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by SixFigureStart | January 26, 2009

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The hits really do just keep on coming. Here's the latest in layoffs for your Monday morning.

Heavy machinery maker Caterpillar Inc. is projecting 2009 earnings well below analysts' estimates and plans to cut 20,000 jobs - about 18% of its workforce - to reflect the lower demand. This announcement comes after the company's fourth-quarter net income experienced a steep 32% drop at the end of last year. Caterpillar is currently the world's largest maker of construction and mining machines, but could be headed for its worst year of business since WWII. [New York Times]

Another top company in its field, Home Depot, also announced an upcoming reduction in force Monday. The No. 1 home improvement retailer will be shutting down its high-end EXPO business, which has underperformed financially and is not expected to in the future. Additionally, support staff will be decreased, with both moves resulting in the elimination of 7,000 jobs, or about 2% of Home Depot's total workforce. Customer service positions in the company's Home Depot stores will not be impacted, the company said. [CNNMoney.com]

The Sprint Nextel Corporation announced plans today to slash 8,000 jobs, or 14% of its workforce, by March 31. The wireless provider will seek to cut its annual costs by $1.2 billion. About 850 of the cuts are voluntary and the company expects to pay over $300 million for severance and other costs. Sprint Nextel is not the only wireless provider to feel the recession sting, as you may recall rival AT&T's plan to cut 12,000 jobs, or roughly 4% of its staff, announced last month. [New York Times]

While the scope of layoffs is not quite as vast as at the aforementioned heavyweight companies, farm equipment maker Deere & Co. is also being forced to lay off workers - nearly 700 of them between factories in Brazil and Iowa - with projections of flagging sales of construction and forestry equipment worldwide. One single agricultural harvesting plant in Horizontina, Brazil will lose 502 workers, while another 190 employees at a plant in Davenport, Iowa will be laid off or temporarily assigned as of Feb. 16. [International Herald Tribune]

The going is certainly tough, but nothing can come from dwelling on the negative. That said, you have one more day to sign up or gather information for Vault's 'Back To Work' event tomorrow at the New York Public Library Science Industry and Business Library. See you there!

--Posted by Steven Schiff

 

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