Morning Must Reads: Budget Cuts and Layoffs

Later today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry will release the state's September job numbers. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve is forecasting (PDF) the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania will rise a tenth of a percentage point to 8.3% in September. If that forecast holds up, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania will have risen by nine-tenths of a percentage point since May. Based on this morning's headlines, we can expect more bad news in the months ahead.

Philadelphia-based Checkpoint Systems Inc. announced plans to expand a restructuring program to cut expenses and jobs.

The maker of anti-theft devices for retail chains said its new plans would affect 1,000 existing employees, up from the 204 in its original scheme. Checkpoint said it had 'already taken steps to eliminate three senior executive positions' and intends to 'aggressively take out layers of management.'

In addition, Checkpoint plans to close four production facilities, but did not specify where in its news release.

While job creation in the private sector remains weak, the public sector continues to make the problem worse mostly by punishing the most vulnerable in our society.   

Service providers for people with mental disabilities say the Department of Public Welfare informed them last week of 6 percent cuts in funding for group homes that will total $100 million to $200 million statewide...

Keith Peterson, CEO of Penn-Mar Human Services, which provides services in York County, told senators the cuts will be 'devastating' for 'an already fragile system of supports for one of the most vulnerable populations in the state.' He said the result would be layoffs and difficulty maintaining the level of service.

'Almost all of the people we have served in these 20 years have histories of being victimized physically, emotionally and/or sexually,' said Ruth Siegfried, president and CEO of InVision Human Services.

If you are on Twitter, the next story is old news, but it made the Morning Call today and it seemed grimly topical:

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