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updated: 2016-11-06
2003 January
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2003 January

Heritage Foundation 2003 Agenda

2003 January
_Department of Labor Office of Inspector General_
Top Management and Performance Challenges (pdf)
"The Department's foreign labor certification programs provide employers access to foreign labor.   The permanent H-2A and H-2B programs are designed to ensure that the admission of alien workers does not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of American workers or legal resident aliens.   The H-1B Visa Specialty Workers program helps employers compete in the global market by giving them access to highly qualified individuals in specialty occupations.   Abuses of these programs may result in economic harm to American workers and businesses, exploitation of foreign workers, and security risks associated with aliens who are admitted to this country by fraudulent means...   The OIG believes that if the Department is to have a meaningful role in the labor certification process, it should have corresponding statutory authority to ensure the integrity of the process, including verifying the accuracy of information provided on labor condition applications.   This is critical because the OIG continues to identify fraud in the foreign labor certification programs, particularly the H-1B program.   These cases involve fraudulent petitions filed with DOL on behalf of fictitious companies and corporations, petitions that use the names of legitimate companies and corporations without their knowledge or permission, and immigration attorneys and labor brokers who collect fees and file fraudulent applications on behalf of aliens.   For example, a recent joint investigation led by the OIG found that a Virginia attorney, with the help of associates, filed 1,400 fraudulent labor certification applications.   For one small restaurant, he filed 238 applications for cooks over a period of 17 months.   The attorney was indicted in 2002 September on charges including labor certification and immigration fraud."

2003 January
_Cornell University_
Determinants of Preference for Contingent Employment
"This paper explores the determinants of preference for contingent employment using a national probability sample of temporary workers and independent contractors.   A multi-level model of preference and multivariate analyses indicate that the opportunity cost of contract work, number of job opportunities, prior experience, human and financial capital, access to health benefits, prior experience, and work-family factors predict preference for contingent employment."


2002-12-31 21:07PDT (2003-01-01 00:07EST) (2003-01-01 05:07GMT)
Rehnquist: More Bankruptcy Judges Needed
"The US Congress needs to name more bankruptcy judges in the wake of the sharp increase in the number of bankruptcy filings, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist said on Wednesday.   In his 2002 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, Rehnquist said no new bankruptcy judgeships had been created since 1992 although the number of cases filed has increased by more than 570K since then.   He said each bankruptcy judge now handles an average of 4,777 cases, compared to an average of 2,998 in 1992...   the number of filings in bankruptcy courts grew 8% in the year to an all-time high of 1,547,669 cases filed.   He said bankruptcy filings have risen 72.5% since 1993."

Christine Allen _Indy Media_
Immigration and Texas's Budget Crisis: The Elephant in the Room
"It is well established that recent immigrants use more in services than they pay in taxes, particularly to state and local governments.   The National Research Council, a branch of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, estimates the net fiscal cost of immigration ranges from $11G to $22G per year, with most government expenditures on immigrants coming from state and local coffers, while most taxes paid by immigrants go to the federal treasury...   According to 2000 US Census data, some 13.2% of immigrants enroll in welfare programs compared with 2.1% of native-born Americans.   In Medicaid, 18.6% of immigrants participate, as opposite 12.1% of native-born. Mexican immigrants, who comprise the vast majority of immigrants to Texas, use food stamps at nearly twice the rate of native-born Americans and collect an average welfare payment that is 20% higher than those recipients.   The National Research Council found that in California, which has endured a similar flood of Mexican immigration as Texas, each native household is paying about $1,178 a year in state and local taxes to cover the gap between the services used by immigrant households and their tax receipts...   Indeed, during the last three years, the Harris County Hospital District alone spent $330M to treat and immunize illegal immigrants, estimated to be at least 20% of their indigent case-load."

Stephanie Overby _CIO Magazine_
Ideas 2003
"While the US IT unemployment rate hangs at [over] 5% those out-of-work American IT laborers find an Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) report that the United States lacks 500K qualified information technology professionals hard to swallow...  [ITAA and] Computing Technology Industry Association say they will begin lobbying in the spring to boost the number of visas...  Grass-roots efforts are under way on the other side, though with smaller war chests.  Alliance@IBM, a union of IBM workers in Armonk, NY, is looking for evidence that Big Blue laid off local workers while retaining H-1B visa holders with the same skills, & the Seattle-based Washington Alliance of Technology Workers is working to see if it's possible to get state tax breaks for companies that abstain from H-1B hiring... Vin O'Neill, senior legislative representative for the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers..."

John Mintz _Washington Post_
Firms Accused of Giving Space Technology to Red China: State Department Charges That US Companies Made Illegal Transfers
related stories
"The State Department has charged that 2 of the country's largest aerospace companies, Hughes Electronics Corp. and Boeing Satellite Systems Inc., illegally transferred sensitive US space technology to Red China in the 1990s that could have helped Beijing's military develop intercontinental missiles..   the companies could be fined as much as $60M and barred for 3 years from selling controlled technologies over-seas, a penalty that could particularly hurt Boeing...   starting in 1995...   Last January, Loral agreed to pay a $14M fine and to spend $6M on internal reforms to stop over-seas technology transfers...   Hughes and Boeing [allegedly] committed 123 violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations...   After the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986, President Ronald Reagan decided in 1988 that US space companies should be allowed to launch their satellites aboard Red China's Long March rockets to accommodate the fast-growing American telecommunications industry...   The State Department's charging letter also said that in 1996, Hughes failed to disclose that a Chinese man it had hired to work as a translator on a Hughes proposal to build a $600M communications satellite for Red China was the son of a top Red Chinese general [Shen] who oversaw the contract."

Ron Paul _Lew Rockwell_
Stop Identity Theft -- Make Socialist Insecurity Numbers Confidential


2003-01-01 21:03PST (2003-01-02 00:03EST) (2003-01-02 05:03GMT)
Barbara Kollmeyer _MarketWatch_ Poll says many would forgo tax cuts: AP survey finds reluctance to put US in deeper debt
"Some 64% of those polled said forgoing tax cuts is a good idea, while 28% said they favored additional stimulus to give the economy a boost, according to a poll of 1,008 people conducted for the AP by ICR/International Communications Research of Media, Penn.   The AP noted that within the poll, more than half of those suggesting a hold on tax cuts were Republicans...   highest bracket... is going down 4%, from 38.6% to 37.6% in 2004 and 35% in 2006...   The next bracket, the 35% bracket, is only coming down 2%, to 34%, then 33%...   One fix that might help is to bring the 10% tax, on the first $12K for married people filing jointly and $6K for single people, down to 5%."

2003-01-02 05:25PST (08:25EST) (13:25GMT)
Goldman Survey Paints Bleak IT Spending Picture
"Respondents to the Goldman poll now see 2003 IT spending falling 1% instead of the 2%-3% average gain they previously saw...   Two-thirds of the managers surveyed think reduced IT spending is more likely, while 56% expect discounting to rise and 15% expect spending to pick up in the second half of 2003, the survey found."

2003-01-02 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)<
Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 612,829 in the week ending December 28, an increase of  128,723 from the previous week.   There were 646,942 initial claims in the comparable week in 2001.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.7% during the week ending December 21, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,438,122, a decrease of 198,735 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.8% and the volume was 3,619,362."

2003-01-02 07:00PST (10:00EST) (15:00GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Initial seasonally adjusted jobless claims rising 4-week average highest since September
"The 4-week moving average for first-time claims for state unemployment benefits jumped by 11,250 to 418,750 in the week ending 2002-12-28, the Labor Department reported Thursday.   It's the highest since 424,500 in the week of 2002-09-28...   The more volatile weekly data rose by 13K to 403K from an upwardly revised 390K...   Meanwhile, the number of workers receiving state jobless benefits fell to its lowest level in 15 months.  The 4-week average for seasonally adjusted continuing claims fell 10,250 to 3.41M, the lowest since October 2001.   In the most recent week, the government said 3.42M workers were receiving state benefits.   The figures do not include some 783K workers who were receiving federal benefits that are available to some workers who exhaust their state benefits, typically after 26 weeks...   About 95K workers exhaust their state benefits each week.   With lay-offs running about 400K a week, economists expect unemployment rate to remain high through 2003.   In November, the official rate rose to 6% from 5.7% in October.   December figures will be released 2003-01-10.   Initial claims have seesawed around 400K all year.   The 4-week average sank to the low for the year at 377,250 four weeks ago.   The high for 2002 came on April 24 at 454K.   For the cycle, claims peaked at 482K in 2001 October.   During the boom years, initial claims averaged a bit less than 300K a week, while continuing claims averaged around 2.2M."

_Portland Business Journal_
CEO departure rate slows
"Departures of chief executive officers took a sudden downward turn in 2002 as companies announced 749 CEO changes during the year, 19% fewer than the 929 recorded in 2001, according to figures compiled by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   The 64 CEO changes recorded in December were 28% more than the 50 departures tracked in November and 10% more than the 58 in 2001 December.   It was only the fourth time this year that the monthly total surpassed the year-ago figure.   The fourth quarter was the second highest of the year in terms of CEO turnover, with 187.   That was slightly higher than the 184 in the third quarter.   None of the quarterly figures in 2002 topped the figures recorded in the same quarters the previous year...   Further evidence that boards are seeking more stable corporate leadership is the fact that 81% of the December CEO announcements detailing succession plans indicated that the replacement CEO is from within the company...   In 2000, a year that saw 1,106 CEO changes, it was more common to see announcements saying that the CEO left to 'pursue other opportunities', he said.   Now, it is rare to see such announcements.   Far more frequent is the statement that the CEO is resigning or retiring.   Of the 749 CEO departures announced in 2002, 39%, or 286 announcements, offered no explanation for the executive change.   The service sector saw the most turnover in 2002 with 125 departures, followed closely by the troubled technology sector with 124, according to Challenger's figures..."

Don Steinberg _Philadelphia Inquirer_/_Kansas City Star_
The economy stinks - until you consider 1992
"As 2000 began, the US budget surplus was at an all-time high of $236.9G (it's now a deficit of $159G), and unemployment was just 4% (it's now 6%).   Back when we thought the Y2K bug was as scary as it got, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 11,497 (it's down 27% since then at 8,341.63) and the Nasdaq composite was at 4,069 (now down 67% at 1,335.51).   But comparing today's economy to the aberrant bliss of three years ago may not be fair.   Stacked up against 10 years ago, we're not so bad off.   As 1993 began, the budget deficit was at a record $290G, unemployment was a gruesome 7.4%, the Dow had just crept past 3,000, and the original President Bush had recently gone begging for trade in Japan, where he vomited during dinner with the prime minister...   Inflation slowed in 2002 - and nearly disappeared for a couple of months.   The consumer price index, which measures the cost of a defined set of consumer goods and services such as food, gasoline, housing and medical care, by November was up 2.2% over the previous November.   But some prices soared.   A gallon of gasoline in the United States began 2002 at $1.15 -- its low for the year.   By Christmas, it was $1.47, up 28%.   Between 2001 and 2002, the number of "affluent" households in the United States -- those with annual income of $100K and net worth of at least $500K -- declined to 13.2M, from 14.4M, according to NFO Financial Services...   In 2002, through last week, there were 7,242 deals, worth $440G, according to Mergerstat.   In 2001, there were 8,627 deals, worth $639G."


David Lazarus _SF Chronicle_
Shooting the messenger: Report on lay-offs killed
"According to the bureau's final monthly report, US employers initiated 2,150 mass lay-offs in November, affecting 240,028 workers.   A mass lay-off is defined as any firing involving at least 50 people.   California by far had the most employees given the boot -- 62,764, primarily in administrative services.   Wisconsin was a distant second with 15, 544, followed by Texas with 14,624.   Between January and November, 17,799 mass lay-offs were recorded and nearly 2M workers were handed their hats by businesses.   Brown said that because of a bureaucratic quirk, the $6.6M in annual funding for the mass-lay-offs program -- money primarily doled out to state officials to gather relevant data -- was channeled through the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration...   Apparently no extra money was to be found anywhere within the Labor Department, which had a total budget of $44.4G last year, up from $39.2G in 2001...   OTOH, the Labor Department this week released a sweeping study of volunteer work over the past year, reporting that 59M Americans donated their time and know-how to helping others."

Jack Nicholson interviewed by Benjamin Svetkey _Entertainment Weekly_
Getting older
"The thing about getting older is that your character improves whether you want it to or not. Nature forces you to become a better person.   And that's a good thing, especially for somebody like me...   You know, I can tell you exactly when the sexual revolution ended: when Time magazine put herpes on the cover [in 1982].   During my life-time, I saw everything getting more and more open and free every day after World War II.   And then Time put herpes on the cover and it's been getting less and less free ever since."


2003-01-03 17:20PST (20:20EST) (2003-01-04 01:20GMT)
Gregg Keizer _Internet Week_/_Yahoo!_
Analysts: IT Managers Will Find New Jobs At Out-Sourcers This Year
"But what's good for out-sourcers [bodyshops] may be less so for IT workers -- who may be forced to leave the companies they know for out-sourcing firms where conditions are different."

Mike Crissy _SiliconValley.com_
Troubled economy hurts recruiting firms
alternate link
"Analysts say the stalled economy has sapped the recruiting industry, replacing double-digit revenues its enjoyed through much of the 1990s with double-digit losses, lay-offs and lost firms.   Over-all, analysts estimate the industry has lost $3G in revenue and as many as 1 out of 3 firms in the past 2 years...   executive recruiting became a $13G industry in 2000.   But the souring stock market and cost-cutting by companies, especially lay-offs, have reduced recruiting to a $10G industry.   McCool estimates as many as 500 firms, accounting for 10% the industry, have folded in the past 2 years...   Most estimate revenue will grow as much as 8% in 2003."


Julie Flaherty _NY Times_
As Job Seekers Multiply, So Can Empty Promises
"Consumer groups and career experts say they are expecting more job search problems to arise if the economy remains weak and unemployment climbs.   The jobless rate now stands at an 8-year high of 6%, and economists expect little improvement when the Labor Department releases its next report on Friday.   The Council of Better Business Bureaus, based in Arlington, Va., recorded a 12% increase in complaints nationwide about career counseling and other job search companies in 2001 from the previous year, according to Holly Cherico, a council spokeswoman.   She said the group expects another increase when final figures come in for 2002...   Job seekers should be especially wary of so-called career or employment marketing firms, career experts and consumer groups say."

Julie Flaherty _NY Times_
Before Buying Employment Services, Take a Close Look


2003-01-06 07:00PST (10:00EST) (15:00GMT)
Kristen Kioa _Institute for Supply Management_
2002 December ISM Non-Manufacturing Report
"Inventories decreased for the fifth month but at a slower rate of decrease than in November. Prices increased for the 10th month, also at a slower rate of increase than in November.   New Export Orders and Imports both increased, while Employment shrank for the 22nd consecutive month but at a slower rate than in November...   Employment in the non-manufacturing sector contracted in December for the 22nd consecutive month. ISM's Non-Manufacturing Employment Index for December is 46.9% compared to 45.9% in November.   December's index indicates a slower rate of decrease compared to November.   Comments from respondents include: 'Continued out-sourcing of functions', 'Lay-offs due to slow-down in business and loss of access lines' and 'Replacing people with improved technology'."

