But can anybody in the telecom industry really believe what the gum'mint sez?
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said there was a net increase of 96,000 (non-farm) payroll jobs during the month, which was less than August's rise, which was revised down in Friday's report from 144,000 to 128,000.
The neat thing about the news is that the numbers come on the eve another Presidential debate, so you can be sure the spinmeisters are busy prepping the data as their own political football.
Here's one bold fact, though: The U.S. appears to be losing jobs faster than it is adding new ones. Although 1.8 million jobs have been added to the payrolls of U.S. businesses since August 2003, there are about 800,000 fewer jobs overall than when the current adminstration took office in January 2001, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, in the telecom world, of course, the employment situation isn't rosy at all. Telecommunications employment fell by 9,000 in September, according to the BLS. Since March 2001, the telecommunications industry has shed 302,000 jobs.
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao says that, in the right context, stagnation is not a bad thing. "The economy has been through a great deal lately — devastating hurricanes and rising oil prices," Chao says in a statement. "Yet the unemployment rate remains at 5.4 percent, and 96,000 jobs were created last month."
Interestingly, the BLS, in its assessment of the hurricane impact on employment, says that the severe weather didn't "change materially" the September employment data on a national level.
While you spin that data to your political leanings on the boards below, Hurricane Headcount will keep plodding along, providing another dose of recent hirings and firings:
DuLong will still oversee investor relations, Ciena says, but her duties have been expanded to include building the company's perception with the media, industry analysts, and employees. So it's a promotion. And that's a good thing. And those tears are tears of joy. Got that?
Not announced was that Bob Sullebarger, the former VP of marketing for defunct Équipe Communications, has surfaced as VP of product marketing for Ciena's Data Networking Group.
Yes, Ciena has a data networking group. Stop rolling your eyes.
Headcount wonders: Why are the folks maintaining global communications networks seemingly not ready to embrace communicating with people in other parts of the globe?
About 9,000 of those affected have either been notified or already left the company.
The operator is also taking a non-cash charge of about $11.4 billion in its third quarter to take into account the reduced value of its assets caused by pricing pressures, the shift away from TDM voice services, and regulatory changes (see Ma VOIP? and AT&T Reduces 2004 Revenue Forecast).
AT&T says its cost-cutting measures mean its net debt at the end of 2004 will be less than $7 billion, about half what it was 2 years ago.
About 140 staff will leave immediately, with the rest going in the course of the next year. KPN will take a €25 million ($30.9 million) charge against the cuts.
KPN, which in 2003 clawed its way back into the black after a torrid few years, had already announced the loss of 800 jobs from its fixed-line division in January (see KPN Cuts 800 Jobs and KPN Reports Full-Year Profit). These latest reductions will take the carrier's total workforce down to about 28,000.
Lucent spokespeople have already commented in detail on their hiring & firing strategies, saying they are hiring globally where they see the need – see Lucent Offshoring Wave Hits Hard.
Here are some other appointments and disappointments that have come into the jobs desk since the last Headcount:
- Former Ceyba CEO Joins Redback
- Sycamore Replaces CFO
- McFadden In, Mumford Out as NT CTO
- Costa del Kickback?
- Lucent's Russo Fights Back
- Nortel Details Layoff Plans
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading
Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, and R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading, contributed to this report.