More Jobs Cut at IBM and Google: Pink Slips Continue

Recent bright spots in the economy haven't stopped the cascade of pinks slips coming from some of the country's best-known employers.

IBM is reportedly slashing 5,000 jobs, Google has said it will trim nearly 200 positions and the New York Times will cut 100 employees and institute 5 percent pay cuts for most of its staff in exchange for 10 days of leave.

News of the layoffs comes in the wake of some encouraging signals for the U.S. economy: Sales of new and existing homes rose unexpectedly last month while Wall Street has seen triple-digit stock rallies this week.

"There have been some positive signs but, at the same time, the last year has been really uncertain and I think [companies] are feeling the uncertainty," said Jenny Schade, the president of JRS Consulting, a management and marketing consulting firm in Chicago. "They're continuing to buckle down and brace themselves for more difficulties and that means continuing to shed workers."

New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and chief executive Janet Robinson noted "the global economic crisis" in a memo to employees on the layoffs and pay cuts.

"This was a very difficult decision to make," they said. "The environment we are in is the toughest we have seen in our years in business."

In a message posted to his blog, Google senior vice president Omid Kordestani partly blamed his company's job cuts on "overlapping organizations" that make Google's teams "less effective and efficient."

"Google has grown very quickly in a very short period of time," he said. "When companies grow that quickly, it's almost impossible to get everything right, and we certainly didn't."

IBM did not return a call for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the company planned to lay off 5,000 U.S. employees and transfer many of their jobs to India.

News of the layoffs came the same day as the U.S. Labor Department announced the total number of people collecting unemployment benefits rose to 5.56 million, a record high.

The nation lost 650,000 jobs last month while the unemployment rate jumped to 8.1 percent as companies continued to slash payrolls.

In the past four months alone, employers shed 2.6 million jobs. Last month's job declines were "widespread across nearly all major industry sectors," according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Below, a look at some of the major companies cutting jobs as they struggle against economic headwinds.

Ailing Autos

As the recession continues to pound the U.S. auto industry, workers at General Motors and Chrysler are seeing their numbers shrink. The country's No. 1 and No. 3 automakers told the federal government last month that they planned to cut thousands of jobs to help keep their businesses viable.

GM announced 47,000 in job cuts worldwide, including reducing U.S. hourly jobs by 20,000. Chrysler said it would cut 3,000 jobs. Since January 2007, the company has cut 32,000 positions, or 37 percent of its workforce. These latest cuts will bring that number to 35,000.

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The cuts come despite the billions of dollars in government loans extended to the two companies.

Like its U.S. counterparts, French car company Peugeot also received billions in government aid but still recently slashed thousands of jobs. Peugeot, which received $4 billion in aid from the French government, plans to cut its workforce by up to 12,000 jobs.

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