What Goes On While We Are "Terror"-ized

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at 08:17 AM

Terrorism is a serious problem for the United States and many other countries. No one wants to turn attention away from it, and the public fear level is too high to turn away from it if you wanted to.  Yet while our full attention is turned to that problem, or at least to what we perceive as being that problem, several parallel phenomena are occurring that pose dangers just as great as those posed by terrorism.

For one pending disaster that gets drowned out in shouts of "TERROR," read the news reports on the economy closely.  As the media continues to trumpet the official line that the economy is well, and the announced unemployment rate keeps falling, more specific reports make it hard to buy the official line.

GENERAL LAYOFF INFO, LARGELY FROM Challenger, Gray & Christmas US employment reports for recent months:

In all of 2004, 1.07 million job reductions were announced.

June, 2005 job cuts rose 73 percent from the year-ago period. So far this year, 538,274 job cuts have been announced this year, 14 percent more than the six-month total of 472,735 last year.

6/2/05: U.S. corporations announced 82,283 job cuts in May, a 42% increase from a five-year low in April, outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas said Thursday.

7/7/05: US employers announced 110,996 job cuts in June, compared to 82,283 in May, according to a monthly report issued by recruitment company Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

By mid-2007, Kodak's worldwide payroll should level out below 50,000, one-third what it was in 1988.

Even as it proceeds with layoffs of up to 13,000 workers in Europe and the United States, IBM plans to increase its hiring in India


Far from exhaustive list of Layoffs/downsizings announced just during the month of July:

Hewlett-Packard is modifying its pension benefits and eliminating 14,500 jobs

The Wall Street Journal, citing "some employees," reported that Ford Motor Co. is considering the elimination of about 10,500 white-collar workers, or 30 percent of its total salaried workforce.

Kodak announced an additional 10,000 job cuts

Kimberly-Clark plans 6,000 job cuts

PNC 2d Quarter Profit Falls, Sees 3,000 Job Cuts

Honeywell plans 2,000 job cuts despite sales rise

The first major round of 800 job cuts has been announced for the Electrolux refrigerator plant in Greenville, MI that's closing next year.

Sara Lee Announces 775 New Job Cuts

Abbott Reports 38% 2nd-Qtr Net Income Gain, Cuts 700 jobs

Despite rise in earnings, Pfizer to announce 500 more job cuts

Indianapolis-based ATA airline is eliminating 450 jobs through outsourcing

Coachmen Industries Inc., a maker of recreational vehicles, warned on Monday that it would report a loss of as much as $1.5 million in the second quarter due to an industrywide softening of wholesale shipments, and the Elkhart, Indiana based company said it recently took steps to cut costs, including a 12.5 percent reduction in its salaried work force and a 10 percent reduction in its hourly work force (amounting to 400+ workers)

Teradyne Inc. (MA) plans to layoff some 400 more workers throughout the remainder of the calendar year

A threatening letter that contained a suspicious white powder was found at the home of Westinghouse Savannah River Co. president Bob Pedde, one day after he announced 400 layoffs at the company's site.

Columbia House cuts 300 Terre Haute jobs

The Longaberger Co. (Ohio) announced Wednesday that it will lay off 383 employees in its manufacturing workforce and eliminate 66 salaried professional and administrative positions in a continued restructuring effort.

Beckman Coulter Inc. (CA), struggling with a drop in US sales and a decline in profit margins, reported today that it will consolidate two divisions and cut 350 jobs

The military's declining need for dress uniforms has prompted Burlington Industries to cut at least 350 jobs.

Acxiom to cut 250 jobs on earnings shortfall; 100 in Arkansas

Ford Motor Co. isssued a surprise announcement that it plans to cut 250 jobs from its eastern Jefferson County pickup plant, which had been considered safe because of the popularity of its Super Duty trucks.

CIT, one of America's largest commercial lenders and consumer finance companies, said it plans to cut about 200 jobs in North America.

The New York Times announced Wednesday that it is cutting 190 jobs at its flagship newspaper and and its New England publishing group.

Harris Broadcast Cuts Jobs; company believes up to 10 percent, or roughly 170 jobs, of its 1,700 worldwide divisional workforce could be affected

Motorola Inc. said Thursday it was laying off about 150 assembly line workers at its cellular phone manufacturing center in Plantation, FL.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved FiberMark's plans to close a plant in New Jersey where some 135 people are employed, and cut an unspecified number of administrative jobs that could include some at its corporate headquarters in Brattleboro.

Detroit laying off 128 more employees.

Birch Telecom Lays Off 87 Workers

Jackson County (MO) legislators on Monday eliminated 83 county jobs to pay for $1 million in additional raises for the remaining employees

Advancis Pharmaceutical Corp. may soon lay off some of its 80 employees as the firm struggles to deal with back-to-back testing failures of its lead product, a once-a-day, slow-release version of the antibiotic amoxicillin.

El Paso's City Manager says budget will reduce the number of departments from 34 to 26 and about 40 jobs will be lost

Webb Wheel (Arkansas) Loses 37 Jobs To Voluntary Layoffs

An ongoing shakeup in the state Washington Department of Employment Security, which is reorganizing and cutting payroll as the economy improves, sends 34 state employees out the door without jobs today.

North State Communications (NC) said Thursday the company will lay off 25 workers as it begins outsourcing operator and directory assistance services.

Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) leaders are considering whether to slash up to 25 workers, one-third of its payroll, saying some jobs aren't necessary while the monorail's future is in doubt.

SWAMPSCOTT, MA-The district is switching food service providers this fall, which will result in the layoff of more than 20 food service workers.

Elizabeth Arden has filed notice with the state of Florida that it plans to lay off 15 workers by Sept. 15.


Hershey Co., which has been one of the best performers in the packaged food industry in recent quarters, said it plans to cut jobs and close a plant to help free up more funds to invest in products, marketing and other items.

International Paper expects substantial job cuts; number of job cuts will not be known until the company finishes evaluation, but a sweeping restructuring plan will "dramatically shrink" the world's largest paper company

Indiana University is cutting dozens of jobs so administrators can balance the school's budget; will also impose hiring freezes and reduce travel plans for employees.

ONE QUESTION:  If you wait until you feel physically safe to worry about this, are you likely to ever be secure?