January 7 – IBM/MSFT Layoff Rumors Remain – Oglivy Cuts 10% – LM Glasfiber Spins 150 Out the Door – Cessna Warns – 400 Less at Barclays – Aloca Sheds 15,200 – EMC Deletes 2400 – Lenovo Erases 2500

                                  

Mike: Good day to all. I hope that today’s news doesn’t bring another whopper like the 13,000 jobs being lost at Alcoa. The jobs news for today is rather light Challenger Job-Cut Report. with the big news coming on Thursday Jobless Claims. and Friday Employment Situation. Let’s hope the jobs landscape shows less severe job loss than expected.

 

Mike: The following article is based entirely on hope without any factual support. This reminds me of the real estate experts who said that the housing market would pick back up in short order and now is the time to buy. This type of article merely gets hopes up for the delusinal characters that operate these clueless organizations.

The job market has just started to deteriorate and likely won’t start to improve until 2010. Why do I say 2010? Let me count the ways:  Easy money is gone for quite some time as banks won’t be lending $25,000 for a new car to those with credit scores of 500 who don’t have a steady job. Credit cards are drying up for many, which prohibits those with marginal credit from purchasing with credit cards. Homes are no longer ATMs and the consumer will not be able to buy that new boat, second home, expensive vacation, or $4000 plasma TV from refinancing the house. The auto industry is still dying a slow death and will continue to shed jobs throughout the year.  Those are just a few reasons for continued jobloss throughout 2009. The promised stimulus will help the job market, but Republicans are already threatening to holdup progress and diminish funding, so don’t count on a quick fix from the feds

 

 

* “Everything is coming to a head right now and will be over in the next three or four months, maybe six, in terms of layoffs and the slowing of the economy,” Naroff said.

John Challenger is chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a Chicago-based international employment company. He said “there is no question that layoffs are real heavy right now” and agreed that companies are reacting more swiftly to sales data.

I think there is real hope they (layoffs) will subside in the spring or summer time period,” he added.

The Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va., learned from a recent survey of members that 48 percent had laid off workers in 2008 and 60 percent planned to lay off more in 2009. The most likely to be laid off were unskilled laborers and those in administrative posts. Least likely: executives and sales workers.

In addition to the recession, Challenger said layoffs were growing because companies have moved away from keeping loyal employees through the ups and downs. “I think today companies look at their hiring or employment as a more just-in-time basis,” he said.

via Experts: Layoffs may peak by summer.

 

Mike: As you can see, the article below flies in the face of the article above by realistically projecting that unemployment won’t improve in 2009.

* The U.S. economy is likely to deteriorate further this year and unemployment will rise into 2010, according to the latest forecasts from the staff of the Federal Reserve………

I think that the Fed is really very scared right now — like everybody else — and they want to pull out all the stops,” said David Wyss, chief economist for Standard & Poor’s.

The Fed indicated that most members at its meeting expected a slow recovery to begin in the second half of the year, but that unemployment would still rise “significantly” into 2010.

Employers cut 1.9 million jobs over the first 11 months of 2008, which took the unemployment rate up to 6.7%. The December report will be released by the Labor Department Friday and economists surveyed by Briefing.com expect a loss of 475,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate will rise to 7%, which would mark a 15-year high.

via Fed sees longer economic decline than earlier forecasts: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Mike: What I gather from the two stories above is that it’s safer to take facts and figures into account when trying to determine your next financial or job related decision then it is to put your faith in the blind hope offered by MSM. Rant over. Onto the layoff news of the day……

 

Stupid Congressional News of the Day – 

Mike: I hope I don’t need to use this column too often, but there are times when our congressional reps are even more clueless than ususal and the below story is one of those cases:

 

* TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Thursday’s championship football game between No. 2 Florida and No. 1 Oklahoma is obviously a big game, but big enough to shut down Congress?

Rep. Cliff Stearns hopes so. Stearns, a Republican from Ocala, wrote to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday asking her to move votes scheduled for Thursday evening and Friday so House members from Florida and Oklahoma can go to the Bowl Championship Series national title game

Stearns wrote, ” As you may be aware, on Thursday January 8, the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma will play for the national football championship. Members of the Florida and Oklahoma delegations have expressed interest in attending the game as the congressional schedule allows. However, votes are currently scheduled to continue into Thursday night and Friday afternoon. We ask that you move these votes to either Wednesday and/or Thursday morning to allow Members to attend this historic game.”

Oddly – or maybe not – none of the other members Stearns referred to as “we” signed the letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press.

To help his cause, Stearns added a handwritten message to Pelosi.

Madam Speaker – Kindly consider. Thanks, Cliff,” he wrote.

Pelosi’s office said she would not agree to the request. Among the votes to be considered Thursday afternoonis certification of the Electoral College vote that gives Barack Obama the presidency.

Stearns was first elected to Congress in 1988. While he didn’t attend the University of Florida, his district includes the Gainesville area, where the school is located. The game is being played in Miami.

A message left after hours at Stearns’ Washington office seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

via Florida congressman Cliff Stearns asks Nancy Pelosi for football break – Yahoo! News.

Mike: Hey, I’m a football fan, but I don’t think I would have the temerity to ask Congress to halt business, especially during these troubled times, so I could watch a football game. Stearns misses  out on a little free PR at the game, but if he wants to watch it that badly, then he can use Tivo. If this is the kind attitude makes your blood boil, after you have laughed at the absurdity of it all, go to Congress.org  and write your representative. Besides their paying attention to campaign contributions from their big money donors, your congressional rep listens and responds to your letters and emails.

