Timesizing® Associates - HOMEPAGE
Downsizings, September, 2003
[Commentary] ©2003 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 117, Harvard Square, Cambridge MA 02238 USA (617) 623-8080
9/30/2003 5 downsizings, totaling 5,010 lost jobs, and 3 uncounted economywide downsizing items, in the Wall St Journal & the NY Times -
& not counting economywide -
- Germany: Ford unit to cut 1,700 jobs, NYT, W1.
German division of Ford Motor...6% of its workforce...by the end of the year..\..follows a large Q2 loss....
- Daewoo-FSO Motor Polska, WSJ, D8.
...will cut nearly 1,500 jobs as part of an attempt to save the Polish company from collapse and open the way for an investor to help restructure it....
- Where are those jobs and who has them?, letter to ed...by Fred Plemenos of Lexington MA, WSJ, A21.
...3Com Corp. did recently lay off 3,000 workers and outsourced all of its mfg work, now destined to be produced in the Far East....
[We only caught 1000 (9/11/2003 #2 below) + 390 (6/13/2003 #2) + 500 (1/16/2002 #3) = 1,890 of these(?) cuts so we must now count 3000-1890= 1,110 more cuts.]
- Safeco insurance to sell units and cut 500 jobs, NYT, C6.
...Seattle-based home and car insurer...as higher-than-expected workers' comp claims eroded profit....
- Norstan to cut an additional 100 jobs, NYT, C6.
...in addition to 100 cuts announced last month...to lower costs and improve its cash position..\..
[didn't catch them - will have to count 100+100= 200 jobcuts now.]
sells and services telephone and computer systems...based in Minnetonka MN...had about 1400 employees before previously announced cuts....
9/29/2003 2 downsizings, totaling 12 lost jobs + unspecified, in the Wall St Journal & the NY Times
- Boom times on the poverty roll, editorial, NYT, A28.
An additional 1.7m Americans slipped into official poverty last year [see 9/27/2003 #1], ground down by the pernicious joblessness that remains the most salient fact of the economic 'recovery' [our quotes]. Job growth - promised by the Republican architects of the new tax cuts favoring the affluent - remains a national dream. The poverty roll rose to 34.6m people, more than a third of them children, according to new census data.
...This trend is hardly reversible in the immediate future as the pResident and the Republican-led Congress pay for the taxcuts, postwar Iraq and other programs with budget deficits that are projected to sap $5 trillion from the nation's revenue flow over the next decade.
A dark dynamic in the rising poverty is the near tripling of the long-term unemployed in the past three years, to 1.9m formerly productive workers who have simply given up looking for jobs in the depressed market.
[And thereby made the unemployment rate look lower than it is.]
Some of the severest poverty and unemployment rates have struck Midwest industrial states, which have suffered many of the 2.7m payroll jobs lost during pResident Bush's watch....
- Where are those jobs and who has them?, 3 letters to editor by Fred Plemenos of Lexington MA, WSJ, A21.
[A Sept. 26 editorial-page commentary attempted to disprove the "Jobless Recovery." Here are the juicy bits of 3 letters that disagree -]
- By Tom Iversen of St. Louis.
In his...commentary...Allan Meltzer states that recent overall job growth is positive. ...The 10 Democrats running for president are blasting the Bush administration daily about the 2.7m jobs lost since Bush took office. If the real number is only 220,000 [as Meltzer states?], why doesn't the administration communicate this critical data?...
[Gee, Tom, the only reason we can think of is that the real number isn't only 220,000.]
- By Fred Plemenos of Lexington MA.
Mr. Meltzer [doubts that] "a company [that reduced] its workforce by 1,000-3,000" could have previously survived with "so many redundant employees."... Apparently he is unaware [of even] one of many examples, [such as] 3Com Corp.... [see rest of sentence in #3 above]
- By Controller Larry Silva of Tech Tool & Mold Inc of Meadville PA.
I am amazed that Mr. Meltzer's outlook is so much different from those in the tool and die and plastics mfg industries. Despite working for great owners willing to invest, train, and offer great benefits, we have been forced to lay off and lose employees because of work going overseas. And they were not [just the] cafeteria workers [that Meltzer focused on].
...We lose work because of price competition again and again. Our customers demand that we partner with Chinese competitors, not because they can do it better, but because their costs are so much lower than we can offer. Daily I read of other manufacturers that are faring the same or worse than we are. U.S. textile, furniture, accounting and engineering workers and programmers are losing their jobs, which are being given to workers in China and India.
[Why be amazed? The Journal's editorial pages are reserved for the autistic scribblings of America's insulated and isolated wealthy who are quite out of touch with the deterioration of American society and economy at large. The officially fattened GDP and starved jobless and welfare figures quite satisfy them and they never notice the officially admitted record numbers of disabled (5.7m), homeless (0.6m) and incarcerated (2.2m).]
- Internet sites emerge to serve coming wave of older job seekers, by Kris Maher, WSJ, B14.
...A population tidal wave of 76m babyboomers born in 1946-1964 is fast approaching the traditional retirement age of 65. Between 70-80% of them say they expect to work after retiring for such reasons as financial necessity and personal satisfaction, according to Sara Rix, senior policy adviser at AARP..\..
[So, sites are -]
(not counting economywide "Ahead of the tape," by Jesse Eisinger, WSJ, C1, which states, "The labor market, as everyone knows, shows little pulse." and also, "Market may be on hold until jobs figure arrives," by Tom Barkley, WSJ, C12, which states, "Investors turn their attention back to a more familiar question this week: When will the U.S. 'recovery' [our quotes] start producing jobs?") -
9/26/2003 3 downsizings, totaling 2,950 lost jobs in the Wall St Journal & the NY Times -
- Salvation Army shelter charges families to stay, AP via NYT, A15.
LOUISVILLE, Ky...- The city's Salvation Army chapter is charging homeless families $5 a night if they stay at its downtown shelter for more than a week. ...The new policy comes as the Louisville Salvation Army copes with a budget crisis that forced it to lay off 12 workers this year....
- Interpublic disbands a new unit, by Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, B10.
