Filed under: Layoffs

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Poll: US economy improving despite global events

Economists say the U.S. economy is gaining strength despite political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East and last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Get the full story »

American Girl cuts jobs in Wis., Calif.

American Girl is cutting staff. Eleven jobs were eliminated Tuesday in Wisconsin, 13 in Los Angeles, and more positions could end this summer, spokeswoman Julie Parks said. There were no layoffs in Chicago, the company said. Get the full story »

Illinois businesses to see tax increase in 2012

Starting next year, Illinois businesses will see a tax increase and the recently unemployed will lose a week of jobless benefits, according to a compromise bill passed earlier this month in the Illinois Legislature. Get the full story »

Wells Fargo cuts 1,900 jobs as refinancings slow

Wells Fargo & Co said on Thursday it is shedding about 1,900 jobs, or less than 1 percent of its total workforce, as mortgage refinancings slow. Get the full story »

Sears, J. C. Penney among firms cutting Ill. jobs

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. is closing a St. Charles store and laying off workers, making the retailer one of six Illinois companies planning a total of 505 job cuts in coming months. Meanwhile, J.C. Penney Co. said it will close its store at Springhill Mall in West Dundee in June, leaving 139 employees without jobs.

U.S. jobless rate falls to 8.8%, a 2-year low

An applicant at a Chicago area job fair. (Tribune)

The unemployment rate fell to a two-year low of 8.8 percent in March and companies added workers at the fastest two-month pace since before the recession began.

The Labor Department says the economy added 216,000 new jobs last month, offsetting layoffs a local governments. Factories, retailers, education, health care and an array of professional and financial services expanded payrolls. Get the full story »

Planned layoffs decline in March

Employers announced fewer planned job cuts in March, even as government sector layoffs mounted, according to a report released Wednesday. The number of jobs cut fell 18 percent to 41,528 from February’s 50,702, according to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Year over year, job cuts dropped 39 percent from 67,611 in March 2010. Get the full story »

Tellabs to lay off 60 workers

Tellabs Inc. plans to lay off 60 employees by April 1 as part of a broader restructuring aimed at refocusing the Naperville-based company on data-based telecommunications equipment. Get the full story »

More states looking to cut jobless benefits

A growing number of states are looking to cut back on jobless benefits to minimize the increase in unemployment taxes businesses pay. State officials are concerned that these tax hikes could deter companies from hiring.

Some states, such as Florida and Arkansas, are debating reducing the number of weeks that the jobless can collect state unemployment. Others, including Indiana, want to limit the number of people eligible for benefits. Get the full story »

Unemployment rises in nearly all metro areas

Unemployment rose in nearly all of the 372 largest U.S. cities in January compared to the previous month, mostly because of seasonal changes such as the layoff of temporary retail employees hired for the holidays.

In the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, the unemployment rate of 9.7 percent in January represented a 0.8 percentage point increase from the month before. Unemployment was down 2.2 percentage points from a year ago. Get the full story »

Goldman cuts 5% of trading desk

Goldman Sachs Group laid off 5 percent of its trading desk staff on Tuesday as part of its annual review process, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Get the full story »

More job cuts in Sun-Times newsroom

The Chicago Sun Times building at 350 N.Orleans Street. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune)

A day after the death of Sun-Times Media Chairman James Tyree, who led the effort to save the local media company from liquidation 17 months ago, the company’s  flagship Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday laid off several newsroom employees.

“That was something that had been planned for a while. It certainly had nothing to do with yesterday’s news,” said Jeremy Halbreich, Sun-Times Media’s chief executive .

Sources said they believed the reduction affected four staff members, but Halbreich did not confirm an exact figure. The cuts, he said, were part of an ongoing effort to centralize certain operations among the company’s many area publications.

First-time jobless claims fall

Job seekers in Anaheim, Calif., in June 2010. (Roben Beck/AFP/Getty Images)

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, a sign that the job market continues to slowly improve. There were 385,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended March 12, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was down 16,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 401,000. Get the full story »

Chicago trails just Sun Belt in lost building jobs

The Chicago area followed close behind battered Sun Belt metro areas in numbers of lost construction jobs in the downturn, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville region lost 33 percent of its construction jobs, or 52,100 positions, between January of 2007 and this January, the sixth-greatest loss among metro areas, according to the group’s analysis of government data. Get the full story »

AOL to shed 900 jobs, beef up content

AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong said Thursday that the company is cutting 200 jobs in the U.S. and 700 in India after its $315 million purchase of the Huffington Post.

Armstrong, speaking at the Bloomberg Media Summit in New York City, lamented the cuts but said AOL is “much more healthy” than it was a few years ago. Get the full story »