Awaiting Trump’s coal comeback, miners reject retraining

When Mike Sylvester entered a career training center earlier this year in southwestern Pennsylvania, he found more than one hundred federally funded courses covering everything from computer programming to nursing.

What many experts call false hopes for a coal resurgence have mired economic development efforts here in a catch-22: Coal miners are resisting retraining without ready jobs from new industries, but new companies are unlikely to move here without a trained workforce. The stalled diversification push leaves some of the nation’s poorest areas with no clear path to prosperity.

Source: Awaiting Trump’s coal comeback, miners reject retraining

Teamsters pension plan warns thousands of beneficiaries that the checks may get smaller | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With only 48 cents to cover every $1 in benefits its owes, the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters fund is trying to find a way to stay afloat.

The plan is expected to pay out nearly $129 million in benefits this year but will collect only about $54 million in contributions.

If the current level of benefits is maintained, the fund is projected to run out of money in 2028.

Source: Teamsters pension plan warns thousands of beneficiaries that the checks may get smaller | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

No holiday hiring for Walmart, just more hours for its workers – Sep. 20, 2017

The holidays are right around the corner, but Walmart won’t be hiring for help.

The retailer plans to meet its need for extra work during the holiday shopping season by giving existing employees more hours, according to a release from the company.

Hiring seasonal holiday help is a tradition in retail. Walmart (WMT) rival Target (TGT) has already announced plans to bring on 100,000 temporary holiday workers.

Walmart giving more holiday hours to employees, rather than hiring additional help.

Source: No holiday hiring for Walmart, just more hours for its workers – Sep. 20, 2017

A Pizza Hut told Irma-fleeing employees they could be punished for skipping shifts

A memo at one store told employees that they could not flee the hurricane more than 24 hours before it hit, or they could be disciplined at work.

A manager of one Pizza Hut in the path of Hurricane Irma threatened to discipline workers who evacuated for the storm outside of a designated time frame — and the brand has come under fire on social media for the “shameful” policy.

A photo began circulating on Twitter of a memo posted for employees in one Jacksonville Pizza Hut location, with an explicit list of instructions for employees.

Source: A Pizza Hut told Irma-fleeing employees they could be punished for skipping shifts

Pizza Hut wants its minimum wage employees to risk their lives for corporate profits. (@KatiSipp)

How West Virginia got to 3 percent GDP growth | TheHill

WV Governor switches to Republican Party

Three factors are working in West Virginia’s favor right now: a global infrastructure boom, the rising price of natural gas, and the legacy of a recession that hit the Mountaineer State harder than most.

While most industries struggled during the recession, the energy sector actually performed relatively well. States like West Virginia, Texas, North Dakota and Oklahoma experienced revenue booms as hydraulic fracturing boosted the supply of oil and natural gas.

And while other industries bled jobs at a furious pace, West Virginia actually added mining jobs through even the depths of the recession: 35,300 West Virginians were employed in the mining and logging industry — the broad sector measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics — at its recent peak, in December 2011

Source: How West Virginia got to 3 percent GDP growth | TheHill

Thousands show up for jobs at Amazon warehouses in US cities

Thousands of people showed up Wednesday for a chance to pack and ship products to Amazon customers, as the e-commerce company held a giant job fair at nearly a dozen U.S. warehouses.

  • Many of the candidates were excited by the prospect of health insurance and other benefits, as well as advancement opportunities.
  • It’s common for Amazon to ramp up its shipping center staff in August to prepare for holiday shopping.
  • Most of the jobs are full-time positions in packing, sorting and shipping.

Source: Thousands show up for jobs at Amazon warehouses in US cities

NASA Is Hiring a New Planetary Protection Officer | Fortune.com

The role involves ensuring space missions don’t end up polluting pristine planetAccording to a job description posted on USA jobs, the new hire will focus on the “avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.” In other words: ensuring space missions don’t end up polluting pristine planets and that extraterrestrial matter does not contaminate Earth.

Source: NASA Is Hiring a New Planetary Protection Officer | Fortune.com

McDonald’s worker posts photos of moldy ice cream machine – Business Insider

The photos show a moldy-looking substance caked onto a stainless steel tray.

