Jobless America: Employers Cut 651,000 Jobs; Unemployment Rate At 8.1 Percent

"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.

Of the country's five former brokerage giants, only Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have survived the recession. But both did so by converting themselves into bank holding companies -- a move that qualified them for the federal government's bank bailout -- and laying off thousands of employees.

Morgan, which cut 7,000 jobs last year, may now cut 1,800 more, the Wall Street Journal reports. Goldman, which announced 3,200 in job cuts in November, is also reportedly considering more reductions.

The retail banking sector has seen its own share of job losses, including those caused by the largest bank failure of the year. When too many bad loans finally caught up with Washington Mutual, the nation's largest thrift, JPMorgan Chase, purchased the bank for $1.9 billion.

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