2003-01-06 07:20PST (10:20EST) (15:20GMT)
Rachel Koning _MarketWatch_
Challenger: Firms plan fewer lay-offs
"Companies said they would cut 92,900 positions in December, down 41% from 157,508 in November.   December's total was the lowest for the final month of the year since 1999.   For the year, businesses said they would cut 1.46M jobs, down 25% from a record 1.96M in 2001...   December 2001 brought 161,584 job cuts.   The biggest lay-offs for December came in the telecommunications industry, which sliced nearly 12,600 positions."

_USA Today_/_AP_
Job cut announcements drop in December
December lay-off announcements down 41%, compared with November
"For the year, job-cut announcements totaled 1,466,823, down 25% from 2001.   Announced job cuts for December totaled 92,917, compared with 157,508 in November.   The telecommunications sector continued to post the highest number of job-cut announcements in December -- 12,590.   That was followed by transportation with 11,212, and government and non-profit at 10,964."

2003-01-06 15:59PST (18:59EST) (23:59GMT)
Deborah Adamson _MarketWatch_
Assessing the top 15 dividend payers: Some at the top rickety indeed; caution, scrutiny required
"The top yields among Standard & Poor's 500 stocks in 2002 ranged from a high of 22% to almost 6% at the low end, still rich given the average yield of 1.8%..."

John Schwartz _NY Times_
Experts See Vulnerability as Out-siders Code Software
"the question of whether the booming business in exporting high-tech jobs is heightening the risk of theft, sabotage or cyber-terrorism from rogue programmers has been raised in discussions at the White House, before Congress and in board-rooms...   David McCurdy, a former congressman and executive director of the Internet Security Alliance, an industry group, said that although he considered himself a 'free trader' with a strong belief in the benefits of global commerce, he believed that the risk from off-shore out-sourcing was 'the most serious of the industry-based issues that this country faces'...   Forrester estimates that 70% of these jobs will move to India, 20% to the Philippines and 10% to [Red China]."

Diane Levick _Hartford Courant_
Hot Export: Tech Jobs: Displaced US Employees Frustrated, Angry at Information Technology Industry
"Businesses in the Hartford area alone have terminated hundreds of American IT employees and consultants in the past year...   They fear the nation will let its information technology industry slip away, bit by bit, just as textiles, home electronics and other manufacturing businesses left US shores.   The job out-flow also is fueling resentment of foreign workers and immigration in general, especially in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.   It has spurred a bitter back-lash of protest web sites and job-protection groups around the country, including an effort by Connecticut IT workers called The Organization for the Rights of American Workers...   While US companies are shifting jobs over-seas to save money, they're continuing to down-size and often hiring fewer US workers as IT consultants - temporary positions under contract.   So not only are more IT people here losing jobs, but many are finding it harder to land new ones.   In addition, the use of cheaper foreign labor has forced down hourly rates by 10% to 40% for the many US consultants, says Sharon Marsh Roberts, chairman of the government relations committee of the Independent Computer Consultants Association...   But since the un-employed and under-employed must curb their spending, the job export is hurting the economy - and taking its toll on workers' psyche, IT workers say."

Lisa Vaas _eWeek_
L-1s Slip Past H-1B Curbs
"The story line is familiar:   Large US company out-sources work to off-shore service provider that uses foreign nationals with temporary work visas to take what could have been domestic IT jobs.   What's not familiar to many IT professionals is the L1 visa.   Although the L category visa has been around some 50 years, it hasn't received a fraction of the attention the H-1B visa has from legislators, the media and outraged domestic IT workers, many of whom believe companies have given their jobs to lower-paid foreign IT workers brought in on H-1B visas...   The latest figures released by the Immigration and Naturalization Service show that the number of L1 visas granted climbed from 112,124 in 1995 to 294,658 in 2000.   But they still haven't caught up to the H-1B numbers: In 1995, 117,574 H-1B visas were granted, compared with 355,605 in 2000."

Caroline Waxler _NY Post_
Over-seas and out
"The New York area is in danger of losing at least 300K service jobs over the next 12 years as technology and financial companies move them over-seas...   The New York area - including northern New Jersey, Long Island, Westchester and southern Connecticut - will account for about 10% of those losses [from the USA]...   For example, back-office pay-roll and data entry will go to such lower-wage countries as VietNam and Uruguay, while more complex software development jobs will go to India...   Of course, law-makers aren't pleased by the foreign job travel.   The New Jersey Senate recently passed a bill to hinder businesses with government contracts from relocating their call centers off-shore."

Lisa Vaas _eWeek_
L-1s slip past H-1B curbs
"Tata [subsidiary TCS] is a Mumbai, India, 'IT' services company [cross-border bodyshop] contracted by Siemens to do, among other things, Emmons' job...   In some respects, however, the L1 visa is easier for employers to use than the H-1B.   And there's some evidence that use of the L1 visa is rising.   The latest figures released by the Immigration and Naturalization Service show that the number of L1 visas granted climbed from 112,124 in 1995 to 294,658 in 2000.   But they still haven't caught up to the H-1B numbers: In 1995, 117,574 H-1B visas were granted, compared with 355,605 in 2000.   To IT workers such as Emmons who say they feel they're facing unfair competition from imported workers, statistics mean little.   What matters is that they've lost their jobs, they've had to train their replacements and many of those replacements are here on L1 visas...   Technically, the L1 is an intracompany transfer visa that allows US companies to import employees from foreign subsidiaries, affiliates or parent companies.   One big plus for the L1 -- at least in the eyes of employers -- is that there's no limit on the number that can be issued each year."


2003-01-06 21:08PST (2003-01-07 00:08EST) (2003-01-07 05:08GMT)
Bambi Francisco _MarketWatch_
Riding out the January surge in tech: Some tech looks good, and ripe for M&A
"The plan to reinvigorate the economy may only be postponing a post-holiday hang-over in tech stocks, which are up 6% so far this year...   I'm not the only lucky customer.   The personal consumption expenditures deflator - which measures inflation -- grew at a lower rate in the last 2 months.   Beyond consumer electronics, and hotel rooms, tech overall is having a tough time.   Even if buyers don't seek a discount, they'll want more for the same price.   'Customers should get nearly twice as much software for the money compared with 2 years ago.', according to Morgan Stanley's 2003 outlook...   In theory, increased productivity allows businesses to earn more profits without raising prices on their goods.   But productivity gains often require increased investment (IT spending is expected to grow by 5% to 6% this year).   Unfortunately, that investment requires sustained profits - which we've yet to see."

2003-01-07 07:01PST (10:01EST) (15:01GMT)
Rachel Koning _MarketWatch_
November factory orders fall 0.8%: Key non-defense capital goods orders down 3.6%
"October factory orders rose 1.4%, only modestly revised from the 1.5% gain first reported.   For the year to date, orders were 1.1% below the tally through November a year ago...   Meanwhile, factory orders minus those for the transportation sector fell 0.7% in November.   Demand for cars and parts fell 0.9% from a month earlier.   Orders ex-defense fell 1.3%.   Durable goods orders minus Pentagon orders dropped 2.4%, the second decrease in the last three months.   Capital goods for military use surging nearly 28% that month.   Unfilled orders were down 0.9% in November.   Inventories slipped 0.3% - the biggest drop since May."

2003-01-07 08:36PST (11:36EST) (16:36GMT)
Emily Church _MarketWatch_
Weaker dollar: Not an easy stock call
"The euro has appreciated 22% from its low in February 2002 of 85.62 US cents to its peak this week at $1.05."

2003-01-07 10:25PST (13:25EST) (18:25GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Bush tax plan totals $670G in tax relief: White House adds $3.6G in retraining aid for states
"Bush, meanwhile, added $3.6G to his proposed economic package late Monday to fund $3K retraining accounts for unemployed workers who have exhausted or are likely to exhaust their unemployment benefits...   Qualified workers could use the $3K to purchase job training and other services, such as child care and transportation, to help them look for a job, the White House said.   Recipients would be able to keep the balance of the account as a 'cash re-employment bonus' if they find a job within 13 weeks."

2003-01-07 09:42PST (12:42EST) (17:42GMT)
Mark Felsenthal _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Home Foreclosures at Record High
"Loans in the process of foreclosure grew to 1.15% of mortgages, up from a revised level of 1.13% in the second quarter of last year, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America said.   The previous high was 1.14% in 1999.   At the same time, loans entering the foreclosure process fell slightly in the quarter, to 0.37% from 0.38%.   The number of loans that were delinquent -- at least 30 days overdue -- also fell, to a seasonally adjusted 4.66% from 4.77% the previous quarter."

2003-01-07 13:02:21PST (15:02:21CST) (16:02:21EST) (21:02:21GMT)
Amy Green _UMNS_/_Worldwide Faith News_
Church programs offer spiritual, career help to jobless
"Across the country, more churches are organizing support groups and seminars teaching the basics of finding a job, from how to present yourself in an interview to how to scan the want ads.   Some churches provide a place for the unemployed to use a phone or computer.   A few United Methodist churches have helped families pay their bills.   Some of the new ministries have started in response to recent layoffs.   Others have been around for years and are swamped.   The 7,500-member St. Luke's was ready to scrap its job search sessions two years ago for lack of interest.   The sessions now draw up to 70 job seekers weekly.   The skills these programs teach are important, says John Challenger of the Chicago out-placement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, but the emotional support they provide is crucial to someone struggling to find a job...   Crossroads Career Network, a non-profit organization based outside Atlanta, helps churches organize such programs.   It has worked with 27 congregations in recent years and expects to expand to 75 by the end of 2003...   The nation's unemployment rate remained virtually unchanged at 6% in November, according to the US Labor Department, but the number of those without jobs for six months or more hit 1.7M - up 56% from a year ago."

2003-01-07 15:12PST (18:12EST) (23:12GMT)
Ron Fournier _AP_
Bush Presses Congress on Tax-Cutting Plan

2003-01-07 15:26PST (18:26EST) (23:26GMT)
Mark Gongloff _CNN_/_Money_
Will the Bush plan work?: Economists are divided about the effects of the president's $674G stimulus proposal
"The tax changes, which Bush claimed would give about 92M Americans an average tax break of $1,083 in 2003, could have a more immediate and real impact on consumer spending, which fuels more than two-thirds of the total economy...   The president's plan would give about 1.2M unemployed workers an average of $3K apiece in 'personal re-employment accounts', which will pay for their job training, child care and moving expenses while unemployed."

President Bush Taking Action to Strengthen America's Economy

Scott Lindlaw _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Bush UnVeils $674G Stimulus Plan

Nicholas M. Horrock _UPI_/_Washington Times_
Congress may change Bush plan
"Grassley said he 'will apply 3 tests to the president's proposal and others.   One, will it be effective, creating the maximum number of jobs and getting the most bang for the buck?   Two, will it work right away?   And three, will it get enough bipartisan support to pass a closely divided Senate.'...   At the last minute, Bush added an innovative $3K 're-employment' account for those likely to exhaust their unemployment benefits.   The money, part of a 2-year, $3.6G program administered by the states, could be used for re-training, child care, transportation expenses and other costs involved in job searches.   Those who managed to find work within 13 weeks would be allowed to keep whatever is left over from the stipend."

Gordon Thomas _Our Own Media_
America Prepares for Its Next War -- with Red China


2003-01-07 21:01PST (2003-01-08 00:01EST) (2003-01-08 05:01GMT)
Andrea Coombes _MarketWatch_
Valued employers: Companies that don't lay off rise in Fortune rankings
100 Best Companies
"'There's a lot more focus on job security and internal communication, and how much integrity people feel in the way management deals with them.', said [Robert Levering, co-founder of the Great Place to work Institute].   The top 10 companies on the list are: Edward Jones, The Container Store, Alston & Bird, Xilinx, Adobe Systems, American Cast Iron Pipe, TDIndustries, J.M. Smucker, Synovus Financial Corp. and Wegmans Food Markets.   The rankings are based on the written responses of 40,713 employees at 269 companies."

2003-01-08 03:51PST (06:51EST) (11:51GMT)
GWBush: Urgent need for 'bold' economic plan
"President Bush on Tuesday announced a new economic plan that would cost roughly $670G over 10 years, offer 92M tax-payers an average tax cut of $1,083 and create 2.1M jobs over the next 3 years...   The Bush plan calls for new incentives designed to spur business investment and for the creation of $3K 'Personal Re-employment Accounts' to help some unemployed Americans find jobs.   States would administer the jobs program, but it would be funded with federal money.   Money in the accounts could be used for child care, job training, relocation, transportation and other job-search expenses...   Those accounts, according to the White House, would be available to about 1.2M Americans -- new and existing recipients of unemployment benefits who are deemed likely to exhaust those benefits before finding work, or former unemployment insurance recipients who meet certain eligibility requirements."

2003-01-08 10:12PST (13:12EST) (18:12GMT)
The Bush plan: What it means to you: Here's how the president's economic stimulus package may affect you.

2003-01-08 10:55PST (13:55EST) (18:55GMT)
Leigh Strope _AP_/_SF Chronicle_
House passes extension of federal unemployment benefits, sending bill to president for approval
"The House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to provide additional unemployment benefits to some 2.5M Americans, speeding the emergency bill to the White House for President Bush's signature.   The House passed the $7.25G plan -- which will provide 5 more months of benefits -- on a vote of 416-4.   That came almost exactly 24 hours after the Senate gave its unanimous support."

David Barstow & Lowell Bergman _NY Times_
At McWane Inc., an Indifference to Life
"Since 1995, at least 4,600 injuries have been recorded in McWane foundries, many hundreds of them serious ones, company documents show.   Nine workers, including Mr. Hoskin, have been killed.   McWane plants, which employ about 5K workers, have been cited for more than 400 federal health and safety violations, far more than their six major competitors combinedÖ   In the last decade, many American corporations have embraced such a vision of capitalism -- cutting costs, laying off workers and pressing those who remain to labor harder, longer and more efficiently.   But top federal and state regulators say McWane has taken this idea to the extreme.   Describing the company's business, they use the words 'lawless' and 'rogue'.   The company's managers call it 'the McWane way'."

