Corra Daily Planet » 2009 » January

Jobs Layoffs, Slaughter on Main Street

Fri, January 30th, 2009 - 5:12 am - By Gordon Basichis

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After trying to nip and tuck and otherwise work to cut costs, Employers around the world resorted to massive layorss.  According to an article in the New York Times, more than 62,000 employees worldwide found themselves out of a job on Monday.   More than 50,0oo employees were laid off the in the United States, alone.  In one day.

This isn’t just a few layoffs.  This is a slaughter of the labor force.   If anyone had any doubts about the difficulties major employers are encountering, this should certainly put them aside.   Even companies, like Caterpillar, that were touted as being posed for a comeback with the Federal cash infusions and the rebuilding of the infrastructure reduced its workforce by 20, o00 employees.

“This steepens the whole downturn,” said labor economist Harry Holzer, of Georgetown University.  I’ll say.   I thought we were in big trouble when on a recent Sunday the supposed experts couldn’t answer the more fundamental questions about economic rebound, the advantages of cash infusions and all the other stuff we want to know.  Watching them hem and haw, fudging their answers, I thought, “It’s really the case of nobody knowing nothing.”

So maybe there should be a general pool where you put up your money and predict when the economy will finally hit bottom.   You pick a date when the economy will flatten out, and perhaps another date when we can foresee an ecoonomic rebound.   The winner will e awarded with a job.

Check them out before you hire.  When you hire.

California Jobless Rate Up Over Nine Percent

Thu, January 29th, 2009 - 5:09 am - By Gordon Basichis

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The California jobless rate has reac hed alarming proportions at 9.3% unemployed.   The Los Angeles County unemployment rate, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, is 9.9%.  Of coursse anyone knows that these number are merely approximations as it doesn’t reflect those who are either chronically unemployed or have seen their unemployment benefits run out.   Rule of thumb is to add a couple, few percentage points to these numbers.   At least.

These numbers are base don December statistics.    Figure the temporary Holiday help that is probably back on the streets, among other concerns, and the number is liable to be even higher for January.   Whoa, boy.   None of this is good.  People are getting laid off right and left, and some of the people looking for jobs are getting desperate.  You can’t blame them.  In one case I know, layoffs were announced Tuesday and Friday was their last day.   Not a lot of notice there.

Close to 80,000 jobs have been lost in California  as a result of the recession.   As a company that conducts background checks we realize employment concerns in other parts of the country are pretty severe, they are not as dire as  California.   Part of it is the housing and construction market, which enjoyed a meteoric rise.   Now with the economic downturn, the decline is even more dramatic.

Even the healthcare industry in Southern California is getting hard hit.  Healthcare workers are being laid off.   Hospital revenue is flat, and people are putting off elective surgery.   In Southern California not have elective or cosmetic surgery is really an issue to take note of.   We are talking a belt tightening operation, for sure, in the land of self-absorption.    No liposuction, no nose jobs, breast augmentations.   It has to be tough out there.

Not to make fun of conditions.   There are many people out there who are just trying to make do, and their least concerns is elective anything.  Eating, which is not an elective, and paying the mortgage is their major concerns.  The kids, gas in the car, the usual stuff.   What money people have is being spent on the necessities.

This too shall pass.  When?  It’s hard to say.   The supposed experts know about as much as you do.   It is all new territory.   And like it or not, we are without a guide.

Corporate Bankruptcy Ain’t What It Used to Be

Wed, January 28th, 2009 - 4:59 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Corporate Bankruptcy just isn’t what it used to be.   Until fairly recently companies would file for bankruptcy as protection while restructuring.   That isn’t the case anymore.  According to a recent article in the New York Times, corporations file for bankruptcy and then move on to liquidation.

There are many reasons for this change in the dynamic.   The main reason lies in the fact that most companies are so deeply in debt they can not secure additional funding for restructuring in this period of the credit crunch.  Potential lenders fear that offering funding would be to no avail.   The money would only go to creditors and would do little sto save the business itself. If you can’t get credit and can’t obtain funding, then there is really no point in trying to restructure.   The prevailing wisdom is to stay afloat as long as possible, liquidating inventory and hoping in some cases for a government bailout.

It is no secret that many businesses are struggling.   It is a matter of just getting by until the economy turns around.   This is a terrible economy, as we all know.   The only differing perspectives on whether the economy will sink even lower or if it will turn around.  And when?   Many have an opinion, but no one knows for sure.   Forget “for sure.”  It is doubtful if anyone really has a clue.

So with companies going out of business, they could be liquidating while owing you money.  Old account are unavoidable.   But be wary of new accounts.   We have had people come to Corra Group, asking that we conduct corporate research and business credit reports to examine why they are so fortunate to have prospective clients approach them.   In some cases the new, prospective clients can’t get goods and services elsewhere and turn to our clients in desperation.

Everybody is hoping to do new business, but taking on such clients may lead to disaster.  It is a pity to deliver to them goods and services and have the clients beat you for the tab.   They go out of business and there you are, holding the bag.   So check them out.   There are a number of background checks that are available, including International Business Credit Reports.

Check them out before you take them on.

Hollywood Faces Employment and Salary Cutbacks

Tue, January 27th, 2009 - 5:21 am - By Gordon Basichis

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The entertainment industry was once thought to be recession proof.  No longer.  In fact, show business is experiencing extensive employment layoffs and salary cutbacks, much like every other industry.   Because of the economic downturn, even movie stars are being forced to take less money for their film and television productions.   There is a large push, overall, to reduce budget costs.    There is a no order of financial scrutiny, and everyone must toe the line.

Mind you, this is not the world’s most draconian cost cutting situation.  Belt tightening is relative, and when a movie star like Harrison ford is paid $8 Million for his latest movie instead of $16 Million or so, one doesn’t shed many tears.  Same for his young co-star who will manage to get by on a mere $2 Million instead of the $4 Million she received for her previous outing.  As the recent article in the Los Angeles Times relates there are additional trims to gross profit participation and, dare we think it, the perks.

The fact is the younger audience seems to be shying away from the big budget movies.   Movie Stars who could once guarantee a heavy boxoffice revenue no longer have the drawing power.    Smaller films are in to a certain extent.   Films where you don’t have to blow up a whole lot of stuff. The recent Sundance Festival is an indicator of the times we live in when flavor of the festival films are bought for  a couple million bucks.   Cheap by movie standards.   Marketing costs may still be high, but now that everyone is discussing alternate delivery systems, marketing may yet be streamlined as well.

Studio and network staffs are also being trimmed.   The layoff slaughter is particularly profound in the media industry and show business is realizing its market share of pink slips.   the economy is a kilelr, and in few places is it worse than in California.   So with the layoffs and with younger people reassessing their career choices, some are considering a move out of tinsel Town to other parts of the country, if not the world.

One thing about Hollywood people, they surely know how to put on a show.  For marketing and promotion, often they will add that little bit of edge to an event or campaign.   You may give some thought to recruiting the recently unemployed Hollywood executives.   There are good deal makers and some candidates who know how to pump up a product.   Sure, some of their skill sets are not particularly transferable to conventional industries.   but a great many are.   Of course, be sure to run background checks and professional reference checks to ascertain whether they are a right fit for your company.

If nothing else, they may add a little pizzazz to your company.  If they don’t ask you for their personal chef and an onsite trailer.

Check them out before you hire.

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