Posted tagged ‘Economic Crisis’

Time Magazine: Friday, February 20…Get It!!!

February 12, 2009

I finally got word that the TIME Magazine article featuring my family and I will be on newsstands Friday, February 20.

Not sure how long the article is, how much of it we’re in, or if they’re gonna use the photos they took. I’ll know when everyone else does!

As most of you know, the story is about how families have come together during tough economic times to help each other out.

For two years, my wife, two children and I lived together with my in laws. My father in law has been going through a difficult time since he was laid off and although we had hoped to move out after only a few short months, it just made more sense for us to continue living together. We all got along (pretty well) and my in laws got to see their grandchildren every day. I know they loved that 🙂

I hope it’s a good story. I hope that there’s nothing negative. Now I have to sweat it out until then to read it 🙂

We’re gonna have our fifteen minutes of fame! Much less time than the whole Casey/Caylee Anthony story, that’s for sure!

Pick up a copy if you want to read! I’ll post the story here when it comes out.

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Furlough Friday Begins in California

February 6, 2009

California’s first-ever furloughs began today with more than 200,000 state workers staying home without pay amid the state’s fiscal crisis.

From the Associated Press:

Among the offices forced to close Friday were the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Consumer Affairs. The governor’s Office of Emergency Services also was dark as part of the cash-saving move ordered by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Critical and revenue-generating agencies remained open, including fire stations, parks and employment centers that process unemployment insurance claims. California’s unemployment rate is 9.3 percent, a 15-year high.

At the state Department of Transportation, a handful of engineers showed up to work without pay because they didn’t want to get behind on projects they said were important to public safety.

Stan Slavin, an electrical engineer working on a traffic project in the San Francisco Bay area, said his partners at local agencies will be on the job so he was, too.

State agencies scrambled in the days before the furloughs took effect to avoid confusion for the public, such as people trying to register vehicles or obtain professional licenses.

Macy’s to Eliminate 7,000 Jobs

February 2, 2009

Macy’s announced Monday that it will cut 7,000 jobs and slash its dividend as the department store chain looks to lower expenses and preserve cash amid a severe pullback in consumer spending.

From the Associated Press:

Cincinnati-based Macy’s said the job cuts, which include some unfilled jobs, will come at offices, stores and other locations. The company currently employs about 180,000 people.

Macy’s had already announced last month that it would close 11 stores, affecting 960 employees, after retailers suffered through the worst holiday season in decades.

Macy’s said it expects the latest job cuts and other actions to lower its selling, general and administrative expenses by about $400 million annually starting in 2010.

The company also slashed its quarterly dividend to 5 cents from 13.25 cents. The dividend will be paid on April 1 to shareholders of record March 13.

Department stores have been especially hard-hit by the poor economy as shoppers turn to discount stores. Last month, department store chain Gottschalks Inc. put itself up for sale and said it had filed to reorganize in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Neiman Marcus Group Inc. said it was cutting about 375 jobs.

Macy’s also announced plans Monday to roll out its strategy to localize merchandising to specific markets on a national scale. It began testing the strategy in 20 regional markets last spring.

As part of the restructuring, the company will begin eliminating its Macy’s division structure and integrating all functions into a single organization. Macy’s central buying, merchandise planning, stores senior management and marketing functions will be located primarily in New York.

Massive Job Cuts at Major US Companies

January 26, 2009

As a sign of an ever increasing downed economy, Caterpillar, Pfizer, Sprint Nextel, Home Depot and General Motors all announced thousands of job cuts early this morning.

From MSNBC:

Caterpillar had by far the worst news of the group. The world’s largest heavy equipment maker announced Monday it was slashing up to 5,000 jobs on top of several earlier actions. The latest cuts of support and management employees will be made globally by the end of March. An additional 2,500 workers already have accepted buyout offers, and ties have been severed with about 8,000 contract workers worldwide. In addition, about 4,000 full-time factory workers already have been let go.

In all, the job losses equal about 18 percent of the company’s work force.

Ailing automaker General Motors Corp. also said it would slash 2,000 jobs at plants in Michigan and Ohio as the recession slams sales of its vehicles.

Sprint Nextel Corp. said it would be eliminating about 8,000 positions in the first quarter as it seeks to cut annual costs by $1.2 billion. Home Depot said it would reduce about two percent of its associates, or about 7,000 jobs. And Pfizer, fresh from agreeing to buy rival Wyeth for $68 billion, announced cost cuts that will include slashing about 8,000 jobs.

