April 16 – Jobless Claims fall to 610,000 – Record 6 million remain on unemployment – Housing starts fall to second lowest on record – Yahoo plans to eliminate up to 600 – Russell Investments cutting 400 – Harley-Davidson to cut 400 more

Mike: I hope you are all having a great Thursday and thanks for visiting. 
The number we are all looking at today is the Jobless Claims  number. A second important number that will give of view of the economy’s health is the Housing Starts  report. Both of those economic indicators will be available at 8:30 Eastern. 

There was finally some better news to report on the jobless claims numbers as 53,000 less applied for unemployment than the previous week. Although the previous week was adjusted upward from 654,000 to 663,000. While the 610,000 is a significant improvement, we need to wait for the revised number before we know if  that improvement is accurate. For the past five months, nearly all the initial jobless claims numbers came in higher once revised. Any improvement is a positive, especially when the weekly bounces are removed for the four-week moving average report. This is two consecutive weeks of improved jobless claims, so let’s hope this is a trend. I have to say that I have seen less layoff action the past couple weeks. While this blogger can’t account for nearly all the layoff announcements that happen on a weekly basis, I have noticed that there seems to be a slowing of the pace of announcements. 

Not all the news was positive today, as housing starts dropped to a near record low in March of 510,000 units. Even with abnormally lowinterest rates and better housing prices, people are not signing the number of new home contracts that would be expected. But with over 600,000 people losing their jobs each week, it may be a case of people waiting till they see some economic stabilization before they buy a new home. 

– A cautionary note: There is also the issue of job creation. I have mentioned that US needs to CREATE 120,000 jobs a month to merely keep even with job population growth. So if we are still losing 600,000 jobs a week and we need to create 120,000 each month, where does that leave us? I’ll do some simple math and divide 120,000 by 4 = 30,000 per week. So on top of the 600,000 lost, we aren’t creating the 30,00o jobs a week to keep even. Therefore job loss is magnified, but not reported, by 30,000 a week. 

Additionally, since last week was a short work week due to the Easter holiday, some job cuts may have been postponed till this week. We’ll know more about that next week. 

I somewhat discount the continuing claims number and its record breaking habit simply because unemployment benefits have been extended to 72 weeks in some states. I don’t recall unemployment benefits reaching that length of time previously, so it would make sense that more people remain on benefits. If benefits lasted only 50 weeks, that number would start to decline as people exhausted benefits. Once the latest 13-week increase ends, this number is likely to decline as a result.

If jobs losses continue to improve, we will be fortunate indeed, since an economy cannot rebound without job creation. I look forward to posting fewer job loss announcements and more hiring announcements! 

Onto the news of the day………..

The 610,000 new claims for unemployment insurance was 53,000 less than the 663,000 seen in the April 4 week; Labor initially reported 654,000 new claims that week.

The four week moving average in the current week fell 8,500 to 651,000, the first decline since mid-January.

via US ECON: Jobless Claims Fall to 610,000, Lowest Since Jan – Forbes.com.

The Labor Department says its tally of initial jobless claims dropped to a seasonally adjusted 610,000 from a revised figure of 663,000 the previous week. That is significantly below analysts’ expectations of 655,000.

The number of people claiming benefits for more than a week increased to 6 million, the highest on records dating to 1967.

via The Associated Press: New jobless claims fall unexpectedly to 610,000.



Chan Lowe - Apr 16

Chan Lowe - Apr 16


* Larger layoff announcements and important economic reports:

Microsoft/Google/IBM and other Rumors & News


yahoo3– The layoffs, the first since Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz joined in January, could be formally announced Tuesday, when the Sunnyvale Internet company reports first-quarter earnings.


yahoo2– Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is planning a new round of job cuts according to the reports as the company continues to cope with the aftermath of a downturn in online advertsing sales.

The New York Times and  Reuters, citing several people with knowledge of the plans, said the layoffs could affect several hundred employees and may be announced as early as Tuesday when Yahoo reports its first-quarter earnings.

via MediaFile » Blog Archive » Yahoo planning more job cuts | Blogs | .


yahoo1– The Silicon Valley company is seeking buyers for the HotJobs employment site, people familiar with the company’s plans said on Wednesday, adding that other acquisitions could follow HotJobs out of the door. Yahoo struck a deal to buy the site in 2001 for $436m in cash and stock.


