LayoffBlog.com

April 14, 2009

Obama warns there will be “more job loss, more foreclosures and more pain”

Filed under: economy,Obama — 7macaw @ 8:20 am
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President Obama today sought to temper recent optimism about an economic recovery, warning that the “hard times” will not end this year and there will be “more job loss, more foreclosures and more pain” before the recession ends.

While warning of future economic hardship, Obama also touted the encouraging signs in the economy as springing from the “extraordinary action” of his administration, including the $787-billion economic stimulus legislation, that he said have helped spur consumer demand and restore the flow of credit vital to businesses.

Source: LA Times

March 18, 2009

Immigrants Can Help Fix the Housing Bubble

Filed under: economy,FYI,Government,H1B,housing,US — 7macaw @ 10:09 am
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An article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that, “The Obama administration should seriously consider granting resident status to foreigners who buy surplus houses in this country.”

In order to reduce the excess inventory of houses, it is suggested to “offer permanent residence status to the many foreigners who are clamoring to get into the U.S. — if they buy houses of minimal values (not shacks). They wouldn’t need to live in those houses, but in order to remove the unit from the total housing market, they couldn’t rent them.”

According to the article, “Each year, 85,000 H-1B visas are granted for foreigners with advanced skills and education, and last year, 163,000 petitions were filed in the first five days after applications were accepted. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation estimates that as of Sept. 30, 2006, 500,040 residents of the U.S. and 59,915 individuals living abroad were waiting for employment-based visas. Many would buy homes if their immigration conditions were settled.

These people tend to be highly productive. In 2006, foreign nationals residing in the U.S. were listed as inventors on 25.6% of the patent applications filed in the U.S., up from 7.6% in 1998. A Council of Graduate Schools survey found that in the fall of 2007, 241,095 non-U.S. citizens were enrolled in graduate programs. Some 55% were in engineering and the biological and physical sciences, compared with only 16% of U.S. citizens. In 2007, more people on temporary visas received doctorates in physical sciences and engineering than U.S. citizens.

March 2, 2009

Immigrant Chinese, Indian tech workers increasingly return home

Filed under: economy,FYI,US,worldwide — 7macaw @ 1:49 pm
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The U.S. economic magnet is losing some of its power to retain skilled immigrants from China and India, many of whom have come to Silicon Valley to study and work, according to a survey released today of more than a thousand returnees.

A powerful combination of career, family, culture and rapidly growing economies in their home countries is drawing them back, threatening U.S. supremacy in an increasingly competitive global environment.

The poll of 1,203 returnees to India and China by researchers at Duke and Harvard universities and the University of California also found the returnees thriving in their new jobs. Many rose through the ranks to senior management, with the number in high positions three to four times the number who held senior positions with their U.S. employers. About half said they planned to start a company in the next five years.

Source: San Jose Mercury News

February 1, 2009

Economic crisis: violent unrest in China

Filed under: China,economy,unemployment — DF @ 11:38 am

According to HinduBusinessLine: “The collapse of the export trade in China has left millions jobless and set off a wave of violent unrest in the country. Bankruptcies, unemployment and social unrest are spreading more widely in China than officially reported, according to an independent research that paints an ominous picture for the world economy.

[…] It was found that the global economic crisis has scythed through exports and set off dozens of protests  in three provinces vital to Chinese trade – Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu are never mentioned by the state media. According to the report in the southern province of Guangdong, three jobless men detonated a bomb in a business travellers’ hotel in the commercial city of Foshan to extort money from the management.”

January 7, 2009

Fed Minutes Offer No Comfort

According to Forbes: “The U.S. Federal Reserve sees an economy mired in recession, with only a slow march to improvement into 2010.”

“Most members of the policy-setting committee expect the economy to recover slowly in the second half of 2009, with an aggregate contraction in the country’s gross domestic product for the year, and a significant rise in unemployment into 2010.”

“[..]they expect the worst financial crisis in more than a half century is going to get even worse. In addition to putting further pressure on U.S. home prices, the unemployment rate will also rise above 11.0%, they projected.”

January 5, 2009

The biggest CEO firings of 2008

The biggest names to be shown the door as a result of the economic crisis:

  • Martin Sullivan of American International Group (let go in June)
  • Kerry Killinger at Washington Mutual (September)
  • Richard Fuld of Lehman Brothers (leaving next month)

“Their distinguished company includes James Cayne of the now-deceased Bear Stearns and Richard Syron and Daniel Mudd, the former CEOs of the mortgage buyers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.”,  according to Forbes and MSNBC

“There are two kinds of CEO firings,” says Noel Tichy, a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. “There are the crooks and there are the incompetents.” This year the biggest departing names all fell into a gray area in between.”

