More companies announced layoffs this week as the employment picture continued to dim.
MeadWestvaco, Graco and Caterpillar were among the latest names to announce job cuts.
The number of U.S. workers drawing state unemployment benefits scaled another record high early this month, highlighting the difficulties of getting new jobs as the economy battles a severe recession, government data showed on Thursday.
However, the number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 646,000 in the week ended March 14, the Labor Department said, still at levels consistent with a distressed labor market. The prior week's number was revised up to 658,000 from 654,000.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 652,000 new claims.
Here is a rundown of corporate job cuts announced so far:
- Packaging maker MeadWestvaco said it would close two plants to cut costs, eliminating 278 hourly and salaried jobs.
- Graco says it will cut an additional 180 jobs, or 8 percent of its global work force, to reflect a drop in demand for its fluid handling systems and components. The Minneapolis-based company previously eliminated 150 jobs in December.
- Caterpillar , the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, notified an additional 2,454 workers in three states that they were losing their jobs as the company continues to try to bring production in line with plummeting demand.
- Nokia will slash 1,700 jobs globallyover the coming few months because of falling demand, the world's top cell phone maker said.
- Oil refiner Sunoco said it will cut 750 jobs, about 20 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs in the face of weak demand for gasoline and diesel fuel.
- National Semiconductor said it will cut 26 percent of its global workforce, or 1,725 jobs, as the chipmaker reported sharply lower quarterly profits and revenue.
- United Technologies , whose products range from elevators to jet engines, plans to cut 11,600 jobsas it adapts to an economy that has grown worse than it expected just three months ago.
- McClatchywill slash 1,600 jobs, or about 15 percent of its workforce, in one of the more dramatic cuts by a U.S. newspaper publisher as it struggles with plunging advertising sales.
—Sources: AP, Reuters, with CNBC.com staff.
- The court-appointed lawyer overseeing the assets and operations of Texas billionaire Allen Stanford's companies told 1,000 U.S. employees that their jobs have been terminated.
- General Dynamics said it will lay off 1,200 workersdue partly to plummeting sales of business and personal jets that forced it to cut production.
- Northrop Grumman , the Pentagon's No. 3 supplier by sales, is cutting up to 750 jobs, mainly administrative positions in Southern California, even as it plans to hire up to 850 engineers and technicians for work on advanced weapons in the area.
- Tyco Electronics announced another round of layoffs, saying it plans to eliminate 20,000 jobs by Septemberas it seeks to weather the economic downturn. The cuts amount to 20 percent of Tyco's total work force.
- Marvell Technology plans to cut 15 percent of its workforce, or 850 jobs, as the diversified chipmaker grapples with the global economic downturn.
- Adecco , the world's largest staffing company, painted a bleak outlook for 2009 and said it would slash more jobs after posting a surprise fourth-quarter loss as the economic slump bites, hitting shares.
- Warren Buffett's reduced staffing last year in half of its nearly 80 operating units, and said more job cuts were comingin an economy unlikely to recover before 2010. Many of the deepest cuts came in businesses tied closely to the housing market. Clayton Homes, a manufacturing housing unit, eliminated 2,290 jobs, or 16 percent, to end the year with 11,998 workers. Carpeting maker Shaw Industries shed 1,900 jobs, or 6.2 percent, to end with 28,974 workers.
- Home Shopping Network operator HSN cut about 250 jobs during the fourth quarter, and cancelled merit increases for 2009 to contain costs.
- ValeInco, the nickel mining and processing division of Brazil's Companhia Vale do Rio Doce , said it will eliminate about 900 full-time jobsin the face of slumping prices.
said it would shut most of its U.S. consumer lending business, cutting 6,100 jobs, but that it was ready for acquisitions in its traditional stronghold of Asia where many banks are pulling out to focus on their core markets.
—Sources: AP, Reuters, with CNBC.com staff.