June 23, 2024

Job Losses Continue – “Unprecedented Economic Conditions”

Job losses continue to dominate the headlines in 2009.

Logitech To Slash 15% Of Work Force

ZURICH (Reuters) — Logitech International SA, the world’s largest computer-mouse maker, said it plans to cut 15% of its workforce and withdrew its fiscal 2009 financial targets, citing deepening global recession.

“During the December quarter, the retail environment deteriorated significantly,” Chief Executive Gerald Quindlen said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that the company expects the economic environment to worsen in coming months.

Cigna To Cut 1,100 Jobs

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Health insurer Cigna Corp. said Monday it will cut 1,100 jobs, or about 4% of its workforce, and consolidate certain operations as it copes with the economic downturn.

“Given the unprecedented economic situation we and our customers are facing, these actions are essential to ensure we can meet their needs for high-value, cost-effective products and services,” Chairman and Chief Executive H. Edward Hanway said in a statement.

The Cigna news follows a similar announcement last month from No. 3 health insurer Aetna, which said it would cut 1,000 jobs, or about 3% of its workforce, by the end of 2008.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer by market value, said in July it was cutting some 4,000 jobs, or about 5% of its workforce, over the course of a year.

Alcoa to Cut 15% of Work Force, Unload Assets

Alcoa Inc. announced the elimination of about 15,000 jobs, more plant closures, plans to sell assets and a 50% cut in capital expenditures to contend with the sustained recession.

“Many of these things are painful and many of these things are drastic,” Alcoa Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld said in an interview Tuesday. “We will continue to monitor the dynamic market situation to ensure that we adjust capacity to meet any future changes in demand and seize new opportunities.”

Alcoa lost much of its luster in the recent commodity boom, failing to match the profit rise of other mining and metals companies, including rivals Rio Tinto Aluminum and UC Rusal. Both of those companies have also announced major cuts, shutting operations and selling businesses such as operations in China.

About 15% of the company’s employees and contractors will lose their jobs. Alcoa also is freezing salaries and hiring.

One day’s results – 3 companies cut over 17,000 jobs resulting in hard times and unemployment for many families.  Job losses have been an ongoing event and promise only to get worse as the job losses ripple throughout the economy.

The common theme in many of the layoffs is the eye popping size of the job cuts and company statements that conditions deteriorated significantly.  The size of the cuts do not suggest a typical slowdown but rather a “falling off the cliff” economy.

The only possible positive view one can take here is that when the news is this bad, it has to get better.