On Monday alone, companies across the employment spectrum announced more than 65,000 job cuts in the United States and around the world, a stark sign that businesses are enduring a painful, protracted downturn.
Monday’s toll included 20,000 cuts at Caterpillar, the world’s largest maker of construction and mining machinery; 8,000 jobs at the wireless provider Sprint Nextel; 7,000 workers at Home Depot, and 8,000 from the expected merger of the pharmaceutical makers Pfizer and Wyeth. The beleaguered automaker General Motors announced that it would cut shifts at plants in Michigan and Ohio, where the downturn has hit hardest, eliminating some 2,000 jobs.
And Texas Instruments said after the market closed on Monday that it would cut 3,400 jobs or 12 percent of its work force through 1,800 layoffs and 1,600 buyouts or retirements.
In Europe, the banking and insurance group ING said it would cut 7,000 jobs; the electronics company Philips, 6,000; and the steel maker Corus, 3,500 worldwide.