A teenage McDonald’s worker says he was fired after posting photos of “disgusting” conditions at the restaurant where he works.

The worker, named Nick, shared photos on Twitter of a tray from the LaPlace, Louisiana store’s ice cream machine that was caked in a moldy-looking substance, and the photos went viral with more than 30,000 retweets and “likes.”

“I shared it because I wanted to let people know what they’re consuming, and how disgusting the conditions are,” Nick, who asked that his last name remain private, told BuzzFeed News.

Source: McDonald’s worker posts photos of moldy ice cream machine – Business Insider

Trump announces ban on transgender people in U.S. military – The Washington Post

Source: Trump announces ban on transgender people in U.S. military – The Washington Post

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow……

….Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming…..

….victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you

Longtime Kermit the Frog Voice Actor Replaced After 27 Years | Hollywood Reporter

After 27 years, Steve Whitmire will no longer be the voice of Kermit the Frog, a Muppets Studio spokeswoman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

Whitmire took over the role of the beloved Muppet frog after character creator Jim Henson died in 1990. Whitmire was personally picked by Henson’s family to take over as Kermit.

Performer Matt Vogel will assume the mantle.

Source: Longtime Kermit the Frog Voice Actor Replaced After 27 Years | Hollywood Reporter

Greta Van Susteren’s MSNBC Show Canceled: Staff Face Unclear Future | Hollywood Reporter

The anchor, hired in January, was surprised by the network’s decision to pull the plug so soon.

On Twitter Thursday and Friday, Van Susteren expressed concern for her staff, which includes a few employees that she brought over from her somewhat similar Fox News program.

“I am concerned about my staff,” she wrote Friday morning. “I hope MSNBC does right by them. They deserve it. OK to fire me, but not them.” She said she hopes “the network keeps them as it should.”

Source: Greta Van Susteren’s MSNBC Show Canceled: Staff Face Unclear Future | Hollywood Reporter

Source: https://twitter.com/greta

More Than 400 Staffers Participated in The New York Times’ Newsroom Walkout – Adweek

More than 400 New York Times staffers kept their word and participated in a walkout to show solidarity with colleagues from the newspaper’s copy desk, which is facing cuts.

Slogans including “They say cutbacks, we say fight back,” and “no editors, no peace” were chanted off-and-on for roughly 15 minutes.

Source: More Than 400 Staffers Participated in The New York Times’ Newsroom Walkout – Adweek

Heyl: Century III Mall In Its Apparent Death Throes

A recent report from Credit Suisse, a Wall Street financial services firm, predicted that up to 25 percent of America’s malls will close in the next five years. The evidence appears to be insurmountable that Century III will be one of them.

The signs are everywhere. The massive 1.2 million square-foot building is eerily quiet and has dozens of empty storefronts. Many of the escalators have been turned off. The water in the fountain has been drained, although signs still caution against playing in it. Trash receptacles are strategically placed to catch water leaking from the ceiling.

Source: Heyl: Century III Mall In Its Apparent Death Throes

Coaches fired after taking school bus on a ‘beer run’ | WPXI

TISHOMINGO, Okla. – Two high school basketball coaches in Oklahoma have been fired for using a school bus to make a beer run.
Tishomingo High School basketball players were attending camp at Connors State College.  Kyle Miller is one of the players and said, “It sort of just disappointed us all.”
A school board member confirms the boys’ basketball coaches were fired for using a school bus drive to a local convenience store to purchase alcohol.
“We noticed that the school bus was gone but he had told us to stay in our dorms and so we proceeded to do that and we just didn’t find anything out until the next day,” said Miller.

Source: Coaches fired after taking school bus on a ‘beer run’ | WPXI

Rent Is Affordable to Low-Wage Workers in Exactly 12 U.S. Counties

America’s mismatch between wages and rental prices is more perverse than ever.