NEW YORK - Interpublic Group of Cos., under pressure to reduce costs [$5m annually], is disbanding its year-old Sports & Entertainment Group unit, according to people familiar with the situation. Discussions are continuing as to where each of the operating companies will land within the New York ad holding company....
9/25/2003 3 downsizings, totaling 130 lost jobs + unspecified, and 2 uncounted economywide downsizings, from the Wall St Journal & the NY Times -
- Levi Strauss will cut, pointer summary (to B2). WSJ, front page (//NYT, C4 with different numbers).
...1,980 more jobs and shut its remaining North American manufacturing plants.
- Northwest Airlines, NYT, C3.
...Eagan, Minn., [will] close its reservations center in Livonia, Mich., in early Dec. because of decreased call volumes. The 570 employees affected will be eligible to transfer to one of Northwest's 5 other call centers.
- I.B.M. lays off 400 in software business, Bloomberg via NYT, C4 (//WSJ, B5).
...mktg and admin workers...to reduce costs.... The employees represented about 1% of the 38,000 workers in IBM's software division.... Last month, the company said it would lay off 600 workers in its chip-making business [8/19/2003 #1] and would furlough another 3,000....
& not counting economywide -
- Japan: McDonald's cutting jobs, by Ken Belson, NYT, W1.
The Japanese subsidiary of the McDonald's Corp. plans to cut 15% of the jobs at its Tokyo headquarters as it tries to increase profit. The subsidiary, McDonald's Holding Co., introducing its first retirement program, will offer retirement packages to 130 workers aged 40 and older....
- Sabre Holdings to cut work force, Bloomberg via NYT, C5.
...The owner of the Internet travel agency Travelocity.com...based in Southlake TX..\..plans to cut an undetermined number of [its] 6,500 employees \in\ the fourth quarter because it expects reduced profits because of discounted fees....
- Lawson Software Inc., WSJ, D12.
...agreed to acquire Apexion Technologies Inc. of San Francisco.... Most of Apexion's 20 full-time employees will be retained....
[But not all? Unspecified jobcuts.]
9/24/2003 1 downsizing, totaling 103 lost jobs, and 2 uncounted economywide or misrepresented downsizings, from the Wall St Journal & the NY Times -
- Show me - In key swing state, economic gains are still tenuous [ie: imaginary] - Bush's moves bear some fruit in Missouri suburbs, but job anxieties abound, WSJ, front page.
- Brazil: Jobless rate rises, Bloomberg via NYT, W1.
...in August...to 13% \in\ Brazil's six largest metropolitan areas...matching a two-year high \despite\ four months of interest rate cuts....
& not counting economywide & "we're still not convinced" -
- Walt Disney Co., Dow Jones via WSJ, B13.
...said it would close its animation unit in Tokyo, shutting an office with 103 employees...after it finishes..."The Heffalump Movie"..\..because production needs had decreased....
9/23/2003 2 downsizings, totaling 880 lost jobs, and 3 uncounted economywide stories, all from only the Wall St Journal & the NY Times (& BG) -
- Grads falling victim to 'blow-up offers' - Firms reneg on job offers amid weak economy - Recruiters retrench, by Kimberly Blanton, Boston Globe, C1.
- [we're still not convinced this is a downsizing -]
Germany: Volkswagen strike response, Bloomberg via NYT, W1.
VW will fire any Brazilian workers who go on strike over a plan to cut[?] jobs, the CEO, Bernd Pischetsrieder, said...at a dinner in Wolfsburg, Germany, where the company is based. "We'll see if we hire any of them back after the strike."
[Nyaa ha-ha! Pishittsreader as Villain! Pish, tush! We recommend Basil Rathbone play Pishittsreader in Schaekspiers new comedy.]
VW plans to cut 4,000 jobs in Brazil by transferring workers to a training unit....
[But soft, we do not regard retraining as "jobcuts," but rather, as an increasing necessity of ongoing employment. There may be background on-the-ground considerations that would change our mind, but until we learn what they may be, we regard this merely as a case of HUS (Hysterical or Histrionic Union Syndrome).]
Workers at the VW plant in Taubate will go ahead with a plan to strike on Oct. 1, when the transfers are set to begin....
& not counting economywide & potential -
- TIAA-CREF lays off 8% of workers in overhaul, by Joseph Treaster, NYT, C5.
...The largest provider of individual pension plans for universities and colleges [is] laying off...500 of its 6500 employees...to improve its efficiency.... For several years, the Teachers Insurance & Annuity Assoc. [TIAA] and College Retirement Equities Fund [CREF], a nonprofit founded with a $10,000 donation from Andrew Carnegie 85 years ago, has been struggling against profit-seeking competitors encroaching on its customers....
- High costs bring Indian Motorcycle to a halt, by Edward Wong, NYT, C6.
...The Indian Motorcycle Co. announced yesterday that it...was stopping production in its factory in Gilroy CA [and] laying off 380 workers, virtually its entire staff....
9/20-22/2003 6 downsizings, totaling 11,000 lost jobs + unspecified, and 3 uncounted economywide stories, all from only the Wall St Journal & the NY Times -
- 2-income families decline - Economists blame the drop on rising unemployment, Boston Globe, D1.
[Ooh, betcha those were tough dots to connect!]
The number of dual-income families in which husband and wife both work declined last year for the first time since the federal government began tracking th[os]e numbers nearly a decade ago. [The] economy has shed more than 3m jobs since the 2001 recession, forcing more couples to rely of one partner's earnings.... There were 28.873m married, dual-income couples last year, down from 29.241m in 2001, according to the BLS....
[The labor surplus reaches another milestone.]
- Stocks sour on cheap dollar - World markets fall on concerns over devaluation moves, by Stephen Glain, Boston Globe, D1.
...Sluggish US export growth has been linked in part to stubbornly high unemployment rates despite a 'recovering economy' [our quotes]....
- [potential -]
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. - Labor contract will provide cost savings of $1.15B, WSJ, A17.
...Goodyear agreed to maintain at least 85% of its August staffing levels at 12 of the plants and at least 60% at its Tyler TX Kelly-Springfield tire plant.
& not counting economywide -
- 9/20 Japan: Cuts at banks, Reuters via NYT, B3.
