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IBM to cut jobs for first time under new CEO

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SVP and Director at IBM Research Arvind Krishna speaks on stage during the 2016 Wired Business Conference on June 16, 2016 in New York City.

Brian Ach | Getty Images

IBM is cutting an unspecified number of jobs, making it the first workforce reduction under new Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna. 

“IBM’s work in a highly competitive marketplace requires flexibility to constantly remix to high-value skills, and our workforce decisions are made in the long-term interests of our business,” Edward Barbini, vice president of corporate communications at IBM, said in a statement. 

The company declined to comment on how many jobs are affected, though The Wall Street Journal reported it will affect several thousand employees. IBM had more than 350,000 full-time employees as of the end of 2019, when it reported its last official employee head count. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the company will be offering subsidized medical coverage to its affected U.S. employees through June 2021.

The job cuts were in the works for a while, the company said. On both its fourth-quarter 2019 and first-quarter 2020 earnings calls, IBM said it could take additional structural actions that could lead to cost savings. IBM also has retraining and education programs for employees to learn skills for new areas the company has targeted for growth, like cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Krishna took over as chief executive in early April, as the company faced both the pandemic and an ongoing struggle with growth. Its share price is roughly the same as it was a decade ago, though its tech peers have seen rapid growth. 

The company’s market capitalization sat at $105.80 billion as of Thursday’s close.

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Veterans offered free flu shots | News, Sports, Jobs

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The Center for Community Action has announced that veterans can receive free flu shots at a VA Health Care Facility, an in-network retail pharmacy or in-network urgent care facility.

To get a flu shot at the Van Zandt VA Medical Center, veterans should call 943-8164, ext. 7084. When veterans arrive at the facility for the shots, they should stop at Central Registration to get signed in.

Veterans will need to use their DD214 for identification.

Flu shots for enrolled vets are available at more than 60,000 locations. To find an in-network location offering the shots, visit www.va.gov/communitycare/flushot.asp.

For more information, including participating in-service retail pharmacy and urgent care locations, please visit the VA flu shot web page.

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Region’s 2554 job vacancies signals a ‘return of confidence’

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DESPITE the pandemic and recent border closures there were 2554 job openings in Northern NSW in August.

The data, released by the ABS today in its Vacancy Report August 2020 Regional Data, signals a return of confidence to the jobs market.

The data classified the NSW North Coast as the Tweed, Northern Rivers, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie areas.

In Northern NSW, the number of total vacancies were 2554, 326 more than the July total of 2228.

719 job openings existed in the area for professionals in August, versus the July total of 633.

August also saw 430 positions available in Northern NSW for Community and Personal Service Workers, 66 more than the July number, at 364.

The local numbers are in direct relation to the Statewide data, as NSW recorded an extra 1100 job vacancies in August 2020.

The data comes from the Federal Government’s internet Vacancy Index (IVI) which is released monthly by the Department of Jobs and Small Business on its Labour Market Information Portal (lmip.gov.au).

The IVI includes online vacancies for around 350 occupations at all skill levels, and is based on a count of online job advertisements newly lodged on SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch during the month.

Tim Williamson, director of Regional Development Northern Rivers was happy to see positive numbers from the job market.

“The latest release of figures is certainly good news and reflects a return of confidence which I have seen in the economy,” he said.

“Although our border businesses are still struggling, the recently announced lifting of restrictions will mean that businesses can service the important South East Queensland market.

“So I hope to see a continuation of the number of jobs becoming available, particularly in tourism and hospitality and retail.”

Northern NSW jobs advertised in August 2020 were:

– Professionals: 719

– Community and personal services: 430

– Technicians and trade workers: 309

– Clerical and administrative: 302

– Labourers: 300

– Sales workers: 208

– Managers: 173

– Machinery operators: 113

TOTAL: 2554



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Sunak scraps budget and announces new measures to halt job losses | UK news

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Rishi Sunak has scrapped his plan for an autumn budget and will announce fresh measures to halt job losses and business failures on Thursday amid government fears that a second wave of Covid-19 threatens Britain with a double-dip recession.

