Third Quarter 2014 Hirings, Firings, Layoffs, Resignations By The Numbers

One of the top news stories of the early third quarter is that one of the fad food trends cupcakes is looking close to dead with the collapse of Crumbs Bake Shop.  One of the more noticable trends is that of supposed technology companies cutting thousands of jobs this year.  Remember all the ones that your political representatives wanted to create in your region? Yea those companies just axed 48,000 jobs:

The good news is that the GDP is grew at an estimated 4%  in the second quarter which is much better than anyone had expected.


Volkswagen- Is going to build a new production plant in Tennessee and create 2,000 jobs along the way.


Crumbs Bake Shop – All locations of the publicly traded company are closed.  It had a peak of 200 full time employees and 650 part time employees.

 Amgen – the biotech company is closing 2 plants and will cut nearly 15% of its workforce which works out to about 2,900 jobs.

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Second Quarter 2014 Hirings, Firings, Layoffs, Resignations By The Numbers

2014 is off to a start with consolidations, plant closures, and layoffs.  2014 beings the year business as usual adding many new workers to Career Purgatory. Read about the First Quarter of 2014 here.

2013 Recap of First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter, and Fourth Quarter reports.

For 2012 coverage check out First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter and Fourth Quarter reports.

For 2011 coverage check out our First, Second, Third and Fourth Quarter reports.


Toyota Motor Company – The Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor is being expanded as part of the automakers reorganization.  The center should see another 250 employees in Michigan.

Meijer – The Michigan based grocery store is going to start building a second store located in the City of Detroit.  A sign that the city has life after all. Starting May 15 construction will commence on the project.

Notable Second Quarter 2014 Layoffs

Coldwater Creek – A fashion retailer focused on women announced it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and close 12 stores in Michigan, and all stores nationally.

Al Jazeera America – The company that recently formed from its purchase of Al Gore’s TV network has announced that it is laying off workers.

Amcor Rigid Plastics – Letting 40 employees go in North Carolina operations.

United Airlines – Informed 430 employees of impending layoffs at the Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland Ohio.

Caterpillar Inc - cutting 60 workers in Milwaukee Wisconsin.

Family Dollar – The discount retailer announced store closings and will also cut 135 jobs at Matthews headquarters.

Wayne Farms LLC – The company is cuttings the deboning lines at its Dothan facility, resulting in 560 layoffs.

Boeing – The aerospace company known for its Seattle Washington operations is moving 1,000 jobs to California.  Technically all employees in WA affected are to be laid off.  Some may be able to move to California.

Oshkosh – The company states that as a result of reduced defense spending it is reducing its workforce. Workers affected 760.

The Star-Ledger – New Jersey’s largest media property has over 300 layoffs.  The company runts Star-Ledger,, other Advance newspapers.  167 staffers or one third of the newspaper’s non-unionized employees  will lose their jobs.

A newsroom with positions including reporters, editors, photographers, videographers and support staff 40 positions will be cut one of these through attrition.

VH1 – let 13 employees go in New York.

ConAgra – The companies Batesville Arkansas plant is laying off 250 workers. Is laying off 130 workers at its St. Louis plant.


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Trends in Employment: No Full Time Employment

One of the biggest trends in employment right now is happening with how workers are classified.  It used to be easy to get a full time job just about anywhere even retail positions like Home Depot, Sears, Kmart, Walmart etc.

The old school of thought was you had your full time employees then part time employment was there mostly to make up for the gaps in scheduling or during the extra busy part of the day, event or time of the year. This changed with two large contributing factors:

1) The economic recession that the United States has been going through since 2007.

2) The Affordable Care Act.

Most businesses were trying to stay afloat by staying competitive. The budget had to be stretched just like our wages for the cost of basic goods and services. The growing trend is that the budget can be reduced on labor by not really having Full Time employees. Full Time employees are expected to have benefit packages that include health insurance, retirement contributions, etc.  In the beginning of the recession full time was anything over 36 hours so it wasn’t terribly uncommon to have employees up to 34-35 hours a week. Many employers started creating firm punishable weekly caps on hours worked. Generally these caps were at 30 hours or some number that is well under the generally accepted 40 hours per work week to be full time.

