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|"Stand your ground, men. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war then let it begin here." --- John Parker 1775-04-19|
Lee Gomes _WSJ_
Hearing "I Work Cheap" From Across the Globe
"lives in Bangalore, where $25 is a week's rent [about one-forty-fourth of the rent in San Diego]... Career advice for the 21st century: Stay away from any job that can be done online, or you'll be competing with my buddy Odyssey -- and people eager to underbid him, too. I found a good programmer in 5 minutes. I'm still looking for a good carpenter. The same day that I got my picture from Odyssey, Larry Ellison visited the Journal bureau. He was talking about how security is better for credit cards than pilot's licenses, hence the passing around of his American Express. But then he started talking about how Oracle uses a lot of programmers in Bangalore. Maybe I had a guilty conscience, but I seized on the point. Doesn't Oracle feel a responsibility to hire Americans? Well, said Mr. Ellison, we are a global company; plus, we hire lots of Americans, too. And, he added, don't people have a moral responsibility not just to their country, but to the whole world?"
HP plans to dump 15K
Jon Swartz _USA Today_
H-P to surpass cost-cutting goals
Job cuts announced in 2002 May totaled 84,978, a 25% decline from April's 112,649
2002-06-05 09:34PDT (12:34EDT) (16:34GMT)
Keith Regan _eCommerce Times_/_Tech News World_
Dot-Com Job Losses Spiked in May
"Internet companies slashed 2,078 jobs in May, 3 times as many as in April, according to a report from out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The May job cut total was the highest since 2001 December, when 2,403 workers lost Web-related jobs... All told, 149,363 Internet job cuts have been tallied by Challenger since 1999 December, including 7K since the beginning of 2002... In 2001 May, 13,419 jobs were slashed in the midst of a 5-month stretch that represented the peak of dot-com lay-offs to date."
Jeff Meisner _Puget Sound Business Journal_/_M$NBC_
Technology hires become affordable: Job candidates are more experienced & less expensive
"In 1999, Washington's 55,200 technology employees made an average of $218,500, including salaries, bonuses & stock options. By last year, the average compensation for Washington's 67,900 employees dropped to $144,900."
Tamara Henry _USA Today_/_Gannett_
80% of Americans had a HS diploma in 2000
"80% of Americans are graduates of high school or higher, compared with 75.2% in 1990... among people 25 and older: 21% of Americans had taken some college courses but had not earned a degree in 2000, compared with 18.7% 10 years earlier; 15.5% had earned a bachelor's degree but no higher, compared with 13.1% in 1990; 8.9% earned graduate or professional degrees, compared with 7.2% earlier... U.S. Department of Education statistics...show there were 13.8M students enrolled in postsecondary education in 1997; 15.5M students are enrolled this year. Education officials project the number will rise to 17.5M by 2010. 'To put that 15.5M college students in context, there are 15.1M secondary-school students in the United States...'"
Gaylon B. Booker _National Cotton Council_
"If a textile or apparel manufacturer abroad wants to ship their products to the U.S.A., the effective tariff rate averages 8.9%. By contrast the effective rates for textile and apparel products entering Argentina ranged from 40% to 50%+, Brazil ranged from 40% to 70%+, China ranged from 20% to 36%+, India ranged from 50% to 70%+, and Pakistan ranged from 40% to 60%+. We have the same kind of unlevel playing field in agricultural product tariffs. This visual shows the average US tariff in the red bar to the left of the screen. By comparison, the EU's average tariff is 31%, Japan's 51%, Korea's 66% and India's 114%. The average world tariff rate is 62%... If we want to ship our agricultural products abroad, we face an average tariff rate of 62%, with the rate in many countries exceeding 100%. Our competitors abroad can ship their products into the U.S. and pay a modest 12% tariff, on average... The EU accounts for 87% of global spending for export subsidies compared with 1% by the USA. Our negotiators propose to solve the problem be phasing out export subsidies over a 5-year period. US negotiators propose to bring down trade distorting domestic subsidies substantially. The proposal calls for reducing non-exempt domestic support to 5% of member countries' total value of agricultural production over a 5-year period... Under the US proposal, EU spending would phase down from $67.2G to $12.5G, while US spending would fall from an allowable level of $19.1G to $10G -- certainly a more equitable situation than we currently face."