Some of Japan's top banks...have cut earnings targets and plan to cut thousands of jobs as part of a revised overhaul plan announced by the Financial Services Agency...as the industry regulator takes a tougher approach to lenders that received public funds four years ago but have failed to meet their profit targets.
[Another subsidy for slow-circulating concentrated money at the expense of the fast-circulating spending money of the consumer. It never works, but they'll never admit it.]
..\..The Mizuho Financial Group...now forecasts a net profit of ¥200.1B ($1.74B) for the fiscal year ending next March, down from a previous estimate of ¥212B. It plans to cut its staff by 14%, to 24,000 in March 2005 from 27,900 in March 2003....
[27900-24000= 3,900 jobcuts.]
- 9/20 Bank to cut staff, Reuters via NYT, B3.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia will cut more than 10% of its staff...3,700 jobs by June 2006.
- 9/22 GM, Ford win UAW permission to close or sell eight facilities, by Sholnn Freeman, WSJ, B2.
...3 assembly plants, [including] a GM division that makes locomotive engines, \and\ 5 other facilities....
[Here we catch up with the GM component of the story that got co-opted by Ford below on 9/19 #4.]
In total, about 3,000 GM workers are affected....
- 9/20 The Netherlands: Army sites to close, by Gregory Crouch, NYT, A4.
The Pentagon [will] close 2 Army storage sites in the Netherlands next year as part of a wider reduction of military forces and materiel in Western Europe. The shutdowns, together with cutbacks at a third facility, will result in the elimination of 400 civilian positions, Dutch officials said.
- 9/20 Interstate Bakeries plans to shut plants, Reuters via NYT, B2.
...and cut an unspecified number of jobs.... The company, which is based in Kansas City MO \and\ makes Wonder Bread and Hostess snack cakes...said increased advertising spending and employee-related costs, as well as lower sales [not healthy enough?!], hurt profit..\..
"We have to automate, and we will; we have to rationalize production," James Elsesser, the CEO, said in a conference call with reporters....
[So do we still believe that "technology creates more jobs than it destroys"? Are we still sneering at shorter-hours advocates as dupes of the "Lump of Labor Fallacy"? Unfortunately in primitive capitalism, "rationalizing" production means downsizing markets - via downsizing employment. Bottom line? In primitive capitalism, it's "rationale" to commit suicide. In more advanced, full-employment capitalism, microeconomic downsizing is offset by macroeconomic workweek reduction, with training and hiring targeted by any overtime that appears as the workweek ceiling is slowly adjusted, usually downward unless interrupted by spells of luddism.]
- 9/20 South Korea: PC maker shifts output, Reuters via NYT, B3.
Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest maker of memory chips [plans] to move most of its PC mfg operations in South Korea to China by 2005 to cut costs....
[Unspecified higher-wage job cuts.]
9/19/2003 4 downsizings, totaling 1,263 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- 9/22 Invisible jobs? pointer summary (to A2), WSJ, front page.
One survey of households finds the labor market improving. Another, of businesses, finds the opposite. Could the latter be wrong because it misses start-ups?
[to which we ask, "Could the former be misleading because it ignores forced part-time and lower pay?"]
- Soft economy aids recruiting effort, army leaders say - All services meet goals - Anxiety over situation in Iraq hasn't hurt drive to enlist 100,000, officials insist, NYT, front page.
- 9/20 Labor adopts new strategy, by Steven Greenhouse, NYT, front page.
[...out of job desperation.]
Corporations have often complained that union demands are so outlandish that labor seems ready to drive them out of business [never mind outlandish executive pay!]. Companies like Bethlehem Steel, Pan Am and Studebaker
[if we're stretching back that far, how about the plethora of NYC newspapers there used to be?]
attributed their demises largely to overambitious union demands.
[And neither side thought of switching to flexible percentages that varied with profit?]
But this week...in reaching a settlement with GM on Thursday and in recent agreements with...Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Goodyear and Verizon, unions have shown a new willingness to rein in their demands, [and] labor's first concern has changed from demanding more and more to making sure that companies and jobs survive.
[Unfortunately with CEO greed at levels making headlines even in the Wall St Journal (eg: NYSE's Grasso) there's no way to make sure of that, except Timesizing our way into a CEO-disciplining shortage of labor on wartime levels (preferably without war). Unions will also have to smarten up about population inputs and job outputs -]
Keeping their employers competitive, they have concluded,
[against China? forget it! get self-adjusting playingfield-leveling tariffs or prepare to join the Third World with no jobs and mass poverty]
is essential to keeping unionized jobs from being lost to nonunion, often lower-wage companies elsewhere in this country or overseas. ...The unions, staring at large-scale layoffs at companies with huge losses and dwindling market share, are discovering that they, like it or not, are in the same boat as mgmt....
[But unfortunately, neither of side, with a few exceptions, has discovered that they, like it or not, must obey the shorter-hours, worksharing imperative if they want anything left at all.]
- 9/20 Mexico's jobless rate hits a 6-year high, Reuters via NYT, B3.
[which gives the tip-of-the-iceberg rate as
...Industry leaders say 250,000 people have lost jobs with the closing of more than 340 maquiladora companies in the last two years....
- 3.96% in Aug,
- 3.52% in July,
- and 4.09% in July/97.]
9/18/2003 4 downsizings, totaling 7300 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- Up to 900 jobs are being cut in latest round of layoffs, WSJ, B4.
Sun Microsystems Inc...about 3% of its global workforce. The Santa Clara CA maker of servers [is offering] some employees...the opportunity to transfer to other "areas of growth" at the company...so the net loss of jobs ultimately will be fewer than 900.... At the end of its most recent quarter, Sun had about 36,000 employees.... This is Sun's 3rd round of layoffs since the tech slump began in 2000. Sun cut 3,900 jobs in late 2001 and 4,400 in late 2002.
- Toshiba, NYT, C4.
...Tokyo, the computer maker, [will] cut about 200 jobs at it American Information Systems business, Irvine, Calif.
- Goodrich says it will close a plant in New Jersey, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
...Englewood, NJ, eliminating as many as 163 jobs over the next year.... About 25 employees will be offered a transfer....
- G.M. accord finishes talks for U.A.W. - Speed and concessions indicate Detroit's woes, by Hakim & Maynard, NYT, C1 & C6.