_Reuters_/_San Jose Mercury News_
Out-sourcing boom to fuel Indian tech sales growth
"Reports from India's top software exporters starting this week are expected to show they beat their sales forecasts for the past quarter, helped by a boom in out-sourcing business, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.   A Reuters poll of 12 brokerages forecast the profits of the top four listed software exporters would have risen by about eight to 18% from the previous quarter.   Revenue at these companies -- Infosys, Wipro, Satyam Computer Services and HCL Technologies -- is estimated to have increased between nearly 4% and about 9%, more than some of the companies have forecast.   Analysts said many companies were hiring aggressively and some had bagged large out-sourcing deals, indicating the sector, which depends on low-cost engineers and other English-speaking graduates, was poised for rapid growth."

2003-01-08 (mittwoch, 2003 Januar 08)
Waiting in the Food Line
"With the economic recession, there has been a sudden leap in the number of people on emergency food assistance.   In Ohio, some of the food lines look like something from the Great Depression, reports Scott Pelley.   Itís not just the unemployed.   Plenty of people working full time are still not able to earn enough to keep hunger out of the house...   60 Minutes II counted 896 people on line...   But since 1999, the number of people getting emergency food aid in Ohio alone has grown from 2M to 4.5M."
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.

2003-01-08 (mittwoch, 2003 Januar 08)
Nicholas Stein _Fortune_
No Way Out: Competition to make products for Western companies has revived an old form of abuse: debt bondage.
"Five years ago the chief labor issue for American companies like Nike, Liz Claiborne, and Gap was the sweat-shop conditions in suppliers' factories.   In response to protests and boycotts, US companies began to demand that factories meet basic health and safety standards, providing workers with facemasks, bathroom breaks, and well-ventilated workspaces.   But the debt bondage ensnaring many foreign workers in those factories has not yet hit the radar of most big corporations.   It will.   During a trip to Taiwan and the Philippines in December, _FORTUNE_ visited four factories in the apparel and high-tech sectors, spoke with half-a-dozen labor brokers, and interviewed more than 50 overseas contract workers from Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines.   All the workers reported paying broker fees similar to Mary's, and many had suffered other abuses as well.   In theory, engaging foreign contract workers is a solution that should benefit all parties: Poor countries reduce their unemployment, wealthy countries get cheaper labor, and the workers earn far more abroad than they could at home.   In practice, however, the labor brokers have every incentive and opportunity to gouge the workers under their control."

_Portland Business Journal_
Pace of high-tech job cuts dropped in 2002
"Planned job cuts in the high-tech sector reached 468,161 in 2002, down 33% from the 695,581 job cuts announced by this field in 2001, according to figures compiled Wednesday by the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   After falling to 91,450 in the third quarter, technology sector job cuts surged 46% in the fourth quarter to 133,511, the highest quarterly figure of the year, the Challenger report says.   High-tech, which consists of telecommunications, computer, electronic and e-commerce, represented a smaller percentage of all job cuts in 2002 compared to a year ago.   In 2002, 32% of all cuts came from the tech sector compared to 36% in 2001.   Within the broader category of high-tech, telecommunications struggled the most in 2002, announcing 268,857 planned job cuts, or 57% of all high-tech job cuts.   While more job cuts were announced in this sector in 2001 (317,777), last year's total represented less than half (46%) of high-tech cuts."


2003-01-09 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT) (giovedi, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Thomas Stengle
Employment Insurance Weekly Claims Report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 614,778 in the week ending January 4, a decrease of 5,875 from the previous week.   There were 637,343 initial claims in the comparable week in 2002.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% during the week ending December 28, an increase of 0.5 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,085,922, an increase of 655,715 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 3.3% and the volume was 4,225,414...   53 states reported that 734,091 individuals filed continued claims under the Federal Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation (TEUC) program during the week ending December 21.   Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,255 in the week ending December 28, a decrease of 606 from the prior week.   There were 813 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 542 from the preceding week.   There were 19,838 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending December 21, a decrease of 3,288 from the previous week.   Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 18,889, a decrease of 2,015 from the prior week.   The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending December 21 were in Alaska (5.5%), Oregon (4.5), Washington (4.4), Puerto Rico (4.1), Idaho (3.9), Pennsylvania (3.9), Wisconsin (3.5), Arkansas (3.4), California (3.4), and Massachusetts (3.3)."

2003-01-08 22:34PST (2003-01-09 01:34EST) (2003-01-09 06:34GMT) (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Laurence McQuillan _USA Today_
How jobless could get $3K to find work

2003-01-09 (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Bob Barr _Washington Times_
Crimes before the fact
"All this fits right in with the "Eye-in-the-Sky" perspective of retired admiral John Poindexter and the cherished Total Information Awareness system he's building at the Pentagon -- collect all the information on as many people as you can in advance, decide who might be bad, and act on it.   So what if you invade the privacy of virtually every law-abiding citizen in the country; you might be able to possibly identify a potential law-breaker.   The good retired admiral would really like those guys down at the Fairfax precinct.   They're his kind of guys.   We are already, as a society, reaping what we've sown. And this is not the movies, folks.   Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, is the American Conservative Union Foundation's 21st century chairman for privacy and freedom."

2003-01-09 (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Marguerite Higgins _Washington Times_
States eye eased rules on small business
"Americans spend nearly a trillion dollars a year complying with state and federal regulations, according to the Small Business Administration, the federal office for small businesses...   Small businesses with fewer than 20 employees face annual regulatory expenses of $6,975 per employee, compared with the $4,463 per worker costs larger companies with more than 500 employees pay, the SBA report said...   Environmental regulations and tax compliance make up the bulk of total regulatory costs, with environmental rules averaging $3,328 per worker and tax compliance costing $1,202 per worker, the report said."

2003-01-09 (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Zachary Coile _SF Chronicle_
Jobless relief for some: Federal aid returns for 100K in state, but many unemployed will still be left out
"President Bush signed an emergency extension of federal unemployment benefits Wednesday, restoring aid to 100K jobless Californians who lost it amid political squabbling that allowed the program to lapse December 28.   The legislation, which Bush signed within hours of its passage in the House, will allow workers who used up their 26 weeks of state jobless benefits to continue to collect 13 weeks of federal aid through the end of May.   But the measure... won't help unemployed Bay Area workers... who exhausted their benefits months ago and are still struggling to find work in an anemic economy...   Bay Area economists say the extension of federal benefits won't last long enough to help many laid-off workers, especially in Silicon Valley, where the unemployment rate is close to 8%.   Stephen Levy, director of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto, said that even if the economy starts to recover in the first half of this year, many Bay Area companies will wait months more before they begin hiring again...   The nation's unemployment rate hit an 8-year high at 6% in November.   In California, the unemployment rate jumped to 6.4%; it reached 7.8% in Santa Clara County."

2003-01-09 (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Floyd Norris _NY Times_
Bush's Plan Taxes Dividends on which Corporation Did Not Already Pay Tax
"dividends will continue to be taxed when paid by companies that do not pay federal income taxes themselves.   Companies with losses or those that use various techniques that eliminate taxable income will find they have no tax-free dividends to hand out...   Companies that choose to reinvest in their businesses rather than pay dividends will pass on to their shareholders a tax break that will reduce the capital gain they report when they sell their stock."

2003-01-09 (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Wendell Primus, Jessica Goldberg & Isaac Shapiro _Center on Budget and Policy Priorities_
New UnEmployment Insurance Proposal Neglects 1M Jobless Workers Who Have Run Out of Federal UnEmployment Benefits

2003-01-08 22:34PST (2003-01-09 01:34EST) (2003-01-09 06:34GMT) (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Angie Wagner _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Protesters Decry Dell's Prison Labor Use
"...outside the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday to protest Dell Computer's use of inmates to recycle computers...   The coalition says Dell's computer recycling program is a sham, and Dell is putting prison workers in danger because they are not protected by federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration standards...   The coalition also complains that instead of using cheap prison labor, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell could provide others with jobs.   The nation's top-selling computer manufacturer deals with a US government contractor, UNICOR, which employs prison inmates to recycle out-dated computers."

2003-01-08 22:34PST (2003-01-09 01:34EST) (2003-01-09 06:34GMT) (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Lawrence M. O'Rourke _Boulder Daily Camera_
Jobless benefits extended
"Bush signed legislation Wednesday to extend unemployment benefits for 2.8M workers who lost their jobs in the weak economy.   Four hours after the House overwhelmingly approved the measure, the president invited Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to the White House for a signing ceremony."

2003-01-09 (giovedÏ, 2003 gennaio 09; donnerstag, 2003 Januar 09)
Lesley Stahl _CBS News 48 Hours_
Lesley Stahl's NoteBook
"It's called IIT - Indian Institute of Technology.   A stunning percentage of CEOs and innovators in the American high tech industry were graduated from IIT.   The government of India highly subsidizes the school and the students who go there - it costs a kid just $700 a year.   But - and here's the rub -- a full two-thirds of the students leave India for jobs (many of the best come here) and never return."

Linda Rosencrance _ComputerWorld_
Federal IT out-sourcing spending to hit $15G in fiscal 2007
"Federal government IT out-sourcing spending will reach $15G in fiscal 2007, up 127% from the $6.6G spent in fiscal 2002, according to a report released yesterday by market research firm Input."

Tina Griego _Rocky Mountain News_
'They are coming in all day': For $3-an-hour server job at Luna's restaurant, over 600 apply
"A few days ago, as President Bush was polishing his plan to bolster the US economy, Denver restaurant owner Rito Luna put an ad in the paper seeking a server.   It was pretty typical stuff.   Part-time, $3 an hour plus tips.   Six hundred people replied.   Six-zero-zero.   That was just the first few days."


2003-01-10 04:00PST (07:00EST) (12:00GMT)
Charles Cooper _CNET_
Time to revisit the H-1B
"After the most brutal recession in the history of the technology business, the employment picture remains, at best, bleak...   I have a modest proposal: Besides waiting around for the business cycle to kick in, why doesn't the federal government immediately cut the number of H-1B visa levels handed out to foreign workers?   If past is prologue, count on technology industry lobbyists to block that from happening...   844K tech workers were dismissed between 2001 October and 2002 October, compared with 2.619M between 2001 January and 2002 January.   In fact, there was a net gain of 147K IT jobs in the third quarter...   A more cynical view would suggest that the barons of the industry want to maintain H-1B levels as high as possible to help keep downward pressure on wages.   Or that employers prefer to exploit the skills issue as a pretext for hiring cheap H-1B programmers instead of more veteran (read 'expensive') older programmers."

2003-01-10 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Rachel Koning _MarketWatch_
US shed unexpected 101K jobs in 2002 December; unemployment rate 6%
alternate link
"Manufacturing jobs are down nearly 600K on the year.   Air transportation lost a substantial 23K jobs in 2002.   The economy has shed more than 2M jobs since it hit a recession in 2001...   Most economists predict the jobless rate will hover near 6% at least until the middle of the year...   The number of Americans without a job for 27 weeks or longer continued to trend upward and stood at 1.9M in December.   However, the pool of available workers, which adds the number of unemployed job seekers and those not looking for work in the last 12 months who said they would take a job, fell to 13M in December from 13.2M in November.   For all of 2002 a net of 181K jobs were lost."
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.

2003-01-10 07:50PST (10:50EST) (15:50GMT)
Protest slams Dell's use of prison labor
"Thursday outside the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to protest Dell Computer's use of inmates to recycle computers."

2003-01-10 12:20PST (15:20EST) (20:20GMT)
_USA Today_/_AP_
Supreme Court to Consider Misrepresentation Suit Against Nike
"The case arises from a campaign by Nike to defend its wages, treatment of workers, and health and safety conditions at Asian plants where workers make tennis shoes and athletic wear.   The company was sued by a San Francisco activist who says the company lied about how much the employees earned and how they were treated.   Nike put false statements about its labor practices in a pamphlet distributed to reporters, in press releases, on the Internet, in letters to organizations and in a letter to the editor."

_Houston Chronicle_
Pay-rolls take dive: Job creation rate is worst since 1950s (with graphs)
"The only bright spot was that the unemployment rate was unchanged.   But even that is misleading because it excludes 191K jobless people who simply stopped looking for work and therefore are not counted by the government.   They would have added another half-percent to the unemployment rate, economists said.   The previous month, 390,000 people were excluded from the count...   The jobless rate among whites fell by a tenth of a percentage point to 5.1%, but the rate for blacks rose a half point to 11.5%, and the rate for persons of Hispanic origin ticked up to 7.9% from 7.8%.   The rates for teens fell to 16.1% from 16.8%.   The total of unemployed workers rose to 8.6M in December, up 82K from November, and 381K since October.   The number of unemployed for at least 15 weeks climbed to 3.2M, up 815K over the year."

Caren Bohan _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Pay-Rolls Stage UnExpected Slide
"The US economy suffered a surprise 101K jobs drop in December...   the biggest since February, when the economy shed 165K jobs...   For 2002 as a whole, the economy lost a net 181K jobs.   The past 2 years marked the first time since the 1950s that the economy lost jobs in 2 back-to-back years.   But in terms of the number of jobs lost, the total over the 2-year period was 1.61M, the worst showing since 1981-82, which was the most severe recession of the post-World War II period, according to economist Ray Stone of Stone and McCarthy Research in Princeton, NJ...   December's drop in pay-rolls was a much weaker performance than the 22K jobs gain projected by US economists in a Reuters survey.   In a further sign of labor market woes, the Labor Department revised its latest report to show an 88K drop in pay-rolls in November, sharper than the 40K decline it initially reported...   Not only are more people losing their jobs, those out of work are unemployed longer, according to the data.   The average length of unemployment grew to 18.5 weeks in December, the longest period since 1994 October.   The number of people out of work for 27 weeks or more rose to more than 1.86M in December, the highest level since February 1993's 1.907M."

Kristi Arellano _Denver Post_
Benefits extension confuses jobless: State office swamped with calls
"Unemployed people who had federal jobless benefits cut off 2002 December 28 and those who haven't yet applied for the 13 weeks of federal aid are the only people eligible for extension.   The extension allows people to collect only their remaining weeks' worth of benefits...   Thirteen weeks of federal unemployment benefits kick in once a person's 26 weeks of state unemployment run out...   The Labor Department estimates that 10K Coloradans lost their federal benefits before exhausting their full 13 weeks when the program expired last month."

Ted Bridis _AP_/_Detroit News_
White House award to FBI lawyer who failed to act on evidence of terror planning draws fire

Larry Lange _TechWeb_
The High Price of Over-Seas Out-Sourcing
"Dataquest says 26% of companies already using off-shore services expect to double their spending in this area within the next year."

P. Harrison Picot _eWeek_
L-1s Slip Past H-1B Curbs
"As a senior U.S.-born data-base administrator, with the most in-demand skills (Oracle DBA, Java, JSP [Java server pages], SQL, PL/SQL, more) and no job for 2 years -- not only worried about myself, but my son losing his house (he followed me into IT), I want to thank you.   The one thing I think many people miss, is that the immigrant workers are 'buying' green cards, the software company is selling access to the U.S., a public asset, being converted to private profit...   It is welfare for billionaires."

