and cities, for the most part, are required to have balanced budgets each year, while the feds can run account deficits as they have for the majority of the past 30 years.
Phoenix will likely eliminate 1,000 positions next year as part of city officials’ effort to slash the budget by up to $250 million because of the ailing economy and a drop in tax collections.
Mike: Workers are getting fed up of losing jobs and some are taking to the streets. While this protest doesn’t take on the violent Chinese display noted above, it nonetheless shows that people are getting more organized to support their livelihoods:
City laborers clad in bright green T-shirts showed up in force today at a City Council workshop today to urge Des Moines leaders to reconsider about 90 job cuts that are proposed to help erase a budget deficit projected between $6 million and $9 million next
WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County commissioners introduced a 2009 budget that spends $130 million and is balanced by adding almost $19 million in new debt.
The budget proposal cuts more than $16.8 million in spending and could result in the elimination of more than 100 jobs through layoffs, attrition, and retirements. A vote to adopt the budget is scheduled for Dec. 17.
AmTrust Bank said Tuesday it will cut an undisclosed number of jobs as it tries to cope with a regulatory order to improve its finances.
AmTrust, the Cleveland area’s fourth-largest bank, also has been ordered to stop soliciting deposits by offering high interest rates.
Impending layoffs in Santa Barbara County’s Social Services Department have been avoided following an overwhelming vote by union members to accept a mandatory furlough.
The members of the Service Employees International Union, Local 721, this week voted 82 percent in favor of an 80-hour furlough; in exchange, the county will not lay off any union members.
Bank of America says there will be job cuts at its Delaware-based credit card division because of organizational changes.
MT. VERNON, Ill. – The downturn in the economy has several people in the Heartland feeling a little less thankful this year just one day before Thanksgiving.
The Mt. Vernon Continental Tire plant will cut more than 100 jobs.
Buyouts net Chrysler nearly 5,000 job cuts
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — Technorati announced on Tuesday that it was laying off six employees and cutting pay for the remaining members of the blog search engine company.
Carthage, MO (AHN) – Bedding and furniture manufacturer Leggett & Platt Inc. announced lay offs of about 40 employees at its corporate headquarters because of slumping consumer demand for its products.
Delaware City Manager Tom Homan submitted a proposed budget to council Nov. 15 that included the elimination of 10 full-time jobs (six of which are vacant), two permanent part-time positions and five intern positions.
Luzerne County’s 2009 budget, which was approved Wednesday, will cut more than than 100 jobs, according to the Times-Leader newspaper.
Mike: As usual, the poor and frail suffer disproportionately in a recession as the next two articles show:
The budget ax has fallen again at Erie County Job and Family Services, where four employees are being laid off and clients have been warned of delays in getting help.
Services for seniors took the brunt of the cuts, including reductions in money for meals, job training, in-home care, and programs to protect the elderly from abuse and neglect.
“They keep taking it in the chops, and they keep losing more and more,” county Supervisor Steve Gutierrez said.
LEWIS COUNTY, N.Y. — Each and every comment got the same response of thundering applause. Taxpayers protested Lewis County’s proposed budget, which calls for eliminating 52 jobs and zero funding for contracted agencies like libraries and recovery centers.
State budget cuts will put 85 state workers out of a job Sunday, the Blagojevich administration confirmed today.
Originally, more than 320 workers were supposed to be laid off in several state agencies at the end of November, including those affected by the closings of two-dozen state parks and historic sites.
Eighty employees were laid off late last week at CSC in Williamsburg, but the town’s mayor is hopeful the positions might be reinstated next year.
LINCOLN – Claims for unemployment insurance in Nebraska rose 42 percent in October compared with a year ago.
DULUTH, Minn. – Airplane maker Cirrus Design Corp. says it is temporarily laying off about 165 people at its plant in Grand Forks and 335 people in its Duluth plant next month.
