March 25 – NY Governor orders 8,900 layoffs – BJ Services has cut about 1,500 jobs – HSBC to cut 1,200 UK jobs – CBC chops 800 – Shaw closing yarn plant doors on 600 – Postal chief: Our situation is critical – IBM to shift services unit jobs to India and cut 5000 jobs

Mike: Hello to all and thanks for visiting

Mike: Below is another one of those school board decisions that make me shake my head. The school board must be completely clueless to the impression that a move like this makes on its constituents, they are in the hip pocket of the superintendent, or they are merely ignorant and uncaring. Wouldn’t there have been a better time to increase the salary of a person that’s already making $261,000! This is the problem with the school industrial complex; school administrators, or CEOs, will gladly chop the necessities for a fatter paycheck. The AIG syndrome continues to thrive on the taxpayer’s back.

After axing 86 jobs because of a budget deficit, the Plainfield School Board approved a pay hike and a new contract for the district’s superintendent Monday.

School board members said job cuts are needed because of a $7.5 million shortfall. The board voted 5-1 for a staff reduction plan that eliminates teaching positions at elementary, middle and high school levels; and some support staff and administrative jobs……….

Harper’s salary is $261,959, including a contribution of about $24,000 to the Teachers Retirement System. He also receives a $15,000 annuity and a $380 monthly travel stipend.

Harper won’t get a raise in the first year of his new contract. The second through fourth years of the contract include raises of 3 percent or the cost of inflation, whichever is higher, not to exceed 6 percent. In the final year, his pay will increases by 4 percent or the cost of inflation, but not more than 6 percent. His annuity increases to $20,000 for the last two years of the contract.

via 86 jobs cut but school chief gets raise :: Herald News :: News.



Mike Luckovich - Mar 24

Mike Luckovich - Mar 24


* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:


Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


ibm8* March 25 (Bloomberg) — International Business Machines Corp., the world’s biggest computer-services provider, will cut about 5,000 jobs today and tomorrow, according to a person familiar with the matter.


ibm7* International Business Machines Corp. will shift jobs in its global-business services unit to India from the United States after layoffs at other units,

via IBM to shift services unit jobs to India: WSJ – MarketWatch .


ibm9* RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Thursday will be a bleak one for Big Blue workers, according to the Wall Street Journal and Alliance@IBM, the union seeking to represent IBM workers.

In RTP, some 300 people will be cut as part of what IBM (NYSE: IBM) calls a “resource action.” Alliance@IBM has been told. The union is already labeling March 26 as “Black Thursday.”

via ‘Black Thursday’ at IBM? More layoffs reportedly set, including hundreds in Triangle ::


ibm6* Imagine traveling by rail at 200 miles per hour between cities, and then catching a local line to your final destination.

IBM on Wednesday plans to announce details of three rail projects outside the U.S. that bring that vision of efficient and convenient rail travel closer to reality. Overall, the projects in China, Taiwan, and the Netherlands show how rail travel can reduce urban congestion and cut down on pollution from transportation, said IBM.

via IBM hops aboard high-speed rail | Green Tech – CNET News.


General Economic News


*NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. mortgage applications jumped last week as record low interest rates spurred a surge in demand for home refinancing loans, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, increased 32.2 percent to 1,159.4 for the week ended March 20. Refinancing accounted for 78.5 percent of all applications.

via U.S. mortgage applications jump; rates at record low – Yahoo! Finance.

* The Commerce Department says durable goods orders increased 3.4 percent last month, much better than the 2 percent fall economists expected. It was the first advance since July and the strongest one-month gain in 14 months.
New Home Sales
10:00 AM 
* WASHINGTON (AP) — New home sales rebounded unexpectedly last month, but were still the second-worst on record and remained well below last year’s levels, according to data released Wednesday.

The Commerce Department said sales rose 4.7 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 337,000 from an upwardly revised January figure of 322,000. Even after the revision to January’s sales results, the month remained the worst on records dating back to 1963.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected February sales to fall to a pace of 300,000 units.

February’s sales were still down by more than 40 percent from the same month a year earlier. The median sales price fell to $209,000, a record 18 percent drop from the same month last year. The median price is the midpoint, where half sell for more and half for less.

via February new home sales rise unexpectedly – Yahoo! Finance.



