Layoffs may be on the wane, but they haven't stopped entirely. Just ask the teachers at Philadelphia's Frontier Virtual Charter High School.
On March 9, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, the Frontier school laid off its entire teaching staff. For the past month, the PDN reports, classes have been suspended and Frontier's 85 students have been hanging around at home, unsure of what the future holds.
News of the faculty implosion at Frontier comes within hours of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest monthly jobs report -- a document that seems encouraging until you look past the headline.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent in March, according to the report issued Friday -- a continuation of the very gradual decline it's been on since September. But analysts believe that number is dwindling because more and more job seekers are getting frustrated and abandoning their search, thereby falling out of the ranks of the officially "unemployed."
And many of the new jobs added in March were low-paying positions in the food services industry -- not the kind of work that will drive a broader economic recovery.
Layoffs, meanwhile, fell to their lowest level in nearly a year in March, according to a report issued this week from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. But job cuts are still taking place en masse every day, from Best Buy, which is closing 50 stores and cutting 400 jobs, to American Eagle, an airline letting about 600 people go, to Yahoo, which recently announced it would be jettisoning some 2,000 employees.
Further job cuts are expected in the coming months, especially in the public sector, as states and towns continue to grapple with shrinking tax revenues and difficult budget trade-offs. In Iowa, some 1,500 educators are facing the prospect of layoffs thanks to an upcoming state spending freeze, while Illinois is considering a budget that would eliminate 2,700 jobs. At the federal level, the Department of the Interior could cut as many as 5,000 jobs by the end of fiscal 2013, according to the Challenger, Gray report.
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