...Instead \of closing\ a plant in Hazelwood MO [that Ford] had said it must close...it will close the plant in Lorain OH...which is smaller.
[Unspecified jobs lost.]
9/17/2003 2 downsizings, totaling 570 lost jobs, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times
- RJR to reduce work force 40%; Merger talks seen, by O'Connel & Brooks, WSJ, A3.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc., under mounting pressure from rivals who make cheaper cigarettes, will reduce its workforce by 40%, or 2,600 employees....
- WestLB AG, WSJ, B10.
...said it would eliminate 900 jobs, on top of 1,600 cuts already planned, bringing its workforce to 6,200 by the end of 2005....
[We believe the full or original name was West Landes Bank. Since we did not catch the 1600 cuts already planned, we'll now count all 900+1600= 2,500 cuts.]
- Flying the H-P way, by Ann Grimes, WSJ, B9.
...The Palo Alto CA maker of printers and computers acquired two pricey Gulfstream V jets this summer [and] retired two jets picked up with the $19B purchase of Compaq.... Despite tough economic times that have forced larger-than-anticipated jobcuts, the H-P spokeswoman defended the purchases as meeting "the needs of our executives...."
[The executives "need" private jets and the ordinary employees, and consumers, and the economy, don't need jobs? These people have become completely isolated and insulated by their rapidly rising incomes due to the huge general labor surplus carefully groomed by introducing tsunami after tsunami of worksaving technology, vacuuming American jobs to China et al, and by God, keeping that damn workweek frozen at the 1940-era level no matter what! H-P used to be a good company for all its employees, not just its executives. Now it deserves all the market-share loss that it's getting. Carly Fiorina is living proof that if women ruled the world, things would be no better. Still the toxic takeover-downsizing connection.]
The combined company's workforce has been cut to 141,000, with a further 2,200 dismissals [1.6%]to come, from the premerger work force of 153,500 employees.
- Spy plane maker to move, Bloomberg via NYT, C7.
The United Industrial Corp. [will] move its HQ to Hunt Valley MD from NYC to save costs after a failed effort to sell itself....
[That's farther than an easy commute so we'll count unspecified jobcuts.]
(not counting economywide "Dashed dreams - Most MBA students are looking to start a new career - They couldn't have picked a worse time," by Ronald Alsop, WSJ, R5, which is introduced by "Seeking new careers in the big chill of 2003," on the front page) -
9/16/2003 5 downsizings, totaling 300 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times
- Toshiba sees larger loss in first half - Company to cut jobs in PC division, by Ken Belson, NYT, W1.
...Japan's largest laptop maker will...also reduce the number of products it sells, merge sales units and eliminate 500 jobs, or 5%, from its personal computer and peripherals division worldwide.... "Our condition is severe," Tadashi Okamura, Toshiba's president and CEO, said [yester]day at a news conference.... Toshiba has been unable to keep up [or down?] with a price war in laptops....
- Knitting business departs and leaves space behind, by Sana Siwolop, NYT, C7.
...Adam Doeringer, the owner of ACD Knitting Mill in Ridgewood and president of the Knitting Mill Owners Assoc. of Brooklyn, Queens and Long Is. for 18 years until it was dissolved in 2001 [uncounted before], said that over the last year at least 30 local knitting businesses had closed, with about 15 of them shutting down in the last three months. "All the business has left this country, and I have no work whatsoever," Mr. Doeringer said. He used to employ 70 people, none of whom now works with him..\..
Twenty years ago roughly three out of every four sweaters worn in the U.S. came from the New York area, especially from the corner of Queens that includes Ridgewood, Glendale and Maspeth. But in recent years, and increasingly over the last few months, the knitting factories and related businesses have been closing as a result of rising costs and competition from abroad, especially China and India.
This has put hundreds of thousand of square feet of industrial space on the market in the area. ...About 16% of the 1,039 industrial units - buildings or portions of buildings - in the greater Ridgewood area are available for sale or lease. That number...reflects a 25% increase in the last 6 months in space available for lease, while the availability of units for sale has stayed constant....
In the early 1990s, faster and more efficient knitting machines gave NYC mills a temporary reprieve,
[A technological reprieve for employers is not a reprieve for employees (or consumers or the economy) when employers are kneejerk downsizers rather than kneejerk timesizers.]
and as recently as five years ago the Ridgewood area was still home to some 500 factories that provided the industry with everything from yarn, needles and dyes to finished sweaters. Now, the area is home to only about 75 knitting-related factories....
(not counting nation-level: "Open war over, Iraqis focus on crime and a hunt for jobs," NYT, front page) -
9/13/2003 3 counted downsizings, totaling 1,225 lost jobs, & 3 uncounted economywide stories, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- Sprint Corp., WSJ, C15.
...will use outside contractors to handle some software operations, a move that the telephone company said will result in hundreds of layoffs, [not] immediate layoffs, but several hundred jobs would be affected within the next 3-12 months....
[Since 2 is "a couple," we count "several" conservatively as 3, so, est. 300 layoffs.]
- Goodyear workers, pointer blurb (to A12), WSJ, front page.
...approved a contract that raises their healthcare costs and shuts a plant, but provides some job security.
Goodyear workers vote for contract, by Timothy Aeppel, WSJ, A12.
...which covers 19,000 employees and 22,000 retirees, allows Goodyear to close one plant, in Huntsville, Ala., while another, in Tyler TX, will have to meet financial targets to stay open.
But the agreement also requires that all of the production from the Huntsville facility be transferred to another unionized plant in the U.S. As part of the contract, the company can't cut the workforce at its remaining U.S. plants below 85% of August employment levels, which leaves open the potential for some layoffs in all locations..\.. Leo Girard, the union's president, said that given the "blatant abandonment of American manufacturing by global corporations in recent years," winning job security for workers was a major achievement....
[Some job security.]
- Facing huge debt, large farm co-op is closing down - Farmland Industries battled major food conglomerates, by David Barboza, NYT, C1.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - ...the nation's largest farmer-owned co-op...weighed down by huge debts...a victim of its own mismanagement....
