Archive: September, 2009
Firings continue as more Philly-area chief financial officers expect to layoff members of their crew instead of adding new finance folks in the fourth quarter (which, can you believe it -- starts in four weeks!!??). But the real news here is that both the layoff and hiring numbers are small. It's 10 percent firing, six percent hiring. The remainder are expecting to hold onto the status quo. That's the good news from Robert Half International, a staffing firm that specializes in finance hiring and, obviously, survey taking. This Philly news is based on interviews with 200 local CFOs.
In a suffocating economy, a breather counts as good news. You can see how we stack up with the national stats by clicking here.
In honor of Labor Day, I'd like to invite you to the movies. Has anybody been following the divorce of Unite-Here? You'll love this video dual. Five years ago, the former needle workers and garment workers' union (Unite) merged with the hotel and restaurant employees' union (Here). The relationship didn't work out and now they are involved in an ugly and confusing divorce. Philadelphia has been a hot bed in the divorce because unlike Las Vegas and Atlantic City, where the former Here leadership retained control of the union, the Unite leadership in Philly took over control of the hotel and cafeteria workers' locals.
Now both sides are duking it out in Philly. You can read the story I wrote about it last month. The question is whether the Unite people (now known as Workers United) should back off from what were traditionally Here locals. Or is five years of leadership enough for Unite to retain control of these two Philly locals? Anyway, Happy Labor Day. I'm at the parade this morning, covering it for our city desk. Enjoy the movies.
This one is from the viewpoint of the Here organization in Philadelphia.
Next week, I'm going out to Pittsburgh to meet Rich Trumka, the number two guy at the AFL-CIO and a complete shoo-in to take over the nation's largest labor federation when current leader John Sweeney retires this year. So what should I ask Trumka? Trumka's a former miner and a lawyer who grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania. One of the top officials in the United Mine Workers told me that he was happy that Trumka would be leading the AFL-CIO because, as he said, Trumka has chutzpah. He used another word related to the male anatomy
I've met Trumka before and he is very personable, but I find that, at least in public, most leaders of large organizations are personable.
Please, send me your suggestions. My question is whether unions have any ability whatsoever to turn around the flood of layoffs we've seen.
Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry put out a report yesterday with a minuscule piece of good news. The unemployment rate for our larger region, encompassing Philadelphia, the surrounding Pa. counties, Camden and its nearby counties and parts of Delaware and Maryland, dropped by one percentage point to 8.5 percent in July. Nice reading, but close to meaningless.It probably reflects a diminishing labor pool as people leaving the job market in desperation. You really need to see some movement for it to matter, but any glimmer will do...
Philadelphia is hurting the most with more than one in 10 unemployed. It's now up to 10.3 percent from 7.1 percent a year ago. Lowest among the four suburban counties is Chester, with a 6.5 percent unemployment rate. The others are 7.4 percent in Bucks, 7.6 percent in Delco and 7.1 percent in Montgomery County.