Sectors ranging from shipping to pharmaceuticals to construction equipment are also feeling the pinch. A few recent examples:
FedEx plans to let go 900 jobs across 130 facilities. The company layoffs come after a decline in customer demand since December. Other cost-cutting measures include halting contribution to employees' retirement plans for at least a year.
Pfizer, which is buying rival pharmaceutical giant Wyeth for $68 billion, is planning to cut 8,000 jobs by the end of March, about 13 percent of its work force.
Construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar said it would cut 20,000 jobs -- nearly 20 percent of its work force -- after reporting that its profits had fallen 32 percent. The company said the job cuts were designed to help "deliver our 'trough' profit target" of $40 billion in sales and revenues.
With reports by ABC News' Sarah Netter, Scott Mayerowitz and Eleanor Hong.