These stark numbers come from the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s latest Out of Reach report, which maps the minimum hourly wage required to afford a modest rental based on federal Fair Market Rent (FMR) estimates. The report defines “affordable” as housing and utilities that cost no more than 30 percent of a person’s annual income—also the basic standard used by the feds. NLIHC has run these reports since 2005, and this minimum “housing wage” is rising year over year.

Source: Rent Is Affordable to Low-Wage Workers in Exactly 12 U.S. Counties

U.S. April job gains rebound, unemployment drops to 4.4 percent | Reuters

* Total payrolls up 211,000 vs 185,000 estimate & downwardly revised 79,000 prior (original 98,000)* Private payrolls up 194,000 vs 185,000 estimate & downwardly revised 77,000 prior (original 89,000)

* Unemployment rate down to 4.4 pct vs 4.6 pct estimate & 4.5 pct prior

* Average hourly earnings growth 0.3 pct vs 0.3 pct estimate & downwardly revised 0.1 pct prior (original 0.2 pct)

* U-6 rate pct 8.6 pct vs 8.9 pct prior* Labor force participation 62.9 pct vs 63.0 pct prior

* Household survey: Workforce grew by 12,000, employed rose by 156,000, unemployed fell by 146,000

Source: U.S. April job gains rebound, unemployment drops to 4.4 percent | Reuters

Interns at these 25 companies make more than the median U.S. worker

Facebook, Microsoft and ExxonMobil all pay their interns more than $6,500 a month, according to a new report

According to a new report by the jobs site Glassdoor, the 25 best-paying companies for internships each pay their median summer worker more than $4,500 a month. That amount, if it was paid over the course of a full year, would be north of $54,000, exceeding the median annual pay for a U.S. worker, according to Glassdoor’s own local pay reports ($51,350), and the annual figure calculated from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest weekly earnings data for full-time wage and salary workers ($44,460).

Source: Interns at these 25 companies make more than the median U.S. worker

Panera to add 10,000 jobs by the end of 2017 as it expands delivery

Panera Bread is working to expand delivery services to more of its cafes, adding 10,000 more jobs by the end of 2017.

  • Panera to hire 10,000 employees as it expands its delivery service
  • The company hopes to expand delivery to 35 percent to 40 percent of its locations
  • Panera forecasts that delivery will add $250,000 per year to each store’s annual revenue

Source: Panera to add 10,000 jobs by the end of 2017 as it expands delivery

Trump’s First 100 Days: Trump to sign ‘Hire American,’ ‘Buy American’ order

Trump will sign an executive order directing the government to review guest-worker programs and federal procurement policy.

On Tuesday, he will sign an executive order in pursuit of that goal — although it’s unclear how much the administration can actually do without Congress’s approval.

Source: Trump’s First 100 Days: Trump to sign ‘Hire American,’ ‘Buy American’ order

Wal-Mart is cutting hundreds of jobs to slash costs

The layoffs span Wal-Mart’s international, technology and Sam’s Club businesses.

The layoffs span the company’s international, technology and Sam’s Club divisions. They follow Wal-Mart’s decision to eliminate some 1,000 corporate positions earlier this year, including 200 in its e-commerce division.

A spokesman for the retailer confirmed the job cuts to CNBC, which had originally been reported by Dow Jones.

Source: Wal-Mart is cutting hundreds of jobs to slash costs

Amazon to hire 5,000 at-home workers in massive hiring binge | KREM.com

Amazon announced Thursday it plans to add 30,000 part-time positions in the U.S. over the next year, part of a massive hiring binge by the online retailing giant.

Concerns have also been raised about the quality of job prospective employees will earn when hired by Amazon. The company has faced complaints and lawsuits tied to working conditions and low wages. In a statement to USA TODAY in January, Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman defended Amazon’s culture, saying they are “proud of the work environment and the culture we have.”

© 2017 KING-TV

Source: Amazon to hire 5,000 at-home workers in massive hiring binge | KREM.com

Panera Bread’s potential suitors

This post is part of the On the Margin blog.

On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Panera Bread Co. might put itself up for sale after receiving interest from a potential buyer. The news sent the company’s stock price skyrocketing.