Gene Nelson _eWeek_
L-1s Slip Past H-1B Curbs
"Immigration Attorney Joel Stewart, who said in 2000, 'When employers feel the need to legalize aliens, it may be due to a shortage of suitable US workers, but even in a depressed economy, employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all US workers who apply.' (Legal Rejection of U.S. Workers Immigration Daily 2000 April 24)"

Sharon Gaudin _Datamation_
2003 Looking Bright for IT Salaries
"According to the ITAA, U.S. companies laid off more than 500K IT workers in the past year.   The size of the high-tech work-force dropped from 10.4M to 9.9M, with tech workers at IT companies much more likely to receive a pink slip than their counterparts working in non-IT companies...   The mean salary for all IT positions in large enterprises has increased from $73,856 in 2002 January to $78,687 this month, according to a study just out by Janco Associates Inc., a Park city, Utah-based consulting firm.   In mid-sized companies, the number has gone up from $66,554 to $72,619 in the same time frame."


2003-01-10 23:40PST (2003-01-11 02:40EST) (07:40GMT)
_Sarasota Herald Tribune_/_AP_
Cupertino man arrested for selling missile system technology to Red China
"A Cupertino man was arrested Friday on charges he illegally exported 'dual use' technology to the People's Republic of China that could be used in missile guidance systems.   Qing Chang Jiang, also known as Frank Jiang, appeared in a San Jose federal court on charges he sold technology to a company in [Red China] that has both commercial and military applications.   The devices in question are microwave amplifiers, sometimes used in commercial enterprise but also employed in the design of missile guidance systems."

2003-01-11 07:05PST (10:05EST) (15:05GMT)
Mark Gongloff _CNN_/_Money_
Is jobs report as bad as it looks?: Economists see silver linings in a dismal report (with graph)
"While 100K job cuts may be statistically insignificant, try telling that to the 100K people who lost their jobs, joining the ranks of the 8.6M people unemployed in December, 3.2M of whom have been out of work for 15 weeks or more...   During the 12 months that followed the 1990-91 recession, when Bush's father was president, employers cut an average of 17,580 jobs monthly.   During the 12 months after the end of the 2001 recession -- assuming a new expansion started after 2002 December -- non-farm employers cut an average of 15,080 jobs per month...   But, according to the New York Times, the White House has admitted that only about 190K of those 2.1M jobs it thinks its plan will create will come in 2003 -- just making up for the job losses in 2002 November and December."
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.

Rachel Konrad _AP_/_Yahoo!_
MSFT Settles in CA for $1.1G
"MSFT reached a $1.1G settlement with consumers in California who accused the software giant of violating the state's antitrust and unfair competition laws.   Critics immediately labeled the pact a sell-out...   Critics immediately blasted the settlement, saying California sold out to the software giant in part because of a $34.6G budget deficit and the continuing economic down-turn.   'This seems to be a country where you can buy justice pretty easily these days, especially in these hard hit economic times when the price of justice goes down.', said John Perry Barlow, co-founder and vice chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.   'If there's ever been a company that abused anti-trust law to the detriment of consumers and the economy, it is MSFT.'   The settlement requires MSFT to provide $1.1G in vouchers, equivalent to 28.4% of all the money that California consumers and businesses paid for [trashy] MSFT products from 1995 February to 2001 December."


Mary Ann Lindley _Tallahassee Democrat_
Lemmings not extinct enough
"I'd like to see more connect-the-dots thinking...   Connecting the dots means drawing your own mental pictures of what's going on in the world around you...   Drawing Your Own Conclusions 101 is the class too many Americans are skipping.   The result is run-away group-think -- or, what my friend 'Sonny The Roundman' Branch describes as the '70%-plus lemming-sheeple factor'.   Here at the newspaper we've been bombarded for more than 2 weeks by bastions of group-think.   It's arrived in the form of close to 15K e-mails...   couldn't possibly read all of those e-mails.   Life's too short...   But I did sample enough to be certain that many, many, many were from correspondents who quite honestly didn't know what they were offended by, only that they'd been told to say they were deeply insulted.   This kind of group-think, though not really their specific parroted information, offends me."

_Tallahassee Democrat_
Experts push high-tech jobs: Educators try to spark young students' interest
"Genalo and Gallagher said children were quick to pick up on programming their Lego cars using Not Quite C, which uses syntax similar to the programming language C...   The conference runs through today."   For more information on this story, see:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Toying with Technology

Cate Prato _Boston Globe_
Persistence, attitude keys to job seeker success
"The Massachusetts jobless rate is not as bad as it was in July 1991, when it hit 9.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   But this past November the state rate was 5%, a far cry from the 2.5% rate of 2000 October...   The average job search time in 2002 was 3.69 months, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago out-placement firm.   For job seekers over 50, it was 4.20 months."


2003-01-12 21:01PST (2003-01-13 00:01EST) (2003-01-13 05:01GMT)
Deborah Adamson _MarketWatch_
Bush tax cuts expected to boost dividend plans
"Charles Carlson, editor of DRIP Investor and author of _Buying Stocks without a Broker_...   DRIPs and direct stock purchase plans allow investors to invest as little as $25 regularly to buy shares directly from the company.   Investors can buy fractional shares.   With DRIPs, investors have to buy the first share through a broker and then they can buy directly from the company.   Direct stock purchase plans, or DSPs, let you buy even your first share from the company itself.   More than 1K companies offer dividend plans, Carlson said...   a service called Share Builder from NetStockDirect.com lets you create your own dividend reinvestment plan..."

Mary Beth Marklein _USA Today_
Illegal immigrants' kids catch a college break
"Of the estimated 50K to 70K undocumented students graduating each year from US high schools, only a few have set their sights on college; many more drop out before the 12th grade, experts say."

Erin Hayes _abc News_
Still No Jobs: Shock of Being Without Work Hits Some for First Time
"She is among thousands who are struggling in a job market that drooped over the holiday season, much to the surprise of many economists, who had been expecting job gains, not losses.   Some had predicted a gain of as much as 30K jobs for December.   But a new Labor Department report shows a net loss -- of 101K jobs for the month...   Administration officials believe the plan can create more than 2M jobs in the next 3 years...   more and more Americans are growing anxious about their jobs."

Joel Stein _Time_
The Real Face Of Homelessness: More than ever, it is mothers with kids who are ending up on the streets.   Bush has a plan, but will it help?
"The liberals tried...   But at some point in every one-way relationship, pity turns to resentment, and now even the liberals are turning on the homeless: San Francisco has voted to reduce their benefits 85%; Santa Monica, CA, passed laws preventing them from sleeping in the doors of shops or receiving food from unlicensed providers; Madison, Wis., is handing them a record number of tickets; Seattle banned the sale of malt liquor and Thunderbird in Pioneer Square as its initiative to shoo away the alcoholics...   With a freak-show economy in which unemployment has reached 6% -- a 50% increase since 2000 November -- but housing prices have stayed at or near historic highs, the number of homeless appears to be at its highest in at least a decade in a wide range of places across the US, according to Bush's own homelessness czar...   a Time survey of the eight jurisdictions that have good statistics shows that this population has grown significantly and that its fastest-growing segment is composed of families.   Homeless parents and their kids made up roughly 15% of the case load in 1999 -- or, if you count every head, about 35% of all homeless people, according to the Urban Institute, a liberal DC think tank.   The Time survey suggests that population has since increased..."

Joe Guzzardi _VDare_
CBS' 60 Minutes Fires First Shot In New H-1B Battle
"The industry is lobbying for an increase in the 195K level established in 2000; weary, displaced American software workers who want their jobs back want the total to revert to its original 65K -- or less...   Oddly, a decade ago, when 60 Minutes produced 'North of the Border' http://www.zazona.com/shameh1b/Library/Archives/60Minutes.htm, the same Lesley Stahl pointed to the H-1B visa as a grave-yard for American software workers.   What a difference 10 years can make! Stahl in 1993: 'You're actually saying, I think, that -- that there are computer companies that are firing Americans in order to bring the lower-wage foreigners in...' And: '...that there is a deliberate attempt here to -- to take the Americans off the pay-roll and bring in someone who they'll pay half or less than half.'"

Paul McDougall _Information Week_
Out-sourcing Scrutinized: Federal out-sourcing to boom, but states may limit providers that shift jobs over-seas
"Input, a government IT market-research firm, last week said federal spending on IT out-sourcing, which stood at $6.6G in fiscal 2002, will soar to $15G in fiscal 2007, for an annual growth rate of 18%.   The $6.1G Navy and Marine Corps intranet program alone will push the growth rate for Defense Department out-sourcing spending to 19% in the next five years.   A move to limit Defense out-sourcing was defeated in the Senate last year.   However, some states may require government contractors to keep IT work in the United States.   New Jersey state senators, unhappy that calls to the state's welfare services line were routed to operators in India, last month approved a bill forbidding state agencies from using contractors that send work off-shore.   An Assembly version of the bill is pending.   New York could be next:"


2003-01-14 00:23PST (03:23EST) (08:23GMT)
Sham Training to Upgrade Technology Skills for Hillsborough County, FL, Workers
"As many as 1,500 workers in Hillsborough County will get training to upgrade their information technology skills over the next 2 years under a $3M federal grant.   The grant announced Monday was only the third awarded in Florida.   Money for the program comes from a $1K fee employers pay for each H-1B visa they obtain to hire a foreign worker with a specialized skill that companies say isn't available in the domestic work force...   US representative Jim Davis, a Tampa Democrat...   Congress created the grant program in 1998.   Davis was perplexed why Florida tech companies didn't initially push for the grants, which pay half the cost of training.   The money also reimburses companies for salaries of employees while they're learning new skills...   Besides paying to upgrade workers' skills, the grant has a small amount of money -- about $200K -- to give unemployed people entry-level training for information technology jobs, Benton said."

2003-01-14 13:52PST (16:52EST) (21:52GMT)
Jim Lobe _InterPress Service_/_Yahoo!_
Rights: War on Terror UnderMining US Credibility
"Human Rights Watch (HRW) Tuesday accused the administration of president George W. Bush of ignoring human rights in pursuit of its 'war on terrorism' and of driving the world toward a 'pre-modern Hobbesian order'...   Washington's tendency to see human rights 'mainly as an obstacle' to the war on terrorism was both dangerous and counter-productive...   HRW singled out the administration's efforts to exempt the United States from international law, for example by opposing the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC), because that imposes limits on US power [or protects the rights of US citizens against the depredations of the propsed international court]...   But serious problems also remained unresolved or flared up in 2002 - from deadly communal violence in Gujarat, India and the eruption of a full-scale Maoist outbreak in Nepal, to continuing violence in Colombia, Chechnya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and between Israelis and Palestinians.   Meanwhile, governments in Burma, [Red China], Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, North Korea and VietNam, among others, continued their repressive rule...   HRW also singled out a surge in large-scale deliberate attacks on civilians..."

2003-01-14 13:25PST (16:25EST) (21:25GMT)
Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch (quoted in Jim Lobe _InterPress Service_/_Yahoo!_
Rights: War on Terror UnderMining US Credibility
"''The United States is far from the world's worst human rights abuser.   But Washington has so much power today that when it flouts human rights standards, it damages the human rights cause worldwide."

2003-01-14 13:59PST (16:59EST) (21:59GMT)
Mark Gongloff _CNN_/_Money_
Are consumers giving up?: Not necessarily, say many economists, who don't worry much about weak December retail sales.
"December retail sales came in worse than many economists had expected, which may mean that the consumers who've carried the US economy on their backs in recent years are finally giving up...   The department also said retail sales grew just 3.4% in 2002, the sorriest performance since the government started keeping track in 1993...   2 years of a lousy stock market, job cuts and rising debts are finally taking their toll."

Eleanor Yang _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Public colleges face new cuts, fee increases: Research money, student services among targets
"In addition to fee hikes approved by their governing boards last month, University of California students could pay $795 a year more and Cal State University students $394 a year more.   But the largest number of students would be affected at the community college level, where fees on the 108 campuses would be more than doubled to $24 a unit ñ meaning the average San Diego community college student could pay $143 more next year...   Community college officials... say the cuts and hikes could force community colleges to deny access to as many as 146K students this fall...   In times of recession, Callan said, community colleges have a 'double problem' of absorbing funding cuts while coping with enrollment pressures due to higher unemployment."

Leigh Strope _San Diego Union-Tribune_/_AP_
Job searching could pay off in Bush proposal
"President Bush has proposed spending $3.6G over 2 years for states to create 're-employment accounts' of up to $3K for about 1.2M people collecting unemployment compensation who are having difficulty finding jobs.   The money could be used to pay the costs of looking for work, such as job training, transportation, child care and moving expenses...   But Emsellem said the proposal advances a 'very disturbing philosophy', which is that unemployed workers 'should be able to find a job if they look hard enough.   That assumes there are jobs out there to get.', he said.   Or, they will be encouraged to accept the lowest-paying jobs, 'which is cruel policy', he said.   About 1M people currently have exhausted their state and federal unemployment benefits, and an additional 250K will see theirs expire each week, Emsellem said.   The accounts, which still must get congressional approval, won't be available for months and won't help those people."


2003-01-14 16:11PST (19:11EST) (2003-01-15 00:11GMT)
Sital Patel _Medill News Service_/_MarketWatch_
Industry groups unite against digital piracy: Music, computer industries bury hatched on down-loads
"Leading companies in the music and computer industries agreed Tuesday to cooperate to stop digital piracy without government intervention...   Music, software and movie companies say downloading and copying of their content on computers and over the Internet is costing them billions of dollars each year...   The record industry said album sales fell nearly 7%, accounting for about $400M in lost revenue last year.   The movie industry says the cost of worldwide piracy is $3G a year...   The agreement was negotiated between the Recording Industry Association of America, the Business Software Alliance and the Computer Systems Policy Project.   The RIAA represents major music companies; the software alliance members include MSFT, Apple Computer, and Adobe Systems; the Computer Systems Policy Project represents IBM, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Dell Computer and many more."

2003-01-15 11:35PST (14:35EST) (19:35GMT)
_Charlotte Business Journal_
Survey: Growth in tech spending to decline
"CIO Insight magazine's most recent monthly survey of chief information officers.   The survey also reveals that while large companies expect a 0.5% decline in budgeted spending, small businesses will increase spending by 5% in the year ahead.   Chief information officers, however, say they expect a 4.4% increase in spending by 2004."

Michael Conlon _Reuters_/_AlertNet_
Military call-ups affecting US work-force
"The call to active military duty that has put tens of thousands of Americans back in uniform ahead of a possible war with Iraq has left sudden holes in the work-place...   Since the attacks on America on 2001 September 11, about 130K National Guard and reserve men and women from all services have been called up for differing periods from towns and cities across the country.   At present nearly 60K are on duty, about half in the United States and half overseas.   The US Army recently told about 10K that they are being called up, many to replace Air National Guard police protecting domestic air force bases.   The numbers are small in comparison to the entire US work-force where during 2002 alone 1.47M jobs were cut.   But John Challenger, head of the Chicago-based placement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas said there were effects in the health care and municipal services."