 

Microsoft and IBM News/Rumors

 

Mike: Coming from Bloomberg gives this rumor a little more validity:

 

* Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) — International Business Machines Corp., the biggest technology employer, may cut thousands of jobs this month amid the global economic slowdown, according to the employee group Alliance for IBM.

Employees have been hearing that layoffs will take place in late January, said Lee Conrad, national coordinator of the Alliance, an organization seeking union recognition at Armonk, New York-based IBM. The size of the reduction may be larger than those in the past few years, he said today in an interview.

“Generally they go in batches of a couple hundred here and a couple hundred there,” Conrad said.

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.

 

IBM India has refused to deny a report that the company is planning to cut 16,000 jobs globally, calling it ‘just a rumour’.

The employee union for IBM, Alliance IBM, made the claim on its website. If true, it would be the biggest round of lay-offs in recent years. In 2007, more than 2000 employees were shown pink slips in two phases. In 2002, IBM made huge job cuts of 15,600.

via IBM refuses to deny massive job cuts.

 

* At first it was thought that Microsoft was preparing to cut a massive 17% of their staff (in comparison to Sony’s 5%) or 15,000 employees. However, Jim Goldman of CNBC has been told that this speculation was “grossly exaggerated” and that cuts would be made through the non-renewal of contract employees, rather than through a mass lay-off.

Goldman’s source explains that it’s still imperative for Microsoft to stay ahead of the game; “any company not paying careful attention to headcount in a climate like this is nuts.

via Microsoft Readying Cuts, Not Necessarily Jobs – Gamezine.co.uk .

 

Check out the Alliance@IBM website for some interesting reading. IBM employees smell upcoming layoffs around the third week of January and they’re nervous. There’s a lot of detail (e.g., specific office locations, headcount changes, etc.) in their postings, too much if you ask me. Either these employees are really paranoid or there are few secrets in that company.

If there’s any truth to the rumors around Microsoft, then Microsoft will try to beat IBM to the layoffs a week earlier. Check out this story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer . It does a good job of playing back the headcount concerns some on Wall Street have about Microsoft.

via A New Year and layoff rumors start flying for IBM and Microsoft | Software & Services Safari | ZDNet.com .

 

General Economic News

 

Mike: The below report shows a slight improvement in planned layoffs from November. Time will tell if it’s a trend or an anomaly. In my rant above, I mention Challenger and their optimistic outlook as being full of hot air and they seem to carry that over into today’s news. While hope is wonderful, facts are usually more reliable when making decisions:

Today’s job related announcement: Challenger Job-Cut Report

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Planned layoffs at U.S. firms eased in December from the previous month’s seven-year high but they were up an astounding 275 percent annually as the year-old recession cut a huge swathe of destruction through job market.

The economy could begin to mount a comeback in the second half of the year, if the new administration can achieve quick passage of its proposed economic and job-growth stimulus package,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

“The plan to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure will benefit not only laborers on the front lines, but it will push up through the economy, creating jobs for manufacturing workers, engineers, architects, technology specialists, etc.”

Job cuts announced in December totaled 166,348, down 8.4 percent from November’s 181,671, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said. Despite the monthly decline, layoffs were up from just 44,416 in the year-ago period.

Overall, employers announced 1,223,993 job cuts in 2008, the largest annual total since 2003, when there were 1,236,426 job cuts.

 

via U.S. 2008 planned layoffs most in 5 years: Challenger | Reuters .

 

* Some jarring reports Wednesday that show the labor market is still staggering are giving economists reason to fret about the government’s monthly jobs report due at week’s end.

The reports – one from payroll processor ADP showing 693,000 lost private-sector jobs in December, and another from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showing 166,348 announced job cuts last month – raise concern that the worst of the job losses in the current recession may not be over.

“The loss of jobs is beginning to create a bit of a negative feedback loop,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia. He said the slowing economy causes employers to chop jobs, which in turn slows the economy further.

via Labor market was battered in December, reports show – Yahoo! Finance.

 

Intel warned Wednesday that its fourth-quarter revenue will fall $2 billion short of its original forecast, due to PC makers curtailing chip orders.

The announcement comes less than two months after Intel warned on November 12 that its fourth-quarter performance would fall below its original forecast.

via Intel expects fourth-quarter revenue to drop 23 percent | Business Tech – CNET News.

 

Mike: At least the IRS is aware of the nation’s economic health and as a result, it may not be as difficult to settle some tax issues related to this recession. At least we can hope they are being cooperative:

 

* Massive losses in the financial markets. Seemingly never-ending layoffs. Plummeting home values. Taxpayers walloped by financial hardships may find some reprieve and possibly a silver lining when it’s time to pay taxes in April.

The Internal Revenue Service rang in the tax filing season Tuesday by calling attention to the new tax credits and emphasizing the agency’s willingness to work with financially distressed taxpayers.                                 

What we’re doing today is saying we recognize the economic realities out there and we’re available to work with people,” said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman.

For starters, IRS employees have been given greater authority to suspend collection actions. They have more flexibility in allowing taxpayers facing difficult economic situations to miss or reduce a monthly installment payment on taxes previously owed without automatically ending the installment agreement, Shulman said.

Both home equity line and indirect auto loan delinquencies reached the highest levels ever recorded during the third quarter, according to the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin.

