Job Cuts Keep Coming—Is Your Firm On the List?

More companies announced layoffs this week as the employment picture continued to dim.

News Corp. became the latest victim of the weakening economy, announcing it is planning on cutting jobs after reporting a quarterly loss on Thursday.


US employers slashed 598,000 jobs in January, the deepest cut in payrolls in 34 years and the jobless rate shot up to 7.6 percent, according to a Labor Department report Fridaythat underlined a deepening recession.

January's job losses were worse than the 525,000 that had been forecast by Wall Street economists, who also had expected the unemployment rate to come in lower at 7.5 percent.

The bleak data is certain to be cited by the Obama administration as a fresh reason for Congress to speed up debate over economic stimulus proposals that could cost $800 billion or more.

Last month's job reductions were the largest since 602,000 in December 1974, while the jobless rate reached its highest level in more than 16 years.

"The economy is just falling into oblivion and it will get worse," said Greg Salvaggio, vice-president for trading at Tempus Consulting in Washington, shortly after the jobs report was issued.

Others agreed, saying it intensifies pressure for the government to try something to prop up the economy.

Here is a rundown of corporate job cuts announced so far this year:

  • News Corp's CEO Rupert Murdoch, announced the company would slash costs and indicated layoffs were in store.
  • GlaxoSmithKline did not spell out the number of jobs it would cut but analysts expect thousands more positions to be shedfrom a global workforce of around 100,000.
  • Reeling from a precipitous slump in global holiday sales, Tiffany & Co , has laid off an undisclosed number of employees around the world, including several at its Westport and Greenwich stores.
  • Estee Lauder said it would cut 2,000 jobs, or 6 percent of its work force, over the next two years as the apparel firm grappled with a 30 percent drop in its second-quarter profit and a difficult outlook for the coming year.
  • Magna International will close its gear assembly plant in Syracuse, New York, after workers rejected a contract the company said wasnecessary to keep the factory competitive. The shutdown of the New Process Gear facility will ultimately eliminate 1,400 jobs.
  • THQ posted a quarterly loss as sales of video games fell more than expected, and also said that it plans to layoff 600 peoplein fiscal 2010 and cut spending.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Talbots said it plans to save $150 million by cutting 370 corporate jobs, or 17 percent of its corporate headcount, reducing the hours of workers in its stores and call centers and suspending its matching contributions to employees' 401(k) retirement accounts.
  • Auto parts maker Tenneco posted a wider quarterly loss Thursday due to tumbling vehicle production and said it is closing three plants and slashing 1,100 jobs.
  • Footwear retailer Brown Shoe said it expects to cut 12 percent to 14 percent of its domestic work force, excluding stores and distribution centers, and take a charge of $27 million to $30 million related to its cost-reduction actions.
  • Cisco Systems said forecast revenue will drop far more sharply in the current quarter than Wall Street expected, and announced the network equipment maker is cutting up to 2,000 jobs.
  • Bloombergwill cut 100 television and radio jobsin the first layoffs since it was founded in 1981 by now-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • Fidelity National Financial , the largest U.S. title insurer, said it cut 1,500 jobs in January, and posted a fourth-quarter loss as the housing slump drove down home sales and refinancings.
  • Clorox posted a lower quarterly profit, as consumers bought cheaper products and used up what they had at home, and said it would cut 170 jobs due to the tough economy.
  • Allergan , maker of the anti-wrinkle treatment Botox, reported lower fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts and said it would lay off 460, or 5 percent, of its workforce because of the recession.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Time Warner Cable says it is laying off 1,250 people over the next few weeksin the face of slowing growth at the nation's second largest cable operator.
  • Electronic Arts said it would cut 1,100 jobs, or about 11 percent of its workforce, higher than the 1,000 it announced in December. It also plans to close 12 facilities as it narrows its product portfolio.
  • Fashion company Liz Claiborne said that it planned to cut 725 jobs, or 8 percent of its U.S. workforce, to reduce costs in a weak retail market.
  • PNC Financial Services said it plans to cut 5,800 jobsfollowing its recent purchase of troubled lender National City, and posted a fourth-quarter loss tied to the transaction.
  • Huntington Bancshares said that it was cutting 500 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, as part of moves to slash $100 million in costs in 2009.
  • Forest-products company Tembec said it would shut down several facilities, affecting about 1,400 employees, due to the depressed markets for lumber, pulp and newsprint.
  • King Pharmaceuticals is cutting 760 jobs, or 22 percent of its workforce,as part of a restructuring designed to reduce costs. About 240 of the job losses are corporate positions associated with King's $1.6 billion acquisition of drugmaker Alpharma.
  • The 7,000 job cuts at Macy's account for 4 percent of the company's work force. In addition to the job cuts, the retailer said it is cutting the 401(k) contribution it provides to existing employees. Also hurting Macy's shares was a dividend cut, to 5 cents per share from 13.5 cents.
  • Morgan Stanley plans to cut about 3 to 4 percent of its work force, or up to 1,880 people, as it battles with spiraling costs and slowing business, according to people familiar with the matter. This wave of layoffs comes in addition to 7,000 layoffs the firm announced in 2008.
  • Caterpillar said it was laying off an additional 2,110 workers as the company scrambles to cope with a downturn in demand for its construction and mining equipment.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Walt Disney's television division is cutting 400 jobs, or about 6 percent of the unit's work force, due to the slumping economy.
  • Strattec Security announced it will cut back on its production work force and cut its salaried work force by 10 percent. Twenty salaried workers were let go, while 66 production workers, or about one-third of the Glendale factory's work force, are on temporary layoff.
  • Electronics giant NEC said it will cut 20,000 workers worldwide to stanch mounting losses, joining a slew of other Japanese corporate heavyweights who are slashing jobs to survive the deepening global downturn.
  • Cessna Aircraftissued 60-day layoff notices to thousands of Wichita workers, saying job cuts must go deeper than previously expected. Cessna plans to cut employment by about 30 percent—approximately 4,600 companywide. That number has mushroomed since Cessna first announced it would eliminate 665 jobs in November. In early January, Cessna said it would cut an additional 2,000 jobs.
  • Eastman Kodak posted an unexpected quarterly loss and said it would cut up to 4,500 jobs this yearafter suffering a dramatic decline in demand for digital cameras and commercial printing equipment.

