The Daily Scribe

Thought Provoking Issues!

65,000 More . . .

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No longer able to use a scalpel to reduce their labor force, companies find that they’re left with no choice but to use a chainsaw.

65,000 job cuts were announced today by the following companies:

U.S.

Caterpillar: 20,000

Sprint Nextel: 8,000

Home Depot: 7,000

Texas Instruments: 3,400

General Motors: 2,000

Europe

ING: 7,000

Philips: 6,000

Corus: 3,500

In addition to all these cuts, the newly formed merger of Pfizer and Wyeth will cost 8,000 workers their jobs.

These are indeed risky times for business and consumers alike. Consumers uncertain about their financial futures are becoming more resistant to spending money and this has adversely affected businesses and their labor force.

No industry, no matter its geographic location seems to be exempt from reducing its workforce. Last week Microsoft, Ericcson in Sweden, and Sony in Japan all announced that they would lay off 5,000 workers respectively; Harley Davidson said it would eliminate 1,000 workers due to sluggish sales.

Foreign car manufactures in Japan, South Korea and Europe who were once thought to be recession proof have also announced job cutbacks.

For once the economic pundits agree:

“The magnitude of these layoffs indicates that the downturn in the labor markets seem to indicate accelerating,” said Harry Holzer, a labor economist at Georgetown University.

“Were losing jobs at an incredibly rapid rate, and even with that, I’m worried they’re accelerating,” said Dean Baker, a director of the Center for Economic and Policy research. “Were seeing a much more rapid rate of layoff announcements.”

When will this economic downturn reverse itself?

Is the 825 billion economic stimulus package the answer?

President Obama believes it is.

He cited today’s announcement and last week’s government report that stated 589,000 first-time unemployment claims were filed, which tied a record high set in December as a call for the government to intervene and take swift action.

“These are not just number on a page,” President Obama said. “As with millions of jobs lost in 2008, these are working men and women whose families have been disrupted and whose dreams have been put on hold. We owe it to each of them and to every single American to act with a sense of urgency and common purpose. We can’t afford distractions and we cannot afford delays.”

To put this economic plight in a much simpler perspective:

If 2008 was the ending of a bad party . . . then 2009 is the beginning of a long hangover.

65,000 jobs were eliminated today, and given the state of our present economy, that trend among U.S. and foreign companies doesn’t look like it will be reversing, anytime soon.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

 

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