Weekend open thread: Job news edition

Last week’s horrible nationwide jobs report for June is another danger sign for the U.S. economy. Charles Lemos put the numbers in perspective here. The U.S. unemployment rate doesn’t appear to be rising, but that’s mainly because discouraged workers have stopped looking for a job. Other pieces of the economic picture aren’t looking great either, and some analysts think we are on the brink of a double-dip recession.

In terrible news for central Iowa, Wells Fargo announced on July 7 that it is “eliminating Des Moines-based Wells Fargo Financial and 3,800 positions nationwide.” From the Des Moines Register report:

Wells Fargo Financial will eliminate 2,800 positions in the next six months. The majority of those will come with the closing of 638 Wells Fargo Financial stores around the country, including 12 in Iowa. Only 14 of the initial layoffs will be in the Des Moines headquarters.

Wells Fargo also will eliminate an additional 1,000 positions in the next 12 months, most of those positions in Des Moines, said David Kvamme, president of Wells Fargo Financial. […]

Currently, Wells Fargo Financial has approximately 14,000 team members throughout the country, and 3,500 in Des Moines. The remaining 10,600 jobs will transition to other Wells Fargo units, including mortgage and community banking.

Laid off employees will receive 60 days’ working notice and a severance package.

Affected Wells Fargo employees also are encouraged to apply for other jobs throughout the company. Wells Fargo currently has more than 400 open positions in the Des Moines area, Kvamme said.

Wells Fargo is Iowa’s largest bank in terms of deposits and Central Iowa’s largest private employer with about 12,900 employees in the Des Moines area.

The Des Moines area is far from the worst place to do job-hunting; unemployment and the cost of living are pretty good compared to other medium-sized cities. Still, that’s a lot of people who will hit the job market at the same time.

Here’s some good news from the past week: the Iowa Utilities Board adopted “rules to encourage the development of more small wind generation systems across Iowa,” the Newton Independent reported.

One prominent Iowan got a new (unpaid) position this week, as President Obama appointed Vermeer Corporation president and CEO Mary Andringa to his 18-member export advisory council. Heavy-hitter Iowa Republicans tried to recruit Andringa to run for governor last year, and she is a chair of Terry Branstad’s campaign.

The celebrity job story of the week was of course LeBron James abandoning the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat. I haven’t watched an NBA game in years, but I think James should have stayed in Cleveland, or at least not humiliated his hometown on nationwide television. A couple of good takes on the unprecedented dumping via tv special: Bill Simmons for ESPN and Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

Some enterprising person was able to make google searches for “Terry Branstad” turn up ads for cheap drugs from Canada. The ads look like they are coming from Branstad’s official campaign website. Luke Jennett of the Ames Tribune got the scoop. As of Sunday morning, the problem still hadn’t been fixed.

This thread is for anything on your mind this weekend.

UPDATE: Who else watched the World Cup final? I was rooting for the Netherlands, but at least it wasn’t decided by penalty kicks. Spain scored a goal in the final minutes of extra time to post its fourth straight 1-0 victory. (Paul the psychic German octopus was right.) I’m happy for Spain, because they looked like the better team for most of the game, but it’s incredible to think that they are the World Cup champions after scoring eight goals in seven games.

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  • Good list of people on the export council

    Doesn’t the CEO of Ford have too many things on his plate however?

    On the basketball front, LeBron likely would have stayed in Cleveland had Chris Bosh gone there with him, but Bosh said no.  

    The state of Ohio as a whole has not had a good decade as far as economic development goes however in my estimation.  

  • everytime I watch a futbol game, it makes American sports seem more boring

     90 minutes of game plus a 15 minute half time all takes place within about 110 minutes. I can’t remember the last American sporting event I was at or saw on TV above the high school level that was done in under 2 hours.

    But of course, FIFA isn’t desperate to milk every last nickel by selling commercials.

    I am a late comer to enjoying soccer. While I still haven’t quite got the grasp of the offside rule, I do know this – if you turn your head away for a few seconds you can miss the most exciting part of the game.

  • The Iowa GOP platform is out

    and contains some doozies. The one that has me wondering where the Iowa Dems are on this is:

    7.19 “We call for the reintroduction and ratification of the original 13th Amendment, not the 13th Amendment in today’s Constitution.”


    Here’s the pre-civil war 13th: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”


    There is another proposed 13th amendment that has nothing to do with slavery, so to be fair maybe what the Iowa GOP is concerned about is citizens receiving honors from other countries. However, the folks supporting this amendment are a bit on the secret conspiracy, black helicopter, one world gov’t side. Regardless, this doesn’t excuse the Iowa GOP wanting the amendment banning slavery repealed.


    Does the Iowa GOP rank and file know that their leadership is against the amendment banning slavery in the US? And is the Iowa Democratic leadership going to say anything?

    • something weird going on here

      The Iowa Republican ran a post about this suggesting someone has a hobby horse about the “original” 13th amendment (something to do with not being able to accept titles of nobility).

      • *GASP*

        So I would likely lose my citizenship for accepting a title from the Zitser Spiritual Republic back in the 90’s if this passes?