2001 March

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updated: 2016-11-06
2001 March
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  "I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." --- Ronald Reagan (quoted in Thomas Sowell 1995 _The Vision of the Anointed_ pg 85; referencing Meg Greenfield 1994-12-19 "MisPlaying Gingrich" _Newsweek_ pg 78)  


John Geralds _vnunet.com_
US dot-com job losses decrease
NetWork IT Week
"The worst may be over for dot-coms in the US, according to the latest figures from an out-placement firm that has been following the cull in the internet job market since 1999.   Challenger, Gray & Christmas (CGC) reported that the number of job losses in February was less that that of January, representing the first time in 8 months that cuts have not increased month by month.   A total of 11,649 dot-com jobs were cut last month, down 9% from the all-time high of 12,828 recorded in January.   However, John Challenger, chief executive at CGC, warned that re-structuring has not ceased, especially for businesses that rely on advertising for the bulk of their revenue...   Overall in the e-tailing sector, job cuts increased 57% from 1829 in January to 2874 in February.   That sector saw the most redundancies out of the 9 that CGC tracks.   Technology workers at infrastructure companies took the second biggest hit with 2721 being shown the door last month.   A total of 65,992 jobs have been shaved in the dot-com sector since CGC began its records in 1999 December."

Tom Moeller
Haver Analytics



1865-03-03: battle of Natural Bridge, Florida



George Vlahakis _Indiana University Business ResearchCenter_
Analysis of national employment statistics indicates 15 states already in recession
media info
"increased unemployment in several areas, which could be a strong indicator of recession for at least 15 states and possibly another 12 states that he is monitoring...   From December to January, the number of unemployed persons nationally rose by 303K, 5.4%."
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.



_U of Bristol_
2K year-old remains of cannibalistic Celts discovered in cave near Alveston, South GloucesterShire
Biblical Archeology.net





Thomas Kupper _San Diego Union-Tribune_
San Diego Housing Growing Less Affordable as Pay Lags Prices
"More than three-quarters believe the average county resident won't be able to afford housing near work in 5 years, and nearly a third say their commute has gotten longer.   The tech boom is not the sole cause of these trends, but it has exacerbated them.   And while the current economic slowdown could ease some of these problems, at least temporarily, there is no reason to think the technology industry is going away anytime soon."

William Neikirk _Chicago Tribune_
Increased Productivity BackFires on Workers: Firms' Reactions May Exaggerate SlowDown's Effects"




Jeff Thredgold _Tea Leaf NewsLetter_
Bear Country
"The nose-dive in the NASDAQ of the past year is one for the record books.   At the close of business Monday, the NASDAQ, at 1923, was down 62% from its 5048 peak of 2000 March 10, the worst correction in its 30-year history...   Job out-placement firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas Inc. identified 102K announced lay-offs in February, following 142K in January & 134K in December.   This pace was nearly 3 times that of the same period a year ago...   The median (half more, half less) duration of those unemployed in February was 6.0 weeks, up slightly from 5.9 weeks in January.   In 1997, the median was 7.5 weeks.   Following the early 1990s recession, the median was 9.3 weeks (citing Investor's Business Daily)."


2001-03-15 (revised 2002-02-06 17:23)
_USA Today_
Dumped Dot-Commers Start Over
"Nearly 65K Internet positions have been slashed since May, including 11,649 [in January]."