As I wrote about several weeks ago now, 2017 is going to be a huge year for mergers and acquisitions

Jonathan Maze, Nation’s Restaurant News senior financial editor, does not directly own stock or interest in a restaurant company.

Contact Jonathan Maze at jonathan.maze@penton.com

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

Read Source: Ranking Panera Bread’s potential suitors

Target Is Simplifying Its Supply Chain To Solve Out-of-Stock Issues – Fortune

Photograph by David Ryder — Getty Images

The retailer is looking to simplify its supply chain

Out-of-stocks have long been a bête noire for major retailers.

They disappoint customers and deprive stores of sales.

But Target TGT 0.17% thinks it has found the solution: shrinking the variety of sizes, flavors and even brands on store shelves to reduce the complexity of its operations.

For Target Chief Executive Brian Cornell, it’s a matter of being more efficient in what are staples for the retailer so it can focus more on categories it has made a priority, like wellness, stylish home goods, apparel, and baby products.

But Target TGT 0.17% thinks it has found the solution: shrinking the variety of sizes, flavors and even brands on store shelves to reduce the complexity of its operations.

Source: Target Is Simplifying Its Supply Chain To Solve Out-of-Stock Issues – Fortune

(fox news) – Whataburger fires employee for refusing to serve police officers

A Texas Whataburger employee was fired Wednesday for refusing to serve two police officers in what the company is describing as an appalling incident.

Officers Michael Magovern and Cameron Beckham were working off-duty security at a construction site on I-35 early Wednesday morning when they decided to stop at the restaurant in Lewisville, FOX 26 reports.

Magovern said before he could even place his order, the man behind the counter told him “We don’t serve police officers.”

The two officers decided to leave and went and got food at Dairy Queen instead.

“We were appalled to hear of an employee refusing service to two officers, as we have proudly served first responders across our system for decades,” Whataburger said in a statement Wednesday. “As soon as we heard of this isolated incident, we began our own internal investigation overnight. The employee that refused service is no longer employed with Whataburger. We’ve also invited the officers back today so we can apologize in person and make this right.”

Magovern told Fox 26 that in “17 years as a firefighter and now 13 years as a police officer this is the first time this has ever happened to me.”

Click for more from Fox 26.

Source: Whataburger fires employee for refusing to serve police officers | Fox News

(USA Today) – Job openings hit record high in July

Employers advertised 5.8 million jobs, up from 5.3 million in June and the highest on records dating to 2000, the Labor Department said Wednesday. The previous high was 5.4 million in May. Professional and business services added 122,000 openings; trade, transportation and utilities, 73,000; and leisure and hospitality, 69,000.

The number of hires slipped to 5 million from 5.2 million, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. As the unemployment rate falls to near-normal levels, many employers are struggling to find workers —  a dilemma some economists attribute to  mismatches  between the skills of unemployed workers and employers’ needs.The jobless rate was 5.3% in July and dropped to 5.1% last month.

The number of people quitting jobs declined by 43,000 but remained at a solid 2.7 million. Quits typically indicate a healthy labor market in which workers feel confident enough to leave one job for another.

And in a sign that leverage is shifting to employees, there were just 1.4 unemployed workers for each job opening in July, down from 6.7 workers per opening in 2009.

Despite the tightening market, growth in average hourly earnings has remained modest, though it ticked up to 2.2% annually in August from 2% in June, perhaps signaling a coming acceleration. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, expects annual wage growth to increase to about 2.5% by the end of the year.

The Federal Reserve is seeking signs of faster wage growth as it considers raising its benchmark interest rate for the first time  in nearly a decade at its policy meeting next week.

Wednesday’s report “might just take the (Fed) one step closer to raising rates at next week’s policy meeting,” RDQ Economics wrote in a note to clients.

Labor reported Friday that employers added a solid 245,000 jobs in July, revising up its previous estimate by 30,000.

Source: Job openings hit record high in July

(TribLIVE) – Macy’s to close 35 to 40 stores 

 

NEW YORK — Macy’s says it will close 35 to 40 stores in early 2016, or as much as 5 percent of its namesake department stores.