Jennifer Files & Jack Davis _San Jose Mercury News_/_Silicon Valley_
Pay-Checks Took a Step Down from Heights: Compensation Falls Along with Silicon Valley Economy
"Compensation for top bosses of Silicon Valley's 150 largest companies fell 20% from the previous year, according to the annual Mercury News executive pay study [while that of many production workers fell by 100%]. It was the first drop since the paper's first comparable survey 9 years ago. Stock options paid off far less than in past years, and the $1 salary and the $0 bonus emerged as signs that at least some executives shared in share-holders' pain. There were stellar exceptions, with such conspicuous compensation as Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison's record-setting $706M profit from exercising stock options... The 10 highest-paid valley executives accounted for a hefty 43% of the group's total compensation. Ellison alone accounted for nearly 20% of overall executive pay... The 776 executives whose compensation was reported by the valley's 150 largest public companies brought home a total of $3.8G, or 20% less than the $4.7G for the 807 executives in the previous year's survey. (The variation in the number of executives comes because proxy statements include more than 5 when top officers come and go during a fiscal year.) The total compensation was still greater than the $2.3G for 768 executives in 1999, which was a record at the time. The value of unexercised stock options held by executives fell to $7.3G from $16G in 2000. Last year's median pay package fell 39% from $1M to $607,307, including salary, bonus and long-term compensation including gains from exercising stock options... That drop mirrored the 36% drop in stock prices in the Mercury News 150, an index that tracks the area's 150 largest companies. Median salary was $267,339, median bonus was $80,858, and the median stock-option gain was zero. The previous year, median salary was $250K, bonus was $137K and option gain was $81,705... Oracle CEO Ellison collected $706 million after exercising stock options and immediately selling the shares in 2001 January... Oracle stock fell 61% to $15.30 during the fiscal year ended 2001 May... The median option grant received by the executives totaled 100K shares last year, up 33% from 75K in 2000 and double the median 50K-share grant from 1998."
Matthew Boyle _Fortune_
How Nike Got Its Swoosh Back: The sneaker company is still trying to stage a come-back by becoming (oh, no!) fashionable
"Nike still has problems, such as its lingering reputation for using Asian factories that under-pay workers. Furthermore, the California Supreme Court recently over-turned an appeals court ruling, which had held that Nike's PR and advertising campaign to defend itself against sweat-shop allegations fell under free speech protections. The reversal opens the door for false-advertising law-suits against Nike; it will appeal the ruling to the US Supreme Court."
James C. Hyatt _Wall Street Journal_
Once-Hot Engineers Find a Cooler Market
"In Austin, he says, there's no longer a demand for semiconductor-design engineers, who were sought-after just 6 months ago. Higher-ranking engineers (director and above category) in the Texas area 'are having to move out of state to find positions'. Indeed, unemployment among engineers has more than doubled since early 2001, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobless rate for all engineers, 1.5% in 2001's first quarter, reached 3.6% in the most recent first quarter. Among electrical engineers, the rate rose from 1.1% a year ago to 4.1%. And the number of engineers unemployed from January to March reached 79K, up sharply from 32K a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of employed electrical engineers fell to 690K in the latest first quarter from 748K in mid-2001. Employers with openings are being more selective these days. Companies hiring petroleum and chemical engineers 'are being very picky on what they want', reports Jim Barlow, senior technical recruiter at SPECTRA Associates, a small Laramie, WY, recruiting firm. These days, he finds, clients 'want as close a match as possible'. In other years, they'd hire someone who met 80% of the requirements. SPECTRA focuses on engineers in the $65K-to-$100K-plus salary range, such as project, senior project and lead-manager engineers, mainly for clients in the Midwest and West. An ideal refinery candidate these days, Mr. Barlow says, would have three to five years of 'hands-on' experience... Mr. Barlow sees resumes from higher-paid, more-tenured engineering executives -- for instance, those involved with the ChevronTexaco Corp. or Phillips Petroleum/Conoco mergers -- but most have been away from the refinery floor for a good while and aren't ideal candidates for an operational job. These days, he concedes, companies 'see an engineer as more of a cost than a profit center', and haven't seen enough economic improvement to justify stepped-up hiring... Texas Instruments Inc., Dallas, the big semiconductor company, currently has 460 job openings, including about 300 for engineers, primarily designers of analog circuits 'at all experience levels from fresh graduates to multiple years [not multiple decades].', a spokeswoman says... In the construction sector...Mr. Vockley says an attractive candidate these days might be around 50 years old, with a half dozen or so jobs on the resume, but a 'solid pattern of staying long enough to have an impact on an organization'... a lot of out-of-work engineers 'are extremely qualified. A lot of smart people out there don't have a job right now.'"
Mark Weisbrot _Common Dreams News Center_
US Trade Policy: "Do as We Say, Not as We Did"
"In the United States we went from 53% of our labor force in agriculture in 1870 to 4.6% in 1970, and yet the displacement of people from the countryside still generated much pain and serious social unrest. Imagine what would happen if this century-long process were collapsed into a couple of decades, as advocated by the WTO (along with the IMF and World Bank) for much of the world... Of course we did similar things when the United States was a developing country, with an average tariff of 44% on manufactured goods as late as 1913 [i.e. before income extortion]. Not to mention 'borrowing' technology from wherever it existed in more advanced form, ignoring foreign intellectual property rights. 'Do as we say, not as we did.'"
