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US: 30,000 jobs gone and still counting

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 08, 2008 16:51 IST
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News of the US officially slipping into recession seems to have spurred another round of massive retrenchment, as the first week of December alone saw a stunning 30,000 layoffs, with more than half happening in the world's largest economy.

The whopping numbers are just a continuation of a strained labor market as employers in America slashed 5,33,000 jobs in the month of November, the maximum downsizing in 34 years.

Right from telecom giant AT&T to battered banking major Credit Suisse to steel maker ArcelorMittal, the layoffs are spread across the sectors, amid the worst financial turmoil since the Great Depression of 1930s.

Moreover, since the start of recession in December last year, as concluded by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 1.9 million people lost their jobs and two-thirds of the losses happened in the last three months.

Leaving a gloomy November, this month's layoffs are led by AT&T which would slash 12,000 jobs or about four per cent of its total workforce.

The telecom entity cited economic pressures and a changing business mix, among the reasons for the latest move.

Further, Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse would be axing 5,300 jobs, accounting for 11 per cent of its global workforce, by the first half of the next year.

Battered by the financial turmoil, the company had incurred a whopping loss of about $2.5 billion by November-end in the fourth quarter. Credit Suisse already slashed 1,800 jobs this year.

In yet another job cutting act, software maker Adobe has announced it would cut 600 full-time positions worldwide.

Other major job cuts have been announced by ArcelorMittal (over 9,000 jobs), American car rental firm Avis Budget Group (2,200 jobs), Japanese financial services major Nomura (about 1,000 jobs), General Motors (2,000 jobs) and chemical company Dupont (2,500 jobs).

Moreover, JPMorgan is reportedly planning to reduce its workforce by 21 per cent. The move is expected to result in 4,000 employees being given the pink slip by January at Washington Mutual, the failed American entity which was snapped up by the former in September.

The unemployment rate jumped to a 15-year high of 6.7 per cent last month, reflecting the strained labour market which has seen massive layoffs by many corporate giants.

"Non-farm payroll employment fell sharply (-533,000) in November, and the unemployment rate rose from 6.5 to 6.7 per cent," the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is a part of the US Labor Department, said on Friday.

The job losses, widespread across major sectors, are reportedly the worst since December 1974.

Further, the ADP National Employment Report showed that private American companies had cut 2,50,000 jobs last month.

In yet another job cutting act, software maker Adobe has announced it would cut 600 full-time positions worldwide.

In addition, US-based 3M Co would axe 1,800 jobs, media conglomerate Viacom would reduce workforce by 850 in number and banking firm Jefferies Group would cut over 250 people.

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