* * Salary and job cuts are becoming widespread at major chemical companies as the economy continues to take a toll on demand. In April, silicones maker Momentive Performance Materials will cut pay for its workers by 10% for senior leadership and nearly 8% percent for salaried employees.

via Chemical companies cut jobs, salaries amid downturn – Related Stories – ACC SmartBrief.


* STRASBOURG, France (AP) — A top European Union politician on Wednesday slammed U.S. plans to spend its way out of recession as “a way to hell.”

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told the European Parliament that President Barack Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.”

via EU presidency: US economic plans ‘a way to hell’ – Yahoo! Finance.



Jeff Stahler - Mar 25

Jeff Stahler - Mar 25


* Wall Street may be seeing glimmers of a recovery, but UCLA economists are coming out with a new forecast today that offers a grim picture of the year ahead.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate will worsen — peaking late next year at 10.5%. And in California, which has been battered by tumbling housing, retail and manufacturing sectors, the jobless rate will soar to 11.9% by mid-2010, the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast says.

via UCLA Anderson Forecast: dark days – Los Angeles Times.


* WASHINGTON (AP) — Postmaster General John Potter said Wednesday the financially strapped U.S. Postal Service will run out of money this year without help from Congress.

The only lingering question, Potter told a House subcommittee, is which bills will get paid and which will not. He did say ensuring the payment of workers’ salaries comes first. But Potter also said other bills may have to wait.

Potter’s appearance came as the agency, which has lived on a reputation of serving through wind, rain and all sorts of obstacles, seeks permission to reduce mail delivery to five days a week. It also wants to change the way retiree health benefits are amassed to save money.

“We are facing losses of historic proportion,” he said. “Our situation is critical.”

via Call for Help: Postal chief says agency crashing – Yahoo! Finance.


Government Layoff News


Mike: The odd part of this layoff annoucement by Gov. Patterson is that a recent article also showed how the state has hhired 6,000 over the past year. So while 8900 proposed job cuts seems large, it would get the state back to the hiring level it had last year. And once the useless and dysfunctional NY legislature (I live in NY and I have seen the ongoing dysfunction) gets its hands on this proposal, they will end up hiring the 8900 as personal valets and limo drivers:

* ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. David Paterson on Tuesday ordered layoffs that could total about 4 percent of state workers after unions refused concessions amid a staggering economic downturn that was projected to push the state’s deficit to $16 billion in the next year.

Budget Director Laura Anglin told The Associated Press that the layoffs of nearly 9,000 employees would be the first since the late 1990s after unions refused to even provide counterproposals.

via The Associated Press: AP NewsBreak: NY Gov. orders 8,900 layoffs.


*The Charlotte Area Transit System will lay off up to 10 employees over the next 30 days.

via CATS to lay off 10, reduce routes – Charlotte Business Journal: .


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is ramping up layoffs this week, cutting 534 of its 19,000-plus jobs and identifying more people who will be laid off if more cuts are needed.



US and some Canada Layoff News



* Shaw refers to these facilities as Plant 07 in Calhoun and Plant WL in Valdosta. About 600 employees will be affected between now and when production ceases at both facilities over the next several weeks.


* COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Synovus Financial Corp., which eliminated 650 jobs in its five-state banking network in September, says it is cutting 200 more.

CEO Richard Anthony says the latest cuts will include 74 jobs in Columbus, where Synovus is based.

via Synovus Financial announces additional job cuts – WHNT.


* Under the reduction plan, 110 full-time positions, including 80 in the Baltimore area, would be eliminated, company spokesman Thom Mocarsky said in phone interview Tuesday. About 71 percent, or 767, of the company’s 1,084 full-time employees work in Columbia, where the company moved its headquarters earlier this month. About 56 percent, or 269, of the company’s 484 part-time workers also work at the 275,000-square-foot campus.


* DAYTON — NCR Corp. is cutting its Dayton workforce — as well as “labor costs” throughout the company.

Company spokespeople would not say how deep the cuts will be or answer other questions.

via NCR to cut jobs in Dayton, elsewhere.


pill2* The St. Louis-based pharmaceutical company and its subsidiary, Bridgeton, Mo.-based Ther-Rx Corp., wrote in a March 6 letter to the Texas Workforce Commission that it would lay off five sales employees in its Coppell office. In addition, eight employees will be laid off at the company’s Frisco office.

via KV Pharmaceutical cuts jobs in N. Texas – Dallas Business Journal: .


Craftex Mills, which makes cloth, announced it will close its factory in Auburn. Eighty people will be laid off. Craftex Mills blames cheap foreign imports and the sagging economy for the planned closing.

