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|"It has been ignorance of, and lack of, objective law that has led every government in history to initiate force -- not anything inherently evil in the institution of government." --- Betsy Speicher 1995-10-02|
Michael S. James _abc News_
Mass Lay-Offs Doubled in December: Worst in 5 Years "The number of people who lost their jobs in lay-offs of more than 50 people at a time doubled from 1999 December to 2000 December, making it the worst December in at least 5 years, Department of Labor statistics out today show. The large number of lay-offs follow a smaller spike in November, but a senior economist responsible for measuring mass lay-offs at the Bureau of Labor Statistics says it still may be too soon to declare the increases a trend... As the number of people laid off in mass actions spiked in November and December, America's unemployment rate rose only a tenth of a percentage point in November and held steady at 4.0% in December... The mass lay-off figures are generated from unemployment insurance claims, whereas the unemployment level comes from a separate survey of Americans... The mass lay-off numbers for 2000 December show that 326,743 people made initial unemployment insurance claims based upon 2,677 incidents in December where at least 50 people were laid off... In 1999 December, 162,381 people filed for unemployment insurance after 1,509 lay-off incidents, records show."
Michael S. James _abc News_
Do Lay-Offs Herald Recession?
"It's not your imagination -- a growing number of people are losing their jobs. In December, the number of people who lost their jobs in lay-offs of 50 or more at a time more than doubled from 1999 December, government statistics show... [Lawrence] Katz [of Harvard] and other analysts say sudden spikes in the number of mass lay-offs -- which government statistics indicate occurred in both November and December -- could be cause for alarm... In 2000 December, 326,743 people made initial unemployment insurance claims based upon 2,677 lay-offs incidents of 50 people or more. A year earlier, the numbers were 162,381 and 1,509. John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an international out-placement firm that monitors corporate lay-off announcements, says 2000 December was the worst month ever for announced lay-offs since it started keeping track in 1993. The firm cites 133,713 lay-offs in 2000 December, compared with 44,682 in 1999 December and 103,166 in 1998 December. The month of January traditionally is also bad, and Challenger cited on-going down-sizing announcements as a sign of trouble. 'We're all of a sudden seeing mega-lay-offs like we've never seen.', Challenger says. 'This is a sign that the recession is upon us.' Challenger believes companies held onto employees longer than they should have because of a tight labor market that previously had them scrambling to fill positions. When federal economic growth indicators started to slow, they were hesitant to let the hard-won employees go. Therefore, he believes the recent lay-offs are the result of accumulated pressures... After all, economists say lay-offs can be a vital part of a healthy American economy -- keeping workers flowing toward the most vital sectors of the economy -- as long as new job growth keeps up."
NBER says recession that troughed in 2001 April ended 2001 November. The stock market crashed 2000-03-10. The STEM job markets were already diving by 2000 September, and general job markets in mid-2001. STEM product sales were tanking all through 2001 and 2002. Job markets still had not fully recovered by the end of 2016.
Alan Boyle _East San Francisco Bay Business Times_
Dot-Com Jobs Vanishing
"Some 49,384 dot-com jobs lost since 1999 December, reports The Industry Standard, tolling the names of 87 e-businesses that have died in the same period. More than a fourth of those Internet jobs -- 12,828 -- vanished in January, up 23% over December, says Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., the Chicago-based out-placement specialist. Challenger's overall statistics are even grimmer than The Standard's: 610 companies cutting 54,343 jobs, and 108 going under, in the past 14 months. Nationally, according to the Challenger group, Internet technology-related companies cut 3,132 jobs, or 24% of the January total; companies providing professional services to Internet businesses handed out 2,652 pink slips, or 21% of the total. That means 45% -- almost half -- of the January job cuts were made by Internet service providers."
