More Jobs Cut at IBM and Google: Pink Slips Continue

Electronics Layoffs

A cheap night at home in front of the television may have new appeal for cost-conscious consumers these days, but that hasn't made television manufacturers and their employees immune to the recession.

Pioneer, known for making plasma televisions as well as other products, will shutter its TV business in favor of focusing on car electronics. The Tokyo-based company, which has projected a record loss for 2009, will cut 10,000 jobs around the world, including 4,000 temporary employees.

Fellow Japanese company Panasonic Corp., the electronics giant known for flat-screen TVs as well as digital cameras, announced in early February that it would slash 15,000 jobs and close 27 plants worldwide.

Panasonic, which saw its third-quarter sales drop by 20 percent, announced its first annual loss in six years.

"The current financial crisis originated in the United States has spread across the world and the company's outlook of the business environment has been extremely uncertain," the company said in its financial forecast.

In December, consumer electronics titan Sony kicked off the recent spate of electronics manufacturer layoffs with 16,000 job cuts, including 8,000 part-time and seasonal workers.

The electronics slump has extended to at least one electronics retailer: In November, Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The move came a week after the retailer announced it was closing about 155 Circuit City stores. As part of the store closings, 7,305 jobs were cut.

Computers and Communications

Microsoft said in January it would slash 5,000 jobs in the next 18 months. It seems that even the once-mighty tech sector can't escape the recession.

"While we are not immune to the effects of the economy, I am confident in the strength of our product portfolio and soundness of our approach," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.

In late January, AOL Inc. chief executive Randy Falco sent an internal memo to employees about plans to cut about 700 jobs, 10 percent of its work force, and freeze salary increases. AOL, a division of Time Warner Inc., is an Internet services and media company. Falco explained that the company's been hurt as online marketers tighten advertising budgets.

People talking on cell phones remains a ubiquitous sight around the world, but that doesn't mean that telecommunications companies are sailing through the global economic slump.

The country's largest telecommunications company, AT&T, said in December that it was eliminating 12,000 jobs because of tough market conditions. Sprint Nextel, the nation's third-largest wireless carrier, announced 4,000 job cuts in January.

"Labor reductions are always the most difficult action to take, but many companies are finding it necessary in this environment," Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.

Bank Layoffs

As financial firms have seen billions of dollars evaporate during the worldwide financial crisis, they've cut tens of thousands of employees.

Among the most notable were the layoffs caused by the September collapse of the brokerage firm Lehman Brothers. Shock waves spread throughout the financial world when Lehman filed for bankruptcy Sept. 15, the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.

British bank Barclays purchased Lehman's North American investment-banking and trading divisions, saving some jobs. But an estimated 16,000 people still lost their jobs.

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