Other major names included Sprint Nextel, which is cutting up to 8,000 jobs, and Home Depot, which is laying off 7,000 positions on fears that 2009 would be a difficult year.
According to the survey released Monday by the National Association for Business Economics, 2009 will be another lousy year for workers, with more companies expecting to cut payrolls in the months ahead.
Thirty-nine percent predicted job reductions through attrition or "significant" layoffs over the next six months, up from 32 percent in the previous survey in October. Around 45 percent in the current survey anticipated no change in hiring plans, while roughly 17 percent thought hiring would increase.
"Job losses accelerated in the fourth quarter, and the employment outlook for the next six months has weakened further," said Sara Johnson, NABE's lead analyst on the survey and an economist at IHS Global Insight.
“The experience of previous deep recessions suggests (jobless) claims are nowhere near their peak, and we doubt that peak will be reached before the fall of this year,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for consulting firm High Frequency Economics.
Shepherdson said in a research note that weekly jobless claims could reach 750,000 later this year.
Here is a rundown of corporate job cuts announced so far this year:
General Motors announced it is laying off 2,000 workers in Ohio and Michigan and plans to schedule extra down time at 14 plants.
Caterpillar , the world's largest maker of construction and mining machines, which also reported lower-than expected fourth-quarter earnings, said it is laying off 17,000 workers, and buying out 2,500 others to reduce costs.
Sprint Nextel , the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, will cut up to 8,000 jobs, or about 14 percent of its workforce, as part of a plan to reduce labor costs by $1.2 billion a year.
- Home Depot plans to eliminate 7,000 jobs while closing four dozen stores under its smaller home improvement brands as the recession continues to batter the nation's housing market. Its shares climbed more than 5 percent in morning trading.
- Writedowns of more than 1 billion euros pushed Philips Electronics deep into the red in the fourth quarter, and it will cut 6,000 jobsto cope with a steep downturn that has hurt its consumer business.
- Farm-equipment maker Deeresays it will lay off almost 700 workers at factories in Brazil and Iowa.
- U.S. chemical maker Huntsman said it plans to cut about 1,175 jobs, or about 9 percent of its workforce, by year-end to reduce costs and tackle the huge slump in chemical demand.
- Microsoft announced it would cut up to 5,000 jobsand said it could no longer offer profit forecasts for the rest of the fiscal year.
- Intel said it would close sites in Asia and scale back operations in the United States as part of a restructuring that could affect as many as 6,000 jobs.
- UAL announced it will further reduce the number of salaried and management employees by approximately 1,000 positions by the end of 2009. This is in addition to the 1,500 positions the company announced in the second quarter.
- Diversified U.S. manufacturer Eaton said it planned to cut 5,200 jobs, or about 6 percent of its work force, in an effort to further slash costs in the face of a struggling economy.
- Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment said it would cut about 800 jobs, or 10 percent of its worldwide staff in coming weeks.
- Lee Enterprises , which publishes 49 daily newspapers including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, said its quarterly profit on a preliminary basis fell 69 percent and cut its staffing by more than 10 percent.
- Rohm and Haas said it plans to cut 900 jobs, or 5.5 percent of its workforce, in a bid to tackle the slump in demand and widespread market weakness.
- Bank of America may slash as much as 4,000 jobs in its capital markets units starting this week. The cuts are expected to be in New York and reflect the consolidation of the bank’s sales and trading businesses after it bought Merrill Lynch three weeks ago.