_California Job Journal_ JOBWIRE: Lay-offs Ripple Through Fortune 500
Jeanie Stokes _Broad-Band Week_
For Whom the Axe Falls: Telecom sector lay-offs aren't showing in unemployment stats yet
"First, the bad news: thousands of jobs are being eliminated in the telecommunications industry. Second, the not-so-bad news: the employees losing jobs aren't necessarily having a tough time finding new work, largely due to the 'shortage of skilled technical workers in the US'. US employers in December announced plans to cut 133,713 jobs and the bad news has continued into the new year, the out-placement company Challenger Gray & Christmas reports. The sheer numbers of jobs being eliminated by telecommunications service providers and equipment companies seem staggering... The national unemployment rate, currently 4.0%, is a lagging indicator of the health of the economy. That means the cuts in the telecom industry won't show up for several months. The job cuts are affecting consumer confidence, another key economic bench-mark. The Conference Board's consumer confidence index in January showed its biggest decline since 1993 October. The survey also saw drops in the percentages of respondents expecting more jobs to become available and those who still see jobs as being plentiful... more than 320K individuals were affected by major job cuts during October and November, the latest months for which data is available. More than 258,500 jobs were lost in the comparable period in 1999."
William J. Holstein & Marianne Lavelle _US News & World Report_
Great Expectations: Business Executives and Their Lobbyists Hope to Sway Bush & Congress
"technology leaders who huddled with Bush last month in Austin came away upbeat. They got hints of relief from what they regard as the too-aggressive regulation and enforcement of the Clinton era. For instance, the government's antitrust case against M$ could be allowed to run out of gas if the U.S. Court of Appeals rules in M$'s favor as expected in February or March... about 20 technology executives, many with Republican sympathies, are emerging as a kind of kitchen cabinet that will have direct access to the president and be able to shape tech policy. 'George W. is a good listener.', says John Chambers, chief executive of Cisco Systems, who supported Bush. 'Philosophically, Bush will be less intrusive, less micro-managing [than Gore].', says Scott Cleland, chief executive of the Precursor research group in Washington, DC. Other Austin attendees likely to exert influence in a Bush regime are Craig Barrett of Intel (which faced an anti-trust investigation from the Clintonites); Michael Dell of Austin-based Dell Computer; Jim Barksdale, former chief of Netscape; Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard; and Lou Gerstner of IBM and AOL's Steve Case, a significant last-minute addition to the confab. When they met with Bush and his buttoned-down advisers, most even abandoned their dot-com casuals and knotted on neckties. Where the techies most long for change is in Washington's marble corridors, including those of the Justice Department's antitrust division, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been pushing new financial reporting and disclosure requirements. Executives see Bush's installation of Michael Powell as FCC chief last week as a good start... To fill nearly 850K job openings, the industry has fought to raise the number of [cheap] immigrants brought into the United States on H-1B visas. But every executive worth his Palm knows that the best solution lies in giving America's youngsters a high-tech boost, and the sooner the better. Traditionally, corporate interest has focused on universities, but now executives are seeking changes in earlier years... some worry that conservatives in Congress might seek to block sales of advanced computer and communications gear to [Red China]... The industry, just emerging from a devastating late 1990s down-turn..."
Lilian Akwisombe _Christian Science Monitor_
Keeping Track: dotcom lay-offs (graph)
_San Jose Business Journal_
January job cuts set record
"US companies announced an 8-year record of 142,208 job cuts in January, surpassing the previous record of 133,713 in December by more than 8K, or 6%, according to a report issued today by international out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. December and January combined for 275,921 job cuts, the largest 2-month total since Challenger began its monthly reporting in 1993. It was the first time that job cuts exceeded 100K for 2 consecutive months. January was 181% higher than 2000 January, when 50,655 job cuts were announced, the company says. While the automotive sector led all industries with 34,959 January job-cut announcements, technology-related industries took the biggest hit. Companies in the telecommunications, e-commerce and computer sectors combined for 44,851 job cuts last month, it says."
