WASHINGTON – It’s already been a lousy year for workers less than a month into 2009 and there’s no relief in sight. Tens of thousands of fresh layoffs were announced Monday and more companies are expected to cut payrolls in the months ahead.
The recession, which started in December 2007, and is expected to stretch into this year, has been a job killer. The economy lost 2.6 million jobs last year, the most since 1945. The unemployment rate jumped to 7.2 percent in December, the highest in 16 years, and is expected to keep climbing.
General Motors will lay off 2,000 employees in Michigan and Ohio and halt production at nine U.S. plants over the next six months.
NEW YORK – Pfizer Inc. is buying rival drugmaker Wyeth in a $68 billion deal that will increase its revenue by 50 percent, solidify its No. 1 rank in the troubled industry and transform it from a pure pharmaceutical company into a diversified health care giant.
At the same time, Pfizer announced cost cuts that include slashing more than 8,000 jobs as it prepares for an expected revenue crash when its cholesterol drug Lipitor — the world’s top-selling medicine and source of one-quarter of Pfizer’s revenue — loses patent protection in November 2011.
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says the nation can’t afford “distractions” or “delays” when it comes to the economic stimulus plan working its way through Congress.
Obama pointed to job cuts taking place at companies including Microsoft, Intel, United Airlines and Home Depot. And he said it means more working men and women “whose families have been disrupted and whose dreams have been put on hold.”
Obama told reporters Monday the government owes it to “every American” to act with a “sense of urgency” and “common purpose.”