Employers sliced payrolls by 4,000 in August, the first drop in four years, according to the Labor Department. The decline provided a stark sign that a painful credit crunch that has unnerved Wall Street is putting a strain on the national economy. The snapshot of the jobs climate also showed that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.6 percent, mainly because hundreds of thousands of people left the workforce for any number of reasons. Job losses in construction, manufacturing, transportation and government swamped gains in retail, education and health care, and leisure and hospitality. "I think a lot of businesses are moving to the sidelines to wait and see how things shake out," said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics. See:
Rohm & Haas Co. trims 200 from its payrollRohm & Haas Co. announced that it was cutting about 200 jobs, mostly in the United States. The cuts represent a fraction of the Philadelphia chemical-maker's nearly 16,000-member workforce. The company has made similar-size prunings every year since 2004, spokesman Brian McPeak said. This year, the job cuts, which will lower third-quarter earnings 7 cents a share, are concentrated in four areas. The company is exiting its Bristol-based digital-imaging business, where it makes toner for laser printers, because other firms are dominant, McPeak said. Similar job cuts are planned in research and development, based in Spring House, Montgomery County; U.S. manufacturing plants; and business services, including purchasing. The company expects to save $15 million a year once cuts are finished in mid-2008. See:
Temple law school dean to move after 19 yearsRobert Reinstein announced he would step down as dean of Temple University's law school at the end of this academic year to teach and to focus on other academic pursuits. Reinstein said the time was right to leave his administrative post because the law school - and the university - had made considerable strides in enrollment, teaching and placement of graduating students. Temple's law school is by far the biggest source of first-year associates for large Philadelphia law firms. Under 19 years of Reinstein's leadership, the law school gradually evolved from a commuter campus to one in which half its applicants now are from out of state, and its litigation program is one of national regard. See:
Airspace-redesign plan is OKd for Phila. airportBy Halloween, many more airplanes from Philadelphia International Airport could be roaring over residential parts of Delaware and Gloucester Counties as part of a controversial plan to reduce flight delays that officials released to howls of protest. The airspace-redesign plan, which the Federal Aviation Administration formally announced after a decade of study and months of simmering debate, immediately drew a lawsuit threat by some residents and political leaders in the suburbs south and west of the airport. The New York-Washington corridor is among the most heavily traveled in the world, and Philadelphia and the three commercial airports in the New York area usually lead the list of the most delay-prone airports. See:
Radian's plan to merge with MGIC is canceledThe merger between Radian Group Inc., the Philadelphia mortgage insurer, and larger Milwaukee rival MGIC Investment Corp. was canceled amid mortgage-market turmoil. MGIC and Radian, which had been involved in a courtroom spat over how much information Radian should provide after MGIC started reconsidering the deal, said they finally had agreed that the current troubles in the mortgage industry made it too difficult to combine operations now. An important issue for Radian, which employs between 500 and 600 in Center City, is credit-rating agencies' evaluation of its health without MGIC's deeper pockets. See:
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