Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

July 28, 2009

Verizon plans to cut 8,000 jobs; loss in Md. unknown

Verizon said Monday that it will accelerate plans to reduce its work force by 8,000 people, with the job cuts to come in the second half of the year and likely to include reductions in Maryland. The New York-based telecommunications company, Maryland's 10th-largest employer, has been shrinking its Wireline business, which provides traditional land-line phone services, as customer demand has fallen. Bob Varettoni, a Verizon spokesman, said most of the 11,500 Maryland workers do work in the Wireline sector, but he did not know how many job cuts might be made in Maryland. On Monday, the wireless carrier reported a 21 percent drop in second-quarter profit. On a conference call, John Killian, Verizon chief financial officer, said the company plans 8,000 cuts in its Wireline business during the second half as well as cost-cutting measures in other categories. The company had reduced the work force in its Wireline division by 8,000 over the past year through a combination of layoffs, attrition, retirements, transfers and voluntary layoffs, Varettoni said. Verizon employs 235,000 people, including about 87,000 Verizon Wireless employees.

- Lorraine Mirabella

Home sales rise for third straight month nationwide

WASHINGTON - New-home sales rose last month at the fastest clip in more than eight years as buyers eagerly took advantage of bargain prices - a clear sign, economists said, that the real estate market may finally be bouncing back. Historically low interest rates and a federal tax credit for first-time homeowners also helped push home sales to their highest level since November, the Commerce Department reported Monday. While home prices are still falling around the country, sales have now risen for three months in a row. Construction of new homes is at the busiest level since last fall. And home resales rose in June for the third straight month. New-home sales for June clocked in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, blowing past expectations.

- Associated Press

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