Zogby poll: 58% of Mexicans believe SW USA, for which USA paid over $15M, belongs to Mexico; 57% believe Mexicans should be allowed to come and go between USA and Mexico without permission or customs inspections; 58% of US citizens say immigration should be reduced; 68% of US citizens oppose amnesty for illegal aliens
Jon Dougherty: World Net Daily: 68% of US citizens say US troops should be deployed to defend borders
Graeme Philipson _The Age_
IT skills: a shortage or a scam?
"Is there a shortage of IT skills in Australia? Many people in government and the IT industry would have us think so, but only because it suits them. There is a great deal of misinformation about the subject, not all of it deliberate... There are many people with IT skills who are unable to find work in the IT industry, and there are even more who would like to work in the IT industry, & have the ability and aptitude, but not the experience... The government wants us to believe there is an IT skills shortage because it likes to be seen to be doing something about it. But it does not, of course, want us to believe there is a shortage caused by government policies... One school of thought says many in the IT industry are manufacturing fears of an IT shortage to get hand-outs from government & to be able to hire cheaper immigrant labour... This has become a big issue in the US, where the Information Technology Association of America, the AIIA's much larger US equivalent, has been a successful lobbyist for the granting of large numbers of work visas to foreign programmers. Substantial evidence has emerged that the ITAA's efforts are largely aimed at building a pool of cheap programming labour in the US, indentured to specific employers lest they lose their visas, & are not aimed at reducing an IT staff shortage. There are many who believe this to be the case in Australia."
2002-06-20 08:38PDT (11:38EDT) (15:38GMT)
Ian Fried _Yahoo!_/_CNET_
HP putting 4K contractors in limbo
Tom Steinert-Threlkeld _BaseLineMag_
IT Spending: 2003 May Maintain 2002 Lows
"The average U.S. corporation is likely to reduce its spending on information technology by 10% or more in 2002 -- and then 'reset' its budget for 2003 to the lower levels, according to survey results and a panel of chief information officers at the BusinessWeek CIO Summit here Wednesday."
Jeff Moad _eWeek_
IT Worker Salaries Slide
"Average annual base salaries for all IT positions tracked by Foote Partners LLC, of New Canaan, CT, fell 5.5% in the first quarter of 2002 compared with the first quarter of last year. Job families that experienced the steepest one-year base pay declines were e-commerce (14.6%), Web (13.6%) and business applications development (11.4%). Only 3 of the 17 IT job families tracked by Foote Partners experienced any increase in average base salaries: network operations (2.1%), security (3.1%) and SAP (4.3%)."
Lisa Vaas interview of Tancredo _eWeek_
Anti-H1-B Congressman Plans Strategy
"Representative Tom Tancredo, R-CO... is behind HR3222, the High-Tech Work Fairness & Economic Stimulus Act of 2001, which would return the H1-B quota to 65K per year. The current cap stands at 195K."
2002-06-25 06:05PDT (09:05EDT) (13:05GMT)
Sun lay-offs draw federal scrutiny
"Federal authorities are investigating claims that Sun Microsystems favored US-based foreign workers over American citizens during a recent round of lay-offs."
Benjamin Pimentel _SF Chronicle_
Sun accused of worker discrimination: U.S. citizen employee says he was canned in favor of foreign workers on H1-B visas.
"About 5% of Sun's 39K employees have temporary work visas. But... the company has continued to apply for foreigner worker visas despite Sun's policy of cutting jobs. 'To me it is crazy that they can apply for thousands of visas in 2001 & lay off 4K workers.', he said."
H-1B visa demand rises, despite tech down-turn
"US demand for visas to hire skilled foreign workers rose last year despite an economic down-turn that prompted companies in various industries to lay off more than 1M workers. US companies and other groups applied for 342,035 H-1B work visas in 2001, up 14% from 2000, before the economy tumbled... About half the H-1B visas the US government grants each year are for computer related jobs. About half go to people from India. [Red China] is a far second."
Joel Mowbray _Town Hall_
open door for terrorists still open
index of Jowl Mowbray articles
Margaret Quan _EE Times_/_The Work Circuit_ Russia looms as software service successor to India
Rob Sanchez _H-1B_/_Job Destruction News-Letter_
9 out of every 10 computer/IT jobs went to H-1Bs
"According to the American Electronics Association (AeA), a major industry lobbyist that pushed Congress for increasing the H-1B quota, new statistics show that 96,700 new jobs in computer/ IT [services] were created in 2001. Since 163K H-1B visas were issued in 2001, and according to the INS 53% of those visas are computer/IT jobs, 86,390 of the jobs in 2001 were taken by H-1Bs. IOW, 9 out of every 10 new computer/IT [services] jobs in 2001 were filled with H-1Bs."