[Why, for example, would they have the motto, "Proud to be farmer owned" yet call it Farmland "Industries" like any conglomerate? - Koch Industries, for example, which, with Cargill, recently bought its fertilizer plants. This was as stupid as fun-sounding "Boston Chicken" changing to boring "Boston Market."]
The problem...was an overaggressive expansion effort, too many building projects, too much reliance on debt and too much dependence on a fertilizer business that fell apart..\..
"They took a lot of risk," said Roger Ginder, a professor of agricultural economics at Iowa State University. "Farmland borrowed heavily to finance its operations," he added, "and in the end this created a lot of problems."... But no one expected Farmland to come apart so quickly.
The failure has shocked the farm community. Thousands of farmers here is Missouri and as far west as Idaho and south to Mississippi are expected to lose more than $700m in equity or investments in the collapse of the co-op....
- [and speaking of farms -]
Company that cloned sheep [Dolly, '96] to sell assets and shut down, NYT, W1.
Scotland's PPL Therapeutics....
[Unspecified jobs lost.]
- Professional women's soccer folded, pointer blurb (to B6 but WSJ omits ref!), WSJ, front page.
...in the U.S. The Women's United Soccer Assoc. said low attendance and ratings put it too far in the red.
Women's soccer folds professional league, WSJ, B6.
...The shutdown came despite efforts by the league to improve its finances, including voluntary salary cuts by big-name players such as Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy....
[Unspecified jobs lost.]
& not counting US economywide or unnamed -
- As factory jobs disappear, Ohio town has few options, by Steven Greenhouse, NYT, front page & B14.
...And 700 steelworkers at Republic Technologies on the east end of [Canton] lost their jobs when Republic filed for bankruptcy [see 3/29-31/2003 #2]. ...Said Dan Yarnell, who worked at Republic for 26 years, "A lot of people are going to work at Wal-Mart. But how do you live on the $7.50 an hour Wal-Mart pays?"...
- As factory jobs disappear, Ohio town [of Canton] has few options, by Steven Greenhouse, NYT, front page & B14.
...Last year, Hess Management of Austin TX shut the Danner Press printing plant, costing 325 workers their jobs....
- As factory jobs disappear, Ohio town has few options, by Steven Greenhouse, NYT, front page & B14.
...And Hoover, a division of Maytag, [laid off] 200....
9/12/2003 1 counted downsizing, totaling unspecified lost jobs, & 2 uncounted economywide stories, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- Rapid 'growth' [our quotes] seen for U.S. economy - But unemployment in range of 6% is likely to stay through '04 election, NYT, B1, flagged by colleague Terry Crystal.
- Quotation of the day, by Patty Reich, unemployed at age 54, NYT, A2.
"I've applied for many jobs, and they politely tell me I'm too old, that they're hoping to find someone they can train and keep for a long time."
- Steady decline in manufacturing, pointer digest (to A1), NYT, B1.
...160,000 Ohio workers...have lost their manufacturing jobs in the last 3 years. And that is but a small fraction of the 2.7m manufacturing jobs lost nationwide in the last 3 years.
[Main story -]
As factory jobs disappear, Ohio town has few options, by Steven Greenhouse, NYT, front page & B14, flagged by colleague Terry Crystal.
...Two years ago in Massillon, just west of Canton, the lone rubber glove factory in the nation shut, moving production to Malaysia and India and throwing 200 people out of work.... This year, an automobile parts company laid off 150 workers....
[For a total of 350 jobcuts from two unnamed companies around Canton, Ohio.]
W.R. Timken Jr., chairman of Timken [ball bearings], with 5,000 workers here, is often praised for doing his utmost to keep jobs in Ohio. But he said fierce foreign competition was forcing the company [ie: him] to weigh the future of the 3 ball-bearing plants. ...Mr. Timken, who recently stepped down as chairman of the National Assoc. of Manufacturers [said that] foreign competition was so intense...that the price of manufactur[ed] goods in the U.S. has fallen 4% in the last 10 years as the price of other goods has increased 18%. That, he said, has forced Timken and other manufacturers to increase productivity and reduce jobs.
[Now once again, what was it that mainstream economists have been chanting and chanting and chanting about innovation alias technology "creates more jobs than it destroys"?? There's no way innovation and technology can create more jobs than they destroy when economists and CEOs and business schools are teaching and practicing downsizing instead of timesizing in response to them.]
"Manufacturing has been the key to innovation in the U.S. and has given the U.S. leadership in innovation," said Mr. Timken, whose great grandfather founded the company in 1899.
[Historically, true, but for most of that history, 1776-1940, we had the common sense to sporadically jerk down the workweek to spread the vanishing human employment, a common sense that we've lost since then. And then again, as Bucky Fuller points out, the historical key to innovation behind manufacturing has unfortunately been war. The refrigerator, for example, came in on battleships some 40-50 years before it was generally available on consumer markets. Now the key to innovation has moved out of war and manufacturing and into war and services, specifically software services, specifically programming. And the U.S. is losing its leadership in non-medical innovation to hackers and guerillas the world over. Why? Because the standard downsizing response to innovation has demotivated it.]
"If you eliminate manufacturing, which accounts for 65% of private sector R&D [doubtful, considering medical R&D - his source??], then innovation will decline, and you will see a nation in decline."
[We see a nation in decline anyway, because it hasn't solved the fundamental problem of how to introduce efficient innovation without damaging its own markets by downsizing. Put another way, mainstream economists haven't figured out how to pass the time savings of new technology along to the workforce in terms of more free time instead of more unemployment and less effective demand.]
...Mr. Timken said, "There is no simple answer...."
[Well, we don't know how "simple" it is, but the answer to this whole clutch of dislocations is Timesizing = the only complete economic core design modification that can transform the whole jerry-built string of economic outhouses into an economic edifice worth the name.]
& not counting US economywide -
- Italy: Insurer's profit rises, Reuters via NYT, W1.
Italy's largest insurer, Assicurazioni Generali...has been cutting jobs as part of an overhaul effort....
9/11/2003 5 downsizings, totaling 4,810 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- Unintended consequence, pointer blurb (to WSJ.com), WSJ, front page.
...Bush's taxcuts spurred business spending, but also may have cost many workers their jobs, Steve Liesman says....
