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

More companies announced layoffs on Wednesday as the employment picture continued to dim.

National Semiconductor became the latest victim of the crisis, announcing it will cut 26 percent of its global workforce.


The nation's unemployment rate bolted to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs.

Both figures were worse than analysts expected and the Labor Department's report shows America's workers being clobbered by a relentless wave of layoffs.

The net loss of 651,000 jobs in February came after even deeper payroll reductions in the prior two months, according to revised figures. The economy lost 681,000 jobs in December and another 655,000 in January.

In the meantime, four states—California, South Carolina, Michigan and Rhode Island—registered double-digit unemployment rates in January.

The U.S. Labor Department says California's unemployment rate jumped to 10.1 percent in January, from 8.7 percent in December.

Michigan's jobless rate of 11.6 percent was the highest in the country. That was followed by South Carolina at 10.4 percent and Rhode Island at 10.3 percent.

California rounded out the top four.

"There's no way that we could or should put a positive spin on these," Christina Romer, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers told CNBC.

"The American people are clearly suffering," she said.

Since the recession began in December 2007, the economy has lost an astounding 4.4 million jobs, more than half of which occurred in the past four months.

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

  • 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 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.
Your Job, Your Life | A CNBC Special Report
Your Job, Your Life | A CNBC Special Report
  • 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.
  • HSBC 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 staff.