Lisa Vaas _eWeek_
Storm Clouds Rise Over H-1B
"Meanwhile, as the lingering economic slow-down has hit the IT industry particularly hard, throwing many US native IT professionals out of work, pressure is rapidly mounting to torpedo the H-1B visa program, or at least cut its engines. Labor groups representing IT workers are mobilizing members; immigration-focused politicians are introducing bills to down-scale the H-1B program; and laid-off IT workers are threatening employers with legal action, claiming they've been sacrificed in favor of lower-paid H-1B workers... Backers of H-1B increases 'think the best thing they can do is to shut up about this and look for an opportunity next year to sneak it through'... But, according to Santiglia, the Department of Labor told him that his job isn't protected in such a situation unless Sun has a work force of more than 15% H-1B visa holders... According to Santiglia, Sun requested approval for thousands of H-1B workers last year, well in excess of the number of workers the company laid off this year... Rick White, CEO of TechNet, in Palo Alto, CA, which represents 230 tech-related [executives]...
Labor groups representing IT workers are mobilizing members; immigration-focused politicians are introducing bills to down-scale the H1-B program; & laid-off IT workers are threatening employers with legal action, claiming they've been sacrificed in favor of lower-paid H1-B workers."
2003-06-30 03:07PST (06:07EST) (11:07GMT)
Graham Turner _BBC_
Illusory profits cloud US
"During the last 5 years of the bull market, the companies that make up the S&P500 reported that profits had risen by 96.2%. By contrast, the government's own figures revealed that corporate sector profits had only risen by 36.1%. The figures implied that US companies could be overstating profits growth by more than 150%."
Peter Hans Matthews, Ivan T. Kandilov & Bradford Maxwell
Interstate Differences in Insured Un-Employment: Some Recent Evidence (pdf)
"The behavior of what is sometimes called the 'recipient rate' RECIP, the ratio of the rates of insured to total un-employment... The word 'recipient' can be misleading, however, in as much as the insured un-employment rate is the ratio of UI claims to covered employment. Some claims (25%, more or less) are disqualified, of course, and about 10% of all workers are not covered. [And, of course, some qualified, un-employed people never apply for un-employment compensation insurance payments.] The FIU is defined to be the fraction of jobless workers who collect regular UI benefits. The decline in RECIP has been sharper than that in FIU, which Blank and Card (1991: 1161) attribute first and foremost to the increase in the coverage rate over their sample period."
_WorkForce_ pp 36-44
Why Job Applicants Hate HR: Job seekers are fed up with arrogance, disrespect, and ineffectiveness. And so they're doing everything they can to avoid the "black hole" of HR.
Claire Wallace _Households, Work & Flexibility_
Research Report #1: Critical Review of Literature
"Earlier debate on 'non-standard' work in the UK focused on the flexible firm thesis, employers labour strategies and the extent to which increases in 'non-standard' work reflect new departures or are innovative... Atkinson and Meager (1986) argued that in the context of increased international competition and the recession of the early 1980s, employers were now pursuing a strategy of dividing their work-forces into two distinct segments -- a core and a periphery -- each regulated by very different employment conditions. Core workers are presented with an employment package of training and payment practices which elicit high labour efficiency and cultivate commitment. At the other extreme, employers seek to obtain a relatively cheap and easily disposable work-force... Recent research by Purcell et al. (1999) found that that in most of their case study establishments there was definite evidence of core-periphery employment practices and an awareness by employers of the advantages of segmented recruitment and fragmentation of the less highly skills jobs [sic]. The authors conclude that where this can be done without damage to productive or service quality there is likely to be an increase in flexible working and a decrease in job opportunities which provide for the full subsistence needs of incumbents. Evidence from the Workplace Employee Relations Survey (Cully et al. 1999) also indicates widespread use of flexible employment, 9 out of 10 work-places sub-contract activities, 8 out of 10 use part-timers (over a quarter with a majority of part-timers), over half employ people on fixed-term contracts and over a quarter use agency workers... A more recent debate which is emerging is that of the insecure work-force. This shifts the emphasis away from an employer's agenda and the extent to which both supply and the use of labour have become more flexible and places the interests of employees centre stage (Heery and Salmon 2000). The insecurity thesis asserts that economic risk is being transferred increasingly from employers to employees, through shortened job tenure and contingent employment and remuneration, that insecurity is damaging to long-term economic performance, through its promotion of an employment relationship founded on opportunism, mistrust and low commitment, and that the emergence of an insecure workforce imposes severe costs on individuals, their families and the wider society (Heery and Salmon 2000, Burchell et al. 1999, Sennet 1998). Burchell et al. (1999) also found that it was the core workforce which took the primary responsibility for achieving flexibility. This occurred through an expansion of their work-load, work intensification, increased variation in their working hours and location of work and the erosion of their traditional job demarcations..."
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