Companies Change Gears Fast
Singing the Lay-Off Blues
"In another sign that the US economy is slowing quickly: US companies announced 142,208 job cuts in January, according to one survey released Tuesday. They lay-off announcements are the most in 8 years, rising 6.4% over the previous record of 133,713 in December, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago out-placement firm. The cuts in January and December marked the first time that job cuts exceeded 100K in back-to-back months since Challenger began tracking lay-offs in 1993."
Verne Kopytoff _San Francisco Chronicle_
Bay Area Dot-Coms Cut 2100 More: January lay-offs add to national trend
"Among local Internet firms, a new study shows that 2,100 workers in the Bay Area were fired from Web companies in January. That brings the total to 4,400 job cuts from local Internet firms in the past 2 months, according to the report, released yesterday by ValleyJobs.com, an online employment site based in Palo Alto. Nationally, [firms announced they were eliminating] 133,713 jobs... in the past 2 months, according to a survey released last month by the Chicago executive recruitment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That represents the most cuts in one month since the Chicago firm started tracking firings eight years ago. The list of companies firing people grows longer daily. Last Monday, auto-maker DaimlerChrysler AG's said it would slash its work-force by 26K during the next 3 years in a bid to return its U.S. Chrysler unit to profitability. That followed the Jan. 24 announcement that Lucent, the biggest telephone-equipment-maker, will pare 16K jobs in an effort to rebound from a $1.58G fiscal first-quarter loss from operations. A day later, Sara Lee said it would fire 7K workers because of declining sales of under-wear and lingerie. And on Thursday, analysts said they expect General Electric to cut at least 50K more jobs after it completes the $44G acquisition of Honeywell International Inc. Last month, General Electric said it will close Montgomery Ward, the department store chain it controls, and eliminate 28K jobs. Many companies went on a hiring spree in the second half of the 1990s, adding 13.7M workers from the end of 1995 to 2000 as GDP grew more than 4% in each of the past 4 years. The hiring helped drive down the unemployment rate to 3.9% in September, the lowest since 1970 January. The Internet job cuts in the Bay Area are part of a dramatic retrenchment in the Web industry, during which dozens of companies have closed and many others have trimmed their staffs."
2001-02-07 14:50PST (17:50EST) (22:50GMT)
Ramonica Rice _CNN_
Pink slip, gray days: 'Corporate refugees': The biz of being jobless
"'You can never entirely prepare for the devastation of a job loss, it's just impossible. Even when you're warned, it still hurts.' [said] Ruth Luban. This morning, CNNfn has reported a sharp jump in new claims for unemployment benefits last week -- 361K for the week ending February 3, up from 346K the week before, according to the United States Labor Department. In Michigan, the state logging the highest rise, new claims jumped 23,565 for the week ending January 27. California, Illinois and New York also are reporting big increases in new unemployment claims... In January, many American corporations -- by no means just dot-coms -- announced an estimated 142,208 job cuts, a jump of 6% over December's lay-offs, according to data released Tuesday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement firm... The [Employment Policy Foundation] also finds that the average duration of unemployment has fallen from 6.1 weeks to 6.9 weeks, the shortest in a decade."
D. Richardson _Daily Labor Report_/_Bloomberg_/_NY Times_/_Washington Post_/_WSJ_
collected labor reports
CNN article quoted
"Lay-off announcements made by U.S. companies rose to 142,208 in January, the highest of any month since 1993, out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports... the number of job cut announcements in January represents a 6.3% increase over the 2000 December announcement of 133,713 job cuts and a 181% increase from 2000 January, when 50,655 job cuts were announced."
Another Extraordinary Day On The Job
"A Stanford University business professor studied this place & figures because all the perks keep employee morale high & turn-over low, they actually save the company about $75M a year."