Elizabeth Blakey _CNN_/_CIO Today_/_NewsFactor_
Tech Sector Lay-Offs: Not What You Think
eCommerce Times
"While some embattled dot-coms and tech companies are certainly at the end of their financial ropes, others have quite different reasons for trimming their work-forces...   In each instance, the message sent was nearly the same: We're reducing costs because of the down-turn in the economy...   Do the lay-offs signal that the overall economy is in worse condition than previously believed -- or are workers being cut simply as a ploy to boost investor confidence?   'The lay-offs are real.', John Challenger of executive search firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas told the E-Commerce Times.   'These companies are not just announcing a number of lay-offs and then hiring more people.   Investors would see through that.'...   Although capable of meeting pay-roll and paying their expenses, the high-tech giants are facing pressure of a different sort.   Because most of the leading technology companies are publicly held, share-holders are behind many of the decisions being made at those businesses.   Thus, the large cuts into employee ranks -- 12K at Motorola since December, for example -- are not so much signs of impending doom as they are attempts to please corporate investors...   Rather than temporarily posting a lower profit margin during a period of declining sales, the tech industry leaders are cutting employees to lower expenses and maintain artificially high profit margins...   Still, the dot-com lay-off trend did fall off by 9% in February after reaching a record high in January, according to a report by Challenger, Gray.   In January, a record 12,828 employees were laid off by dot-com employers; but in February, the number dropped to 11,649...   In the long run, however, the current high-tech and dot-com lay-offs could end up costing more than they save."

USD Index of Leading Indicators Rose 0.1% in January
"Sharp gains in building permits [up 1.78%] and the outlook for the national economy [up 1.48%] were almost exactly offset by drops of similar magnitudes in local stock prices [down 1.76%] and consumer confidence [down 1.43%].   A moderate gain for initial claims for unemployment insurance [up 0.68%] outweighed a small decline in help wanted advertising [down 0.37%]..."


2001-03-16 02:00PDT (05:00EDT) (09:00GMT)
Swaroopa Iyengar
New Life for Fired H-1B Workers

2001-03-16 04:00PST (07:00EST) (12:00GMT)
Cecily Barnes _CNET_
More than a year after economic depression started, has demand for tech workers fallen?
"A study by the University of California at Los Angeles found that foreigners working in the United States on H-1B visas made as much as 33% less than their American-born counterparts.   A similar study by Cornell University found a 20% to 30% disparity.   'H-1B visas become even more attractive to employers in an economic down-turn.', Camarota said.   'Companies may not be able to control demand for software or semiconductors, but they can at least control the supply of labor.'...   Laura Ipsen, Cisco Systems' director of worldwide government affairs.   'Since we're not hiring at the pace we were last year, my sense is that the number (of H-1B visas we obtain) definitely would be lower.', Ipsen added.   'But I think the cap will be reached again this year, just later.'   Chuck Mulloy, a corporate spokesman for Intel, said that despite plans to reduce the work force by 5K workers, or 6%, the company will continue to look for workers from afar...   According to the Center for Immigration Studies, an independent research organization, the number of immigrants living in the United States has almost tripled since 1970.   Today, immigrants make up around 13% of the U.S. work force -- up from around 9% in 1990...   But opponents of the H-1B program say the recent layoffs prove otherwise.   Given this climate, and the growing number of laid-off American workers, Miano and others question whether companies should continue to import talent from abroad.   'All these companies that were saying they were going to go belly up if they didn't get their H-1B visas are now laying off people in droves.', said the Progammer Guild's Miano.   'Now their big lie is coming back to haunt them.'   In the past 2 weeks alone, bellwether technology companies Cisco, Intel and Motorola have announced either lay-offs or work force reduction plans because of soft economic conditions and slower growth.   Dozens of other technology companies have made similar announcements over the past several months, including Dell Computer, VA Linux Systems and JDS Uniphase.   Investment money has all but dried up, and the Nasdaq composite index recently fell to a 2-year low."


Don Bauder _San Diego Union-Tribune_ pp C1 & C8
Employee turn-over rates up
"Last year, the turn-over rate among high-tech firms rose to 12.8% from 1999's 10.3%, according to the Compensation Practices Association of San Diego...   The 12.8% turn-over rate for last year was the highest since the 13.8% of 1990, according to N. Bruce Ferris, former personnel manager at Maxwell Technologies, now retired to Lincoln City, OR, but still putting together the annual survey...   Unemployment was averaging around 3%, the lowest in 45 years according to the San Diego Association of Governments.   The county added 43,600 non-farm civilian jobs, according to state data.   The local unemployment rate got as low as 2.4% in December.   It rose to a still-low 2.8% in January...   Total non-farm wage & salary jobs were up 40,800 over a year ago, a gain of 3.5%...   After all, the lowest turn-over rate here was 8.4% in 1992, which was a miserable year for the economy."

