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

Another round of layoffs was announced on Thursday, adding to the gloom over rising unemployment.

Companies from a range of sectors are hemorrhaging jobs as the recession worsens. Consumers have cut back on their spending in response to declining home values and plummeting stock portfolios, and businesses also are tightening their belts.


The number of people requesting first-time unemployment benefits dropped slightly last week, but remained near a 26-year high as companies lay off thousands of workers amid a deepening recession.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of initial jobless benefit claims dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 623,000, from an upwardly revised figure of 631,000 the previous week. The latest tally still was above analysts' expectations of 610,00 claims.

The 631,000 figure was the highest number of new jobless claims since October 1982, when the economy was emerging from a steep recession, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.

The four-week average of claims, which smooths out fluctuations, rose by 24,000 to 607,500, the first time that figure has topped 600,000 in the current recession.

Economists consider jobless claims a timely, if volatile, indicator of the health of the labor markets and broader economy. A year ago, initial claims stood at 339,000.

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

  • Pioneer said it is closing its television-making operations and plans to slash 10,000 jobs from its global workforce, as the economic slowdown batters the consumer electronics industry. The job cuts cover 6,000 staff positions—about 16 percent of the total—and 4,000 temporary positions.
  • Auto parts maker BorgWarner said sharply lower global auto demand caused it to cut 4,400 jobs in the last six months—24 percent of its total workforce—and it posted a steep loss for the fourth quarter as industry-wide conditions worsened.
  • U.S. heavy equipment maker Caterpillaroffered voluntary early retirement packages to about 2,000 production workers. The cuts are in addition to the 22,000 layoffs the company announced last month.
  • Putnam Investments plans to cut 260 jobs, or 11 percent of its workforce, this week, becoming the latest money manager to trim staff.
  • Starbucks said it issued more than 1,000 pink slips related to its newest round of job cuts.
  • General Electric said it will cut 350 jobs and temporarily furlough 1,200 workers at its locomotive unit as production declines. The cutbacks affect about 14 percent of the 11,400 workers at GE Transportation, spokesman Stephan Koller said.
  • Nike said it could cut up to four percent of its workforce to reduce costs as it restructures its business. Up to 1,400 jobs out of about 35,000 globally could be cut.
  • Applied Materials , which plans to slash 1,800 jobs or 12 percent of its workforceby the end of the current fiscal year, has pushed aggressively into solar equipment to galvanize growth.
  • Wal-Mart Stores is cutting 700 to 800 jobs at its Wal-Mart and Sam's Club home offices as the world's largest retailer looks to realign its corporate structure and reduce costs.
  • General Motors says it is cutting 10,000 salaried jobs, blaming the need to restructure the company amid the continued drop in new vehicle sales.
  • UBS said client withdrawals reversed in January, and that it would cut about 2,000 more jobs as it restructures to focus on wealth management. It also reported a fourth-quarter loss, the largest ever for a Swiss firm.
  • FedEx Freight, a unit of FedEx, said it will cut about 900 jobs at 130 facilities, citing unprecedented economic conditions and aggressive pricing by carriers.

  • SolarWorld plans to cut 53 jobs at its Camarillo plant by March 6, according to the company's notification with the state Employment Development Department.

—Sources: AP, Reuters, with CNBC.com staff.

The Layoffs Continue...

  • Mining group Xstrata will restructure its Sudbury nickel operations in Canada and cut 686 permanent jobs there after a collapse in metal prices, the firm said.
  • Harvard University said it will cut about a quarter of staff—or about 50 jobs—from the company that manages its endowment after the fund's value tumbled $8 billion in four months.
  • 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.
  • 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.

—Sources: AP, Reuters, with CNBC.com staff.

The Layoffs Continue...

  • 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.
  • 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.

—Sources: AP, Reuters, with CNBC.com staff.

The Layoffs Continue...

  • 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.
  • 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.

—Sources: AP, Reuters, with CNBC.com staff.