Tuesday, November 02, 2004

With heating oil stocks vanishing before our eyes . . .



retail heating oil prices 50% higher than this time last year (and well over $2/gal.) . . .



and now this news, it could be a cold, cold Christmas.
Employers announced plans to cut more than 100,000 jobs again in October, capping the worst two months for layoffs since early 2003, an executive search and job placement firm said Tuesday.

October job cut plans actually slipped a bit to 101,840 jobs from 107,863 in September, according to a survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The last time announced job cuts topped 100,000 for two straight months was January and February 2003.

"The job market appears to be stuck in the mud. Every time it looks as if things are going to rebound for the nation's workers, a series of reports deflates the optimism," said CEO John Challenger in a statement. . . .

The survey puts the total announced job cuts at 826,160 for the first 10 months of the year. That puts it within reach of the 1 million job cut threshold for the fourth straight year. Before 2001 the largest number of job cuts ever announced was 677,795 in 1998. . . .

"Two consecutive months of 100,000-plus job cuts does not convey a sense of confidence about future business conditions," he said. "The fact that the number of help wanted ads across the country continues to fall further suggests a grim outlook on business conditions."

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