Walter F. Roche _Baltimore MD Sun_
US judge clears way for trial in visa scheme


Susan Vaughn _LA Times_/_ThinkJobs.com_
Dot-Com Weary?: Tips for the transition back into a bricks and mortar firm
"As the number of dot-com casualties mounts, many 'e-refugees' are deciding this time around that they'll seek jobs with established bricks-and-mortar firms...   Have reasonable expectations about what potential employers will offer you...   Honestly appraise your work experience and salary history.   Are you asking for a job position and compensation that are commensurate?   Demanding too much might place you out of the running for employment opportunities."


Michael Pastore _ClickZ_
Consumers Blame Investors, Executives, Entrepreneurs for Dot-Com Woes
"Among the findings of the Pew poll: 67% of Americans who are aware of dot-coms' financial woes subscribe to an 'irrational exuberance' theory of what has caused the dot-com down-turn, namely that investors in Internet companies took too many risks because they were looking for quick pay-offs from the dot-com stock run-up.   56% of Americans who are aware of dot-coms' financial woes say the dot-coms' business plans were a problem; Internet companies did not have a clear plan to profitability, and this contributed to subsequent financial problems.   38% of Americans who are aware of dot-coms' financial woes say the youth and experience of those running Internet companies was a reason behind the dot-com down-turn.   26% of Americans who have heard about the dot-com' troubles believe they will have a major impact on the U.S. economy.   More than 60% say it will have a minor impact on the overall economy.   'Americans are saying that greed and haste made waste among dot-com investors.', said John Horrigan, author of the Pew Internet Project report...   Americans seem to have a high awareness of the reversal of fortune among Internet companies.   Two-thirds of all Americans have heard of lay-offs, closings or falling stock prices of Internet firms, with 30% having followed the story closely.   Most Americans (57%) think that some dot-coms closing is a good thing, because the Web had too many sites with too little to offer.   About one-quarter (28%) lament the closure of dot-coms, saying they believe it will result in fewer choices of content on the Web.   In terms of the down-turn's impact, 31M Americans have been directly or indirectly affected by the dot-com down-turn.   9% know someone who has been the victim of a dot-com lay-off, 7% of Americans said their family has lost money in a dot-com investment, and 8% of Internet users have had one of their favorite Web sites vanish during the shake-out.   According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks employee movement in the Internet industry 11,649 employees were laid off in February, down [a fraction] from January's record 12,828 cuts.   By comparison, there were 303 and 101 cuts in 2000 January and 2000 February.   Hardest hit in 2001 February 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."



2001-03-21 02:45PST (05:45EST) (10:45GMT)
Michelle Kessler & Jon Swartz _USA Today_
Once-high demand for visas for tech workers slides

Richard F. Tax _American Engineering Association_/_Engology_
congress involved in busting wages of American engineers




Kyle Parks _St. Petersburg Times_
Industry jettisons more jobs: The bad: Companies keep cutting. The good: Jobs still are available.
"Since December, US companies have cut 377,552 jobs.   Consider this: That's roughly the population of Miami...   The Tampa Bay area isn't immune: Since December, companies have announced more than 2,600 job cuts.   Why is everyone rushing to hand out pink slips?   It's the simplest and quickest way to cut costs, a short-term fix for companies scrambling to post the profits Wall Street expects.   'It's designed to placate Wall Street.', said Sun Won Sohn, chief economist for Wells Fargo & Co.   'Wall Street is extremely short-sighted.   They love cost-cutting.   Recognizing that, some companies are playing that game.'...   The number of job cuts in January, 142,208, was the highest since Challenger, Gray & Christmas started tracking the statistics in 1992.   In February, there were 101,731 cuts.   Beyond the size of the cuts, what's so unusual is their timing.   The beginning of the year is traditionally a slower period for work force reductions..."