General Economic News


Jobless Claims
8:30 AM ET
Housing Starts
8:30 AM ET
– WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, government data on Thursday showed, but the number of people continuing to receive benefits rose to a fresh record.

Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell 53,000 to a seasonally adjusted 610,000 the week ended April 11 from a revised 663,000 the week before, the Labor Department said. The slowdown of new claims for jobless benefits would be a good sign, if it continues.

In a second report, the Commerce Department said housing starts fell 10.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 510,000 units, second lowest on records dating back to 1959, from February’s downwardly revised 572,000 units.

via Mixed signals as jobless claims and housing starts both drop – USATODAY.com.



WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of American households threatened with losing their homes grew 24 percent in the first three months of this year and is poised to rise further as major lenders restart foreclosures after a temporary break, according to data released Thursday.

The big unknown for the coming months, however, is President Barack Obama’s plan to help up to 9 million borrowers avoid foreclosure through refinanced mortgages or modified loans. The Obama administration expects its plans to make a big dent in the foreclosure crisis. But it remains to be seen whether the lending industry will fully embrace it, despite $75 billion in incentive payments.

via US foreclosures up 24 percent in 1st quarter – Yahoo! Finance.


– With unemployment at 9.4 percent in Florida and nearly 50,000 new applications for food stamps each month, the state has paid JPMorgan Chase nearly $50 million over the past three years to provide food stamp program services, which include customer service call centers in Bangalore and Gurgaon, India.

“She’s got every right to be incensed,” said state Rep. Juan Zapata, R-Miami, chairman of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee. “I can understand why she would feel that this is just not a good policy. We’ll definitely look into it.”

Spokesmen for Gov. Charlie Crist and Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon declined a request for comment.

via Florida food stamp jobs in India aggravate recipients, officials.


– LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation’s second-largest shopping mall owner, General Growth Properties, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday in a tough bargaining move to restructure it’s $27 billion in debt.


Government Layoff News


– ELYRIA, Ohio — Ten Elyria firefighters are now out of work, laid off because of budget cuts.

via City Cuts 10 Firefighter Jobs – News Story – WEWS Cleveland.


– The Interim Louisiana State University Public Hospital in New Orleans is planning to cut 300 jobs in response to $24 million in state budget cuts, according to the Times-Picayune.

via New Orleans Hospital to Cut 300 Jobs – The Hospital Review.


– San Jacinto Unified School District trustees voted Tuesday to eliminate almost 30 nonteaching jobs, effective July 1.

via San Jacinto Unified eliminates jobs, makes other cuts | Inland News | PE.com | Southern California News | News for Inland Southern California.


– PORTLAND, Ore. — Administration will be downsized. Teacher in-service and possibly even class days will be lopped off the school year. Staff positions will be cut. Classes will be larger. And those working for the public schools system will pay higher premiums for health care.


US and some Canada Layoff News


harley-davidson– MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson Inc. said Thursday it expects to cut up to 400 more jobs as its first-quarter profit tumbled 37 percent due to a sluggish motorcycle market.


– TACOMA, Wash. — Downtown Tacoma’s biggest employer, Russell Investments, is giving layoff notices Wednesday to about 400 of its 2,000 workers.


– About 40 workers will lose their jobs when the Beaver plant closes at the end of the month. Da-Tech is helping workers to find other jobs.

via Da-Tech to close WVa plant | AP | 04/15/2009.


hospital9– SPOKANE – The local medical community is bracing for more job losses after Sacred Heart Medical Center announced it was laying off 19 positions Wednesday afternoon.

via KXLY.com: News, Weather and Sports for Spokane, WA and Coeur d’Alene, ID | Sacred Heart announces job cuts.


– New York–Ultra Stores Inc., the 181-unit chain that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, will close a dozen underperforming stores in six states and two territories as the chain moves forward with its plan to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy.

via Ultra Stores to close 12 locations.


– OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Qwest Communications announced Wednesday it will close its customer service call center in Omaha, which employs 176 people.

via KTIV NewsChannel 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports-Qwest closing Omaha call center affecting 176 jobs.


