Posted tagged ‘Unemployment’

Unemployment Benefits May Be Extended

September 22, 2009

More than one million people could receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits under a bill the House is looking at today.

From CNNMoney:

The bill would extend benefits for those living in states with jobless rates higher than 8.5%. Some 27 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, fall into this category. The national unemployment rate hit 9.7% in August, the highest in 26 years.

The extended benefits would apply to an estimated 314,000 people set to exhaust their benefits by month’s end and to more than a million who will stop getting checks by the end of the year, according to the House Ways and Means Committee. Workers in other states could qualify if their state is expected to hit an 8.5% unemployment rate soon or meets other criteria.

“Decent, hard-working Americans from North Carolina to California have been calling my office to tell me they still cannot find work after a year or more after becoming unemployed and they need some additional help to keep their heads above water,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., when he introduced the legislation earlier this month.

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Woman Sues College Because She Can’t Find a Job

August 3, 2009

A recent college graduate is suing her alma mater for $72,000 because she cannot find a job.

The time of lawsuits for everything needs to stop. Let’s start taking responsibility for ourselves!

From CNN:

Trina Thompson, 27, of the Bronx, graduated from New York’s Monroe College in April with a bachelor of business administration degree in information technology.

On July 24, she filed suit against the college in Bronx Supreme Court, alleging that Monroe’s “Office of Career Advancement did not help me with a full-time job placement. I am also suing them because of the stress I have been going through.”

The college responded that it offers job-search support to all its students.

In her complaint, Thompson says she seeks $70,000 in reimbursement for her tuition and $2,000 to compensate for the stress of her three-month job search.

Man Survives Hudson River Crash Then Loses Job

April 17, 2009

Frank Scudere thought that all was good in the world when he survived the crash of flight 1549.

Now, Scudere finds himself in the same position as thousands of others across the country,

looking for work.

From MSNBC:

In seat 24B as US Airways Flight 1549 fell silently toward the Hudson River, attorney Frank Scudere did not know that his name was on the list of lawyers that his firm planned to lay off the next morning.

In a one-in-a-million event, Scudere and his fellow passengers survived the plane’s river ditching on Jan. 15, and he walked away with nothing worse than wet clothes. But he could not escape an everyday event that has claimed millions of other victims: He lost his job and found himself questioning his self worth.

Now he’s a 48-year-old unemployed attorney. Like the Biblical Job, who lost and gained everything, Scudere searches for an elusive meaning in suffering and redemption. He’s grateful, a bit angry and reflective. “I don’t feel sorry for myself,” he said. “It just shows the randomness of life, and the inevitability of loss. You can lose, and yet you can still be preserved. I lost my job, and yet I have my life.”

Wal-Mart Workers to Receive $2 Billion in Bonuses

March 19, 2009

Wal-Mart plans to award $2 billion this year to about 1 million U.S. hourly workers in bonuses, profit sharing, discounts and 401(k) and stock-plan contributions after sales jumped in the recession.

From Bloomberg:

The amount of the payout being given to employees is 67 percent more than the $1.2 billion Wal-Mart distributed to hourly workers last year. Payments to employees include $933.6 million in bonuses today, spokeswoman Daphne Davis Moore said by phone.

Wal-Mart had record sales in the fourth quarter, boosting revenue in the year through January by 7.2 percent to $401.2 billion. Wal-Mart announced the funds after its labor practices have come under scrutiny in recent years. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer settled labor lawsuits last year and opposes efforts to unionize it stores.

Spending more on benefits “signals that Wal-Mart is trying to improve its relationship with workers and re-enforces its belief in a non-union workforce,” Walter Todd, who helps manage Wal-Mart shares at Greenwood Capital, said today in a telephone interview.

“In light of all the dividend and 401(k) cuts by companies, it also shows the strength of Wal-Mart,” said Todd. The Greenwood, South Carolina-based firm manages $600 million.

United Technologies Cutting 11,600 Jobs

March 10, 2009

United Technologies lowered its 2009 profit forecast today and said it expects to cut 11,600 jobs because of a deteriorating commercial aerospace market.

From the Associated Press:

The moves, part of an expanded $750 million restructuring program, are being driven by a decline in expected revenue, which is now seen totaling $55 billion this year, down $2.7 billion from a December estimate.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected $55.2 billion.

United Technologies cut its 2009 earnings per share forecast to between $4 per share and $4.50 per share, down from its December outlook of $4.65 to $5.15. Analysts, on average, had expected $4.60, according to Thompson Reuters.

Last month, United Technologies Chief Executive Louis Chenevert stood by December’s outlook.

And in early February, as other industrial companies were reducing their profit outlook, Greg Hayes, the company’s chief financial officer, told analysts that United Technologies officials felt “pretty good” about their guidance.

On Tuesday, United Technologies also lowered the amount it would spend on share repurchases this year to $1 billion from $2 billion.

Retail Sales in the US…Rise?

February 12, 2009

U.S. retail sales jumped 1 percent in January, reversing a six-month declining trend and defying economists’ expectations by posting the biggest increase in 14 months.

From the Associated Press:

The data are a glimmer of hope for a recession-hit economy, but higher gasoline prices and sales, and buyers snapping up other items on post-holiday discounts, appeared to aid last month’s results. Analysts cautioned that the relief is unlikely to last.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that January retail sales rose 1 percent from December after having fallen for six straight months. Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected January sales to show a drop of 0.8 percent. They plunged a revised lower 3 percent in December, which marked the weakest holiday selling season since at least 1969.

“This is a big surprise, though the net rise in sales is less impressive than it looks because (December and November) were revised down by 0.3 percent each,” Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research note. “The headline relief today is welcome but it is unlikely to last.”

The January report shows strong increases in sales of automobiles and in general merchandise stores — the “big box” outlets — though sales by department stores, carrying fewer varieties of items, posted a decline. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, is an example of a discounter that has benefited from strapped consumers’ focus on necessities like groceries and on bargains for other items.

GM Cuts 10,000 Jobs

February 10, 2009

Will the job cuts ever end in the US?

General Motors  is planning to slash another 10,000 salaried jobs this year, saying the cuts are unavoidable with a government restructuring deadline looming and industrywide sales in one of the worst downturns in history.

From the Associated Press:

The Detroit-based automaker said Tuesday it will reduce its total number of white-collar workers by 14 percent to 63,000. About 3,400, or 12 percent, of GM’s 29,500 salaried U.S. jobs will be eliminated.

Most of the company’s remaining salaried employees will have their wages cut.

In its plan to Congress submitted late last year, GM said it would have to reduce both salaried and hourly positions so that the company could become viable long-term. The company plans to reduce its total U.S. work force from 96,537 people in 2008 to between 65,000 and 75,000 in 2012, but did not specify how many of the surviving jobs will be salaried or hourly.

GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner, who was meeting with congressional leaders in Washington about global warming legislation, said Tuesday’s announcement is “indicative of the kind of things we need to do to get this viability plan in shape and respond to these tough market conditions.”

GM has dramatically downsized both its salaried and hourly work forces in recent years as the U.S. auto market has shrunk from an annual sales rate of around 16 million vehicles to 13.2 million last year.

Since 2000, GM’s salaried work force has shrunk by 33 percent from its 2000 high of 44,000 people. At the same time, the number of hourly workers has plunged by more than half — to about 63,700 people at the end of last year from 133,000 in 2000.

Most of the cuts announced Tuesday are expected to take place by May 1. GM said the cuts will vary by global regions depending on staffing levels and market conditions.

The company’s statement said there would be no buyout or early retirement packages as GM had offered in the past, but laid-off employees will get severance pay, benefit contributions and other assistance.