Alex Pelier _Tallahassee Democrat_/_AP_
Going uninsured not a bad bet for the young
"Laid off from his job at a computer software company in Philadelphia, AS wondered where he would find health coverage...   AS is one of an estimated 1.4M Americans who lost insurance coverage over the past year because of lay-offs.   The total number of uninsured now stands at 41M, according to the Census Bureau, and the number of young people without coverage is growing especially fast - those ages 18 to 34 increased by 800K in the last year to a total of more than 16M.   Many, because they are single and without children, take a chance on not getting seriously ill or injured, a decision some experts say isn't totally foolish.   'It's not a bad bet.', said Len Nichols, an economist at the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, DC...   Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a health care consumer advocacy group, said for most unemployed people, there's no choice but to go without insurance...   The Bush administration has proposed tax credits for an estimated 25M people who cannot get employer-sponsored or public insurance, a move that could especially help young, healthy people for whom premiums are not that high."

David Rohde _NY Times_
$3M US Computer Theft, Hatched It Seems in Pakistan
"Last month, Pakistani and American investigators arrested Khurram Iftikhar, a 25-year-old Pakistani college drop-out.   The case, investigators say, demonstrates the increasing sophistication of Internet surveillance technology by investigators and the global reach of on-line fraud.   From the comfort of his home and office in Karachi, investigators say, Mr. Iftikhar stole more than $3M worth of computer equipment.   He did it using key-strokes, mouse clicks, phone calls and faxes, as well as occasional 2-hour flights to nearby Dubai.   There, he rented an apartment, bought a BMW and occasionally paid Federal Express, one of many American companies he is accused of duping."


Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 717,098 in the week ending January 11, an increase of 97,368 from the previous week.   There were 799,246 initial claims in the comparable week in 2002.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5% during the week ending January 4, an increase of 0.3 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,451,779, an increase of 384,791 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 3.6% and the volume was 4,685,080."

2003-01-16 06:59PST (09:59EST) (14:59GMT)
Rachel Koning _MarketWatch_
CPI, core rate rise 0.1%: 4-week jobless claims down 32K
"A 0.4% decline in the energy index on back of a 0.2% November drop, helped contain retail price increases last month.   This index had risen each month since July...   The food index rose 0.3% as more expensive fruit offset price declines for poultry.   Some service areas continue to show price gains, raising at least mild concern among economists.   Housing costs rose 0.2%.   Medical care was up 0.3%...   Clothing prices dropped 0.5%.   Consumer prices rose 1.8% in the fourth quarter, a slower pace than the 2.5% gains in each of the preceding 2 periods and a 3% quarterly gain in the first 3 months of the year.   For all of 2002, the CPI ran at a 2.4% gain, up from 2001's very tepid 1.6% rise.   Still, over the year, unadjusted core inflation was running at a mild 1.9%...   Undoubtedly, with more than 2M jobs lost since the 2001 recession, the labor market remains of chief concern for policymakers and more importantly, consumers...   The closely watched four-week moving average of jobless claims fell 19,500 to 387,500, the lowest total in 6 weeks.   This number removes the weekly seasonal shifts that often skew the results.   The weekly number also fell, down 32K to 360K.   A 2-week claims decline of 49K offers some evidence the pace of lay-offs has slowed, while hiring remains weak.   The number of Americans who continue to collect unemployment insurance benefits fell 136K to 3.29M.   The insured unemployment rate fell to 2.6% from 2.7% in the previous week."

2002-01-16 07:39PST (10:39EST) (15:39GMT)
Jeordan Legon _CNN_
For sale: Personal strap-on air-craft
"The SoloTrek, which is 7-feet-tall and weighs more than 300 pounds, can hover for 2 hours at a time and flies at speeds up to 69 miles per hour, Moshier said.   Its 2 overhead ducted fans are gas-powered and make as much noise as a leaf blower."
see also: "From your garage to your destination, the M400 Skycar can cruise comfortably at 350+ MPH and achieve up to 28 miles per gallon."

_CNET_/_Business Week_
Pentagon data-base plan hits snag on Hill: A plan to link databases of credit card companies, health insurers and others -- creating what critics call a 'domestic surveillance apparatus' -- raises concern on Capitol Hill.
"If fully implemented, TIA would link databases from sources such as credit card companies, medical insurers and motor vehicle departments for police convenience in hopes of snaring terrorists [or anyone else the government takes a disliking to at some future date]...   On Tuesday, a coalition of civil liberties groups sent a letter to Congress asking that hearings be convened to investigate TIA."

Mellody Hobson _abc News_
Where the Jobs Are, 2003: Knowing Where to Look Is Half the Battle
"Smaller companies tend to lead the curve on hiring following a recession and are faster to ramp up or down because they are more nimble.   Instead of relying on temporary hires or part-time employees, smaller companies generally fill their positions with full-time employees [and treat them as temporaries]...   Thanks to a handful of new laws enacted to protect consumers from credit fraud and identity theft, corporate America is in need of privacy officers.   Instead of just the CEO's, COO's, and CIO's, the new era now includes a CPO-Chief Privacy Officer.   In fact, positions dedicated to protecting consumer identity will account for an additional 30K new hires by 2006, according to the recruiting firm Privacy Leaders.   For example, by April, health-care providers will be required to appoint an employee, or hire a new one, to oversee the safeguarding of patient data.   While many of these new positions are targeted at the executive level especially from within the legal profession, it is predicted the fastest growth will be in entry-level and mid-level jobs such as project managers and compliance officers which offer annual salaries between $40K and $80K a year.   In addition, finance, marketing and technology companies may have to hire entire departments dedicated to customer privacy."

John McGhee _Denver Post_
Sun Microsystems accused of job bias
"A former Sun Microsystems employee has accused the computer giant of firing American workers as part of a plot to run the firm with cheaper, foreign labor.   Palo Alto, CA-based Sun terminated more than 2,500 employees on the basis of race and national origin in 2001, according to [the] suit...   She said company managers believed they would save money by getting rid of US nationals...   By 2001 January, when Sun employed approximately 26K employees in the United States, roughly 20% of the work-force was East Indian, the suit said.   Most were in America on H1-B visas...   Almost all of those laid off were US nationals, according to the suit."

Gary Boyle _HillTop Times_
Speaker details how 'dream still lives'
"Following the presentation, major general Scott Bergren, Ogden ALC commander, presented Kyles with a Buffalo Soldier plaque, inscribed with a quote by King, reading 'peace is not merely the absence of aggression but the presence of justice'."

Andrew Olivastro _Heritage Foundation_
Tax Cuts: Rhetoric vs. Reality: Who are the Rich?
citing 2003-01-12 David Leonhardt _NY Times_
Who Are the Truly Rich? (with map and graphs based on 2-3 year old data)



2003-01-17 07:06PST (10:06EST) (15:06GMT)
UMich consumer sentiment index dropped: Closely watched measure of consumer confidence much weaker than expected in January.
"The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell to 83.7 from 86.7 in December, according to a Reuters report.   Economists, on average, expected a reading of 87.0, according to Briefing.com"
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis
Federal Reserve Board St. Louis

2003-01-17 16:20PST (13:20EST) (18:20GMT)
Alorie Gilbert _CNET_
Will Silicon Valley get its mojo back?
"They were most hopeful about the future of broadband Internet service, wireless computing and communication, voice-over IP, advances in computer networking and data center technology, computer security, embedded computers and the Linux operating system...   A trend toward out-sourcing technology jobs and operations to Asia is also a fundamental change reshaping the Bay Area."

_Tech TV_
"If you think just because you have an unlisted phone number and address that someone can't find out where you live, you're wrong.   There are hundreds of on-line companies selling personal information about you, and if it gets into the wrong hands, that data could be used to steal your identity.   Make no mistake about it, Identity Theft is the one crime that can effect us all.   There are no exceptions.   Find out all you can about ID Theft."
Privacy links

Tania Anderson _Washington DC Business Journal_
there's a lot of unemployed people with IT backgrounds

Gary Gentile _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
California state unemployment rises in December
"California's unemployment rose slightly in December to 6.6%, up from a revised 6.5% in November, reflecting a continuing slow-down in the state's technology sector and the nation's overall sluggish economy.   The rate remained above the 6.1% recorded in December 2001...   The split between Northern and Southern California remains, with unemployment in Orange County at 3.7% and unemployment in San Diego County at 4% in December...   Unemployment in Santa Clara County, the heart of Silicon Valley, fell slightly to 7.5% in December.   That continues a downward trend over the last few months.   Unemployment in Santa Clara County was 7.8% in November and 8.1% in October.   The EDD reported Friday that pay-roll unemployment dropped by 15,400 jobs over the month.   Compared with 2001 December, the state lost 25,800 non-farm jobs.   About 1.165M Californians were unemployed during the month, an increase of 10K from November and 97K compared with 2001 December...     Of the 1.16M people unemployed in California last month, 697,900 were laid off, 81,600 left their jobs voluntarily, and the rest were either re-entering the job market or joining it for the first time."



Diane E. Lewis _Boston Globe_
Laid-off IT professionals get political: Survey highlights concerns of tech jobless; aim is to spur job creation in state
"Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the jobless rate for computer scientists jumped from 3.4% to 5% between 2001 and 2002.   During the same period, the unemployment rate for electrical and electronics engineers increased from 2% to 4.2%...   When CIO magazine polled information technology executives about hiring in 2001 January, 55% said IT labor was hard to find.   By 2002 December, only 6.6% said they were having difficulty recruiting IT employees, noted Gary Beach, publisher of the Framingham magazine.   He said that when a rebound does occur, it may take 6 months before cautious CIOs begin to aggressively hire additional IT staff."

Lawrence M. Fisher _NY Times_
Survey Finds Job-Rich Silicon Valley Has Turned Fallow
"Silicon Valley lost 127K jobs, or about 9% of its employment, from the first quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2002, according to a report to be published Monday by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a non-profit group formed to promote the area.   Job losses in the period equaled more than half the total job gains for the valley from 1998 to 2000.   Losses were particularly acute among those industries the survey defined as 'driving' clusters -- software, semiconductors and computer and communications hardware -- which lost 22% of their jobs from the second quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2002.   At the same time, average pay in Silicon Valley declined 6%, to $62,500 a year, after accounting for inflation.   This was the second year of decline from the peak of $79,800 in 2000.   The Silicon Valley average remains above the 1998 level, and is still sharply higher than the nation's average pay of $38,400."

Sheryl Silver _LA Times_
Survey: Increase in Hiring Expected
"The tally is in and it appears that nearly 1.5M in planned lay-offs were announced in 2002, according to The Challenger Employment Report, a study by Chicago firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks lay-offs.   Although that number may seem disturbingly large, the fact is it represents a decrease of 25% from the number of planned lay-offs announced in 2001...   Management Recruiters International [MRI], a division of CDI Corp. with offices throughout California, the survey found 45.2% of the 630 executives surveyed have plans to add to their executive, professional and management ranks during the first six months of this year.   That number represents an increase of 2.8% from the second half of 2002 and 6.8% from the same time a year ago.   Another encouraging survey result: only 5.9% of those surveyed plan to decrease their employee ranks in these same categories.   That number is down by 6.4 points from 12.3% of MRI survey respondents that projected employee cuts for the first half of 2002.   The remaining 48.9% of survey respondents indicated plans to maintain their current staff sizes...   By comparison, only 30% of telecommunications and 21.7% of technology sector executives responding to the survey indicated plans to add staff in these categories."


2003-01-20 09:56PST (12:56EST) (17:56GMT)
Coretta Scott King
King's widow calls for 'peaceful ends through peaceful means'
"We commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. as a great champion of peace who warned us that war was a poor chisel for carving out a peaceful tomorrow.   We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.   Martin said, 'True peace is not just the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.'."

Scott Kirsner _Boston Globe_
In software industry, a passage to India
"Today, the textile industry thrives in other parts of the world, like Pakistan.   The last remaining shirt factory in the United States, located in Maine, ceased operations in 2002...   Fast forward a few years, and programmers could be just as scarce.   Much of the work of cranking out code will have moved to places like India, Russia, [Red China], and the Philippines, where it can be done much more cheaply - by some estimates, at a third of the cost of creating software in the United States.   A recent report from Forrester Research predicts that, by 2015, the US will lose nearly half a million [500K] computer-related jobs to other countries.   Most will go to India.   While the business of producing and maintaining software in the United States is stuck in quicksand, it is growing at an annual rate of 30% in India...   Already, the state's biggest software company, PTC of Needham (formerly known as Parametric Technology), has more than 200 of its 1,100 product development employees based in Pune, India...   Oddly, though, Boston-area programmers don't seem like they're on the verge of marching, striking, demonstrating, or even flaming their representative in Congress."

Rob Sanchez _Job Destruction News-Letter_
Leslie Stahl shills for cheap foreign nurses


Shirleen Holt _Seattle Times_
Twin whammy: no job, no aid
"Many workers in high-tech, biotechnology and manufacturing who lost their jobs early in the recession, however, used up all 65 weeks of benefits without finding work...   a 52-year-old computer programmer from Kirkland, is in similar straits.   He has been out of work since 2001 August, when he was laid off from a software company where he earned $100K a year...   She found contract work...   With the technology industry still in a slump, and even minimum-wage service jobs out of reach..."
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.

2003-01-21 14:12PST (17:12EST) (22:12GMT)
Lisa M. Bowman _CNET_
Silicon Valley drops into economic gulch
"Office lease rates, venture capital investments and salaries have dropped to near-1998 levels, wiping out the gains made over the past 5 years, according to an annual report by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley...   The average pay declined 6% in 2002 compared with the previous year, and per capita income was down 4%.   The average salary in the valley has fallen to $62,500 a year from a peak of $79,800 in 2000.   The national average is $38,400.   The region also lost jobs for the second year in a row, with the software industry being the hardest hit.   The study said the biggest hit to the work force happened during 2001, when the number of jobs dropped from 1.5M to 1.35M.   The number of jobs remained relatively steady through the first half of 2002.   Venture capital investment, which fueled the late 1990s boom, tumbled 42%, to $4.8G, in 2002 compared with 2001, returning to 1998-1999 levels.   The value of the average deal dropped to $9.9M in 2002 from $12.2M in 2001.   Software companies landed 22% of the funding, the largest share, followed by networking, telecommunications and semiconductor companies."

2003-01-21 09:08PST (12:08EST) (17:08GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Housing starts hit 16-year high
"New starts of homes and apartments rose about 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.835M, the highest in more than 16 years.   Single-family starts rose about 5% to 1.473M, the most in 24 years.   Building permits surged 8% to 1.88M in December, also the highest in 16 years.   Permits for single-family homes rose about 3% to a record 1.4M.   For all of 2002, 1.705M homes were started, the highest since 1986's 1.805M.   Builders started work on 1.36M single-family homes in 2002, the most since 1978's 1.43M."