  • British drugmaker AstraZeneca posted lower fourth-quarter net income, announced 6,000 further job cuts and issued a cautious 2009 sales outlook.
  • Northbrook-based Allstate said that it plans to cut about 1,000 jobs in its financial arm through a combination of attrition and job cuts over the next two years.
  • Oshkosh said it was cutting its workforce by 7 percentand withdrawing its 2009 earnings forecast. The company said it was also cutting production and closing a number of facilities. Over the past year, Oshkosh has laid off about 2,400 of its 14,200 workers.
  • Tool maker Black & Decker said it would cut about 1,200 jobsto curb costs while battling a further fall in demand in most of its markets in 2009.
  • Ford Motor Credit, the lending and financing arm of Ford Motor , will cut about 20 percent of its U.S. staff, or about 1,200 jobs, as part of a restructuring plan announced in meetings with employees.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Top U.S. specialty electronics chain Best Buy said about 500 of its workers accepted the voluntary exit packages.
  • Time Warner's AOL will cut about 700 jobs, or 10 percent of its workforce, as it copes with an advertising slump, in a move that could make the slimmed-down company more attractive to possible merger partners.
  • General Motors plans to end its controversial jobs bank program, which paid UAW workers who were not working. Chrysler ended its jobs bank program earlier this week. The 1,600 UAW workers in GM's jobs bank will be placed on layoffand must apply for unemployment benefits.
  • Business-software company SAP said it would lay off 3,000 people in 2009, or nearly 6 percent of its global work force.
  • Retailer Pacific Sunwear said it is eliminating 47 positions at its headquarters and 10 field management positions. The move, which is aimed at lowering expenses, will reduce its headquarters and field management staff by about 11 percent.