The Year of the Ox, year 4706 in the Chinese lunar calendar, is supposed to represent prosperity through perseverance and hard work. But the hope for a better year in 2009 was being dashed by the job losses and the growing concern that many more would join the ranks of the 2.6 million who became unemployed in 2008.

The latest outlook from forecasters in a survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics showed 39 percent predicted job reductions through attrition or “significant” layoffs over the next six months, up from 32 percent in the previous survey in October. Around 45 percent in the current survey anticipated no change in hiring plans, while roughly 17 percent thought hiring would increase.

Unemployment Hits Gen Y Hard

January 16, 2009

I know a lot of people who are out of work right now. I feel very thankful to have a great job right now!

From MSNBC:

The land of milk and honey is souring for Generation Y, just as its members get their careers into full swing.

With the unemployment rate skyrocketing, employees under 30 have the most reason for worry. Joblessness is far higher among younger people than for those later in their careers.

For workers under 29, the unemployment rate jumped to more than 11 percent in December, compared with under 9 percent a year ago, according to Labor Department figures. That is far worse than the overall rate of 7.2 percent, up from 4.9 percent a year ago. The rate for teenage workers, from 16-19, is far worse — approaching 20 percent. For workers in their 30s and older, the rate is still under 7 percent, and generally declines as workers get older.

The staggering jobless numbers for twentysomething workers are no surprise to Lindsey Rhein, 24, of Placentia, Calif.

She’s been out of work for nearly four months after getting laid off as a legal assistant for a construction company.  She’s applied to over 700 jobs and has gotten only seven interviews, leading nowhere.

Even with a master’s degree in forensic psychology and a bachelor’s in sociology, she hasn’t been able to land a sales associate job at Target, and she can’t even get a call back from McDonald’s, where she applied for the fast food chain’s management training program two months ago.

“We were told it was our generation’s time to shine, that we could achieve our dreams plus more,” she says. “When I was laid off I thought finding another job was going to be cake.”

At a time when the nation is struggling with one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, Gen Yers like Rhein are facing a rude, job-hunting awakening. They often have to stand in line behind their more senior counterparts as any companies lucky enough to be hiring take their choice of more seasoned job applicants.

So baby boomers rushing to get Botox or dress hipper in order to compete in a tough job market may want to reconsider.

Older workers seem to have a leg up on the youngsters. It’s a harsh reality that happens in almost any downturn, economists and labor experts say, but this one has been particularly hard on younger workers because many were blindsided.

Google Announces Job Cuts

January 15, 2009

Google has announced that the company is closing three engineering offices and cutting approximately 100 recruiters from its work force as the recession dampens hiring at the company.

From Associated Press:

“Given the state of the economy, we recognized that we needed fewer people focused on hiring,” Laszlo Bock, a Google vice president, wrote in a blog posting late Wednesday announcing the layoffs.

In a separate post, Google said it would close its engineering offices in Austin, Texas, Trondheim, Norway and Lulea, Sweden, a step the company said would affect 70 workers.

“Our strong desire is to keep as many of these 70 engineering employees at Google as possible,” wrote Google’s vice president for engineering and research, Alan Eustace.

“Our long-term goal is not to trim the number of people we have working on engineering projects or reduce our global presence, but create a smaller number of more effective engineering sites,” he added.

The cuts follow news last week of a government filing from Google showing a significant cutback in temporary employees aimed at trimming costs. The company acknowledged in November that it would be looking to reduce contract workers while retaining full-time employees. Google hasn’t said how many positions it plans to eliminate.

Nortel Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

January 14, 2009

Nortel Networks filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the U.S. on Wednesday, the first major technology company to file for protection during the global downturn.

From the Associated Press:

North America’s biggest maker of telecommunications equipment has been dealing with a sharp drop in orders from phone company clients. It filed for court protection in Delaware on Wednesday, a day before the firm is due to repay a $107 million interest debt on bonds.

Creditor protection would give the company more opportunities to explore restructuring options or sell off some of its assets.

The Toronto-based company said in a release that it had been in the process of a turnaround since late 2005 but added that “the global financial crisis and recession have compounded Nortel’s financial challenges and directly impacted its ability to complete this transformation.”

The company said it is taking this action now with a $2.4 billion Canadian ($2 billion) cash position.

“Nortel must be put on a sound financial footing once and for all,” Nortel President and Chief Executive Mike Zafirovski said in the statement.

The company has been attempting to recover for years from an accounting crisis that affected results and caused shareholder lawsuits, regulatory investigations and the firing of key executives, including CEO Frank Dunn.