– The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has joined the list of organizations announcing layoffs, by eliminating 83 jobs, or about 3 percent of its workforce. The Seattle-based nonprofit research institute said in a statement that it made the budget cuts to offset the drop in charitable giving that it counts on.

via Hutch Cuts 83 Jobs To Cope with Drop in Philanthropy | Xconomy.


-Declining revenues have the Kansas State University foundation downsizing. The foundation announced Wednesday it will eliminate 13 staff positions.

via KSU Foundation Cuts 13 Jobs / Kansas News Leader .


– Melba Industries, which supplies protective fabrics to the armed services and firefighters, has been in voluntary administration since February and is now likely to go into liquidation.

via Vic textile company to shed 170 jobs.


– PMP Print has announced a restructure at its Clayton print site in Victoria that will see the loss of 67 jobs.

via PMP cuts 67 jobs in Victoria > News > ProPrint .


usps1– Postal officials confirm they’ll cut 26 jobs on Staten Island

via Postal officials confirm they’ll cut 26 jobs on Staten Island – SILive.com .


– MADISON (WKOW) — Land O’Lakes will close its butter manufacturing plant in Madison, leaving around 120 workers out of a job.

via WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports –Land O’Lakes closing Madison plant, 120 jobs lost.


– RIVERBANK — The long-planned closure of a 66-year-old Army ammunition plant has begun, with pink slips going out to 30 of its employees.

via Layoffs begin at ammo plant – Business – The Modesto Bee.


– GRAMBLING, La. (AP) – Grambling State University will make about 30 personnel cuts as it responds to a scheduled 16% budget cut for the state’s next fiscal year.

via WXVT-TV Delta News – More Local News and Weather WXVT.com | Grambling planning about 30 staff cuts.


– Cambridge-based provider of engineering data and design software, Aveva, has announced that it will be reducing its workforce by 10 per cent amid difficult market conditions.

via Aveva staff cuts – News – The Engineer.


newspaper11– Officials of the union that represents about 200 Indianapolis Star staff members last night agreed to what amounts to a 12-percent pay cut this year in contract negotiations with the newspaper’s struggling parent company, Virginia-based Gannett Co. Inc.

IBJ.com – Indianapolis Business Journal – Story Detail.


southwest– DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines Co. reported a surprisingly large loss in the first quarter due to weak traffic in the recession, and the company said it was freezing hiring and offering buyouts to employees to trim its work force.

via Southwest Airlines posts 1Q loss, plans buyouts – Yahoo! Finance.


– A reorganization that consumer-electronics retailer Best Buy Co. is rolling out will lead to job cuts and lower pay for thousands of Best Buy store employees, an analyst said Wednesday.

via Best Buy cuts wages, jobs in its stores – BusinessWeek.


newspaper12– GREENSBORO — The News & Record is cutting 25 jobs in its latest step to reduce costs resulting from the recession and its impact on advertising revenue.

via News & Record cuts 25 jobs : News-Record.com : Greensboro & the Triad’s most trusted source for local news and analysis.


ppg– Last November, fiberglass manufacturer PPG announced plans for a multimillion-dollar plant expansion and the addition of 120 jobs in Shelby.

Instead, now PPG is cutting 90 current positions by next month.

via Cleveland County plant cutting 90 jobs | CharlotteObserver.com.


– Officials of the society, the keeper of the state’s historic sites and treasures, announced this afternoon that 94 full-time and part-time employees wwould be laid off July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

via Historical Society may slash jobs, hours, close 3 sites.


– The University of Florida will consider eliminating 748 jobs and closing several academic programs to save about $75 million if the next state budget requires cuts approaching 10 percent, university President Bernie Machen said today.

via UF considers eliminating 748 jobs, closing several academic programs — OrlandoSentinel.com.


hospital10– Reading Hospital plans to reduce its workforce by 3.9 percent or 250 positions through attrition and layoffs, according to a hospital news release issued this morning.

via Reading Hospital cutting 250 jobs — themorningcall.com.