John Geralds _vnunet.com_
January hits new high for high-tech lay-offs
"Some 142,208 jobs were cut from those sectors [ecommerce, computer & telecommunications] combined compared to the 133,713 redundancies that were made in the IT industry last month, reports US placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. The ecommerce sector saw a record number of lay-offs in January, with 44,851 jobs lost. The firm, which tracks job cuts in various sectors, said the total number of redundancies over December and January increased to 275,921, representing the largest 2-month total since records began in 1993. Similarly, web technology-related firms axed 3132 jobs last month, representing 24% of the month's total, whereas companies that provide professional services to dot-coms sliced head-count by 2652, or 21% of January's tally... Even high-ranking staff were not safe, and some 22% of the 119 chief executives who were given the boot last month were from the dotcom sectors. This compared to a total of 95 chief executive who parted company with their firms in 1999 January... 'Job security has suffered a severe shock, plunging seemingly out of the blue from a let the good times roll economy to the 275K job cuts that were announced in the past 60 days.', Challenger said."
A Former Hatchet Man: "No Matter What, You're the Bad Guy": Bob Lambert laid off plenty of people in his days as a human resources executive. He talks about how he tried to keep the pain to a minimum
"major corporations turned to him for help in cutting their work-forces when the economy turned bumpy in the late 1980s and early 1990s... Lambert was often leaned on to down-size operations as the company gobbled up bottlers and other companies."
Ishan Ranjan _Data Quest India_
Marketing India Inc: As the US economy slows down, Fortune 1000 companies reach the conclusion that off-shore out-sourcing is strategic & cost-effective
Joel Spolsky _Joel on Software_
Human Task Switches Considered Harmful
Deborah Halber _MIT_
New technology is key to economic success says Charles Vest
"The report found that from 1997 to 2000, the leading industries -- financial services, health care, high technology, education and consulting, and the visitor industry -- saw their combined employment grow dramatically, creating more than 60K (an additional 8.4%) new jobs in Greater Boston. Combined, the 5 leading industries directly employ 769K people and, indirectly, an additional 220K... Financial services grew by 7.9%, creating more than 10K new jobs, 8K in the securities sector. Health care, which lost nearly 4K jobs, is the only leading industry in which employment declined, bringing the industry to its lowest level of employment since 1995. A 40% decline in the home health care sector was the largest contributor to the aggregate industry decline of 2%. High-technology employment increased by more than 37K new jobs, an increase of 20.5%, accounting for nearly half of all leading industries' growth and surpassing the level the industry achieved during its late-1980s peak."
Lay-Offs Fail to Push Workers' Panic Buttons
_At New York.com_/_internetnews.com_
Slight drop in February dot-com lay-offs
"Confirming the on-going shake-out in the Internet industry, a new report by an employee placement firm that tracks the cuts said nearly 35K dot-com employees were laid off in the past 3 months, 12% more than occurred in the previous year. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the Chicago-based firm which tracks employee movement in the Internet industry, said 11,649 employees were laid off in February, down 9% from January's all-time record of 12,828 cuts. By comparison, there were 303 and 101 cuts in 2000 January and 2000 February respectively. Hardest hit were employees at on-line retailers. The February tallies on jobs eliminated hit a staggering 2,874, up 57% from the 1,829 lay-offs from January. Technology support and customer services were also among the hardest hit sectors, followed by job cuts at firms that build and maintain the Internet's infrastructure, and at on-line consumer services... portal sites... announced 1,516 job cuts in February, up from 945..."
Michael Mahoney _CNN_/_eCommerce Times_/_CIO Today_/_NewsFactor_
Dot-Com Lay-Offs Taper Off
"For the first time in 8 months, the dot-com lay-off trend appears to be slowing, falling 9% in February, according to a report released Tuesday by the job placement firm of Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Over the past 3 months, nearly 35K Internet workers have been let go -- 12% more lay-offs than occurred in the preceding 12 months combined. In January, a record 12,828 employees were laid off by their dot-com employers, but in February, the number dropped to 11,649."
