Downsizing up with third-quarter reports

Oct. 22, 2008 at 6:38 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A drumbeat of job losses accompanied a slew of negative corporate reports that battered stocks on Wall Street Wednesday.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck said it would cut 7,200 jobs by 2011. Yahoo! announced it would trim 10 percent of its workforce of 14,000. PepsiCo weighed in with a reduction of 3,000 jobs, ABC News reported. Best Buy, with consumers cautious, said it would cut seasonal hiring by 10,000.

Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute said job losses will continue, "concentrated in the housing-related sector, manufacturing, but really throughout the economy."

"For most employers there's little cushion, because they already had very few employees for the work they were doing," Mishel said. "So, as the economy shrinks, we're going to see large-scale cutbacks -- not temporary lay-offs, but people permanently losing their jobs."

One exception to the job market downturns is healthcare, Mishel said.

"There's always a demand for healthcare services, and as long as that happens, the sector is going to expand, become more expensive, but also have more employment," Mishel said.

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