  • Starbucks will cut 6,000 positions as it closes 300 stores worldwideover the next eight months and will eliminate about 700 non-store workers by mid-February as it cuts costs to stem its eroding profits.
  • TheReader's Digest Association is cutting about 280 jobs, or 8 percent, of its staff as it tries to strengthen itself against the world financial crisis. It also will stop matching contributions to U.S. employees' 401(k) retirement plans.
  • Boeing announced plans to lay off an additional 10,000 employees, about 6 percent of Boeing's workforce, as it braces for a global slowdown certain to hurt aircraft sales. The latest job cuts, which include the 4,500 workers Boeing had previously said it would eliminate, came as the aerospace manufacturer reported a huge fourth-quarter loss.
  • Target said it will cut roughly 600 jobs at its headquarters, leave another 400 positions unfilled and close a distribution center that employs 500 workers as it contends with weaker-than-expected sales.
  • Oilfield-services provider Baker Hughes announced plans to cut about 4 percent of its work force, or about 1,500 employees.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Corning posted weaker-than-expected quarterly results and outlook due to a significant decline in demand for glass for televisions and computer monitors, and said it would eliminate up to 4,900 jobs to cut costs.

  • Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariantsaid it was axing 1,000 jobsto cut costs and could shed more staff this year after it posted a 5 percent drop in full-year sales.
  • Texas Instruments posted a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit, but said it may post a loss in the current quarter and announced a 12 percent cut in jobs, as demand for cell phone chips fell.
  • Pfizer said it is buying rival Wyeth for $68 billion in a deal that will quickly boost Pfizer's revenue and diversification. The deal came as Pfizer set out a list of issues: a 90 percent drop in income, a hefty charge to end an investigation, a severe cut in its dividend, a shockingly low profit forecast for 2009 and 8,000 job cuts starting immediately. Additionally, Pfizer also plans by 2011 to cut about 8,190 jobs, 10 percent of its workforce, as part of what it expects will be a staff reduction totaling 15 percent of the combined companies' workers—implying a total job loss of almost 20,000.
  • Apparel maker Quiksilver said it will slash 200 jobsto cut costs in a worsening retail environment.
  • 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.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • 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.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, majority owner of automaker Chrysler, announced it may cut about 10 percent of its worldwide staff.
  • Clear Channel Communications , which operates radio stations and outdoor advertising space, plans to lay off about 1,500 employees—mostly in ad sales—of the 20,000 work force in the United States.
  • ConocoPhillips , citing a steep decline in oil and gas prices, saidit will cut 4 percent of its workforce and sees big writedowns on some of its exploration and production assets.
  • Pfizerplans to lay off as many as 2,400 sales staff this quarter in a continuing reorganization. The drugmaker has already cut about 15,000 jobs in the past two years, including 800 research jobs earlier this week, to downsize before the company's $12 billion-a-year.
  • General Electric's GE Capital unit will cut between 7,000 and 11,000 jobs. GE had said it would reduce costs at GE Capital by about $2 billion this year, according to the report.
  • Advanced Micro Devices plans to cut 1,100 jobs, 9 percent of its global staff, and slash the remaining employees' pay as the chip maker hopes its third round of layoffs in a year can help it get through a brutal market for computer sales.
  • Insurance company WellPoint said that it would eliminate about 1,500 positions, or about 3.5 percent of its workforce, to reduce administrative costs.
  • Rental car company Hertz Global said Friday it will eliminate more than 4,000 jobs worldwide as it further cuts costs amid slowing demand.
  • Delta Air Lines , which took over rival Northwest Airlines last year, said it expects about 2,000 staff to opt for an early retirement program as it aims to trim capacity as much as 8 percent this year.

