Thursday, June 9, 2005
In the week ending June 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 330,000, a decrease of 21,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 351,000. The 4-week moving average was 331,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 334,500.
Read the full announcement here.
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
GM Talks With Union Likely to Heat Up (by John Porretto, ABC News)
General Motors Corp.'s negotiations with its main labor union are likely to intensify as the automaker plans to close plants and shed 25,000 U.S. jobs over the next three years.
Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner outlined plans at GM's annual shareholders meeting Tuesday to shrink its North American operations, the largest and most troubled part of its business.
The company has been hurt in recent years by lackluster sales of its highly profitable trucks and sport utility vehicles and market share loss to Asian rivals. The capacity and job cuts should generate annual savings of roughly $2.5 billion as GM eliminates one out of every six jobs in the United States.
LABOR: Health expense remains burden: No deal yet in talks with UAW (by Katie Merx, Detroit Free Press)
Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said Tuesday that months of intense discussions with the UAW have yet to yield an agreement on how to reduce the automaker's $5.6 billion in health care expenses -- costs Wagoner said threaten GM's future.
The status quo isn't acceptable, Wagoner said.
GM spent $5.2 billion on health care for its 1.1 million workers, dependents and retirees last year and expects to spend about $5.6 billion for those beneficiaries this year.
Costs of health care drag America down (by David Lazarus, San Francisco Chronicle)
General Motors' chief exec spelled out Tuesday why U.S. manufacturers are getting their economic butts kicked. And a big reason has nothing to do with the productivity of our workers or the quality of our products.
It's because our health care system is killing us.
Addressing GM shareholders, Rick Wagoner said runaway health care costs are partly to blame for the world's largest automaker cutting at least 25,000 U.S. jobs as it closes more assembly and component plants.
GM is the nation's largest private purchaser of health care. The company expects to spend $5.6 billion this year on health benefits for workers and retirees -- more than it spends on steel for its vehicles.
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today announced a grant of $1,048,300 to the Orange County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) in New York. The grantee is one of 12 winners selected from nearly 230 applicants competing for funding under the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative. A total of more than $12 million is being awarded nationwide to address opportunities to build a world-class health care and biotechnology workforce.“Health care and biotechnology are two of the fastest growing industries,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. “This $1 million grant to the Orange County WIB, like the other 11 projects funded through this competition, will help workers prepare for careers in professions that are in high demand.”