AT&T to cut about 4,600 jobs

AT&T t says it plans to cut about 4,600 jobs, or 1.5% of its workforce, to shift resources to growing parts of its business.

The nation's largest telecommunications provider said most of the layoffs will be among managers.

AT&T said the job cuts — affecting its wireline telephone business mostly in the United States in "non-customer-facing areas" — are part of its efforts to streamline the company.

The job cuts, which are on top of a three-year plan to cut 10,000 jobs announced at the end of last year, come as it faces declining traditional phone sales and rising costs for deploying new, high-speed Internet and video services.

"Even with the reductions announced today, we expect our head count overall to remain stable this year as we hire additional employees to support growth areas like wireless and TV," said spokesman Michael Coe.

The San Antonio-based company said in a regulatory filing that it plans to take a $374 million first-quarter pretax charge against earnings due to the job cuts. The company reports first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

The company had 309,500 employees at the end of last year. When it announced the acquisition of BellSouth in 2006, it has said it would cut 10,000 jobs over three years from the combined company to eliminate overlap. But the combined workforce grew by 7,000 last year, as the company built up its growing wireless and TV divisions even as land lines shrank in the face of competition from wireless and cable phone service.

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