more us covering up!

  1. dub
    33,892 Posts.
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    Not content with changing the rules for their CPI (hedonistic values!) and changing the make up of the Dow 30, they've just decided on this.

    U.S. Drops Report On Mass Layoffs
    By Kirstin Downey
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, January 2, 2003; Page D11

    Citing a shortage of money, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will stop publishing information about factory closings across the country, a decision that some state officials and labor leaders are protesting.

    The monthly Labor Department analysis, known as the Mass Layoffs Statistics report, detailed where workplaces with more than 50 employees closed and what kinds of workers were affected.

    "We have finite resources," said Mason M. Bishop, deputy assistant secretary for the Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration, which has been paying about $6.6 million a year for the BLS report.

    The department made the announcement on Christmas Eve, as a note on its November -- and final -- report.

    The report said U.S. employers initiated 2,150 mass layoffs in November, with workers in manufacturing most affected. About 240,000 workers lost their jobs, it said.

    Bishop said that the Labor Department had only $30 million for its dislocated-worker demonstration project, and that it could no longer afford the report. "We believe we need to be funding programs that get people back to work," he said.

    Some state officials, who help compile data for the report, criticized the decision. They said the monthly reports helped them steer unemployed people to jobs in new industries.

    "In the current recession, MLS data have increased in value and are being followed and evaluated more closely," Catherine B. Leapheart, president of the National Association of State Work Force Agencies, wrote in a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao. "The states have come to rely on this information as an economic indicator and a tool for operational decisions on service delivery and funding allocations for dislocated-worker programs."

    State officials around the country said they were surprised and unhappy to hear the report was canceled.

    "In these times when the economy is in transition, knowing what's going on and who it's going on to, is critical," said Harry E. Payne Jr., chairman of the North Carolina Employment Security Commission. "It's an axiom of human nature that you focus on what you can measure. Now they are taking away a measure."

    Payne said North Carolina has been hard hit by plant closings, including those by textile and fiber-optics companies that have moved jobs overseas. He said the program was the only national, standardized source of data tracking plant closings, allowing states to compare their manufacturing layoffs with those of other states.

    "To give it up is just awful," said Beverly Gumola of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. State officials use the data to determine "which occupations are going kaput," she said.

    Christine L. Owens, director of public policy for the AFL-CIO, whose member unions have been hard hit by the loss of manufacturing jobs, said eliminating the report is an example of a "let-them-eat-cake approach" by the Bush administration.
    © 2003 The Washington Post Company


    .......... and it's probably no wonder, given this one from last week.
    Bankruptcy judge shortage looms

    U.S. needs more bankruptcy judges, says Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

    January 1, 2003: 8:40 AM EST

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress needs to name more bankruptcy judges in the wake of the sharp increase in the number of bankruptcy filings, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist said Wednesday.

    In his 2002 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary, Rehnquist said no new bankruptcy judgeships had been created since 1992, although the number of cases filed has increased by more than 570,000 since then.

    He said each bankruptcy judge now handles an average of 4,777 cases, compared with an average of 2,998 in 1992.

    Federal courts experienced record levels of activity in 2001, and U.S. bankruptcy courts were significantly affected.

    Rehnquist said the number of filings in bankruptcy courts grew 8 percent in the year to an all-time high of 1,547,669 cases filed. He said bankruptcy filings have risen 72.5 percent since 1993.

    Rehnquist, who traditionally uses his year-end report to call on Congress to keep adequate staffing levels in the courts, once again urged lawmakers to take action.

    "I urge the 108th Congress to act on all of the pending requests for new judgeships during its next session," he said, noting that the Judicial Conference had requested Congress establish 24 new bankruptcy judgeships along with more appeals judgeships and district court judgeships.

    "As I have noted in previous reports, to continue functioning effectively and efficiently, our federal courts must be appropriately staffed," he wrote in his 17th annual report.

    Rehnquist also urged Congress to better compensate judges in order to prevent them from returning to the private sector to make more money.

    "We do not want experienced judges to leave because they cannot afford to put their children through college or because their salaries are eaten away by inflation," he said. "Every time an experienced judge leaves the bench, the nation suffers a temporary loss in judicial productivity."

    Will said "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark". Spot on for mine.


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