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hospital3*Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said today it will lay off 140 or fewer employees, using a combination of delayed pay raises, a temporary reduction in benefits, and donations from department heads to avoid far wider job losses.

via Beth Israel now projects layoffs at 140 or fewer – Daily Business Update – The Boston Globe.


* Danville, VA – A Danville plant is closing its doors, leaving 200 employees without a job. Corning Incorporated will shut down by the end of this year.

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* Thirty Eight people will lose their jobs. The company says they will be eligible for severance.

via National Starch Closing Plant – WABI TV5.


* Ingersoll Rand has made its third major job cut in the past four months at its Mocksville plant, eliminating 75 jobs by the end of March, the company said yesterday.

via Ingersoll Rand is cutting 75 more jobs in Davie.


fish* Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Marine eliminated 45 jobs companywide on Friday, company spokesman Larry Whiteley has confirmed.

via Bass Pro, Tracker Marine cut 45 jobs | | Springfield News-Leader.


* The measures, which will trim Emory’s 2009 budget by about 1.8 percent, includes suspending employee retirement plan matches, reducing vacation time by up to 4 days and cutting vacation time buybacks by 50 percent, Emory Healthcare CEO John Fox said late Tuesday.

via Emory Healthcare announces $30M in cuts – Atlanta Business Chronicle: .


* The embattled Allentown truckmaker said Tuesday that it will lay off as many as 25 employees at its Lower Macungie plant in early May, in addition to holding three weeklong shutdowns in April and May.

via Mack Trucks announces more staff cuts, shutdowns —


newspaper37* GLENS FALLS — The Post-Star today laid off 11 employees from its editorial, advertising and production departments.

via Post-Star lays off 11 employees :: Today ::


newspaper38* Twenty Bakersfield Californian employees were laid off Tuesday and a total of 26 jobs were cut. 

via Twenty-six jobs cut at The Bakerfield Californian: Twenty laid off | KGET TV 17 .


newspaper39* In its third round of cuts, the newspaper, a unit of Cox Enterprises Inc., is offering a “Voluntary Separation Program” to all full-time employees with more than five years of Cox pension vesting service and will eliminate 48 part-time staffers from the newsroom.


* Pulse~Link laid off as many as 45 employees, but a core group of 15 including the founders are still active in the company as it seeks new investors. A handful of UWB startups have already shut their doors or been acquired including WiQuest, Tzero and Artimi.

via – Pulse~Link lays off 40+, seeks investors.


hospital2* The Regional Medical Center at Memphis has laid off 88 employees and eliminated 62 vacant positions from all levels of the organization.

via The Med lays off 88 people, eliminates vacant positions – Memphis Business Journal: .


hospital1* Grady Memorial Hospital in March announced 150 job cuts, in response to severe economic pressures and an increase in indigent patients, officials said. Among those who left was the head of the Atlanta hospital’s cancer center.

via Grady Memorial Hospital cuts 150 jobs |


* The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. plans to cut up to 800 jobs to make up for a $171 million shortfall in 2009-10.

via CBC to cut up to 800 jobs, sell assets.


* ELKHART — Dexter Axle in Elkhart will eliminate more jobs than previously thought when the plant closes in July.

In January, the company announced it would cut about 90 jobs. Now, 119 workers will lose their jobs starting in May.

via More jobs lost at Dexter Axle in Elkhart | WSBT South Bend – Your Local News Leader | Local News .


constellation-brands* Constellation Brands Inc. announced today it will cut about 5 percent of its global workforce, now estimated at 8,000, but the number of positions to be trimmed locally is unclear. The announcement comes as the world’s largest wine company continues to look for ways to cut costs, according to a spokeswoman.

via Constellation plans workforce cuts – Canandaigua, NY – MPNnow.


hospital* Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City plans to lay off 70 to 80 employees and reduce certain medical services as part of a restructuring plan, the hospital announced Wednesday.

via | 03/25/2009 | Phenix City’s Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital to cut 70 to 80 jobs, medical services .


Mike: Here again we see how company execs reward themselves for failing their employees. AIG syndrome continues to spread.