Job cuts announced by U.S. companies almost tripled in February from year-ago levels
" Job cuts announced by U.S. companies almost tripled in February from year-ago levels, a research group said on Monday, in report that signals employers are losing confidence in the slowing U.S. economy.   International out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said U.S. firms announced 101,731 lay-offs in February, up from 35,415 a year ago when the economy was roaring ahead at full speed.   But the latest lay-offs were down 28% from January's total of 142,208, which was the highest number of monthly planned job cuts in the survey's 8-year history."


Lori Enos _CNN_/_eCommerce Times_/_CIO Today_/_NewsFactor_
Dot-Com Lay-Offs May Have Peaked
"The number of dot-com job losses fell for the second month in a row, dropping 18% in March, according to a report released Tuesday by the job placement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas (CGC).   From July through January, tech job cuts rose steadily, peaking at 12,828, CGC said.   In March, however, 9,533 Internet jobs disappeared, following February job cuts totaling 11,649.   Of course, the dot-com job market has still seen better days.   In 2000 March, only 25 dot-com employees lost their jobs, according to CGC...   A total of 75,525 dot-com jobs have been slashed during the past 16 months, CGC said, with 34,010 of those coming in the first quarter of 2001...   According to CGC, even though the number of dot-com job cuts has fallen, 22% of firms that laid off employees in March -- 23 out of 105 -- shut down entirely, compared to 14% in January."

Ian Lynch _vnunet.com_
IT services firm cuts UK jobs
"US IT services firm [body shop] Keane told staff on Friday that it may cut up to 40 jobs from its UK offices.   But staff have reacted angrily to the criteria of the 2-week redundancy consultation process.   The UK subsidiary of the $1G firm said 40 management, development, technical support and administrative jobs are all at risk...   At least 6% of Keane's 530 UK staff will lose their jobs once the consultation period is complete, which would mean a minimum of 32 job losses."


Olaf Jofptner _e-gateway_
Dotcom lay-offs decreasing in US
"(NUA) Dot-com lay-offs in the US have decreased for the second month running, down to 9,533 in March, from 11,649 in February & 12,828 in January.   According to US recruitment company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the number of job cuts in this sector will continue to decline but this will happen because of the overall decrease in the number of dot-com employees, not because the sector is recovering.   Over 75K dot-com jobs have been lost since 2000 April, with 34K of those going in the first quarter of this year.   In 2000 March, only 25 dot-commers lost their jobs."

2001-03-29 (revised 2002-02-06 17:23)
_USA Today_/_AP_
Down-Turn Is a Boon for Hiring Tech Giants"
"According to figures released Tuesday by the out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, published reports show that there have been more than 75K announced dot-com job cuts since 1999 December."



_Department of Labor Office of Inspector General_
Semi-Annual Report 2000-10-01 through 2001-03-31 (pdf)
"The OIG continues to be concerned about the integrity of DoL's foreign labor certification programs, especially the H-1B Specialty Workers program.   Over the years, we have identified numerous problems with this program, including the fact that individuals allowed into the country typically lack the specialized skills necessary for meeting the requirements for H-1B visas.   More egregious, however, is the ease with which the program is defrauded.   Our investigations continue to identify cases that involve fraudulent petitions that are filed with DoL on behalf of fictitious companies and corporations; individuals who file petitions using the names of legitimate companies and corporations without their knowledge or permission; and an increasing number of cases involving immigration attorneys and labor brokers who collect fees and file fraudulent applications on behalf of aliens.   Further, recent OIG investigations have also found that labor brokers and immigration attorneys are paying legitimate business owners to allow the fraudulent use of their company names on H-1B applications."