Macy’s said Tuesday it hasn’t selected all of the stores that will close. It expects the locations will have about $300 million in combined revenue. The company says employees who work at the closing stores may be offered positions at nearby locations, and workers who are laid off will be offered severance benefits.

Employees of Pittsburgh area stores said Tuesday they had no knowledge of the closings or declined to comment, referring questions to the company’s corporate offices in Cincinnati. Macy’s began liquidating its Downtown store in July and plans to close it this month.

The Cincinnati-based company says it closes a few underperforming stores every year. The company runs 770 Macy’s stores and has closed 52 locations during the past five years while opening 12.

Macy’s and other retailers are looking for new ways to boost their sales as middle-class customers try to keep their spending down, looking for deals and doing more of their shopping online. The company is preparing to open six lower-priced Macy’s Backstage stores later this year and intends to open more of them in 2016.

Over the last few quarters Macy’s has been hurt by the strong U.S. dollar, which has cut into spending by tourists, as well as a labor dispute that slowed down ports on the West Coast. The company reported $28.11 billion in revenue in 2014, up less than 1 percent from the year before.

Macy’s is getting ready to test selling goods online in China through a joint venture with a retailer based in Hong Kong.

Macy’s Inc. runs the Bloomingdale’s chain, and earlier this year it bought upscale beauty retailer Bluemercury. It has a total of 885 locations.

The company plans to experiment in consumer electronics and open Best Buy shops inside 10 of its stores in November.

Read more:
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

 

(CNBC) – Here’s how China slowdown will hit your state’s economy

 

Workers stack sockeye salmon fillets after being vacuum packed to be frozen at the Alitak Cannery on Kodiak Island, Alaska. (File photo).

Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Workers stack sockeye salmon fillets after being vacuum packed to be frozen at the Alitak Cannery on Kodiak Island, Alaska. (File photo).

If you export to China, the latest headlines are not good news.

After a decade of rapid growth, China’s appetite for goods and raw materials from the rest of the world appears to be slowing. And that’s left companies and countries that sell to China wondering just how badly their orders may shrink.

On Tuesday, Beijing reported that China’s giant manufacturing sector contracted at the fastest pace in three years. A separate private survey of smaller firms showed the factories slowing to the weakest pace in more than six years.

The slowdown is hitting China’s biggest suppliers and major trade partners hardest. In August, exports from South Korea tumbled by nearly 15 percent—the most in six years.

For U.S. exporters, China represents the third-largest market—behind Canada and Mexico—accounting for $120 billion worth of goods last year. But that trade represents only 7 percent of U.S. exports—or less than 1 percent of total gross domestic product, according to economists at Wells Fargo Securities.

Read MoreChina’s a short-term mess but a long-term buy

“Even when indirect effects are considered, the United States simply does not seem to have significant economic and financial exposure to China,” they wrote in a recent note to clients.

But that impact varies widely from one U.S. state to another, with West Coast states more heavily reliant on Chinese markets.

Among the most dependent states: Washington, which sold roughly 20 percent of its exports to China last year, or nearly $10 billion worth of goods. Airplanes, the state’s largest export by far, made up the bulk of the state’s sales to China.

California exported some $16 billion to mainland China last year, with computers and electronics accounting for nearly 28 percent of the total. Texas was the third-largest exporter to China, with nearly $11 billion worth of products that included chemicals, computers and machinery.

Alaska, which exports a smaller volume of goods, last year sent a bigger share—some 28 percent—to China. Roughly half of Alaska’s $1.5 billion in exports to China last year consisted of seafood.

U.S. farm states are also big exporters to China, which is the biggest for American agricultural products. Some 20 percent of all U.S. farm exports are sold to China, which bought $30 billion worth of foods products in fiscal year 2014, including soybeans, distillers’ grains, hides and skins, tree nuts, coarse grains, cotton and beef, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

While the total impact of Chinese exports is a relatively small share of U.S. GDP, sales have grown faster than any other trading partner on the last decade—nearly tripling between 2005 and 2014. U.S. exports Canada rose 47 percent growth and exports to Mexico roughly doubled.

Source: Here’s how China slowdown will hit your state’s economy