Home equity line delinquencies increased seven basis points to a record high 1.15 percent during the quarter, while indirect auto loans, which account for 90 percent of auto loans, saw lates increase to 3.25 percent from 3.07 percent.

via Mortgage Help and News | The Truth About Mortgage.com.

 

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Mike: Finally a little justice:

 

* HOUSTON (AP) — An appeals court has upheld former Enron Corp. CEO Jeff Skilling’s convictions for his role in the energy giant’s collapse but orders that he be resentenced.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Tuesday denied Skilling’s request that his convictions be overturned because they were based on an incorrect legal theory.

via Skilling convictions upheld, resentencing ordered: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance.

 
Municipal News

 

Mike: Besides CA, SC seems to be the most active in cutting state costs regardless of the consequences. Below you’ll see a story about the cutting of public school funding for bus drivers and mechanics, but you have to laugh if you think that the Superintendent, Rex, would consider a pay cut for him or the other overpaid cronies that occupy the SC Education Department. I’ll try and find out how much the Education Department heads make in this time of cost cutting

* COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Education Superintendent Jim Rex said public schools need flexibility to handle spending cuts.

State lawmakers asked Rex on Tuesday why highly paid agency employees are not taking pay cuts.

St. Matthews Rep. Harry Ott questioned Rex about agency plans to cut 66 bus mechanics and cut bus driver pay. School spending has been cut by $334 million since July.

via Rex Plans To Cut SC Bus Drivers’ Pay – News Story – WHNS Greenville.

 

Seven city fire companies ceased operations yesterday as part of Mayor Nutter’s budget-cutting plan, but not without rancor, as the head of the firefighters’ union claimed that “people will die” because of the closures.

via Philadelphia Department Shutdowns Begin – Firehouse.com News.

 

* The bright promise of an ethanol plant in Hancock County is somewhat dimmer with the start of 2009.

Nationally, the U.S. saw the second-biggest corn crop ever after ideal summer growing conditions last year. But when harvesting began, the U.S. economic crisis fueled fears that foreign demand would drop. In October, ethanol took a big hit.

via Forest City Summit Britt News.

 

The state (FL) is projecting a $2.3 billion shortfall in revenue.

Superintendent James Browder said the budget reduction will lead to the cut of at least 400 jobs, including teachers, support personnel and district office staff.

via School funding loss to lead to job cuts | news-press.com | The News-Press.

 

* EUCLID, Ohio — Seventeen people are being laid off at the Euclid City Jail as the city tries to cut $2.4 million from its budget.

Thirteen full-time corrections officers, three part-time officers and one secretary will be dismissed Feb. 13.

via Local City Lays Off 17 Jail Workers – News Story – WEWS Cleveland.

 

* Attorney General Terry Goddard said Tuesday his office is laying off 20 workers, apparently the first such cuts by a state agency in response to Arizona’s worsening budget crisis.

via Ariz. attorney general laying off 20.

 

* Fulton, NY — Three dozen employees at A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton learned Monday they are about to lose their jobs.

Betsy Copps, who works in community relations for the hospital, is one of the employees being laid off. Her last day will be Friday, she said.

via Fulton hospital lays off 36 employees.

 

The city of Sparks is laying off 34 full-time employees and reducing services as it struggles to cut $2.7 million from its budget.

The latest round of spending cuts for the 2009-2010 fiscal year follow $4.5 million cut last year, City Manager Shaun Carey said.

via Sparks lays off 34 employees; cuts services – Las Vegas Sun.

 

US and some Canada News –

 

Mike: The following list is taken directly from the Alcoa website

  • Alcoa Taking Decisive Action to Address Economic Downturn
  • Smelting Output Reduced 750,000 mtpy, or 18% of Output
  • Reducing Headcount by 13,500 (13% of Global Workforce) and an Additional 1,700 Contractor Positions
  • Freezing Salaries and Hiring
  • Selling Four Non-Core Downstream Businesses
  • Reducing 2009 Capital Expenditures by 50%
  • Taking Advantage of New Sourcing For Raw Materials
  • Exchanging Equity Stakes with Orkla; Alcoa To Take 100% Ownership of 2 Elkem Smelters For its 45% Stake in SAPA
  • After-Tax Charges For 4Q 2008 Range from $900 to $950 Million, 80% Non-Cash

 

Alcoa Inc. will lay off 13,500 employees, or about 13 percent of its global workforce, by the end of 2009 as “extraordinary times” squeeze the aluminum giant.

Besides slashing personnel, Alcoa will freeze salaries and hiring, further throttle back production and halve 2009 capital expenditures, the company announced in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

via Alcoa to cut 13,500 jobs, slash production – Pittsburgh Business Times: .

 

Alcoa To Lay Off 15,200, Reduce Operations

Aluminum giant Alcoa just announced it is dealing with the economic crisis — and abetting the economic contraction — by letting go 15,200 employees and reducing its smelting output by 18 percent.

The headcount reduction will come via 13,500 staff jobs — about 13 percent of the global workforce — and an additional 1,700 contractor jobs.

via The Ticker – Alcoa To Lay Off 15,200, Reduce Operations – Economy Watch  .

 

* The economic cycle of a recession affecting sales grabbed two more area companies, costing more than 100 people their jobs.

Bob Kuenning, vice president of manufacturing for Nishikawa Standard Co., said Tuesday that the company is laying off nearly 50 people each at its plants in Topeka and Bremen because of “slower sales.”

via Auto woes hit two more local companies | WSBT South Bend – Your Local News Leader | Local News .

