The Great Recession

Layoffs Hit 2009

The year isn't yet two weeks old, and layoffs are already making their mark on 2009. In the 10 days since New Year's Day, American companies have announced more than 30,000 job cuts. Yesterday Boeing said it would shed 4,500 jobs, while wresting giant WWE announced the elimination of 10 percent of its work force, or 60 jobs. Earlier in the week metals company Alcoa said it would cut 15,000 jobs, as thousands of other positions were shed across the country from companies like Daimler Trucks North America and Lenovo Group. Some businesses have reached their second round of layoffs, while others have begun offering early retirement, shorter workweeks, and cuts in pay and benefits. A December survey of US-based employers found that 23 percent expect to lay off workers in the next year and more than 15 percent expect to freeze salaries or hiring, cut spending on travel or training, or increase employees' contributions to health care premiums.