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Friday 11th of June 2010
July 22, 2005    

US job losses show shifts from manufacturing

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by Brian Turner
US job losses show shifts from manufacturing

While the US Labor Department reported that first-time jobless claims had fallen, little attention has been paid to the stream of job cuts being announced by major companies.

US companies announced a total of 110,996 job cuts in June, bringing the total announced job losses in 2005 so far to 538,274. Predictions are that July could even be worse.

Just this week, Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, and Kimberly-Clark all announced that it would be cutting more jobs.

On Wednesday, Kodak said that it would be cutting between 22,000 and 25,000 jobs by the middle of 2007, almost a doubling of the earlier announced number of 12,000 to 15,000 positions.

This came a day after Hewlett-Packard’s Tuesday announcement that it will eliminate 14,500 jobs, almost 10 percent of its payroll. It also said that it was modifying pension benefits to those who stay on.

Then, on Friday, Kimberly-Clark said that it will terminate 6,000 employees and sell or close up to 20 of its plants.

These cuts, some analysts say, may be signaling a downturn in the economy.

At the very least, according to others, it shows the shift of the US economy toward the service industries and away from manufacturing, as well as highlighting increasing competition from other regions around the globe.

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