Jim McCartney _St. Paul Pioneer Press_
Drop-off in dot-coms leaves skeptical techies in its wake
Daniel C. Feldman & William H. Turnley _Elsevier Science Direct_/_Journal of Vocational Behavior_
Contingent employment in academic careers: Relative deprivation among adjunct faculty
Laurie Mason _California Society of Certified Public Accountants_
The H-1B Controversy
"To be frank I got a lot of responses... Then they asked me, What is your status? and I said, I am a U.S. citizen.' Once companies learned that, he said they stopped calling... Further, he knows the people who were hired with the other companies he'd interviewed with, knows his skills were equal to theirs, and knows they were hired on H-1B visas... Jeff Lande, a vice president with the Information Technology Association of America, a trade association representing information technology [executives], was the lead lobbyist in favor of raising the H-1B visa cap [again in 2000, after the depression had begun]...
Critics of the H-1B visa law insist that there is not a high-tech worker shortage, but rather a glut of available workers. 'Fewer than half of the computer science graduates get programming jobs.', says Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis. 'This is nationwide. I've talked to colleagues at other universities and found similar results. This shows the hypocrisy of the industry lobbyists' claims.'...
A 2000 October 4 article in the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Robert Bennett, R-Utah, as saying, 'There were in fact a whole lot of folks against it, but because they are tapping the high-tech community for campaign contributions, they don't want to admit that in public.'...
Matloff cites university studies that have found gaps of 33% (UCLA), 20%-30% (Cornell) and 15%-20% (UC Davis) [between prevailing compensation and that of guest-workers]... A still bigger issue, might be the fact that in California, many skilled, educated workers are looking for work at the same time that California employers are [claiming there is] a severe labor shortage. A study released in October by the University of California at San Francisco and the Field Institute, found that nearly 3.5M unemployed adult Californians with work experience are available to fill jobs...
However, while 84% of the IT managers surveyed in the report rated on-the-job training as 'effective or very effective', only 10% of the companies said they hired partially qualified workers and provided training to the employee... Matloff isn't biting. 'The educational issue is a red herring.', he says, noting that the high-tech field changes so rapidly that the only way for workers to keep up is by learning on the job. He also says that anyone skilled in a given computer language can, within weeks of on-the-job training, gain competence in another. 'The educational system could up its production of programmers by a factor of 10 and all that would do is give them 10 times as many applicants to reject.'"
_The DeSilva & Phillips Report_
Mergers & Acquisitions 2001 (pdf)
"It's too early to tell whether Fed Chairman Greenspan can, in fact, deliver a 'soft landing', but there are some encouraging signs...
2000 Q1 spending for advertising on the Internet tallied $1.953G, a 14.9% increase over 1999 Q4, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. The second quarter, at $2.1G, continued the unbroken string of quarterly gains stretching back to 1995. But events overtook the advertising spending curve, and the third quarter (at $1.986G) had the dubious distinction of showing the first-ever quarter-to-quarter Internet advertising decline (6.5%). Fourth-quarter data are incomplete at this writing, but there's little doubt that the total will be a big come-down from the third quarter.
Even so, 2000 was a big improvement over 1999, since the first-three-quarters total of $6.039G was 32.9% ahead of the full-year 1999 total of $4.544G... More than 200 Internet companies shut down in 2000, nearly 60% in the fourth quarter, according to a report from Webmergers.com.
A University of Texas/Cisco Systems study estimates that the Internet created some 2.3M jobs during 1993-2000. More than 31K of these jobs were lost in 2000, according to a study by consulting group Challenger, Gray & Christmas."
_Tulips and Bears_
Contingent and Alternative Employment
2001-05-24 press release
S&P Retail Index
Note the signs of weakness shown in the dip from 1998 July through November, relatively flat 1999, and the drop all through 2000.
AAA southern California fuel prices
AAA national fuel prices
AAA state by state
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