AOL Cuts Nearly 1,000 Jobs

AOL BUILDING

AOL cut 20 percent of its workforce today, eliminating 950 jobs in the U.S. and India. Last year, the company cut 2,300 employees during its first round of layoffs. This year’s round of layoffs was aimed at trimming the budget, getting rid of positions that no longer serve a purpose, and eliminating jobs that overlapped with the Huffington Post website, which AOL acquired just days ago. None of the 250 Huffington Post employees that joined AOL lost their jobs. Instead, 200 employees who work for AOL’s media and technology groups lost their jobs, and 750 employees in India.

In the U.S., AOL laid off reporters and editors who worked for its travel site and business, personal finance sites Daily Finance and Wallet Pop. It also cut across its news and politics sites, including Politics Daily, according to people familiar with the matter. Employees who were laid off started packing up their belongings on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter said.

The operations in India are in part a vestige of AOL’s old business as an Internet service provider, starting with call center outsourcing into 2002 and later changing into a business operations center. Recently, the group focused more on tech and financial support as well as functions such as advertising operations.

Although AOL acquired the Huffington Post for $315 million, the company is still on shaky ground. According to WSJ, AOL shares are trading at their lowest levels since the company split off from Time Warner Inc. in December 2009. Shares of AOL were off 34 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $19 in Thursday 4 p.m. composite trading on the New York Stock Exchange. And according to research firm eMarketer Inc., AOL’s ad revenues dropped 26 percent in 2010, while the overall online ad market grew around 14 percent. AOL has steadily lost market share to rivals Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said he expects AOL’s online advertising business to start growing again during the second half of the year.

“AOL remains in the middle of the disruption that the Internet is causing and we are starting to move from being a disrupted brand to a brand that is leading the disruption,” Mr. Armstrong said in his memo. “The changes we are making are not easy, but they are the right changes for the long-term health of the company, the brand, and for our employees.”

After all is said and done, AOL will employ about 4,000 people. This figure does not include staff that currently work for AOL’s local Patch news sites, which recently hired 1,200 new employees.

  

Should You Go to Work Sick?

Sick at Work

If you’re sick (and contagious) and come Monday morning you ask yourself “should I go to work sick?” the answer should always be “no.” Unfortunately, a shocking 72 percent of workers go to work when they’re sick and 53 percent of employees say they have gotten sick from a sick co-worker. Only 12 percent of respondents to the CareerBuilder survey stated that they became ill from sitting next to a sick person on public transportation during their commute.

Besides the fact that this is one of the most irresponsible things a worker can do concerning others’ health, it is one of the most irresponsible things he can do concerning his own health. In a recent OC Register article, CareerBuilder’s vice president of human resources offered her opinion about workers that show up to work sick.

“It’s important for employees to take care of their health and the health of others by staying at home if they aren’t feeling well,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Even if workers feel pressure to be at the office, they should talk to their managers about staying home if they are sick, or ask about other options such as working remotely. Most employers are flexible and understand that employees are more productive if they are feeling their best.”

Many employers offer paid sick days, so use them if you need to. If you are fresh out of sick days and you feel you absolutely must go to work, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize the chances of infecting your co-workers. However, Haefner still says, “if you are sick, stay home,” or just try telecommuting for the day.

 If you must go to work sick, you should:

-Work in an isolated area so you don’t spread your sickness.
-Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
-Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the day.

If you are around sick people at work, you should:

-Avoid shaking hands with people.
-Regularly clean your keyboard, phone, desk, etc.
-Skip meetings where you know attendees are sick.
-Use hand sanitizer often.
-Wash your hands often.

To review the CareerBuilder survey, click here.

  

Cities with the Best (and Worst) Job Outlook Revealed

Baton_Rouge

If you have been searching for a job in your state that will allow you to “utilize your skills and education,” but you have had zero success, you might want to consider relocating. Although employers overall are hopeful about hiring in the first quarter of 2011—a promising 9 percent expect to be hiring, some cities are in a much better position to do so than others. At the top of the list of best cities for jobs is none other than Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A recent Manpower Employment Services survey of 18,000 employers in 100 metropolitan areas revealed that Baton Rouge has an 18 percent net employment outlook. This figure is based on the number of employers that expect to add employees, which is actually 22 percent, minus the percentage who expect to reduce the number of employees (4 percent). Even better news is, the city that rarely dips below 50 degrees is enjoying growth in construction, digital media, and wood products. The city also plans to build three new hospitals in 2011, so there will be plenty of health care jobs to go around.

Baton Rouge is not the only city that will enjoy exceptional job growth in the first quarter of 2011. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington metropolitan area has a net employment outlook of 15 percent, followed by Milwakuee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin at 14 percent. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona; Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio are tied for fourth place with a net employment outlook of 12 percent. The Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee metropolitan area; San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California, and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C./Va/Md./W.V. area are tied for fifth place with a net employment outlook of 11 percent.

So what are the worst cities for employment this winter? According to a recent Forbes report:

The net employment outlook in metro areas like Boise, Houston, Los Angeles, and Providence, R.I., is flat at 0%–and they aren’t even the worst. Akron, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Columbia, S.C., are tied for the No. 1 spot on the list of the worst cities for finding a job.

Only 8% of surveyed Akron employers plan to hire more employees between January and March, while 11% expect to reduce their payrolls. Seventy-nine percent expect to maintain their current workforce and 2% are unsure about their plans. This yields a net employment outlook of -3% for a city that relies largely on traditional industries, like Goodyear Tire and Rubber ( GT – news – people ) and Roadway Express. The same goes for Colorado Springs and Columbia.

The good news is, overall, the U.S. has seen five straight quarters of survey results that indicate an uptick in hiring activity, according to Melanie Holmes, Manpower’s vice president. Holmes also states that “the trend is in the right direction, but we would all like to see employer confidence improve and the pace of hiring pick up.”

  

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