US job cuts mount as economy worsens

US job cuts mount as economy worsens

New York: The United States suffered a grim roll call of job losses on Monday as a number of major manufacturing and service companies said they would slash costs to cope with the deepening economic crisis.

The cuts come three days after government figures showed that US employers axed 533,000 jobs from payrolls in November, the most in 34 years, and that the nation’s unemployment rate hit 6.7%, the highest since 1993.

Economists expect the unemployment rate to rise to as much as 8% by late next year.

Jobs data for December looks to be bleak as Dow Chemical Co , the largest US chemical maker, said it would close 20 facilities, divest several businesses, and cut 5,000 jobs. Dow said it was planning to drop the number of outside contractors by 6,000 and temporarily idle 180 plants.

Hotels and timeshare company Wyndham Worldwide Corp said it would cut 4,000 jobs as it shrinks its timeshare business.

Others taking the scythe to their workforces included diversified manufacturer 3M Co, which said it would cut a total of 2,300 jobs in the fourth quarter. The company said it had already cut 1,800 of those positions and that it would cut another 500 in the fourth quarter. The job losses will occur mainly in the United States, Western Europe and Japan.

The world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, said it was cutting 1,400 jobs, or 6% of its workforce in the United States. InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch earlier this year.

In the telecom sector, Level 3 Communications Inc said it would cut about 450 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, in North America and Sprint Nextel Corp said it planned to cut costs and warned that could include layoffs.

Danaher Corp, a US conglomerate whose products include Craftsmen tools and dental equipment, said it was eliminating 1,700 jobs, shuttering 13 facilities and freezing salaries.

Tribune Co, the privately held publisher of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it struggles with its debt load and large losses, including a $124 million third quarter loss posted in November.

The move is expected to lead to job cuts at the media company.

Job losses in November were the steepest since December 1974, when 602,000 jobs were shed, and much worse than the consensus on Wall Street for a 340,000 reduction.