  • Autodesk is cutting 750 jobs, or about 10 percent of its work force to cut expenses and expects to report a loss rather than a profit for the fourth quarter.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Marshall & Ilsley is cutting 830 jobs, or 8 percent of the total. It said 80 percent of the cuts had already been made. It also began a program to reduce costs by $100 million a year, and said no executive officers will receive bonuses for 2008.
  • Hybrid electric and electric powertrain maker Azure Dynamics said it would reduce its workforce by about 25 percent as part of a cost-reduction plan.
  • Motorola said it would cut another 4,000 jobs, as it forecast a fourth-quarter loss and weaker-than-expected handset sales. The company had previously announced a plan to cut 3,000 jobs in October 2008.
  • MeadWestvaco , which makes paper and plastic products, said it will cut some 2,000 employees, or about 10 percent of its work force, as it accelerates cost savings
  • Google said it was closing three engineering offices and cutting 100 recruiters as the recession dampens hiring. Computer equipment maker Seagate Technology also said it will eliminate 2,950 jobs, or 6 percent of its work force.
  • Seagate Technology is cutting thousands of jobs and slashing some employees' salaries by as much as 25 percent, a surprise move coming just a few days after the company changed chief executives and announced it was cutting 800 U.S.-based workers.
  • St. Paul-based sanitizer and detergent maker Ecolab laid off 1,000 workers in response to the economy that has dramatically affected the company's restaurant and hotel customers.
  • The nation's largest book store chain Barnes & Noble said it would cut nearly 100 jobs at its corporate headquarters in New York, due mostly to reduced store openings and consolidated operations at its retail and online segments. The company said it would provide affected employees with an enhanced severance plan and healthcare benefits for the next 12 months, as well as job placement counseling and transition seminars.
  • Barclays was the latest major banking institution to announce big layoffs, revealing its plans to cut 2,100 jobs in its retail and commercial banking units, adding to redundancies of the same size in its investment banking arms announced earlier in the year.
  • Dutch financial services group ING said it will cut 750 U.S. jobs as part of a global program to cope with the economic slowdown.

The Employment Gloom Continues...

  • Software giant Oracle announced it will cut around 500 positions in its North American sales and consulting business. However, this is not as much as some people had speculated.
  • Visteon said it cut salaries for about 2,000 white-collar employees by 20 percent at its facilities in Michigan and adopted a four-day workweek there for the month of January. Visteon will also suspend matching payments for 401K employee retirement plans and reduce new hiring, it said.
  • U.S. manufacturer Cummins it would cut its global white-collar workforce by at least 800 and reduce its top executives' pay by 10 percent next year to save money during the deepening recession.
  • LexmarkInternational announced that its fourth-quarter sales came in worse than expected,prompting a decision to cut 250 jobsand transfer roughly 125 more to lower-cost countries in the coming months.
  • Drugstore operator Walgreen said it will cut 1,000 jobs by mid-year, or about 9 percent of corporate management, through a combination of voluntary buyouts and layoffs.
  • Boeing , the world's second-largest airplane maker, plans to cut about 3 percent, or about 4,500 positisons, of its work force as a weakening global economy lowers demand for jetliners. Many of the cuts will be in areas not directly associated with aircraft production. This will be the company’s second round of layoffs after cutting 800 workers in November 2008.
  • Cigna said it will cut about 1,100 jobs and consolidate some offices because of the flagging economy and won't give pay raises to salaried employees this year.
  • Alcoa said it will eliminate 13,500 jobs, or 13 percent of its work force, in order to conserve cash and cut costs in the face of the global economic downturn.
  • Schlumberger , the world's largest oilfield services provider, plans to shed 5 percent of its North American workforce, or 1,000 jobs, and is looking at cuts elsewhere, a spokesman said on Thursday.
  • Oilfield service company Halliburton also confirmed it will begin laying off workers but hasn't said how many or when.

Sources: AP, Reuters, with staff.