 

* McLean, Va. – Just months after raising $18 million in its third round of funding, Clearspring Technologies, the developer of a widget network designed to connect publishers and advertisers to audiences on social networking sites, has laid off an unspecified number of employees — possibly up to 20%, according to a report in TechCrunch.

 

* The Ogilvy Group today cut about 10 percent of its staff across multiple units in response to client spending reductions that exceed the WPP Group shop’s new business growth, sources said.

The cut affected the North American offices of units such as Ogilvy & Mather, OgilvyOne, Ogilvy Interactive and OgilvyAction, according to sources. Some sources estimated the number of layoffs at 300, but others said it was about half that, or roughly 10 percent of the total headcount at those offices.

via Sources: Ogilvy Group Cuts 10% of Staff.

 

The Tulsa World today terminated 28 employees citing deteriorating economic conditions nationwide and in media business.

via Tulsa World: Tulsa World announces staff reduction .

 

* LM Glasfiber said Tuesday that it will idle production at its facility on Scott Hamilton Drive in Little Rock and cut 150 jobs in the capital city as a result of the nationwide credit crunch, which the wind blade manufacturer said is causing delays in wind projects.

via LM Glasfiber to Cut 150 Jobs, Idle Scott Hamilton Plant – ArkansasBusiness.com .

 

* VANCOUVER, B.C. — Western Canadian Coal Corp. (TSX:WTN), a Vancouver-based coal producer, says it plans to reduce operations at its Brule mine and Wolverine operation in British Columbia, affecting hundreds of jobs, because of reduced demand from steelmakers…….

The company said 35 of its contractor’s employees will be impacted at Brule mine near Chetwynd, B.C.

It said the number of jobs impacted at Wolverine, located just outside of Tumbler Ridge, B.C., is unclear at this stage, but that 300 of its contractor’s employees and 100 of the company’s own employees were given notice Tuesday.

via The Canadian Press: Western Canadian Coal to cut operations at the Brule and Wolverine operations.

 

Goss International Corp. today said it would cut between 200 and 250 jobs across its U.S. facilities.

via Goss cutting jobs .

 

* SULLIVAN – It was New Year’s Eve, and as the last hours of 2008 ticked away, the phone rang in the homes of several employees of the Mason Point nursing home in Sullivan.

Brenda Rambo wasn’t home for the call. But when she got home, she had a message from interim Administrator Renee Bogard telling her they needed to talk before Rambo returned to her housekeeping job.

“I called the next morning, she came to the phone and I told her who I was. She laughed and told me it was not necessarily good news, that my services were no longer needed,” said Rambo, who would have completed 11 years at the nursing home in March.

Rambo was one of about 15 employees told they no longer had a job after Peoria-based Petersen Health Care took over the former Illinois Masonic Home on Jan. 1.

via The News-Gazette.com: Sullivan nursing home makes job cuts.

 

* BURNABY, BC, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – Day4 Energy Inc. (TSX: DFE), a solar electric technology developer and manufacturer of superior performance solar modules, today announced the company has implemented a reduction in its overall headcount affecting approximately 95 people primarily at its Burnaby production facility.

via Day4 Energy Announces Reduction in Workforce .

 

* LOGAN, Utah — Utah State University is facing a possible budget cut of $30 million and job losses of more than 660 positions when the Legislature meets starting later this month.

USU President Stan Albrecht said Monday cuts of that size — or even smaller — could force the university to declare a major financial crisis for the first time in the school’s history.

via Daily Herald – Budget cuts could mean 660 jobs lost at Utah State.

 

The Doe Run Co. says it will cut more than 100 jobs and reduce its planned lead mining output by 1 million tons.

The St. Louis-based lead producer says the global economic downturn has eroded the market price for the metal used in such products as car batteries, forcing it to adjust production plans.

via Doe Run reduces 2009 lead mine output, cuts jobs – Forbes.com.

 

Cessna Aircraft officials warned employees today that more job cuts are coming.

The domestic market remains soft and the international market, which were strong a year ago, have quieted, chief executive Jack Pelton said in a memo to employees.

via Cessna says it will cut more jobs | News Updates | Kansas.com.

 

* Jan 6 (Reuters) – Video-conferencing products maker Polycom Inc (PLCM.O) forecast fourth quarter earnings above market estimates and said it laid off 6 percent of it workforce to reduce costs, and its shares rose 8 percent.

The company said the 150 job cuts were with immediate effect and that it would take a related charge of about $6.5 million in the first quarter of 2009. Polycom however cut its revenue view due to a continued weakness in its voice communications business. It now expects revenue to fall to $263 million to $265 million in the fourth-quarter ended December 31.

via UPDATE 1-Polycom sees Q4 earnings above estimates, cuts jobs | Industries | Technology, Media & Telecommunications | Reuters .

 

* The managing director at the National Business Institute in Altoona tells us he laid off 25 workers Monday.

The company had to let nine people go last month. NBI has been in business since 1983, putting on educational seminars for legal professionals.

via NBI Announces Layoffs .

 

* In the end, it’s Unisys Corp.’s sending a message to the city: Thanks. But no thanks.

Unisys announced today that the company would keep its corporate headquarters in Blue Bell rather than relocate it – and 225 jobs – to Center City.

via Unisys drops plan for Philadelphia headquarters | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/06/2009.

