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updated: 2016-08-18
2004 November
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2004 November

  "If we had our way we'd implant a chip behind everyone's ear in the maternity ward." --- Ronald Kane, a vp of Cubix Corp. (quoted in Popular Science 1995 July)  



Dice Report: 59,167 job ads

body shop26,463

Reed Abelson _NY Times_
State Governments vs. WM Over Health Care Costs
"A survey by Georgia officials found that more than 10K children of WM employees were in the state's health program for children at an annual cost of nearly $10M to taxpayers.   A North Carolina hospital found that 31% of 1,900 patients who described themselves as WM employees were on Medicaid, while an additional 16% had no insurance at all.   And backers of a measure that will be on California's ballot tomorrow, which would force big employers like WM to either provide affordable health insurance to their workers or pay into a state insurance pool, say WM employees without company insurance are costing California's state health care programs an estimated $32M a year.   Meanwhile, in Washington State, where the insurance commissioner is pushing the legislature to adopt a law similar to the one on the California ballot, companies that struggle to compete with WM while insuring most of their own workers have become openly critical...   [WM] cites internal surveys indicating that 90% of its employees have insurance - many through means other than WM's coverage because they are senior citizens on Medicare, students covered by their parents' policies or employees with second jobs or working spouses...   The company has gone on its own offensive, saying last week that it was spending $500K to defeat the California measure, Proposition 72.   The measure is opposed by many other businesses, particularly restaurants and retailers, and by governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who asserts that it would impede the state's economic recovery and lead to a loss of jobs...   But critics say the reality for too many WM workers and their families is no insurance - either because they are unable to meet the company's eligibility requirements or because they cannot afford monthly premiums as high as $264 a month for family coverage on an $8-an-hour cashier's wage.   WM says its employees make $10 an hour on average."

John Markoff _NY Times_
Steve Chen, a Taiwanese-born American citizen who was considered one of the nation's most brilliant super-computer designers, is doing business in Red China
"Add Steve Chen to the growing list of America's high-technology exports.   Mr. Chen, a Taiwanese-born American citizen who was considered one of the nation's most brilliant super-computer designers while working in this country for the technology pioneer Seymour Cray in the 1980s, has moved to [Red China] - where he is leading an effort to claim the world computing speed record.   Super-computing is being seized upon by the [Red Chinese] government to help speed the nation's transition from low-cost manufacturing to becoming a more powerful force in the world economy.   [Red China's] leaders know that high-speed computing is essential to global leadership in scientific fields and advanced design of a variety of sophisticated products...   Military intelligence experts in this country have long been concerned that super-computing capabilities may aid [Red China's] weapons development.   But many technologists and economists say that blazing computing speeds alone do not represent a particularly new nuclear weapons threat.   Instead, they are more concerned that the [Red Chinese] may catch up more quickly with the United States in areas that have economic and scientific, rather than military, ramifications.   Mr. Chen's decision to set up shop in [Red China] was driven in part by an unexpected twist: the opportunity to build a new company looked more promising to him there than in the United States, where he was unable to secure financing from American venture capitalists for his latest ideas."

Mark Glassman _NY Times_
Broadcast Industry Increases Lobbying Budget, Study Says
"Washington has been hostile territory for some media companies recently, and the industry has responded by spreading more money around."

_NY Times_
Attack of the Killer Tomato Prices
"Due to Florida's hurricanes and California's heavy rains, fresh tomatoes are suddenly in short supply, causing some restaurants to rethink their marketing strategies."

2004-11-01 07:50PST (10:50EST) (15:50GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
ISM manufacturing index fell to 56.8% in October from 58.5% in September as growth slows
ISM report

2004-11-01 08:45PST (11:45EST) (16:45GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Crude petroleum dips below $50 per barrel for first time in a month
"Crude for December delivery fell to a low of $49.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- marking its first trade under $50 since October 4 and a complete reversal from the session's earlier high of $52.50.   It was last down $1.96 at $49.80.   In petroleum products, December heating oil traded down 6.41 cents at $1.40 a gallon, while December unleaded gasoline shed 4.05 cents to stand at $1.288 a gallon."

2004-11-01 09:25PST (12:25EST) (17:25GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US consumer spending was up 0.6% in September: Personal incomes up 0.2%
BEA report

2004-11-01 09:55PST (12:55EST) (17:55GMT)
Red China Cracks Down on Non-Government Internet Cafes
"[Red China] has closed 1,600 internet cafes and fined operators a total of $12M for letting children play violent games and for other violations, the government said...   Investigators have inspected 1.8M internet cafes looking for unlicensed operations or those that let children play violent games meant for adults, the Ministry of Culture said...   Honeywell International will hire 1K software programmers and invest $10M in India over the next 12 months to bolster its research and development activities..."

Sumner Lemon _The Industry Standard_
Crack-Down Closed 18K Internet Cafes in Red China
"A high-profile government crack-down on Internet cafes in [Red China] resulted in the temporary closure of 18K Internet cafes between February and August...   1,600 -- were shut permanently...   The [Red China] Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) estimated in a July report that 22% of the [Red China's] 87M Internet users rely on Internet cafes as their primary means of getting online.   That percentage is up slightly since January, when CNNIC estimated that 20.3% of [Red China's] Internet users, which then totalled 79.5M, relied on Internet cafes as their primary means of accessing the Internet."

Jonathan B. Cox _Rocklin & Roseville Today_/_Raleigh News & Observer)
Tech majors lose their lustre
"high-tech corporations have come under fire in recent years for shifting jobs over-seas...   Pankaj K. Agarwal, chairman of the computer science department at Duke University...   The number of new under-graduate majors in U.S. computer science programs has fallen 28% since 2000, reports the Computing Research Association [CRA], a group of more than 200 North American computer science, computer engineering and related academic departments.   Duke has seen under-graduate enrollment in its computer science department fall by a fourth during the past 3 years.   N.C. State University has seen roughly a 22% decline.   Enrollment at the University of North Carolina has risen since it started an under-graduate computer science major in 2001, though it, too, has logged noticeable declines of late.   One reason, say those in the field, is that technology jobs appear less lucrative than they did during the dot-com boom."

Vikas Bajaj _Arizona Republic_
More businesses dump employees in favor of bodyshopping
"Foresight may have spared Vedda from joining the 1.4M U.S. secretaries who lost or left their jobs from 1992 to 2002.   That occupation, along with hundreds of others, has undergone sizable cuts as businesses replace people with computers for repetitive and routine tasks.   Automation and the resulting job reductions, in lay-offs and through attrition, have boosted America's productivity to an unprecedented level.   They have also reshaped the work-place.   This surge may be a central reason for the anemic growth during this economic recovery, economists say.   Businesses can be reluctant to hire when they can get more work done with as many or fewer workers.   The U.S. economy had 821K fewer jobs in September than it did at the start of the recession in 2001.   Measured by dividing the nation's total output by each hour of work, productivity has grown at an annual average rate of 3.55% from 2000 to 2003.   That is a full percentage point higher than the average from 1948 to 2000.   It is also greater than the average for any decade in the past 50 years."

_Commission on Professionals in Science & Technology_
IT Work-Force Data Project Report High-Lights
"In the last 20 years, the number of U.S. jobs in core IT occupations have more than tripled, from 719K in 1983 to 2.498M at the sector's peak in 2000.   About 150K of these positions were lost in 2001 and 2002, almost two thirds of them in programming.   Unemployment in core IT professions began to rise before the sector's peak years, going from 1.2% to 1.9% between 1997 and 1999.   Levels of joblessness shot up to 3.6% in 2001, 4.3% in 2002, and an average of 5.9% for the first 2 quarters of 2003.   In years past, a majority of those employed in IT jobs were trained for other professions, typically engineering or other scientific fields.   The number of new bachelor's students in computer science jumped 40% in 1995-1996, after a 5% increase the previous year, leading to record numbers of new degrees in IT disciplines through 2001-2002 academic year, according to the Computing Research Association [CRA].   Federal data from the National Center for Education Statistics [NCES] confirm that major increases in IT degree awards have been recorded.   However, the market for jobs for these new graduates is now very poor.   The rates of foreign-born core IT workers doubled from about a tenth of this labor force in 1994 to over a fifth of it in 2001.   Immigrants in the IT work-force are both younger and better educated than their native counterparts: In 2002, 53.3% of the immigrants with core IT jobs were under the age of 35, compared to just 41.0% of the natives.   41.1% of the immigrants had graduate degrees, compared to 16.2% of the natives."
[US citizens earned 355 doctorates in CS in 1990; in 2000, 402; in 2003, 413; in 2004, 454.
US citizens earned a total of 32,579 degrees in CS in 1990; in 2000, 41,420; in 2003, 63,335; and in 2004, 66,130.
source: NCES Digest of Education Statistics.]

Lou Dobbs _US News & World Report_
The people's representatives?
"We're electing, no matter how long it takes for our votes to be counted or litigated, a millionaire, educated at Yale and a member of Skull and Bones.   Our president will be dealing with a Congress more accustomed to satisfying the demands of special interest groups and corporate America than the wishes and needs of middle-class constituents...   These law-makers are hardly representative of American society.   I can't find more than a few blue-collar workers in the House, but about a third of House members are lawyers.   While fewer than 1% of our population can claim millionaire status, about 30% of the Congress is made up of millionaires.   None of our elected officials lives in poverty, as do 36M of us, and, of course, none has had to apply for welfare or training assistance after his or her job was shipped over-seas."

Geoff Smith _CIO_
When out-sourcing and off-shoring it's crucial to retain enough work in-house to train the next generation of IT leaders.
"Close to 500K American IT jobs have already been lost since 2001, many of them to off-shore out-sourcing. An unspoken corporate lemming behavior will continue to fuel this growth for years to come... While I'd love to see thousands of CIOs come together as a united bloc to influence IT-related policy matters, the sad reality is we don't have a clear, unified voice right now."

Linda R. Raber _Chemical & Engineering News_/_ACS_
2005 Employment Outlook
"It's rough out there.   for the fourth consecutive year, the job market for chemists remains depressed...   Industrial hiring is stagnant...   unemployment among ACS chemist members in the domestic work-force was at 3.6% this March.   This is up slightly from 3.5% one year earlier and the highest since ACS starting doing these annual surveys more than 30 years ago.   As recently as 2001, ACS members were essentially fully employed, with 1.5% unemployment.   Heylin also reports that a record high of 9.1% of chemists don't have full-time jobs."

_Jewish Virtual Library_
fatal terrorist attacks in Israel from 1993 September to 2004-11-01
"From the signing of the Declaration of Principles between Israel and the PLO on 1993 September 13, until 2000 September, 256 civilians and soldiers were killed in terrorist attacks in Israel.   Another 1032 Israelis have been killed since the start of the 'al-Aksa intifada' in 2000 September (Note: This list also includes 4 Israelis killed abroad in terror attacks directed specifically against Israeli targets).   Between 2000 September 29, and 2004 September 1, Magen David Adom treated a total of 6,665 casualties as follows: 885 killed, 566 severely injured, 825 moderately and 4,389 lightly injured, among them 11 MDA staff members..."


Elizabeth Becker _NY Times_
Textile Quotas to End with the Year, Carolina Towns Lose
"For many years, textile and clothing factories in the mill towns of the Carolinas - originally drawn from New York and New England decades ago by the prospect of inexpensive non-union workers - have been closing one after another as the industry migrated abroad in search of ever-cheaper labor.   Now, this gradual loss may be about to turn into a rout.   On January 1, the global system of country-by-country quotas regulating the $495G international trade in textiles and apparel is scheduled to be eliminated.   That will transform the vast business in ways that were barely glimpsed a decade ago, when the newly created World Trade Organization went along with the demands of developing countries and agreed to phase out the quotas imposed by advanced nations to protect their own industries.   Today, though, poor countries at the bottom of the economic ladder, like Cambodia and Bangladesh, have a new fear: [Red China]...   Without rules, though, restricting how much fabric or how many garments they can buy from any country, name brands and merchants like Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, J. C. Penney and the Gap will buy most of what they want from 5 or 6 countries, not the 50-plus countries that are now part of their networks...   On October 29, days before the election, the Bush administration accepted the industry's petition seeking relief, promising to consider special steps to limit [Red Chinese] exports.   Most experts expect that [Red China], left unimpeded, will gain almost half the global apparel market.   Its factories now make about 20% of the clothing and textiles sold in the United States; [Red China] is expected to capture as much as 70% of that market, potentially leading to the closing of half the surviving American mills and layoffs for tens of thousands more workers...   Americans alone are expected to save an estimated $6G in lower-cost goods once the quotas are gone, allowing clothing makers and designers from New York to Milan the freedom to choose factories based on cost and quality rather than a complicated system of 1,300 categories for every nation...   By the end of 2005, according to a World Bank study, [Red China] is expected to control 47% of the world's apparel market."

James Brooke _NY Times_
Japan Issues New Currency to Foil Forgers, Make Tracking Easier
"The counterfeiting problems enabled by Japan's increasingly sophisticated consumer technology have spurred the country to revamp its bank-notes for the first time in 20 years...   Counterfeiting probably costs Japan only $1M a year in direct losses.   Most fake bills, generally 1K-yen notes, are swallowed by vending machines, Japan's ubiquitous mechanical purveyors of drinks and cigarettes.   Introducing the new currency will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, partly to issue 10G new bank notes, and partly to modify the 1.8M vending machines in Japan.   The high cost suggests another agenda, which appears to be flushing out hidden money.   The currency shift is an attempt to bring into the economy trillions of yen that Japan's elderly keep stashed at home.   'The trick in Japan is to unlock the mattress money, the futon money.', Jesper Koll, chief economist for Merrill Lynch Japan, said.   'In Japan, coins and notes account for about 15% of national income, which compares to 6% in Germany and 3% to 3.5% in America.'   Until Japan's banking crisis hit a decade ago, 7% of the national income was held in cash.   Now, with the banks increasingly stable, the government hopes to lure some of the $700G in mattress money into banks, or better yet into consumer spending and investments...   About two-thirds of cash in Japan is held by people over 65 years old.   The act of bringing cash to a bank may prompt some to spend it."

Kylee Dawson _Arizona Daily WildCat_
Non-Voting Students Cite Lack of Faith in Presidential Candidates

2004-11-02 06:24PST (09:24EST) (14:24GMT)
Patrick Burns _Lancaster Intelligencer Journal_
Local unemployment rate inched down
"Lancaster County unemployment dropped three-tenths of a percentage point in September to 3.6%.   That put the county in a tie for the lowest jobless rate among the state's 14 metropolitan statistical areas.   The seasonally adjusted monthly report issued Monday by the state Department of Labor & Industry revealed the region's employment count expanded by 600 individuals.   The report also states that 800 people were removed from the county unemployment count.   The state's unemployment rate also dropped three-tenths of a percentage point in September to 5.3%, while the United States unemployment rate remained unchanged for the month at 5.4%."

2004-11-02 14:03PST (17:03EST) (22:03GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks spooked awaiting election results
"U.S. stocks staged a late-day sell-off Tuesday, with blue chips snapping a five-session winning streak to end lower and the Nasdaq paring gains amid reports that senator John Kerry is putting in a strong early showing at the polls.   The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 18.66 points, at 10,035.73, wiping out an 80-point gain earlier in the day.   The Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 4.92 points to 1,984.79, ending at a 4-month high but off its best levels for the session when it reached the 2K mark for the first time since July 2.   The S&P 500 Index ended fractionally higher, up 0.07 points at 1,130.58...   Crude futures closed under $50 [per] barrel..."

Managers Are Out of Touch with Workers' Priorities: A Body Shopper Puff Piece
"9 out of 10 employees said achieving a good work-life balance was important to them, whereas they believe that fewer than two thirds of managers recognise this.   Meanwhile, managers consider factors such as recognition, salary and management style are more critical contributors to job satisfaction.   This is according to research released today commissioned by Randstad and conducted by MORI.   These are some of the key findings of Randstad's UK employment survey, amongst employees and managers throughout Great Britain and Northern Ireland...   The research results found that flexible working hours and work-life balance were a major reason why some people do temporary work.   However, findings also indicate that the attraction of flexible working is undermined by concerns over economic uncertainty and perceptions that flex-working does not afford the same level of security as permanent employment.   Only 6% of respondents agreed that they would seriously consider giving up their permanent job to take on a temporary role."


Sharon Waxman _NY Times_
Chief Plans to Leave Paramount Pictures
"The new head of Viacom's movie division is making major changes, including replacing the chairwoman of Paramount Pictures, Sherry Lansing, one of Hollywood's most recognizable figures."

2004-11-03 01:37PST (04:37EST) (09:37GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Republican faction of Demoblican party strengthens control of Congress

2004-11-03 06:37PST (09:37EST) (14:37GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Blue chip stocks soar more than 160 points on open
"Blue chips opened with a triple-digit gain and the Nasdaq reclaimed the 2K mark Wednesday...   The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 167 points, to 10,203.   The Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 33 points to 2,018, putting the tech-rich index in positive territory for the year.   The S&P 500 Index climbed 15.75 points, to 1,146."

2004-11-03 07:37PST (10:37EST) (15:37GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Petroleum prices drop as Energy Department posts big crude stock rise
"December crude in New York is down 92 cents at $48.70 a barrel, its lowest level since October 1 after the Energy Department said crude supplies jumped 6.3M barrels to 289.7M barrels for the week ended October 29.   Distillate inventories, however, fell for a 7th week, down 900K barrels at 115.7M barrels.   Gasoline stocks rose by 500K barrels to total 201.7M barrels.   December heating oil is down 1.22 cents at $1.38 a gallon and December unleaded gasoline is down 0.67 cent at $1.281 a gallon."

2004-11-03 08:10PST (11:10EST) (16:10GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Factory orders unexpectedly fell 0.4% in September: First back-to-back decline since 2002 November-December
census bureau report
"August orders were revised lower to a fall of 0.3% compared with the initial estimate of a 0.1% decline."

2004-11-03 08:52PST (11:52EST) (16:52GMT)
Rachel Koning _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
ISM services index increased from 56.7 in September to 59.8

2004-11-03 09:16PST (12:16EST) (17:16GMT)
William L. Watts _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Scurvy conceded, Shrub re-elected

2004-11-03 09:27PST (12:27EST) (17:27GMT)
Chris Kraeuter _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Shrub faces altered tech land-scape
"President Bush will face a vastly different technology economy in his second term from the one he inherited 4 years ago, as one-quarter of all U.S. tech jobs have been erased since the 2000 presidential election.   The concerns dominating the technology land-scape today include the slower long-term growth faced by important industry segments like semiconductors and business software, job out-sourcing that has spread from the factory floor to the programmer's cubicle, and an assault from accounting authorities on stock options, a cherished compensation tool in Silicon Valley...   The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 21.5 to 2006 after senator John Kerry called Bush to concede the election.   While the index has battled back from a 2004 low of 1,752 in mid-August, it is flat for the year and flat since the start of 2002.   Furthermore, the index is still only worth 40% of its all-time high of 5,048, logged on 2000 March 10."

2004-11-03 14:30PST (17:30EST) (22:30GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Wall Street applauds Shrub: Blue chips posted triple-digit gain, Nasdaq tops 2K
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 101.32 points, or 1%, at 10,137.05, after hitting a session high of 10,215.51 in the opening minutes of trading...   The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 19.50 points, or 1%, to 2,004.33.   The S&P 500 Index was up 12.64 points, or 1.1%, at 1,143.20."

_Feature Xpress_
Body Shopping Booms
"Jane... Blocker cited recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that showed a continued upward trend in temporary jobs - 33K in 2004 September alone - for a third quarter total of 2.5M nationwide.   The figure represents a 15% increase from the same period in 2003.   'More than 98% of businesses today [abuse] temporary help...'"

German Unemployment Rises for 9th Month in October
"German unemployment rose for the ninth month in October, keeping the jobless rate at a 5-year high of 10.7%, as companies including General Motors Corp. announced plans to fire thousands more workers.   The number of jobseekers in Europe's largest economy rose a seasonally adjusted 12K to 4.46M, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said.   Economists expected an increase by 15K, the median of 41 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey showed.   The International Monetary Fund yesterday cut its forecast for German growth in 2005 to 1.5%..."

Carl Mortishead _Times of London_
Perhaps the Queen could give VW's work-force a steer
"Fearful Volkswagen workers were on strike in Germany yesterday as their union, IG Metall, sought to negotiate job guarantees and pay rises from an employer determined to cut costs.   Better paid than most of their counterparts at rival car firms, the VW workers have few cards in their hand, seeking to extract more from a company that is losing money on every Volkswagen car sold.   The workforce hopes that its union can revive the old-style German labour settlement and strike a deal that will save jobs and provide a small pay rise.   Unfortunately, those days are over.   Bosses are looking eastwards for solutions in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia and German labour relations, once held up as a model of collaboration, are now a dialogue of the desperate...   According to OECD figures, the proportion of women in work in Germany in 2003 was 58% compared with 66% in Britain...   In 1990, some 55% of German women of employable age were in work or seeking work, compared with 52% in actual employment...   The rate of employment among women in Germany in 2003 had risen from 52% to 58% but many more are now seeking work and the female German workforce is now 65% of the population, still shy of Britain's 70% but growing fast...   The truth is that Germans are about to become poorer.   A typical German middle-manager still assumes his salary will purchase a comfortable life-style -- a car, a house and a foreign holiday every year.   Enough revenue to maintain a family and a non-working wife.   Most middle-class Britons long ago abandoned that 1950s vision of domestic bliss for the reality of huge mortgage payments, dual incomes, expensive child-care and the nagging anxiety about male redundancy."

_Bloomberg_/_Indianapolis Star_
Planned job cuts eclipse 100K for 2nd month
"'We're pretty much back to square one with the labor market.', said Chris Rupkey, senior economist at Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi Ltd. in New York.   'Job losses are continuing at a very serious pace.   At the same time, corporate profits are up this quarter, and a lot of the increase seems to be coming at the expense of labor.'"


2004-11-03 23:33PST (2004-11-04 00:33MST) (02:33EST) (07:33GMT)
_Billings Gazette_
Latest lay-off announcements raise economic concerns
Christian Science Monitor/abc News
Biz New Orleans
Chicago Sun Times
"a still-troubled job market, where lay-offs are frequent, hiring is hesitant and improvement has been maddeningly slow.   Rapid-fire job cutting kept on through October, although the lay-offs are coming slower than a year ago, according to the monthly survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.   Plans to trim pay-rolls by 101,840 jobs were announced during the month, the first time in more than a year that job cuts soared into 6 figures for 2 consecutive months.   In September, 107,863 announced job cuts were counted by Challenger.   Last month's cuts were much lower than those of October a year ago, when 171,874 were announced...   If employers announce more than 86,920 job cuts in each of the last 2 months of 2004, it will be the fourth consecutive year in which job cuts exceeded 1M.   Prior to 2001, the highest annual job-cut total was 677,795 in 1998.   The worst of the October job cuts came in telecommunications: 16,664 cuts, up by 52% from the month before.   Second-worst was health care, with 10,590 announced cuts."

2004-11-04 07:05PST (10:05EST) (15:05GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US productivity grew 1.9%, unit labor costs up only 1.6%
BLS report

Subri Raman _DoL ETA_
Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 305,451 in the week ending October 30, a decrease of 13,134 from the previous week.   There were 345,573 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending October 23, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,377,065, a decrease of 25,253 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.3% and the volume was 2,947,201."

2004-11-04 07:07PST (10:07EST) (15:07GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims fell by 19K to 332K
"The 4-week moving average of new claims fell by 1,500 to 342K in the week ending October 30. This is the lowest level since the week ended September 18... The number of former workers receiving state unemployment checks fell by 20K to 2.80M in the week ending October 23. The 4-week average of continuing claims dipped 14,250 to 2.804M. This is the lowest level since 2001 May 19."

Denise Grady _NY Times_
Skin Injection of Influenza Vaccine (Rather than Intra-Muscular Injection) Might Stretch Supplies

_NY Times_
An Industry-by-Industry Look at the Implications of the Election
"From Wall Street to Detroit, there were plenty of sighs of relief.   But the mood was tempered by worries.   Special reports from across the economy."

Ian Austen _NY Times_
Giving Over-Stuffed Cameras Some Off-Loading Options
"For regular travelers with eager shutter fingers, storage gadgets can be more economical than additional memory cards...   For regular travelers with eager shutter fingers, the storage gadgets can be much more economical than additional memory cards.   The Nikon Coolwalker MSV-01 and Epson P-2000 Multimedia Storage viewer both have list prices of $500.   But assuming you pay full price, the cost per gigabyte of storage in the Coolwalker is $16.66 and drops to $12.50 with the P-2000.   By comparison, one-gigabyte Compact Flash memory cards are $75 to $100.   As a bonus, three of the devices I tried have color liquid-crystal displays that are larger than the monitor screens on the back of digital cameras."

Seth Schiesel _NY Times_
"An inventor created a key-chain fob for himself that 'turns off virtually any television'."

Ed Edelson _Health Day News_/_Forbes_
Nicotine Addiction Gene Identified
Diedtra Henderson: AP/Los Angeles Times
"Researchers say they have identified brain cell receptors that appear to be responsible for nicotine addiction, a finding of clear importance for smokers who are desperately trying to kick the habit.   The receptors normally are activated by acetylcholine, a molecule that carries signals between nerve cells and has multiple functions in the body.   A large number of acetylcholine receptors have been identified, each with subunits adapted for a specific function.   Twelve of those receptors also are activated by nicotine.   Experiments with genetically engineered mice show that a mutation in a subunit of a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, designated alpha4, makes the animals unusually sensitive to the effects of nicotine, said a report in the November 5 issue of _Science_ by researchers at the California Institute of Technology."

2004-11-04 11:06PST (14:06EST) (19:06GMT)
Michael Paige _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Merrill: Software looks tough for 2005
"Corporate-software vendors will likely continue to face a challenging spending environment next year, although the sector should benefit from the traditional year-end rise in outlays for the fourth quarter, Merrill Lynch analysts said Thursday.   Following a survey of North American technology executives...   There was a roughly equal split between those expecting to increase their IT budgets next year and those who expect spending to remain flat...   The normal rise in software spending in the last quarter of the year, combined with apparently conservative company outlooks, should enable most software vendors to at least meet expectations for the current period..."

2004-11-04 13:49PST (16:49EST) (21:49GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks continue up after petroleum falls to 5-week low
"Blue chips posted a second straight triple-digit gain to end at a 7-week high Thursday and the Nasdaq surged to its best level in more than 4 months after oil prices fell 4% to end below $49 a barrel.   Meanwhile an 8-session winning streak took the S&P 500 Index to a 2.5 year high.   The broad gauge ended up 18.47 points, or 1.6%, to 1,161.67.   The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed just off its high for the session, soaring 177.71 points, or 1.8%, to 10,314.76.   In the last 2 sessions, the bench-mark index has risen 279 points...   The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 19.30 points, or 1%, to 2,023.63...   Crude for December delivery ended down $2.06, or 4.1%, at $48.82 on the New York Mercantile Exchange."

_Chicago Daily Herald_
Employment Policy Foundation claims US faces worker shortage, while millions across the spectrum of knowledge, education, skills and experience remain unemployed
2001-10-23 EPF worker shortage propaganda
2003-08-13 EPF worker shortage propaganda
"The United States faces a shortage of 35M workers over the next 3 decades, especially those with specialized skills, according to a report by the Employment Policy Foundation, a business-funded research organization...   The U.S. work force is already the world's most productive, with each worker producing $69,489 of economic output per year, the report said.   That is 11.6 times that of India and 9.1 times that of [Red China].   Maintaining that advantage will require investment in education and training, said Ronald Bird, the foundation's chief economist [while the members of his association refuse to make such investments in their own employees]."


2004-11-04 21:18PST (23:18CST) (2004-11-05 00:18EST) (05:18GMT)
Katherine Yung _Dallas Morning News_
Study presented at Fed conference lists job sectors most likely targeted for off-shore out-sourcing
"Leading the list are positions in military services; farm, fish and forestry; computers and mathematics; life, physical and social sciences; legal; and architecture and engineering....   Lori Kletzer, chair of the economics department at the University of California at Santa Cruz...   the positions least vulnerable to out-sourcing are in building maintenance; health-care support; education and libraries; construction and extraction; and transportation."

Nick Kaye _NY Times_
The Viper G.P.S. Tracking System can be reached by the Internet or a cellular phone.

2004-11-05 03:40PST (06:40EST) (11:40GMT)
August Cole _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
SBC to shed 10K more workers
"In a 10-Q filing, SBC said it has culled 7K positions through attrition during the past year and expects more cuts to come.   On Thursday, Lehman Bros. analysts wrote that the 160K-strong company could 'save' as much as $1.2G annually by getting rid of 10K to 20K workers."

2004-11-05 13:48PST (16:48EST) (21:48GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stock market has best week since 2003 March
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied for the third straight session, ending up 72.78 points at 10,387.54.   The bench-mark index gained 3.6% for the last five trading days, its best weekly performance in more than a year and a half.   The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 15.31 points, to 2,038.94.   The tech-rich index gained every day this week to rise 3.2%.   The S&P 500 Index rose for the ninth session in a row to end the week at a [30 month] high.   The broad gauge rose 4.50 points, to 1,166.17, putting a 3.2% gain on the week.   On the broader market for equities, advancers and decliners were evenly balanced on the New York Stock Exchange, while winners out-paced losers by an 18-to-12 score on the Nasdaq.   Volume was 1.7G shares on the Big Board and 1.9G on the Nasdaq."

Jim Hightower _YubaNet_
WM's Number Game
Good Jobs First
"WM, which touts itself as a model of "free-market" success, actually has built its market muscle in large part by milking us tax-payers, having squeezed more than $1G in subsidies from state and local governments, giving it a competitive advantage to clobber local businesses...   'WM has paid $4G in property taxes...   $52G in sales taxes...   $192M [in employee withholding and socialist insecurity taxes]'..."

2004-11-05 03:30JST
_Japan Today_
Red China's government-run trade union federation threatens action against WM


Elizabeth Becker _NY Times_
Europe Still Unhappy With U.S. Corporate Taxes
"Just when law-makers thought a thorny tax dispute was behind them, the European Union raised objections to parts of the corporate tax bill that was passed last month...   on Friday, the Europeans asked for talks with the United States to question why some of the biggest American corporations should be given a 3-year grace period or transition before the original tax cut was ended.   [The government subsidies and tax treatment of Boeing & Airbus are still key.]"

Matt Richtel _NY Times_
Smaller cellphone companies are feeling pressures from national carriers entering rural areas now that urban markets are [closer to saturation].

Dean Culbreath _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Pay-rolls up more than expected (graphs)
"Last month, he said, U.S. firms laid off 101,840 workers in announced job cuts ñ the second month in a row that the number of pink slips topped the 100K mark.   Challenger said the back-to-back lay-offs 'do not suggest confidence about future business conditions'.   However, he said the figures released by the Labor Department yesterday were a positive sign, though he noted that many new jobs are temporary positions.   'Businesses are [abusing] temp workers rather than full-time jobs as a way of protecting against a drop in their orders.', he said...   Jack Caffrey [with JP Morgan said] 'Companies have been reporting record profit margins...'"


I.M. Sixel _Houston Chronicle_/_Barre Montpelier Times Argus_
Working for insurance
"Challenger, whose Chicago-based outplacement firm tracks employment data, pointed to the fact that the number of people with second jobs rose again last month to 7.7M.   That represents 5.5% of total employment.   A year ago, 7.2M workers had more than one job."

Rodney Foo & Aaron C. Davis _San Jose Mercury News_
WM reportedly passing out "walking around money" to San Jose council member


2004-11-08 08:56PST (11:58EST) (16:58GMT)
Off-Shore Costs Vary Widely: The movement of customer care services off-shore will continue unabated due to labor arbitrage
"_The Global Pricing Guide To Off-Shore Out-Sourcing_, published by Datamonitor, compares the risks and rewards of the 10 major off-shore and near-shore contact center out-sourcing locations...   'As low-cost nations other than India aggressively pursue a portion of off-shore out-sourcing, out-sourcers and end users must not lose sight of hidden costs and other risks in locations around the globe.   Besides complicating the decision to move customer care services off-shore, they could potentially prove costly.', says Datamonitor call center analyst, Mark Best."

Richard A. Oppel & Robert F. Worth _NY Times_
G.I.s Open Attack to Take Falluja From Iraq Rebels
"U.S. troops seized control of 2 strategic bridges and a hospital in Falluja in the start of a long-expected invasion of the city."

Nazila Fathi _NY Times_
Iran Jails More Journalists and Blocks Web Sites
"Iran has moved against pro-democracy web sites, blocking hundreds of sites in recent months and making several arrests."

Jim Pollock _NBC_
What is your degree worth?
"The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) tracks the starting salaries of new graduates in particular disciplines.   The NACE's Summer 2003 Salary Survey reports the following average starting salaries for various college degrees:
Starting Salaries for New Grads NACE
Chemical engineering:$51,853
Electrical engineering:$49,946
Computer science:$47,419
Information sciences:$39,718
in the computer industry, which includes some of the highest-paying occupations, about two-thirds of workers did not actually major in IT or computer-related fields."

2004-11-08 13:32PST (16:32EST) (21:32GMT)
Rex Crum _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
M$ reached settlement with Novell & others in anti-trust dispute: will pay $536M+
"M$ said Monday it would pay at least $536M to settle 2 anti-trust law-suits, one with software rival Novell and another with an industry trade group, and warned it might have to pay nearly $1G more to resolve other cases.   Even as Novell settled its existing claim against M$ over the 2 companies' rival operating systems, it launched a new law-suit concerning their competing word-processing products...   As part of the settlement, Novell said it would pull out of a European Commission anti-trust case against M$.   Meanwhile, M$ settled a separate case with the Computer and Communications Industry Association by agreeing to join the group and pay some of its legal fees.   Yet the software titan, which a federal judge found had used its Windows monopoly to hurt competition in the market for other software programs, still faces legal claims which it said could cost as much as $950M.   M$ had previously said it expected to pay as much as $750M in anti-trust claims.   The company has already paid about $3G as part of legal challenges from Sun Microsystems, and to resolve claims that it overcharged consumers for various products.   Novell's new suit involves its WordPerfect word-processing software program, which the company owned from 1994 June to 1996 March.   Novell said in a statement that it would seek unspecified damages in charging M$ with anticompetitive efforts in the word processing market.   The Waltham, MA-based company said its case is based partly on the U.S. government's anti-trust suit, in which M$ was found to have eliminated competition in software markets as part of its unlawful monopoly in computer operating systems."


2004-11-09 08:02PST (11:02EST) (16:02GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US job turn-over unchanged in September
"Seasonally adjusted job openings at the end of the month totaled 3.235M, little changed from 3.195M at the end of August, representing 2.4% of jobs.   New hires totaled 4.297M in September, or 3.3% of jobs, down slightly from 4.375M in August.   Separations from work for whatever reason increased to 4.165M, or 3.2%, from 4.134M.   Over the past 12 months, hires have averaged 4.3M per month, while separations have averaged 4M per month.   Job openings rates increased slightly in construction, manufacturing and trade in September, while falling in professional and business services...   The overall quit rate remained at 1.7%...   The not-seasonally adjusted lay-off rate fell to 1.3% in September from 1.4% in August."
Job Openings & Labor Turn-over Survey notes (JOLTS)
1984 March article by Alan Eck about JOLTS
JOLTS home page
select your own reports
[These would be a lot more interesting if we had historical base-line data. sigh...jgo]

Keith Bradsher _NY Times_
Informal Lenders in Red China Pose Risks to Banking System
"The growth of a shadow banking system poses a stiff challenge to [Red China's] state-owned banks [which have long been] burdened with bad debt."

John Markoff _NY Times_
Panel Urges Washington to Finance Fast Computer
"The panel of scientists, which was convened by the National Research Council, warned of a looming imbalance between hardware and software technology in high-performance computing...   The report, _Getting Up to Speed: The Future of Super-Computing_, was based on an effort begun in 2002...   The authors of the report, which was prepared for the Energy Department, said they were recommending that the federal government spend $140M annually on new super-computing technologies.   The federal government currently spends about $42M each year, according to a recent report of the High End Computing Revitalization Task Force, a federal government working group...   The Japanese machine, which sent shockwaves through government offices and the computer industry, [rated at 35.8T calculations per second], has now fallen to third place in the current top 500 list.   It is behind the I.B.M. system, which reported a computing speed of 70.72T calculations per second, and a super-computer designed by Silicon Graphics Inc. for NASA, which last month reported that it had reached 51.87T calculations per second...   A system designed from Apple Computer components that is installed at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, ranked 8th on the list."

Nicholas Wade _NY Times_
Miniature People Add Extra Pieces to Evolutionary Puzzle
"The miniature people found to have lived on the Indonesian island of Flores until 13K years ago have shaken up views of the human past...   they are so recent, so small and apparently so smart...   The little Floresians seem to have made sophisticated stone tools yet did so with brains of 380 cubic centimeters [roughly 25%-27% the size of moderns]...   They say the Floresians, who stood 3.5 feet high [roughly 50%-88% of the height of moderns], are down-sized versions of Homo erectus, the archaic humans who left Africa 1.5M years before modern humans.   But some critics think the small people may have descended from modern humans - Homo sapiens.   Homo erectus had arrived on the remote island of Flores by 840K years ago, according to earlier findings by Dr. Mike Morwood, the Australian archaeologist on the team...   The skeleton described in Nature lived as recently as 18K years ago, but Dr. Morwood said that in the most recent digging season he found 6 other individuals whose dates range from 95K to 13K years ago.   Modern humans from Africa arrived in the Far East some time after 50K years ago and had reached Australia by at least 40K years ago."

David Brooks _NY Times_
"90% of the office space built in America in the 1990s was built in suburbia, usually in low office parks along the interstates.   Now you have a tribe of people who not only don't work in cities, they don't commute to cities or go to the movies in cities or have any contact with urban life.   You have these huge, sprawling communities with no center."

Marsh & McLennan to Cut 3K Employees (about 5% of work-force), 3 Execs
"Roger Egan, president and chief operating officer of Marsh, and Christopher Treanor, chairman and chief executive of the firm's global placement business, were asked to step down, the company said...   senior vice president and general counsel, William Rosoff, had stepped down [after having] tried to stonewall Spitzer's inquiry, prompting the attorney general to declare that he wouldn't negotiate with the existing leadership of the company.   Two weeks earlier, Jeffrey W. Greenberg resigned as chairman and chief executive."

2004-11-09 09:55PST (12:55EST) (17:55GMT)
Jon Friedman _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
AOL being reorganized into 4 units, then 700 to be laid off
"The 4 divisions are going to be known as Access, Audience, Digital Services and AOL Europe."

2004-11-09 10:20PST (13:20EST) (18:20GMT)
Michael Paige _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
M$ share-owners approve plan to give themselves $32G dividend and production workers the shaft

2004-11-09 13:50PST (16:50EST) (21:50GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Flat day for stocks
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 4.94 points at 10,386.37 and the S&P 500 slipped 0.81 points to 1,164.08.   The Nasdaq Composite Index, however, finished up 4.08 points, or 0.2%, at 2,043.33, extending its string of winning sessions to 7."

2004-11-09 15:24PST (18:24EST) (23:24GMT)
Rex Nutting & Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
John Ashcroft resigns as AG, Don Evans as Commerce Secretary

_News Max_
Colin Powell: Shrub Wants Legal Status for Millions of Illegal Aliens
"Powell spoke at the inaugural session of the U.S.-Mexican Bi-National Commission, which annually brings together top officials from both sides to discuss a range of cross-border issues...   Earlier, Derbez praised the Bush administration's support for Mexico's efforts to promote consular identification cards that help Mexicans living abroad open bank accounts or apply for a driver's license in some parts of the United States."

Greg Schneider _ACM_
Slow-Down Forces Many to Wander for Work
Washington Post
"computer programmers only saw an average 1.3% wage increase for the last 2 years..."

_Washington Post_/_IEEE_
Information Technology Employment, UnEmployment & Wages


2004-11-09 21:00PST (22:00MST) (2004-11-10 00:00EST) (05:00GMT)
Return to Terrorist Alley
"In August, The Investigators on Eyewitness News 4 first reported the possible threat of terrorists using the Arizona/Mexico border to cross into the U.S.A...   hundreds of illegal entrants sneak into Arizona from Mexico.   Items left behind, like a Muslim prayer rug and a diary written in Arabic have led some to believe not all crossers are from Central and South America.   In our original story, sources, including a former Border Patrol supervisor, say people from terrorist-related countries are crossing the border at will...   'So they took him back to the Naco station for further investigating there, and when they entered his finger-prints into the AFIS data-base...   several minutes later they received a phone call from someone on the other end...   separate that gentleman right away.   He was later determined to be from Pakistan.   And he had affiliations with a terrorist group.   It wasn't al-Qaida, but it was another terrorist group and this gentleman was wanted out of France for trafficking in heroin.'"

2004-11-10 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
Unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 350,039 in the week ending November 6, an increase of 44,842 from the previous week.   There were 397,387 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending October 30, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,439,022, an increase of 67,193 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 3,025,662."

2004-11-10 07:13PST (10:13EST) (15:13GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted US unemployment insurance claims rose by 2K
"The [seasonally adjusted] number of people filing for state unemployment insurance for the first time rose 2K to 333K last week, the Labor Department said Wednesday."

2004-11-10 07:17PST (10:17EST) (15:17GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US trade deficit shrank to $51.6G
"A strong euro and a strong hurricane helped cut the U.S. trade deficit by 3.7% to $51.6G in September.   Imports fell 0.8% to $149G while exports increased 0.8% to a record $97.5G, the Commerce Department estimated Wednesday.   Despite higher prices, the nation's bill for imported crude oil fell to $11.4G because imports were disrupted for a time by a powerful hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.   The trade deficit with the European Union declined 20% to $7.7G, while the gap with euro countries plunged 29% to $5.7G...   Meanwhile, the trade gap with [Red China] widened to a record $15.5G behind record imports of $18.4G...   The trade gap in August was revised lower to $53.5G from $54G earlier.   The deficit averaged $51.9G per month in the third quarter...   In September, the price of imported oil increased $1.25 to a record $37.62 per barrel.   The United States imported 10.12M barrels of petroleum [per] day, the lowest since February.   For the first 9 months of the year, the price of imported petroleum averaged $32.66 a barrel.   The increase in U.S. exports was largely driven by foods and feeds, and industrial materials, including soybeans, organic chemicals, gold and plastics.   Exports of capital goods also increased, especially high-tech gear like computers and semiconductors...   Imports of capital goods increased to $29.5G, the highest in nearly 4 years..."

_Federal Reserve "Open Market" Committee_
FOMC decided, today, to raise its target for the federal funds rate by 25 points to 2%... as job market remains strangled

Katie Hafner _NY Times_
Even Digital Memories Can Fade
"The problem of preserving digital photos and other electronic records for future decades confounds even the experts...   Desk drawers and den closets are filled with obsolete computers, stacks of Zip disks and 3Ω-inch diskettes, even the larger 5.25-inch floppy disks from the 1980s [or the 8-inch floppy disks of the 1970s and early 1980s].   Short of a clear solution, experts recommend that people copy their materials, which were once on vinyl, film and paper, to CD's and other backup formats.   But back-up mechanisms can also lose their integrity.   Magnetic tape, CD's and hard drives are far from robust.   The life span of data on a CD recorded with a CD burner, for instance, could be as little as 5 years if it is exposed to extremes in humidity or temperature.   And if a CD is scratched, Mr. Hite said, it can become unusable.   Unlike, say, faded but readable ink on paper, the instant a digital file becomes corrupted, or starts to degrade, it is indecipherable."

2004-11-10 13:53PST (16:53EST) (21:53GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks fell after Feds increased rate, tech companies poor numbers

_Federation for American Immigration Reform_
Shrub Broke His First Campaign Pledge by Renewing Call for Amnesty for Illegal Aliens
"in the last presidential debate in Arizona, George W. Bush clearly stated that he would not support amnesty for illegal aliens.   One week after being narrowly returned to office, the president has reneged on that pledge.   Bush has dispatched Secretary of State Colin Powell to Mexico City to open discussions with the Mexican government about the size and scope of amnesty for illegal immigrants and for a massive new guest worker program...   'Who is the president seeking to reward by reintroducing his amnesty/guest worker proposal?', asked Stein.   'Not middle class workers who made it very clear that they are feeling squeezed.   Not the millions of families who have lost their health insurance benefits because their employers no longer feel that it is necessary to offer such benefits to attract American workers.   Not Hispanic voters, whom polls indicate do not consider this to be high priority and who voted in significant numbers in favor of an Arizona ballot measure that bars illegal aliens from receiving most public benefits.   The only interest group, besides the estimated 10M to 12M illegal aliens and their families who could be in line for legal U.S. residency, are cheap labor employers who have come to believe that it is their right to have workers who will work at whatever wages they wish to pay.'"

"EA spouse" _Live Journal_
EA: The Human Story: Working Hours

Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring News-Letter_
more on the industry's current push in Congress to expand H-1B


2004-11-11 11:37PST (14:37EST) (19:37GMT)
Carla Mozee _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
PLAyTOy Learning shares fell on 2004 forecast: CFO resigned


Robert F. Worth & James Glanz _NY Times_
U.S. Presses Fight in Falluja; Insurgents Strike Other Cities... as though we didn't all expect that
"Rebels mounted fierce counter-attacks against rapid advances by American troops into the southern part of Falluja."

2004-11-12 06:20PST (09:20EST) (14:20GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US retail sales were up 0.2% in October
census bureau report
"U.S. retail sales showed surprising strength in October, rising 0.2% despite a large decline in auto sales, according to Commerce Department figures released Friday.   Auto sales declined 2.2% in October after chalking up a 4.3% increase in September.   Excluding autos, October's retail sales rose 0.9%, the strongest sales pace since May."

2004-11-12 06:49PST (09:49EST) (14:49GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich consumer sentiment rose from 91.7 in October to 95.5 in early November
alternate link

2004-11-12 13:25PST (16:25EST) (21:25GMT)
Marshall Loeb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
A way to make Socialist Insecurity personal & private

2004-11-12 13:34PST (16:34EST) (21:34GMT)
Susan Lerner & Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks had a strong week of gains, Gold at 16-year high, Petroleum fell 5%
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 69 points, or 0.7%, to 10,539.11.   The bench-mark index rose 1.5% on the week.   The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 24 points, or 1.2%, to 2,085.34...   The S&P 500 rose 10.70 points, or 0.9%, to end at 1,184.17, its best closing level since 2001 July.   The broad gauge put in a gain of 1.5% for the week...   Advancers led decliners by roughly 3 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange, while winners out-paced losers by an 18 to 11 [ratio] on the Nasdaq.   Big board volume was 1.52G shares while some 2G shares traded on the Nasdaq...   the Commerce Department said retail sales showed surprising strength in October, rising 0.2% despite a large decline in auto sales.   Excluding autos, retail sales rose 0.9%, the strongest sales since May...   The University of Michigan, meanwhile said U.S. consumer sentiment improved slightly in early November... [rising] to 95.5 from 91.7 in October -- the best reading in 3 months...   Crude for December delivery shed 10 cents to close at $47.32 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   It closed out the week with a $2.29 loss."

Jim Hightower _Pulse of the Twin Cities_
Return of the H-1B Monster
"H-1B is an immigration classification that has allowed high-tech corporations to import hundreds-of-thousands of low-paid computer engineers, programmers and other skilled professionals from abroad, rather than paying the middle-class salaries earned by high-tech workers in America.   These visas have been a primary tool used by CEOs to bust the salary levels of high-tech jobsóthe very jobs that, we were told, were to be the source of upward mobility and middle-class opportunity for our citizens...   Far from a shortage of qualified U.S. workers, people with top-notch skills were practically begging for jobs... and being rejected.   The industry executives were creating a false crisis for one reason: They wanted to displace well-paid Americans with foreign workers who would take a third or less in pay."


Tim Weiner _NY Times_
The Pentagon is building [next generation DARPAnet], which will give commanders and troops a moving picture of all enemies and threats.

2004-11-13 15:11PST (18:11EST) (23:11GMT)
Anne Krishnan _Herald Sun_
Tech workers want to see the U.S. government act to retrain workers, consider security issues and restrict the availability of work visas into the country.


Steven Vass _Sunday Herald_
PR firms consider passage to India
"People point to the number of big PR companies who now have a presence on the Indian sub continent, including Weber Shandwick, Burton Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton.   Edelman, an American PR giant that has a substantial presence in London, is the most recent arrival, having acquired Mumbai-based R&P Management Communications last month.   Although these companies are all primarily in India to broaden their global reach, many observers think off-shoring is the next logical step.   In a week when Lloyds TSB announced it is shifting another 1000 jobs to India, and Chancellor Gordon Brown warned UK companies not to be complacent, it is clear that no sector is exempt."

_NewsNet5_/_Technology Review_
How Engineers Can Fight Back
"But suddenly, while I wasn't looking, disaster had struck.   In the first quarter of 2003, the unemployment rate for electrical engineers had soared to 7%, a full point higher than the national average, which was itself causing alarm...   Two new phenomena have become particularly threatening: the out-sourcing abroad of ever more complex intellectual work, and the importing of tens of thousands of technical workers through the granting of special visas.   And lest we think that this is just a momentary crisis affecting IT people in the swiftly moving world of high tech, an article in Structural Engineer, entitled 'Visas and Out-Sourcing', complains that the problem is beginning to harm civil engineers.   Yet here we are, engineer crusaders, still urging young people to join our ranks, and lamenting the lack of universal enthusiasm for [people to enter our field]...   In a series of essays, Russel C. Jones, past dean, university president, and executive director of the National Society of Professional Engineers, along with professor Bethany S. Oberst, have proposed that the engineering profession address the problem by recognizing companies for meritorious employment practices, and steering engineers away from companies that treat their employees in a non-professional way.   In this endeavor, they suggest, the major U.S. engineering societies are the only voices that can effectively take on this task on behalf of the profession...   less than half of U.S. engineers are members of any professional society...   only a small percentage bother to obtain state licenses..."

Peter Filkins & Robert F. Worth _NY Times_
U.S. Armored Forces Blast Their Way Into Rebel Nest in Falluja

Steven R. Weisman _NY Times_
Under American encouragement and, in some cases, pressure, Israel has quietly taken steps aimed at strengthening the standing of Palestinian moderates.

Cornelia Dean _NY Times_
A proposal to build the world's largest off-shore wind power plant in Nantucket Sound is pitting environmentalists against opponents who foresee it as a "blight".

Degrees most in demand by employers

Constance L. Hays _NY Times_
WM amasses more data about the products it sells and its shoppers' buying habits than any other company... and it wants more
"Such knowledge, WM has learned, is not only power.   It is profit, too...   With 3,600 stores in the United States and roughly 100M customers walking through the doors each week, WM has access to information about a broad slice of America -- from individual [Socialist Inecurity] and driver's license numbers to geographic proclivities for Mallomars, or lip-sticks, or jugs of anti-freeze.   The data are gathered item by item at the checkout aisle, then recorded, mapped and updated by store, by state, by region.   By its own count, WM has 460TB of data stored on Teradata mainframes, made by NCR, at its Bentonville head-quarters...   WM shares some information with its suppliers...   But for the most part, WM hoards its information obsessively.   It also takes pains to keep the information secret...   3 years ago, Wal-Mart summarily announced that it would no longer share its sales data with outside companies, like Information Resources Inc. and ACNielsen, which had paid Wal-Mart for the information and then sold it to other retailers...   Wal-Mart executives have spent handsomely for their systems, paying $4G in 1991...   Wal-Mart is also driving manufacturers to invest in radio frequency identification.   By next October, the company will require its biggest suppliers to tag shipments to some of its distribution centers with tiny transmitters that would eventually let Wal-Mart track every item that it sells [even after it leaves the store]."
Privacy links

Lynn Hirschberg _NY Times_
The block-buster Hollywood films the world sees aren't about here -- or even made here -- anymore.   A story with no happy ending.


Dexter Filkins & James Glanz _NY Times_
Much of Falluja lay in smoking ruins; fighting breaks out elsewhere... as if everyone did not already know it would play out this way

Gardiner Harris _NY Times_
Medicine labels to adopt RFID as privacy violation schemes proliferate

Warren E. Leary _NY Times_
NASA plans to try to set a world speed record for jets with the flight of a pilotless vehicle that culminates a decades-long research program into hypersonic flight.

Sam Dillon _NY Times_
The earnings of many top university presidents are spiraling toward $1M a year, rising far more quickly than faculty salaries.

Sharon Waxman _NY Times_
More than any other studio, Warner Bros. makes big bets on star vehicles and event films that spare no expense.

William Safire _NY Times_
U.S.-led investigations of the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal are being stone-walled by the U.N. members they're likely to embarrass.

Bob Herbert _NY Times_
Feed the Billionaire, Starve the Students: It's Bread & Circuses All the Same
"The very politicians crying poverty as they deny gyms to New York City schools are the ones handing out public funds for a stadium."

Michael J. Graetz _NY Times_
To the Point of No Returns
"America should return to the pre-World War II income tax system: A relatively low-rate simple tax on only the wealthiest people."

Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
In Violation of Their Oaths of Office

2004-11-15 06:39PST (09:39EST) (14:39GMT)
Dow Jones to buy MarketWatch for $520M

2004-11-15 13:02PST (16:02EST) (21:02GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Petroleum falls under $47 per barrel as supply rises: Coffee prices jump 11% to 4-year high
"Crude for December delivery traded as low as $45.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, before closing at $46.80, down 52 cents -- its lowest ending level since September 21.   December heating oil also fell 2.05 cents to close at $1.3431 a gallon.   December unleaded gasoline closed at $1.2379 a gallon, a drop of 1.9 cents...   December natural gas closed at $7.436 per million British thermal units, up 26 cents after trading at a low of $6.98 earlier...   Late Friday, the International Coffee Organization said that world coffee production will total 113M 60kg bags in 2004-2005, down from 122M bags this year...   March coffee closed at 92.5 cents a pound, up 8.7 cents for the session."


2004-11-15 18:33PST (21:33EST) (2004-11-16 02:33GMT)
Thomas Kostigen _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
9 personality traits determine degree of happiness
"Rick Foster and Greg Hicks, sociologists and authors of the book, _How We Choose To be Happy_, have devised a descriptive and prescriptive questionnaire based on these traits that roots out just what happiness is and means to each of us.   Their timing may be prescient.   'Today there is something new emerging in our culture.   It is a growing recognition that despite our economic and material gains, we haven't become a happier society.   An increasing body of research tells us what some of us have known intuitively and what others have learned from experience: More money, in itself, does not make us happier.   In fact, it can, and often does, lead to increased alienation, depression, and discontent.', points out Pamela Gerloff, editor of _More Than Money Journal_...   The first identification measure of happiness is your intention, they say.   How we choose to be happy is not simply the desire to be happy, but the intent to be happy.   It is the fully conscious decision to choose happiness over unhappiness...   insistence on seeing ourselves as having control over our own lives...   happy people can tell us in an instant what makes them happy, and the question becomes, 'Which choice or direction will make me happiest?'   That truth should be central to a person's character and be 'non-negotiable'...   A key component to happiness is, in fact, the creation of options and possibilities."

Bambi Francisco _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Advertising vs. Subscription
"Based on fresh reports Monday, the ratio of on-line ad dollars spent vs. content paid for will end the year at roughly 10 to 1.5, a significant leap from several years back...   On Monday, the OPA reported that web surfers spent $853M in the first half of this year on paid content.   That was a 14% increase from the same period in the previous year.   The increase was due in large part to a surge in music down-loads...   Separately, the Internet Advertising Bureau said that online advertising dollars shot up 35% in the third quarter to $2.43G...   $8G set in 2000...   By contrast, if paid content continues at the same growth rate as the first half of the year, it will reach $1.7G in 2004, and register a growth rate that's less than half of on-line advertising's."

2004-11-16 06:53PST (09:53EST) (13:53GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
PPI increased by 1.7% in October (graph)
"October's core PPI rate, which excludes food and energy, rose a more moderate 0.3% for the second straight month...   The PPI, which advanced just 0.1% in September, is now up 4.4% in the past 12 months, while the core rate is 1.8% higher measured over the same interval."

2004-11-16 10:30PST (13:30EST) (18:30GMT)
_AP_/_NBC4 Los Angeles_
4 charged in visa fraud
"Four people, including a local Iranian TV and radio personality, were arrested and charged with allegedly filing false employment visa applications on behalf of hundreds of foreigners seeking entry into the United States, officials said Tuesday.   Henry Hossein Haghighi Heguman, 59, of West Hills was described in the federal criminal complaint as the leader of the scheme.   Haghighi has regularly appeared on local Iranian TV and radio shows, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement.   Haghighi was arrested Saturday along with Bita Logham Hoffman, 39, of Carlsbad; Farideh Mir, 58, of Sherman Oaks and Grace Houra Shahraz Edison, 49, of Canoga Park.   The investigation started in 2002 April after customs agents received several tips from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers at the California center where employment-based visa petitions are processed.   Investigators discovered that Haghighi and his associated were charging their primarily Iranian clients $8K to $30K to obtain fraudulent employment-based visas, the government alleged...   Investigators examined more than 550 employment-based visa applications filed by Haghighi and his associates from May 1993 and early 2003 and compared them to tax withholding records maintained by the state.   The comparison showed the petitioning businesses reporting wages for only 13% of the aliens who entered the United States on the employment-based visas."

Mary Williams Walsh _NY Times_
Debt Doubles at Agency that Insures Pension Plans
"The federal agency that insures pension plans said that its deficit, already at the highest in its history, had doubled in its last fiscal year, to $23.3G."

Saritha Rai _NY Times_
M$ Continues to Expand Operations in India, but not in California of Kansas
"M$ is significantly expanding its software development operations in India as it opens a new campus near Hyderabad, its second-largest campus after its headquarters in Redmond, WA."

Benedict Carey _NY Times_
While "passive-aggressive" has become an all-purpose label for almost any difficult character, it is a controversial concept in psychiatry.

Jakob Schiller _Berkeley Daily Planet_
Daily Planet faces off with WM over sealed worker records
"On Tuesday the Berkeley Daily Planet had its first hearing in Alameda Superior Court concerning the unsealing of records filed in a class action law-suit brought against California WM stores...   The suit that the newspaper is trying to gain access to is a statewide class action suit brought by 204K WM workers who claim WM violated their rights under state labor laws by denying them their meal and rest breaks, and by secretly deleting hours worked from their pay-checks.   The case was filed in 2001, granted class action status on 2003-11-06 and is expected to go to trial in 2005 June...   Grant added that she believes the real point is that WM doesn't want the public to learn that they are artificially suppressing labor costs by intentionally under-staffing their stores and secretly deleting hours from employees' pay-checks."

Shirleen Holt _Seattle Times_
Just-in-time employment favors bodyshoppers at expense of production workers (graph)
"Thomas is using what economists call 'just-in-time' employment, a growing trend that involves hiring temporary and part-time workers, contracting jobs to smaller vendors, or giving existing employees more overtime ó everything short of hiring permanent, full-time help.   Named after the inventory-control philosophy, just-in-time labor is common in the early phases of a recovery when employers use temp workers or boost overtime as a hedge against another downturn.   But some labor economists wonder if employers' growing reliance on contingent workers is contributing to the post-recession period's unusually slow creation of new jobs...   Meanwhile, growth in temporary staffing [a.k.a. bodyshops] -- the agencies employers go to for short-term help -- out-paced even health care in October, accounting for 14% of all net new jobs in the United States last month.   In Washington, employment services, including temporary staffing, is up nearly 3K jobs from early 2002, although that sector, like most, still hasn't recovered the jobs it lost during the recession."

P.L. Pong _The Star_
Body shopping injustice
"Many jobless people are being exploited when they are taken in as contract workers or temporary staff..."


Matt Richtel _NY Times_
A few schools have begun monitoring students' arrivals and departures using technology similar to that used to track live-stock.
Privacy links

Gary Rivlin _NY Times_
Silicon Valley executive associations continue lobbying efforts with PR campaign
"Silicon Valley Aims to Refresh Its Image. Charlie Rose, the TV interviewer, is taping 5 shows back to back of Silicon Valley heavy-weights."

2004-11-17 10:39PST (13:39EST) (18:39GMT)
David Weidner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Sears & Kmart merge in $11G deal: Kmart CEO Edward Lampert to head new holding company with HQ in HOffman Estates
"The deal itself was borne out of talks this summer that resulted in the sale of up to 54 Kmart stores to Sears for $621M.   Lampert, a manager at ESL Investments, kept in touch with Sears executives and its bankers at Morgan Stanley, according to people familiar with the talks.   Talks heated up during the last 2 weeks.   Executives met in Chicago, Greenwich, CT, and finally in marathon talks November 13 and November 14 at the New York office of Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, the legal counsel for Sears.   Negotiations accelerated November 5 when Vornado Realty Trust paid about $330M for a 4.3% stake.   Shares of Sears soared on the news, rising 18% to $45.88.   Vornado's payday could be more than $119M, a 32% gain."

2004-11-17 08:13PST (11:13EST) (16:13GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
CPI rose 0.6% in October

_Team America PAC_
Tom Tancredo Moves to Quach Back-Door Attempt to Relax Immigration Rules
"Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo (CO-06) today penned a note of caution to House and Senate Appropriators against including extraneous immigration provisions in an omnibus spending bill.   By including the changes in an end-of-year omnibus spending bill, substantial revisions to federal immigration law would occur absent any consideration by Congress...   The proposed changes would dramatically increase the number of H1-B foreign workers allowed to enter the U.S. each year.   Aliens who obtain advanced college degrees would not be counted against the current numerical cap on H-1Bs..."


2004-11-17 17:05PST (20:05EST) (2004-11-18 01:05GMT)
Kristen Gerencher _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Osteoporosis, osteopenia & their prevention

2004-11-18 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
Unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 310,837 in the week ending November 13, a decrease of 43,724 from the previous week.   There were 347,719 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending November 6, unchanged from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,398,544, a decrease of 35,603 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.4% and the volume was 2,996,755."

2004-11-18 05:38PST (08:38EST) (13:38GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted US initial unemployment insurance claims fell to 334K: 4-week average up 1K to 338,250
"The number of former workers continuing to receive state unemployment benefits fell by 16K to 2.79M in the week ended November 6.   The 4-week average of continuing claims rose by 500 to 2.8M."

2004-11-18 15:30PST (18:30EST) (23:30GMT)
Dan Burrows _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Founder Phil Knight steps down as CEO of Nike
"He will be succeeded by William Perez, who has been president and chief executive of privately held S.C. Johnson & Son since 1996.   Perez will join Nike on December 28.   Knight will retain his position as Nike's chairman."

Bryan Corliss _Everett Herald_
Legislators meet in Everett to examine off-shore job flow, out-sourcing and health care costs
"many tax dollars are being sent to off-shore sub-contractors...   'tax dollars should stay here and create jobs here.', said Rep. Steve Conway, D-Tacoma, chairman of the Commerce and Labor Committee in the House of Representatives...   'out-sourcing is a problem, not only on a national level but on a state level.', said Christian Dube, a spokesman for the Communication Workers of America...   Conway said the Legislature 'absolutely must' take steps to require private companies that do contract work for the state to report whether they're sending any of that work to over-seas sub-contractors...   McCoy said, 'Even trying to address our issues in the state, we run into [the WTO].'"

Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Illegal Immigration May Explain Differences between Household & Establishment Surveys
"Employers added 337K pay-roll jobs in October -- the most in 7 months.   But about half of the new jobs went to Hispanics, although they account for only 15% of the labor force.   Some 40% of U.S. resident Hispanics are foreign born, so they are a good proxy for the displacement of American workers by immigrants.   This displacement phenomenon is so marked that we have developed VDAWDIóthe VDARE.COM American Worker Displacement Indexóto measure it.   Over the life of the first Bush Administration, VDAWDI registered 12.1, i.e. immigrant job growth out-paced native-born job growth by a factor of more than 12."

Sam Francis _V Dare_
Arizona Proposition 200 Passed with 56%
"Prop 200... requires proof of eligibility to receive state benefits or to vote.   The real purpose of Prop 200, of course, was to stop illegal aliens, who lack such proof, from getting welfare and from voting...   Prop 200 won the support of 47% of the state's Hispanic citizens."


Steven Greenhouse _NY Times_
Pressured to Work Off the Clock, Some Fight Back
"Workers at hair salons, super-markets, restaurants, discount stores, call centers, car washes and other businesses who have murmured only to one another about off-the-clock work are now speaking up and documenting the illegal practice...   Over the last year, the Labor Department has brought enforcement actions against several companies that required off-the-clock work, seeking back pay and demanding compliance.   The agency has grown more aggressive after plaintiffs' lawyers filed scores of off-the-clock law-suits, some resulting in multi-million-dollar settlements with prominent companies, including Radio Shack and Starbucks."

2004-11-19 10:36PST (13:36EST) (18:36GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Greenspan warns of consequences of growing current account deficit
prepared remarks
"'It seems persuasive that, given the size of the U.S. current account deficit, a diminished appetite for adding to dollar balances must occur at some point.', the Federal Reserve Board chief said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference on the euro in Frankfurt, Germany...   The United States recorded a current account deficit of $166.2G in the second quarter.   Statistics have shown that forecasting exchange rates has a success rate no better than forecasting the outcome of a coin toss, Greenspan said.   Despite this uncertainty, it's clear that the United States must boost national saving to make adjustment of the current account deficit easier."

2004-11-19 14:01PST (17:01EST) (22:01GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks sink
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest daily loss in nearly two months to end down 115.64 points, or 1.1%, at 10,456.91.   The bench-mark index slipped 0.8% on the week...   Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 33.65 points, or 1.6%, to 2,071.   The tech-rich index pulled back on a retreat in the semiconductor sector, which led a broad sell-off in technology stocks.   On the week, the Nasdaq fell 0.7% on the week.   The S&P 500 Index dropped 13.21 points, to 1,170.34.   The broad gauge shed 1.2% on the week."

John W. Slagle et al. _Illinois Leader_
Illegal Immigration
"As a former Midwesterner and a 30 year member of the United States Border Patrol, I always appreciate truthful journalism from the heartland.   I sincerely appreciated the first sentence that our borders remain porous despite the war on terror.   Democrats and Republicans are equally responsible.   Through many decades in history, my partners and I have been there from the Freedom Flotilla as Fidel Castro opened his prisons to mental ward homicidal maniacs as a joke to former President Carter to other strange policies.   The first arriving boats and control of those political refugees were difficult times.   The first Amnesty in 1986 was a fraud filled fiasco that actually increased illegal immigration and failed to address employer sanctions laws with sufficient Agents to force national compliance.   False documents, illegal aliens using false names after crossing the border in violation of 8 USC 1324, 1325 and 1326 has been a major problem in this nation since 1972...   For the record, 8M or 9M illegal aliens is a never changing government number.   20M to 30M would be a conservative estimate.   The Border Patrol in Tucson Sector arrested 418,132 Mexican nationals from 2003 October 1 to 2004 August 25 the close of the fiscal year.   An Additional 55,890 Other Than Mexicans... were arrested and subject to deportation..."

Chris McManes _IEEE USA_
US High-Tech Unemployment Has Shrunk Since H-1B Cap Returned to 65K (table)
US News Wire
"The number of unemployed high-tech workers has fallen by a total of 92K in 9 major high-tech job classifications tracked by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the third quarter of 2004 vs. the first quarter. Total: 1st Quarter 208K, 3rd Quarter 116K, Change -92K. Despite these gains, 116K people remained out of work in those 9 career areas in the third quarter."


2004-11-20 12:47PST (15:47EST) (20:47GMT)
Red Chinese Government Says It's Too Soon to End Yuan's Lock to the Dollar

Larry Rohter _NY Times_
Red China Widens Economic Role in Latin America
"Driven by one of the largest and most sustained economic expansions in history, [Red China] is increasingly turning to South America as a supplier."

_Reuters_/_NY Times_
Congress Votes to Ban States From Taxing Internet Service
"Congress passed a measure putting a 3-year ban on taxation of the monthly fees that Internet providers charge their customers."


Randall Stross _NY Times_
When Long Hours at a Video Game Stop Being Fun
"For players with ambitions to develop games, Electronic Arts must appear to be the best place in the world, but there is unhappiness among those living that dream...   its high-tech work force is toiling like galley slaves chained to their benches.   The first crack opened last summer, when Jamie Kirschenbaum, a salaried EA employee, filed a class-action law-suit against the company, accusing it of failure to pay over-time compensation...   since joining EA in 2003 June in the image production department, he has been working - at the company's insistence - around 65 hours a week, spread over 6 or 7 days.   Putting in long hours is what the industry calls 'crunching'.   Once upon a time, the crunch came in the week or two before shipping a new release.   [Recent years']experience, however, has been a continuous string of crunches."

Rebecca Lipchitz _Lowell Sun_
Off-Shoring Presents Many Challengs to USA
"A nationally recognized expert in the subject, [Ron] Hira addressed UMass Lowell professors last week as part of a seminar series sponsored by the school's Department of Regional Economic and Social Development and the Center for Industrial Competitiveness...   A book that he has co-written, _Out-Sourcing America: What's behind our national crisis and how we can reclaim American jobs_ is due out in April...   The number of engineering students graduating in India every year has been around 120K, Hira said; the U.S. produces about 70K.   [Red China], with an educational system that works differently, is producing between 200K and 700K engineers a year...   'The knee-jerk reaction to the question, Where will the jobs be? in nano-tech and bio-tech.', Hira said...   85% of the qualified people who are offered jobs with the company accept them...   a report on the domestic IT labor market from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows unemployment of non-manager technical jobs (analysts, engineers and programmers) at between 5% and 7% in 2003, about the same as the national average for all workers...   before out-sourcing, the U.S. gets 72 cents on the dollar, and 45 to 47 cents afterward.   Furthermore, 31% of displaced workers remain unemployed, and those who are employed often earn less."


Craig S. Smith _NY Times_
Major Creditors in Accord to Waive 80% of Iraq Debt

Steve Lohr _NY Times_
Building a Medical Data Network
"Digital patient records could become building blocks in a nationwide biomedical computer network for assembling and distributing up-to-the-minute studies of disease."
Privacy Rights Clearing-House
Privacy Journal
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Spy Chips (RFID)

2004-11-22 09:52PST (12:52EST) (17:52GMT)
Rex Crum _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Apple Computer stocks rise as analysts boost targets: Reaches intra-day trading levels of 2000 March peak
"Apple Computer shares soared as much as 12% Monday as Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster set a $100 price target on the company's stock, due to growing evidence that iPod sales are leading to more purchases of Apple's Macintosh computers...   He added that a survey of 200 iPod users in the United States showed that 6% of former PC users bought a Mac after buying an iPod.   Another 7% said they intend to buy a Mac within the next 12 months."

2004-11-22 09:57PST (12:57EST) (17:57GMT)
Heather Wilson _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
National Association of Securities Dealers bans Frank Quattrone for life for refusing to testify
full story
"The NASD's National Adjudicatory Council over-ruled an earlier decision that fined Quatrrone $30K and placed him on a one-year suspension."

John W. Steadman _IEEE USA_
President's Column regarding engineering employment
"The significant and continued productivity gains since 1995 means that fewer workers can do the same work now that more workers did before.   For example, between 1995 and 2002, the number of manufacturing jobs in the United States dropped by 11% while output increased 30%.   The influx of foreign guest workers on H-1B and L-1 visas has increased the supply of high-tech workers in this country, suppressing wages.   Research shows that real wages for engineers and computer scientists have not increased in 20 years.   Ever-cheaper global communications means that off-shore out-sourcing will continue.   Some 160K U.S. IT jobs have disappeared in the past 3 years, and both the number employed and the number unemployed have dropped.   Best estimates are that 2% to 4% of computer jobs and 5% of call center work is done in India, where about 80% of the over-seas white-collar jobs go.   Congress is calling for studies by GAO and outside groups to quantify the extent to which the off-shoring phenomenon may be reducing career opportunities in the United States.   The retirement of long-time workers (noted in the report of the President's Commission on the Future of the Aerospace Industry, inter alia) means that some of the continuing shrinkage will occur through attrition -- simply not replacing the retiring workers with new grads."

Joyce Lain Kennedy _Sun-Sentinel_
Job market for US tech grads is dismal
"Now that winning position is verging on bust (see Techs Unite) as employers look for cheaper labor here or abroad for work that rapidly is becoming a commodity.   University of California/Davis computer science professor Norm Matloff, who has followed the issue carefully for years, said, 'There will be very few opportunities for technical careers for computer science graduates in the coming years.'"

Caron Carlson _eWeek_
H-1B Exemptions Sought
"The tech industry is redoubling its lobbying efforts to raise the cap on the number of foreign nationals permitted to fill skilled jobs in the United States.   With slim hope of seeing legislation passed this year exempting the industry from visa limits on foreign workers, IT companies are setting the groundwork for the next Congress to raise the cap further."

Alana Roberts _Las Vegas Sun_
Some high-tech groups claim H visas are unfair
"a computer programmer who hasn't worked full-time in his field in 3 years, sees the proposed extension as a way for companies to improve their bargaining position with prospective employees, an unnecessary federal move that would hurt American workers...   When the industry says, 'We need more H-1B visas.', what that says is, 'Let's see if we can get the salaries lower.   The more workers you have in the work-place the lower the salaries because in America workers are commodities, unlike in other countries where they're treated like humans."

2004-11-22 12:01PST (15:01EST) (20:01GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_
Spending bill added 20K H-1B visas
"Up to 20K more guest worker visas will be available annually to foreigners who earn advanced degrees in the United States, under a bill passed by Congress this weekend.   In a catch-all spending bill, Congress agreed to a number of changes to the controversial H-1B and L-1 visa programs.   President Bush on Saturday said he plans to sign the legislation.   Among the visa program changes in the bill are a requirement that companies attest that an H-1B worker will not displace a U.S. worker and a $500 anti-fraud fee tied to visa applications.   In addition, up to 20K foreigners who earn a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution will not be counted toward the annual cap of 65K new H-1B visas."

Suzanne Gamboa _Kansas City Star_
Congress Adds 20K to H-1B Visa Limit for Those with Graduate Degrees
IEEE USA: L-1 & H-1B visa provisions in FY2005 budget bill
"as part of the $388G spending bill passed over the weekend and awaiting President Bush's signature, Congress is exempting from the limit 20K foreign students with masters and above degrees from U.S. universities...   of the 424 students who earned master's degrees in engineering at the University of Texas at Austin last year, 228 were foreign students; of the 135 who earned doctorates in engineering, 81 were foreigners, Boyd said."


Joe Sharkey _NY Times_
Many Women & Men Say Airport Pat-Downs Are Abusive
"Many women [& men] are furious about changes in airport security that have increased the number and the intensity of body pat-down searches."

2004-11-23 09:05PST (12:05EST) (17:05GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US existing home sales fell 0.1% in October
National Association of Realtors report
"Sales of previously owned homes eased 0.1% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.75M units, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday...   In the past year, existing home sales have risen 5.6%.   The national median price for a house sold in October was $187K, up 8.8% from a year earlier."

2004-11-23 14:43PST (17:43EST) (22:43GMT)
NACCB Applauds Weak Restrictions on L-1 Visa
"The National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB) applauded the inclusion of a legislative provision in the Omnibus Appropriations bill designed to end the abuse of the L-1B visa.   NACCB worked with Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) to craft a bill that would prohibit the abuse of the L-1B visa by foreign IT consulting firms.   The bill (S1635 Substitute) was incorporated verbatim into the massive Omnibus Appropriations bill late Friday evening and was approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate on Saturday.   Once an unrelated issue is resolved by the House, the bill will be sent to the President for his signature in the near future.   Against the backdrop of a challenging employment environment for U.S. IT workers and the U.S. based IT services companies that place many of them, off-shore companies are bringing in thousands of lower wage IT workers to place at client sites using a loophole in U.S. immigration law.   The L-1 visa (intracompany transfer) program was intended to permit multinational companies to transfer foreign nationals who were company executives or managers or employees with specialized knowledge of the company's products and operations.   It was never intended to allow off-shore companies to bring in lower wage IT workers (often as supplemental staff at client sites) by circumventing Congressionally mandated safeguards and rules imposed under the H-1B program."

Suzanne Gamboa _AP_/_Detroit News_
Congress makes room for more foreigners for high-tech jobs while hundreds of thousands of Americans remain unemployed
Technology Review


2004-11-23 20:32PST (23:32EST) (2004-11-24 04:32GMT)
US Snail Lobbying for 10% Rate Increase
History of US Postage Rates
"First-class stamps, which have risen 12% since 2001, would increase to at least 41 cents, the Wall Street Journal reported in a story on its web site.   The last price increase was in 2002.   [41 cents is 13.67 times the rate set in 1863, and 10.25 times the rate set in 1958, and 5.125 times the rate set in 1971.]"

Studies of Twins Find Genetic Factors Influence Female Fidelity (and, separately, Sleep Disorders)
"Genetic factors influence female infidelity and the number of sexual partners women have, British scientists said on Wednesday...   'We found that around 40% of the influence on the number of sexual partners and infidelity were due to genetic factors.', Professor Tim Spector, director of the Twin Research Unit at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, told a news conference...   Women who had been faithful had about four sexual partners, compared to eight in the infidelity group.   'More than 90% of the women admitted to having had thoughts of infidelity at some time.', said Spector, who reported the findings in the journal Twin Research.   The scientists suspect that many genes could be associated with sexual behavior.   They believe genes on chromosomes 3, 7 and 20 could be involved.   In a separate study in the journal, involving nearly 2K sets of female twins, Spector and his team said genes also played a role in common sleep disorders.   'These results suggest a substantial genetic contribution to the symptoms of both obstructive sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome...'"

Gina Kolata _NY Times_
Data on Deaths From Obesity Is Inflated, CDCP Says
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that its [earlier] estimate that 400K Americans die each year from obesity was too high because of a calculation error."

Joseph B. Treaster _NY Times_
A.I.G. Will Accept Monitor and Pay $126M to Close Inquiries
Alistair Barr: CBS.MarketWatch
Alistair Barr update
"The insurance company has agreed to pay about $80M to settle investigations into insurance sales that were used by companies to manipulate their earnings."

Ken Belson _NY Times_
Cingular to Cut 7K Jobs to Trim Costs After Buy-Out

2004-11-24 04:53PST (07:53EST) (12:53GMT)
Marianne Kolbasuk McGee _Electronics Supply & Manufacturing_/_CMP_/_Information Week_/_Silicon Strategies_
H-1B changes would exempt 20K foreign grads of US universities
Information Week
"Companies that depend on foreign-born workers with advanced degrees from American universities will likely soon have something to be thankful for.   Congress this week agreed to a provision that exempts those graduates from the annual H-1B visa cap.   The provision, which is expected to be approved by President Bush within the next 2 weeks, would exempt 20K foreign students with master's or Ph.D. degrees from the annual H-1B cap..."

2004-11-24 05:30PST (08:30EST) (13:30GMT)
Subri Raman & Tony Sznoluch _DoL ETA_
Unemployment insurance weekly claims report
"The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 355,121 in the week ending November 20, an increase of 43,295 from the previous week.   There were 397,990 initial claims in the comparable week in 2003.   The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending November 13, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week.   The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,540,031, an increase of 148,287 from the preceding week.   A year earlier, the rate was 2.5% and the volume was 3,137,692."

2004-11-24 07:02PST (10:02EST) (15:02GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims fell by 12K
"[Seasonally adjusted] Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly to 323K last week, down 12K from a week earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday...   The [seasonally adjusted] 4-week moving average of new claims, which smoothes out distortions caused by one-time events such as weather, fell 6,750 to 332K...   This is the lowest level of the 4-week moving average since the week ended 2000-11-18.   Meanwhile, the number of former workers receiving state unemployment checks fell by 29K to 2.76M in the week ending November 13.   This is the lowest level of continuing claims since the week ended 2001-05-05.   The [seasonally adjusted] 4-week average of continued claims dipped to a 3 year low of 2.79M."

2004-11-24 07:48PST (10:48EST) (15:48GMT)
Gregory Robb _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
UMich consumer sentiment index fell from 95.5 earlier in the month to 92.8

2004-11-24 08:58PST (11:58EST) (16:58GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US new-home sales increased 0.2% in October: Median sales price up 9.1% to $221,800
census bureau report

2004-11-24 09:06PST (12:06EST) (17:06GMT)
Corbett B. Daly _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US durable goods orders fell 0.4% in October
"Orders for electronics sank 5.7%, marking the largest drop in 11 months. The orders figure excludes semiconductors. With semiconductors included, shipments of electronics fell 3.6% last month. Monthly orders for machinery rose 3.7%, the largest gain since March. Shipments of machinery rose 4.6%."

2004-11-24 12:34PST (15:34EST) (20:34GMT)
John C. Dvorak _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Europe debates software patents
"An extremely important economic decision is coming from the European Union in the next few months: Whether or not to follow the United States in allowing software to be patented.   American advocates from the Open Source Software movement are tub- thumping against the EU Software Patent directive, and many Europeans have been railing against software patents for years.   If the European patent plan is not adopted, the United States could be at a huge competitive disadvantage from which it may be impossible to recover.   The debate over whether computer software can be patented goes back to the 1960s.   It finally got traction in the 1990s, with only a very few software patents existing before then.   Once the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office eased its resistance to the idea, it received a flood of applications.   Almost everything done in software today involves patented processes.   Critics of software patents say that in the future it will be nearly impossible to develop anything without violating someone's patent."

2004-11-24 13:10PST (16:10EST) (21:10GMT)
Ed Frauenheim _CNET_
Off-shoring study funded by omnibus bill
IEEE USA: congress funds major off-shoring study
"Buried within a massive spending bill law-makers approved on Saturday is a provision to set aside $2M to study the 'impacts of off-shoring on the economy and work force of the United States'. The study is to be carried out by the National Academy of Public Administration, [a nominally] independent, non-partisan organization chartered by Congress to assist governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency and accountability."

2004-11-24 13:36PST (16:36EST) (21:36GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Festive mood on Wall Street
"Stocks enjoyed a pre-holiday rally Wednesday as the Nasdaq found solid support from the tech sector...   The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 27.71 points, or 0.3%, at 10,520.31 while the Nasdaq Composite Index lifted 18.26 points, or 0.9%, to 2,102.54.   The S&P 500 Index added 4.82 points, or 0.4% to 1,181.76.   Advancers led decliners by 23 to 9 on the New York Stock Exchange and 19 to 12 on the Nasdaq.   Volume was thin, as many on Wall Street took early leave ahead of the holiday.   Nearly 1.15G shares traded on the Big Board, while about 1.63G moved on the Nasdaq...   After an early slide, December crude oil futures closed up 50 cents at $49.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.   Crude-oil futures traded under $48 a barrel after a government report revealed the first distillate inventory climb in 10 weeks, but prices reversed after finding support from a bigger-than-usual decline in natural-gas inventories."


Abby Goodnough _NY Times_
After 4 Hurricanes, Trailers and Homelessness
"At the end of a hurricane season that left much of Florida in ruins, thousands of families remain displaced, with new requests for housing every day."

Eduardo Porter _NY Times_
Consumers Give Signs of a Free-Spending Holiday Season
"With industry captains still hesitant to invest heavily, are consumers going to keep the recovery healthy through the holiday season and beyond?"

David Pogue _NY Times_
Cam-corders Finally Find Hard Drives
"JVC is introducing 2 cam-corders that abandon tape and discs altogether, recording onto removable hard drives."

Karl Schoenberger _San Jose Mercury News_
tech visa loop-hole narrowed very slightly: Program is abused, ctitics say
"Critics of the off-shoring industry say that L-1 visas are used far more broadly and are being exploited to evade caps on the H-1B visa program for admitting temporary skilled workers.   Last year, 57,245 L-1 visas were granted -- nearly one-third of them to Indian nationals.   The H-1B visa program, which helped provide workers for much of Silicon Valley's tech boom, has been controversial.   Some tech workers and political leaders argue that the visas make it too easy for low-paid foreign workers to replace highly paid Americans in software programming and other skilled tech jobs...   India's largest software contractors have dramatically increased their reliance on L-1 visas.   L-1 visas issued to Indian nationals increased by nearly eight times between 1998 and 2003, according to the State Department...   The new legislation, which President Bush is expected to sign soon, would require companies to keep L-1 visa holders under their direct management control when working with a customer.   L-1 visa holders couldn't work as sub-contractors or be supervised by the customer...   'The bodyshops are probably going to find a way to to go around this.', said Jack Martin, special projects director for the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform...   The laid-off employees questioned the logic of a visa intended for workers with exclusive technical skills, when in fact they had to be trained by Americans laid off ostensibly because they lacked such skills.   They concluded it was all about wages -- calculating that their [TCS] L-1 replacements made about a third of their $70K salaries.   'There was nothing unique to Tata in what they were doing.', said Michael Emmons, 42, one of the Florida workers.   'Their long-term goal was to take the whole thing to India, but they couldn't do that without knowledge transfer.   And the L-1 visa is the golden egg for knowledge transfer -- and taking our jobs over-seas.'"


Leigh Strope _AP_/_Yahoo!_
US government caving in to WTO... again
"'We are continuing to work with Congress to bring the U.S. into compliance and we are consulting with our trading partners on these efforts.', said Richard Mills, spokesman for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.   Officials already notified the WTO that 'we intend to comply with our international obligations in this matter.   It's important to remember that these issues do not affect the ability of the United States to continue enforcing our trade laws to make sure Americans are being treated fairly.', Mills said, after the WTO in Geneva approved new sanctions aimed at retaliating against American exports.   The WTO acted because the U.S. Congress has not yet repealed a law that America's trading rivals consider anticompetitive and protectionist.   U.S. exports of cod, textiles, glassware, mobile homes, apples and other goods face new tariffs as a result of the decision by the WTO, an international trade body.   The decision was expected.   The trading dispute centers on a 2000 law, named for senator Robert Byrd, D-WV, which lets the U.S. government fine foreign companies that it judges to be selling goods here at below-market prices, with the proceeds going to U.S. companies."

2004-11-26 08:59PST (11:59EST) (16:59GMT)
Frank Barnako _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Retailers Stepping Up Spamming Efforts
"Many retailers during this holiday season are hoping that while you're planning your giving, they'll get from you an e-mail address."

Felicity Barringer _NY Times_
Restoration of Property Rights May Alter Oregon Landscape
"Under the measure, property owners who can prove that environmental or zoning rules have hurt their investments can force the government to compensate them."

Matthew L. Wald _NY Times_
New High-Tech Passports Raise Snooping Concerns
"Privacy advocates say that new passports that carry information about the traveler in a computer chip [entail] electronic snooping."

Veronica Khokhlova _NY Times_
New Kids on the Bloc
"If the students in the streets of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities have no fear in defending their rights, why should the rest of us?"

2004-11-26 10:06PST (13:06EST) (18:06GMT)
Jim Jelter _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Taser stocks fall due to revelations of dangers: More lethal than expected
"Air Force Research Laboratory tests, adds to a growing body of complaints over the use and safety of Taser's stun guns.   According to the paper, the Air Force said at a symposium last week that Taser stun guns may be dangerous and require further testing."

2004-11-26 11:07PST (14:07EST) (19:07GMT)
Susan Lerner _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks end mixed in thin trading during short session
"The major U.S. stock indexes finished the Friday session not far from where they started, with the lack-luster bench-mark moves belying strength in the broader market...   The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day up 1.92 points at 10,522.23.   For the week, the blue-chip gauge added 0.6%.   The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.57 point to 2,101.97, putting it up 1.5% on the week.   The S&P 500 Index added 0.89 point, or 0.1%, to 1,182.65.   For the week, the S&P was 1.1% higher.   Breadth was positive Friday, with Big Board winners outnumbering losers by a margin of 9 to 6, while on the Nasdaq advancers led decliners by 17 to 12.   Under-scoring the thin trading tone, volume was a paltry 501M shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 668M on the Nasdaq."

2004-11-26 11:28PST (14:58EST) (19:58GMT)
Jennifer Waters, Jordan Robertson & William Spain _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Shoppers hit the stores
"Big bucks are always spent on this day -- and estimates are that 3% to 5% more will be spent than the $7.2G last year, according to the retail monitor ShopperTrak.   Judging from anecdotal evidence, it looked as though that target might be within reach...   'It's probably the best Black Friday in recent years.'"

_San Jose Mercury News_/_Knight Ridder_/_Fort Wayne News Sentinel_
Make visa programs work for America
"The worst abuse occurs with the L-1 visa, which some companies use to turn themselves into international temp agencies.   These companies import tech workers with generic skills, pay them below-market wages and out-source them to other companies for specific projects...   The situation with the H-1B visa is more murky.   Many tech companies use the visa legitimately, hiring highly skilled workers whose presence here has helped build America's technology leadership.   But there's mounting evidence that some employers misuse the visa to cut labor costs.   They bring in workers whose skills are commonplace and pay them below-market wages.   The government has done little to enforce a requirement that H-1B workers be paid a prevailing wage."


Richard A. Oppel _NY Times_
Troops Finding Scores of Bodies of Slain Iraqis
"American troops have discovered at least 65 bodies in the past 8 days in Mosul, the latest sign that insurgents are focusing on terrorizing vulnerable Iraqis."

Greg Winter & Jonathan Cheng _NY Times_
Givers and Colleges Clash on Spending
"In recent years a few noisy disputes over how donated money is spent have had a powerful effect on the fund-raising game."

Paul Meller _NY Times_
WTO Authorizes Trade Sanctions Against the United States
"The World Trade Organization authorized about $150M in trade sanctions on the U.S. in retaliation for an import duties law that has been ruled 'illegal'."

_Reuters_/_NY Times_
Sony Lags Behind Demand for Flat TVs
"Sony is having trouble meeting soaring demand for flat televisions as its assembly lines did not gear up quickly enough."

_Reuters_/_NY Times_
Global Chip Sales Rose 1.5% in October
"Worldwide semiconductor sales rose a scant 1.5% in October, to $18.8G from $18.5G in September, as many chip users pared inventories."

2004-11-27 14:47PST (17:47EST) (22:47GMT)
Carla Mozee _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Retailers tallying holiday sales: Visa purchases up 15.5%; ShopperTrak sees 10.8% gain
"Visa USA said Saturday that the total of its credit and debit card transactions was more than $4.1G, up 15.5% from the same day last year.   In breaking out its numbers, Visa said discount and drug store buys rose 20.9%, department store and apparel buys rose 15.7%, and home and garden transactions were up 15.6%.   Purchases at specialty retail, gift and hobby stores were flat with year-ago numbers.   Visa said its 450M cards account for about 14% of total purchases...   Last year's Black Friday saw $7.3G in sales, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and the U.S. Commerce Department...   The Washington-based National Retail Federation projects that total sales will increase 4.5% for November and December, after excluding restaurant and automobile sales.   Last year, total sales increased 5.1%.   It also projects each shopper will spend about $702.03 on gifts.   The total traditional retail take is estimated around $220G, with Internet sales adding about $15G...   The Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce said Friday sales ranged from $500 to $30K.   In the land of glitz, a cashmere wardrobe was going for about $10K and the average purchase for the day was about $750."

Robert Weisman _Boston Globe_
Software sector lags in Massachusetts
"Massachusetts lost 121 software companies and 3,859 software-related jobs during the past year, according to an industry group's figures, suggesting that one of the most vibrant sectors of the 1990s has yet to join in the state's tepid economic recovery.   It was the fourth straight year of declines in the number of software businesses and jobs, a survey published in the Massachusetts Software Council annual directory shows.   But losses in both categories narrowed from last year, and software industry leaders insisted they have seen more encouraging signs in recent months.   Council chairman Paul Egerman, chief executive of speech recognition software firm eScription Corp. in Needham, said the 2004 figures were based on a survey taken earlier in the year.   But while spending on software has since picked up, and many companies have resumed hiring, efficiency gains and the shifting of programming work off-shore may be holding back employment growth, he suggested.   'Out-sourcing could be one factor.', Egerman said.   'A lot of small companies feel they are under pressure to do out-sourcing.   It's become almost a condition for companies getting venture capital.'   The council's survey found that 2,781 companies in Massachusetts sell software and related high-tech products and services, a drop of 4.2% from 2,902 last year.   This year's list includes 2,381 with headquarters in the state and 400 based outside the state but with operations here.   Last year, 2,525 software companies were based in Massachusetts and 377 based elsewhere.   As for jobs, software companies employed 124,807 workers in Massachusetts this year, a 3.0% decrease from last year's 128,666 jobs."


Kate Murphy _NY Times_
The Rise of the Bottomless Hot Water Heaters
"Facing increased fuel prices, more Americans are choosing tankless water heating units, despite higher upfront costs."

Kimberly Blanton _Boston Globe_/_Barre Montpelier Times Argus_
Study doubles number of jobs going off-shore
"Michael Brightman is reminded daily that workers in New Delhi do the same job he does.   His Indian counterparts routinely direct AT&T customers to him for long-distance billing problems that the New Delhi workers can't answer.   Brightman and 139 others will be laid off this month from AT&T's call center on Massachusetts' southeastern coast.   AT&T said the work force reduction resulted from a July decision to phase out residential long-distance service.   'This work did not move.   It went away.', said spokeswoman Tracey Belko [disingenuously].   'We are not moving any of these jobs over-seas.'...   Job movement over-seas 'is absolutely accelerating, and it's changing in its nature.', said Kate Bronfenbrenner, a professor in Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, who prepared the report for the U.S.-[Red China] Economic and Security Review Commission.   'Whereas in 2001 it was almost all in manufacturing, now we see an increase in information technology, communications, financial services, and white-collar work, from research and design to back office.'...   Another 400K jobs added to the total 1.8M jobs created in the United States in 2004 would be 'a big deal', said Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley's chief economist...   'more and more of the new hiring incrementally is occurring off-shore.'...   'Companies are very reluctant to say what they're doing.', said Ronil Hira, professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology.   'They don't want to take the public-relations hit.'   To estimate blue- and white-collar job movements, Bronfenbrenner and UMass professor Stephanie Luce tallied reports of job transfers in the United States and foreign, English-language media in the first quarter of 2004.   They then applied a multiplier to increase the job estimates and adjust for the under-reporting.   In Mexico, for example, they estimated fully two-thirds of production shifts in 2004 were reported by the media, because all of the jobs were in manufacturing and were publicized by unions or confirmed by business filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, government applications for worker assistance under the federal Trade Adjustment Act, and state plant-closing notifications.   In contrast, only one-third of jobs moving to Asia are reported, they said, because the region attracts smaller employers less likely to be in manufacturing and unlikely to report movements."


2004-11-28 20:50PST (23:50EST) (2004-11-29 04:50GMT)
Michelle Kessler _USA Today_
US tech firms hire more foreigners here, too
"U.S.A. tech companies aren't just sending work over-seas.   They're also trying to hire more foreign workers in the USA.   Congress approved 20K new visas for skilled foreign workers this month.   To qualify for these H-1B visas, a worker must have a graduate degree from a U.S. university.   They must also have a job offer from a U.S.A. company.   And the company must verify that it cannot find a U.S. worker to fill the job...   But critics say tech firms like foreign workers mainly because they're a plentiful, cheap labor pool.   [While turning away America's best and brightest...]   Hiring them 'helps to undermine the American middle class.', says Dan Stein, president of advocacy group the Federation for American Immigration Reform.   'Whatever happened to on-the-job training?'...   Tech firms have also been criticized for moving work to India, [Red China], Canada and other countries.   They say they do that to cut costs and to find more skilled workers...   Bob Slater, 47, a tech manager with Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, says he knows many talented engineers and programmers who are 'selling houses because they can't find a (tech) job'."

2004-11-28 22:00PST (2004-11-29 01:00EST) (06:00GMT)
Jackie Cohen _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
SF Fed Chief, Janet Yellen, focuses on employment
"Matching job growth and economic growth are key to the Fed's pace of raising short-term interest rates, Janet Yellen, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, said in an interview published Sunday.   Yellen, in her first major interview since being appointed president of the regional bank in April, told the San Francisco Chronicle, 'I would like to see the economy grow somewhat faster to mitigate that slack [in the job market] and get back to full employment.'   The Chronicle report quoted Yellen as saying, 'I'm pretty confident we're not there, because I don't see the pressure on wages and salaries.   What full employment really means is how low the unemployment rate could go without generating an unacceptable increase in inflation.'"

Diana Jean Schemo _NY Times_
Federal Plan to Keep Data on Students Worries Some
"A government proposal to create a data-base of enrollment records on college students is raising concerns that the move will erode the privacy rights of students."

2004-11-29 07:10PST (10:10EST) (15:10GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Gold tops $450 per ounce
"Gold futures climbed above $450 [per] ounce Monday morning, holding at their highest level since mid-1988 as traders watched the U.S. dollar and braced for a week packed with economic data.   Gold for December delivery traded up $1.90 at $451.20 [per] ounce.   Earlier it traded as high as $4451.60, its highest intraday level since 1988 July."

Caron Carlson _eWeek_
H-1B Visa Expansion Comes Under Fire
"The H-1B victory for tech companies coincides with rising concerns about the growing number of IT jobs being outsourced to workers overseas.   Together, the two employment trends are generating growing resentment in the United States.   'Haven't American businesses laid off enough American IT people in favor of cheap foreign labor yet?', asked Scott Gates...   the H-1B visa program is not needed when highly educated Americans are unemployed or underemployed."

Beth Bresnahan _Real Estate News_
Off-Shore Out-Sourcing Slams US Real Estate Industry
"Off-shoring jobs not only leaves a trail of unemployed Americans, it results in emptier office buildings and factories -- reports _Top Ten Pro-Business States 2005: Keeping Jobs In America_, a new study by Pollina Corporate Real Estate.   REITs, building owners, brokers and developers are starting to feel the pinch.   'Every year the US real estate industry loses the equivalent of one-third of the Chicago CBD -- 53M square feet of space is not occupied resulting in approximately $1.2G in lost rent -- due to off-shore out-sourcing.', says Ronald R. Pollina, president of Chicago-based Pollina Corporate Real Estate and the study's author.   'And the trend is accelerating.   Approximately 8,500 industrial facilities have been closed or significantly vacated during the past 4 years as blue collar jobs move to low wage markets across the globe.'   The Pollina study adds that millions of Americans are unnecessarily losing their jobs to cheaper over-seas competitors.   Why?   Because the federal government and most states are not providing the training, capital investment, incentives and general positive business environment that business and industry needs to compete in the global market-place...   'Each job loss has a reverse multiplier effect on the local economy of between 1.5 and 1.7 jobs.   This means that the impact of losing the 3M U.S. manufacturing jobs that vanished between 2000 July and 2004 January could reach 5.1M in total lost jobs.', says Pollina.   'The long term, cumulative effect of off-shoring jobs is certain to impact the real estate industry on every level.'"

Joshua Brustein _Gotham Gazette_
Off-Shoring & NYC
"In recent years, the jobs going over-seas are not just from factories, but also higher-skilled, better-paid office positions, causing increasing anxiety among a wide range of Americans about their job security...   Between 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (or NAFTA) between Mexico, the United States, and Canada was enacted, and 2003, the total number of manufacturing jobs in the United States dropped by 2.5M , according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   Some praised what they described as progress.   Others said that companies that were moving offshore were exploiting the lack of labor and environmental standards in developing countries, harming all countries involved...   In order to retain film industry jobs, the city and the state created tax credits for productions that are filmed largely in the city.   The mayor created an Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, and the efforts have been seen in a positive light."

Dan Verton _ComputerWorld_
Students see IT degrees as tickets to obsolescence.   They make other plans
"Educators and IT industry executives are warning that a crisis is looming in the IT job market.   Only this time, it's not that there are too many job hunters seeking too few positions.   To the contrary, they say that the U.S. isn't producing IT experts in the quantity and quality that it needs to remain the leader of the global IT market...   Students told us that advanced technical degrees are expensive and may not provide the skills they need to be competitive in the job market.   Many plan to seek business degrees instead of technical degrees in graduate school because they fear that they are more likely to be out-sourced if they don't have business qualifications.   Elsewhere in academia, prominent academics have been warning for years that the U.S.A. is producing far too few advanced degree holders in the computer science and IT research fields.   In 1997, for example, Eugene Spafford, a professor of computer science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, warned members of Congress that of 5,500 doctorates in computer science and engineering awarded by North American universities between 1992 and 1997, only 8 were awarded to U.S. citizens.   [NCES's Digest of Education Statistics reports that 2,791 doctorates in CS were earned by US citizens, while 174,266 total CS degrees were earned by US citizens in that period.]   In a new study, Corey Schou, director of the National Information Assurance Training and Education Center at Idaho State University in Pocatello, says that the dearth of people with advanced degrees in IT continues.   And while the number of 2- and 4-year degree programs in IT-related fields is rising, the student base has dropped...   Mike Kendall, president of Kendall Placement Group Inc. in St. Louis, says most firms slowed recruiting during the recession and are only now beginning to once again hire recent college graduates.   After suspending university and college recruiting for several years, ThoughtWorks Inc., a systems integrator in Chicago, resumed recruiting recent graduates in 2004.   Despite having hired only five recent U.S. graduates so far, the global IT [bodyshopper] is launching an intensive immersion program for new recruits.   In an interesting twist, the ThoughtWorks boot camp is based over-seas...   'we are sending all of our entry-level hires to a 3-month boot camp located in our Bangalore, India, office.', says Sonia Muhaimeen, a senior recruiter at ThoughtWorks U.S."

Patrick Thibodeau _ComputerWorld_
H-1B backers want even bigger increase in cap
"The 20K-visa increase that congress added to the fiscal 2005 H-1B cap just before its holiday break left no one involved in the contentious issue happy, and 'IT' trade groups said they will try to further raise the cap next year.   The proposed legislation, which was included in the omnibus federal budget bill approved over the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, would allow foreign nationals with master's and Ph.D. degrees from USA universities to apply for H-1B visas during the government's current fiscal year...   some H-1B proponents said that the legislators didn't go far enough.   The number of additional H-1B visas needed this year 'is closer to 50K.', said John Palafoutas, a senior vice president at the AEA, a Washington-based trade group [while opponents suggest the total cap should be closer to 5K]...   Tata [TCS] has about 8K employees in North America, primarily in the USA, and about 7,200 of them are here on some kind of visa.   Among its USA workers, about 65% have H-1Bs, and the remainder hold L-1 visas, said spokesman Victor Chayet...   Al Gray, executive director of the National Society of Professional Engineers in Alexandria, VA, said current indications are that there 'are no really serious shortages' of engineering and IT workers."

Don Tennant _ComputerWorld_
ThanksGiving Vitriol
"I'm bummed that Congress popped open the H-1B visa cap the weekend before last by including a provision for 20K exemptions to the cap in an omnibus budget bill [QuickLink 50999]...   I'm bummed that the system allows provisions like this to be tucked into appropriations bills rather than passing or failing on their own merits and forcing individual members of Congress to be accountable."

Patrick Thibodeau _Computer World_
L-1 Visa Users Face Weak Restrictions
"some companies use [L-1] visas to bring in foreign workers to either replace existing employees or contract out to other businesses...   Specifically, the measure would require that any 'specialized knowledge employee' brought to the U.S. on an L-1 visa be controlled and supervised by the company that submitted the visa petition...   'Whatever kind of law is passed, someone will find a way around or over or through it.   So it's a matter of interpretation and how companies adapt to these new restrictions.', said Vin O'Neill, senior legislative representative at IEEE-USA..."

_Christian Science Monitor_
A generation weighted down by debt
Christian Science Monitor
"'This is my first maxing out.', explains Ms. O'Connell, a publicist in Watertown, MA, who graduated from Boston University 3 years ago.   'I think I'm making decent money, but it's just not enough with all the bills I pay.   It's not like I'm going out shopping and doing crazy things.   I'm just trying to get by.'   Trying to get by.   Those 4 little words echo plaintively around the country as young adults struggle to get established and stay afloat.   Saddled with record-high college loans and credit-card debts at a time when wages are stagnant and the job market is tight, they may be the most indebted generation of young Americans ever.   'These young adults are doing everything society tells them to do.', says Tamara Draut, coauthor of a new study, _Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt Among Young Americans_, published by Demos, a public-policy group in New York.   'They're going to college, taking on tremendous student-loan debt, and working longer hours than ever before while in college.   When they get in the real world, they can't get ahead because of the debt they went into to get the degree to get the good job.'"

Bill Cotterell _Tallahassee Demagogue_
Out-Sourcing to Be Out-Sourced to Study Panel
"Creating a study commission is usually what the Florida Legislature does before, not after, starting a major initiative.   In fact, it's often a bone tossed out when leaders want to avoid acting on an issue.   Legislators who aren't in the inner circle will work all session on insurance or education or election law, but their ideas get left out of the budget and they have to settle for a study commission -- the legislative equivalent of 'ask me next year'.   Senator Walter 'Skip' Campbell, D-Fort Lauderdale, wants to cut through the pretense and go straight to that bottom-line brush-off by creating a 7-member 'Commission on the Effects of Out-Sourcing'.   Campbell is among several Democrats who have been trying for years to get governor Jeb Bush and state agencies to level with the tax-payers about the costs and benefits of [partial] privatization...   Campbell's bill (SB278) calls for 3 Bush appointees, two named by the Senate president and 2 chosen by the House speaker for the study commission.   At least 3 would be Democrats and three would represent 'business interests'.   The commission would study 'the degree to which state contracts and any subcontracts...   are being performed at locations outside the United States'.   It also would check up on companies' compliance with child-labor, environmental, human-rights and other fair-trade standards, as well as salaries and benefits of their workers."

Jennifer Rocha _Massachusetts Technology Collaborative_
Innovation Economy Indicators Are Mostly Strong But High Tech Job Creation Lags
"The state's innovation indicators are strong, however, the conversion of innovation into the creation of new high tech jobs is lagging and the state's median household income continues to dip, according to the Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, a report released today by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative...   Patents awarded to Massachusetts inventors grew 8.3% in 2003...   market share of venture capital invested in new U.S. firms has increased from approximately 11% to 14% (2003 and first two quarters of 2004); independent analysts suggest that non-venture capital private equity (i.e. angel capital investments) invested in Massachusetts may equal or exceed venture capital investment...   Employment in the 9 key industry clusters tracked by the Index fell 3.2% in 2003, and fell 10% from 2001-2003.   The state's Software & Communications Services industries lost over 9% of its jobs in 2003; total job losses in the Computer Software and Hardware clusters in the state total 28% since 2001, and year-to-date (2004) data from the state's unemployment assistance agency suggests that Information Technology-related jobs in all industries continue to drop.   Less than 1 in 4 Massachusetts workers are now working in the Innovation Economy, as MTC has defined it.   Historically, wages within the state's Innovation Economy industry clusters have averaged about a third higher than average wages in the state economy as a whole.   Lagging job growth in the Innovation Economy comes amidst continuing declines in real median income in the state.   Median household income in Massachusetts fell 3.2% in 2003.   Independent studies from Northeastern University point to a 15-year pattern of decline in real household income in the state.   'Less than 25% of the state's work-force is currently working in the Innovation Economy – the lowest level since we started publishing the Index in 1997.', said Adams."

Gene Nelson _eWeek_
H-1B Visas Come Under Fire
"Nobel Economics laureate Milton Friedman characterized the H-1B visa program as a 'government subsidy' program in 2002.   A 2004 RAND Corporation research paper that investigated supply - demand dynamics in the science, engineering, and programming fields indicated that *ALL* U.S.A. corporate employers employ about 2.5M people with a B.S. degree and higher.   Non-corporate employment is about 1/2M, for a grand total of 3M.   Consider that almost 3M H-1B visa admissions occurred between 1985 and 2002...   Add in the other special visa programs and you can see that American citizen technical professionals are being displaced by the millions.   These programs, benefiting the employer elite while condemning hard working American citizens to underemployment are examples of a corrupt process, described as 'the best government that money can buy'.   In the interest of homeland security, all of these special visa programs should be repealed.   Gene A. Nelson, Ph.D. Founding board member, National Association for Employment of Americans www.NAEA.us"


2004-11-30 05:04PST (08:04EST) (13:04GMT)
OECD lowered US growth forecast, based on petroleum supplies/prices
"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Tuesday lowered its 2005 economic growth forecasts for the U.S., Japan and the eurozone, citing high oil prices.   The global expansion has slowed as the effects of sharp increases in oil prices have set in, the OECD said in a half-year economic report...   Based on expectations of a decline in the price of Brent crude to $44 per barrel by the end of 2006, the OECD lowered forecasts for U.S. 2005 GDP to 3.3% from 3.7%; to 1.9% from 2.4% for the eurozone, and to 2.1% from 2.8% for Japan.   Forecasts for 2004 were also adjusted -- the U.S. growth forecasts was raised to 4.4% from 4.3%, eurozone growth was cut to 1.8% from 2.0% and Japan was lowered to 4.0% from 4.4%.   Growth is expected to pick up in all regions in 2006, the organization said."

2004-11-30 06:28PST (09:28EST) (14:28GMT)
Rex Nutting _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
US GDP revised up to 3.9%: Corporate profits declined 2.4%
BEA report

Fox Butterfield _NY Times_
Crime in Schools Fell Sharply Over Decade, Survey Shows
"School crime dropped to an annual rate of 24 violent incidents per 100K students from 48 violent incidents, a report found."

Stephanie Strom _NY Times_
Money-Shifting Uproar Shakes World Jewish Congress
"The organization that criticized Swiss banks for their lack of transparency and accountability finds itself under attack on similar accusations."

Alex Berenson _NY Times_
Merck Offering Top Executives Rich Way Out
"With its stock plunging, drug giant Merck has adopted a plan that could give top executives big bonuses if the company is taken over."

Ian Austen _NY Times_
Canada, the Closer Country for Off-Shoring Work
"Canada's stability, proximity and cultural similarity to the U.S. tend to attract higher-value, more sophisticated [off-shoring] work than countries like India."

2004-11-30 07:32PST (10:32EST) (15:32GMT)
Consumer Confidence Index Fell
"The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index fell to 90.5 from a revised 92.9 reading in October, a fourth consecutive monthly decline...   People are a bit more pessimistic on the job market.   The percentage of consumers saying jobs are 'plentiful' dipped to 16.8% from 17.4% in October, while the percentage claiming jobs are 'hard to get' rose to 28.1% from 27.9%."

2004-11-30 13:59PST (16:59EST) (21:59GMT)
Mark Cotton _CBS.MarketWatch.com_
Stocks sizzled in November
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 47.88 points, at 10,428.02.   The bench-mark index climbed 4% in November, but is still posting a loss on the year...   The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 10.06 points, to 2,096.81.   The tech-rich index soared 6.2% on the month.   Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index fell 4.75 points, to 1,173.82, with the broad gauge putting in a 3.9% gain on the month."

Jiang Jingjing _Red China Daily_
WM's Red China Inventory to Hit $18G this Year
Liberty Post
"The world's largest retailer, WM Stores Inc, says its inventory of stock produced in [Red China] is expected to hit $18G this year, keeping the annual growth rate of over 20 per cent consistent over 2 years. The trend is expected to continue, company officials revealed. 'We expect our procurement stock from China to continue to grow at a similar rate in line with WM's growth worldwide, if not faster.', said Lee Scott, the president and CEO of WM. An unnamed company official also stated the firm will extend its procurement base from South China's Pearl River Delta to the North and East China in the coming few years."

Big Brother is in your grocery cart
Liberty Post

2004 November

2004 November
Reem Assil _North American Alliance for Fair Employment_
The US H-1B Visa Program background briefing (pdf)
"in the late 1980s, the scope of the immigration-policy debate has expanded to the issue of high-skilled, temporary workers, who boast education, training and talent equivalent to their American counterparts...   The discussion has largely focused on whether or not Congress should increase the visa cap to relieve what employers contend is a shortage of domestic labor.   Opponents claim that the shortage is a myth and an excuse for employers to displace American workers with cheaper foreign-born labor...   the creation of a class of more exploitable workers seems to drive the program...   Originally, Congress had set the cap at 65K H-1Bs per year...   Congress [set] the annual quota at 115K for 1999 through 2000 and to 107,500 for 2001 before returning to 65K for FY 2002.   After intense lobbying by IT firms in 2002, Congress voted to increase the number of H-1B visas to 195K...   The H-1B cap has returned to its original level of 65K since 2003-10-01...   A study conducted by IEEE and the Sloan Foundation reported that more than 420K temporary foreign workers were employed in the United States under the H-1B program during 2000.   Estimates indicate that there are likely as many as 500K in the H-1B work-force as of 2001, and about half are working in the core IT industry...   A 2003 report by the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) found that 'DHS is not able to provide key information needed to over-see the H-1B program and its effects on the U.S. work-force, including data on the number of H-1B workers in the United States at any time.'...   [In a study of bodyshopping it was reported that there] were 375K foreign-born workers in the central IT work-force as of 1999 while demographic estimates place the numbers who were H-1Bs at roughly 255K workers...   Based on INS data, in 1989 the biggest H-1B occupations were in nursing and health care...   Today, the majority of H-1B recipients are located in computer-related and engineering occupations and make up over 60%...   [From 2000 to 2002 the] number of [new] H-1B petition approvals for systems analysis/programming positions dropped by 106,671 [from 162,855] to 56,184, and the estimated number of U.S. citizen systems analysts/programmers employed decreased by 147,005 [from 1,724,432] to 1,577,427...   L-1 visa and the practice of both domestic and off-shore out-sourcing...   The number of [new] L-1 visas issued in fiscal year 1998 was 38,307 and rose to 41,739 in fiscal year 1999, peaked in fiscal year 2001 at 59,384, and decreased only slightly in fiscal year 2002 to 57,721 [numbers in use each year are not readily available]...   it should be seen in the context of profit-maximizing IT executives playing off one group of workers against another in the hope of reducing labor costs...   A UC Berkley study was conducted in 1998...   high-tech engineers and managers have experienced lower wage growth than their counterparts...   'In the entire economy, a professional with 20 years of experience in 1985 earns 48% more than a professional with no experience, and by 1995 this increases to 73%.   In the high-tech industries, an engineer or professional with 20 years of experience earned 55% more than a new-hire in 1985 but only 59% more in 1995.'   This is strong evidence against the existence of a labor shortage...   Alan Merten, chair of the NRC work-force committee and George Mason University president, told the Washington Post 'We feel [the population of foreign workers] is so large that we are totally dependent on it, and it depresses wages.'...   In the first half of 1999, 21 major IT companies laid off more than 120K workers.   In 2001, the economy shed 500K IT jobs.   Furthermore interviewing rates for some of these firms are significantly low, indicating that they are not even making an effort to recruit U.S. workers.   If firms are so desperate to find workers to fill positions, their pickiness is counterintuitive to some extent.   This is reflected in disinterest shown towards older workers and in their tendencies to put over half of new computer science graduates into semi-tech positions like customer support while hiring younger H-1Bs instead of older Americans...   employers are not willing to retrain...   According to the U.S. Census Bureau Data in 1999, the unemployment rate for IT workers over 40 was over 5 times that of other workers in the same age group...   The NRC study reported that employers explicitly stated that they pay H-1Bs less than they pay Americans.   INS data also shows that the median salary for computer-related H-1Bs is $50K whereas the median salary for Americans in the same jobs is $66,230.   In addition, National Science Foundation studies show that the H-1B is paid between 20% to 50% less than American citizens performing the same work...   Among average workers about 5% of natives but 13% of recently arrived foreign-born are found in contingent work where earnings are substantially less than in the IT core...   the 'labor shortage' that so many firms back is not a shortage of labor but rather a shortage of cheap younger and more exploitable labor...   There are currently many un- and under-employed bodies in the field, who would do anything to get their jobs back and get retrained [and meny will simply not enter the field under circumstances of reduced compensation and respect]...   In the words of Vernon Briggs, a well-known economist who specializes in immigration policy, 'Continuing to raise the cap on H-1Bs will guarantee that this shortage will go on forever.   It's going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy because wages are not going to go up.'"

2004 November
Characteristics of Specialty Occupation Workers (H-1B): Fiscal Year 2003 (pdf)
"The number of petitions approved increased 10% from 197K in fiscal year 2002 to 217K in fiscal year 2003.   Approved petitions in fiscal year 2003 were nearly equally divided between initial employment (48%) and continuous employment ([i.e. visa renewals and extensions] 52%).   This break-down was similar in fiscal year 2002.   Nearly 37% of all petitions approved in fiscal year 2003 were for workers born in India.   65% of petitions approved in fiscal year 2003 were for workers between the ages of 25 and 34.   The average age of beneficiaries approved in fiscal year 2003 was 32 years.   One-half of petitions approved in fiscal year 2003 were for workers with a bachelor’s degree.   31% had a master’s degree.   39% of petitions approved in fiscal year 2003 were for workers in computer-related occupations.   The median salary was $52K for workers whose petitions were approved in fiscal year 2003.   For workers in computer-related occupations, the median salary was $60K...   During fiscal year 2003, USCIS approved 217,340 H-1B petitions submitted by employers on behalf of alien workers.   The number of approved petitions exceeds the number of individual H-1B workers because sometimes more than one U.S. employer submits a petition on behalf of individual H-1B workers (multiple petitions).   The number of approved petitions for initial employment exceeds the cap because of employer-based cap exemptions and multiple petitions for individuals..."

2004 November
top 500 fastest super computers LinPack bench-mark

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