Bob Ivry _NorthJersey.com_
Times tough, traffic steady at unemployment office
"The line never gets shorter at the state unemployment office in Hackensack...   More than 34K people in Bergen and Passaic counties are out of work.   The jobless rate here stands at 5.2%, below the state rate of 5.6% and the national rate of 6%.   That difference, however, is no comfort to the people coming in and out of the unemployment office.   Some are bitter over bad treatment by employers.   Others figure a positive outlook will help them find work.   Some see storm clouds coming - not just for them, but for America."


2003-01-21 21:01PST (2003-01-22 00:01EST) 2003-01-22 05:01GMT)
Barbara Kollmeyer _MarketWatch_
Where to look for employment in the year ahead
"December pay-rolls fell 101K, surprising most economists who expected growth...   '51% of people changed industries for a new job in the last quarter. &nbs;You're defined by the field you're in, not the industry or company that you think you need to be in.', said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray and Christmas outplacement company...   The health services industry added 270,000 jobs between the fourth quarter of 2001 and the same period last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)...   6 years of higher-level education can land a graduate in a basic retail pharmacy position, starting at $80K, plus signing bonuses, said Rich Barnhart, vice-president of Pharmacy Choice, a professional pharmacy and pharmaceutical industries group.   'We estimate there are 7K to 8K open-pharmacist positions.'...   In specific demand are IT workers for companies that produce security related products..."

2003-01-22 02:39PST (05:39EST) (10:39GMT)
Will Lester _SF Chronicle_/_AP_
Cities under intense pressure to deal with homeland security needs, struggling economy, state woes
"The nation's mayors say cities need billions in immediate aid and are asking leaders in Washington for more money for governors and the states as they try to build a coalition that could push more effectively for federal help to local and state governments."

2003-01-22 05:53PST (08:53EST) (13:53GMT)
Will Lester & Leigh Strope _SF Chronicle_/_AP_
States, cities, labor leaders join forces to press for immediate state aid

2003-01-22 08:32PST (11:32EST) (16:32GMT)
Mark Gongloff _CNN_/_Money_
Disability rolls rise, skew labor data: Recent research finds a 60% jump in number of disability recipients keeping unemployment low. (with graphs)
"The 'labor force', 142.5M strong, does not include people who draw disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).   As of December 2002, there were about 5.5M adults getting disability benefits, totaling about $4.6G a month.   After 1984, when Congress made the process for screening potential disability recipients -- figuring out who's 'disabled' and who's not -- a lot easier, the number of disability recipients more than doubled, jumping from 2.6M to 5.3M, according to research by MIT economist David Autor and Chicago economist Mark Duggan, which will be published in MIT's Quarterly Journal of Economics in February."

2003-01-22 11:58PST (14:58EST) (19:58GMT)
Tom Kilgore _MarketWatch_
Dow loses 500 in 5 days, now sits below December 31 close
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average is off 105 points to 8,338, which is 505 points below where it closed last Wednesday.   The blue-chip barometer is now 4 points below the level at which it closed on December 31."

_Tallahassee Democrat_
David Twiddy "Tough" state budget proposed by JEBush
Melanie Yeager Higher-education cuts deeper than expected
Nancy Cook Lauer Agency merger would save millions
Bill Cotterell JEBush budget hits government employees hard
Florida budget high-lights

Michael Kinsman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Federal judge refuses to clamp down on Hollywood age discrimination
"A Superior Court judge dismissed a class-action law-suit brought by more than 175 writers who alleged that television networks, Hollywood studios and talent agencies discriminate against those over 40.   In a decision disclosed this week, Judge Charles W. McCoy Jr. ruled some of the alleged violations occurred outside the statute of limitations and that the writers first must prove their claims on an individual basis before they can show an industrywide pattern of discrimination."


2003-01-23 04:44PST (07:44EST) (12:44GMT)
_SF Chronicle_/_AP_
Index of leading economic indicators rises marginally, third straight month
"The Index of Leading Economic Indicators increased 0.1% in December to 111.3, according to the New York-based Conference Board.   The index rose 0.5% in November and 0.2% in October."

Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 539,557 in the week ending January 18, a decrease of 184,332 from the previous week.   There were 558,297 initial claims in the comparable week in 2002.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.3% during the week ending January 11, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,208,957, a decrease of 281,688 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 3.3% and the volume was 4,290,623."

2003-01-23 07:30PST (10:30EST) (15:30GMT)
Rachel Koning _MarketWatch_
Jobless claims average dips: Economists say seasonal quirks cloud data
"The number of Americans who continue to collect benefits rose 87K to 3.41M.   But the four-week average of continuous claims fell to 3.38M, the lowest since 2001-10-06.   The insured unemployment rate was 2.7%, an increase from the prior week's 2.6%, the Labor Department said."

Paul Craig Roberts _Washington Times_
U.S. departing the First World?
"America has turned its back on Americans.   Even illegal aliens count higher with the American government than native-born, tax-paying, loyal US citizens, who are regarded by their government as nothing but resources to be exploited.   American tax-payers now are expected to shoulder the burden of paying for university educations for illegal aliens.   When US representative Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, said recently that illegal aliens should be deported, not given in-state tuition, Karl Rove, the Power Behind the Bush, told Mr. Tancredo never again to darken the steps of the White House...   Do you remember the 'shortage' of computer software engineers, cooked up by corporations who wanted to replace American engineers by importing Indian and [Red Chinese] engineers at a fraction of the salary?   This practice has been good for the bonuses of corporate CEOs, but today the young American software engineers who followed Warren Buffet's advice to 'invest in yourselves' are unemployed...   They mean there is a shortage of American-trained nurses willing to work at a 'world wage', which is an average of US and Third World wages.   This is a clever way of creating a shortage.   There definitely was a shortage of American software engineers at below American wage levels.   That's why the supply of computer engineers was expanded to include India and [Red China]...   Between the importation of foreign labor and the export of US jobs, the future is not bright for young Americans.   US manufacturers, both labor-intensive and high-tech, are rapidly relocating off-shore.   The off-shore flight takes with it design, engineering, and research and development jobs.   Back-office and clerical jobs are also being moved off-shore.   If WM has its way, nothing will be produced in America."

_Conference Board_
U.S. Leading Index Improves for Third Straight Month
"The leading index now stands at 111.3 (1996=100)...   The coincident index now stands at 115.2 (1996=100)."

Metro areas hard hit by mass job losses
"Metropolitan areas in the United States lost 646K jobs in 2002, according to a report released as mayors pushed for federal help to spur their local economies...   Their concerns were underscored by the report on jobs that showed significant increases in lost jobs in many major cities in 2002.   New York lost 82,300, 6 times as many as the jobs the metro area lost in 2001; Chicago lost 56K, more than 3 times the number of jobs lost in 2001; and Atlanta lost 51,800 jobs, 5 times the number lost in 2001...   The job losses in 2002 followed the recession year of 2001, which saw employment declines in Midwestern manufacturing centers as well as high-tech areas.   The current downturn in jobs was geographically broad-based last year after the heaviest declines in 2001 were in the NorthEast and West.   The report, which was completed for mayors by the economic research firm Global Insight, found that it could take a full year of growth before metro employment reaches 2000 levels."

Ben Klayman _Yahoo!_/_Reuters_
Cisco Accuses Red China's Huawei of Copying Software
"Cisco Systems Inc., the No. 1 maker of gear that directs Internet traffic, said on Thursday it filed a law-suit against Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., alleging [Red China's] largest telecom equipment maker unlawfully copied its operating software.   Cisco, based in San Jose, California, said it filed the law-suit late Wednesday in US District Court in Marshall, Texas, alleging Huawei unlawfully copied its intellectual property, including software source code.   It also alleged Huawei copied its documents and other copyrighted materials, and infringed several company patents...   US software developers, entertainment companies, book publishers and drug-makers have complained that [Red China's] poor enforcement of laws against copying their products was costing them billions of dollars a year."

Catherine Valenti _abc News_
Repo Nation: As the Recession Wears On, Repossessions Rise
"After losing her job and getting behind on her car payments for 3 months, the finance company that provided her car loan decided to repossess her automobile in the middle of the night -- a time repo experts say is the best way to insure a peaceful repossession.   [She] is not alone.   Automobile repossessions by banks have been increasing steadily since the first quarter of 2001, according to the American Bankers Association.   In the third quarter of 2002, 1.29 of every 1K bank-originated car loans ended up in repossession -- an increase of almost 60% from the first quarter of 2001...   Consumer's debt loads fell by an unexpected $2.2G in November, the biggest drop since 1991 October.   Still, Americans as a whole continue their love affair with debt -- taking on around $147G in new debt since the beginning of 2001, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve...   Used vehicle prices in December declined by 5.5% from December of last year, according to Atlanta-based Manheim Auctions, one of the country's largest auto auctioneers.   On an annual average basis, used vehicle prices declined 2.9% in 2002 versus a drop of 1.5% in 2001...   The average net loss per repossessed car was $6,033 in 2001, up from $5,325 in 2000, according to the latest figures from the Consumer Bankers Association, the Arlington, VA-based retail banking trade association known as the CBA."
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.

Jenny Deam _Denver Post_
Job one: Get hired
"Two years ago, in early 2001, the 6 offices had a combined total of about 5K visits from clients per month (which includes multiple visits by the same person)...   that number climbed steadily, first to 8K, then 9K and then 9,500.   In every month of 2002, it averaged 10K...   Unemployment in metro Denver as of 2000 December: 2.5%, or 7,005 people who are not working and looking for jobs.   In metro area: 1.8%, or 21,401 people.   Unemployment in metro Denver as of 2002 November: 5.3%, or 62,330.   Number of jobs lost in the region in 2002: about 40K.   Number of years the state has lost jobs during last 50 years: 3."

Condoleezza Rice
Why We Know Iraq Is Lying
"There is no mystery to voluntary disarmament.   Countries that decide to disarm lead inspectors to weapons and production sites, answer questions before they are asked, state publicly and often the intention to disarm and urge their citizens to cooperate.   The world knows from examples set by South Africa, Ukraine and Kazakhstan what it looks like when a government decides that it will cooperatively give up its weapons of mass destruction...   Iraq's behavior could not offer a starker contrast.   Instead of a commitment to disarm, Iraq has a high-level political commitment to maintain and conceal its weapons, led by Saddam Hussein and his son Qusay, who controls the Special Security Organization, which runs Iraq's concealment activities.   Instead of implementing national initiatives to disarm, Iraq maintains institutions whose sole purpose is to thwart the work of the inspectors...   [The Iraqi government has failed to explain its] efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the United Nations in Iraq's accounting for more than 2 tons of the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other biological weapons...   Iraq is not allowing inspectors 'immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted access' to facilities and people involved in its weapons program."


2003-01-23 21:02PST (2003-01-24 00:02EST) (2003-01-24 05:02GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _CBS.MarketWatch.com
All Eyes on Your Medical Records
"HIPAA was designed to balance privacy interests against the desire for more efficiency and information-sharing among health care providers in the digital age, and patients should expect a slow cultural shift.   Prior to the law, businesses were used to handing over documents with few questions asked, Gellman says."

2003-01-24 01:53PST (04:53EST) (09:53GMT)
Jonathan Fowler _AP_/_Yahoo!_
World Unemployment Reaches 180M
"The number of jobless worldwide has risen by 20M people over the past 2 years and hundreds of millions more are employed but make so little money they can barely survive, the United Nations labor agency said Friday...   The figure represents 6.5% of a total global labor force of 2.8G people, the ILO said.   The last report, in 2001, said the number out of work was 160M -- or 5.9% of a then 2.7G labor force...   The number of people unemployed in the European Union dipped in 2001 but rose again last year to 7.6% of the labor force, the report said.   In the United States 5.6% were unemployed last year while in Canada the figure was 7.6%.   In Latin America average unemployment was 10%.   In Argentina, hit hard by economic crisis, it reached a record 22%...   By the end of 2002 the [number of working poor who earn less than $1 per day] reached 550M, a level last seen during Asia's economic meltdown in the late 1990s."

2003-01-24 07:30PST (10:30EST) (15:30GMT)
Declan McCullagh _CNET_
Senate limits Pentagon "snooping" plan
"[The amendment] bans TIA after 2 months unless Congress receives a detailed report or President George W. Bush decides that a halt would 'endanger the national security of the United States'."

2003-01-24 13:17PST (16:17EST) (21:17GMT)
Rachel Koning _MarketWatch_
Dollar's losing streak hits 9 days: Green-back hits fresh 3-year low vs. euro
"Early on Friday, a dollar hit a fresh 3-year low at $1.0812 per euro, from $1.0745 in Thursday, and remained near that low in the US session.   The dollar has lost just under 10% of its value to euro over the past 3 months...   Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 117.90 Friday from 118.12, but had been firmer for much of the week on speculation Japan would act to shore up the dollar, depressing the yen to keep Japanese exports competitive on world markets."

2003-01-24 13:36PST (16:36EST) (21:36GMT)
Leslie Haggin Geary _CNN_/_Money_
Opportunities are still slim for job seekers
"The U.S. economy lost some 200K jobs last year and the number of classified job ads placed in newspapers nationwide has fallen to a 40-year low, according to Ken Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board, which tracks job data.   At the same time, the National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that companies expect to hire 3.6% fewer grads this year."

Leslie Eaton _NY Times_
Bleak Forecast as City Jobless Rate Climbs
"The jobless rate jumped to 8.4% in December, up from 8% in November, after adjustment for seasonal factors, according to the New York State Department of Labor...   In the last 12 months, the city's unemployment rate has jumped by 1.1 percentage points; nationally, the jobless rate has risen just 0.2 percentage points in the same period, and now stands at 6%...   Companies in the city have already eliminated close to 175K jobs in the last 2 years, including 11,700 in December, according to the New York City Comptroller's Office, which adjusts Labor Department data to reflect seasonal factors...   the city lost 1.2% of its pay-rolls in 2002, a drop 6 times as big as the national decline of 0.2%."

Kathleen Megan _Hartford Courant_
Buddy, Can You Spare A Job?: Unemployment A Common Bond For All Too Many
"There were people in their 50s and 60s who had been laid off after decades with the same company; people in mid-career stride who were laid off or down-sized or decided to quit an existing but unsatisfying job; and those fresh from college with dozens of rÈsumÈs in hand.   Most were unemployed, accounting for the 4.4% unemployment rate in Connecticut, the 34K jobs lost in the past 21/2 years.   More than 3K people turned up for the CareerBuilder Career Fair, owned and operated by The Courant."

