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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Report: Pfizer Cuts 2,500 Sales Jobs, Leading Black Friday Of Layoffs

Pfizer is cutting 2,500 of its 8,000 sales jobs, the drug giant said, leading a Black Friday roundup of layoffs today, as an economy in recession continues its contraction.

The Pfizer cuts come on the heels of the drugmaker's announcement earlier this week that it is letting go some 800 scientists as the company minimizes research areas such as cholesterol-fighting medications and emphasizes other areas, such as anti-pain and schizophrenia drugs.

Other job cuts elsewhere today include:

-- Houston energy titan ConocoPhillips which will cut 4 percent of its workforce of 33,600, citing rapidly dropping prices for oil and gas.

-- GE Capital, which has been hammered like other lenders in the credit crisis, began layoffs among its 75,000 employees today. GE Capital, which has tapped government funding and may need more, would not say how many people it is letting go.

-- California chipmaker AMD is laying off 1,100 workers, or 9 percent of its workforce, the company said today, its third round of layoffs this year. Even those who still have jobs take a hit: Pay cuts range from 20 percent for top brass down to 5 percent for hourly workers.

-- Indianapolis-based insurer WellPoint said today it will cut 1,500 jobs, or 3.5 percent of its staff.

This is the economy President-elect Obama inherits on Tuesday.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 16, 2009; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: GE, contraction, layoffs, recession  
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Comments

And add the 4000 from Hertz to the list.

GE's projection is 11,000

Circuit City is liquidating and that means 30,000.

All totaled, that is 53,000+ jobs in one day.

Since the loss of those jobs has a ripple effect and causes other jobs losses (even down to local florists or restaurants), use a multiplier of 2.5 - 3. Now the total is an average of 145,800+

And don't forget the cuts at Saks 5th Ave and Neiman Marcus a day or 2 ago....

Posted by: eabpmn | January 16, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

More proof, if it were needed, of the complete bankruptcy of Republican economic theories, and governance.

Posted by: hairguy01 | January 16, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

There are pretty clear benchmarks for when a recession starts and ends. Heck, there is even a formal committee that announces it. I was wondering, are there any official (or for that matter widely accepted informal) benchmarks as to when a depression has started? If there is a formal determination who is involved?

Posted by: mirebay | January 16, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

This is the economy President-elect Obama inherits on Tuesday.

And he helped cause it along with barney frank, maxine waters, and chris dodd forcing franie mae and freddie mac to take subprime mortgages. You dims can't twist this into making it the republican's fault.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | January 16, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering, are there any official (or for that matter widely accepted informal) benchmarks as to when a depression has started? If there is a formal determination who is involved?

Posted by: mirebay |
_____________

After the Great Depression, the word "recession" was applied to economic downturns. Before that ALL downturns were called 'depressions.' The new phraseology came into vogue primarily for psychological reasons. Until even jsut 10-15 years ago, there were many people who had lived through the Great Depression as young adults.

One standard to distinguish a 'recession' from a 'depression' has been proposed by a commentator which makes eminently good sense:

" When the U-6 unemployment rate rises above 12.5 in conjunction with a stock market that is down close to 50%, the CPI is negative, and nominal wages are stagnant, it's an economic depression"


(1) The U-6 unemployment rate rises above 12.5.

Check: we are there. U-3 is 7.2% but the U-6 rate (more inclusive of dicouraged workers and insufficently employed workers) is 13.5% and rising fast.

(2) Stock market that is down close to 50%

Check: It went down over 50% in October and has been stagggering up and down slightly ever since. (Graph looks REAL similar to 1929......)

(3) The CPI is negative

Check: confirmed by data today

(4) Nominal wages are stagnant

Check: been that way for several years now (BTW nominal means adjsuted for inflation)

You can also add in data on the drop in maufacturing as a factor. It went negative 2 or 3 months ago.


And no you can not directly compare either the U-3 or U-6 to the estimated unemployment rate of the 1930s. Data was not gathered nor kept the way it is now back in the 1930s. The numbers bandied about are estimates based upon reports of the number seeking relief (welfare) from state, county, city and public relief groups and work from the WPA and CCC. Further, now there are 45,000,000 retirees. In the 1930s, there was no such thing as retirement except for a handful and everyone else worked until they died or if unable to work, went to the poorhouse or were supported by their younger relatives. SOcial Security was designed to remove older workers from the labor pool. Ergo to get an apples::apples comaprison, you would have to remove a pro rata number of older workers from the 1930s estimated data.

Posted by: eabpmn | January 16, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

eabpmn thank you for taking the time to answer. Your answers are very helpful.

Other dear readers do you agree with eabpmn's suggested benchmarks for a depression? Are there other indicators you would add or take off of eabpmn's list?

Posted by: mirebay | January 17, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

And he helped cause it along with barney frank, maxine waters, and chris dodd forcing franie mae and freddie mac to take subprime mortgages. You dims can't twist this into making it the republican's fault.

Posted by: charlietuna666
_____


HUH????

Option Arms, exploding ARMs, NINJA loans were all invented by Wall St. and the private sector.

Fannie and Freddie came late to the party (2006) when they bought up such garbage and which they did because the major lenders (Countrywide et al) threatened to stop selling their good loans to F & F unelss they also took the garbage. Blame Mozilla for forcing them to buy junk - not the Congress.

Further Fannie worked jsut great for decades as a boring conservative PUBLIC agency. It was LBJ who privatized Fanny to raise money for his endless war . IT was Nixon who created the privatized Freddie,

It was WALL STREET that demanded more and more profits and more and more dividends from F & F - as always chasing the fast buck without responsibility. Since F & F had to satisfy PRIVATE investors and Wall St, they took stupid risks and joined in the debacle. The only thing that kept them from doing it sooner is that their Federal regulators had them on a short leash because of accounting irregularities. Once they satisfied their regulators, they too did what Wall St wanted.

Why is it that right-wing flakes keep repeating the same false nonsense over and over and over when anyone with an IQ above that of a rock can look at the data and read the real history? (And why do the right-wing shills that infest the WaPo boards keep using names that are as dumb as the falsehoods they spread is: CharlieTuna, Dummypants, Bubbette.......?)

Posted by: eabpmn | January 17, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

In the hope that this will help those that are down on their luck.
I've placed a listing of good paying jobs on my website.

http://www.akebulan.com/jobs.html

Always think positive.

Best of luck.

Posted by: dfreeman1 | January 22, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

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