Chuck Grassley urged US companies to fire foreign workers first
than 71,000 jobs lost in one day- Bloody Monday
Los Angeles, Monday, Jan 26, 2009
NRIs worldwide and India celebrates its 60th Republic Day on
Monday in the midst of a severe security but Americans to observe
Black Day today (Monday) because seven companies announce job
cuts about 71,400. More than 200,000 job cuts have been announced
so far this year. Nearly 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008.
- On Thursday morning, Microsoft Corp. said it would lay off
up to 5,000 employees,about 5% of its work force, over the
next 18 months, including 1,400 jobs today, marking the first
time in its history that it has laid off workers across the
- The company said that jobs would be eliminated in research
and development, marketing, sales, finance, legal, human resources,
and IT.The company had almost 96,000 employees, as of late
- Microsoft said sales for the second quarter were $16.63
billion, up 2 percent from the same period one year ago. Net
income was $4.17 billion, down 11 percent. Sales of client
software dropped 8 percent "as a result of PC weakness
and a continued shift to lower-priced netbooks
- The changes should cut the company's annual operating expenses
by $1.5 billion this year.
Microsoft has many foreign employees in the U.S. under the
H1-B visa program, which is designed so that employers can recruit
foreign nationals in "specialty" jobs. It allows foreign
experts, who must have at least a bachelors degree, to work
in areas of highly specialized knowledge -- of which the sciences,
IT and software are obvious examples -- for up to six years.
Furthermore, the regulations supporting
the program state that "the statute does not require employers...to
demonstrate that there are no available U.S. workers or
to test the labor market for U.S. workers as required under
the permanent labor certification program," which effectively
makes it easier for employers to use this program than other
visa systems. Microsoft said Monday it had no plans to change
its position on H-1Bs.
- Texas Instruments said it will slash its workforce
by 3,400 employees to cope with weak demand and the slowing economy.
More than half of those cuts will be layoffs while "voluntary
retirements and departures" will make up the rest
- Caterpillar, Construction machinery manufacturer
said Monday it will cut 20,000 jobs amid a "very challenging
global business environment
- Pfizer said in an earnings report it would
cut 10% of its staff of 81,900 and close five of its manufacturing
- Sprint Nextel Corp. will cut a total of about
8,000 jobs by March 31
- Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement
retailer, announced Monday it will eliminate its EXPO design center
business and cut 7,000 associates
- Dutch financial group ING said it will cut
7,000 jobs (loss of $1.3 billion in 2008)
- Deere& Co., the world's top farm-equipment
maker, said it would cut nearly 700 jobs
- Schlumberger said Friday that it will cut 5,000
jobs worldwide, with 1,000 of the cuts taking place in North America.
- Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Entertainment
said it would cut about 800 jobs
California's unemployment rate jumped to 9.3%
in December from 8.4% in November and 5.9% a year earlier. The officials
reported a loss of 78,200 nonfarm payroll jobs in December from
November and a fall of 257,400 from December 2007, marking a 1.7%
drop in California's nonfarm payrolls.
Because of dried-up consumer spending, it has liquidated its 567
U.S. stores, and 30,000 jobs lost. For the past few weeks, the retailers
and manufacturers had been hard-hit. It indicate that there will
be further job cuts in 2009. The national unemployment rate was
7.2 percent last month, and January’s numbers are expected
to be worse when they’re released on Feb. 6. Some economists
predict a net job loss of 600,000 for the month. Nationally, new
claims filed for unemployment benefits jumped to a seasonally adjusted
record high of 589,000 in the week that ended Jan. 17, matched only
by the week that ended Dec. 20, 2008.
In Canada, Statistics Canada announced on Friday
that 34,400 jobs were lost in December, following November’s
loss of 70,600 jobs.
Looks like India might be facing some very serious days
ahead: Companies in the real estate and infrastructure
sectors will be hit. Capital-intensive sectors like infrastructure
will face problems. Investors and speculators are best advised to
stay away from real estate. “In smaller towns, the real estate
market is dead. Even in Mumbai, as interest costs go up and debt
becomes scarce, you will find that a buyer is willing to wait,”
says Kenneth Andrade, vice-president (equities), IDFC Mutual Fund.
The US financial meltdown is beginning to bite the $50-billion
Indian IT industry. The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector
is also being hurt by a slowing business environment . The global
financial meltdown poses a challenge in the long term. Nearly two-thirds
of the global IT business originates from the US. And over 40 percent
of global IT revenues flow from the financial sector. The slower
business growth, erosion of profits, dip in exports and job cuts.
Indian companies may not be able to meet the 2010 exports target
of $60 billion.
The number of tourists coming to India has come down in the wake
of the Mumbai terror attack. Many countries that advised their citizens
against visiting India in the wake of several bomb blasts and terror
attacks earlier this year have not pressed the panic button after
Nov 26. Travellers from the US, Britain, France, Canada, Australia
and the Netherlands comprise a majority of overseas visitors to
Few weeks back, United Nations economists called
for massive coordinated global economic stimulus packages, linked
with sustainable development measures, beyond liquidity and recapitalization
steps already taken, to counter the worldwide economic meltdown.
World per capita income is expected to decline next year, export
growth and capital inflows will fall, borrowing costs for developing
countries will rise as contagion spreads from the major economies,
and the United States dollar is set to resume its decline, with
a possible hard landing in 2009, according to the UN annual economic
report, issued at the international Financing for Development review
currently under way in Doha, Qatar.
In US, The Congress is going
to come under renewed pressure to revisit its practice of granting
temporary visas to foreign workers.
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is pressing
Microsoft to give Americans priority over foreigners working in
this country with H-1Bs. Grassley wrote on Friday after Microsoft
announced its first across-the-board layoffs:
- My point is that during a layoff, companies should not be
retaining H-1B or other work visa program employees over qualified
- Our immigration policy is not intended to harm the American
- I encourage Microsoft to ensure that Americans are given
priority in job retention.
- Ballmer should supply data on what jobs will be cut, and how
many of those will be people in the U.S. under the H1-B program.
- Microsoft has a moral obligation to protect these American
workers by putting them first during these difficult economic
- Fraud and abuse is rampant in these programs, and we need
more transparency to protect the integrity of our immigration
- I supported the legislation which would strengthen educational
opportunities for US students and workers so that Americans
can compete successfully globally.
If Obama's rescue program works, within two-year, it might create
3.7 million jobs. Now we have to predict for how long the recession
will last but the $800 billion bail out package which if effectively
channeled into the system and if some strong structural and monetary
policy changes are made by the new US government under the leadership
of Barrack Obama helps to prop up demand in US economy and get the
US and world economy back on track.