LayoffBlog.com

March 21, 2009

Postal Service Reducing Workforce, Offices as Mail Volume Falls

According to Bloomberg: “The U.S. Postal Service said it will offer early retirement to about 150,000 workers, close administrative offices and eliminate more than 3,000 jobs to help resolve a financial crisis as the volume of mail declines.

Stamped mail is down to 1964 levels, officials said, contributing to a deficit that reached $2.8 billion in 2008 and is likely to be larger this year.

Business at the post office has dropped as economic activity slows and people and businesses turn to e-mail and electronic billing and payment, postal officials have said. The service yesterday said there are “no signs of economic recovery in sight.” “

March 18, 2009

Immigrants Can Help Fix the Housing Bubble

Filed under: economy,FYI,Government,H1B,housing,US — 7macaw @ 10:09 am
Tags: , , , ,

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 16, 2009

Citigroup CEO pay, perks, stock-based awards $38.2M

According to MarketWatch: “Citigroup Inc. said Monday that Chief Executive Vikram Pandit’s pay, perks and stocks and options were valued at $38.2 million in 2008, a year in which the company received government bailouts worth about $45 billion.
Pandit’s pay package included stock-based awards and option grants valued at $37.3 million at the time of grants early last year, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “

March 15, 2009

Obama to announce steps to aid small businesses

According to Reuters: “U.S. President Barack Obama will announce steps on Monday to make it easier for small business owners to borrow money, using $730 million in stimulus funds to cut lending fees, boost loan guarantees and expand other programs, officials said.”

March 13, 2009

California Teachers to Rally as 26,000 Job Cuts Loom

California teachers are set to hold protests in more than a dozen cities today as about 26,000 may lose their jobs because of spending cuts the Legislature approved last month to keep the state from running out of money.

School districts across the most-populous U.S. state have been warning thousands of teachers that they may be fired as a result of California’s declining tax collections.

Not all teachers receiving notices will lose their jobs. Last year, about half were ultimately let go, according to the teachers union.

Source: Bloomberg

March 12, 2009

Lawmakers Ask IRS to Postpone 1,400 Planned Job Cuts

Uncle Sam’s vaunted reputation as a boss who offers secure jobs to his workers is taking a hit from an Internal Revenue Service decision to lay off more than 1,400 employees, even as it plans 1,000 additional hires.

Those losing their jobs are primarily at an IRS facility in Andover, Mass., with others in nearby Fitchburg. They’ve been deemed irrelevant because they work with paper tax returns during a time when more and more are submitted electronically.

Last month, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) spearheaded a letter signed by 15 House and Senate members from Massachusetts and New Hampshire to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman that asked him to reevaluate the layoff plan. “We feel that the current state of our national economy requires that this plan be reconsidered,” they said.

Source: Washington Post

March 5, 2009

Puerto Rico May Lay Off 30,000 Workers

More than 30,000 government employees — about 14 percent of the public work force — could lose their jobs and new taxes will be introduced as Puerto Rico attempts to shore up its ailing economy, the governor of the U.S. island territory announced Tuesday.

In a half-hour televised address, Gov. Luis Fortuno outlined a plan to cut a long-bloated work force — excluding police officers and teachers — and institute new taxes to increase revenue on the cash-strapped island, which is in its third year of recession.

Source: Baltimore Sun

March 3, 2009

Fed Eliminates Compensation Limits for TALF Program

Filed under: FYI,Government,US — DF @ 2:59 pm
Tags: , , , ,

According to Bloomberg: “The Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury eliminated executive-compensation limits for companies that bundle loans accepted under a new $1 trillion program, indicating the rules may have hampered efforts to start the plan.”

February 18, 2009

Jobless phone calls cost California millions of dollars

Millions of failed calls to the state’s unemployment insurance call centers are costing California taxpayers millions of real dollars.

The Employment Development Department pays 5 cents to Verizon each time a caller dials its toll-free numbers to file or get help with an unemployment insurance claim and EDD staff can’t handle the call. The message urges callers to file their claims through the department’s Web site.

That message service has cost taxpayers $4.9 million since the beginning of 2008.

Source: Sacramento Bee

February 1, 2009

AP Investigation: Banks sought foreign workers

According to AP Investigation: “Banks collecting billions of dollars in federal bailout money sought government permission to bring thousands of foreign workers to the U.S. for high-paying jobs, according to an Associated Press review of visa applications.”

The dozen banks receiving the biggest rescue packages, totaling more than $150 billion, requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past six years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists. The average annual salary for those jobs was $90,721, nearly twice the median income for all American households.”

It is unclear how many foreign workers the banks actually hired; the government does not release those details. The actual number is likely a fraction of the 21,800 foreign workers the banks sought to hire because the government limits the number of visas it grants to 85,000 each year among all U.S. employers.”

“During the last three months of 2008, the largest banks that received taxpayer loans announced more than 100,000 layoffs. The number of foreign workers included among those laid off is unknown.”

Source: Yahoo Finance

~News submitted by Ben

January 25, 2009

US senator asks Microsoft about job cuts, H1B visas

According to Reuters: “A U.S. senator has asked Microsoft Corp about its plans to slash up to 5,000 jobs, urging the world’s biggest software company to preserve the jobs of Americans ahead of foreigners working on visas.

“The letter asked Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer to provide a breakdown of the jobs to be eliminated, and how many of those are individuals with H-1B visas and how many are Americans. Grassley also wants to know what the breakdown will be when the layoffs are complete.”

“I am concerned that Microsoft will be retaining foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American employees when it implements its layoff plan […] Microsoft has a moral obligation to protect these American workers by putting them first during these difficult economic times”, said Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

January 4, 2009

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 1, 2008

Schwarzenegger declares emergency

According to CNN: “California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday declared a fiscal emergency, calling for fast legislative action to alleviate the state’s $11.2 billion shortfall in revenue.

“Without immediate action our state is headed for a fiscal disaster and that is why with more than two dozen new legislators sworn in today – I am wasting no time in calling a fiscal emergency special session,” Schwarzenegger said in a news release.”

November 26, 2008

New jobless claims drop from 16-year high

According to AP: “New jobless claims fell more than expected last week from a 16-year high, the government said Wednesday, though they remain at elevated levels due to the slowing economy.

The Labor Department reported that initial requests for unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 529,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised figure of 543,000. That is lower than analysts’ expectations of 537,000.”

November 24, 2008

Obama names his economic team

According to CNN: “President-elect Barack Obama named key members of his administration’s economic team Monday, including New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner as his Treasury Secretary nominee and former Harvard President Lawrence Summers as the director of the National Economic Council.”

“Mission No. 1 over the next few weeks for Obama’s economic team will be hammering out the details of what the president-elect described this weekend as a two-year economic recovery plan intended to create 2.5 million jobs.

Estimates for how much might be spent on a multi-year stimulus package range as high as $500 billion to $700 billion.

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