 

Mike: While most of the country should avoid a depression and suffer through a protracted recession, Michigan residents are already suffering near depression economics:

 

* MARQUETTE, Mich. – Cliffs Natural Resources says more than 300 employees of the Tilden and Empire mines in Marquette County will be laid off Sunday because of the economic slowdown.

And company spokesman Dale Hemmila tells The Mining Journal of Marquette that 70 additional workers will be laid off in March.

via Hundreds to be laid off at Mich. mines — chicagotribune.com.

 

* The Atlanta History Center cut 15 employees from its 74-member staff on Monday as part of a museum-wide belt-tightening, including most of the workers at the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.

via Most of Margaret Mitchell House staff laid off | ajc.com.

 

Mike: Wow! Some good news below:

 

* Great Lakes Chemical Corp., a Chemtura Co., announced Monday that it is continuing to monitor effects of current economic conditions and has plans to call back 31 employees who were laid off last year.

via Great Lakes has plans to call back 31 laid off workers.

 

Some Tri-Cities workers found themselves out of work Monday, at least temporarily.

Your Tri-Cities news source confirmed Bush Hog in Telford, Tennessee is closing the plant for two weeks.

via Bush Hog Workers Temporarily Laid Off | TriCities.

 

* LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Windmill blade maker LM Glasfiber announced Tuesday it will lay off more than 150 employees and halt production at one of its two Little Rock plants, though the company says it remains optimistic about its long-term growth.

via Pine Bluff Commercial Online Edition.

 

Temecula Valley Bancorp laid off 36 employees, or about 10 percent of its staff, closed all its business loan production offices outside California, and essentially shut down its construction lending in reaction to an awful 2008, Temecula Valley Bank’s parent company said Jan. 6.

via San Diego Business Journal Online – business news for San Diego, California .

 

Ziff Davis Media today announced the sale of the 1UP Digital Network, including 1UP.com, MyCheats.com, GameVideos.com and GameTab.com, to UGO Entertainment. EGM’s last printed issue is January 2009. The fate of 1Up podcasts is unclear, following comments received by MTV Multiplayer from Ziff’s Sam Kennedy.

via MTV Multiplayer » EGM Shuts Down, More Than 30 Ziff Davis Employees Laid Off.

 

* Even a market-leading television station like KSL Channel 5, which has led the nightly news rating race for more than two decades, is not safe from the current economic downturn.

The station, which is owned by the LDS Church, laid off eight employees Monday, including news reporter Gene Kennedy, who covered the courts and general-assigment stories.

via KSL lays off 8 employees – Salt Lake Tribune.

 

* The Seven Feathers Hotel Casino & Resort in Canyonville laid off 51 workers Monday, just over 6 percent of its work force.

via Seven Feathers lays off 51 | The News-Review – NRtoday.com.

 

* (ABC 6 NEWS)— The nation’s faltering economy is being felt close to home again.

Owatonna’s largest manufacturer, Viracon started handing-out layoff notices to factory workers and office staff today.

Two weeks before Christmas, the company announced that it expected to hand out more than 100 layoff notices early in the new year.

via KAALtv.com – Viracon Lays Off More than 100 Workers .

 

* Another Treasure Valley employer is cutting costs by cutting employees.

Plexus Corp. said Tuesday that it has cut 35 full-time and 100 temporary employees from its Nampa work force because of the deteriorating economy.

via Nampa electronics company lays off 35 full-time, 100 temporary workers | Business | Idaho Statesman .

 

* ATLANTA, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Fortune Brands Inc (FO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) expects pretax charges of $100 million tied to workforce reductions and other cost cuts, the company said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday.

The company said the pretax charges would include about $30 million for job cuts, about $20 million tied to closing or consolidating plants, and about $50 million in noncash charges to write down buildings, equipment and other assets it is disposing of.

via UPDATE 1-Fortune Brands to cut jobs in restructuring | Markets | US Markets | Reuters .

 

* Chemical giant LyondellBasell Industries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today and warned more job cuts may be on the way as the company restructures.

Reeling from plummeting sales and crushing debts, the Dutch company filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York just a year after a major merger made it one of the world’s biggest chemical makers.

via LyondellBasell files for bankruptcy protection | Business | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

 

Two Austin employers announce job cuts

HelioVolt, Borland reorganize

HelioVolt Corp. said it had made a “modest” reduction in its work force, and Borland Software Corp. said it will cut 130 jobs, or 5 percent of its force, as part of a reorganization plan that is expected to yield annualized savings of $12 million to $14 million.

via Two Austin employers announce job cuts.

 

MORE than 20 full-time jobs will be lost in a restructure of Moonee Valley Racing Club.

The club this week announced a new organisational structure will be implemented over the next two months.

via 20 jobs cut in Moonee Valley Racing Club restructure | Herald Sun.

 

* Canadian Mineral company Shore Gold has announced that it will considerably reduce the size of it’s staff this year.

The company introduced a much smaller budget for 2009, and says with that, they must cut on-site staff.

via Shore Gold To Cut Jobs | News Talk 650.

 

Yorktowne lays off 70 workers

(Danville Register & Bee Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 7–Seventy workers at Yorktowne Cabinetry’s manufacturing plant in Ringgold were laid off Tuesday, according to a company spokesman.

via BRIEF: Yorktowne lays off 70 workers.

 

* CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – The Wyoming Tribune Eagle has laid off two newsroom employees as part of cost-saving measures prompted by the economic recession.

via LocalNews8.com Idaho Falls, Pocatello – Weather, News, Sports – Cheyenne Tribune Eagle announces newsroom layoffs.

