Archive for Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Employers slash 55,000 jobs as recession continues its toll

January 27, 2009


— The nation’s employers, including some of its largest and most sturdy, announced plans Monday to slash more than 55,000 jobs, a staggering one-day toll that highlighted how quickly layoffs are accelerating and how widely misery is spreading throughout the labor market.

The cuts extended to companies that were once considered bright spots in the U.S. economy. Construction equipment maker Caterpillar, whose business last year was bolstered by strong exports, said it would cut 20,000 jobs. Pfizer, one of the giants of a health-care sector that had until recently seemed immune from the downturn, said it would cut 8,000.

In all, 22 of the 30 companies that are part of the Dow Jones industrial average have announced job cuts since the economy took a nosedive in October. Analysts say they’ve been surprised by just how quickly those cuts have added up. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance benefits now stands at 4.6 million, the highest level since 1982.

“These are not just numbers on a page,” President Obama told reporters at the White House Monday, as he urged Congress to pass his economic stimulus package. “These are working men and women whose lives have been disrupted. We owe it to each of them, and to every single American, to act with a sense of urgency and common purpose.”

The unemployment rate, at 7.2 percent nationwide as of December, has already reached 10 percent in some states, including Michigan and Rhode Island, the hardest hit. The nation has experienced the steepest rise in unemployment since the recession of the early 1980s, a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute found.

The job cuts announced Monday “are the predictable consequence of a quickly unraveling economy affecting all sectors and segments of the work force,” said Lawrence Mishel, the president of EPI. “Unfortunately, the rise in unemployment we’ve already had may only be halfway to where we’re heading.”

Construction firms, banks and automakers have been eliminating jobs for more than a year. But now positions are being cut across the economy. Those cuts signal that even financially strong companies are bracing for what they think will be a prolonged economic downturn.

Companies announcing job cuts Monday included Sprint Nextel, the wireless provider, which cut 8,000; Home Depot, which cut 7,000; General Motors, which laid off 2,000; and Texas Instruments, which cut 3,400.

Caterpillar, viewed as a stalwart of American industry, cut more jobs than any other company Monday. It said the economy has slowed so much in China and other once fast-growing nations that there have been fewer buyers for the company’s bulldozers, graders and other heavy equipment.

At Pfizer, the announcement of job cuts came after the firm said it would acquire Wyeth. While job cuts are typical after mergers, the recession played a role as well, analysts said. Drugmakers are facing increased regulation and competition from cheaper generics. Prescription drug spending in 2007 fell to its lowest growth rate in more than 30 years.


yankeevet 9 years, 3 months ago

this is just the beginning...............

Maddy Griffin 9 years, 3 months ago

It's going to get a LOT worse before it gets any better.

lawthing 9 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps Americans will soon be the Aliens invading other countries for work!KARMA!

Richard Heckler 9 years, 3 months ago

What in the world was this past so called republican administration thinking? They have screwed the entire nations economy. Isn't it odd each time our nations financial institutions crumble there is Bush family near by and a McCain still in office?Who has history with financial institutions going south such as the savings and loan scandal? Republicans! The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five. The story of "the Keating Five" has become a scandal rivaling Teapot Dome and Watergate ...

Sigmund 9 years, 3 months ago

Notice how private enterprises quickly react to changing economics. Don't you wish government work this quickly? i guess the local USD did get rid of one person. LOL!

Sigmund 9 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says… "What in the world was this past so called republican administration thinking? They have screwed the entire nations economy."Here I thought Fannie, Freddie, Detroit, the big Banks, Home Depot, Circuit City, et. al. screwed themselves. But, hey that is just me. Of course President Obama voted with all the bailouts just like President Bush don't go hoping for any real change.

Chris Ogle 9 years, 3 months ago

55,000 more on the "NO-WORK" list, and national debt near 80% of GNP. Hell, lets buy something. We can pay later.

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