Source: Forbes, MSNBC

January 4, 2009

Asia: Slowdown takes a toll on industries

According to China Daily: “The financial tsunami has triggered panic around the world, with its impact taking a heavy toll on a variety of industries in Hong Kong. Turmoil in the global credit markets has severely weighted down earnings of the banking and finance industry, which triggered a wave of job cuts among local banks.”

  • Starting from September, Europe’s largest bank HSBC laid off 4 percent of its worldwide back-office staff, including 100 employees in Hong Kong
  • In November, HSBC axed 450 jobs in Hong Kong in its second round of layoff.
  • In early November, Southeast Asia’s biggest bank DBS trimmed its workforce by 6 percent, or 900 jobs, in its Hong Kong and Singapore operations
  • Standard Chartered Bank, a UK-based lender focused on emerging markets in Asia,shed 200 jobs – 4 percent of its staff – in Hong Kong in early December.
  • Banks in Hong Kong may further reduce their staff numbers in the first half of 2009
  • In early October, Hong Kong toy maker Smart Union Group closed down its two factories in Dongguan, throwing almost 7,000 workers into unemployment.
  • Around 5,000 factories in the region had already closed down amid the financial meltdown.
  • The Christmas sales in the US tumbled around 20 to 30 percent this year, which means the export market for the mainland has significantly shrunk
  • Hong Kong-funded factories in the PRD may close down in 2009
  • The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September has also severely affected more than 40,000 holders of Lehman’s minibonds in Hong Kong

Stepping into 2009, economists expect it may take quite a while for the territory’s economy to bounce back, according to China Daily

Obama Considers Major Expansion in Aid to Jobless

According to NYTimes: “President-elect Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are considering major expansions of government-assisted health care insurance and unemployment compensation as they begin intensive work this week on a two-year economic recovery package.”

“Other policy changes would subsidize employers’ expenses for temporarily continuing health insurance coverage to laid-off and retired workers and their dependents, as mandated under a 22-year-old federal law known as Cobra, and allow workers who lose jobs that did not come with insurance benefits to be eligible, for the first time, to apply for Medicaid coverage.

“Obama advisers have said the package will carry a total cost of at least $775 billion.

December 31, 2008

Thousands of stores to disappear in 2009

According to CNN Money: “The ugly sales year that was 2008 will haunt U.S. retailers in 2009, with industry experts warning that disastrous holiday sales will spark a domino effect of store closures and bankruptcy filings.”

As many as 14,000 stores are expected to be closed in 2009. Nevada, California and Florida will be especially hard hit.

Ten Million Chinese migrant workers have already left cities

According to CNN Money: “China’s ocean of blue-collar workers is streaming back to the country’s farming hinterland, bringing thwarted aspirations and rising discontent in tow as their city jobs, their paths out of poverty, fall victim to the global economic crisis.”

“Officials estimate that more than 10 million migrant laborers have already returned to the countryside as thousands of companies have been dragged under by weak global demand for everything from clothes to cars.”

“Over the past three decades, about 130 million people have left China’s countryside for the smokestacks, assembly lines and construction sites of cities.”

“Many economists forecast growth next year of less than 7.5%, the country’s lowest since 1990 and a level that would swell the ranks of the jobless.”

“The social security ministry says 10% of all migrants have already gone back to the countryside.”

December 19, 2008

Heidrick & Struggles to lay off 15% of workers

Filed under: economy,US — 7macaw @ 1:57 pm
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According to Chicago Tribune: “Chicago executive-search and consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., citing continued deterioration in the search market, disclosed plans to cut its work force by 15 percent early next year.”

December 10, 2008

Economic pain hits China as exports fell last month

Filed under: China,economy — DF @ 11:03 am
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According to IHT: “China’s exports fell for the first time in seven years, the government reported Wednesday, sliding 2.2 percent in November and providing stark evidence that the global financial crisis had arrived here in earnest. In October, by contrast, exports had surged 19.2 percent.

Imports also plunged sharply last month, falling 17.9 percent and widening the trade surplus to $40 billion from $35.2 billion in October.”

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