More companies announced layoffs this week as the employment picture continued to dim.
Best Buy and Harley-Davidson were among the latest names to announce job cuts.
The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly fell last week, government data on Thursday showed, but so-called continued claims rose to a fresh record as the recession bit.
Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits declined 53,000 to a seasonally adjusted 610,000 in the week ended April 11 from a revised 663,000 the week before, the Labor Department said.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast new claims of 655,000 versus a previously reported count of 654,000 the week before.
The number of people staying on the benefits roll after drawing an initial week of aid rose 172,000 to a more-then-forecast 6.022 million in the week ended April 4, the most recent week for which data is available.
It was the highest level of continued claims on record and pushed the insured unemployment rate to 4.5 percent, the highest since 1983, from 4.4 percent the previous week.
Analysts estimated continued claims would be 5.89 million.
Here is a rundown of corporate job cuts announced so far:
- Thousands of Best Buy store employees will see pay cuts and others will lose their jobsas the consumer electronics chain reorganizes.
- Harley-Davidson says its first-quarter profit fell 37 percent and expects to cut as many as 400 more jobs as the motorcycle market remains sluggish.
- Yahoo is preparing to lay off several hundred workers in the first round of cutssince Carol Bartz became chief executive in January, a source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
- UBS will post a first-quarter loss and cut 8,700 more jobs as it struggles to recover, its new chief executive said on Wednesday, warning that Switzerland's largest bank faces an uncertain future.
- Discover Financial Services
, the fourth-largest U.S. credit card network, will cut 500 jobs, or 4 percent of its workforce, in May, hurt by mounting credit losses, the company said.
- Deere & Company said that it plans to cut about 200 salaried jobs through voluntary separations.
- Diversified health care products company Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it will cut about 900 jobs, mainly from its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit.
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked city agencies to cut another 7,000 jobs as the city's finances continue to deteriorate in the recession.
- The Walt Disney Company says it has cut 1,900 positions at its U.S. theme parksdue to the slumping economy.
—Sources: AP, Reuters, with CNBC.com staff.