In June, a diffident and self-deluded President Obama claimed that “the private sector is doing fine.” Last week, the private sector responded: Speak for yourself, buster. Who needs an “October Surprise” when the business headlines are broadcasting the imminent layoff bomb in neon lights?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last Tuesday that employers issued 1,316 “mass layoff actions” (affecting 50 workers or more) in September; more than 122,000 workers were affected overall. USA Today financial reporter Matt Krantz wrote that “(m)uch of the recent layoff activity is connected to what’s been the slowest period of earnings growth since the third quarter of 2009.” Some necessary restructuring is underway in response to the stagnant European economy. But more and more U.S. businesses are putting the blame — bravely and squarely — right where it belongs: on the obstructionist policies and regulatory schemes of the blame-shifter-in-chief.
Last week, Ohio-based auto parts manufacturer Dana Holding Corp. warned employees of potential layoffs amid “looming concern” about the economy. President and CEO Roger Wood specifically mentioned the walloping burden of “increasing taxes on small businesses” and the need to “offset increased costs that are placed on us through new laws and regulations.”