 

* CARY, N.C. – Consonus Technologies is laying off 14 workers due to the current uncertain economy, leaving the Cary data-management company with about 200 employees.

via Consonus To Layoff 14 Employees – Wake County – MyNC.com.

 

* Telecommunications equipment maker Network Equipment Technologies Inc. said Tuesday it plans to cut about 40 employees.

Fremont-based NET (NYSE:NWK) said the cuts will leave it with about 255 employees.

via Network Equipment Tech plans job cuts – Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal: .

 

* SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Ethan Allen Interiors Inc (ETH.N) said on Tuesday it would consolidate operations of an upholstery factory and several retail service centers, with pretax charges expected of about $8 million to $9 million.

via UPDATE 1-Ethan Allen to close upholstery plant, take charge | Markets | Markets News | Reuters .

 

* TULLY, N.Y. — Alcoa isn’t alone. Barden Building Systems announced it is shutting down its Tully factory. The plant builds prefabricated homes and commercial buildings.

Chief Sales Officer Eric Barden says the slump is the result of too many new homes built across the country, coupled with the economic downfall. Twenty people will lose their jobs and local merchants fear they’ll also be losing business.

via – Barden Homes shutting down Tully factory

 

* ROCK ISLAND, Illinois– More jobs could be cut in the Quad Cities as a Rock Island trucking firm says it’ll consolidate operations. …..

A company spokesman tells the Dispatch-Rock Island Argus that 70 local employees will be laid off and 60 will stay on the job. 

via Rock Island trucking firm cutting 70 jobs.

 

Sun Capital to cut 10% of workforce

The Florida-based firm joins several other high-profile private equity firms that have cut back on staff to control costs amid recession, including Blackstone and Carlyle. Sun invested alongside Lubert-Adler in US retailer Mervyns, which last year filed for bankruptcy.

via P E R E – Sun Capital to cut 10% of workforce .

 

* MANSFIELD — The new year isn’t getting off to a very good start for Jay Industries. The local manufacturer has cut nearly half its 1,000-person work force.

Rick Taylor, president of the metal and plastic product supplier, said some of the layoffs at Broshco Fabricated Products on West Longview Avenue are temporary, some permanent. All of the company’s operations have seen hourly and salaried employees take a 10-percent wage reduction, he said. Some of the salaried personnel have gone back to hourly status.

via Jay Industries cutting work force | mansfieldnewsjournal.com | Mansfield News Journal.

 

* Two more Bay State companies, Kronos Inc. and Boston Company Asset Management, confirmed plans yesterday to cut scores of jobs, the latest in a stream of businesses handing out pink slips.

Kronos Inc., a human resources technology firm, said yesterday it cut nearly 8 percent of its worldwide workforce.

The Chelmsford company said it let go roughly 250 people worldwide, including about 100 in Massachusetts. The company had about 3,300 workers around the world before the job cuts.

Separately, Boston Company Asset Management said it is laying off 90 people, nearly 30 percent of its staff, because of last year’s stock market plunge.

via Two firms are cutting scores of Mass. jobs – The Boston Globe.

 

* KOKOMO, Ind. — Another 150 jobs are being cut from Delphi’s Kokomo operation, which manufactures components for General Motors.

via Delphi To Trim 150 More Jobs – Indiana News Story – WRTV Indianapolis.

 

* More layoffs announced for Andersen Windows in Menomonie

Andersen Windows will be laying off 55 employees temporarily at the company’s plant in the Stout Technology Park in Menomonie.

via RiverTowns.net: Daily coverage of events. Courtesy of the Pierce County Herald..

 

* Scheels sporting goods store made the cuts last week, Store Manager Larry Theis told News 4 Wednesday morning.

Theis would not comment further, yet according to a local media report, Theis said the sporting goods store – located in the Legends at Sparks Marina – has laid off 50 to 60 people.

via Channel 4 KRNV.com: Local News and Weather for Reno-Tahoe Region: Sparks sports giant Scheels reports Nevada layoffs.

 

* BENNINGTON — A second Bennington manufacturer is laying off workers, citing a slowdown in aerospace industry work.

Vermont Composites, which makes carbon fiber parts for commercial and military aircraft, laid off 28 employees Monday.

via Bennington manufacturer lays off 28 | burlingtonfreepress.com | The Burlington Free Press.

 

* Late last month, the Stillwater Mercury MerCruiser plant laid off employees for the third time in 2008.

About 70” employees were laid off effective Dec. 31, said Jamie Payne, director of human resources. That followed the layoff of 130 people in June and 68 people in August.

via Stillwater NewsPress – About 70 lose jobs.

 

About 140 employees at Edson’s Weyerhaeuser mill have been handed 60-day notices that indicate they may be laid off in two month’s time.

via Weyerhaeuser looking at layoffs – Edson Leader – Alberta, CA .

 

* They were among 25 layoffs of full- and part-time employees at the company’s four weekly papers. Remaining are 117 employees, including the Democrat’s other editors, reporters and photographers.

via – NJ.com.

 

* Facing a possible $380,000 deficit for the fiscal year ending in June, due to dwindling corporate sponsorships and falling box office revenues, the Fulton is slashing its budget and laying off four full-time employees from its 30-member staff.

via LancasterOnline.com:News:Layoffs, cuts at Fulton theater.

 

San Diego-based Sangart is restructuring, triggering a “significant reduction in work force” as it names four new additions to its executive staff. The executive changes include the appointment of Howard Levy MD, PhD, as chief scientific officer.

