Economy Briefs: AMR expects about 4,400 job cuts, warns 11,000

DALLAS — American Airlines is sending layoff warning notices to more than 11,000 employees although it expects job losses to be closer to 4,400.

The airline said Tuesday that notices went out to mechanics and ground workers whose jobs will be affected as the company goes through a bankruptcy restructuring.

American Airlines spokesman Bruce Hicks says that fewer than 40 percent of those getting notices will lose their jobs. He says federal law requires the company to notify everyone whose position could change if they are “bumped” by a more senior employee whose job is eliminated.

REAL ESTATE

Homebuilder confidence surges to 6-year high

LOS ANGELES — Confidence among U.S. homebuilders rose this month to its highest level in six years, and many expect the housing recovery to strengthen in the next six months.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, released Tuesday, increased to 40 in September. That’s up from 37 in August and the highest reading since June 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.

Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn’t reached that level since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.

Still, a measure of builders’ outlook for sales in the next six months rose to 51. That’s up from 43 in August and also the highest level since June 2006.

Builders also reported seeing the best sales level since July 2006. And turnout by prospective buyers returned to levels not seen since May 2006.

LAYOFFS

Siemens to lay off 615 in 3 states

DES MOINES, Iowa — A wind-energy equipment manufacturer says it will lay off 615 workers in Iowa, Kansas and Florida, in part because Congress has not renewed a tax credit for wind energy.

Siemens Energy Inc. says it told workers the news Tuesday at plants in Fort Madison, Iowa; Hutchinson, Kan., and Orlando, Fla.

The biggest cuts will come in Fort Madison, Iowa, where 407 workers at a wind-turbine blade factory will be out of work. About 220 workers there will be retained.

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