– There have also been layoffs at Electra’s largest employer. Coming with the fire that burned down the Agriboard plant there, this is just more salt on the wound. NATCO won’t give us a number — a spokesperson only says that the layoffs amount to half a percent of its worldwide staff.



International Layoff News


– HONG KONG, April 15 (Reuters) – Japanese brokerage Nomura Holdings Inc has cut another 50 investment banking jobs in Asia, excluding Japan, sources close to the matter said on Wednesday

via UPDATE 1-Nomura cuts 50 investment banking jobs in Asia – Forbes.com.


– April 16 (Bloomberg) — Shinsei Bank Ltd. plans to cut “hundreds” of jobs at the consumer lending unit it bought from General Electric Co. last year as it closes branches to weather an industry contraction, the head of the division said.

via Shinsei to Cut Jobs at Former GE Japan Lending Unit (Update1) – Bloomberg.com .


– T-Mobile is overhauling its customer service division by cutting a UK based and outsourced call centre company, which may risk an expected 500 jobs.

via T-Mobile restructure risks call centre jobs – Mobile Today.



 Hong Kong’s biggest port operator has sacked 28 staff, and a trade union claims the company will sack a total of 80 under a plan to reduce costs by 20 percent, the South China Morning Post reported.

via Welcome to CargonewsAsia.com.


 – Piling and foundation engineer Roger Bullivant is to cut up to 95 more jobs and reduce employees’ pay by 10%.

via Roger Bullivant to cut pay 10% and cut up to 95 jobs – 16/04/2009 – Contract Journal.


– NEW DELHI: Private airline Jet Airways is restructuring its business operations that would trim its workforce and enhance efficiency.

via Jet Airways to recast ops, 390 jobs may go- Airlines / Aviation-Transportation-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times.


– German auto parts company Schaeffler Group KG said Thursday that it will cut 195 jobs at a French unit and end production at a plant there as it struggles with weak demand for cars.

via Schaeffler cuts 195 jobs in France – Forbes.com.


– The Hong Kong-based airline is requesting its staff to take unpaid leave over the course of the next 12 months, it said in a statement.

via Cathay Pac cuts capacity, staff to take unpaid leave | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters .


– Sputnik Communications has made three staff redundant, including MD Penny Porter, who had been in the role for just eight months.

via Sputnik cuts more staff – PRWeek UK.


– Struggling print and distribution group, PMP Ltd, will axe up to 67 jobs from its Victorian operations as market conditions worsen.



Hiring News and News You Can Use


– Sen. Jack Reed said, “These projects are shovel-ready and will put an estimated 150 Rhode Islanders to work upgrading runways and lighting to make these airports safer and more efficient.”

via Airport renovations mean 150 jobs | Business | projo.com | The Providence Journal .


-State regulators delivered a booster shot to the state’s economy this morning, approving nearly $1 billion in utility infrastructure spending that will create about 1,300 new jobs.

via State OKs $1 billion in utility projects, creating 1,300 jobs | APP.com | Asbury Park Press.


– Fifty-five new natural resource conservation projects in 20 states — many having to do with building and sustaining conservation initiatives on cropland — will bring up to 1,500 new jobs into the U.S. economy in the coming months, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Thursday morning.


Mike: Have a great evening and I’ll see you tomorrow.…………….



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Don Wright - Apr 16

Don Wright - Apr 16




1 Response to “April 16 – Jobless Claims fall to 610,000 – Record 6 million remain on unemployment – Housing starts fall to second lowest on record – Yahoo plans to eliminate up to 600 – Russell Investments cutting 400 – Harley-Davidson to cut 400 more”

  1. 1 Linda Webbon April 30, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Sadly, job loss is affecting so many now. I am one of those that lost a job I loved for 18 years in Dec 2008 due to the bad economy. Fortunately, I was able to turn my initial fear and anxiety into joy and opportunity by following a simple plan …….even included one miracle! So inspired, I wrote a book, The Joy of Job Loss, for those who have lost their job, who know someone who has lost their job, or for those who simply fear losing their current job. Details on author website:
    My hope is that my job loss experience, plan, and positive results covered in my book will have as much value to others as it did for me. I hope you will read and share with others. Wishing all those impacted by job loss only the very best moving forward.
    Linda Webbon

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