2001 March
Lori G. Kletzer & Robert E. Litan
A Prescription to Relieve Worker Anxiety
"With the sharp slowing of the economy, worker anxiety is back in the news.   But even during healthy economic times such as the late 1990s, workers feared lay-offs and general job instability.   The failure of Congress to approve fast track trade negotiating authority in 1997 strongly suggests that no American president will be successful in persuading the Congress and the American people to accept further trade liberalization until additional measures, aimed specifically at easing the pain of worker dislocations and encouraging rapid re-employment, are embraced by federal policy-makers.   In this brief, we outline and present cost estimates for two such proposals: wage insurance for qualifying displaced workers upon re-employment, and subsidies for health insurance for qualifying un-employed displaced workers."

2001 March
Alejandra Cox Edwards & Lisa M. Grobar _California State University at Long Beach_
Contingent Workers & Alternative Employment Arrangements

"The determination that the last expansion ended in 2001 March is the most recent decision of the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research."

2001 March
Steven Hipple _Monthly Labor Review_
Contingent work in the late-1990s
full article (pdf)
"In 1999 February, 5.6M workers held contingent jobs, that is, jobs that are structured to be short term or temporary.   The contingency rate -- the proportion of total employment composed of contingent workers -- was 4.3%.   Both the number of contingent workers and the contingency rate were virtually the same as those in the 1997 survey...
  total employment grew by 4.8M over the 2 periods, and the unemployment rate -- at 5.3% in 1997 February -- had fallen to 4.4% in 1999 February...
  As in 1995 and 1997, contingent workers in 1999 earned less than non-contingent workers.   Median weekly earnings for all contingent workers,that is, both full- and part-time workers combined, were $261, compared with $479 for their non-contingent counterparts...   As in prior surveys, contingent workers in 1999 were much less likely than non-contingent workers to have employer-provided health insurance; slightly more than one-fifth had health insurance from their employer, compared with more than three-fifths of non-contingent workers...
  Interestingly between 1997 and 1999, median weekly earnings for both full- and part-time contingent workers were little changed, while earnings for full-and part-time non-contingent workers rose by 6.3% and 9.6%, respectively...   Despite the economic expansion that continued into the late-1990s, both the number of contingent workers and the proportion of total employment composed of such workers changed little between 1997 and 1999...   In 1999, only 15% of contingent workers participated in [employer-sponsored pension] plans, in contrast to a bit more than half of non-contingent workers.   Furthermore, the proportion of contingent workers eligible to participate in their employers' pension plan -- approximately one-fourth -- was much lower than that for non-contingent workers (nearly three-fifths)..."

Median weekly earnings of full-time and part-time contingent & non-contingent wage and salary workers by occupation and industry 1999 February
Occupation & IndustryMedian Weekly Earnings
Managerial and professional specialty$620$786$150$268
Executive, administrative, and managerial$662$776$150$260
Professional specialty$591$792$150$271
Technical, sales, and administrative support$381$482$109$161
Technicians and related support$550$583$124$302
Professional and related services$474$596$106$199

2001 March
Marisa DiNatale _Monthly Labor Review_
Characteristics of and preferences related to alternative work arrangements

2001 March
Lonnie Golden _Monthly Labor Review_
Flexible work schedules: What are we trading off to get them?
"Flexible work schedules are spreading, but workers sometimes must be willing to increase their hours markedly, work evening shifts, or switch to part-time status, self-employment, or certain occupations to get flexibility in their schedules; this may entail a sacrifice of leisure time, compensation, or a predictable work-week."

2001 March
Bonnie Sue Gariety & Sherrill Shaffer _Monthly Labor Review_
Wage differentials associated with flex-time
"Analysis of the Current Population Survey indicates positive wage differentials overall for women on flex-time in 1989 and for both men and women in 1997; significant differentials emerge for selected motivations, industries, and occupations."

2001 March
Ron Krannich & Caryl Krannich _America's Top Internet Job Sites_ pp 52-53
WebSiteUnique Monthly Visitors

_BigCharts.com_ 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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