The Affordable Health Care act helped set the precedent of what is considered to be full time for health benefits at 30 hours a week. This has created the line to be drawn in the sand where employers are now setting the caps at 29 hours a week. Hopefully this trend will start to turn around soon now that the H.R.2575 – Save American Workers Act of 2014 has finally passed Congress. This if eventually passed through the Senate and finally approved by the President would eliminate the verbiage that says 30 hours is full time.

I wouldn’t hold my breath while working my part time job as it took about a year for this to finally make its way through congress.

Happy Second Job Hunting!

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Save Money At College

In the Great Recession the go to answer for landing a job for the first time or embarking on a new career has been education. Getting a bachelors or masters degree is supposed to be the cure for the unemployment hangover the general public is suffering from. Basically as it is represented:

College Degree = Career

The problem is that this equation is incorrect as it is often touted. The Equation is:

College Degree + Money = More Career Opportunities

As is clear (link to data of unemployment correlation with degrees) having a college degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will have a career. Having a degree means that you have the ability to apply for more positions than you were able to apply for without a college degree.

The most important part of the equation is money. If college was free I think more people would have degrees. College is expensive and is considered an investment into ones own future. With the ever rising cost of college its time to shop around. If college is looked at as merely an investment then you want to ensure that you get the best Return On Investment (ROI).

College often glamorized in television and movies is about getting an education and less about the atmosphere. People typically base their perception of the school on non-curricular stuff like football. The bigger the school, the “cooler” the school is has little effect on your ROI. Public universities are seemingly always facing budget cuts, as the government tries to tighten its belt, due to dwindling funds. Facing a 15-30% yearly budget cut it is fair to assume that colleges will make up the difference through increased tuition, fees, and housing.

Not only is a university expensive but their is little evidence to support the greatest ROI will come from a degree earned completely at a four year university. Baring this in mind to achieve the greatest ROI you should explore other options than a straight four year degree.

Example Average Credit Hour Costs (2010)

University of Michigan

Cost per credit hour (in-state): $456

Cost per credit hour (out of state): $1453

Michigan State University

Cost per credit hour (in-state): $372

Cost per credit hour (out of state): $970

Wayne State University

Cost per credit hour (in-state): $286

Cost per credit hour (out of state): $672

As you can see above if you look around major universities are not all created equal as far as costs are concerned. Another excellent choice to maximize your ROI is to consider going to a community college for your first two years. If you attend a community college then transfer to a university you are paying signigicantly less for half of your degree. You can at that point transfer and graduate from whichever college you feel warrents the cost to have its name grace your degree.

Schoolcraft Community College

Cost per credit hour (in-state): $80

Cost per credit hour (out of state): $118

Henry Ford Community College

Cost per credit hour (in-state): $70

Cost per credit hour (out of state): $135

In the above examples even community colleges can be shopped for the greatest ROI. A $10 difference may not seem like much but at a per credit cost and the average four year degree consisting of 130 credit hours. Your first two years are 65 credits x $10 = $650.

Students in Michigan can go to two year community colleges if they are still unsure of their education. The State of Michigan has setup the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers website. 

One of the best kept secrets of the community college world is that the majority of these teachers are adjunct professors.  If you look into the teacher at the time of signing up for you classes or ask around campus you will find that many of the adjunct professors actually teach at big state run universities.

Many of these professors give their university email addresses on their syllabus.  In some cases the professors had made a living as whatever they were teaching about such as an accountant. In contrast many professors at major universities have only been able to put their knowledge and talents towards academia, which typically is not as helpful as real world experience.

The bottom line is your college degree doesn’t guarantee anything besides greater marketability. The ability to apply for more positions, hopefully in something that you studied, and land a career. Your ROI is greatly impacted by the up front costs of going to college really no matter what kind of career you get upon graduation.

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Where are the workers?

It’s not been a completely hidden effect of the Great Recession that the workforce has not recovered a healthy amount of jobs. 

Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at the figures.

Bloomberg Businessweek: The Great Shrinking Workforce.
View Full Story

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Reid Hoffman’s take on Hiring

One of the founders of Linkedin Reid Hoffman has a new book that is now out about how employers and employees should look at their relationship.  He’s suggesting a pretty radical change to the status quo.

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