The chancellor has decided that the long-term decisions that would have featured in the annual set piece event must be shelved in order for the Treasury to be able to focus on avoiding a short-term economic crisis.

With signs that the summer spurt in growth has proved short lived, Sunak will use his statement to MPs to announce an extension of business loan schemes and a package of employment support to replace the government’s furlough scheme, which is due to end next month.

Setting the stage for a set piece Commons update, the chancellor said he would announce the details of a “winter economy plan” that would “continue protecting jobs” as Britain enters a new phase of the pandemic.

It comes as pressure increases on the chancellor to act after Boris Johnson announced new restrictions on business and social life earlier this week.

“No one wanted to be in this situation but we need to respond to it,” a Treasury source said. “The chancellor has shown he has been creative in the past and we hope that people will trust us to continue in that vein. Giving people reassurance and businesses the help they need to get through this is uppermost in his mind.”

Against a backdrop of rising job losses and a worsening growth outlook, business groups, Labour and trade unions said Sunak urgently needed to step back from ending the furlough, or at least replace the jobs programme with a successor scheme.

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, said the country needed a Plan B for the economy and that he had offered to help Boris Johnson come up with one, adding: “It makes no sense to bring in new restrictions at the same time as phasing out support for jobs and businesses.”

In a televised response to the prime minister’s address to the nation, Starmer said: “That’s a huge gap. It’s a huge mistake. And it could lead to a wave of job losses this winter. We need a national effort to protect jobs and prevent a second lockdown … I’ve offered to work with the prime minister to do whatever we can to save lives and livelihoods.”

The Guardian revealed on Tuesday that one option being weighed by Sunak to replace the furlough scheme is a package of wage subsidies for employees put on short-time work of the sort already operating in Germany. Sunak, however, will say that his plans are custom-made to suit the UK’s current needs rather than a straight lift from another country.

Dropping the broadest possible hint that a successor scheme to furlough was in the final stages of development, Johnson told MPs on Wednesday that the government would “continue to put our arms around the people of this country”.

“We will go forward with further creative and imaginative schemes to keep our economy moving,” he said.

Alongside the flagship wage subsidy plan, another measure forming the backbone of Sunak’s winter plan for the economy is expected to be an extension in the Treasury’s Covid loan scheme for businesses.

Companies have borrowed more than £57bn so far through the programme, which was expected to close at the end of September. The furlough scheme has cost £39bn since it was launched on 20 April.

Whitehall sources said the decision to scrap the budget – which will put paid to any immediate thoughts of repairing the damage caused to the public finances by the pandemic – was taken because the public wanted to see the chancellor focus on the “here and now”.

Britain’s hospitality sector has reacted with alarm to the tougher rules for bars and restaurants, while city centre retailers fear a fresh blow from the advice to workers to do their jobs from home if possible.

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Sunak’s decision means the autumn budget has been delayed for a second year, although the Office for Budget Responsibility will still publish updated forecasts for the economy and the public finances in November. By law, the OBR has to publish two forecasts a year.

Sources said it had been necessary to trigger contingency plans that the Treasury has been working on over the summer in the event that the economy needed additional support. After collapsing by 25% between February and April, the economy started to grow again in May and is on course to expand by at least 15% in the third quarter.

More recent indicators, however, have suggested the recovery has started to lose momentum and the chancellor is concerned that the new Covid-19 curbs will exacerbate an expected sharp increase in unemployment between now and the end of the year. Sunak will tell MPs tomorrow that his priority will be the same as it has been since the start of the crisis six months ago: – jobs.

Although the government’s furlough scheme has meant the unemployment rate has risen only gently to 4.1% since the start of the pandemic, the Bank of England expects a much sharper increase to 7.5% by the end of the year. However, that forecast was made before this week’s new restrictions were announced.

Warning that the risks to the economy were building, Andrew Bailey, the Bank’s governor, said on Tuesday that the government needed to “stop and rethink” the end of furlough.

Sunak has previously said there will inevitably be job losses as a result of the pandemic and will tell MPs that the government has to be honest with the public about the trade-offs involved between keeping people in jobs and helping them find new ones, and between help now and rebuilding in the future.

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