* Just weeks after outlining a plan to close three facilities and cut 400 jobs due to a disappointing 2008, Watts Water Technologies Inc. disclosed in a regulatory filing Wednesday that its senior executive team received an across-the-board pay raise and hundreds-of-thousands in perks that included car allowances, sports tickets and housing payments.

via Watts cuts jobs, boosts exec team’s pay – Boston Business Journal: .


oil-rig* BJ Services has cut about 1,500 jobs, said Chief Executive Officer James Stewart today at the Howard Weil Energy Conference in New Orleans. The company has also frozen salaries until economic conditions improve, Stewart said. Pride has eliminated 300 jobs in the past month, CEO Louis Raspino said in an interview at the conference.

via Two Houston oil services firms reveal job cuts | Business | – Houston Chronicle.


* AURORA — Old Second National Bank laid off 62 employees this week, CEO William Skoglund said Wednesday.



International Layoff News



hsbc3* LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L)(0005.HK) is cutting about 1,200 jobs in Britain, saying the operating environment for the battered banking industry was “extremely challenging” and would remain so for some time.

via UPDATE 2-HSBC to cut 1,200 UK jobs, union sees more | Industries | Financial Services & Real Estate | Reuters .


* U.K. insurer Legal & General Group PLC (LGEN.LN) plans to cut staff at its domestic operations by around 10% this year to save on costs, Chief Executive Tim Breedon said in a briefing Wednesday.

“Last year, the staff in our U.K. businesses fell by 10% and we would expect not a dissimilar fall in headcount in our core U.K. business” this year, Breedon said.

He said the current headcount in the U.K. is around 6,500 and said the new cuts would come from “central services” and support functions like finance as well as staff from the life and pensions business.

via Legal & General To Cut Jobs In UK This Year –CEO – EasyBourse actualité.


* The company will be cutting 718 jobs from its Jyväskylä, Järvenpää, Hollola, Oulu, Tampere, Turku, Valkeakoski, Inkeroinen, and Varkaus facilities between now and 2010.

via EUWID: Metso to close facilities and cut 718 jobs.


* Insurance firm Legal and General (L&G) is to cut 10% of jobs in its 6,500-strong life and pensions division.


* More than local 50 jobs will be shed in the coming weeks, as the recession hits the Borders’ manufacturing industry.

via Border Telegraph | News | ‘Black cloud over Borders’ as 50 jobs cut.


* Qantas will shed 90 top management positions adding to 1,500 job cuts announced last year, it said on Wednesday.

via UPDATE 1-Australia’s Qantas to cut 90 senior jobs | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


* The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) plans to cut 18 jobs and impose a pay freeze for all employees.

via Builder and Engineer – RICS to cut jobs.


* More than 100 staff at Greencycle, a County Durham firm that collects and recycles household waste, have lost their jobs.

via BBC NEWS | England | Waste firm staff laid off.


rbs2* BANKING giant RBS is to axe almost 100 jobs in Yorkshire from its business dealing with personal loans, it was announced today.

via RBS to cut almost 100 jobs at Yorkshire site – Yorkshire Evening Post .


* LONDON, March 25 (Reuters) – British transport group Go-Ahead Group Plc has prepared for a potential 3 percent slump in rail passenger revenue on its routes into central London in 2009, while also cutting 500 jobs at its aviation division.

via Business Feed Article | Business | .


* THE job loss axe fell on Dysart and Moranbah yesterday as global coal mining giant BMA sacked more than 400 contractors.


Hiring News


* It’s never a good time to lose your job. But now isn’t so bad if you want to attend the Oregon Institute of Technology or Klamath Community College.

The presidents of the two Klamath Falls schools announced Tuesday that any Oregon resident who was laid off since October 1 can take classes for free during the spring term on a space-available basis.

via Education | Oregon Tech, KCC offer free tuition to laid-off Oregonians | Seattle Times Newspaper.


Mike: The fine people at The 405 Club ( are running their first major event on March 25th (4-7pm @ The Galway Hooker Pub) called the PROJECT 405 PARTY. It’s a casual gathering with recruiters, advisers, counselors, and fellow unemployed New Yorkers. So if you are in the NYC area, stop by the event and visit with this fine gathering. Their poster follows. Please pass it along to all that may benefit and be sure to visit for additional information.

Mike: The layoff announcements picked up the pace during the afternoon with the IBM report of 5000 more layoffs and shipping jobs to India the big news. Tomorrow brings us the jobless numbers, so we can see how this economy is moving in the jobs area.  I’ll end this post with a little banter between Bill and John. Should be an interesting 13 minutes. Till tomorrow………………..


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Mike: For an entertaining way to view a variety of blogs, take a look at


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