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Global meltdown: January sees 9,000 job losses every day

More and more people are becoming unemployed this year, with nearly 9,000 jobs vanishing worldwide on an average each day in January.

business Updated: Feb 01, 2009 10:24 IST

More and more people are becoming unemployed this year, with nearly 9,000 jobs vanishing worldwide on an average each day in January.

As the financial turmoil continues to rattle world economies, layoffs so far this year have crossed the 2,77,000 -mark with a stunning 80,000 job cuts announced January 26.

Right from electronics to telecom to pharma sectors, about 9,000 jobs were lost on an average every day this month.

Among the entities, construction machinery manufacturer Caterpillar, Japanese electronics major NEC and pharma giant Pfizer have announced over 20,000 job cuts each.

Dutch entities - electronics firm Philips and financial services company ING - together would be axing 13,000 jobs in the coming months.

Caterpillar, Pfizer, telecom firm Sprint Nextel Corp and home improvement retailer Home Depot together accounted for 61,000 lay-off announcements on January 26. The total job cuts announced on that day worldwide had crossed 80,000.

The bankruptcy of American electronics retailer Circuit City is expected to affect 30,000 employees whereas aluminium manufacturer Alcoa would be laying off 13,500 people.

Further, Indian conglomerate Tatas-owned UK steel maker Corus would be reducing its workforce by 3,500.

Other entities which unveiled plans to bring down headcount in January include TDK (8,000), BHP Billiton (6,000), Ericsson (5,000), Corning (4,900), Motorola (4,000), Texas Instruments (3,400), Honda (3,100), Kodak (3,000), Ford Motor (1,200) and Harley-Davidson (1,100).

Companies worldwide are bringing down their workforce as they explore ways to battle the dire economic situation. With consumer and business spending being crimped, many of the developed nations have already entered into recession.

Hit by the adverse economic situation, NEC on Friday said it would reducing the strength by over 20,000 employees, including the outsourced workforce.

The reductions would be at "poorly performing group companies", the firm noted in a statement, adding it would also be bringing down outsourcing through "increased in-house development".

As on 2008, the company had a total employee strength of about 1,50,000.

Another Japanese electronics giant Hitachi would be slashing up to 7,000 jobs.

In a reflection of how deep the economic turbulence is hurting the American corporates, software giant Microsoft has said it would eliminate nearly 5,000 jobs across various departments.

"Microsoft will eliminate up to 5,000 jobs in R&D, HR, marketing, sales, finance, legal, and IT over the next 18 months, including 1,400 jobs today," the company said in a statement.

Presenting a gloomy outlook, the International Labour Organisation has projected that job losses worldwide could be over 50 million in 2009, if the global economic situation continues to deteriorate.

First Published: Feb 01, 2009 10:23 IST