Thomas Hoffman _ComputerWorld_
Big shift in IT jobs to outs-ourcing predicted
"As many as 35% to 45% of US and Canadian IT workers will find themselves replaced by contractors, consultants, off-shore technicians and part-time workers [the bodies shopped] by 2005, according to a report issued this week by New Canaan, CN-based Foote Partners LLC...   [For some] out-sourcing hasn't proved to be a lower-cost alternative to keeping IT inside corporate walls...   Foote said he based his estimates on surveys his company conducted last year with 1,880 private-sector and government employers..."

Brandon Ferguson _AP_/_San Diego Union-Tribune_
FBI investigating theft of data on international students
FBI Probes U. of Kansas Theft of Data
"...personal information was taken.   That included Social Security, passport and university identification numbers, cities and countries of origin and programs of study...   It's the kind of information that can be used to create fraudulent pass-ports and other IDs, said Chris Wysopal, a security expert with AtStake Inc., a computer security firm in Cambridge, MA.   The hacking apparently occurred January 17 and was reported to police and immigration officials on Wednesday, 5 days later."

Roger M. Showley _San Diego Union-Tribune_
SD housing-price rise leads region: Appreciation for full year may be greatest in state
"Locally based DataQuick Information Systems said yesterday that San Diego's 24.8% increase in median home prices compared with a regionwide median increase of 17%.   The median San Diego home sale in December was for $357K, compared with $289K for all of Southern California...   In December, Orange County continued to boast the region's highest-priced homes, with 4,435 properties selling for a median $385K, up 16% from December 2001.   Los Angeles had the most sales, 10,207 homes that sold for a median $279K, up 19.7% year over year.   Riverside County saw the highest volume growth, 4,830 homes, up 33.1% year over year.   The median price was up 13% to $226K for the same period.   San Bernardino had the lowest price, $174K, up 9.4%.   The sixth Southern California county, Ventura, turned in a median of $348K, up 14.5% on a sales volume of 1,449 homes...   In the December sales report, DataQuick listed the single-family-home resale median as $355K, tying the record set in August but up 24.3% from a year earlier.   Resale condominiums sold for a record $263K, up 36.3% over the same period...   The Burbank-based Construction Industry Research Board, which tracks building permits, said 14,234 houses, condominiums and apartments were authorized last year, compared with 15,650 in 2001 and 15,927 in 2000.   There were 8,569 single-family homes, row homes and town houses approved countywide last year, down from 9,326 in 2001 and 9,167 in 2000.   Apartments and stacked-flat condos totaled 5,665, down from 6,324 in 2001 and 6,760 in 2000.   In non-residential permit activity, as measured by value of permits issued, San Diego County hit $1.15G last year, down from $1.19G in 2001.   Total building permit valuation, including residential and non-residential, was $4.29G, down from $4.36G.   Among non-residential sectors, industrial permits were $127.3M, compared with $90.3M in 2001; office buildings were down to $119.2M from $169.4M; retail was relatively unchanged at $139.3M, up from $138.7M; and hotels and motels were up to $97.2M from $72.2M."

Ellen Almer _Front Page magazine_
Who is the Cheap Labor Lobby?
"the Law of Supply and Demand applies to labor as much as to any other thing that is bought and sold.   That is to say, if one increases the supply of labor relative to demand, its price will fall.   That price is your salary, friend.   And mass immigration is inexorably driving it down.   Well, maybe not your salary personally, if you are lucky enough to work in a sector of the economy that is sheltered, for some reason, from the effects of immigrant labor, as lawyers are by the fact that few immigrants have American law degrees.   But it is the salary of your neighbors, and it is being depressed by an influx of cheap labor...   Every measure -- by the Census Bureau and others -- shows [immigrants] as being massively poorer, less educated, and less likely to attain middle-class status than native Americans...   Some of cheap labor's biggest lobbyists:

  1. The high-tech industry...
  2. The meat packing industry...
  3. Clothing manufacturers...
  4. Unions...
  5. The hotel and restaurant industry...
  6. The ultra-wealthy...
  7. The US Chamber of Commerce...
  8. The governors of certain rural, Midwestern states (such as Iowa) whose populations are shrinking...
Cheap labor is not real capitalism, it is corporatism, for cheap labor is subsidized by the government, which ends up paying the health and welfare costs...   All tax-payers bear the cost...   there are no jobs that Americans 'won't do'.   There are jobs that Americans wonít do at the wage being offered...   Who's fighting the cheap labor lobby?   For one thing, the 235,000 members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.-USA and the American Engineering Association.   Last summer they chastised Congress for facilitating the cheap labor lobby when there were so many unemployed American engineers with training in high-demand skills such as C++ and Java.   According to the IEEE-USA, the unemployment rate for electrical and electronics engineers was up to 4.8% by last summer, compared to 4.1% for the first quarter of the year.   In addition, the jobless rate for computer scientists was 5.3%, up from 4.8% in the first quarter.   Among older engineers, who can easily be scrapped for new foreign workers, the rates are much worse."


Kim Berry _Family Injustice_
Congress authorizes foreigners to sponsor immigrants to the USA

Kristi Heim _San Jose Mercury News_
Labor group protests off-shore tech hiring: It claims cost-cutting hurts US workers
"To stem what it calls the 'Great Tech Job Exodus', the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers has set up a Web site to help tech workers forward e-mails to their elected officials, urging them to examine the legality and long-term effects of the growing trend...   WashTech, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America, also has supported a class-action lawsuit by contract workers at MSFT -- so-called 'permatemps'...   The group Friday posted an internal MSFT document that outlined its growing reliance on contractors, mostly software engineers, in India to cut labor costs and run an 18-hour production cycle...   MSFT is adding 4K new positions in the United States this year and 1K positions overseas, she said...   MSFT maintains a development center in Hyderabad, India, and a customer-service center in Shanghai...   Oracle of Redwood Shores is opening a new software development center in Beijing and adding 2K engineers for applications development work in India.   Last year, the company cut 200 US software applications development jobs...   Frager [of Los Gatos] said his son, a software engineer in the valley, lost his job in October when his employer told him he was being replaced by 10 engineers in Russia for half the cost...   'They say we can't find enough qualified US engineers, but there are enough.   It's because of the cost differential...' "


_Chicago Tribune_
Unemployment angst has spread
"James E. Challenger, president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a national out-placement firm based in Chicago, says one way to lessen the anxiety a child may feel when a parent is looking for work is to make them part of the process.   Involve children in the job search by assigning them small tasks, like clipping newspaper articles about area companies or helping with searches for new jobs...   Chicago's average one-way commute time is 29.7 minutes, according to the US Census Bureau, but your time can be much longer if you live in Park Ridge and work in Oak Lawn."


2003-01-26 21:03PST (2003-01-27 00:03EST) (2003-01-27 05:03GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _MarketWatch_
Employers fertile ground for ID theft: Companies, workers wise to lock files, personal property
"Employees with access to supposedly confidential employment records can glean [Socialist Insecurity] numbers and other personal information that allow them to take over a colleague's financial life, and evidence suggests these kinds of inside the work-place fraud jobs are growing, consumer advocates said...   Identity theft was Americans' No. 1 fraud-related gripe to the government last year for the third year in a row, comprising 43% of consumer fraud complaints in 2002, according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission.   What's more, 9 out of 10 of business record thefts involved pay-roll or employment files, while only 1 in 10 were customer lists, the FTC says.   Many companies are lax about releasing information to people who call claiming to be an employee's landlord or bank, for example, but workers are just as guilty of neglecting common sense privacy safeguards in their own work stations, said Lewis Maltby, president of the National Work Rights Institute in Princeton, NJ...   Companies often will honor a written request for discretion should an employee be unsatisfied with the policy, Maltby... suggesting employees first ask, 'Under what circumstance will you release personal information about me?   What's the policy?'   The right answer would be 'Only with your permission or a court order.'   Job applicants also need to be wary of turning over their Social Security numbers on application forms as is routinely requested, she said.   Those who feel uncomfortable about challenging a potential employer instead may offer to supply the number upon request should the negotiation become serious, which also helps the company limit its liability in protecting the information, Foley said."

2003-01-27 09:01PST (12:01EST) (17:01GMT)
Steve Kerch _MarketWatch_
Tomorrow's top housing markets: Job growth fueling sales in eight states, trade group says
"Only 20 of the 50 states reported employment growth in the 12-months ended 2002 October 31.   Only 6 saw growth of more than 1%."

2003-01-27 11:15PST (14:15EST) (19:15GMT)
Alison McCook _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_/_Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin_ 2003 #29 pp164-169
Early Career Success Linked to Early Grave
"US governors elected to their post at a relatively young age tend to have a shorter life-span than those elected in their later years, new research shows.   The author of the research has noted a similar trend in early achievers who were US presidents, Canadian prime ministers and Nobel laureates.   [and psychologists]...   McCann based his current findings on 1,672 male governors who had served and died by 1978.   On average, former governors reached their posts at age 49, but age at election ranged from 23 to 81 years.   The average age of death was age 70, but ranged from 32 to 103...   a previous study of a small sample of women who have won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress suggested that early female achievers may also have a shorter life-span."

Jeffrey Kosseff _Oregonian_/_Bloomberg News_/_AP_
Portland-area employment declines in past 2 years
"The total number of non-farm jobs in the Portland area was down 17,200 for 2002 and 2,800 for 2001, according to a report released Thursday by the state Employment Department.   Unlike the state as a whole, the Portland area isn't adding jobs yet.   Oregon's non-farm pay-roll was up 4,500 in December from a year ago...   The Portland area's unemployment rate, 6.9%, remains slightly higher than Oregon's, which was 6.8% in December.   The US unemployment rate was 5.7%.   For comparison purposes, the rates are not adjusted for seasonal variations."

Barbara dePompa _Computer World_
Big recruiters on campus?
"Recruiters and IT executives from just about everywhere but MSFT say there are simply too many experienced IT professionals available from businesses that have laid off workers in the past 2 years.   Moreover, few new jobs are being created.   In a December survey of 150 CEOs representing companies employing a total of 10M people, 80% of the respondents said they would hold the line or reduce capital spending in 2003...   The IT talent glut makes it unnecessary for companies to go fishing on college campuses for more IT personnel...   A survey released in late December by the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which tracks college graduates for recruiters and human resources professionals, confirms the bleak job outlook for all college graduates.   In August, NACE projected that employers would hire 3.6% fewer college graduates in 2002-03 than they hired in 2001-02.   In December, 60% of 312 employers responding to NACE's latest survey reconfirmed their intentions to hire fewer new college graduates, and the rest said they plan additional cuts in college-grad hiring...   Maria Schaffer, an analyst at Meta Group in Stamford, Connecticut [says they] will publish the results of its annual survey of Fortune 1000 CIOs later this quarter.   But Schaffer says that according to the raw survey data, fewer than 2% of CIOs will recruit on campus this year, down from 6% in 2001 and way down from a high of 18% of companies in 2000...   Over the past few years, MSFT has recruited about 600 computer science students per year for full-time positions.   This year, it will increase that to 800 new hires, though Roby admits the additional 200 personnel hired won't come from the computer science field.   Instead, she says, MSFT will hire more college grads from marketing, finance and human resources programmes.   It attributes its hiring needs to overall continued growth.   Currently, MSFT has more than 53K employees and recruits from more than 250 schools."

Joan Lloyd _BizJournals_
Don't be shy: Networking tips for the timid
"Attend a conference or business function with a more outgoing colleague and ask that person to introduce you to a few of his or her associates.   Tell your chatty friend that you are interested in meeting people who might be able to help you with a specific issue.   For instance, you may want to meet someone with a similar job, so you can ask questions about a project you are working on.   Or, perhaps you are job hunting and want to meet some people you could approach for an informational interview.   Naming a specific kind of person you want to meet gives your partner some guidance and direction.   Offer to be on a committee that will force you to meet colleagues and talk with them...   During the mixer, look for people you know who are talking with people you don't know.   Approach the group and stand just outside of the circle, within the view of the person you know.   This is a well-understood cue that will prompt the person you know to introduce you to the group and bring you into the conversation...   look for opportunities to make small talk...   The goal is to keep moving and meeting new people, so don't cling...   the 3 B's: bathroom, bar and buffet excuses.   Once you have reached a logical end to a conversation (10 minutes, or so) excuse yourself...   Introduce people you meet with other colleagues who have something in common with them...   People love to talk about themselves, so master the art of asking questions and listening to their response so you can ask related questions."


2003-01-28 05:18PST (08:18EST) (13:18GMT)
Steve Kerch _MarketWatch_
Tomorrow's top housing markets: Job growth fueling sales in 8 states, trade group says
"Only 20 of the 50 states reported employment growth in the 12-months ended 2002 October 31.   Only 6 saw growth of more than 1%...   The 10 states that have had the most rapid job expansion in the last year: Nevada, Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, Kentucky, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Florida and Wyoming.   The weaklings: West Virginia, Idaho, Illinois, Georgia, Washington, Massachusetts, Utah, Delaware, Colorado and Missouri."

2003-01-28 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Iran Sees Future in Indian Tech Revolution
"Reformist President Mohammad Khatami believes Iran can copy historic ally India's runaway success in information technology and toured the showcase hi-tech city of Hyderabad -- nick-named 'Cyberabad' -- in India's south Tuesday..."

Steve Giegerich _Salon_
Career services besieged by alumni
"With the National Association of Colleges and Employers forecasting a 3.6% decline in hiring out of colleges this spring, Deloy fears many in the class of 2003 will share Walczewski's dilemma.   The Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University projects that students entering the fields of construction, retail, transportation (excluding airlines) and food and lodging will fare the best.   Jobs in the financial service, wholesaling, finance and government sectors are expected to decline this year, the institute said."

Claudia Dreifus & Michael Holick _NY Times_
Shining a Light on the Health Benefits of Vitamin D
"Dr. Holick has spent 30 years researching the many ways that vitamin D serves the creatures of this planet.   His proudest accomplishments, he says, include discoveries that show how activated vitamin D can be used to treat osteoporosis, kidney failure and psoriasis.   His psoriasis finding, he notes, has become a widely employed therapy in treating some forms of the disorder...   Additionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk for Type 1 diabetes.   The converse is also true.   Adequate vitamin D equals less risk for diabetes...   about 80 to 100% of an individual's requirement comes from exposure to sunlight...   But, to get enough, you'd have to eat these fish and/or their oils 3 times a week.   There is, of course, vitamin D in fortified milk.   But you'd have to drink 6 to 8 glasses a day to get enough...   Go out there that 5 or 10 or 15 minutes. Make your vitamin D in your skin.   Then put on your sun-screen with an S.P.F. of 15 to prevent the effects of the chronic excessive exposure to sun-light.   New research, for instance, is showing that African-Americans may require more time outdoors to make enough vitamin D.   We estimate that up to 40% of African-Americans in the Boston area are vitamin D deficient.   In general, I recommend that whatever your ethnicity or skin tone, you get outdoors without a sun-screen somewhere around 20% of the amount of time it would take to cause a sunburn, however long that might be."