No details on the layoffs were provided in the company’s release, but Sangart said that the axe will fall in its product manufacturing division.

via Sangart axes staff, focuses on lead therapy – FierceBiotech.

 

Boston Co. Asset Management laid off 89 of its 305 employees in response to “unprecedented” market declines, according to a company statement.

The layoffs include 24 portfolio managers and analysts, 16 of whom comprised the firm’s two Denver-based investment teams managing U.S. large-cap and microcap growth equity strategies. The responsibilities of those teams have been transferred to the firm’s main office in Boston.

via 30% of Boston Co. Asset staff laid off – Pensions & Investments .

 

* (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (IA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 7–WATERLOO — Community National Bank laid off about 15 percent of its staff — cutting 16 positions.

via Community National Bank lays off 16.

 

* HOPKINTON, Mass. (AP) — Data storage company EMC says it expects fourth-quarter earnings to beat Wall Street expectations on growing sales.

However, the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company announced it will lay off 2,400 workers, or about 7 percent of its staff, consolidate facilities and reduce costs to boost its competitiveness.

via EMC says 4Q results will beat expectations – Yahoo! Finance.

 

EMC Corp. is slashing 2,400 jobs, or about 7 percent of its global work force, the Hopkinton-based tech giant announced today.

The provider of data storage devices and software said the restructuring program will save the company about $350 million this year and about $500 million in 2010.

The layoff announcement came even as EMC said it expects to report record quarterly revenue of $4 billion for the final three months of the year.

via EMC cuts 2,400 jobs – BostonHerald.com.

 

* Jan 7 (Reuters) – Fair Isaac Corp (FIC.N), a provider of credit-scoring system, said it would cut 250 jobs globally as part of an ongoing cost-reduction program and expects to reduce expenses by about $40 million in fiscal 2009.

via UPDATE 1-Fair Isaac to cut 250 jobs worldwide | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .

 

ValueVision Media Inc. on Wednesday cut 60 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, in an effort to reduce costs.

The cuts primarily affect workers at the firm’s Eden Prairie headquarters, and are spread across several departments, a company spokesman said.

via ShopNBC cuts 60 jobs, mostly in MN – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal: .

 

* Nova Chemicals will cut 400 jobs worldwide, including an undisclosed number at its facilities in the Pittsburgh region, as part of an effort to reduce costs by $100 million this year.

Nova, which produces chemicals and plastics, is incorporated in Calgary, Canada, maintains executive operations in Moon and has a plant in Beaver County.

via Nova Chemicals cutting 400 job

 

* ON Semiconductor Corp. is scaling back costs in 2009 and issuing a lower forecast for the year as the company looks at laying off 10 percent of its work force, closing plants temporarily and giving employees unpaid time off.

The Phoenix-based semiconductor manufacturer said it would furlough about 1,500 workers, or about 10 percent of its global employee base. It also plans to take temporary actions, such as closing factories for four to six weeks during the first and second quarters, cutting about $80 million out of capital spending, 23 percent out of senior executives salaries and 15 percent out of other employee salaries.

via ON Semiconductor announces layoffs, restructuring – Phoenix Business Journal: .

 

Dozens of employees at an Ottawa County nursing home are about to lose their jobs. Riverview Healthcare campus in Oak Harbor tells us it’ll lay off 29 full-time and ten part-time employees next month.

via Oak Harbor nursing home announces layoffs – 1/07/09 – Toledo News – 13abc.com.

 

* The fallout from the failure of First National Bank of Arizona earlier this summer continues as its new owner has laid off about 100 people across Arizona, Nevada and California, bank officials said.

via Mutual of Omaha jobs hit by First National Bank of Arizona fallout – Phoenix Business Journal: .

 

* Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — Lenovo Group Ltd., China’s biggest personal-computer maker, will cut about 2,500 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, amid a worldwide economic slump that has damped demand for electronics.

Lenovo expects savings of about $300 million in the fiscal year ending March 2010, it said in a statement today. The company said it will book a charge of about $150 million this fiscal year

via Bloomberg.com: Worldwide.

 

International News

 

Mike: Good news for the Aussies regarding the Alcoa layoffs:

* Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) — Alcoa Inc., the world’s largest aluminum maker, isn’t planning to cut jobs in Australia after announcing the firing of 13 percent of its global staff.

“While Alcoa of Australia will not be hiring additional people, the company has no plans at this stage to reduce our current Australian workforce,” the unit said today in a statement on its Web site.

via Bloomberg.com: Australia & New Zealand.

 

* Security solutions vendor Symantec has confirmed that it has been retrenching local staff in order to offset the effects of the global economic crisis.

The company would not disclose exact numbers but said this morning that it intends to achieve a 4.5% cost savings within its workforce budget “in the form of job reductions”.

The retrenchments started in November and sources say as many as 800 workers could be affected worldwide. In SA, some five employees have already been retrenched across all tiers of the business.

via ITWeb :Symantec cuts local jobs.

 

* NSK Ltd., Japan’s largest manufacturer of bearings, plans to dismiss about 2,000 temporary workers, about 80 percent of such staff, at the group’s domestic plants by March, company sources said Tuesday.

via NSK to dismiss 2,000 temp staff at plants | The Japan Times Online.

 

* Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) — Cattles Plc, a U.K. provider of subprime loans, plans to cut 1000 jobs and write fewer loans this year as part of plans to reduce costs to weather the recession.