- Shopoholics, Ahead of the Tape column by Jesse Eisinger, WSJ, C1.
Americans may be lining up to claim unemployment in rising numbers, as recent weekly jobless claims have shown, but that hasn't stopped them from visiting the car dealer right afterward....
[Probably a function of unprecedented consumer debt - see "Consumer debt jumped $6 billion in [July]" on 9/9/2003 #1.]
9/10/2003 3 downsizings, totaling 663 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- International Paper Co...3,000 jobcuts...about 5% of U.S. or 3.5% of global workforce...to improve profit, WSJ, A10 (//NYT, C3).
- 3Com Corp...1,000 cuts...nearly 33%...close its last mfg plant, its 12-yr-old plant in Dublin, WSJ, A10 (//NYT, C6).
- Levi Strauss & Co...650 jobcuts this year, WSJ, B2 (//NYT, C3).
- Korn/Ferry International...160 jobcuts, WSJ, A10.
- KeyCorp warns of lower profit for the year, Bloomberg via NYT, C3.
...The CEO, Henry Meyer...said that the bank had cut some jobs and had closed brokerage offices to offset the decline.
[Unspecified jobcuts. However, this bad news is mitigated by -]
Mr. Meyer also said that the bank planned to open 35 consumer branches in the next two years.
(not counting industrywide "Scanning for trouble - Medical-screening businesses fall ill from lack of clients; Many centers close for good - As centers close, used scanning equipment is hitting the market at bargain prices," WSJ, B1) -
9/06-08/2003 3 counted downsizings, totaling 1,450 lost jobs + unspecified, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times, & 7 general stories (uncounted in rollups) -
- Mortgage lenders are cutting jobs amid rising rates, by Queena Kim, WSJ, A2.
...Countrywide Financial Corp...shed 500 jobs since July....
- Mortgage lenders are cutting jobs amid rising rates, by Queena Kim, WSJ, A2.
...E*Trade Mortgage last week let go 163 telephone-service reps....
- Tellabs to cut work force, Bloomberg via NYT, C4.
...again by Oct. 3 and will offer employees based in the U.S. incentives to leave...could not say how many.... The CEO, Michael Birck, has slashed the work force by more than half, to about 3,800, since 2001.
And the general stories -
- 9/06 Champion Enterprises to lay off 1,000 [13%] and close 4 plants, AP via NYT, B4.
...and 35 retail sales centers because of a continuing slump in demand for manufactured homes.... Champion...is based in Auburn Hills MI....
- 9/08 Heineken NV - 450 job cuts at Dutch operations reflect declining beer market, WSJ, B3.
- 9/06 Japan: Cuts at electronics maker, by Ken Belson, NYT, B2.
...Matsushita Electric Industrial will shut 3 factories to cut costs...2 plants on the southern island of Kyushu and 1 on Honshu. Production and workers from the plants will be shifted to other factories in Japan.
[Since we're talking about different islands here, we don't think all workers will be shifted - instead, there will be unspecified layoffs.]
9/05/2003 2 counted downsizings, totaling 1,265 lost jobs, & 3 general stories (uncounted in rollups), reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
9/06 93,000 jobs lost in August - Concerns raised some posts may be gone forever, Boston Globe, C1, flagged by colleague Kate.
[Jobs gone forever - that's the essential burden of the new buzzword, "job-loss recovery." Here's the Times version -]
9/06 Defying forecast, job losses mount for a 22nd month - 93,000 fewer positions - Issues emerge in [presidential] campaign - Administration cites drop in unemployment rate [due to exclusion of discouraged jobseekers], by Louis Uchitelle, NYT, front page.
...The economic 'recovery' [our quotes] is now in its 22nd month, without reversing constant job losses. The unemployment rate declined to 6.1% from 6.2% in July, but economists said that was apparently because of a surge in the number of people who, having lost jobs, listed themselves as self-employed rather than unemployed....
[In short, they've given up on the job market. Here's the continuation -]
9/06 Jobless rate falls even as U.S. sheds more jobs, NYT, B3.
[This is the key to our "rising productivity." These boys will keep congratulating themselves for irrelevant productivity rises all the way to economic armageddon! Like the captain of the Titanic preening about his four lovely funnels while he's blowing bubbles. Here are a few more versions -]
9/06 93,000 jobs lost in August; Jobless rate falls to 6.1%, pointer digest (to A1), NYT, B1.
["Falls" 0.1% - not much of a "fall"! Talk about shouting teensy good news (and whispering mongo bad).]
- [result 1]
9/06 Wall St. shaken by U.S. report of job losses in August, AP via NYT, B4.
...The Dow Jones...fell 84.56 points, or 0.9%, to close at 9503.34.
[But stocks are quite unhitched from reality because, lacking labor-shortage motivated pay raises for the consumer base, the economy has funnelled so much income to the top brackets that they literally have nowhere else to put it, but in stocks = a self-fuelling pyramid scheme. And despite the delusions of 'investors,' stocks do not jobs - and stability - create.]
- [result 2]
9/06 Jobs report leads Bush to defend reliance on tax cuts, NYT, B1.
[This moron won't wake up till we fire him.]
- [result 3]
9/08 Older workers are thriving despite recent hard times, NYT, front page.
...Even as younger workers have lost ground, a higher percentage of those aged 55 to 64 hold jobs today [12%] than when the economy plunged into hard times in early 2001 [10.2%]....
[They're not "thriving," you idiots! They simply can't afford to retire!]
- [result 4]
9/08 The 12 percent problem, editorial, NYT, A24.
One of the saddest statistics in the still eerily jobless recovery is that 1.3m more Americans fell into poverty last year - almost half of them children.
[It's not "eerily jobless" - it's joyfully work-free because of all our wonderful technology! But since our brains are still stuck back in the "work hard, not smart, to get ahead" mindset of the 18th century and before, we downsize in response to technology and turn its blessing into the curse of insecurity and shrinking markets. We need economic ideas to match our high levels of technology, and the key ideas we need are the five phases of work-sharing and spreading in the Timesizing full-employment program.]
...The growth in the poverty roll to almost 35 million - more than 12% of the population [over 1 in 10] - has been accompanied by an equally disturbing drop in those impoverished families who are eligible for limited welfare actually managing to obtain the aid....