EATON, Ohio — The Preble County Sheriff said he has no choice by to lay off a half-dozen employees.
Mike: Happy New Year! Sad.
Lucas County Commissioners approve 20 layoffs – A total of 20 county employees will be laid off effective January 1. This includes eight from the department of Child Support Enforcement and five from Building Regulations.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania Turnpike began laying off employees Thursday after only 20 workers accepted voluntary buyout offers designed to offset falling traffic numbers and declining toll revenues.
Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier said his goal is to reduce payroll expenses by 7 to 10 percent, so more people will be let go in the coming weeks.
The University of Toledo Medical Center plans to lay off at least 12 and as many as 50 employees as a result of the troubled economy.
The layoffs that have rocked the publishing industry have come to Source Interlink. The Bonita Springs, Florida-based distributor and enthusiast magazine publisher recently laid off “upwards of 80 employees,” a knowledgeable source told FOLIO:.
About 80 people will lose their jobs early next year at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, administrators announced Tuesday.
Palm will restructure its worldwide operations and lay off an unspecified percentage of its 1,050-person staff, reports say.
Two days before Thanksgiving, some city workers are bracing for layoffs.
Wednesday night, the mayor of Orange Beach detailed his plan for workforce reductions to the city council and the public.
Mayor Tony Kennon said, “We had 40 positions that we are not going to fill. 23 are individuals who were in the jobs that we laid off, for lack of a better term.”
SHELLEY, Idaho (AP) – Executives at a food processing plant in eastern Idaho way they intend to shut down 1 of 2 production lines in February, a move that will likely lead to the loss of 65 jobs.
Another 100 people in the area are laid off from their jobs, in this case from the Little River Casino Resort, the region’s largest employer.
ABX Air says it plans to lay off another 283 employees at the DHL Air Park over the next week.
A Tennessee weekly is responding to the economic collapse with one helpful move: free classified ads for unemployed residents.
A Cleveland-area company that operates a timeshare-style jet operation has laid off 104 pilots and 30 other employees.
BURLINGTON — J.W. Peters will soon send 86 people, or more than two-fifths of its work force, home for perhaps six months or more.’
MALTA — Starfire Systems Inc., the company responsible for the design of a space shuttle repair kit, laid off nearly half its employees last week in the wake of feeling the pinch of the current fiscal crisis.
Cirrus Design Corp., ramping down to zero production in December, furloughed 500 of the 1,100 workers at its Duluth, Minn., and Grand Forks, N.D. facilities .
Yakima County passed a belt-tightening budget Tuesday with virtually no changes since it was introduced last month.
The county’s $53.5 million 2009 general fund budget includes 30 staff cuts and spends $1 million in reserve funds.
From the age of Reagan to the 21st century, the Luck Stone Powhatan plant seemed like a permanent fixture in the area. Begun in 1985, the plant played a large role in the development of Chesterfield and Powhatan counties. The extension of Interstate 288 further bolstered it.
All of this smacked into the reality of the financial crisis when Luck Stone was forced to lay off or reassign 17 percent of its workforceL on November 12.
Chris Braun, CEO of Teton Buildings, confirmed on Monday that the company did lay off a portion of its workers on Friday.
On Friday, WBIR-TV offered a voluntary separation agreement to employees over the age of 55 who have 10 years of service, a move that comes on top of a consolidation effort that eliminated some jobs earlier this year.
EAST GREENBUSH — A factory that makes wallboard and other construction materials will shut down in January, leaving at least 70 workers without jobs.
WILMINGTON, N.C. — National Gypsum Co. says it will close its Wilmington wallboard plant in January due to the depressed housing market, putting more than 60 people out of work.
The Star-News of Wilmington reports that the plant will close on Jan. 19. Workers were notified last week.
Online grocer Plumgood Food is closing after four years of operation.
Mike: That’s a sampling of Wednesday’s bleak news. I’ll leave you with a bit of Thanksgiving humor: