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Dice Report: 79,358 job ads
2005-11-01 08:01PST (11:01EST) (16:01GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
ISM factory indices remained high in October
"The ISM index inched lower to 59.1% in October, but it was only a tiny retreat after the index jumped to 59.4% in September from 53.6% in August. The index remains well above the year-to-date average of 55.4%. The index is consistent with economic growth of nearly 6%, the ISM said. The price index soared to 84% from 78%, the highest since May 2004... In October, new orders fell to 61.7% from 63.8% in September. The employment index rose to 55% from 53.1%. Production fell to 62% from 63.1% in the previous month. Backlog of orders rose to 55.5% in October from 55% in September. Inventories fell to 48.1% in October from 49.6% in September."
ISM press release
2005-11-01 13:58PST (16:58EST) (21:58GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Fed raises interest rates 12th straight time, to 4%
"The Federal Open Market Committee voted unanimously to raise the bench-mark federal-funds target rate by a quarter-percentage point to 4%, putting rates at their highest level since 2001 June."
2005-11-01 15:23PST (18:23EST) (23:23GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
Extortion panel urges major changes: Alternative minimum extortion would be eliminated
"The panel's proposals would change the home-mortgage-interest deduction into a credit equal to 15% of mortgage interest paid. The $1M limit on mortgages eligible for the existing deduction would be reduced to the average regional housing price, ranging from $227K to $412K."
Federal Extortion Reform Panel Report
Brian Dipert _EDN_
H-1B Rhymes with Slavery
"one of the fundamental reasons why many tech companies are so strident in their demands for relaxed visa quotas is because they can then exploit the resultant lower-cost work-force... I am absolutely not in favour of locking down the US borders to immigration... But the results of this study point to rampant abuse of the immigration system, which benefits no one; not the employee who's displaced, not the replacement employee who's exploited, not the company itself (considering factors such as overall employee morale, corporate image in the minds of progressive-minded share-holders, customers, and partners, etc), and not the country (in the eyes of its fellow world citizens) who sets the immigration policy and looks the other way when the abuse occurs."
Ephriam Schwartz' column in InfoWorld
Michael Barbaro _NY Times_
WM War Room
"veterans of the 2004 Bush and Kerry presidential campaigns sit, stand and pace around 6 plastic folding tables... It is a war room inside the headquarters of WM, the giant discount retailer that hopes to sell a new, improved image to reluctant consumers... Under fire from well-organized opponents who have hammered the retailer with criticisms of its wages, health insurance and treatment of workers, Wal-Mart has quietly recruited former presidential advisers...to set up a rapid-response public relations team in Arkansas. When small-business owners or union officials - also employing political operatives from past campaigns - criticize the company, the war room swings into action with press releases, phone calls to reporters and instant web postings... Robert McAdam, a former political strategist at the Tobacco Institute who now over-sees WM's corporate communications... Wal-Mart Watch received start-up cash from the Service Employees International Union; Wake Up Wal-Mart is a project of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union... A confidential 2004 report prepared by McKinsey & Company for WM, and made public by Wal-Mart Watch, found that 2% to 8% of WM consumers surveyed have ceased shopping at the chain... The Greenwald movie threatens to make matters worse. It features whistle-blowers who describe WM managers cheating workers out of over-time pay and encouraging them to seek state-sponsored health care when they cannot afford the company's insurance. And it travels across small-town America to assess the effects on independent businesses and downtowns after a WM opens."
2005-11-02 07:08PST (10:08EST) (15:08GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Announced lay-offs rose 13% to 81,301 in October
Monsters & Critics
Globe & Mail (graph)
"U.S. corporate lay-offs rose 13% in October to 81,301, according to a monthly tally compiled by out-placement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas released on Wednesday... It was the fewest number of corporate lay-off announcements in any October since 2000. Announced job cuts were down 20% from 2004 October's 101,863. Planned job reductions are up 4.7% year-to-date to 864,953 compared with 2004. So far in 2005, the automotive industry has cut the most jobs with 89,016, with retail close behind at 81,232... In the most recent government data, 1.77M lay-offs and discharges were reported in August."
Linda T. Muller _Phoenix News_
HR3333, Tancredo's Plan to Stop Illegal Immigration & Reduce Job Loss
Q & A
Chris Thompson _East Bay Express_
Say "ADios" to Those Creative Jobs, Amigo: A consideration of the economics of Spanish-language newspapers provides a glimpse into the global future of creative work.
"While gray, ponderous dailies crack at the seams, smaller, nimble niche publications are the wave of the future. Nowhere is this more evident than among Spanish-language readers. The Bay Area is projected to be 25 percent Latino by 2009, and the Merc's owners seemed poised to serve that community with their Spanish-language paper Nuevo Mundo. That is, until they shut it down. When former Merc publisher Jay Harris started Nuevo Mundo and Viet Mercury in 1996, he really seemed to be on to something.... [The Contra Costa Times] just announced that it will publish Fronteras de la Noticia, a weekly tabloid of Latin American news. Here's how the Fronteras arrangement works. The Times will e-mail stories written by its English-language reporters to a company in Leon, Mexico. Employees there will translate the articles into Spanish, add some stories of their own about futbol, telenovelas, and Latin American politics, and lay out the paper. The company will then e-mail the product back to the Times, which will print and distribute it as a free tabloid... Edward Colby wrote on the web site of the Columbia Journalism Review, 'It defies reason to think that news from afar will engender the same trust among readers that Nuevo Mundo had, or the bond with the local community forged by Viet Mercury... And out-sourcing newspaper production -- which can only undermine journalistic credibility and alienate the local community -- is not the answer.'... Shoe-making and the textile industry fled the United States decades ago, and computer programming and customer service are following in their wake. Creative industries such as advertising, architecture, design, and journalism always seemed safe because they require a grasp of cultural nuance. But now, even these industries may be on their way across borders. 'In architecture, there are more companies that are out-sourcing drafting.', noted John Challenger, CEO of the human-resources consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. 'A lot more graphic work is being out-sourced over-seas, both IT graphic and other graphic work. A lot of the big advertising companies are global, so I don't know how the supply chain works for them, but inevitably, pieces of their work is being out-sourced... Once the work is electronic, the borders disappear.' Everything that can be farmed out to the Third World eventually will be. Even industries that depend on cultural fluency will find a way to out-source as much labor as they can -- or face bankruptcy."
James W. Brosnan & Guido H. Stempel _Scripps Howard_
More Americans have immigrant friends
"The poll found that 75% of Americans have a friend or acquaintance who is foreign born, up from 61% just 10 years ago when Ohio University asked the same question. 58% say immigrants live in their neighborhood, up from just 44% 10 years ago. Nearly half - 45% - want immigration decreased, and 34% want it kept level. Only 11% favor more immigration... Benjamin Franklin complained about the Germans overrunning Pennsylvania in 'droves'. In the early 1880s, as New Yorkers were raising money for the base for France's gift of the Statue of Liberty, Congress passed a quota on Chinese immigrants of 105 a year."
2005-11-02 13:34PST (16:34EST) (21:34GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Nasdaq and S&P 500 close at high for the month
"The Nasdaq climbed 30.26 points to 2,144.31, its best closing level since October 3. The S&P 500 Index rose 12 points to 1,214.76, with the broad gauge also closing out the session at a one-month high."
2005-11-02 12:00PST (15:00EST) (20:00GMT)
Mairanne Kolbasuk McGee _Information Week_
IT Pros Bummed Out About Job Prospects
"Compared to a base score of 100, IT and telecom workers rated job confidence at a score of 98.9 in October, down 5.9 points from September, a month when IT pros had been more confident than workers in most other sectors surveyed by Hudson, including health care, accounting, and financial services... In October, while optimism among IT workers dipped, the national job confidence index -- which includes all sectors -- rose to 100.5, up 3.7 points since September. Last month, health-care workers were the most optimistic, with job confidence scores hitting 105.9, followed by accounting and financial services pros, which rated their confidence at 105.2. While IT pros were less optimistic than workers in those other sectors, tech pros weren't the gloomiest crowd: The manufacturing sector -- which always tends to have the most pessimistic job outlook -- scored 90.8. Confidence among IT workers most likely dropped because fewer said they were satisfied with their jobs. In October, only 71% of the more than 500 IT pros surveyed said they were satisfied with their jobs, down from 82% in September. Also, 27% of tech pros in October said they were worried about losing their jobs, up from only 21% in September."
Ruben Navarrette _San Diego Union-Tribune_
Making policy in fantasy-land
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"In politics, there are 2 ways to get in someone's good graces: You can do something for them, or you can avoid doing something to them... One leg is a request for 1K new Border Patrol agents. Another leg is a call for 100 additional work-site investigators to ensure that businesses comply with existing laws. The third leg allows millions of temporary guest workers who are now in the country illegally to apply for a 3-year work visa (with a 1-time 3-year extension) before returning home. That amounts to amnesty, even if you'll never get the White House to invoke the phrase. And speaking of phrases, these aren't really guest-workers per se -- at least not as the concept has come into play historically. Unlike the bracero program of the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, these foreign workers are already here. Legalizing their status won't affect the control that we have over our borders, or the number of immigrants who come to the United States. Nor are these workers really temporary. Six years is enough time for them to get married and have children -- children who will be U.S. citizens. What do we do then -- deport parent and child?... It needs a fourth leg on that stool -- namely, tougher and more enforceable employer sanctions... Representative David Dreier, R-San Dimas, CA, gets it. He has a bill that increases the penalty for knowingly hiring an illegal immigrant from $10K to $50K. He'd also make it easier for employers to go to jail. And yet Dreier's bill can't get any love from the administration. It's no wonder why that is. Most Republicans are never eager to crack down on business, big or small."
2005-11-03 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (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 292,751 in the week ending October 29, a decrease of 12,559 from the previous week. There were 305,546 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending October 22, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,402,344, a decrease of 34,987 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,371,518."
Robin Lloyd _LiveScience_/_Yahoo!_
Short-Term Anger is Good For You
"Anger is good for you, as long as you keep it below a boil, according to new psychology research based on face reading. People who respond to stressful situations with short-term anger or indignation have a sense of control and optimism that lacks in those who respond with fear... The researchers identified fear, anger and disgust using a psychologist's coding system that considers the flexing of particular sets of small muscles in the face. The researchers also recorded people's blood pressure, pulse and secretion of a high-stress hormone called cortisol, which can be measured in the saliva and collected with a cotton swab. The people whose faces showed more fear during the had higher blood pressure and higher levels of the hormone... So in maddening situations in which anger or indignation are justified, anger is not a bad idea, the thinking goes. In fact, it's adaptive, Lerner says, and it's a healthier response than fear. Chronic, explosive anger or a hostile outlook on the world is still bad for you, contributing to heart disease and high blood pressure, research shows... The results were published in a recent issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry."
2005-11-03 07:11PST (10:11EST) (15:11GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US productivity up 4.1%, Compensation down 0.5%
"In the third quarter, output increased 4.2% while hours worked rose only 0.1%, the government agency said. Real hourly compensation (adjusted for inflation) fell 1.4%, the biggest decline since the fourth quarter of 2002. In the manufacturing sector, productivity increased 4.5% while unit labor costs fell 1.6%. Productivity has increased 3.0% in the past 4 quarters, the largest year-over-year increase since the second quarter of 2004. Unit labor costs have risen [only] 2.7% in the past year."
2005-11-03 08:00PST (11:00EST) (16:00GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
ISM US service sector indices up: Employment index down
"The ISM non-manufacturing index rose to 60% in October from 53.3% in September. The index has averaged 60.8% over the past year... The new orders index rose to 58.2% from 56.6%, while the prices paid index fell to 78% from 81.4%... The employment index dropped to 52.9%, the weakest since January. 'This is consistent, if sustained, with payroll growth of only about 150K per month.', said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics... On Tuesday, the ISM said its manufacturing index sank to 59.1% in October from 59.4% in September. The 2 indices indicate strong growth in most of the U.S. economy... The Commerce Department said factory orders fell 1.7% in September, while shipments dropped 0.5%."
ISM non-manufacturing report
factory orders were down 1.7% in September
census bureau data
2005-11-03 08:45PST (11:45EST) (16:45GMT)
Roy Beck _NumbersUSA_
We got mugged in the US Senate today: Saddle up and fight another day
"The Byrd Amendment lost 14-85. It would have stripped a giant budget bill of provisions to increase importation of permanent foreign workers and family by 350K a year... The mystique of Bill Gates and M$. Senators regard M$ as a kind of mystical golden goose. If M$ says it needs a lot more foreign workers, otherwise rationale Senators turn off their curiosity and do whatever they can to accommodate Gates, ignoring all the government and other studies showing that there is no conclusive evidence of any kind of shortage of American tech workers."
2005-11-03 14:03PST (17:03EST) (22:03GMT)
Jennifer Waters _MarketWatch_
Consumers kept on spending in October: 4.4% rise in same-store sales
"Overall, the industry clocked a 4.4% increase in... same-store sales, a closely watched gauge of stores open more than a year, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers... Teen-wear and luxury retailers turned out robust -- even stellar, in some cases -- sales as customers bought merchandise at full price."
"D. Flinchum" _Working Life_
Why Are Democrats Working for WM?
Robert Byrd Proposed Amendment to Stop Vast Increase in Guest-Worker Visas
"'we have been told that tougher enforcement actions will have to wait until next year. And so, imagine the surprise of Senators to find provisions buried deep, deep in this budget bill that would authorize the U.S. Government to issue more than 350K additional immigrant visas each year to foreign laborers seeking to live and work permanently in the United States.', Byrd said during debate on Wednesday. The government grants permanent residency to approximately 1M immigrants each year. Byrd is working to block provisions that would raise that number by one third -- a massive destabilizing increase... Byrd offered an amendment that would strike the escalation in visa permits. Many have expressed concern that the Department of Homeland Security, which over-sees immigration and border security issues, is not in a position to handle the increased H-1B visas that Senator Byrd is trying to stop. In fact, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the Department of Homeland Security cannot estimate how many people are already in the United States on H-1B visas because of inadequate tracking systems. The Byrd amendment has garnered the support of many labor unions, which are concerned that such a flood of new visas would mean fewer jobs for American workers. 'It's bad enough that so many American jobs are moving over-seas, and wages and benefits here at home are being curtailed to compete with third-world labor and unfair trade practices. Now, these provisions would make it more likely that working Americans will find themselves in competition with foreign labor for work in their own country.', Byrd said."
Diane Alden _News Max_
Senate Bill Will Take Even More Jobs From Americans
"The political figures elected to represent the people of their respective states instead choose to invariably advance certain economic interests over the best interests of their constituents or the United States. That is obvious to all but the most uninterested or partisan 'Kool-Aid'-drinking true believers in the establishment. We are stuck with a government so corrupt and venal it consistently sells us out, usually to the highest bidder, whether they be foreign or domestic. In the process they continue to give away the American birth-right for a corporate buck. As many of us who are usually optimists have come to believe, establishment power brokers have no concern or interest in the limits of their power or the meaning of our freedom... A case in point: the recent push by the U.S. Senate for more economic visas for foreign workers. The demand by economic interests, corporations, particularly Bill Gates, comes at the expense of American-born workers, scientists, engineers and thousands in other professions, skilled and unskilled... This effort is supported by our government and the political class as they bow to the demands to increase H-1B and L-1 visas to accommodate universities, hospitals, technology companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which say there is a shortage of qualified workers -- a shortage that exists only in the minds of profit-hungry and cost-cutting mega-corporations or thoughtless groups like the Chamber of Commerce. As one former government worker stated, 'The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents Chinese business interests better than any group I know.'... [S1932] includes provisions that will make available hundreds of thousands of green cards for new permanent legal immigrants. Without much concern about how any of us feel or what we think, the Senate Judiciary is in the process of selling 368K visas to foreign workers or, rather, offering them up to the transnational corporations or foreign bodyshops ... When you bring in more and more cheap or docile, compliant labor into the USA from [Red China], India or all points on the compass, wages and benefits will remain stagnant or depressed as long as the supply never ends... The ultimate cost to the American worker, the taxpayer or U.S.-born student, as well as our future scientific and technological growth, is incalculable... At least 50K foreign nurses have entered the country in the last 10 years on temporary visas, mostly Canadians, using the TN visa. Nurses' advocates across the country are bracing themselves for the arrival of even greater numbers this year from Mexico with the lifting of the TN cap. One Mexican head-hunter has a contract to provide 3K nurses to hospitals in 4 USA states. Stephanie Tabone, of the Texas Nursing Association, where the largest number of foreign nurses are working, says that the influx is causing noticeable wage depression for U.S. nurses... even the opportunities for minority students left behind in the math and science race will be limited or nonexistent because we are absorbing increasing numbers of workers from every nation on earth. The price of a visa for a foreign worker may in the end be the cost of the American lower and middle class. As it is, there are not enough scientific or technical jobs for even our best students to fill. The un-employment rate [plus] under-employment rate among engineers and techies is higher than in most other occupational groups. What Gates and the corporate world are after is cheap, docile labor, or a choice of many to fill a few jobs. What that does is skew the 'free' market, making it not so free after all."
How We Measure Up
Robert Novak _Real Clear Politics_
Shrub's tax non-reform
2005-11-03 20:28PST (23:28EST) (2005-11-04 04:28GMT)
How can the Senators betray us like this?
"Good jobs were just becoming available for the first time in 5 years and then our Senate sells us out for corporate campaign contributions. I know of at least 2 companies which have no U.S. born employees, just hoards of H-1B people they work like slaves."
2005-11-04 07:29PST (10:29EST) (15:29GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted non-farm pay-rolls up only 56K in October: September revised to a loss of 8K, August & September revisions shaved off 36K jobs
"Manufacturing industries created 12K jobs, the first increase since May. Construction added 33K, boosted by rebuilding efforts. Within services, retail shed 5K jobs after 58K were lost in September. Financial services added 22K jobs. Professional services added 12K, including 11K temporary help jobs. Health and education added 11K jobs. [All figures are after seasonal adjustments.]"
Stefanie Murray _USA Today_
Turn-Around Dreams Take Root in Detroit
"The Motor City faces an accumulated $300M budget deficit and could go broke in 2006, its auditor general warned recently. Since July 1, 500 city workers have been let go, including police and firefighters. More lay-offs are possible... Detroit once was the heart of the USA's industrial might and a symbol of its blue-collar middle class, but the city has been in steep decline for decades. Detroit's population has shrunk 50% from 1.8M in 1950 to just over 900K in 2004, bumping it off the list of the nation's 10 most populous cities... Detroit also bears the grim distinction of having the highest poverty rate of any major U.S. city: 33.6%, according to the Census Bureau. The city's unemployment rate was 12.7% in September, more than double the national rate of 5.1%.. A steady loss of automotive and other manufacturing jobs has hurt: Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Growth estimates that since 1980, the 6-county Detroit metropolitan area has lost about 83K jobs in what it calls the 'transportation equipment manufacturing and primary metal industry sectors' - mainly autos and steel... About 74K people work downtown, but only 5,300 people live there, a Wayne State study this summer said. About 25% of the buildings in 140-square mile Detroit are abandoned, which is probably one of the highest such rates in the country, Boyle says. The blight is easy to see. As in many other big cities, tall buildings stud Detroit's sky-line. From a distance, they seem like beacons of commerce - but some of Detroit's are vacant... The city is on the 'cusp of the biggest turn-around in American history', says [mayor Kwame] Kilpatrick, who faces a tough election Tuesday in a bid for a second 4-year term... GM invested $500M to buy and upgrade the 713-foot-tall Renaissance Center, the city's tallest structure, where it employs 6K. Compuware spent $400M on a head-quarters for its 4K workers."
Roy Mark _InternetNews_
Tech Workers Lost Big in Senate Vote to Remove Extraneous Visa Expansion from Budget Bill: Tech Execs Won
"[Provision] increased the cap for H-1B visas for next year by 30K workers, [set new fee at] $500. The Senate also raised the fees for L-1 visas, which companies [abuse] to transfer workers already employed over-seas into the United States... Sandra Boyd, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers [and chairwoman of Compete America, lobbying organizations for corporate executives], issued a statement praising the Senate action on H-1B visas. 'The Senate has taken a very important step in acknowledging that a real crisis exists for U.S. employers.'... Under the current House visa plans, the Judiciary Committee has approved increasing L-1 visa fees but is balking at increasing the number of H-1B visas, with many lawmakers concerned about voter backlash over increasing foreign workers to compete with Americans. According to the Programmers Guild of the United States, employment in U.S. software and related fields dropped from 2.1M in 2001 March to 1.7M in 2004. The guild also contends H-1B visas are used by tech companies to hire foreign workers below prevailing U.S. wage rates."
Audrey T. Leath _American Institute of Physics_
Rising Above the Gathering Storm
executive summary (pdf)
Keyonna Summers _Washington Times_
Tech executives and university administrators support more visas
"Local universities and technology alliances have thrown their support behind federal legislation that would make it easier to bring in [cheap] teachers and workers from India and [Red China]. A Senate budget bill on the floor Monday included provisions that would exempt spouses and children of highly skilled immigrant workers from counting toward the annual 140K cap on green cards, allowing the government to issue employment-based visas to 90K more workers than in the past... Sandy Boyd, vice president of the District-based National Association of Manufacturers [NAM] and chairwoman of Compete America... Alan Merten, president of George Mason University and former chairman of the National Academy of Sciences' 2001 [work-force study] warned that the workers eventually might take their skills back to their native countries. He said America should focus on cultivating its own talent or find ways to retain foreign workers. Mr. Merten also said the influx of workers would hold down wages to some degree. 'Anytime you increase supply, you hold down wages.', he said."
Grant Gross _IDG_/_ComputerWorld_
US senate leaves measure to add 30K H-1B visas and more green cards in appropriations bill
"The Senate approved a proposal to 're-capture' unused H-1B visas going back to the early 1990s and to add up to 30K of those unused visas to the 65K annual [base] cap... The H-1B increase passed as part of a large budget bill aimed at reducing the U.S. government budget deficit. A House version of the budget bill does not include the increase, and the full House may vote on that bill as early as next week. Negotiators would have to iron out differences between the 2 measures [and be approved by both houses] before a compromise bill would go to president George W. Bush for his signature... U.S. IT and electro-technology professionals saw a 1.5% decrease in their salaries in 2003, the first decrease since the IEEE-USA began surveying members in 1972, the group said in December."
2005-11-04 14:41PST (17:41EST) (22:41GMT)
Jennifer Waters _MarketWatch_
WM has allegedly depressed compensation, boosted economy, according to study they funded
"nominal wages across the entire economy have declined because of WM's expansion. By 2004, for example, the cumulative drop was 2.2%, according to Global Insight Inc., economic analysts hired by WM to determine the economic impact of the oft-maligned retailer. And WM does directly impact communities at the local and county levels, said Chris Holling, a director at Global Insight. 'Yes there is disruption in the retail sector.', he said. 'WM does displace other employment, but overall has a stimulative effect on overall county employment.'... WM's growth over the 1985 to 2004 period was related to a cumulative decline of 9.1% in food prices, a 4.2% drop in prices of commodities and a 3.1% decrease in overall consumer prices as measured by the consumer price index, the study found. The cumulative savings from lower prices amounted to $895 per person by 2004 for a total of $263G, Holling said... Efficiency gains in the economy totaled 0.75% in the 20 years studied... the lower pay-checks were off-set by lower prices across the economy... A study done through the University of California and Rutgers University found that there was an $11.46 an hour gap in wages and benefits between union grocery workers and WM food workers... Elizabeth Cohn, a Takoma Park, MD-based consultant and professor at the conference, criticized the Global Insight study because it didn't include the indirect impact Wal-Mart has on people, suppliers, and other companies."
Florida Supremes rule that Socialist Insecurity Numbers (SINs) are not required to receive worker's compensation benefits
"A state law requiring workers to provide their Social Security numbers when claiming compensation for on-the-job injuries is invalid because it violates federal privacy rights, the Florida Supreme Court decided Thursday... The Federal Privacy Act, however, makes it illegal for any government agency to deny any benefit to people because they refuse to disclose their Social Security numbers, the appellate court stated in ruling for Cagnoli last year."
Andrea Lehman _Hispanic Business_
Hispanics Gained 212K Jobs in October
"Hispanics gained 212K jobs in October, decreasing the rolls of the unemployed by 127K. The additional 85K jobs were filled by recent entrants to the labor market from an increase in the Hispanic population of 95K. On an annual basis, employment of Hispanics has increased by 643K jobs, bringing the Hispanic unemployment rate down from 6.7% in 2004 October to the current 5.8%... Without seasonal adjustment, the overall Hispanic unemployment rate for October was slightly lower at 5.6%, decreasing from 6.2% in September. Hispanic men (20 years and over) tend to have the lowest rates of unemployment in the Hispanic population. Their unemployment rate decreased to 4.4% in October, from 4.8% in September. This was caused by a gain of 163K jobs, hiring 46K Hispanic men previously considered unemployed, as well as absorbing an increase in the labor force of 117K Hispanic men. At 5.7%, the unemployment rate in October for Hispanic women 20 years and over was higher than that of Hispanic men, though it decreased from 6.7% in September. Hispanic women gained 167K jobs in October, reducing the number of unemployed Hispanic women by 61K. The remaining 106K jobs were filled by an in-flow of Hispanic women previously not in the labor force."
Nic Paton _Management Issues_
US businesses failing to monitor millions spent on bodyshopping
"U.S employers spend millions of dollars each year on contract labour, but rarely monitor whether it is money well spent or even how much it is costing them, a report has suggested... For instance, just under a quarter (21%) could not estimate their company's current annual spending on contractual labour, while 18% could not estimate the number of suppliers currently providing contractual labour. Yet many firms were spending an average of seven per cent of their overall company revenue on contractual labour, typically representing hundreds of millions of dollars."
2005-11-04 13:35PST (16:35EST) (21:35GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Nasdaq has best week in 14 months
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8.17 points to 10,530.76, with the bench-mark index posting a weekly gain of 1.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 9.21 points to 2,169.43. The tech-rich index put in its best weekly gain in 14 months, rising 3.8%. The S&P 500 Index put in a fractional gain, up 0.2 points at 1,220.14. The broad gauge rose 1.8% on the week."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Byrd Amendment, ITAA: Business Development, WorkForce & Education
"The senate just approved a substantial increase in the H-1B visa cap, and an increase in employer-sponsored green cards... the measure was buried inside a huge, complex appropriations bill. It now awaits reconciliation with the House bill. Senator Byrd proposed an amendment to remove the visa increases from the bill. Only 14 senators voted [to remove the increase in numbers of visas]... Feinstein (D-CA) voted [for more visas] even though she publicly questioned the wisdom of the visa increase. Granted, Feinstein did get the committee to cut the H-1B increase in half [from 60K to 30K], but that is not worth much; once the industry reaches the cap, they'll just ask for more, and Feinstein will, I'm sure, agree again.... Barbara Boxer (D-CA), voted [for more visas], and will always support the industry on any immigration issue, according to what a top aide of hers told me... Clinton (D-NY) voted [for more visas]. She will basically support the industry on every H-1B/ L-1/ off-shoring issue, and is a public ally of Tata Consultancy Services [TCS], one of the biggest H-1B/ L-1/ off-shoring firms. See any of the files whose names begin with 'Hillary'... Kennedy (D-MA) voted [to increase the numbers of visas]. Though he too has publicly criticized the H-1B program in the past, he has generally been a friend of industry on this issue. According to the IEEE-USA, Kennedy was one of the prime movers in the current visa increase legislation. And the American Electronics Association [AeA, not to be confused with the American Engineering Association], one of the key industry [executive] lobbying groups, said 'Senator Kennedy has been a significant advocate on immigration issues related to high-skilled workers.'... [Florida senators Martinez & Nelson both voted in favor of increasing the number of visas.] in spite of the pro-labor tradition/image of the Democratic Party, the fact is that they have been very strongly in support of the industry [executives] on H-1B, L-1 and off-shoring issues. I myself am a registered Democrat... but the fact is that the Democrats are totally corrupt on this issue... The NRC report stated that the impact of H-1Bs was already holding down wages (page 187). Merten never should have been appointed to chair that NRC commission, as he has very strong ties to industry. For example, he sits on the boards of several high-tech firms, one of which hired an H-1B engineer at a salary of only $30K... if an H-1B is being sponsored by his employer for a green card, he is a de facto indentured servant for the years it takes to get a green card... removing [this] key feature which makes the H-1Bs exploitable [would be good]... The industry itself has [the executives have] always been interested in increasing the H-1B caps, not the green card caps, precisely for this reason. They like the fact that the green card process enables the employer to have a strangle-hold over the H-1B, thus allowing the employer to pay low wages. They also like the 'loyalty' (i.e. immobility) of the H-1Bs."
foreign graduate students & guest-worker visas
see also files whose names begin with ForeignGradStudents
Numbers USA has the senate roll-call vote
2005-11-05 11:20PST (14:20EST) (19:20GMT)
Illegal immigrant workers stiffed for Katrina recovery work
"Sometimes, the boss simply vanishes... Non-payment of wages is a violation of federal law, but these workers -- thousands of them... -- are especially vulnerable because many are here illegally. After Katrina hit, AO paid $1200 to be smuggled across teh desert border from Mexico, a walk that took several nights. Talk of $10 [per] hour -- more in a day than he made each week at a computer factory back home -- led him to pay another $1200 to be crammed in a van with a dozen other immigrants and driven 1600 miles from a safe house in Arizona to Mississippi. The passengers were not fed... and were discharged near the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, where AO sleep-walked through his first day clearing hurricane-strewn junk. The job was supposed to pay $7 [per] hour. But 6 weeks later, AO still hasn't been paid the $600+ he said he is owed for 8 days of dawn-to-dusk labor... In this beleaguered state, which doesn't have a labor department, the issue isn't even on the radar. Non-payment is not specified as a crime under Mississippi law and the state Department of Employment Security defers wage claims to the federal Department of Labor. Workers who claim back wages have two formal options: Filing a civil suit in state court or a federal complaint. Mississippi prosecutors haven't received any complaints, according to special assistant attorney general Peter Cleveland. A spokeswoman for the federal Labor Department said she could not determine whether there have been any post-Katrina claims in the Gulf region. But there are some in the pipeline: On Friday, a representative of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance said the advocacy group had prepared complaints on behalf of more than 150 workers who are owed more than $100K by 5 contractors, including Tovar's KTS Services."
Thomas Wagner _St. Augustine Record_
3500 US & Iraqi solders in battle near Syrian border
"[Terrorists] armed with Kalashnikov rifles and rocket-propelled grenades battled about 3,500 U.S. and Iraqi troops Sunday in the gritty streets of Husaybah in the second day of an offensive to rout al-Qaida from its stronghold along the Syrian border... fired at U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces from inside a mosque. In a southwestern part of Husaybah, machine gun fire, tank rounds and AK-47 bullets reverberated during tough street-by-street combat, [CNN] said."
Marta Hummel _Greensboro News-Record_
Union Grows in the Fields
"It is not that Gervacio and the others expect union representatives to be with them all of the time. But he would like people to know that not all Mexican workers come here illegally, and he hopes the union will publicize that fact. But for some farmers and the NC Growers Association (NCGA), the union remains a nuisance and duplicative of their own mission to foster worker welfare... Robert Lewis said it is not in anyone's best interest if the men are ill... 'We want them happy and healthy so they can work.'... State workers with the NC Department of Labor are supposed to inspect the 1,002 farms that received migrant workers this year. But with just 4 people to do those inspections, the state can't visit every farm during the growing season, said Regina Luginbuhl, the bureau chief of the Agriculture Safety and Health division."
Conor Friedersdorf _Los Angeles Daily Bulletin_
Immigration lessons USA can learn from France
"In Paris, the suburbs are being burned and looted by Arab and North African immigrant youths. The French police seem helpless to stop them. As America faces its own immigration problem it is tempting to note the French spectacle before retuning one's attention to the immigrants dying in our deserts, or the violent gangs swelling their ranks through illegal entry, or the impact of mass immigration on native wages... Yet France is discovering that assimilating immigrants is easier said than done... More troubling is the French bureaucracy, particularly its welfare programs and constant interference in the economy. Overly generous welfare diminishes the need for immigrants to adopt the native language, skills to support themselves and behavior amenable to a workplace environment. There is also less need to leave immigrant enclaves for economic opportunity -- a job in another region, which would be attractive if not for monthly welfare checks, suddenly isn't worth the effort of moving away from one's cultural ghetto. High unemployment caused by France's highly regulated economy exacerbates the problem... A guest worker program would only exacerbate our problems, giving rise to an institutionalized underclass of citizens who lack any loyalty to America save the pay-check it provides them... The French are correct that assimilation, not multiculturalism, makes for domestic tranquillity. Their subsequent failure to assimilate immigrants should teach Americans that European-style economic programs and social attitudes -- though seemingly tolerant and compassionate -- ultimately prove incompatible with treating immigrants as equals who will integrate into society."
Beyond Borders Blog
Haroon Siddiqui _Toronto Star_
Lesson of French riots: no bodyshopping, no guest-workers
"Un-employment [in France] among non-whites is nearly 15%, compared to the national rate of 9%. It is 30% in the crowded and crumbling social housing projects, the site of the rioting and also last summer's fires that killed 24 people. Whereas the national jobless rate for university graduates is 5%, it is 26.5% for 'North Africans'. These include the second- and third-generation off-spring of those who came as guest-workers, mostly Arabs from North Africa... Why is Ottawa considering increasing the number of temporary workers in Canada? Immigration Minister Joe Volpe says businesses urgently need them. If so, bring the qualified ones as immigrants, not guest-workers, knowing the disastrous experience of France as well as Germany."
Evelyn Pringle _Media Monitor_
Bush Is Doing Corporate Bidding On the Clock
"Overall, the FTAA faces widespread opposition in Latin America and for good reason. 20 years of NAFTA's so-called economic reforms have resulted in widespread poverty, high unemployment, massive debt, and a series of other economic crises... 'Though constituents widely opposed CAFTA, the agreement passed Congress through the use of bribery, threats, and deception.', according to the article, Vote-buying and Arm-twisting, by William F Jasper on 2005 August 22. The Senate and House set new lows for political prostitution, corruption, and betrayal, with the White House and Republican leaders openly propositioning members in the halls of Congress with billions of dollars in federal projects, along with promises of special trade concessions, Jasper maintains, 'all to win passage of a misbegotten agreement that will cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in foreign aid, additional waves of illegal aliens, and further entanglement in sovereignty-destroying international regulatory regimes.', he wrote. Congressman, Ron Paul (R-TX), one of the 27 Republicans who voted against CAFTA, said the vote-buying price tag may end up being $50G or more. 'Most of the bribery is hidden away in projects funded by the massive energy and transportation appropriation bills.', he told Jasper."
Paul Craig Roberts _V Dare_
Still No Jobs: Executives Deserting American Production Workers
"Manufacturing is hollowed out. The decline in manufacturing means decline in the engineering and other professions that serve it. Knowledge jobs are also being lost to off-shore out-sourcing and to H-1b, L-1, and other work visas. In October, there were 81,301 corporate lay-offs. The government does not keep records of the US jobs lost to off-shore out-sourcing and to work visas for foreigners. With so few jobs available in the educated professions, the future of US universities would seem to be bleak... Powerful lobbies that benefit from low cost foreign labor have invested heavily in public relations campaigns to create the impression that American jobs have to be out-sourced and foreign workers brought into the US because there are shortages of US engineers, scientists, nurses and school teachers. It is amazing that the occupations in which shortages are alleged to exist are the very occupations in which qualified Americans cannot find jobs... no country benefits from the loss of high productivity, high value-added occupations... America's volume exports are paper, waste paper, agricultural products and chemicals. The October 28 issue of Manufacturing & Technology News reports that Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Ford, Kimberly Clark, Caterpillar, Goodyear, General Motors, USG, Honeywell, Alcoa and Kodak combined exported 269,600 containers of goods in 2004. WM alone imported 576K containers of goods... The cumulative US trade deficit for the entire decade of the 1980s totaled $846G. The US trade deficit for 2005 alone is 83% of the cumulative deficit of the Reagan 1980s... MarketWatch (2005 November 4) reports that 'wage growth is a chief concern of the Federal Reserve, which fears that wage pressures could imbed an inflationary psychology in the economy'. This is amazing. US wages are not keeping up with inflation. Real wages are falling, and the Federal Reserve is worried about wage pressures! [While executive compensation continues to soar.]"
Sheri Qualters _Boston Business Journal_
Many visas, needy tech workers
Frosty Wooldridge _News With Views_
America's Engineered Decline
"Today, because of Congressional-sponsored insourcing, off-shoring, out-sourcing along with FTAA, CAFTA, NAFTA and other corporate tools, Americans find themselves joining the 'race to the bottom'. In his laser-piercing book, _America's Engineered Decline_, William Norman Grigg, editor of the New American, said, 'Even as our nation exports jobs that once opened the door to the middle class, we are importing waves of unskilled immigrants, including millions of illegals. No longer our protector, our political elite schemes to merge our country with other nations of this hemisphere into a continent-spanning socialist mega-state modeled after the European Union.'... With complicity from Congress, mega corporate interests de-industrialize the USA with every action that moves jobs over-seas or imports this 21st century slave labor into America with H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and other visas."
Lou Dobbs _CNN_
Red Chinese Spies Caught Red-Handed
"our troops are now patrolling our southern border with Mexico. We'll have a live report for you from New Mexico. And what could be the most damaging communist Chinese spy case in this country ever. We'll be taking you live to the Pentagon for the very latest. We'll be talking with a strategic expert as well on charges that the United Nations has created a culture of corruption from top to bottom... Casey Wian is live now with our troops near Columbus, New Mexico -- Casey... 'Here in New Mexico, at least on a limited basis, the Army is now working with the Border Patrol. These are pictures of the 14th Armored Cavalry Brigade on the Mexican border. Dozens of Army vehicles, including armored Stryker units equipped with electronic surveillance systems, are working as so-called forced multipliers for the Border Patrol. The soldiers are actually on a training mission, preparing for their eventual deployment to Iraq. While they're here, they're helping the Border Patrol spot illegal traffic, especially at night, when it's the heaviest. Border Patrol agents tell us the soldiers are not physically apprehending or contacting illegal aliens in any way.'... American officials say that there are 3K front companies designed specifically to spy on American industry and the U.S. government, and those same officials say the latest evidence of [Red China's] espionage activity is the arrest of 4 people in Los Angeles on charges of stealing secret documents on American war-ships. Jamie McIntyre reports from the pentagon -- Jamie... 'according to an affidavit from federal investigators, the accusation is that a [Red Chinese] -- a naturalized Chinese-American citizen who has had a secret clearance since 1996 took information from his employer and attempted to transfer it to the [Red Chinese] government. This man, whose name is Chi Pak, worked for a company called Power Paragon. And as that, he was the lead engineer for a program that had access to Navy technology for what's called the quiet electronic drive program, a very sensitive program that the Navy is working on in order to provide very quiet propulsion for Navy ships. And, you know, when it comes to submarines, for instance, quiet is one of the things that makes a submarine effective. According to the affidavit, if I could read you here, '''The investigation has shown that Chi transferred information concerning the quiet electronic drive from his workplace to his home. He copied the information on to CDs, delivering them to his brother, who encrypted the information and made arrangements to travel to the People's Republic of China.''' Arrested were Chi, his brother and their 2 wives, all, according to federal investigators, before they were actually able to take those encrypted CDs to [Red China]."
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
American Worker Displacement Soared in October (graph)
"Hispanic employment rose by a whopping 212K positions in October while only 2K new jobs were created for non-Hispanics. In percentage terms the Hispanic job count rose by 1.137%, or 569-times the miniscule 0.002% growth in non-Hispanic jobs... Senator Mary Landrieu called 'for an investigation of federal contractors, whom she said were hiring low-wage undocumented workers'... October's Hispanic job pop pushed VDARE.COM's American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI) up to a record 115.0, up from 113.7 in September."
2005-11-07 (06:30PST) (09:30EST) (14:30GMT)
Some US executives say: Out-Sourcing Will Bring the Demise of US Business: Red China Is a Threat
"A new survey by the largest $100k+ positions web site, TheLadders.com, shows that executives, in fact, believe that out-sourcing is a major problem for American business. 43% of the executives surveyed stated that out-sourcing jobs to Asia would 'ultimately cause the demise of American business'. 24% had a more moderate opinion of Asian out-sourcing, and stated that it was 'a reasonable solution to high U.S. labor costs', while 23% took the opposing stance, and said out-sourcing was 'the only way American companies can compete in a global business economy'. [Only] 9% felt that out-sourcing jobs to Asia was 'morally wrong'... 61% of executives [stated] that [Red China] was the biggest challenge to American business. India took third in the poll, with 13%, behind 'other American businesses' with 20% of the vote. The Middle East and Japan were not seen as major competition, garnering 3% and 2% respectively."
Mark Trumbull _Christian Science Monitor_
Workers Face Pay-Check Pinch: After inflation American workers earn 2.3% less than they did a year ago
"Wages have been rising nominally: Average pay rose 8 cents last month to $16.27 an hour, according to a government report Friday. That's not fast enough to counter inflation. By one common measure, average pay for an hour's work has less purchasing power than it had 4 years ago - when the current growth cycle began. Wages for the most recent quarter were 2.3% lower, after inflation, than workers received a year before. While energy costs are the most obvious culprit, other forces may be playing a role, from globalization and illegal immigration to the weakening of labor unions. Politicians, too, could share in the blame... In [the BLS current employment statistics], hourly wages for non-supervisory workers rose by a total of just 4.6% during the 24-year period from 1979 to 2003, a recent Labor Department study found. Most other reports show larger gains, in part because they track a wider sample of workers or of income [i.e. they lump CEOs in with janitors]... none of the government surveys show wages rising by even 1% a year between 1979 and 2003."
Linda A. Raber _Chemical & Engineering News_
2006 Employment Outlook
"For the fifth consecutive year, the job market remains depressed for chemical scientists and engineers... many companies are continuing to invest heavily in foreign facilities, lured by inexpensive labor and production costs."
Karen de Coster _Lewellyn Rockwell_
Detroit Votescam and Lynchscam
2005-11-07 22:00PST (2005-11-08 01:00EST) (2005-11-08 06:00GMT)
_World Net Daily_
Aztlan movement leader calls for French-style riots in USA
"While Many Americans are watching the chaos unfold following 12 nights of mayhem by largely Muslim immigrants in the streets of France, a leader of the separatist Aztlan movement in the U.S. says it's only a matter of time before worse unrest hits the streets of America... Ernesto Cienfuegos of La Voz de Aztlan... Aztlan activists, who see themselves as "America's Palestinians," want to carve out of most of the southwestern United States an independent, Spanish-speaking nation known as the Republica del Norte. According to earlier reports in La Voz de Aztlan, the leaders of this movement are meeting continuously with extremists from the Islamic world... The stunning documentary video 'Conquest of Aztlan', which unveils the aims and methods of a radical movement intent on taking over the American southwest, is available from WND's online store."
Mexican Nazis in Los Angeles
Is Mexico Re-Conquering the US SouthWest?
Mexican Re-Conquest: USA?
_Salt Lake Tribune_
Indicted Red Chinese Spies Denied Bail
"A federal judge on Monday denied bail for 2 [Red Chinese] nationals accused of conspiring to steal sensitive documents on U.S. Navy warship technology and smuggle them to [Red China]. Tai Wang Mak, a broadcast and engineering director for the Phoenix North American [Red Chinese] Channel, and his wife, Fuk Heung Li, were arrested October 28 in Los Angeles as they prepared to board a flight to [Red China]. In Li's luggage, authorities found a disk that contained information on U.S. technology designed to suppress the noise of submarine propulsion systems, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Deirdre Eliot. The disk had been encrypted with a [Red Chinese] code."
USA Reaches Agreement with Red China on Textiles
Cincinnati Post Times Star
San Diego Union-Tribune
Composite: "The USA and Red China today confirmed they have reached a bilateral trade deal that will limit Red China's surging textiles and clothing exports to the USA for the next 3 years. The accord concludes 5 months of negotiations and caps Red Chinese export growth to the USA over the next 3 years. Only 19 of the 34 Red Chinese products covered are already included in U.S. safe-guards that restrict imports... Textiles have been an irritant in the $231G trading relationship between the USA and Red China, whose apparel exports to the U.S. are on course to climb more than 60 percent this year from $15G in 2004. U.S. law-makers, manufacturers and unions are pressing the Bush administration to crack down on what they say are Red China's unfair trade practices, such as undervaluing its currency, providing cheap loans to companies and cutting taxes for domestic producers... Red China's textile exports jumped 22% to $55G in the first 9 months of 2005 from a year earlier, according to the customs bureau in Beijing. The Asian country had a record $162G trade surplus with the U.S. last year that is likely to exceed $200G this year, government data show... Under the agreement, exports of most Red Chinese clothing and textiles goods to the United States will be allowed to rise between 8% and 10% next year, by 12.5% in 2007 and by 15% to 16% in 2008, the Shanghai Daily News reported."
Cathy Bazan-Arias _Civil Engineering news_
The National Academies Report: US Scientific & Technical Future on the Line
"Norman Augustine, former Lockheed Martin CEO and chair of the Committee, stated, 'It is the unanimous view of our committee that America today faces serious and intensifying challenges with regard to its future competitiveness and standard of living. Further, we appear to be on a losing path.'... 24-hr work-days are now available (send the work off to another country and have it back in a matter of hours). [Of course, Americans have nearly always worked around the clock.] Back-offices of U.S. firms operate in several other countries. For the cost of one scientist or engineer in the United States, a company can hire multiple personnel abroad. Last year, chemical companies shuttered 70 facilities in the United States and have tagged 40 more for closure. Of 120 chemical plants being built around the world with price tags of $1G or more, one is in the United States and 50 are in [Red China]. In 2001, U.S. industries spent more on tort litigation than on research and development."
US chain-store sales rose
"Sales were 1% higher in the week to November 5 after rising just 0.4% in the prior week, according to the report of the International Council of Shopping Centers and UBS. Compared with the same week a year ago, sales were up 4.1%, after a 4.4% rise in the prior week."
Anthony E. Bulver _MO News-Leader_
Christopher Bond & Jim Talent are hurting workers
"This past week, U.S. senators Christopher Bond and Jim Talent voted to increase the importation of foreign workers to fill high-tech jobs in the U.S. labor market. Their votes will result in a possible increase of over 350K foreigners per year being allowed to come to the U.S. and take jobs away from American citizens. In 1998 senator Bond and then-representative Talent voted to allow American businesses to lay off American workers to make room for foreign workers. Also, in 1998, Bond and Talent voted to double the number of H-1B workers allowed into the U.S. to replace American workers in high-tech jobs. In 2005, both senators voted against an amendment to provide funding for additional Border Patrol agents and Immigration Control and Enforcement agents. This should be informative news for University of Missouri and Missouri State graduates this coming Spring, knowing that when they get into the job market, their expectations for an open job market will be closed and filled by foreigners thanks to our esteemed senators. Just who are our senators representing, U.S. citizens or foreigners?"
USCIS rules allowed effective explosion in gues-worker visa time
"Among the issues that have resurfaced in the last few years has been whether time spent outside the USA while on H-1B status can be recovered at the point of the last H-1B extension, before the maximum six-year limitation. In the years prior to the emergence of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act (AC21), Pub. Law 106-313, it became crucial for petitioners to recapture valid H-1B time for their professional workers who had been outside the U.S. for any period of time so as to maximize the inherent 6-year limitation of the H-1B visa. Even individuals, who had spent time on L visa, were also counted for purposes of changing to H-1B, and vise versa. Because of the backlogs at both USCIS and the various departments of labor, AC21 allows petitioners to extend their professional workers' visas, beyond the H-1B six-year limitation, in one year increments past the sixth year until legal permanent resident status is granted. This rule hinges upon a pending or approved labor certification application or employment-based petition for a minimum of 365 days. The advent of PERM (the new fast track labor certification system) earlier this year caused some members of the immigration bar to argue that the ability to exercise the AC21 7th year H-1B extensions might be jeopardized... Notably, independent of the 7th year provision, §104(c) of AC21 permits a one-time 3 year H-1B extension for those who are a beneficiary of an approved employment-based petition (EB1, EB2, and EB3) where an adjustment of status cannot be filed because of lack of visa availability."
Richard C. Moore _MO News-Leader_
Cooperation with evil will hurt US
"Missouri State University President Michael Nietzel states we must maintain close ties to the [Red Chinese] because they have overtaken us in manufacturing and our graduates will be in competition with people from [Red China] and India. Mr. Nietzel is obviously a globalist who sees no problem with [Red China's] repressive communist government. Besides the Tiananmen Square massacre of students in the late 1980s, the [Red Chinese] use forced abortion, harvesting of organs from recently executed political dissenters, and repression of Christianity and overall freedom to control their population. Low wages and slave labor are the rule in [Red China]. The $10G a year that Wal-Mart buys from [Red China] notwithstanding, the [Red Chinese government] still consider the United States an enemy. The huge industrial sites that have sprung up in the last 10 years were largely financed by our purchases and global corporations that have invested billions there. In addition, our wicked politicians have allowed jobs by the hundreds of thousands to leave the U.S. for [Red China]. To Mr. Nietzel, I say: Men and women become accomplices to the evil they fail to oppose."
Greg LeRoy _Tom Paine_
WM: Alpha Hot at the Public Trough
"The phenomenal growth of the world's largest corporation has been supported by [tax-victims] in many states through economic development subsidies. A WM official once stated that the company seeks subsidies in about a third of its stores, suggesting that more than 1,100 of its U.S. stores are subsidized. A national survey by Good Jobs First in 2004 looked at 160 stores and all of the company's distribution centers -- and found that more than 90% of them have been subsidized. Altogether, 244 subsidized facilities in 35 states received [tax-victim] deals of more than $1G."
2005-11-10 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (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 338,578 in the week ending November 5, an increase of 44,403 from the previous week. There were 351,404 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending October 29, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,440,658, an increase of 61,950 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,434,394."
2005-11-10 14:21PST (17:21EST) (22:21GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
Stocks rallied as crude petroleum future prices dropped: UMich consumer sentiment index rose from 74.2 in October to 79.9 in November: Record foreign demand for US government debt
"But in Thursday's auction, foreign central banks and other off-shore bidders accounted for a record of 55.6% of the bids... The yield on the 10-year bench-mark note last stood at 4.565%, down from 4.65% in late trade Wednesday...Crude futures fell 1.9% to close at $57.80 a barrel, their weakest close since June 10, after the International Energy Agency cut its 2005 global demand growth estimate... The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index rose to 79.9 in November from 74.2 in October. Economists expected a reading of 76.2. The government also reported a record U.S. trade deficit of $66.1G in September, alongside the largest decline in exports since 2001 September 11..."
BEA report on trade deficit
Lester R. Daily _Tampa Bay NewsPapers_
Wrongful Termination Is Difficult to Prove
"If you hope to bring a successful law-suit against your employer for wrongfully firing you, it helps to be female, nonwhite, over 40, disabled, a whistle-blower, a military reservist or some combination thereof... When the county created its new Culture, Education and Leisure Department, JY thought she should be its director... But JY couldn't claim racial or gender discrimination because LW, the person who got the job, is also white and female. So JY, who is 57 and has a doctorate, claimed that the job went to the younger and less educated LW [who had only a BS in recreation] because of age discrimination. Subsequently, Yates filed a second EEOC complaint, saying county officials were harassing her for filing the first complaint. In January, she was fired. Recently, she filed a law-suit, alleging that she was fired because of her EEOC complaints of age discrimination... Yates said that she had allowed her age discrimination complaint to the EEOC to lapse because her mother was dying of cancer. But county officials began a pattern of systematic retaliation because they no longer considered her a team player, she said."
John E. Dunn _TechWorld_
Gartner Slams Compulsive Out-Sourcing
"Organisations are embarking on out-sourcing without thinking through the complex train of consequences, the authors of Multi-sourcing: _Moving Beyond OutSourcing to Achieve Growth and Agility_, claim. The book takes a sharp-edged cutlass to a number of out-sourcing myths that afflict it, and IT out-sourcing in particular. These include: over-estimation of the economies of scale on offer; naivety about the extent to which out-sourcers can manage the services independently; and a tendency to buy on the cheap without appraising hidden business costs. 'Chaotic and compulsive out-sourcing creates as many challenges as it solves. Furthermore, in many cases, the problems are caused by the immaturity of the organisation's sourcing practices rather than being the fault of the service provider.', says co-author, Linda Cohen... companies going down the out-sourcing route should restructure themselves to manage the contracts in a hands-on way, and consider how to do this across different suppliers in an integrated way. Simply trying to cut costs will not deliver the expected benefits... But a multi-sourcing approach would probably have told it not to put such a critical service in the hands of a third-party in the first place."
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
"Skills Shortage" or Immigration OverReach?
"University of Wisconsin sociologist Michael J. Handel... in his new book Worker Skills and Job Requirements: is There a MisMatch? he offers proof that Americans are as competent as those in other advanced nations... The apparent relative weakness in U.S. average cognitive skills vanishes when the effects of immigration are netted out... 'Blau and Kahn... find that immigration accounts for a considerable portion of the greater test score inequality in the United States relative to eight other countries... When immigrants are excluded from the samples, the difference between test score inequality in the United States and other countries disappears completely for women and shrinks by 55% for men... when Devroye and Freeman... exclude immigration from samples for the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, they find differences in test score inequality between the United States and the other countries declines by approximately 40%...'... US immigrants scored 210, or 16 points less than the average of immigrants in other high-income countries. US native born scored 284, or 8 points above the average of native-born in other high income countries... the presence of unskilled immigrants does enable U.S. employers to pay native-born workers less than their skill levels would otherwise warrant."
CBO report says massive immigration causes low wage growth in USA: 1 in 7 in America are foreign-born (graphs)
"Over the past decade, the number of foreign-born workers rose from 13M to 21M, accounting for about half the growth of the US work-force. About a third of the total are illegal immigrants, studies suggest. About 40% of recent immigrants were from Mexico and Central America, with low educational attainment compared with US natives and immigrants from the rest of the world. Among workers who lack a high school diploma, nearly half are immigrants from Mexico and Central America. From 1994 to 2004, the average earnings of male high school drop-outs rose by 2%, adjusted for inflation, while the average earnings of university graduates rose 12% in the period... The United States is known as a nation of immigrants -- a characterization that is more appropriate today than at any time since the 1930s. Census Bureau data for 2004 indicate that 34M of the nation's 288M people -- 12% of the U.S. population -- were foreign born. That was the highest percentage of foreign-born people the Census Bureau had recorded in 70 years... In 2004, more than 21M workers -- 1 in 7 workers in the United States [about 14%] -- were foreign born, and half had arrived since 1990. Almost 40% of foreign-born workers were from Mexico and Central America, and 25% were from Asia... Workers from [Mexico & Central America] earned much less, on average, than did the typical native worker... Other foreign-born workers [from other than Mexico & Central America] were employed in a much broader range of occupations. A notable exception is their concentration in fields such as computer and mathematical sciences, which generally require at least a college education. For workers from the rest of the world, the average weekly earnings of men and women were similar to those of native-born men and women... About 40% of foreign-born workers are U.S. citizens. Possibly half (6M to 7M) of the remaining foreign-born workers are [in the USA illegally]."
Congressional Budget Office report (pdf)
"60% of those immigrants from Mexico and Central America who are not enrolled in school have not finished high school compared with about 20% of natives. Over 80% of those whose admissions were based on an employment preference (and whose occupations are known) were in executive, managerial, professional, or technical occupations, which are generally associated with high levels of educational attainment."
|Occupation Group||% of US Native||% of Mexico & Central America||% of Rest of World||% of Total Non-US||% of Total|
|Health Care Practitioner & Technical||5.4%||0.9%||7.0%||4.8%||5.3%|
|Computer & Mathematical Science||2.4%||0.3%||4.8%||3.2%||2.5%|
|Architecture & Engineering||2.2%||0.3%||3.2%||2.1%||2.2%|
|Life & Physical Science & Social Maunderings||1.1%||0.1%||1.7%||1.1%||1.1%|
Norm Matloff _Date-Line UC Davis_
Graduate Student Enrollments & Tuition
"the U.S. is out-scored by a number of Asian countries in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study [TIMSS]. Yet this is highly misleading. California is still grappling with socioeconomic issues, but much of America is doing very well. For example, on the eighth-grade science test, if Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota and 10 other states had been treated as nations separate from the U.S.A., each of them would have ranked second in the world, surpassed only by Singapore. And anyone who thinks that we have a 'shortage' of Americans who developed good math and science skills in school should talk to all those doctorate-holders in physics who never were able to secure work in the field... It just doesn't pay for most domestic students to pursue a doctorate in science and engineering. The National Research Council found, for example, that a domestic student incurs a net life-time loss in earnings if he/she pursues a doctorate. The higher doctoral salary does not ever make up for the industry-level income one forgoes during the 5 or more years of graduate school. Indeed, the premium paid for a doctorate in science and engineering is surprisingly small. Doctorates in computer science, for instance, make an average of only 38.7% more than those having just a bachelor's degree, compared with a salary differential of 116% in economics and 150% in political science. Average professor salaries show a similar trend: law, $109,478; business, $79,931; biological and biomedical sciences, $63,988; mathematics, $61,761. This, too, has interesting historical roots: A 1989 National Science Foundation internal report argued a need to limit growth in doctoral salaries in science and engineering, and proposed as a solution bringing in more foreign students and scholars. It recognized the negative impact this would have on domestic student enrollment: '(If) doctoral studies are failing to appeal to...the best citizen baccalaureates, then a key issue is pay. The relatively modest salary premium for acquiring a (science and engineering) doctorate may be too low to attract a number of able potential graduate students.'"
slides in pdf form
Suzette Porter _Tampa Bay NewsPapers_
Pinellas county joins in salute to US veterans
Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
America's Growing Educational and Job Nightmare
"Most Americans over 40 witnessed the dumbing down of our schools in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and into this century. As a teacher, I was 'encouraged' to pass minority students who did not work for excellence nor did they study toward academic success... 50% of black and Hispanic teen-agers do not graduate from high school. The USA does not stand in the top 10 industrialized nations of high school graduation rates. [Compare to the 1930 US HS graduation rate of about 30%.]... According to the Dobbs' report, 37M people live in poverty. Functional illiteracy affects over 35M Americans. 1 in 5 American children lives below the poverty level. Each year, 1.5M unwed women give birth... Wages stagnant, mortgage defaults rise, 47M Americans lack health insurance. [Compare to 1940 when 10% of the US population had health insurance.]... In 1999, 5,663 students enrolled in Denver Public Schools. In 2005, only 1,884 graduated from high school. That studied showed more than 65% flunked out or dropped out. What caused such a massive failure rate? The report showed that 30K illegal alien kids attended school with little to no ability to speak English. Their parents suffered functional illiteracy in English and Spanish. Additionally, the classroom experience suffered such degradation that 1 in 5 teachers quit or transferred out of DPS system every 9 month cycle. With 1.3M illegal alien children in schools across America and hundreds of thousands of 'anchor babies' born to illegal mothers who cannot and do not speak English, it's little wonder America class-rooms suffer similar problems across the country... '[Red China] has about 1.3G people.', she said. 'A common wage for a manufacturing job [in Red China] is about 50 cents per hour. India has over 1.1G people. A computer programmer makes between $7K and $10K per year.'... Who benefits most from 'Free Trade' and the global economy?... Last week, senators Teddy Kennedy and Specter promoted Senate Bill 1932 bringing another 350K H-1B visas foreign workers into the USA with green cards to work American jobs. That's on top of the already 1.1M legal immigrants they approve annually. And, that's on top of the 1.0M H-1B, H-2B and L-1 visas already here!... Your own senators voted to screw 350K American workers out of a job."
2005-11-11 13:42PST (16:42EST) (21:42GMT)
Paul Streitz _Magic City Morning Star_
Dick Morris has proven his ignorance about immigration (graph)
"As with all political strategists, he looks for the easy solution today [that will most quickly pad his and his friends wallets], without any regard for its impact on future years, much less future generations... President Bush is totally captured by the cheap labor advocates of American business and will do nothing to offend them... President Bush has put the immigration issue at the top of the national agenda by steadfastly refusing to do anything about it and in fact obstructing effective enforcement of current laws. Morris gives Bush the advice, 'Back the fence. Walls work.' Of course, they do; that is why Bush does not want them. They would impede the flow of cheap labor to his corporate supporters... They get work because the illegals are willing to work for less than the minimum wage. Employers do not have to pay taxes, unemployment insurance, workers compensation insurance or [socialist insecurity extortions]. Morris cannot seem to get the idea through his head that there is no pent up shortage of American workers and that illegal [aliens] get jobs by lowering American wages... How about drying up the jobs by putting the employers in federal prisons?"
Eunice Moscoso _Oxford Press_
Border Guards, Hospitals, Jails, Courts Overwhelmed by Illegal Immigrants
"Bonilla told a House panel that border areas are also experiencing an "invasion" of immigrants from countries other than Mexico, including some from nations that the United States monitors for possible terrorist activity. In addition, [Pearce] said, small sheriff's departments in his district are increasingly called on to assist in catching illegal immigrants and spend a quarter of their operating budgets assisting the Border Patrol... Immigrant workers -- both legal and illegal -- make up more than 25% of factory workers in Chicago and almost half of the blue-collar, service-related and unskilled jobs there, [Gutierrez] said... Bonilla cited two newspaper articles pointing to terrorist plots to infiltrate the United States through the porous Southern border... Other immigration proposals also have been introduced, including a measure by representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to build a 2K-mile, high-tech security fence along the border with Mexico."
_National Center for Public Policy & Higher Education_
Income of US work-force projected to decline if education does not improve
"The Racial/Ethnic Groups that Are Least Educated Are the [Quickest] Growing"
Enquirer 80 stock index up 0.17%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks rose 0.46 points, or 0.17%, to close Friday at 281.55. 40 issues were up, 32 were down and eight were unchanged. Leading gainers were Omnicare, up $2.05 to $55.17; LCA-Vision, up $1.57 to $46.76; General Motors, up 97 cents to $24.48; Lexmark, up 58 cents to $44.60; Reed Elsevier, up 55 cents to $38.20. Biggest laggers were Cummins, down 82 cents to $87.07; Federated Department Stores, down 76 cents to $68.82; Cinergy Corp., down 72 cents to $39.50; Gannett, down 65 cents to $65.20; Johnson & Johnson, down 49 cents to $60.92."
2005-11-11 13:26PST (16:26EST) (21;26GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
US stocks close near highs: 4th week of gains for Nasdaq, 3rd week of gains for S&P 500
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average, also marking a third consecutive week of gains, closed up 45.94 points at 10,686.04. The S&P 500 gained 3.76 points to 1,234.72. The Nasdaq Composite closed up 5.79 points at 2,202.47 for a fourth straight weekly gain. For the week, the Dow industrials and Nasdaq composite each rose 1.5%, while the S&P 500 advanced 1.2%. Rising shares outnumbered falling stocks by 18 to 13 on the New York Stock Exchange, with more than 1.29G shares traded. The ratio of winners to losers was 16 to 13 in the Nasdaq market; more than 1.44G shares traded."
_US State Department_
USA Urges "Ambitious" Cut in Agricultural Subsidies: US trade representative Rob Portman addressed India's chamber of commerce
"Upcoming WTO negotiations, formally known as the Doha Development Agenda, have reached a critical moment that will test whether nations have the will and ambition to reduce agricultural subsidies and other trade barriers in ways that encourage global economic growth, according to U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman... The 2 leaders [the president of the USA and the prime minister of India] agreed that India and the United States should support and accelerate economic growth in both countries through greater trade, investment, and technological collaboration... Foreign direct investment has increased in both directions, and total bilateral trade in services and goods will reach about $30G this year, when you include services and goods. That's up from about $12G only 10 years ago. So from $12G to $30G over the last decade. India is now one of the United States' great export markets, and India enjoys an overall $9.5G trade surplus with the United States... I would also mention the CEO Forum, and other private sector initiatives as being good examples... Later today, we will officially inaugurate the India-United States Trade Policy Forum... Mr. Ray Vicory, former assistant secretary of United States, Department of Commerce, who is now with U.S. India Business Council and therefore representing it... [And then this sign of hope from Ray Vicory; if their local governments can overcome unfair trade, then certainly local governments in the USA should do so.] 'I would raise with you, and I don't know how this issue will ought to be handled, but the problem of policies which are agreed to at the national level at the center and then are frustrated at a state level by unelected officials. I will give you a concrete example: one of our members Dell agro sciences has, since 1997, had authority to sell a product throughout India and it is being sold every where in India except in one state in Punjab. Unfortunately for 3 years the ability to sell this particular product has been withdrawn. There have been letters from the Ministry of Agriculture, from the Ministry of Chemicals, there is even then a state court ruling saying that it should be instituted. The Ambassador himself has met with the Chief Minister and I would submit to you it is that kind of working level problem which is holding down, in terms of both investment and trade.'... Mode 4 refers to the movement of people, in particular intra company transfers and other business visas. There are non-immigrant visas like the H-1B in the United States. Kamal's right, they are immigration. Unfortunately they are viewed that way by many in the United States because in the past, taking India out of the equation altogether, in the past there has been lax enforcement and many over stays and it has resulted in, as you know, a large immigration problem in the United States that we are now grappling with, so it is an issue that's very difficult to deal with unless we can increase our own enforcement, which we are starting to do and unless we can began to focus more on its impact on business. I think you will find there is more sympathy for exactly what you are talking about, which is helping the SMEs but also helping with regard to contracts on both sides, by permitting temporary non-immigrant visas to be issued. It's recently come up in a number of contexts, our business community is now more interested in it, and the administration is looking at ways to deal with it. I am talking to members of Congress about it, including the judiciary committees, where there is jurisdiction, and I hopeful that we can make progress. I will say that when you look at the United States as compared to other countries around the world, we do have a relatively open system. We do allow for a relatively large number of non-immigrant visas, as compared to countries that are in the developed world, as a proportion to our population or GNP or other criteria. We actually are fairly generous already, but to the extent there is a need for more of this intra business activity in order to generate the kind of trade we all think is necessary, I do believe we need to figure out a way to balance the issues. One of the balances in addition to the general concern about immigration of course is security and since 2001/09/11 that has been the other factor here -- is to be sure again that we have a system where there is adequate enforcement and I think that's something again, that because we have made progress on the enforcement side that we should be able to see progress on in terms of these visas opening up more."
Mike Madden _Arizona Republic_
House expedites immigration measures
"whatever passes could be a mostly cosmetic attempt to declare victory on the issue and move on... A bill introduced last week by representative John Hostettler, R-IN, who chairs the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, would increase sentences for smugglers and for people with a criminal record who are caught coming back to the United States after being deported. It also would require the Department of Homeland Security to quickly return non-Mexican [illegal] immigrants to their countries of origin and cut off immigration from nations that don't accept re-entry. Other legislation might increase penalties for employers who hire [illegal alien] workers. But none so far would address the question of what to do about the estimated 11M [illegal] immigrants already here. 'What's troubling about the entire process is that many involved seem to view this as a political problem to be managed, rather than an illegal invasion to be stopped.', said representative J.D. Hayworth, R-AZ, who opposes letting [illegal aliens] legalize their status through a guest-visa program and wants a 'zero tolerance' approach to illegal entries."
David Crary _AP_/_Enid News & Eagle_
Events force USA and France to face flaws in reliance on guest-workers
Mankato Free Press
San Diego Union-Tribune
"In France, the deaths of 2 Muslim youths hiding from police in an electricity sub-station triggered rioting nationwide in bleak, immigrant-filled suburban housing projects where joblessness and alienation are endemic... 'There may be racism in the United States, but nobody would say an African-American is not an American.', Kupchan added. 'Muslims in France find themselves feeling... not really part of the French nation.'... 'France is being ripped apart by the unemployed and unassimilated off-spring of their own failed guest-worker programs of the 1970s and 1980s.', said Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. 'If we bring millions of guest-workers to this country, they will never leave... We will face massive social problems and costs down the road.'"
Lisa Sylvester _CNN_/_News 8 Austin_
Border states' resources ravaged by illegal immigration
"Last year, the border patrol apprehended more than 1M illegal alens, but millions more went undetected. Violent crime along the border has increased with the spike in human smuggling. The coyotes create a culture of lawlessness... Southwest border hospitals provided more than $800M in uncompensated care, not to mention the over-crowding of jails, courts and schools... Unlike illegal Mexicans who are sent back across the border, [federal operatives have been giving OTMs] a court date, [for] which 90% of them never [appear]... Another major worry is loss of jobs and lowering of wages [and other compensation]."
The Trought with Immigration: Foreigners can brin more than just their luggage
"Over 1.2M legal and illegal immigrants settle on American soil each year. Since 1990, the number of aliens living in the United States has mushroomed 43%; the Latino population alone doubled between 1980 and 2000, constituting 40% of all U.S. growth. Today, 1 in 10 people in America is a foreigner. The immigration explosion is not exclusive to the U.S. Fully 40% of today's Canadians were either born abroad or are the children of Canadians born elsewhere... As for illegal immigration, national borders are more porous than ever... In the crowded UK, where the population is roughly 60M, an estimated 500K workers are thought to be illegal. If spouses, dependents and those not working are added, the illegal population is close to 1M and climbing... The stock market crash of 1929 gutted the American economy and thrust the nation into unprecedented hardship. It was in the midst of this economic depression that American politicians laid the foundation for a welfare state. From this time forward, the American government became the crutch on which needy citizens could lean... Immigrants began streaming into America, where many of the poorest and least educated were no longer required to subscribe to the traditional American work ethic and instead could rely on the federal government to take care of them. Similar problems occurred in Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia... 55% of the Chinese seniors who immigrated to California from 1980 to 1987 were on welfare by 1990... even legal immigrants are placing an increasing burden on the U.S. economy... The Center for Immigration Studies estimated the total impact of illegal immigration on the federal budget: '[W]hen all taxes paid (direct and indirect) and all costs are considered, illegal households created a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10G in 2002. We also estimate that, if there was an amnesty for illegal aliens, the net fiscal deficit would grow to nearly $29G.' ('The High Cost of Cheap Labor' 2004 August)... California's illegal immigrant population is costing the state's tax-payers more than $10.5G per year for education, medical care and incarceration. Even if the estimated tax contributions of illegal immigrant workers are subtracted, net outlays still amount to nearly $9G per year. The annual fiscal burden from those 3 areas of state expenditures amounts to about $1,183 per household headed by a native-born resident.' (Federation for American Immigration Reform, 'The Costs of Illegal Immigration to Californians' 2004 November)... In the U.S., for example, Mexicans will send home $20G this year alone, according to projections by Mexico's Central Bank. This flood of cash will probably be the largest source of foreign exchange in Mexico. The cash from Mexicans working in the U.S. is a driving force behind Mexico's economy: It amounts to the equivalent of 2 percent of its gross domestic product. No wonder the Mexican government has done little to curb the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. and, in many documented cases, has actually condoned their illegal entry. In 2004, India received $17.5G in the same manner. [Red China], Pakistan and the Philippines also receive substantial wads in remittance. For these nations, illegal immigration is paying off quite nicely... Crime... Terrorists..."
Jayette Bolinski _Springfield State Journal-Register_
Human Cargo: Smugglers use I-55 as an illegal alien pipe-line to Chicago
"Illegal aliens are being smuggled through central Illinois every day, and the overloaded vehicles they're riding in are a potential threat to motorists' safety, officials say. Interstate 55 is a popular route for transporting undocumented Mexican and Central American citizens from "load houses" in Phoenix to Chicago and various other destinations in the eastern United States. During routine traffic stops in Sangamon, Logan, Macoupin and Montgomery counties between 2004 January and 2005 October, Illinois State Police and immigration officials encountered more than 330 illegal aliens, according to numbers from the federal courts and officials with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 'As far as I'm concerned, all the cases are mind-boggling. Human beings being treated as cargo is just beyond me or anybody else.', said Greg Archambeault, resident agent in charge of the Springfield ICE office... Human smuggling organizations rake in $10G in profits every year, according to ICE estimates... Federal court filings show that drivers caught locally smuggling aliens, an aggravated felony, have been sentenced to an average of 13 months in prison followed by 2 to 3 years of supervised release. After they serve their time, they typically are deported... The drivers usually are part of larger organizations that smuggle people through Mexico, over the border and into Arizona or California..."
2005-11-14 05:35PST (08:35EST) (13:35GMT)
Justin Pope _Lancaster Intelligencer Journal_/_AP_
Colleges Make Their Presidents Wealthy
annual survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education to be released Monday... Nine earned more than $900K -- a figure none broke in last year's report. All were at private universities, and the figures are for fiscal 2004, the most recent information available for private schools. More recent data on public universities, for the current academic year, shows salaries are rising there, too. Leaders of 23 public institutions are being paid $500K or more this year, up from 17 a year ago. Donald Ross of Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL topped the list at $5.04M. However, all but $477K of that was deferred compensation awarded after 34 years as president. He was followed by Audrey K. Doberstein of Wilmington College in Delaware ($1.37M) and Gordon Gee of Vanderbilt ($1.33M). Silber, who now holds the title of president emeritus at BU, earned more than $1.25M in fiscal 2004, including a $513K payment in place of sabbaticals he was unable to take during his presidency... Mary Sue Coleman of the University of Michigan is the highest paid public university president this year with $724,604 in compensation, followed by David P. Roselle of the University of Delaware ($720,522 in fiscal 2004, the most recent figures provided in his case) and Mark G. Yudof of the University of Texas system ($693,677). growing desire of governing boards to hire only presidents who have already been presidents elsewhere... The competition has driven the average tenure of the president of a large college down to about 5 years on average... the average chief executive of a single institution earns a salary of about $181K. And even the salaries of top college presidents pale in comparison to those of top corporate CEOs... Penn State University... President Graham Spanier... will be paid $492K this year, 25th among the 139 public universities surveyed."
2005-11-14 09:47PST (12:47EST) (17:47GMT)
Ali Daraghmeh _AP_/_Lancaster Intelligencer Journal_
Israeli Troops Killed Senior Hamas Militant
"Troops arrived at the home of Amjad Hanawi, 34, the commander of Hamas' armed wing in the northern West Bank, early Monday, according to Palestinian witnesses and the Israeli military. The soldiers ordered everyone out of the house and several surrounding buildings, Palestinian witnesses said. The Israeli military said 7 of Hanawi's assistants surrendered, but he came out shooting, so troops returned fire.... Hamas' military wing, Izzedine al Qassam... Since February, Hamas has largely adhered to an informal truce with Israel, and Israel has for the most part stopped pursuing fugitives from the group. Its renewed practice of targeted killings has focused on the smaller Islamic Jihad movement, which has carried out four suicide bombings since the truce went into effect... Hanawi... had been involved in attacks against Israel since 1996 and recently has been helping to build a cell of militants in Nablus... The army said troops saw 2 gunmen approaching the border fence near the crossing and opened fire on them. The dead man was identified as a Imad Abdu All, 21, a member of the militant Popular Resistance Committees group. In addition to the 3 wounded, 2 other people -- both of them armed -- were arrested by Palestinian police, the police said. The shooting occurred in an area where Palestinian militants frequently shoot home-made rockets toward Israel."
Dan Thomas _Personnel Today_
Ethnic minority children beat white peers to well-paid jobs in the UK
"The research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, tracked the employment of 140K people in England and Wales over 30 years from the 1960s... 56% of people from Indian working class families took up professional or managerial roles in adulthood, while only 43% of those from white, non-immigrant families went into such jobs. Among youngsters from Caribbean families, the figure was 45%."
2005-11-14 07:00PST (10:00EST) (15:00GMT)
David Roman _EE Times_
Electrical Engineers sense they're not appreciated: Object to collapsed career prospects
"The creators of technology aren't feeling very appreciated these days. Their jobs are being sent off-shore, pay raises are paltry at best and neighbors think they're geeks... Indeed, 65% called improving the U.S. educational system a priority. 'If this country wants to continue to be a mover and a shaker and a leader in the world, you won't get that by having a country that is mostly all gardeners or people working at Wendy's.', said another design engineer. 'Right now, it seems like, what the heck do I want to go into this profession for? There's no money in it; there's nothing but lay-offs and it's all being out-sourced to India.' 56% of respondents said they are concerned about out-sourcing (see graphic, page 30). Only 10% believe the United States will maintain its position as the world's technology leader... In judging intellectual capabilities, however, 80% of respondents said that engineers have above-average intelligence, vs. only 30% who said their non-engineer co-workers are smarter than the norm... 38% of respondents call themselves 'risk takers', 21% are 'risk averse' and 41% are 'on the fence'. Beacon Technology Partners LLC (Maynard, MA), managers of the survey, identified 4 distinct personality types that differ in their approach to risk. 'Cowboys' are self-motivated and less concerned than others about relying on colleagues. 'Pioneers' are self-confident and better educated. 'Nervous Nellies' are worriers and somewhat older. 'Home-steaders' are non-confrontational and driven by stability. Each type showed a willingness to take on situations that others found 'highly risky'. Engineers tend to be systematic and fact-based: 'They look below the surface of a problem.', said one respondent. This information-based decision making is reflected in their approach to risk. 'We don't always have all the information to make the right decisions.', said Doug Mayfield, a software engineer for Trimble Navigation Ltd. in Sunnyvale, CA. EEs compensate by steering clear of risky situations. For example, 79% of respondents said it was 'highly risky' to start your own company. The second-riskiest situation, taking a job at a start-up, was cited by 49% of respondents... Fewer than a quarter said they have all the information they need to complete a job, and only 8% feel they have enough time. These percentages are well below the U.S. averages reported by the ICPSR. Only 16% said job security was 'good', vs. 51% of workers in the general population. The demands of the work-place and the lack of support EEs receive from employers were highlighted by the survey. 44% said there aren't enough workers on staff to complete all the work; 27% of the general population feels that way, according to ICPSR data. While out-sourcing might provide some relief, only 9% of respondents said they 'welcomed' design out-sourcing, and most took a dimmer view. 'Out-sourcing is bad for engineers, since their jobs are targets. This decreases wages.', said consultant Boros. 'Also, the quality of out-sourced work is questionable. I can see some grunt work being out-sourced, but critical work should be done here.' In fact, more critical work is being sent off-shore than in the past. 30% of respondents said their companies out-source high-level hardware or software design work, and 39% said out-sourcing makes their engineering projects 'much more complicated'. And for some, there's no refuge: 22% said the demands of their job interfere with family life (compared with 15% of the general population, according to ICPSR data), and 7% said the demands of family life interfere with their jobs (vs. 5% of the general population)."
(see also report, below, from Tom Abate)
Tom Abate _San Francisco Chronicle_
Engineers Worry Their Career Prospects Have Been Destroyed And USA Will Fall Behind in Technology
Seattle Post Intelligencer
"The study, conducted by the trade publication EE Times and the Oregon communications firm McClenahanBruer, also found wide-spread movement to work centers over-seas of such engineering tasks as hardware and software design. The survey is based on responses from roughly 4K of the 150K engineers who receive EE Times... The National Academies -- the nation's top sience and technology policy board -- struck much the same note in an October report titled 'Rsing above the Gathering Storm'. In that report, a panel whose members included Intel Corp. chairman Craig Barret [and thus heavily biased to benefit tech executives], warned that 'US advantages in the market-place and in science and technology have begun to erode'... Only 16% of survey respondents termed their job security 'good'. More than half said they were 'concerned' about out-sourcing. And 10% said they had either lost or were in danger of losing jobs because of it... things have generally gotten tougher, that jobs are harder to come by and that more work is going over-seas..."
(see also report, above, by David Roman)
Lester Craft _Innovate_
Top 5 ideas from Innovate
John Partridge _Globe & Mail_
Plan needed to crush off-shoring trend and severely punish executives who engage in and promote it
"A startling 2.4M knowledge-based jobs in Canada -- more than 15% of the total work force --are being affected one way or another by the growing global trend toward 'off-shoring' this sort of work to lower-cost economies, a report being released today says."
2005-11-15 09:07PST (12:07EST) (17:07GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
PPI up 0.7%: Core PPI down 0.3%
Jo Twist _BBC_
Red China, Iran want more control over web
"But worldwide only 14% of the population is on-line, compared to 62% in the USA... One effort which will receive much attention is the non-profit One Lap-top Per Child group, set up by Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Labs. It plans to produce up to 15M sub-$100 lap-tops within a year... how to ensure freedom of expression and information for everyone on the net, an issue which bloggers will be watching closely... The net's infrastructure has been managed in an informal way through collaboration with businesses, civil society, academic and technical communities. Many [governments] have felt left out of this process... The USA is reluctant to relinquish its grip, arguing that UN proposals would shift regulation from private sector leadership, to government, top-down control."
2005-11-15 12:16PST (15:16EST) (20:16GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Oil ends under $57 per barrel, lowest in 5 months: Heating oil & gasoline fell 3%
"Crude futures for December delivery fell 71 cents to finish the day at $56.98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- its lowest ending level since June 10. December unleaded gasoline closed at $1.4564 a gallon, down 3.97 cents and December heating oil lost 4.95 cents to end at $1.6809 a gallon. Both oil-product contracts ended at their weakest levels since early June. December natural-gas futures shed 4.4 cents to close at $11.563 per million British thermal units after trading as low as $11.50."
_News Talk ZB_
NZ First objects to claims of aircraft engineer shortage when hundreds are being laid off
"Deputy leader Peter Brown says 'aircraft engineer' must be removed if Air New Zealand goes ahead with plans to lay-off more than 600 of its engineers."
Donna Locke for Bill Hobbs
Take This Job and Sell It
"WILL. Wow. Don't get too excited. So far, the Senate, led by our own senator Bill Frist, has shown little interest in securing the borders, stopping illegal immigration, or protecting American workers. In fact, a few days ago, the Senate figured out a way to kind of offset the wild spending by Congress and President Bush: by selling off an additional 350K American high-tech and other jobs annually to a combination of new immigrants, foreign guest-workers, and their families. This would happen via the sale of work visas and green cards to corporations in this country, which would import the additional workers and their families. The projected 350K or more includes the family members, who would be able to settle and get jobs here. Never mind that the U.S. Government Accountability Office says DHS cannot estimate how many people are already in the United States on H-1B visas, because of inadequate tracking systems. This legislation and the Senate vote for it were well-covered by news media in India. Not so covered here."
Jamie Court _Los Angeles Times_
The governor's odd traveling companions to Red China
"Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is making a high-profile trade trip to [Red China] this week. It's supposed to benefit you and me by opening up Chinese markets for California goods. But the guest list is a dead giveaway: Of the 80 businessmen, government officials and others accompanying the governor, about two dozen are big-bucks Schwarzenegger supporters who have together contributed more than $2.5M to his campaign committees. For many of these Schwarzenegger donors, this [Red China] junket is more likely to help their own companies than California. And in some cases, that might actually do the rest of us harm... What business does a venture capitalist like [Tim] Draper have in [Red China]? It makes sense that he would be looking to move money into that market. But the governor's trade trip is supposed to bring money home, not send it abroad. Draper and his firm, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, may benefit from sending capital to [Red China], but if California ventures lose capital to [Red Chinese] companies, what's good for Draper et al could be bad for us at home... Others traveling...are venture capitalists F. Warren Hellman ($50K contributor to Schwarzenegger) and William Edwards ($21,200), along with the California Bankers Assn. ($25K) and Paul Wachter (of Main Street Advisors, which handles Schwarzenegger's personal investments in a blind trust). Another member of the official California trade delegation is the Target Corp., which contributed more than $230K to Schwarzenegger campaign committees. As far as we know, Target isn't planning to open new stores full of California products along the Great Wall. It's a better bet that the retail giant is looking for cheap new sources of textiles and other products to sell here. This [Red China] connection could threaten the higher-paying jobs of garment workers in down-town Los Angeles and across the state. Maybe that's why there isn't a labor union representative in the trade delegation... the California Hospital Assn..., Kaiser Permanente, has been seeking to sell its brand of private medical care in countries with state health systems [and open US doors to cheaper hospital labor from India and Red China]. It might be good for Kaiser, a $150K Schwarzenegger donor, to open such doors in [Red China], but except for that one company's fortunes, how does that help the rest of California business?"
US October retail sales fell, but less than expected
"The 0.1% October decline followed a revised 0.3% increase in September, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Minus autos, sales rose a more-than-expected 0.9% after a 1.4% gain the prior month... Retail sales excluding autos and gasoline rose 1.1% last month."
Kelly Mills _Australian IT News_
Off-Shoring Is a Fad
"Research group Gartner has declared that after 3 years of growth [more like 23 years], the IT industry of old, which fell neatly into IT and telecommunication buckets, is dead, labelling the trend to off-shoring as a 'fad'... Out-sourcing's time in the lime-light also appeared to be over, Gartner vice president Rolf Jester said..."
2005-11-16 06:42PST (09:42EST) (14:42GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Capital flows into USA set record: $118.1G net purchases
"U.S. residents, meanwhile, bought a net $16.2G in foreign-issued securities."
federal treasury report
Sharon Begley _Wall Street Journal_
Behind 'Shortage' of Engineers: Employers Grow More Choosy: Job Hunters Face Long Lists Of Requirements as Web Brings Flood of Resumes: Two Hires From 158 Applicants
U of Colorado
"'No one I know who has looked at the data with an open mind has been able to find any sign of a current shortage.', says demographer Michael Teitelbaum of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation... Within two weeks [the recruiters] had collected more than 200 resumes. They immediately eliminated just over 100 people who didn't have the required bachelor of science degree, even though many had the kind of job experience the company wanted. A further 65 or so then fell out of the running. Some were deemed over-qualified. Others lacked experience with the proper manufacturing software. [The hiring firm] brought in a half-dozen candidates for an interview, and by August the company had its woman. To [the hiring firm], taking 6 months to fill the position confirmed its sense that competition for top engineers is intense... But for candidates facing 200-to-1 odds of getting the job, the struggle seems all on their side... companies often create the very shortages they decry by insisting on applicants who meet every item on a detailed list of qualifications...
the number of students graduating with a bachelor of science degree in computer science rose 85% from 1998 to 2004, according to figures compiled from universities by the Computing Research Association [CRA]. The number of bachelor degrees in engineering rose to 72,893 in 2004 from 61,553 in 1999, according to the American Society for Engineering Education. Unemployment among engineers was 2.5% in 2004, in line with the 2.8% rate for all professional occupations. In 2003, 4.3% of engineers were unemployed compared with 3.2% for all professionals. The figures don't include people who gave up looking for work in their profession. From 2000 to 2003 engineering employment fell 8.7%, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] data by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston...
M$ received resumes from about 100K graduating students last year, screened 15K of them, interviewed 3,500 and hired 1K, says a spokesman. The software maker receives about 60K resumes of every kind monthly, and currently has 2K openings for software-development jobs... Companies often draw up extremely narrow job descriptions, recruiters and staffing managers say, causing searches to get drawn out... Hiring managers often prefer to wait for the candidate who has the exact combination of attributes they seek, rather than immediately hiring someone who comes close and then giving that person time to get familiar with a new machine or software program."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
"This is a very good article... What is described in this article is exactly what was happening back in 1998, when employers claimed a 'shortage' of programmers and engineers but in fact were rejecting the vast majority of their applicants, and in fact were rejecting the vast majority of even those they brought in for in-house interviews...
What the euphemism 'over-qualified' really means here is 'too expensive'. Ask almost any HR department what level of engineer they want to hire, and they will answer 3 to 7 years of experience, or 2 to 9, something like that. That's where the age discrimination comes in; remember, 2 to 9 years of experience typically means the person is in the age range 24-31. They will try their best to avoid hiring anyone much older than that. And then they say they have a 'shortage' of applicants. So, one source of cheap labor is the young. The other source is H-1Bs (who are also young and even cheaper).
In many cases, the employer pickiness documented so well in this article is simply a smoke-screen for hiring H-1Bs. Again, the dean who claims that employers weren't picky in 1998 is flat-out wrong. I made a big deal out of this in my 1998 congressional testimony, and documented it extensively in my university law journal article.
I also showed that the employers' claim that they need workers who can 'hit the ground running', i.e. be fully productive from Day One on the job with no training, was phony. The industry's own data showed that they were taking an average several months to fill a job with the perfect candidate who had whatever specialized software skill they wanted, yet a good programmer lacking the skill initially could become productive in it long before that time. The employers just didn't want to hire such a person, not because of delay of productivity but because the person would be older and/or American and thus more expensive."
2005-11-16 13:44PST (16:44EST) (21:44GMT)
Ernesto Londoo _Washington Post_
6 Charged with Transporting Illegal Aliens in Maryland Prostitution Ring
New York NewsDay/AM NY
"Charged in the indictment were Elsy Aparicio, 43, Eliazor Gonzalez Aparicio, 29, Dorinalda Aparicio, 34, and their mother, Olinda Aparicio, age 64, all of Gaithersburg, Jair Francis, 32, of Wheaton, and Manuel Jandres, 38, of Germantown. The indictment also alleges that Elsy Aparicio, Eliazor Aparicio and Olinda Aparicio paid Jair Francis for information about law enforcement inquiries about their prostitution business... in Wheaton."
2005-11-16 09:01PST (12:01EST) (17:01GMT)
Frank Barnako _MarketWatch_
Advertisers' appetite for net buys grow ravenous, Publishers find good news on-line
"Nielsen/NetRatings Inc. said newspaper web sites posted an 11% year-over-year rise to 39.3M unique visitors in October, accounting for one-quarter of U.S. Internet users. The increase easily out-stripped growth in all Internet users of 3%. Last week, the Audit Bureau of Circulation reported weekday printed circulation of the nation's 20 largest newspapers fell 2.6%."
Jim Kouri _Lincoln Tribune_
UK's MI5 Concerned Over Red Chinese Spies
Mens News Daily
"MI5 suspects upwards of 15 foreign intelligence services are working within the UK and are a threat to the United Kingdom's interests, and the primary focus of their counterespionage efforts are the [Red Chinese] and Russians. Using many of the same methods the Japanese used in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, the Chinese are interested in any and all information that may give them a leg up in the competitive global economy. In spite of repeated warnings to businesses, companies in the UK continue to hire Chinese workers without conducting thorough background investigations including verifying previous employment. [Red Chinese] government officials and businessmen are proven aggressive in their attempts to find out everything about how Western companies operate and how they are structured. [Firms invite Red Chinese delegations to visit] but only a few of them turned up [at the appointed time and place]. The rest were believed to have traveled around Britain inviting themselves to defense and research establishments. Again, they were able to penetrate the security measures in place at these facilities. According to one news story in the UK, if a British company creates a fuss about visitors who fail to turn up, the [Red Chinese] [government] threaten to cancel the company's license to trade... MI5 is also concerned over the loyalties of Chinese who are UK citizens..."
_York University Excalibur_
For a Clear Memory Take Vitamin B12
"An essential part to the production of the myelin sheath is cobalamin, or what is commonly referred to as vitamin B12... When a deficiency in B12 disrupts the creation of the myelin sheath, it can cause confusion, decreased reflexes, delusions, fatigue, impaired pain perception, impaired touch perception, loss of balance, memory loss and tingling in the arms and legs. These are only some of vitamin B12's important roles in protecting the brain. Researchers have been able to prove that when an individual is deficient in this vitamin, it causes an over-production of a substance called homocysteine. Homocysteine is dangerous to brain cells. In high amounts, it can kill them off which leads many doctors to believe that it may be one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease. A lack of vitamin B12 is also believed to cause additional blood clotting, leading to heart attacks. Some criticize homocysteine as causing blood cells to become more adhesive, allowing them to cling to arterial walls. A shortage of folate and B6 may also produce the same results."
Susan Jones _TownHall_
Immigration & Border Security Bills Have Been Introduced in US House
"Supporters of HR4313 (the True Enforcement and Border Security Act of 2005) said it will 'separate those in Congress who pay lip service to controlling our borders and protecting homeland security, and those who are prepared to address this national crisis in a meaningful way.'... Create a security fence from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico to prevent illegal crossings; Deny benefits to illegal aliens, including automatic citizenship for their U.S.-born children. Encourage states and local authorities to enforce immigration laws, by making federal relief conditional on how well they cooperate in enforcing immigration law; Require the Department of Homeland Security to establish a computerized entry-exit system; Authorize thousands of new Border Patrol officers, immigration investigators, attorneys, and immigration judges; Increase penalties and prevent employers from hiring illegal aliens through an improved Social Security identification card and verification system; Prevent illegal aliens from claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit and collecting Social Security; Increase penalties for forging immigration and identity documents, and falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, and alien smuggling... The main provisions of the Border Security and Terrorism Prevention Act [HR4312] include: Tighter control of borders and ports (enhanced Border Patrol operations, including military support; physical barriers, state-of-the-art technology; more port-of-entry inspectors); Elimination of the "catch and release" practice, including mandatory detention of aliens who cross illegally; Streamlining operations within the Homeland Security Department's border security agencies; Promoting both international and domestic policies that will deter further illegal entry into the United States."
Mike Bailey _Chicago Daily Southtown_
The issue is illegal aliens
"First, this discussion and growing despair is not about immigration. It is about illegal immigration. All of us came from somewhere else and most of us realize that will and should continue. Those who waited their turn, followed the procedures and arrived here legally are welcome, and no one that I have heard of is trying to stop that. This is about illegal aliens. They are not undocumented workers; they are not simple people who came here seeking a better life. They are illegal. We don't need immigration reform as much as we need to enforce the immigration laws that we have... This is an issue that must be tackled at the state and federal levels with tough laws to punish employers who hire them and a strong government policy to first stop the massive inflow of illegals and second to address what to do about those already here."
2005-11-16 12:37PST (15:37EST) (20:27GMT)
Myra P. Saefong _MarketWatch_
Crude petroleum at one-week high: Natural gas up nearly 7%
"Crude for December delivery tacked on 90 cents to close at $57.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its highest close since November 9. Prices rebounded from Tuesday's close under the $57 mark, which was the contract's lowest level since June 10. December heating oil tacked on 4.83 cents, or 2.9%, to finish at $1.7292 a gallon, and December unleaded gasoline rose 2.66 cents, or 1.8%, to close at $1.483 a gallon. Early Wednesday, the Energy Department said crude inventories fell 2.2M barrels for the week ended November 11. Market expectations were mixed, although many analysts expected an increase in stocks. Supplies of the commodity totaled 321.4M barrels. That's 11.9% above the year-ago level, the government data showed. Separately, the American Petroleum Institute reported a 3.9M barrel decline in crude supplies to total 322.6M. Motor gasoline inventories also fell last week, by 900K barrels to 200.2M, the government said. They were down 1.7M at 201.4M, the API reported. Distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, rose 2.6M barrels, according to the Energy Department and API. The government pegged its total stocks of the fuel at 123.4M and the API's figure stood at 126.2M."
Barbara Rose _Chicago Tribune_
Quasi-governmental Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. warns of $22.8G deficit
"The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s short-fall was slightly smaller than last year's $23.3G, thanks to better investment results and other factors. But the agency's exposure to losses from bankrupt and financially struggling companies in the airline and automotive industries looms larger than ever. The agency estimated its 'reasonably possible' future exposure at $108G, up 12% from last year's estimated $96G... The agency's report for the year ended September 30 listed $56.5G in assets to cover $79.2G in long-term liabilities."
2005-11-16 12:51PST (15:51EST) (20:51GMT)
William L. Watts _MarketWatch_
In response to record defaults, US senate passes measure to require firms to invest more to cover pension obligations: Bush threatens to veto
"Wednesday's action comes a day after the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal entity that guarantees the nation's defined-benefit pension programs, warned that U.S. companies and industries have underfunded their plans by a total of $450G, including a record $354G at large companies. The PBGC said its deficit shrank slightly to $22.8G."
Donna Locke for Bill Hobbs
Amnesty By Any Other Name
" Senator Arlen Specter, R-PA, is reportedly circulating a draft of an immigration bill that would allow illegal aliens to adjust to permanent legal status and may contain an increase of as many as 700K permanent green cards... This proposal comes on the heels of the recently passed Senate proposal to add 350K additional foreign workers each year to the U.S. labor force... 'Amnesty', as immigration reductionists use the term, means giving illegal aliens legal status. Legal status, no matter how 'temporary', no matter how it's spun, is the road to permanent residency and eventual citizenship. The Tennessean published an op-ed column by me on 2004-01-16, that addressed Bush's plans for a guest-worker amnesty last year. The column was headlined 'Bush throws in the towel on enforcing immigration laws'. If you can find this piece in the newspaper's archives, you'll be doing better than I. Here's an excerpt: '...The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the new INS) tells us it doesn't have the manpower and other resources to enforce our immigration laws, including finding hundreds of thousands of suspected terrorists already under deportation orders in this country. So I wonder how our government would perform background checks on and keep track of 8M to 14M illegal aliens [new estimates say 20M to 30M], as Bush proposes. The idea insults the American people -- along with the fantasy that illegal aliens, most of whom have been here for years, will sign up and serve as temporary guest-workers, then return to their home countries.'"
2005-11-17 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (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 281,847 in the week ending November 12, a decrease of 58,470 from the previous week. There were 311,901 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9% during the week ending November 5, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,388,394, a decrease of 28,096 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.9% and the volume was 2,388,670."
2005-11-17 06:50PST (09:50EST) (14:50GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
New construction down 5.6%, to an annual rate of 2.014M units
"Building permits - which foreshadow future activity - dropped 6.7% to 2.071M annual units... September's housing starts were revised higher to 2.134M from 2.108M, the highest since February. Starts of single-family homes fell 3.7% to a 1.704M pace. Starts of multi-family homes sank 14.8% to 310K. Construction on single-family homes has been relatively steady for the past 6 months, while the multi-family market has been volatile. Starts fell in all 4 regions of the nation in October, led by the 10.8% decline in the West and 10.5% in the Midwest. Starts in the South fell 0.5%. Construction in the tiny Northeast market fell 7.5%."
census bureau report
2005-11-17 07:45PST (10:45EST) (15:45GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
US industrial output rose 0.9% in October
"Manufacturing output rose by 1.4%, the most in 6 years... Business equipment production posted a 6.6% gain in October. It fell a revised 4.6% in September... Output at mines and utilities, meanwhile, dropped in October, the Fed said. Utility production fell 1.9%. Mining declined 0.5%. Both sectors have been falling over the past few months... Over the past year, industrial production has risen 1.9%. Capacity utilization climbed slightly in October to 79.5% from a revised 78.9% in September. Read the report. Manufacturing capacity utilization rose to 79% from 78.1% in September. Capacity utilization at mines and utilities, however, fell. It was down to 80.4% at mines and 84.8% at utilities. Utilization has risen 1.6% since 2004 October."
Federal Reserve Board report
Barbara Rose _Chicago Tribune_
Illinois Incomes Have Been Sinking: More than $6K since 1999
American Worker Coalition
"Illinois' median family income has dropped dramatically over the last 6 years, a sharper decline than in every other state except for Michigan, a new report reveals. The result is that household incomes here -- adjusted for inflation -- have fallen back to about where they were in 1989. These income losses, coming at a time when costs are rising for everything from housing to transportation, brings into sharp relief the troubling shift from good-paying manufacturing to lower-paying service jobs. Job growth, even during the booming 1990s, was fueled by lower-paying occupations and there's no sign this trend will reverse, the report said... the 94-page report, 'The State of Working Illinois' [from] the bipartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago and Northern Illinois University with funding from the Joyce Foundation. It is the first in-depth look at how the nation's fifth-biggest economy is faring in a global economy in which factory jobs are rapidly disappearing. Median household income has fallen by 12% in Illinois since 1999. That represents a sharper loss than in any other state except for the 19% decline in Rust Belt Michigan, which has been battered by job losses in the auto sector. The Illinois decline is far higher than the nation's average decline of less than 4% for the 6-year period, according to the report's authors. Illinois' median income of $46,132 in 2004, when adjusted for inflation, is about the same as in 1989, the report states... 'Absolutely all net new job growth in this state has been in lower-paying service jobs. Generally speaking that means no health insurance benefits, no retirement, and working full-time for wages that pretty much cannot support a family of 4.'... 'I think some Illinoisans have forgotten what prosperity looks like.'... Caring for children and the elderly are among the fastest-growing occupations, yet also are among the lowest-paying, said Ann Ladky, executive director of Chicago-based advocacy group Women Employed... minorities representing nearly one-third of workers last year, up from about 16% in 1980. Yet African-Americans and Hispanics have much higher rates of unemployment and earn far less than whites and Asians, even when they have comparable educational levels, the report found."
Heath Hixson _Rockford Illinois Register_
Region and state have been losing high-paying jobs
"This trend has sent statewide median household income into a free fall, dorpping more than 12% since 1999... 'we are not creating enough good-paying jobs.', said Robert Ginsburg, a project manager for the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and a co-author of the report... Using employment data collected by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the report shows that 9K jobs have been lost in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle and Stephenson counties since 2000. Of that amount, 7K were in manufacturing, a 14% decline of jobs that had an average wage of $43,344 a year. Manufacturing positions now make up about 23% of the jobs in the region."
2005-11-17 13:37PST (16:37EST) (21:37GMT)
Mark Cotton _MarketWatch_
Nasdaq hits 4.5 year high, Gold ends 18-year high, Crude petroleum at 5-month low
"U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index at its best level since 2001 June, in a market buoyed by a drop in crude-oil prices and declining long-term interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended just off its high for the session, up 45.46 points at 10,720.22. The Nasdaq rose 32.53 points, or 1.5% at 2,220.46 while the S&P 500 Index gained 11.59 points to 1,242.80... The bench-mark December gold contract ended up $7.80 at $486.90 [per] ounce, its best level since 1987... Crude for December delivery ended down $1.55 at $56.33 [per] barrel."
2005-11-17 14:40PST (17:40EST) (22:40GMT)
David B. Wilkerson _MarketWatch_
Conrad Black of publisher Hollinger International has been indicted for fraud
"Conrad Black, ousted 2 years ago from his job as chairman of publisher Hollinger International amid allegations that he and others stole millions of dollars from the company, was indicted Thursday on federal fraud charges. Black, 61, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago on new charges related to the $2.1G sale of several hundred Canadian newspapers and alleged abuse of corporate perks, said Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. In August, David Radler, former president of the Hollinger International, and former counsel Mark Kipnis were charged with conspiring to plunder $32M from the company. Radler pleaded guilty to mail fraud and other charges a month later... The second scheme allegedly involved the diversion of $51.8M in 2000 from the company's sale of assets to Canadian media company CanWest Global Communications Corp., the indictment said."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
Innovation to the rescue... or not
"For the last couple of years some real estate researchers at the UCB business school have gotten a lot of attention by predicting dire job losses in California from off-shoring. In their new paper, reported by the two articles enclosed below, they take a somewhat more optimistic point of view, latching on to the position currently fashionable among advocates/defenders of off-shoring (free traders, industry spokes-people, politicians) that off-shoring won't be a problem for the U.S. as long as we continue to foster innovation. I of course disagree, for reasons which I've stated in bits and pieces in the past, and will state in more organized form here, while making comments on the articles and the UCB paper... Off-shoring would have the effect of losing jobs which require a greater degree of education while gaining jobs having lesser educational requirements. This point is absolutely crucial. In our context here, it is to me the biggest flaw in the authors' paper. They are in essence saying (without realizing it) that it's OK to have the technical work for a new product done abroad as long as it produces, for instance, marketing and sales jobs for that product in the U.S.A. This lack is understandable, since the authors are in a real estate research center... But even those without economic background can understand that one cannot sustain prosperity on marketing and sales people alone, not in the long run... you can't just sit people down and order them to innovate. Innovation comes serendipitously, not necessarily from R&D people. So the focus on formal R&D is rather misplaced to begin with... if the U.S.A.'s forte really is innovation, as the supporters of off-shoring claim (and I agree), then by sending most of its programming work abroad it would lose all that serendipitous innovation, as the work would now be done by people in countries which have ostensibly less innovative cultures... isn't the real reason for the difference in behavior between the small and large firms simply that it's infeasible for small firms to establish R&D centers abroad? They just don't have the critical mass... The history of the computer industry actually does not find that the smaller firms tend to produce the major advances. The small firms that have become big have done so largely by being at the right place at the right time, by having the right connections, by having business savvy, etc. -- but usually not because they were great innovators. (And by the way, for the non-techies who are reading this, most of the firms that you associate with various innovations were not the ones who invented them.)... what kinds of jobs will innovation produce in the U.S.A.?"
Jay Vegso _CRA Bulletin_
Foreign (and Domestic) Enrollments in Computer and Information Science Drop by a Third
"The number of international students enrolled in Computer and Information Sciences (CIS) at all degree levels in the United States fell 32.5% between 2003/2004 and 2004/2005, according to the Institute of International Education's Open Doors 2005 report. Foreign students enrolled in CIS numbered 57,739 in 2003/04 and 38,966 in 2004/05. Among all fields, foreign enrollments declined 1.3%."
_New Democrat Conspiracy_
Tauscher and the New Democrat Conspiracy against US STEM workers: Touts Democratic Innovation Agenda
"Today, the four co-chairs of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) condemned Republican attempts to cut important technology innovation initiatives from the highly partisan Budget Reconciliation bill. These attempts include cutting the Research and Development (R&D) tax extension and severely curtailing the [hardly] regulated, and effective [at destroying careers of US citizens], H-1B visa program. While top Republicans are trying to strip these provisions, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has introduced an innovation agenda that advances these critically important policies and will ultimately keep our U.S.-based technology companies competitive in a global market. 'The United States is a world leader in technology and innovation and we must adopt federal policies that encourage growth in this sector, not hinder it.', said NDC Co-Chair U.S. representative Adam Smith (D-WA)."
Be Honest about Off-Shoring
"Out-sourcing work to off-shore locations such as [Red China], India, South Africa or VietNam is [status quo] for UK businesses these days. Many [executives] are happy to take advantage of the lower costs and big labour pool... no government [functionary] wants to be seen to be creating jobs in another country at the expense of its own citizens... the financial savings [don't accrue to the individual politician and] have to be balanced against the wider impact on society... Of course, what happens at the moment is that the government out-sources to an on-shore company and then that supplier sub-contracts the work, and some of it inevitably goes off-shore."
Union's Data-Base, "Job Tracker" Aims to Expose Company Practices
"gives the public easy access to information on corporate behavior. With the data-base, workers can now find out which companies in their communities export jobs, as well as examine those employers' track records on health and safety and workers' rights. Job Tracker shines the spot-light on more than 60K American employers and their OSHA violations, cases involving violations of worker rights, and job exporting practices – including many of America's best-known companies. The data-base also provides the latest information on the salary of the company's CEO... It gives the public and workers the ability to search data by company, community or industry."
Enquirer 80 stock index up 0.6%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks rose 1.65 points, or 0.60%, to close Friday at 284.58. 47 issues were up, 28 were down and 5 were unchanged. Leading gainers were Toyota Motor, up $3.10 to $98.66; Dillard's, up $2.10 to $23.12; General Motors, up $1.42 to $24.05; Cummins, up $1.14 to $87.29; General Electric, up $1.09 to $35.75. Biggest laggers were Midland, down 80 cents to $36.62; Johnson & Johnson, down 79 cents to $62.55; NB&T Financial, down 50 cents to $20.25; NS Group, down 38 cents to $37.35; Quebecor World, down 38 cents to $15.38."
Jasmina Kelemen _MarketWatch_
Rally bulls still up-beat
"On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished at 10,766, closing out the session at an 8 month high. On the week, it gained 0.8%. The technology-rich Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 2,227.07, ending at a 4.5 year high, and putting in a weekly gain of 1.1%. The S&P 500 Index also rose to its best level in 4.5 years. On the week, the broad gauge gained 1.1%. Meanwhile, crude-oil prices ended at a 5-month low, amid easing supply concerns. Crude for December delivery was down 20 cents at $56.14 a barrel in New York trading. On the week, the bench-mark contract fell 2.4%."
2005-11-18 16:00PDT (19:00EDT) (2005-11-19 00:00GMT)
Reinhardt Krause _Yahoo!_/_Investor's Business Daily_
Google moving to Red China
"[Google] opened its first research and development center in [Red China] this Fall... Its near-term goal: groom Google's search engine and other Internet software for the huge Chinese [non-market], then catch up with M$, which has been doing R&D in [Red China] since 1998. [Both have been helping the Red Chinese government restrict communication via the Internet.] ... Google can hire well-educated scientists and engineers at much lower salaries [and benefits in Red] China than in the USA... More US firms are opening R&D centers abroad... Sometimes [it's because executives believe it will help them] gain access to local markets... Any company that sends R&D over-seas runs some risk of losing intellectual property or trade secrets... [Red China] and India graduate lots of top notch, low-wage [government subsidized] scientists each year... Global rivalry [and herd mentality] drives R&D expansion. Multi-national firms often vie with each other to run high-level R&D in many countries... Consider telecom gear maker Cisco Systems [which has also helped the Red Chinese government keep an iron hand on Internet communications]. It's investing $32M in a Shanghai facility in the next 5 years, even though Cisco filed suit against [Red China's] biggest gear maker, Huawei Technologies, over IP in 2003. Cisco and Huawei settled the case in mid-2004... McKinsey & Co. says some drug firms are focusing on clinical trials in India. [US] Regulators allow up to 40% of a drug's test group to be outside the U.S."
Howard Fischer _Arizona Star_
GOP gubernatorial hopefuls nix guest-worker programs
"All 3 key Republican candidates for governor say guest-worker programs depress wages and take jobs from U.S. citizens and should be curtailed or scrapped entirely. John Greene, a former state Senate president, said Friday that current programs to bring in foreign workers - and new plans proposed in Congress - are due to politicians' 'bending to the pressure of special interests that benefit by paying substandard wages to illegal immigrants'. Greene said that makes no sense while U.S. citizens are unemployed or making low wages. Jan Florez, a former Appeals Court judge, said countries like Canada and Australia have proven it is possible to farm and ranch without bringing in low-paid workers from other countries. She said farmers may need an additional season or two to wean themselves from foreign workers - legal and illegal - but after that the door should close. And Don Goldwater, nephew of the late senator Barry Goldwater, said U.S. citizens will be willing to do those jobs 'if you raise the price enough and pay people enough'."
Angie C. Marek _US News & World Report_
"For years, Americans have worried about the country's porous borders, but in the past year or so the concerns have grown significantly, polls show, and for good reason. Changes in law enforcement operations have forced smugglers of drugs and illegal aliens into ever more isolated areas, increasing the number of deaths and the level of violence to a point where even the most hardened enforcement officials are alarmed. The number of arrests made by Border Patrol agents is one of the few reliable measurements of the rising influx. That number dropped right after 9/11, but it has since been climbing. In fact, the cost of protecting the nation's borders has increased 58% since 9/11, but in 3 of the 4 years since the attacks, the number of people nabbed by the Border Patrol still increased. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the Border Patrol reported 1.19M arrests, compared with 932K in fiscal year 2003. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has grown from 8.4M in 2000 to 11M today. [Other estimates are 20M and higher.]... 78% of Americans think the government is not doing enough to control the borders; talk shows bristle with demands for action. Terrorism is also a concern. Admiral James Loy, a former No. 2 at the Department of Homeland Security, has said that intelligence 'strongly suggests' al Qaeda is eyeing the southern border as a path of least resistance to strike inside the United States... Border Patrol officials made almost 439K arrests in the Tucson sector this past fiscal year, down 11% from the 491,771 they snagged the year before. T.J. Bonner, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, an agents' union, calls the DHS strategy the 400-year plan because that's how long he calculates it will take to bring security to the entire border at the agency's current pace... In [FY2005], the Border Patrol had 155K arrests of illegal immigrants from countries 'other than Mexico'; 649 were from 'special interest countries', including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen. In fiscal year 2002, only 37,316 OTM immigrants, as they are called, were caught in the Border Patrol's net... Congress handed Chertoff money for 2,250 new beds this year, but he plans to essentially double or triple the number of beds at his disposal by speeding up the detention and deportation process. He'd do that by expanding the government's authority to remove immigrants without a formal immigration trial. Mandatory consular visits -- in which detainees speak with an official from their country -- will be done via video-conference... Chertoff has told his department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch to focus its scant worksite-enforcement resources on places of national security interest -- like airports and nuclear power plants -- rather than farms and restaurants, where illegals are more likely to be working [but] ICE already keeps an eye on airports and nuclear plants."
Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee _American Workers Coalition_
Indians get 32.4% of L-1 visas
"India cornered 32.4% of the total 122,981 intra-company transfer visas (L visas) issued by the US in the financial year ended 2005 September, followed by Great Britain and Japan. 'The country sending the most intra-company transfers in FY2005 was India. Almost a third (39,849 or 32.4%) of the 122,981 L visas were issued to people from India in FY2005.', according to a recent report by Congressional Research Service on 'Immigration Policy for Intracompany Transfers: Issues and Legislation'. Great Britain, including Northern Ireland, and Japan trailed with 12,869 (10.5%) and 11,998 (9.8%) respectively, of all L visas issued. Other countries that figured in the Top 10 list were Germany, Mexico, France, Brazil, South Korea, Australia and [Red China]. These 10 countries together comprised 74.9% of all L visas issued in 2005... Canadians coming as intra-company transfers are not required to have L visas to enter the US... the number of L visas increased by 363.5% over the last 25 years. The US Department of State issued a mere 26,535 L visas in 1980. L visa issuances began increasing in the mid-1990s and peaked at 122,981 in 2005. Typically, over half of the L visas issued in a given year are categorised as L-1 visas and are granted to an individual qualifying as an intra-company transfer, while the remainder are immediate family coming on L-2 visas. Of the 122,981 L visas issued in 2005, 65,458 were L-1 visas for the qualifying (principal) non-immigrant... 'The admission of L non-immigrants grew 6-fold over the past 24 years, from 65,044 in 1981 to 102,555 in 1990 to 456,583 in 2004. When the analysis is limited to L-1 visa holders, the number of admissions has grown from 63,180 in 1990 to 314,484 in 2004, an increase of almost 400% in 14 years. These admissions data, however, include multiple entries by the same person over the course of a fiscal year.', the report said, analysing the trends... Also, the number for [individuals] issued L-1 visas is 65,458 in 2005. As with H-1Bs, it is not that many in the context of an economy with approximately 147M people in the labour force (0.045% of the labour force).', Mr Mehta added."
Russell Shaw _ZD Net_
Tech-support out-sourcing is never the right thing to do
"Here's a company whose product I have paid a considerable chunk of change for, but one whose Board cares more about their stock price than their customers."
Brian Maass _CBS 4 Denver_
Tancredo calls for investigation following CBS 4's report on human smuggling in Denver
"Tancredo wrote a letter to Mayor John Hickenlooper after seeing what he called a 'shameful and shocking' under-cover investigation on CBS4. Over the course of 4 months, CBS4 repeatedly watched a man named Pepe smuggling what he indicated were illegal immigrants through Denver on a regular basis. An under-cover CBS4 producer was able to befriend Pepe, telling him she had a brother in Mexico she wanted smuggled into the United States. Tancredo's response was that Hickenlooper shouldn't 'let that guy off the hook. He's here illegally and he's commited crimes.', he said. 'Run him in for it... press charges.'"
2005-11-20 02:52PST (05:52EST) (10:52GMT)
Michael Rubinkam _AP_/_Frankfort Indiana Times_
125 Arrested at WM: Federal officials say it is a warning
"Federal officials say the arrest of 125 workers at a construction site for a new Wal-Mart distribution center should serve as a warning to employers who hire illegal immigrants. All 125 workers arrested in the raid will be deported, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials said Friday. The workers from Mexico and Central America were detained Thursday at the site outside Pottsville, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia. 'Employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens, and those who utilize false documents to gain employment, face significant criminal and administrative charges.', said John Kelleghan, acting special agent-in-charge for the immigration agency in Pennsylvania. Some of the 125 workers, who are from Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, used fake documents to obtain employment with subcontractors, officials said. The arrests came after search warrants were executed for 6 companies at the site. The Pennsylvania job site remains shut down..."
Bush presses Red Chinese president Hu Jin-tao on trade and human rights
"U.S. President George W. Bush pressed President Hu Jintao on Sunday to rein in [Red China's] swelling trade surplus and push forward currency reform after calling forgreater religious freedom. But there were few signs that [Red China] had offered any major concessions after talks in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square, with Hu retracing old steps with statements on willingness to cooperate further on the currency and trade. One positive move on trade was an agreement by China to buy 70 Boeing 737s in a deal worth $4G [which should do them for a couple years until they have time to reverse-engineer and start making knock-offs]. The near-perennial U.S. trade deficit with [Red China], a lightning rod for criticism in the U.S. Congress, could top $200G this year... Hu, who accepted an invitation to visit Washington, most likely in the spring, also pledged [Red China's] [possible] cooperation [some time in the distant future] in fighting the widespread piracy of American goods ranging from music and films to birth control pills and brake pads, which costs U.S. manufacturers billions in lost sales each year. Continuing a theme of his 4-country Asia tour, Bush said it was important that social, political and religious freedoms grow in [Red China]... 'A healthy society is a society that welcomes all faiths.' Before coming to Beijing, Bush urged [Red China] to make political reforms, holding up its political rival Taiwan, which Beijing regards as part of [Red China], as an example of a model democracy."
2005-11-20 14:15PST (17:15EST) (22:15GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Bush has handled Red Chinese dictators with kid gloves
"Faribor Ghadar, director of the Center for Global Business Studies at Penn State University. 'It is understandable. [Red China] is now a huge trading partner and while they have a $200G surplus, they turn around and spend that money buying our financial instruments.', he added... Overall, experts viewed the visit as a step toward a maturing relationship, with little fireworks from either side over human-rights concerns or the massive U.S. trade deficit. 'I think the Bush administration is starting to enjoy a good relationship.', said Xiaobo Hu, professor of political science at Clemson University..."
Al Zarqawi's Family in Jordan Renouces Him in the Wake of Suicide-Bombing of Wedding Party
"Family members of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi renounced the terrorist leader Sunday after his al-Qaida in Iraq group claimed responsibility for the November 9 suicide attacks on 3 Amman hotels that killed 59 people. The family of al-Zarqawi, whose real name is Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh, reiterated their strong allegiance to Jordan's King Abdullah II in half-page advertisements in the kingdom's three main newspapers. Al-Zarqawi threatened to kill the king in an audiotape released Friday. 'A Jordanian doesn't stab himself with his own spear.', said the statement by 57 members of the al-Khalayleh family, including al-Zarqawi's brother and cousin. 'We sever links with him until dooms-day.' The statement is a serious blow to al-Zarqawi, who no longer will enjoy the protection of his tribe and whose family members may seek to kill him."
The pillars of employment are crumbling
"Employment in the 20th century was built on 3 great pillars -- a secure retirement, health care and a guaranteed job. Today, those pillars are dust... Today, only 20% of workers are covered by a defined benefit pension plan, while more than 40% of workers have defined contribution plans (think 401(k)s) -- a complete reversal of the trend 20 years ago, according to the Employment Policy Foundation, a nonprofit public policy research foundation based in Washington, DC. The days when a loyal worker would get a gold watch and worry-free retirement are over. Then there's the next pillar -- health care. Everyone knows the drill; workers are paying for more of it. Blue Cross of NEPA's numbers tell the story. In 1996, it counted 340,398 people in traditional (worker pays nothing) plans. Today, it counts 229,414... As for that last pillar — lifelong employment — the Wharton School published a study on executives in January that found that, '...though 45% of executives in 2001 were still classified as lifers — the percentage is down from 54% in 1980. Also, the number of lifers in young companies (those existing for 30 years and less) is only 17%.' Although academics argue over who broke up the love affair first -- fickle employees or unfaithful employers -- the fact remains that the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) says the average American worker changes jobs 9 times before age 34... A DoL study entitled, 'Futurework: Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century' provides a peek at the metamorphosis taking place. The study finds that, 'Workers are searching for the time and flexibility to be there when the baby-sitter doesn't show; to make arrangements with the care-givers for their aging parents; to attend the parent-teacher conference or the doctor's appointment... This new mind-set will dramatically affect the way we work and the way we view work in the 21st century.'"
John William Templeton _Today's Engineer_
The Technology Dream Deferred or DeRailed
"Imagine going into low-income neighborhoods across the nation and creating 1M new high-tech jobs for people who had never even seen computers before. The widely respected Hudson Institute called for just such an ambitious jobs creation initiative in its Work-force 2000 report, published in 1987. Nearly 20 years later, much of the nation is mired in a prolonged jobless [depression]. Many of the new jobs that are being created are located in India, [Red China] and other lower cost, overseas locations. For far too many Americans, the dream of economic prosperity that comes with growing numbers of high-skilled, high-wage jobs has been postponed or abandoned. The African-American community has been particularly hard hit... The nation's increasing reliance on 'temporary' guest-worker programs coupled with off-shore out-sourcing have further reduced job opportunities [for Americans]... A recent analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, for example, indicates that only 211,000 (5.5 percent) of the 3.8M Americans who work for high-tech employers are African-Americans. Among the 12 major industry sectors surveyed by the BLS, the high-tech sector ranks tenth in terms of the percentage of African Americans it employs, ahead of only mining and agriculture... Blacks make up 15.4% of all workers employed in the radio/television/cable media cluster and 13.9% of all telecommunications workers. In the high-tech sector itself, the highest percentage of African-Americans work in computer systems design, where 115K blacks account for 7% of the 1.6M member work-force. In science and technology management and consulting occupations, 58K blacks account for 5.6M of the 1.03M member work-force... the Coalition for Fair Employment in Silicon (CFESV) initiated a series of innovative research projects in the San Francisco Bay Area beginning in 1998. In its first annual 'Silicon Ceiling' report, published in 1999, CFESV confirmed earlier findings by the San Francisco Chronicle that blacks accounted for only 3.7% of all employees at Bay Area high-tech companies. At the time of the report, African-American employment at high-tech companies nationally stood at 7.1%."
Eric Addison _National Society of Black Engineers_
Engineers Struggle to Cope with the Depressed Job Market
2005-11-21 06:45PST (09:45EST) (14:45GMT)<
Etelka lehoczky _CNN_/_Money_
Companies continue to abuse net to filter out candidates:Privacy violated: Those interested need not apply
"If you recoil from networking events, never get around to putting out feelers and have no clue how to 'work a room', congratulations! You're the ideal candidate for a terrific new job. In human-resources lingo, you're a 'passive' prospect -- and a hot commodity these days because employers know that top workers are often treated well and thus may not be looking around... the tactic is increasingly being used for positions lower down the corporate ladder, and that trend is being facilitated by giant data-bases of employment data gleaned from publicly available sources like press releases, SEC filings and articles in trade publications... The industry leader, ZoomInfo in Waltham, MS, has 27M profiles in its data-base, while lesser-known competitor Ziggs.com has about 3M."
Jennifer Loven _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Bush Cheered Mongolia for Pushing Democracy
"President Bush, buffeted by unrelenting criticism at home over Iraq, on Monday saluted Mongolia's 'fearless warriors' for helping his embattled effort to establish democracy in the heart of the Middle East. 'Mongolia and the United States are standing together as brothers in the cause of freedom.', Bush told Mongolian troops and lawmakers in a speech at the Government House. After 2 days in China partly aimed at nudging that communist country toward greater freedoms, Bush's stop here -- the first by a U.S. president -- was meant to showcase the first communist country in Asia to turn toward democracy. Mongolia discarded communism 15 years ago; it holds democratic elections and allows Western-style freedoms. 'You are an example of success for the region and for the world.', Bush said. 'As you build a free society in the heart of Central Asia, the American people stand with you.'"
James Flanigan _NY Times_/_Indianapolis Star_
Semiconductor executives high on off-shoring: Conexant is seeking cost savings by moving high-tech jobs to India
"Millions of low-technology jobs, from textile production to corporate call centers, have migrated to Asian countries like India and [Red China] in recent years. Now, though, high technology increasingly is coming up for grabs, and no company illustrates the speed at which corporate America can replace high-priced American talent with cheaper foreign brainpower than Conexant Systems. Conexant, a Newport Beach, CA, maker of the intricate microchip brains behind Internet access for home computers and satellite- connecting set-top boxes for televisions, has gone on a hiring binge for research engineers in India, a move that it says eventually will cut its overall costs by 50%. Dwight Decker, Conexant CEO, said that half the semiconductor design and other high-tech engineering work now is done at Conexant India, the division in Hyderabad. The operation there employs 700 engineers, nearly as many as head-quarters does. That is up from 10% of such work last year, and Decker says that figure will jump to 65% by the end of 2006, leaving just one-third of the work to be done by the engineers in the [United States of America]... Conexant... was spun off from Rockwell International in 1999... Engineers in India earn one-fourth of the pay of their American counterparts, roughly $25K a year in salary and benefits, compared with $100K [or an infinitely greater percentage, now, as American engineers are paid $0]."
GM to cut 30K jobs, close 9 North American plants
"Oklahoma City, OK will cease production in early 2006. Lansing, MI, Craft Centre will cease production in mid-2006. Spring Hill, TN, plant/line #1 will cease production at the end of 2006. Doraville, GA, will cease production at the end of its current products' life cycle in 2008. Third shift will be removed at Oshawa car plant #1 in Ontario, Canada, in the second half of 2006, and plant #2 will cease production after the current production runs out in 2008. Third shift will be removed at Moraine, OH, during 2006... Lansing, MI, Metal Center will cease production in 2006. Pittsburgh, PA, Metal Center will cease production in 2007. Parts distribution center in Portland, OR, will cease operations in 2006. Parts distribution center in St. Louis, MO, will cease ware-housing activities and will be converted to a collision center facility in 2006. Parts processing center in Ypsilanti, MI, will cease operations in 2007. One additional parts processing center... will cease operations in 2007. St. Catharines Ontario street West power-train components facility in Ontario, Canada, will cease production in 2008. Flint, MI, North 3800 engine facility (factory 36) will cease production in 2008... The cuts will be in addition to 2,750 North American salaried jobs that Ford earlier said it wanted to cut by the end of 2005. Ford started the year with about 35,000 salaried workers in North America. Dearborn-based Ford reported a third-quarter loss of $284M, including a loss of $1.2G before taxes in North America. [Hey! I've got a wild idea! Why don't they try to make better cars at reasonable prices, for a change, instead.]"
Eliza Nagle _Washington Technology_
Back-lash against off-shoring is here to stay
"The off-shoring debate largely concerns its impact on domestic workers, and [fact] that white-collar jobs in the United States [have been] lost to workers in other countries. The threat of identity theft and homeland security issues have emerged as significant concerns for businesses that perform contracts that give them access to sensitive personal, medical or financial information... certain proposed legislation would prohibit governmental agencies from awarding a contract to a company that does any of the work outside the United States. Other legislation would require that contracts be done by U.S. citizens or legal visa holders, or that would require reporting of employee terminations caused by off-shoring. Other legislation would address privacy concerns... The attention on off-shoring practices and how they are [abused] in government contracts has not diminished over the years. In 2004, about 200 off-shoring bills were introduced in the states. In 2005, similar bills were reintroduced in Congress and several states."
Pascrell Proposes Comprehensive Worker Visa Legislation
"U.S. representative Bill Pascrell jr (D-NJ-8) today announced introduction of HR4378, the 'Defend the American Dream Act of 2005'. Pascrell's legislation is the only comprehensive federal legislation designed to reform the flawed H-1B visa program that is being abused by corporations to hire employees for low wages, fewer benefits, and poor working conditions. 'My legislation faces the Americans who have high tech degrees in one hand, and pink slips in the other.', stated Pascrell, the author of the Defend the American Dream Act. 'We must address this fundamentally broken program that is tearing down the labor standards American workers have worked so hard to build-up. The Defend the American Dream Act is real job creation plan. It returns the American dream to thousands of workers who have worked hard to advance the cutting edge of global technological advancement.'... 'This H-1B visa and other such guest worker programs have provided a vehicle for employers to discriminate against and exploit, both American and guest-workers.', said Sona Shah. 'The negative ripple effect on the American economy, tax base and intellectual capital for America is staggering. We need Congressman Pascrell's bill because the H-1B visa as it currently stands is riddled with loop-holes that enable abuse with no system for accountability.' 'In report after report, government investigators have found serious weaknesses and failings in the H-1B program.', IEEE-USA President Gerard A. Alphonse said. 'Contrary to the law's intent, the program can be used to fill any job at almost any wage, and the vast majority of employers are not required to recruit American workers first. IEEE-USA applauds representative Pascrell for drafting a bill that addresses these serious problems.'... It will lower the cap on H-1Bs, require that all employers prove that they are hiring qualified American workers first, and greatly will strengthen and increase enforcement and accountability provisions for the program... Requires employers of H-1B non-immigrants to use one of 3 specified methods (whichever results in higher wages) to determine wages for purposes of required wage attestations... Requires that employers actively recruit American workers and make copies of labor application available to public 30 days ahead of filing... Prohibits employers from placing, out-sourcing, leasing or otherwise contracting for the placement of an H-1B non-immigrant with another employer... Creates a private right of action for persons harmed by an employer's violation of labor condition requirements... Increases visa processing efficiencies and reduces backlogs and delays by centralizing basic administrative responsibilities in the Department of Labor. Enhances compliance and reduces fraud and abuse by authorizing random audits of labor condition applications and related H-1B visa applications... The H-1B visa quota would be reduced to its originally authorized level of 65K per year. Authorized stays would be limited to a single, 3-year, non-renewable term or 2 years, renewable for additional years, for a total of 4 years."
Paul Brubaker _New Jersey Herald News_
Work visa programs need repairs
"Today, representative Bill Pascrell jr, D-Paterson, will take up the fight for the American worker... 'We are talking about people who have high-tech degrees in one hand and pink slips in the other.', Pascrell said Friday. 'I'm going to do everything in my power to end that.' Pascrell is scheduled to announce that he is introducing a comprehensive bill to reform the nation's H-1B visa program on the steps of the state Labor Department building in Paterson... SS, 34, of Montclair - who was born in India, came to the United States at the age of 3 and became an American citizen at 18 - is scheduled to join Pascrell as one of the casualties of 'corporate misuse' of H-1B visas. 'Americans are being displaced and foreign employees are underpaid and become indentured labor.', said SS, who holds degrees in physics and mechanical engineering from New York University and Stevens Institute of Technology, respectively. In 1998, SS was terminated from her job as a program analyst for ADP Wilco, a British-based financial services company that is a subsidiary of Automatic Data Processing Inc., founded by U.S. senator Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ. SS has filed a discrimination suit against ADP Wilco, which is pending in a New York State court, on 'behalf of both American and foreign employees'. The class-action suit alleges that the company favored lower-paid foreign workers brought in through H-1B and other temporary guest-worker visas. Her fiancé, KB, 31, also was an ADP Wilco employee hired out of Britain under an H-1B visa to work in the U.S.A. KB is another plaintiff in the suit, alleging he and other guest-workers were not paid the prevailing wage for his job as a programmer... Pascrell's bill seeks to put an end to that kind of scenario through more stringent requirements for companies sponsoring foreign workers for the H-1B visas. If the bill is made law, the visa's application fee would be raised from $1,500 to $4,500 per employee, and companies would have to allow American workers 30 days to apply for open jobs before applying for the visa. It would also change the visa's length of stay from 6 years divided over 2 three-year terms to one non-renewable term of 3 years, or 4 years divided over 2 two-year terms. The national cap on H-1B visas would remain at 65K, but the leeway of allowing 20K extra H-1B visas for people holding higher degrees would be eliminated."
Jamie Glazov interview of Kris Kobach _Front Page_
Safe-Guarding the Borders
"The OLC memorandum of 2002 answered the question of whether there was any legal barrier to state and local police assisting the federal government by making immigration arrests. Prior to the OLC opinion, some people had asserted that local police could arrest aliens for criminal violations of immigration law (e.g., crossing the border covertly) but not for civil violations (e.g., over-staying a visa). The OLC opinion concluded that this distinction had no valid basis in law. Making immigration arrests for a criminal violation of immigration law, as well as for a civil violation that renders an alien deportable, is within the inherent authority of the states. And this authority has never been preempted by Congress. The Attorney General announced that conclusion in 2002 June. The OLC opinion itself was recently released as a result of a FOIA law-suit. The legal analysis in the opinion speaks for itself. The open-borders Left has complained a great deal about the OLC opinion, insisting that local police must play no role in immigration law enforcement. That is a dubious policy claim, but it is an even weaker legal assertion. Indeed, the Left has presented no credible legal argument to counter the OLC opinion. They also conveniently neglect to mention that there has never been any dispute about the authority of local police to arrest aliens who have violated the numerous criminal provision of federal immigration law... In 2004 May, Kansas enacted a statute giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens. That statute clearly violated federal law. In 1996, Congress had passed a federal law specifically prohibiting state governments from giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens (Title 8 U.S.C. Section 1623). Congress declared that no state may give in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens without extending the same benefits to out-of-state U.S. citizens. The Kansas statute also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, because the state is discriminating against U.S. citizens and in favor of illegal aliens in the provision of this valuable tuition benefit. In 2004 July, we filed suit in federal court on behalf 24 out-of-state U.S. citizen students attending Kansas universities and their parents. A year later, in 2005 July, the district judge ruled that our plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their equal protection challenge and had no private right of action to bring their statutory challenge. The judge did not address the merits of the law-suit, regarding whether the Kansas statute violated federal law. We have appealed the district judge's decision to the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. We are asking the Tenth Circuit to reverse the district judge's order and remand the case back to the district court for a ruling on the merits of our challenge. Beyond the illegality and unconstitutionality of the Kansas statute, it is also strikingly bad policy. Kansas is now encouraging aliens to violate federal immigration laws. The state directly rewards illegal behavior with a valuable education benefit. Amazingly, the Kansas law actually denies in-state tuition to those legal aliens who have a valid student visa. Aliens are sent this message: 'In Kansas, we encourage you to violate the law. If you are an illegal alien, you can qualify for in-state tuition. If you actually get a valid visa to study here, we will penalize you by making you pay out-of-state tuition.' Talk about perverse incentives."
Rabindra P. Kar _ComputerWorld_
High-Tech Worker's Guide to Globalization
Gerard A. Alphonse _ComputerWorld_
War Continues Over H-1B Visas
"To help ensure America's continuing technological leadership and competitiveness, IEEE-USA has long favored the permanent immigration of skilled foreign-born engineers and scientists as a much better solution than using temporary H-1B visas. Some in Congress finally seem to be listening. The Senate voted on November 3 to increase annual permanent-employment-based admissions by 90K through the visa classifications EB-1 (extraordinary ability), EB-2 (advanced-degree professionals) and EB-3 (baccalaureate-degree professionals and other skilled workers). It also voted to release 30K more annual H-1B visas, but differences with the House bill must be worked out in conference... IEEE-USA supports immigration policies that bring the best and brightest individuals from abroad and encourages them to stay. This has been our official position since 2000. Balanced immigration policies keep families together and create a level playing field for all workers. The H-1B program, however, is plagued by myth and abuse. One myth is that the law requires U.S. employers to seek H-1B applicants only when qualified Americans can't be found. But it wasn't a scarcity of talented Americans that led U.S. companies to max out the 65K H-1B [basic] visa cap for fiscal 2006 [but not the 20K supplemental cap for those with advanced degrees from US colleges and universities]; it was because H-1B workers have largely become a first option, not a last resort. U.S. Department of Labor statistics show a decline of 221K employed U.S. technical workers in 6 major computer and engineering job classifications from 2000 to 2004. Surely many of these skilled workers could qualify for positions filled by H-1Bs."
2005-11-21 14:30PST (17:30EST) (22:30GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
Dow Jones closes with first net gain within 2005 since March
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 53.95 points at 10,820.28, rising for a third day and finishing above the 10,783 level from which it started the year. The S&P 500 Index rose 6.58 points to 1,254.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 14.60 points to 2,241.67, its fourth straight stronger finish. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite are at 4.5 year highs."
2005-11-21 16:46PST (19:46EST) (2005-11-22 00:46GMT)
Paul B. Farrell _MarketWatch_
Greed season on Wall Street: bonus time
"And haven't you compared this gushing greed with the miserable market performance since the last crash Wall Street suckered you into? Why aren't you mad as hell? In every war the victors get the spoils. Same here, as Wall Street doles out more than $20G in bonus money to its army. Huge bonuses: $105K to first-year associates right out of business school. Imagine, some 25-year-old with an MBA gets a bonus three times bigger than the average American's income. Worse yet, Wall Street's top generals get one-time bonuses bigger than most Americans make in their lifetime, $6M or more from the Wall Street Greed Machine. How do they justify those huge bonuses? By being greedy all year long, playing with your money while secretly siphoning big bucks off the top... when it comes to scamming investors, Wall Street prefers targeting our small number of millionaires. They're what the military calls a "high-value" target with a big pay-off. There are 8M millionaires in America, with a total net worth in excess of $10T. If Wall Street can skim off even a 1% fee on assets, that's $100 billion a year fee income, from just 3% of our 295M citizens. For years the Wall Street's been telling Main Street we each need a million bucks to retire. One simple formula says for every $10K in annual income, you need $230K in assets. Want $50K annually? You need $1.15M. Unfortunately, the net worth of the average American is closer to $15K, not counting the value of homes... The goal is to keep investors uninformed, passive and dependent, unable and unwilling to counterattack Wall Street's ruthless war machine... Instead of just skimming 1% of assets (as it does with millionaires), Bogle says the Wall Street and its co-conspirators in the fund industry siphon off one-third of our returns -- as much as $160G a year investors never see... Never trust anything you hear from anyone on Wall Street -- no brokers, no bankers, no analysts, no reports, no talking heads."
2005-11-22 07:22PST (10:22EST) (15:22GMT)
With millions of skilled workers unemployed 815 manufacturers claim they cannot fill jobs
Herald News Daily
Leading the Charge
Crain's Chicago Business
All Head-Line News
Los Angeles Times
Lincoln Journal Star
Sunbury PA Daily Item
"A survey by the National Association of Manufacturers [NAM] and Deloitte Consulting found that more than half of manufacturers said 10% or more of their positions are empty for lack of the right candidates. In addition, 81% [claim they] face 'moderate' or 'severe' shortages of 'qualified' workers. The survey questioned 815 U.S. companies of varying sizes... some 3.4M factory jobs have been lost since 1998... Jeffrey Owens, president of Peoria, IL-based Advanced Technology Services [a body shop]... Illinois... lost about one-fourth of its manufacturing jobs in the last 15 years"
NAM propaganca work
2005-11-22 14:09PST (17:09EST) (22:09GMT)
David Lawder _Reuters_
Rather than invest in education and training, manufacturing executives urge government to make tax-victims pay
"states may have more success attracting new manufacturing jobs if they spent less on plant tax breaks and other direct incentives and more on improving their work-forces, teh top US lobbyist [for manufacturing executives] said on Tuesday. John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers [NAM] told Reuters in an interview he would like to see state incentive funds channeled into education and job training. [Of course, firms have abused both, taking tax breaks and subsidies from local governments and then not creating or retaining jobs, and getting state tax-victims to fund education and training that should be funded out of company profits.]"
2005-11-22 04:46PST (07:46EST) (12:46GMT)
US chain-store sales rose 1%
"Sales rose 1.0% in the week ended November 19, compared with 0.6 percent fall the previous week, the International Council of Shopping Centers and UBS said in a joint report. Compared with the same week a year ago, sales grew to 4.2%, after a 3.9% rise the preceding week."
2005-11-22 16:17PST (19:17EST) (2005-11-23 00:17GMT)
Deborah Charles _Herald News Daily_
Man found guilty in al Qaeda plot to assassinate President Bush and hijack aircraft
"A federal jury on Tuesday found a U.S. man guilty of conspiring with al Qaeda and plotting to assassinate President George W. Bush, rejecting his claims of torture by Saudi police. The 12-member jury found Ahmed Abu Ali, 24, guilty of all charges in a nine-count indictment. He had been charged with conspiracy to assassinate Bush, conspiring to support and supporting al Qaeda, and conspiracy to hijack aircraft."
2005-11-23 05:30PDT (08:30EDT) (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 366,811 in the week ending November 19, an increase of 83,426 from the previous week. There were 355,954 initial claims in the comparable week in 2004. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0% during the week ending November 12, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 2,589,928, an increase of 225,735 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.0% and the volume was 2,528,643."
2005-11-23 07:40PST (10:40EST) (15:40GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 335K
Enquirer 80 stock index closed up 0.52%
"The Enquirer 80 index of local interest stocks rose 1.49 points, or 0.52%, to close today at 288.79. 48 issues were up, 28 were down and four were unchanged. Leading gainers were Federated Department Stores, up $2.14 to $68.11; NCR Corp., up $1.58 to $32.30; Toyota Motor, up $1.46 to $100.80; Lexmark, up $1.18 to $46.68; and Chemed Corp., up 98 cents to $50.49. Biggest laggers were Gannett Co. Inc., the parent company of the Enquirer, down 42 cents to $61.61; Ashland Co., down 39 cents to $55.54; Smithfield Foods, down 37 cents to $30; Boston Beer, down 34 cents to $26.51; and LCA-Vision, down 34 cents to $46.81."
2005-11-23 10:16PST (13:16EST) (18:16GMT)
Robert Schroeder _MarketWatch_
UMich consumer index rose from 79.9 earlier in the month to 71.6
2005-11-23 14:33PST (17:33EST) (22:33GMT)
Leslie Wines _MarketWatch_
"The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 44.66 points, or 0.4%, at 10,916.09, its highest level in more than 8 months. The S&P 500 closed up 4.38 points at 1,265.61 and the Nasdaq Composite up 6.42 points at 2,259.98, with both striking new 4.5 year highs. There were 19 rising stocks for every 13 falling shares, with more than 1.44G stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was over 1.6G shares in the Nasdaq market, where advancing stocks outnumbered decliners by 15 to 14. The stock market, which has been trending higher since mid-October, tends to stage a rally ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday... Crude for January delivery finished down 13 cents at $58.71 a barrel. Natural gas futures closed higher after news of an unexpected fall in weekly inventories. The front-month contract was up 0.6 cent at $11.62 per million British thermal unit at the close."
Computer Body Shop Computech to Pay $2.65M in Back Wages and Penalties for Immigration Law Violations
Detroit Free Press
"Computech Inc., a Southfield, MI, firm that places computer professionals at locations throughout the United States has agreed to pay $2.25M in back wages to 232 computer professionals and a $400K fine to settle immigration law violations, the U.S. Labor Department announced today. An investigation by the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division found that Computech brought non-immigrant H-1B workers into the U.S., but failed to pay them the minimum required wage rates in the areas where they were employed. The investigation also disclosed that Computech frequently "benched" the workers without compensation contrary to the rules of the H-1B program... The company is also prohibited from participation in the H-1B visa program for 18 months... Computech contracts with other firms to supply computer professionals who work on the premises of those firms. It has customers across the U.S., with the largest numbers of its workers in Michigan, Illinois, California, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Minnesota."
Pui-Wing Tam & Kevin J. Delaney _Wall Street Journal_/_Pittsburgh Post-Gazette_
Google gives live to Silicon Valley job market for certain specialties
"To accomplish its current pace of hiring about 10 new employees a day, Google has assembled a formidable hiring machine. Its recruitment department includes as many as 300 free-lance recruiters who are helping it to identify who's who in software engineering, according to three people involved in the effort. To locate new talent, Google has held software-code-writing contests. It has plastered billboards with math problems, such as one on U.S. 101 in Silicon Valley that asked drivers to identify 'the first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e'. It has paid to insert an 'aptitude test' into tech magazines, encouraging engineers to submit their answers to 21 questions, along with their resumes. And it has upped the stakes in competing with other companies to draw attention from engineering students, handing out free pizza and raffling off gadgets to boost university recruitment. One top-notch engineer is worth '300 times or more than the average', explains Alan Eustace, a Google vice president of engineering. He says he would rather lose an entire incoming class of engineering graduates than one exceptional technologist... [Google's] hiring drive began not long after its initial public offering in 2004 August. At that time, the company had about 2,600 employees, a fraction of M$'s 60K employees and HP's 150K. Google grew to more than 3K by year end, to nearly 3,500 by March 31, and to just over 4,100 by June 30. As of September 30, the company had 4,989 full-time employees, 87% more than when it went public... The number of job postings on Dice.com, a tech-employment site, more than doubled to 77,600 since 2003 October. Average salaries for tech [bodies shopped] are up 6.2% in the first 6 months of 2005 to $87,100, the company estimates... Google's typical hiring process is regarded as one of the industry's most grueling and extensive. Candidates are often subjected to weeks of interviews, with hiring decisions often made by large committees of executives."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
DoL declares Computech violated H-1B law, regulations
"H-1B law is chock full of loop-holes, so many loop-holes that under-paying H-1Bs is extremely easy... The point is, then, that the prevailing wage as determined by DoL is meaningless, and thus in fact, DoL's hands are tied. All DoL can do is enforce the law, and the law is broken. There is nothing to enforce. All this is illustrated by the fact that the average amount of the settlement is only $9700 per worker, over a 2-year period... some of the workers may not have been there for the full 2 years, but H-1Bs don't (and in various senses can't) job-hop, so let's assume that most of them were there for the full time. That would mean an average settlement of, say, $4500 per worker per year. Now, the article here doesn't say how much of the settlement was due to under-payment and how much was due to non-payment during bench time... one must compare that $4500 figure above with the $18K that VP says he was under-paid in the [Detroit Free Press] article... IOW, the size of the settlement is an indictment not only of Computech, but also of the basic H-1B prevailing [compensation provision in the] law itself... If Congress really were concerned about H-1B abuse, they would adopt the provisions in the Pascrell bill, especially the one which defines a genuine prevailing wage definition, not the meaningless one that we have now."
2005-11-23 11:33:12PST (14:33:12EST) (19:33:12GMT) 2005-11-23 2005-11-24
2005-11-27 06:47PST (09:47EST) (14:47GMT)
Jennifer Carter _Skagit County Herald_
Illegal immigrant with TB has gone into hiding for fear county health officials will turn him over for deportation
"The tuberculosis eating at Ricardo's lungs makes him a public health threat. [After weeks of treatment, his] fear of being picked up by immigration authorities has sent him into hiding... An immigration medical facility would give Ricardo the care he needs and take a huge financial burden off county public health, said Browning... Browning said he talked to state health officials on November 16 about the possibility of getting the young man into a hospital run by federal immigration authorities in Tacoma... one patient with contagious TB has the potential to expose many... Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that usually attack the lungs, sometimes causing symptoms including weakness, weight loss, fever, night sweats, coughing, chest pain and coughing up blood, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacteria are spread from person to person through the air, when an infected person with active TB coughs or sneezes and people nearby breathe in the contaminated air. Many people who get infected may not get sick, though. Some people have a latent TB infection that doesn't cause symptoms and can't be spread to others. Sometimes the latent TB becomes active later, if the bacteria manage to overcome the person's immune system. TB can kill if left untreated. Treatment can mean months or years of taking combinations of expensive drugs. People with latent TB infection also can be treated so they won't develop the active disease. Tuberculosis was once the leading cause of death in the United States. Cases have declined since the 1940s, but climbed again between 1985 and 1992. Renewed efforts to control it helped, but around 14K cases were reported in the United States in 2003... Skagit County Public Health has seen six cases of active TB this year, said Sandi Paciotti, communicable disease nursing supervisor. The department records zero to three cases in a typical year, she said. Usually at least half of those involve foreign-born patients, she said... Working the fields in Guerrero from dawn to sunset, Ricardo said he earned about $30 a week. In the fields of Skagit County, he could earn more than $30 per day... A couple of weeks after starting his job here, he started to feel tired and his throat felt sore. He went to the Sea Mar Community Health Clinic and was given some pills, which made him feel better for a while. But he was soon sick again, coughing, tired and with no appetite. A friend took him to the county health department, where tests showed he had active tuberculosis. Ricardo said he hasn't worked since that day. He was in the hospital for a while, and he spent many weeks in a hotel room, paid for by the health department, to protect his sister's young children from being exposed to TB. County nurses brought him medicine, and his sister brought him food once a day, he said. Eventually, tests showed Ricardo was no longer contagious. He was told to go home. But after a couple of weeks, Ricardo said, the whites of his eyes became yellow. Tests showed that his liver was not handling his medications well, and he had to stop taking them. Around November 14, tests showed his TB was contagious again. He was told to go back to the hotel."
CLA's failure to take action on beatings at Formosa Plastics leaves migrant workers more vulnerable
"The CLA's failure to take action on the Formosa Plastics beatings in Maliao, Yun Lin County on August 2 leaves the Filipino migrants more vulnerable to harassments by the company... Already 2 suspects of the beating of GL have confessed at the Yun Lin police station last November 14. They are alleged to be working with ATV, a local broker... A worker named TB had run away 2 months earlier because of the deteriorating conditions in the work place. He had been arrested by the police and is now in the Taipei City Alien Detention Center at Chengteh Road. CLA Minister Lee, Ying Yuan had promised [on October 27] to conduct an investigation on these allegations. CLA Senior Executive Officer Chen, Tsai Nang [made the same promise] on November 4. Yet, no such investigation has occurred."
Norm Matloff _H-1B/ L-1/ Off-Shoring e-News-Letter_
comments regarding op-ed by IEEE-USA president that appeard in 2005-11-21 ComputerWorld
"IEEE-USA has more than 200K members, and thus has major lobbying potential. Over the years it has consistenly taken a stand critical of the H-1B program, but has never used its full lobbying clout. In 1998, the year of the first H-1B expansion, it was quite active, taking a number of useful actions, but still held back in various important senses. In 2000, the year of the second H-1B expansion, it held back even more, much more...
at times IEEE-USA has done truly excellent work in educating Congress about the fundamental problems with the H-1B program. But it has always had to operate under heavy pressure from the IEEE parent organization, which is dominated by the corporate and academic worlds [executives and chief administrators], which have major vested interests in the H-1B program...
In 2000, IEEE-USA adopted as its H-1B policy an 'instant green card' approach. Their point of view, a correct one, is that the exploitation of the H-1Bs stems from their de facto indentured servant status, which typically comes from the fact that the H-1Bs are also being sponsored for green cards by their employers, a multi-year process during which they must stay with the employer. IEEE-USA's proposed solution was to give them green cards right away. This of course cannot work. For example, it does not address what I call Type II salary savings that employers get from the H-1B program, which come from the fact that it allows employers to hire younger (thus cheaper) H-1Bs instead of older (thus more expensive) Americans (U.S. citizens and permanent residents). When the employers run out of young Americans to hire, they hire young H-1Bs instead of older Americans. Note by the way that 'old' can be as young as 35...
Another obvious major problem is the permanent swelling of the tech labor pool. By the year 2000, many employers had stopped offering green cards to their foreign workers, thus making most of them only temporary. (Some of course would get green cards through other means, e.g. marriage to an American.) But IEEE-USA's plan would make them all permanent, greatly swelling the labor pool, thus lowering wages, etc...
[This 'instant green card' approach] was hatched by Paul Donnelly, a DC insider on immigration who served as a consultant to IEEE-USA at the time. The organization thought that the pro-immigration Donnelly, with his pro-immigration plan, would allow them to take the moral high ground with Congress. But of course Congress doesn't care about such things, and much more importantly, the industry wanted no part of the plan. The industry [executives] like the de facto indentured servant nature of the H-1B program...
I've always supported the immigration of the world's 'best and brightest'. (Note, though, that they comprise only a tiny percentage of H-1Bs...)"
Tim Molloy _AP_/_Yahoo!_
Actor Pat Morita died Thursday at 73
"Morita died Thursday at his home in Las Vegas of natural causes, said his wife of 12 years, Evelyn. She said in a statement that her husband, who first rose to fame with a role [as a drive-in car-hop owner] on 'Happy Days', had 'dedicated his entire life to acting and comedy'. In 1984, he appeared in the role that would define his career and spawn countless affectionate imitations. As Kesuke Miyagi, the mentor to Ralph Macchio's 'Daniel-san', he taught karate while trying to catch flies with chopsticks and offering such advice as 'wax on, wax off' to guide Daniel through chores to improve his skills... [He had small] roles in such films as 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' and TV series such as 'The Odd Couple' and 'Green Acres'. His first breakthrough came with 'Happy Days', and he followed with his own brief series, 'Mr. T and Tina'... appearing in 'Honeymoon in Vegas', 'Spy Hard', 'Even Cowgirls Get the Blues' and 'The Center of the World'. He also provided the voice for a character in the Disney movie 'Mulan' in 1998. Born in northern California on 1932-06-28, the son of migrant fruit pickers, Morita spent most of his early years in the hospital with spinal tuberculosis. He later recovered only to be sent to a Japanese-American internment camp in Arizona during World War II. 'One day I was an invalid', he recalled in a 1989 AP interview. 'The next day I was public enemy No. 1 being escorted to an internment camp by an FBI agent wearing a piece.'... Morita found steady work in computers at Aerojet General. But at age 30 he entered show business full time... buried at Palm Green Valley Mortuary and Cemetery. He is survived by his wife and 3 daughters from a previous marriage."
"Man walk on road. Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk down middle, sooner or later, get squished [makes squish gesture] just like grape. Same here. You karate do, 'yes', or karate do, 'no'. You karate do, 'guess so', [makes squish gesture] just like grape." --- written by Robert Mark Kamen, performed by Pat Morita
Clyde Prestowitz _NewSpeak_
The World Is Tilted: Current Globalization Scheme Is Working Against US Citizens
"[Globalization has begun to undermine] U.S. welfare while creating imbalances likely to end in a global economic crisis... economists and political leaders say American industry should concentrate on producing very-high-technology products [but instead high-tech executives are] building more of their new factories abroad [capital goods, and even capital goods to make capital goods, intellectual property and knowledge have been extensively exported from the USA]... The U.S. trade deficit is now more than $800G, or 7% of GDP, and grows inexorably as Americans continue to consume more than they produce. The trade imbalance is of unprecedented size and breadth. Economists typically expect the United States to import commodities and cheap manufactured goods while exporting high-tech products, sophisticated services and agricultural goods, for which its land and climate are well suited. In reality, the U.S. high-tech trade surplus of $30G in 1998 has collapsed to a deficit of about $40G. Agricultural trade is now also in deficit for the first time in memory, and the modest surplus in services is declining as global deployment of the high-speed Internet has made it possible for services to move off-shore as easily as manufacturing. In short, U.S. exports are declining versus imports across the board, while its growth depends on foreign lenders (primarily in Japan and [Red China]) to finance the excess consumption... American buying drives most of the world's growth because the United States is virtually the only net consuming country in the world. Globalization for most others has meant export-led growth. Particularly in Asia, 'catch-up' development policies have focused on creating production and export machines. There are many flavors, but most Asian economies are characterized by relatively low consumption, savings rates of 30% to 50% of GDP, government intervention in markets, managed exchange rates, promotion of investment in 'strategic' industries, incentives for exports and accumulation of chronic trade surpluses along with large reserves of dollars... Further, the potential size of these markets attracts investment in anticipation of growth, even if the initial production cost is not fully competitive. This is particularly true of [Red China], where national pride and an authoritarian government willing to offer large investment incentives create an environment in which foreign companies are encouraged to engender 'trust' by transferring factories and technology to [Red China], regardless of the fact that the comparative cost advantage lies elsewhere."
Martin Crutsinger _AP_/_WTOP_
Fed's inflation-fighting measures suppress compensation of production workers: Guest-workers and off-shoring suppress compensation of US production workers and inflation
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Lakeland FL Ledger
Albany NY Times Union
Johnstown PA Tribune Democrat
Los Angeles Times
North San Diego County Times
San Francisco Chronicle
San Diego Union-Tribune
San Mateo Daily Journal
Philadelphia Daily News
"While Alan Greenspan has won praise for his successful 18-year battle to keep inflation under control, he's the first to say he's had a lot of help. Among those most responsible are tens of millions of workers in [Red China], India and Eastern Europe. Adding all those workers to the global economy has made the Federal Reserve's inflation-fighting job easier by increasing competition. That has helped hold down labor costs -- the biggest single expense for employers -- and, as a result, prices... more than 3M manufacturing jobs -- 1 in 6 -- ...have been lost since mid-2000... For those U.S. workers who still have jobs, the pressure on their wages has intensified as companies use the threat of moving more production over-seas -- where labor is far cheaper -- as a way to extract concessions from their U.S. workers... The ability to transmit digitally massive amounts of information to faraway places has led companies to send overseas jobs in such high-tech areas as architecture, computer software, medical services and engineering. 'It is one thing to celebrate keeping inflation in check. It is another thing to celebrate that living standards are stagnant or falling for most American workers.', said Thea Lee, policy director for the AFL-CIO... In 1987, the year Greenspan took over as Fed chairman, the U.S. had a deficit in its current account, the broadest measure of trade, of $160.7G. Last year, that deficit set a record of $668.1G and is projected to go even higher this year... Other economists worry that foreigners suddenly might decide to stop holding so many U.S. investments, driving down the dollar's value against other currencies, as well as U.S. stock and bond prices. Greenspan also has a benign view about how the U.S. can deal with workers who have lost jobs and or seen their wages depressed because of foreign competition. He thinks the country can solve this problem by doing a better job of educating workers so they have the skills they need for the high-tech jobs of the future, rather than the low-skill jobs that increasingly are moving to other countries. [But hundreds of thousands of well-educated, trained and experienced scientists, engineers and computer programmers have been thrown out of work in the last 6 years.] high-tech jobs are being sent to countries with well-educated workers who earn far less than Americans. 'The idea that you can educate yourself out of this problem is not accurate any more.', said Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington."
2005-11-27 06:47PST (09:47EST) (14:47GMT)
Michael Kinsman _San Diego Union-Tribune_
"Walker Information, an Indianapolis-based company that studies customer and employee loyalty. Walker's latest survey finds that 34% of American workers are truly committed to their employers. That might not seem like much, but it's up from 31% in 2003 and 24% in 2001. Walker defines truly loyal employees as those who have made a firm commitment to their employers and plan to remain with those employers for at least two years. The survey also notes that 31% of employees are ready to leave their jobs at any time, compared with 34% in 2003. An additional 28% of workers said they feel trapped in their jobs, down from 31% two years ago... Walker's study indicated that 41% of employees said their company views workers as its most valuable resource and 55% indicated that they believe their employer treats them well. DeSanto said training and development opportunities -- a key driver of employee loyalty -- won the approval of 55% of workers... Loyalty apparently has to be earned. Walker's survey found that only 29% of workers on jobs less than a year are loyal while 38% said they are likely to leave the company during that first year. [Nothing in the article said anything about executives' loyalty to production workers.]"
Merck to cut 7K jobs, close 5 plants by 2010
Elliot Spagat _AP_/_Topeka Capital-Journal_
Member of congress and fighter ace, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, has pled guilty
San Diego Union-Tribune
"Cunningham, 63, entered pleas in U.S. District Court to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud and wire fraud, and [avoiding federal extortionists] for under-reporting his income in 2004... He also agreed to forfeit to the government his Rancho Santa Fe home, more than $1.8M in cash and antiques and rugs. In a statement, prosecutors said Cunningham admitted to receiving at least $2.4M in bribes paid to him by several conspirators through a variety of methods, including checks totaling over $1M, cash, rugs, antiques, furniture, yacht club fees and vacations... The case began when authorities started investigating whether Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, used the proceeds from the $1.675M sale to defense contractor Mitchell Wade to buy a $2.55M mansion in ritzy Rancho Santa Fe. Wade put the Del Mar house back on the market and sold it after nearly a year for $975K -- a loss of $700K... Cunningham sold the house for $1.675M in 2003 November, but the buyer, defense contractor Mitchell Wade, never moved in and almost immediately put it back on the market. Wade sold it 261 days later for $975K... Cunningham made roughly a $400K profit by selling a boat he lived on from 1997 to 2002 to a businessman convicted in a bid-rigging scheme. The Long Island businessman who bought the Kelly C from Cunningham for $627K also said a mortgage company owned by his relatives loaned money to Cunningham for two real estate transactions. The businessman, Thomas Kontogiannis, said he paid off one of those loans as partial payment for the Kelly C purchase."
_Montana News Association_
Massive Weapons Depot Discovered Near Kirkuk
"U.S. Soldiers discovered more than 2,700 mortar rounds near an abandoned Iraqi Army base south of Kirkuk Sunday morning. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, and explosive ordnance disposal experts began the task of unearthing the weapons from a mound located in a field full of similar mounds."
Wendell Goler, James Rose & Julie Kirtz _Fox_
Bush is pushing his massive guest-worker program today in Tucson, AZ and tomorrow in El Paso, TX
"The border patrol made only 10% of its arrests in Arizona in 1990. By 2000, that figure had risen to 37%... The budget contains $2.3G to tighten the borders and $3.7G to track down illegal immigrants and hold them until they are deported... Bush is also getting resistance from industries [executives] that rely on [cheap] foreign workers. They say [illegal aliens] have become a significant part of the economy. About half [of] the nation's nearly 2M farm workers are illegal immigrants, and they were in such short supply last year that farmers in California [decided] to extend the harvest season [rather than pay decent compensation to unemployed Americans] and still lost crops. Security proponents say that because more than 700K [illegal aliens] entered the country with little deterrence in 2004...Al Qaeda could exploit hols in the [2600-mile] border [between the USA and] Mexico... Napolitano announced that the state Department of Public Safety would create a new detail of officers to work with southern Arizona law enforcement agencies to target vehicle theft, a crime often linked to transporting of illegal immigrants. She also designated $1.5M for 4 border counties' law enforcement agencies to add dozens more officers to combat other border-related crime. That came before U.S. border patrol agents working the Arizona-Mexico border reported twice as many violent attacks in the 12 months ending in September than a year earlier. The Yuma and Tucson sectors recorded 365 assaults on agents. Nationwide, agents were assaulted 687 times, according to the latest records. All but one of those attacks took place on the border with Mexico."
Frosty Wooldridge _News with Views_
Loyalty: You Can't Put Your Foot in Two Shoes
"Theodore Roosevelt, 1907: 'In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. We have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'... 'I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic... so help me God.'"
2005-11-28 07:59PST (10:59EST) (15:59GMT)
August Cole _MarketWatch_
ThanksGiving week-end retail take was $28G: National Retail Federation predicts $439.5G total sales through the end of the year
"The National Retail Federation said the week-end generated almost $28G in sales, a 22% increase that keeps spending on the path to reaching $439.5G for the season. However, Chicago-based ShopperTrak said sales were relatively flat over the week-end. The Friday after Thanksgiving saw a 0.9% decline in sales for a total of $8.01G... Discounts helped drive sales, according to a survey by BIGresearch. On Black Friday, more than 60M people went shopping, a tempo that eased Saturday with 52.8M people. Saturday's traffic, however, was still 13% higher than a year ago. By Sunday, the pace was expected to slow with 22M people out at stores. In the end, some 145M people will have gone shopping, well ahead of the 133M tallied a year ago."
2005-11-28 10:11PST (13:11EST) (18:11GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
Existing home sales fell 2.7% in October
"Existing home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 7.09M from a revised 7.29M in September... The number of unsold homes on the market rose 3.5% to 2.87M, the most in nearly 20 years. The inventory represents a 4.9-month supply at the current sales rate, the most in more than 2 years. The median sales price has risen 16.6% in the past year to $218K. It's the fastest price appreciation since 1979 July, when inflation was raging at double-digit rates."
National Association of Realtors report
Edwin S. Rubenstein _V Dare_
Bush Illegal Allien Amnesty May Be Much Bigger Than Advertised
"The 2000 Census said 8.7M. The Pew Hispanic Center, analyzing data from the census bureau's 2004 March population survey, bumped the total up to 10.3M, adding that it was increasing by about 485K persons each year. Homeland Security has put the figure as high as 12M... Remittances to Mexico doubled between 2000 and 2003, yet the official tally of immigrants from Central America (including Mexico) grew 26% and their real wages were falling. Housing permits in gateway cities are rising far faster than the population; in northern New Jersey, for example, cities with a combined 5.6% population growth, report a 6-fold rise in permits. In California some congressional districts of similar populations, based on census data, have five-times as many unregistered voters. Most of the extra people are non-citizens, state officials say. School enrollment in major immigrant gateways is growing far faster than projections based on birth rates and legal immigration figures. Every illegal alien student suggests 8 to 9 additional adult aliens, based on the age distribution of that population. Pay-roll versus Household job growth: Household employment surveys show far more robust job growth than the official job statistics, which are based on a survey of employers. Hispanics dominate job growth in the household survey. We make this point in our monthly analysis of employment trends... Elbel concludes that the illegal alien population is increasing by an average of at least 2.2M persons annually. Let's err on the side of caution, and cut this figure in half -- to 1.1M. At that rate about 21M illegals would have been added since the 1986 amnesty made everyone legal. This happens to be about what D.A. King estimated with a back-of-the envelope calculation last summer."
2005-11-28 14:39PST (17:39EST) (22:39GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
US Treasury Department says Red China has not been manipulating currency by pegging its value relative to the dollar
"In a blow to American [workers,] manufacturers and other firms feeling competition from [Red Chinese] exports, the U.S. Treasury Department said Monday that [Red China] is not a currency manipulator. [Red China] was able to avoid being labeled a manipulator because of its 'initial step' towards a floating currency, said Treasury Secretary John Snow in a statement released alongside the latest report to Congress on global exchange rate practices. But Snow warned [Red China] that the U.S. expects further reform of its foreign exchange regime 'as quickly as possible'. Snow said the reluctance of Treasury to name [Red China] a currency manipulator is 'contingent on further progress to incorporate flexibility reflecting underlying market forces in [Red China's] exchange rate by the time of the next foreign exchange report' due in the spring."
Larry McShane _Fort Wayne Journal Gazette_
Employer violations of privacy continue to spread and worsen with technology
"The news trucks at WABC-RV were recently equipped with Global Positioning Satellite System transmitters, raising concerns among the station's union workers about privacy. It's a small but growing work-place topic... The union wants a training session so all employees understand [know] the system's capabilities, which allow the instantaneous tracking of all equipped vehicles -- exactly where they are, and exactly how long they are there [just as cellular telephones have since the federal government mandated that the precise position of every cellular phone be transmitted back to the service provider, and hence made available to governments at all levels]... Maxwell, the TV union head, said he was aware of only 2 other stations nationwide with GPS technology in their news trucks -- one in Los Angeles, the other in Houston... UPS, Inc., for instance, is giving truck drivers GPS-equipped hand-held computers to alert them when they're at the wrong address or help them identify an unfamiliar location... Automated Waste Disposal, Inc... Metropolitan Lumber & Hardware in NY..."
2005-11-28 15:54PST (17:54CST) (18:54EST) (23:54GMT)
Increase influx of foreign grad students by offering green cards
"Governor Tim Pawlenty floated an intriguing idea on the radio air-waves Friday: Foreign students who earn graduate degrees in selected, economically desirable fields from American universities should become automatically eligible for permanent U.S. residency -- in other words, given green cards."
2005-11-29 08:28PST (11:28EST) (16:28GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
Durable goods orders were up 3.4% in October
"Orders for durable goods increased 3.4% in October after falling a revised 2.0% in the previous month, initially reported as a 2.4% decline... Orders for core capital goods equipment rose 1.3% in October after falling 1.7% in the previous month. Shipments of durable goods increased 1.4% in October to record high levels after remaining flat in September. Inventories of durable goods rose 0.4% in October after a 0.1% gain in September. Inventories have risen in 3 of the past 4 months. Unfilled orders of durable goods rose 1.5% after a 0.8% gain in September. This is the sixth straight monthly gain in unfilled orders... Orders for defense capital goods rose 52.8%, the biggest gain since 2002 February. Excluding defense, durable goods orders rose 1.7%, after a 2.0% drop in September. Orders for electronics, excluding semiconductors, fell 1.3%. Orders for computers fell 1.7%. Orders for machinery increased 2.1% while shipments rose 1.2%. Orders for electrical equipment decreased 3.5% while shipments rose 2.3%. Orders for fabricated metals fell 0.5% while shipments rose 0.7%."
census bureau survey data
2005-11-29 08:52PST (11:52EST) (16:52GMT)
Greg Robb _MarketWatch_
New home sales were up 13% in October
"U.S. new home sales jumped by 13% in October to a record 1.42M seasonally adjusted annual rate, the Commerce Department estimated Tuesday. This is the biggest rise since 1993 April. October sales smashed the previous record of 1.37M set in July... Sales in September were revised to an increase of 0.9% to 1.26M units, compared with the initial estimate of a 2.1% gain to 1.22M units. Sales in October were up 9% from a year earlier."
census bureau press releases on new home sales
Nancy Weil _NetWork World_
Anti-Off-Shoring Legislation Heating Up
"Bills related to off-shoring or out-sourcing, some of which would severely limit or outright stop those practices, were introduced this year in nearly all 50 states as well as in the U.S. Congress and there is no indication that legislative trend will stop. Of the bills that have actually become laws, most seem to lack teeth... But lobbying efforts to pass stronger legislation appear to be intensifying... Groups of service and blue-collar workers have mobilized to support laws restricting off-shoring. Rescue American Jobs, for instance, has a legislation tracker at its web site... Added to the mix is a steadily rising analyst out-cry that 'the promised benefits of off-shoring are far over-stated, while the likely economic costs are not addressed at all', according to a briefing paper by L. Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC."
Juan Mann _V Dare_
Expedited Deportation: No Exceptions
"[Bush referred] to the expedited removal provisions of Immigration Act Section 235(b) -- which his own administration has still failed to implement to the fullest extant granted by Congress almost 10 years ago. The Section 235(b) authority as written by Congress allowed the summary removal of illegal aliens apprehended anywhere in the United States — within 2 years of entering illegally... effective on 1997 April 1 [, the] IIRIRA cut back on relief available for criminal aliens and known foreign terrorists, and called for the mandatory detention of more classes of convicted criminals who are foreign nationals. So far, Immigration Act Section 235(b) has managed to withstand the legal onslaught of the pro-alien lobby in the federal courts. But immediately after passage in 1996, the Clinton Administration, through then-INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, shamelessly moth-balled most of Section 235(b). The Section 235(b) authority was only put into effect for immigration inspectors at ports of entry, not for any immigration officers in the interior of the country or outside of airport buildings. But the Bush Administration has added its own stamp on crippling the expedited removal authority. It has implemented it slowly, partially and grudgingly -- adding geographic restrictions, time restrictions, and also exempting Mexicans from the process entirely..."
major Brian Hampton _Veteran's Vision_
Veterans Blast Guest-Worker Schemes Having Priority Over Homeless Veterans
"the newly resurrected 'Temporary Worker Program' adds insult to injury for 300K homeless veterans... Introduced early during the Bush Administration, the original 'Temporary Worker Program' initiative proposed allowing aliens to legally stay in the country for up to 6 years, as long as they were employed. Earlier proposals called for, 'incentives, tax preferred savings accounts, help for retirement, help in capitalizing businesses and creating nest eggs' for many of the 11M [estimates run from 8M to over 20M] in the country illegally... 'How about American Veterans who stood up with their lives?', beseeched Hampton. He went on to say that such a move would bring in millions more illegals, cost Americans billions more dollars, resulting in employers never being forced to pay a decent wage to those here legally, turn the United States into a kind of 'Day Labor Camp', and be a slap in the face to legal immigrants. Hampton cited the figures of 6M unemployed Americans, 5M working involuntarily part-time and millions more suffering from wage depression. 'Americans should be first in line for every job in the country.', he said. 'No job is too big or too small for hard-working Americans.'"
Sean Paroski _Northridge Daily SunDial_
We can't afford to avoid immigration problems
"Bush's solution to the immigration problem isn't much of a solution at all, but is instead the political equivalent of punting the ball down-field. The guest worker program at the heart of Bush's plan would create a system for the nearly 11M [estimates range from 8M to over 20M] illegal immigrants to register for work permits in the United States."
_PR News Wire_/_Duke University_/_CFO Magazine_
CFOs expect inflation, no action to deal with rising fuel costs
"Chief financial officers fear that inflation will rise after Alan Greenspan steps down and are pessimistic about the U.S. economy. And even though high fuel costs are the #1 concern reported by U.S. corporations, only a minority have attempted to increase fuel efficiency. Other top CFO concerns include high health care costs and increasing interest rates. In addition, CFOs predict only modest employment growth for the coming year, and 20% say they expect to reduce employment. Despite their concerns, CFOs expect solid earnings growth for their own companies... year-end 2005 Duke University/CFO Magazine Business Outlook survey... 53% of U.S. firms expect to increase employment this year, while 20% expect to reduce employment. Overall employment should increase 0.6% in the next 12 months, less than half the expected growth expressed last quarter. At the same time, out-sourced employment should increase at 40% of firms, with growth averaging 4.8%. Among Asian firms, own-country employment is expected to grow 8.9%... 63% say they will increase capital spending in the next 12 months, with the average increase 5.7% (up from 4.7% last quarter). This finding stands in stark contrast to Asia, where capital spending is expected to rise by 9.7%. Earnings Expected to Grow 11.4%..."
Diane Stafford _Kansas City Star_
Firms continue to whine "shortage" while talent glut persists
"9 out of 10 US manufacturers say they have a 'moderate to severe shortage of qualified, skilled production employees', according ot a new survey... sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers [NAM], the Manufacturing Institute [both lobbying organizations for manufacturing executives] and Deloitte Consulting [a body shop]... Nearly half of the manufacturers polled complained about poor problem-solving skills among employees. More than one-third said their employees had insufficient reading, writing adn communication skills. [They were not asked about their company education, training and compensation.]... The '2005 Emerging Work-force Study' by Spherion [another body shop] and Harris Interactive found that employers and employees aren't on the same page about a lot of workplace issues. Nearly two-thirds of workers rated 'time and flexibility' as a very important factor in job retention, but only one-third of employers said so. Slightly fewer than half of employers said compensation is a very important retention factor, but nearly 7 in 10 employees said the same. Employers estimated they'll lose only 14% of their workers next year. But 40% of workers said they intend to find a new job within 12 months."
Monisha Bansal _Cybercast News Service_
Bush's Immigration Plan Is a Massive Amnesty
"Depending on the political view-point, President Bush has either 're-emerged as a leader' with his immigration reform proposal or is offering 'massive amnesty' to illegal aliens who have no intention of honoring the conditions contained in the president's plan. On Monday, Bush ventured to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ, to explain the fine print on his proposal, which includes provisions that would allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. as temporary workers for up to 6 years. While warning that his administration would not tolerate illegal immigration, Bush also declared that, 'America has always been a compassionate nation that welcomes the new-comer.'... 'He could, if he wanted to, by executive order today, empower the Social Security Administration and the IRS and Treasury Departments to send notices to employers that are hiring illegal aliens, saying, '''We're not going to tolerate it anymore.''' But he won't do that, and that is telling.', Keeley said."
US chain-store sales rose
"Sales in November to date were up 0.3% compared with the same period in October, while sales at major retailers rose by 4.4% on a year-over-year basis for the week ended November 26, said Redbook Research, an independent company."
2005-11-30 09:01PST (12:01EST) (17:01GMT)
Rex Nutting _MarketWatch_
US GDP revised higher: Corporate profits fell 3.4%
"The U.S. [GDP] grew at a 4.3% annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday in its first revision of gross domestic product estimates. It was the fastest growth since the first quarter of 2004. The [GDP] grew at a 3.3% pace in the second quarter and has now grown faster than 3% for 10 straight quarters. The [GDP] has grown 3.7% in the past 4 quarters."
BEA news release
2005-11-30 10:04:19PST (13:04:19EST) (18:04:19GMT)
Troy TV plant closing will eliminate 700 jobs
"The MT Picture Display Co. plant produces cathode ray tubes, known as CRTs, for large-screen projection TVs and smaller, more traditional television sets, a business that has been declining because of the growing popularity of flat-panel TVs. The plant is a joint venture between Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Toshiba Corp. Matsushita, based in Osaka, Japan, is best known for its Panasonic brand. A cut-back in 2004 October eliminated 300 hourly and salaried workers at the plant, which once employed about 1,500 people."
_Federal Reserve Board_
Juan Mann _V Dare_
Bush's Big Lie: "Guest-Workers Will Secure the Border"
"'As we enforce our immigration laws, comprehensive immigration reform also requires us to improve those laws by creating a new temporary worker program.' Big lie! Legalizing illegal aliens just means even more illegal aliens following in their foot-steps to jump the border. Retired U.S. Border Patrol agent John W. Slagle has the photos to prove it, showing even more smuggled aliens arriving even after the 1986 amnesty disaster was over. 'This program would create a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do.' No mention of price, as usual... 'This plan would also help us relieve pressure on the border.', by capitulating. But the truth is that the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act amnesty did nothing to stop illegal immigration or relieve the pressure on anything. The millions of illegal aliens currently in the U.S. are a living testimony exposing this 'relieve pressure' proposition as the nonsense that it is... 'Our plan would create a tamper-proof identification card for the temporary legal worker, which, of course, would improve work site enforcement.' Spin! If no DHS officers are monitoring work sites now, how will changing the type of employment authorization card 'improve enforcement'? It might slow counterfeiters for a while, but it would not 'improve' anything without more DHS enforcement activity."
Jim Kouri _Men's News Daily_
Who Is Exploiting Mexican Immigrants?
Stephen Dinan _Washington Times_
Michael Chertoff & DHS to drag heels for another 1 to 3 years on detaining illegal immigrants from "OTM"
"Only 25% of the 160K OTMs caught last year were deported, while the rest were released. The odds were so favorable that aliens from Brazil would seek border authorities and turn themselves in, knowing they were likely to be released immediately."
Terence Jeffrey _Town Hall_
No guest-worker plan
"The immigration 'reform' speech president Bush delivered this week raises the question of whether he will hold the security of our borders hostage until congress enacts what he calls a 'temporary worker' program [but most people recognize as blanket amnesty for illegal aliens in a move to drive down compensation of workers throughout the USA]."
Sarah Anderson & John Gershman _Foreign Policy in Focus_
USA immigration policy being examined at WTO
"In the contentious negotiations leading up to the December 13-18 World Trade Organization (WTO) summit, the big drama has centered around agricultural trade and whether the richer countries will grant expanded market access to commodities from the Global South. However, there has also been a battle brewing between developing countries and the U.S. government over immigration. Led by India, several countries are demanding expansion of U.S. visa programs for temporary professional workers. Under the global trade body's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), governments can regulate the supply of services performed by foreigners. The technical term for this type of service trade is Mode 4. Thus far, the types of visas being discussed are those for executives and highly skilled professionals, such as [American] software engineers who have come to work in [India] and other high-tech hubs... Some developing countries are pushing for the Mode 4 talks to cover less-skilled workers as well... The biggest obstacle to U.S. concessions on Mode 4 is not the Bush administration but congress, where many law-makers in both parties feel that trade negotiators have no business meddling in immigration policy. The Constitution gives congress the power to 'establish a uniform rule of naturalization'. The Supreme Court has interpreted this language to mean that congress has the exclusive power to formulate policies pertaining to immigration."
Rick Cunnington _Northwest Explorer_
Solve border problem, improve wages and benefits
"Arizona doesn't need a ballot proposition to raise the minimum wage to $6.75 ('Initiative filed to raise minium rage rate in Arizona', 2005 November 23). The market can nicely raise wages for low skilled workers, if the market is allowed to work. The primary reason for low wages for unskilled workers is illegal immigration. Arizona is infested with an enormous number of unskilled illegal aliens willing to work for low wages. They take jobs from law-abiding, hard-working Americans forcing wages downward. Entire industries that used to provide livable wages to law-abiding, hard-working Americans have been taken over by illegal aliens willing to work for low wages... The best way to solve the low wage problem for Americans trying to make a living would be to round up and deport every last illegal alien in the state."
Dave Burge _El Paso Times_
Sales nothing to crow about
"International Council of Shopping Centers reported that chain-store sales were down 0.7% for the week ended November 26 compared with the previous week but were up 5.1% compared with 2004 sales... ShopperTrak reported that holiday weekend sales were relatively flat and recorded a 0.4% gain compared to 2004. The National Retail Federation estimates that 145M consumers went shopping during the Thanksgiving weekend, spending $27.8G."
John Gershman _Foreign Policy in Focus_ US Immigration Policy on the Table at the WTO
Cincinnati Enquirer 80 stock index down 0.23%
"The Enquirer 80 Index of local interest stocks fell 0.67 points, or 0.23%, to close Wednesday at 286.29. 33 issues were up, 44 were down and three were unchanged. Leading gainers were NCR Corp., up $1.40 to $33.95; LCA-Vision, up $1.20 to $47.73; Lexmark, up $1.02 to $47.62; General Cable, up 87 cents to $18.15; Midland, up 81 cents to $37.80. Biggest laggers were Toyota Motor, down $3.05 to $96.75; General Motors, down $1.10 to $21.90; Fifth Third Bancorp, down $1.02 to $40.27; PNC Financial Services, down 90 cents to $63.77; Chiquita, down 84 cents to $20.80."
Samuel C. Florman _National Society of Professional Engineers_
My Profession and My Nation: A Worrisome Situation
alternate link (pdf)
"I've always felt comfortable -- indeed complacent -- about the relationship between my profession, engineering, and the society in which I live. Engineers have been good for America: diligent creators of comfort and wealth and as individuals, by and large, upright citizens. America has been good to its engineers: rewarding their efforts, if not with riches or fame, at least with plentiful employment opportunities and, if polls are to be believed, with ample respect... the climate for American engineers has turned ominously inhospitable. Specifically, the out-sourcing of technological work requires American engineers to compete with skilled professionals abroad whose salaries are very low. At the same time, Congress has attracted thousands of foreign technical workers to the U.S.A. by authorizing a special new visa category (H-1B). It is difficult to prove statistically that globalization is jeopardizing the well-being of American engineers. Yet sudden spurts in unemployment-such as the 7% figure experienced by electrical engineers in 2003-plus abundant anecdotal evidence, have created widespread feelings of anxiety and anger... Other professions-notably medicine and law-have licensing requirements that protect their practitioners from foreign competition. Yet, aside from the PE seal, required mainly for construction work, engineering for American enterprises can be done legally by just about anybody on the planet. To rub salt in the wounds, at the very moment that American engineers are faced with multitudes of new competitors worldwide, an energetic campaign is under way to recruit more young Americans to study engineering... Founded in 1964 (under the Congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences in 1863), NAE carries out its advisory responsibilities through committees of carefully selected volunteer experts convened when requested by governmental agencies. This committee work is generally handled by the National Research Council, an organization administered jointly by the academies of science and engineering and the Institute of Medicine... in this instance I believe it would be disastrous to so disenchant a large number of American engineers that the profession's image would be damaged and its appeal to talented youngsters diminished... My name is Mr Bajpai from the American Chamber of Commerce... the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce... In the first few months of this year [Red Chinese] textiles increased dramatically, in some cases as you over 1500%, crowding out not just U.S. textile producers but of course textiles from other countries including India. So what we did is we invoked the safe-guards that were permitted under the WTO accession... And so with regard to about 46% of the [Red Chinese] textile exports to the United States, not all of them, but about 46% of them, which is about 34 categories, I believe, we reached an agreement last week, saying that they would continue to have access to our market, increases every year, and those increases would be between 8%, and it goes up to 17%, which is a healthy increase. And every year there''d be an increase; under the safe-guards it would have been 7.5%."
Kim Girard _Edutopia_/_George Lucas Educational Foundation_
Reaching out to those who do not understand English
"'We weren't prepared.', says Mayberger, whose programs serve 6K ESL learners, about 89% of them Spanish speakers. Not surprisingly, adds Mayberger, 'We had no one on staff who spoke Somali.'... In 2001, 4.6M ELL students were enrolled in the nation's public schools -- a full 10% of the total enrollment in grades preK-12. Of these students, 79% spoke Spanish, and 15% used a language represented by less than 1% of the ELL population... According to the US census bureau, by 2030 students who speak a language other than English at home will constitute 40% of the school-age population."
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