[Don't forget that many of them have simply switched to disability. Whatever. At our levels of technology and robotics, none of us should have to work longer than 25-30 hours a week for a good living. The fact that we aren't is merely a testimony to the fact that no one before Phil Hyde was trapped by strange live circumstances into examining an approach that the mainstream has rejected and ridiculed, namely systemic, large-system, market-oriented work sharing.]
- [and we aren't the only ones -]
9/06 Canada: Jobless rate rises [from 7.8 to 8%], NYT, B2.
[Canada's just a little more honest about it.]
- [and Japan is getting the dark "a correlation does not prove cause&effect!" result -]
9/06 Crime rattles Japanese calm, attracting politicians' notice, by Norimitsu Onishi, NYT, front page.
...Crime has risen sharply in Japan in the last few years, altering everyday lives, especially of city dwellers....
[What a 'coincidence' - since any cause&effect relationship is energetically denied by plutocrat-identified 'scholars' - this is the same period during which Japan's unemployment rate has skyrocketed.]
- Royal & Sun Alliance PLC...will outsource 1,000 jobs in the UK by the end of next year, WSJ, B6.
- Marathon Oil to cut 265 jobs in reorganization, NYT, C3.
9/04/2003 5 downsizings, totaling 2910 lost jobs, reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- In first encounter, Democrats hit Bush over jobs and Iraq, NYT, front page.
- Productivity gain masks grim scene in jobs growth, WSJ, A2.
- Working out, by Jesse Eisinger, WSJ, C1.
People still are losing their jobs, enabling companies to reap bigger profits.
[until they run out of markets.]
....The economy must produce around 125,000 new jobs monthly just to stabilize the unemployment rate....
[dream on - tomorrow's report on August shows we're down 93,000 instead of up 125,000. That's means we're off by 93+125= 218,000 jobs a month from stability in current employment and future consumption, alias consumer markets = 2/3 of the GDP.]
9/03/2003 1 counted downsizing, totaling 2900 lost jobs + unspecified, & 5 general stories (uncounted in rollups), reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- Gateway Inc...people close to company have said dismissals in excess of 1,100, WSJ, B8 (//NYT, C4, which however reports 450 +?? jobcuts).
- Despite assurance, PeopleSoft to cut [(800+1300)/2=] 1050 jobs, WSJ, B4.
- Ahold NV - Albert Heijn will cut 440 jobs as part of cost-cutting effort, WSJ, B8.
Dutch grocer tries to calm furor over pay - Amid layoffs at the stores, word of a large pay package ignited protests, by Gregory Crouch, 9/18/2003 NYT, W1.
NIJMEGEN, the Netherlands...- Hoping to quell a national outcry over corporate compensation here that has spread to its own supermarkets, the Dutch food retailer Royal Ahold said [yester]day that its chairman [Henny de Ruiter] would resign and that it would overhaul its CEO's multimillion-dollar pay package. The scandal-plagued Ahold, having already admitted to some $1.1B in accounting irregularities, is now trying to quell a tempest surrounding a 2-year contract given to its new CEO, Anders Moberg, that is worth 6m euros ($6.8m), as it lays off hundreds of employees at its flagship grocery chain, Albert Heijn.
[Executives never learn that if they continue moving the income of the nation to themselves regardless of employees and customers, there's no "there" there to hold up their fat.]
By Dutch standards, Mr. Moberg's salary is high, and everyone from cabinet ministers to coupon-clippers reacted badly [how about reacted "angrily" - which was a very good reaction under the circumstances?!] to news that he was guaranteed an annual bonus of 1.5m euros as well as a large severance package, regardless of how Ahold performed....
[You can't tell us that in this economy they couldn't have hired dozens of competent CEOs for a quarter of that! What the hell is driving this lunge for unspendable brontosauric pay on the part of these morons?? Do they really hate their jobs so much that they need this much "compensation"? And if jobs are so hateful, why aren't they cutting job hours?]
Mr. Moberg had threatened to resign if shareholders refused to approve his pay package...
[So good riddance!]
but today he appeared to have had a change of heart....
[What a slime mold.]
- Ionics, Maker of water purification equipement to cut 200 jobs, NYT, C4.
- Albany International closing of 120-employee paper plant in South, NYT, C4.
- DHL Holdings (USA) Inc. unit of Deutsche Post...2,900 jobcuts...6% of US workforce...due to takeover of Airborne Inc., WSJ, B7.
9/02/2003 2 counted downsizings, totaling 200,000 lost jobs + unspecified, & 3 economywide stories (uncounted in rollups), reported in Wall St Journal & NY Times -
- Job czar for the jobless, editorial, NYT, A18.
Considering that over 80,000 jobs have been shed for every month of his incumbency, pResident Bush's announcement that he is creating a new undersecretary of commerce post devoted to job creation is notable for its feebleness.... The tax cuts have failed to do the trick, and the recovery has so far not been of a size sufficient to create jobs. Ominously, a new study by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY says this recession's job losses have been far more structural and permanent than in the past....
- Fuzzy economic thinking - Blaming Beijing, editorial, NYT, A18.
Unemployment in America is high, and elections are on the horizon. It must be time to look east for scapegoats.... American politicians should resist dusting off old complaints about Japan and redirecting them at China. [China] is hardly a case of an exporting nation that is unfairly protecting its own market. China's imports are growing at a faster clip than its exports, and the bulk of the exports registering in those eye-popping trade figures are goods built in China by the likes of Intel and America's automakers.
[Well well well. The disastrous strategies of the IMF and World Bank are finally starting to ruin America, as they've ruined to many smaller countries. Now maybe they'll change.]
- Manufacturing rises again but employment still erodes, AP via NYT, C12.
...Manufacturing companies have lost 2.7 million jobs since June 2000....
[Note also -]
Number in poverty grows, pointer summary (to A16), NYT, front page.
The number of Americans living below the poverty line rose by more than 1.3 million last year, the Census Bureau reported.
- [and it's not just manufacturing -]
Jobless tech workers denied benefits, by Peter Loftus, WSJ, D3.