Patrick Thobodeau _ComputerWorld_
H-1B Visa Awards Drop in 2002
"The U.S. issued 79,100 H-1B visas last fiscal year, a sharp decline from the previous year and far short of the [temporary] 195K cap or limit set by Congress...   In fiscal 2002, the INS issued 215K extensions or initial visas to people working for exempt organizations."

Ron Hira _IEEE-USA_
Boom-Bust Cycles: A New Paradign for Electrical Engineering Employment (pdf)


2003-01-28 22:05PST (2003-01-29 01:05EST) (2003-01-29 06:05GMT)
Leigh Strope _AP_/_SF Chronicle_
duration of unemployment has been stretching
citing BLS PDF
"Finding a job is taking longer for people out of work.   Last year, jobless workers spent an average of 16.6 weeks looking for employment, up from 13.2 weeks in 2001...   Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia -- which had among the higher unemployment rates of 5.9%, 6% and 5.6%, respectively, in December...   Alaska posted the highest state unemployment rate last month at 7.4%, rising from 6.8% in November...   Oregon's jobless rate was second highest at 7% after dropping from 7.1% in November.   Washington posted an increase in December to 6.8%, up from 6.7%; California saw a rise to 6.6%, up from 6.5%.   Also among the highest rates were Mississippi at 6.7% and the District of Columbia at 6.6%...   North and South Dakota had jobless rates of 3% last month, and Nebraska had 3.4%."

2003-01-29 10:38PST (13:38EST) (18:38GMT)
Robyn Weisman _NewsFactor_
IT Certificates and What They're Really Worth
"Achieving Cisco certification is not a low-cost endeavor.   Training can cost US$2K to $2,500 for a 4- to 5-day class, while the cost of required exams ranges from $125 to $150."

2003-01-29 11:23PST (14:23EST) (19:23GMT)
Jeffrey Bartash _MarketWatch_
Sprint CEO Esrey seen leaving: Company reportedly looking outside for new leadership
"William Esrey, the longtime Sprint Corp. chief executive who helped build a telecom giant and then tried to sell it to WorldCom, is reportedly set to step aside, touching off a Wednesday drop in Sprint's shares.   Chief Operating Officer Ron LeMay, once seen as Esrey's successor, will also leave Sprint and an outsider brought in to run the company..."

2003-01-28 21:01PST (2003-01-29 00:01EST) (2003-01-29 05:01GMT)
Barbara Kollmeyer _MarketWatch_
Down on work: Most employees discontent, survey finds
"US workers are an increasingly unhappy bunch: Over-worked, bored, fed up with management, worried about the future and lacking recognition or rewards.   A surprising 55% are negative about their workplace and a third are intensely negative, according to a new survey by human-resources consulting firm Towers Perrin.   The remaining 45% were mildly to passionately positive, according to the poll of 1,100 workers at 300 mid- to large-sized companies...   28% of them are actively job hunting, and only a quarter said they're content to hang onto their jobs...   The biggest factor among disgruntled workers is workload, where employees are doubled up and burned out in the wake of cost-cutting and down-sizing.   They also see little support from management and lack of confidence in their bosses' decisions and actions...   Where pay was an issue, it was largely due to perceived unfairness, specifically insufficient pay for the level of effort or results provided."

Computer user suffers "eThrombosis"
"People who spend many hours every day sitting in front of a computer could be at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis - the potentially fatal blood clots also linked to long haul air travel.   A team led by Richard Beasley of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in New Zealand...   Large blood clots can develop when the flow in a vein is restricted.   If one reaches the lungs, it can be deadly.   People who are overweight, who smoke or who have heart disease are at increased risk.   Long-haul airline passengers are currently advised to move their legs and feet at least every few hours."


2003-01-29 16:34PST (19:34EST) (2003-01-30 00:34GMT)
Jon Friedman _MarketWatch_
Ted Turner to leave AOL: CNN founder steps aside as company reports record loss
"At the start of a conference call to discuss the quarterly results, CEO Richard Parsons said that Turner, founder of the Cable News Network and Turner Broadcasting and vice chairman of the merged AOL Time Warner, was leaving the company to spend more time on charitable efforts...   It took a $45.5G charge to account for the declining value of the America Online flag-ship property...   The charge left AOL with a fourth-quarter loss of $44.9G, or $10.04 per share, compared to its loss a year-ago $1.8G, or 41 cents.   Coupled with the $54G charge in the first quarter of 2002, the company ended the year with a loss of more than $100G.   AOL's operating earnings came in at 28 cents a share, beating the 27-cent estimate of analysts polled by Thomson First Call...   [Turner] was reportedly unhappy with the direction of the company, in addition to losing a great deal of money as the company's stock price plunged.   [He may get CNN back.]"

Thomas Stengle _DoL ETA_
unemployment insurance weekly claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 430,801 in the week ending January 25, a decrease of 111,538 from the previous week.   There were 431,690 initial claims in the comparable week in 2002.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.2% during the week ending January 18, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 4,058,785, a decrease of 72,623 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 3.4$ and the volume was 4,325,313."

2003-01-30 06:47PST (09:47EST) (14:47GMT)
Arrests raise concern over tech spies
"Qing Chang Jiang, who was arraigned last week, is at least the fourth [Red Chinese] native indicted since October on charges involving the shipment of equipment or trade secrets to [Red China] from the nerve center of the US technology industry.   Prosecutors worry Jiang may have been illegally exporting technology to [Red China] since 1998, when he bought one of the world's fastest computers from a federal weapons lab...   Jiang, 51, was arrested January 10 for allegedly shipping three microwave amplifiers to the Hebei Far-East Harris Company in Shijianzhuang, [Red China] without a license.   At the same address is the 54th Research Institute, a [Red Chinese] military agency, prosecutors say...   [Red Chinese] citizens in Silicon Valley frequently ship technology through intermediaries to the People's Liberation Army, said Al Santoli, who edits China Reform Monitor for the non-partisan think tank...   Jiang's arrest followed the December indictments of Fei Ye, a U.S. citizen, and Ming Zhong, a permanent US resident, who allegedly stole trade secrets stolen from Sun Microsystems, Transmeta Corp., NEC Electronics and Trident Microsystems."

2003-01-30 13:40PST (16:40EST) (21:40GMT)
Alison McCook _Reuters_/_Yahoo!_
Babies' Mental Delay Tied to Moms' Vegan Diet
"The breast-fed infants of 2 mothers who did not eat any animal products, including milk and eggs, developed brain abnormalities as a result of a vitamin-B12 deficiency, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday.   The primary sources of vitamin B12, which is essential for brain development, are animal products like meat, dairy products and eggs.   Since the mothers ate little or no animal products, too little vitamin B12 was transmitted to their children through breast milk, according to the CDC's Dr. Maria Elena Jefferds."

Kathleen Pender _SF Chronicle_
Bush silent on jobless
"Mysteriously absent from President Bush's State of the Union address was any mention of his proposal to give some jobless Americans up to $3K in a personal re-employment account.   Under the plan that Bush floated early this month, the government would spend $3.6G over 2 years to retrain certain jobless people and nudge them back into the work-force faster.   US Labor Department officials were expecting him to tout it Tuesday night and had set up a conference call to explain the details Wednesday morning...   on Tuesday freshman representative Jon Porter, R-NV, introduced the Back to Work Incentive Act, which incorporates the president's proposal...   Bush seems to assume that the problem is not a lack of jobs, but a lack of people willing and able to fill them...   The $3.6G program could serve only 1.2M workers over two years if each worker got $3K...   In California, the percentage of unemployed people who were out of work 27 weeks or more rose sharply last year, from 13% in January to 19.9% in December.   The December rate was the highest since August 1997."

Chris McManes _IEEE USA_
IEEE-USA Seeks to Substantiate Information in the H-1B Guest Worker Visa Policy Debate


Christine van Dusen & Tammy Joyner _Atlanta Journal-Constitution_
Firms may receive incentive for hiring workers on unemployment
"State Department of Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond wants to allow businesses to use a worker's unemployment benefits to cover part of that person's salary -- an incentive he says could create 5K jobs in the near term.   Georgia lost 41,200 jobs last year.   So far this year, the tally exceeds 9K...   Here's how the plan would work: Let's say an unemployed person collects benefits of $294 a week, the current maximum.   If that person is hired, the company could take the $294 and use it to offset some of the worker's salary for up to 90 days.   The company would be under no obligation to keep the worker on staff...   Gov. Sonny Perdue first heard of the plan while attending part of Thursday's event sponsored by NFIB, a small-business advocacy organization that endorsed his run for office."

Wesley Pruden _Washington Times_
GWBush gets backing from parts of Europe
"Leaders of 8 nations of new Europe signed an op-ed essay, published in the Wall Street Journal and newspapers in Britain and Europe, praising the resolve of George W. Bush and the United States for standing up to Saddam Hussein, and not so gently chiding the stale funk and pious poltroonery of Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder...   Tony Blair of Britain, Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso of Portugal, Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, Peter Medgyessy of Hungary, Leszek Miller of Poland and Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark.   'Thanks in large part to American bravery, generosity and far-sightedness, Europe was set free from the two forms of tyranny that devastated our continent in the 20th century: Nazism and Communism.   Thanks, too, to the continued co-operation between Europe and the United States, we have managed to guarantee peace and freedom on our continent.   The transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime's persistent attempts to threaten world security.'"

Jeff Moad _eWeek_
Off-shore Job Competition to Increase
"US-based IT professionals can expect to encounter increasing competition this year for jobs and project assignments from providers of off-shore IT services, according to a recently-released report from San Jose, CA-based Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner, Inc.   The Dataquest survey indicated that while only about 5% of the 917 US-based companies surveyed are currently using off-shore resources for IT projects, the use of off-shore out-sourcing will grow at a double-digit rate, well above the growth rate for the US IT services market overall...     Application design and development continues to be the IT activity for which off-shore resources are most commonly used.   Just over 60% of organizations currently using off-shore out-sourcing said they're employing off-shore resources for application design and development.   21% said they're using it for infrastructure management.   And about 13% said they're using it for packaged application implementation.   Almost 40% said they're either using off-shore resources now for packaged application implementation or will do so within the next 12 months.   70% of companies currently using off-shore resources source them from India. Following, in order of popularity, were Ireland, [Red China], Germany, the Philippines and Canada."

Margaret Quan _EE Times_/_TheWorkCircuit_
EE grads face worst job market in 20 years
"Graduates must compete not only with their peers but also with the thousands of experienced engineers set adrift by the telecom, computer and chip industries over the past 2 years.   The unemployment rate for the overall U.S. work force spiraled to 6% in December; for EEs, the fourth-quarter jobless rate was 3.9%, according to the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.   It's the 'worst job market in 20 years' for EEs, said Richard Coddington, the assistant dean and director of engineering career services at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign  Coddington ought to know: He has booked only half as many corporate recruiter visits to the campus this spring as in spring 2002.   That dismal statistic looks even dimmer when you consider that last year's recruiting activity at the university paled in comparison with 2001.   The story's the same at colleges and universities nationwide, even at the top engineering schools... thousands of experienced EEs are available for hiring."

Jeff Moad _eWeek_
Off-Shore Job Competition to Increase
"The Dataquest survey indicated that while only about 5% of the 917 US-based companies surveyed are currently using off-shore resources for IT projects, the use of off-shore out-sourcing will grow at a double-digit rate, well above the growth rate for the US IT services market overall...   Just over 60% of organizations currently using offshore outsourcing said they're employing offshore resources for application design and development.   21% said they're using it for infra-structure management.   And about 13% said they're using it for packaged application implementation.   Almost 40% said they're either using off-shore resources now for packaged application implementation or will do so within the next 12 months."

Charles V. Bagli _NY Times_
Budget Crisis Ends Program That Lured Jobs to New Jersey
"Pressures of $5G budget gap force New Jersey to shut down program that lured Manhattan companies to New Jersey in return for millions of dollars in tax breaks and grants under Business Employment Incentive Program..."

Barry Loberfeld _Front Page Magazine_/_Liberty Magazine_
The Coercive Anarchism of Noam Chomsky

2003 January

2003 January
_American Legion_ pg 42
Congress vs. the rest of us
1855$3000Congressional salary
1935$10,000Congressional salary
1969$3007US per capita income
1984$10,328US per capita income
2001$22,851US per capita income
2002$154,700Congressional salary

2003 January
David Southgate _ComputerUser_
The job forecast: partly cloudy: Or is it partly sunny? Some bright spots are emerging from a gloomy IT job market.
"A top-notch education won't get you a job if employers aren't hiring, as a Texas-based computer worker discovered when Enron laid him off in 2001 October.   The MSFT and Sun certified software developer, with formal training in n-tier J2EE and a mathematics degree from Texas A&M, had been looking for suitable work for 12 months...   According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer scientists experienced a 178.9% jump in unemployment from the first quarter of 2001 to the second quarter of 2002.   Electrical engineers, some of whom are in the IT ranks, saw a 269.2% jump in unemployment during the same period.   Those figures translate to more than 1M job losses in IT in 2001 and 2002.   The rash of IT lay-offs in the past 3 years has offset virtually any hiring gains prior to the dot-com bubble, resulting in a miserable 1/2% increase in tech employment, according to BLS data provided by the IEEE-USA, a membership organization for IT professionals and electrical engineers...   According to a 2002 August unemployment survey from the IEEE-USA, the techies were without work for an average of 49 weeks.   Far from willing to accept just any job, most techies want work that meets their financial, intellectual, and creative needs."

2003 January
Patti Burgio _Mechanical Engineering_
Summit on Science and Engineering

2003 January
Jessica Vaughan
Short-cuts to Immigration: The 'Temporary' Visa Program Is Broken (with tables & graphs)

2003 January
_Futurist UpDate_
Futurists' InPut Needed
"US businesses may soon be crippled by shortages of skilled workers, according to John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of the out-placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.   'With so many companies announcing job cuts, it may be surprising to many Americans that we are not far from significant shortages of skilled workers.', says Challenger, citing fewer college graduates, diminishing interest in corporate jobs, looming retirement of baby boomers, and other trends undermining future US competitiveness in the global market-place.   Challenger seeks futurists' input on potential solutions to the problem and actions business and government should take now to avert a crisis.   All readers of FUTURIST UPDATE are invited to take a few moments to respond to the Challenger Survey.   He will report on the results at the World Future Society's 2003 conference in San Francisco in July."

_University of Minnesota_
Important Changes to GRE in select countries in Asia
"As you know, ETS suspended use of the computer version of the GRE in the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea last 2002 October 1 and in its place offered one administration of the paper GRE in November.   Upon the recommendation of the GRE Board (composed of graduate school deans) ETS will now be administering the GRE as a 2-part process in those 4 countries.   The GRE analytical writing test will be given in computerized version, and the verbal and quantitative sections will still be given on paper."

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