Continuing jobless claims rose by 159,000 in the week ended Jan. 17 to a seasonally adjusted 4.78 million, the most since the government’s records began in 1967. The number of unemployed people in the US could rise by one million this month, almost twice the figure for December.
Where are the job losses coming? Only thirty firms account for over 173,000 of the firings so far this month.
Circuit City let 34,000 people go when it went into liquidation. Caterpillar (CAT) fired 20,000 people due to a prediction of falling earnings and a slowing global business. Pfizer (PFE) said it will fire 19,000 people as it acquires Wyeth (WYE).
Alcoa (AA) will let go 13,500 people because of falling margins and lack of demand. Sprint (S) will fire 8,000 people because of losses and an eroding share in the cellular service business. Home Depot (HD) will let go 7,000 people as it closes operations due to the slowing housing market.
Intel (INTC) will fire 6,000 workers because low PC and server sales are cutting demand for its chips. Eaton will cut 5,200 people as sales of its goods to auto and other manufacturing firms fall off. Microsoft (MSFT) will fire 5,000 people due to faltering demand for its OS software.
Boeing (BA) will fire 4,500 people due to slack demand and cancellation of aircraft orders. Hertz (HTZ) will cut 4,000 as travel demand drops. Motorola (MOT) will cut 4,000 people as sales of its handsets drop sharply.
Holcim will fire 3,300 people due to a fall-off in demand for construction. Pfizer (PFE) fired 2,400 sales people. EMC (EMC) let go 2,400 people due to falling demand for its storage hardware. Textron fired 2,200 people in its aerospace unit. Freigthliner cut 2,100 people due to dropping demand for automobiles.
Delta (DAL) fired 2,000 people as airline traffic dropped. MeadWestVaco cut 2,000 people due to cuts in demand for industrial goods. Cessna cut 2,000 people due to falling demand for light aircraft. GM (GM) cut 2,000 people due to falling sales.
Conoco (COP) cut 1,300 people as oil prices fell. Kennametal chopped 1,200 people due to dropping demand for manufacturing goods.
Companies that fired people after Challenger Gray completed its list for the month-to-date list include Kodak (EK) which let 4,500 people go as its earnings fell. Starbucks (SBUX) cut 6,700 people as it closed 300 stores.Texas Instruments (TXN) will cut 3,400 people due to falling sales. IBM (IBM) reportedly cut 4,000 people. Corning (GLW) said it will fire 3,500 people.
Source: Challenger Gray and company sources.
Douglas A. McIntyre