- As China gallops, Mexico sees factory jobs slip away, by Juan Forero, NYT, A3.
- China plans to cut 200,000 troops [8%] over 2 years, by Joseph Kahn, NYT, A9 (//WSJ A1).
...as it struggles to reinvent its armed forces, the world's largest in headcount [2.5m], to better match the mobility and technological sophistication of the US Army.
[A demobilization of 200,000 people? That's going to play havoc with China's already massive unemployment!]
...The reduction, announced [yester]day, is the second major cut since the mid-1990s when China said it planned to demobilize 500,000 troops.... [However,] Beijing continues to increase defense spending far above the rate of inflation....
[So don't relax completely - the "yellow menace," the "golden horde," could STILL come & GET us! Woo-oo-oo!]
- Telstra Corp., WSJ, C13.
...expects to cut costs...by further decreasing staff [presumably beyond 4/11/2003 #4]....
[Unspecified jobcuts. Note on same page another possible downsizing, "Euronext NV..." but the wording is ambiguous, "plans to continue to curb expenses for staff."]
( & not counting economywide -
- In New York, job losses outstrip U.S., by Steven Greenhouse, NYT, A21.
...The state accounted for one in 10 jobs lost nationwide during the downturn.... 265,000 jobs....
- The jungle... - Laborless days, chart by Socy for HR Mgmt & CareerJournal.com, WSJ, B6.
[58% of the 300 managers/executives surveyed believe the job market will not turn around within the next 6 months.]
- [Then the happytalk starts -]
Some jobs are secure, continuation headline, WSJ, B6.
...Cosmetology... Nursing... \and back on B1 -\ Mortuary Services [we are not making this up]....
- Optimism among workers, news blurb, NYT, C1.
There are now more than nine million unemployed workers,
but the number of people re-entering the labor force after being out of it for at least five years has surged. That suggests that people are feeling more optimistic about the job market, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Economy.com....
[No it doesn't. It only suggests that they've used up their nestegg and they're now desperate - they'll take anything, no matter how low-paid and humiliating. Forget any hopes you may have had that Economy.com was going to dish up the straight dope - they've turned into just another bevy of cheerleaders.]
- [Hey kids, what's the latest buzzword for "jobless/jobloss/stumbling recovery"? -]
After hot summer for stocks, time to study - Textbook investment strategies may not address the challenges of a hard-to-read recovery, by Ken Brown, WSJ, C1.
[OK, print room - hold the presses! Search and replace "stumbling recovery" with "hard-to-read recovery"!]
- Welcome back - The stock market isn't the economy, by Jesse Eisinger, WSJ, C1.
[Quite an admission from the Wall Street Journal, and we'd like to think that they're referring to investor-speculator disregard for the bad job market, because the job market is the fundamental market on which all other markets rest. Why? Because in the job market, production potential (employee hours) comes together with consumption potential (wages/salaries for heads of consuming households) - employees and consumers (spread out to their dependents) are one and the same, making the job market the central, primary key to overall economic balance and sustainability (GDP/production growth - much overemphasized in our current primitive mindset - or shrinkage is only secondary and derivative). The other markets, investment/financial and B2B on the production side and B2C (business to consumer) on the consumption side, rest on the job market in the center, which brings them together. Investors like to think it's all about them (the financial markets). CEOs like to think it's all about them (B2B). But it's consumer demand (B2C) that is 2/3 of the economy, not them, and unless taxpayers (if any) are going to fund all consumers (Keynes was heading in this direction), they're going to have to be funded by the job market. Unfortunately, however, in this case the cheerleaders at the WSJ have not realized that the 'truism' that "the stock market isn't the economy" means "the job market is the economy" and they are applying the 'truism' perversely. They think "the economy" is not the job market but the rash of silly, rosied-up indicators, and that investors should be inflating the pyramid scheme, oops, stock market even more than they already are -]
That hoary truism is ever more evident these days, as the overall market has had several flat performances even as...investors...are likely to receive more good news about the manufacturing sector from the Institute for Supply Management....
[Get real. There is no good news about the manufacturing sector until, as Henry Ford once had it, employees can afford their own products - and there just aren't enough employees left among the automata in American mfg for that to be true. So in this instance, investor-speculators are so far being a lot smarter than the WSJ. And how unfortunate that the first source of rosied-up indicators they mention is manufacturing. But while we're on the subject of "what's the central, most basic market?' let's go over our position at the threshold between quantitative growth and qualitative growth. Our human mandate so far has been "be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." Now that we've "been there, done that" and continuing our exponential material-growth path is endangering us (too much of a good thing!), we've got to get off it and switch to Bucky Fuller's "doing more with less." But our whole thinking and our whole economy programming is for gungho material growth - population, construction, pollution, the whole 9 yards. Specifically, our incentive system is set up to motivate that - it's an uncapped money continuum from zero money per person to infinite money per person - and it's a continuum so that everyone can see and envy someone with 25% more than him/erself. That "25% more" according to H.F. Clark (cited in Robert K. Merton's Social Theory and Social Structure, 190) is the center of human quantitative motivation - much less than 25% and it's boring, much more and it's hopeless. So imbalance and "income gap" in the sense of wide spread but not real space between (we need a continuous series of "25% more's" for this to work - the last time we had a real space between two income islands was the feudal period) is crucial to the "fill the earth" period of human evolution. Now we gotta put the brakes on that and that means we can't keep satisfying everybody just by growing the whole pie regardless of how unequal the slices. Now we gotta look at getting a little more balance and fairness in the slices. In short, we've always put off redistribution or reallocation with expansion. Now we gotta switch off expansion by switching over to improving distribution alias allocation.]
Click here for downsizing stories in -
Earlier 2001 downsizings accessible via links at bottom of Dec.16-31/2001 page.
Earlier Y2000 downsizings accessible via links at bottom of Dec.16-31/2000 page.
Earlier 1999 months accessible via links at bottom of Dec/1999 page.
Earlier months accessible via links at bottom of Dec/98 page.
For more details, our laypersons' guide to our great economic future Timesizing, Not Downsizing is available at bookstores in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Mass. or from *Amazon.com online.
Questions, comments, feedback? Phone 617-623-8080 (Boston) or email us.
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