Tuesday, January 27, 2009

76,000 Lose Their Jobs in a Day

76,000 people lose their job in a day. This marks one of the worst day of this recession.

Quoting this from Financial Times

Corporate bellwethers in the US and Europe slashed more than 76,000 jobs from their payrolls to confront the deepening economic downturn, marking one of the most brutal days yet for workers on both sides of the Atlantic.

US corporate groups such as Caterpillar, General Motors, Sprint Nextel and Home Depot led the retreat, as the domestic recession coupled with tough export markets continued to take a heavy toll on their businesses. Pfizer, the drugs group, added to the tally saying jobs would be lost in its takeover of Wyeth.

Large European companies such as Philips, the Dutch electronics company, financial group ING and the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus, which is owned by India's Tata Group, struck the same downbeat tone as they unveiled plans to axe staff.

In many cases, the cutbacks accompanied disappointing quarterly results or bleak outlooks for 2009, when many of the world's largest economies are expected to be hit by severe downturns.

Raymond Torres, head of the International Labour Organisation's research institute, said employers were shedding workers far more quickly in this recession than in the early 1990s.

"We have a vicious circle of depression, where job losses lead to falling consumption, which lowers industrial confidence, which leads to less investment, which results in more job losses, and so on," he said.

Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of construction equipment, said it would cut 20,000 jobs as it reported fourth-quarter profits more than 32 per cent lower than a year ago and warned earnings would be under pressure in 2009. The news comes a month after the US group slashed executive salaries by up to half and cut jobs at large plants.

Sprint Nextel, the US mobile-phone operator, is to cut 8,000 jobs, or 14 per cent of its workforce, while DIY retailer Home Depot is shedding 7,000 posts and freezing salaries as it battles a consumer slowdown in the US.

Pfizer said 19,500 people would lose their jobs after its takeover of US rival Wyeth, while General Motors, the troubled carmaker, announced 2,000 job losses at two plants in Michigan. After the US markets closed, chipmaker Texas Instruments eliminated 3,400 positions. The news in the US came after ING said it would axe 7,000 of its 130,000 global staff and Philips announced the loss of 6,000 jobs as it accelerated restructuring plans.

Corus, Britain's largest steelmaker, announced cuts of 3,500 from its global workforce of 41,000, with more than 2,000 jobs to go in the UK where it employs 20,000.

Reporting by Justin Baer and Francesco Guerrera in New York, Andrew Ward in Washington, Hal Weitzman in Chicago, Richard Milne in London and Frances Williams in Geneva

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