Cattles is in talks with employees about cutting 20 percent of its workforce, the Batley, England-based company said today in a statement. The lender also plans to reduce new business in its personal loan division by 75 percent this year compared with 2008.

via Bloomberg.com: U.K. & Ireland.

 

* LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – British bank Barclays Plc (BARC.L) is to cut just over 400 jobs in its UK technology departments, it said on Wednesday.

via Barclays says to cut 400 UK technology jobs | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .

 

British high street retailer Marks & Spencer has announced the closure of 27 stores and the loss of 1,230 jobs across the UK.

The company will shut 25 of its 355 Simply Food stores as well as 2 of its regular outlets, resulting in 780 job losses. The remaining 450 jobs will be cut from the head office.

via Marks & Spencer to cut jobs and close stores | Finance | ICM Commercial & Business News.

 

* HELSINKI, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Finnish fibre materials group Ahlstrom (AHL1V.HE) said on Wednesday it would cut staff, close plants and take a fourth-quarter charge due to weak demand.

The firm said it planned to cut some 210 jobs globally – 60 in Italy through site closures and 150 at other global sites. It also said it was planning to temporarily lay off around 310 staff in Finland.

via UPDATE 1-Ahlstrom to cut staff as weak demand hits Q4 | Reuters .

 

* Berlin – German unemployment rose for the first time in nearly three years in December, data released Wednesday showed, adding to signs of the tough year ahead for the nation as shrinking global growth hits Europe’s biggest economy.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rose by a more-than-forecast 18,000 last month, the nation’s Labour Office said, resulting in the jobless rate edging up to 7.6 per cent from 7.5 per cent in November.

via German unemployment jumps as economic downturn gains ground (Roundup) .

 

* Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) — China may face social unrest in 2009 as unemployment rises because of the global financial crisis, a state-run weekly magazine said in a report this week.

The Outlook (Liaowang) Magazine, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, said slowing economic growth may provoke anger among migrant workers and university graduates if they lose their jobs.

via Bloomberg.com: Asia.

 

TEESSIDE-BASED Garlands Call Centres is to cut up to 90 jobs. The Hartlepool-based company is also set to close one of its Tees Valley bases following the reduction in headcount.

via Garlands’ job cuts – nebusiness.co.uk.

 

* LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Mizuho Corporate Bank, part of Mizuho Financial Group, plans to cut between 5 and 7 percent of jobs in London, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, which could result in about 50 layoffs.

via Business finance news – currency market news – online UK currency markets – financial news – Interactive Investor.

 

* Loss making EMCORE Corporation, said in an SEC filing that its is planning a sweeping range of cost cutting measures and refinancing moves to improve the company’s financial liquidity. A workforce reduction will be made to lower operating costs, though how deep the cuts will be was not disclosed.

via EMCORE to cut workforce due to liquidity issues – Photovoltaics International.

 

* SELEBI-PHIKWE: BCL mine in Selebi Phikwe has announced that it will retrench 348 employees as a result of the commodity market crunch that has seen the metal prices dropping below the mine’s break even point.

Nickel prices have dropped by 61 percent, copper by 47 percent and cobalt by 62 percent. The mine will retrench 15 percent of the workforce in management positions and seven percent of the non-management staff.

via Mmegi Online :: Metal price plunge triggers job cuts at BCL .

 

Mike: This bodes ill for the US report that is expected later in the week:

Permanent placements and temp billings fell at series record rates while there were record rises in candidate availability.

KPMG and The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) have today released their joint report on jobs that reveals a sharp fall in demand for labour.

via Financial news, business, blogs, finance director jobs – Director of Finance Online – KPMG reports record decline in demand for staff.

 

MORE than 300 jobs are to be lost with the closure of Bromborough meat processing firm Tulip International.

The Danish-owned company summoned workers to the canteen early this afternoon to inform them they were now on 90-days notice.

via Tulip International closing with 300 jobs to go – Liverpool Echo.co.uk.

 

Hiring News

 

* While companies in our area and across america cut back, Tuesday, two companies announced adding hundreds of jobs.

Liberty Medical Call Center is based in Port St. Lucie.

1,800 people already call it home, now 800 more will join the mix. Tuesday, in front of a crowd of business men and woman the economic boost was announced.

via More than 800 new jobs coming to St. Lucie County | jobs, companies, new – Top Story – .

 

* TAMPA – Here’s a bit of good news for those weary of negative economic reports: Ikea has begun hiring in Tampa.

Ikea is seeking people in the following areas: home furnishings sales, interior decoration, customer service, safety and security, cashiers, maintenance, goods flow, receiving, warehouse and stock replenishment.

via Ikea Store Is Hiring.

 

If you’re looking for work in the New Year, here are a variety of such strong companies in various industries, which are looking to hire a diverse selection of jobs in 2009, despite the tough economy:

via 13 companies hiring this year – CNN.com.

 

* The $9 billion CityCenter project in Las Vegas is targeting the metro Phoenix area to fill more than 12,000 jobs needed to staff the 18 million-square-foot development, set to open later this year.

via New resorts in Las Vegas hiring for thousands of positions.

 

Mike: A very busy day in layoff land and with earnings season underway, companies that report poor numbers will be forced to cut employees. Even those such as EMC that beat estimates are cutting employees in a large way. Tomorrow brings a big unemployment stat and that will dictate the market’s reaction and the direction of the economy. On that note, here’s a little humor to end the layoff list:

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Ponzi Schemes | January 6th | Colbert…“, posted with vodpod

 

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