Out of Work

The U.S. has lost more than 7.2 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007 and job losses are continuing as we enter the new year. The biggest and most recent job losses are coming from defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. which is implementing 1,200 job losses and shipping giant UPS which is implementing 1,800 job losses.

Shipping giant UPS Inc. will cut 1,800 management and administrative jobs, less than 1 percent of its global work force, as it repositions itself for a gradual economic recovery.

UPS will reduce its U.S. regions from five to three and its U.S. Districts from 46 to 20 in April. There are no plans to close any operating facilities. UPS said the consolidation of offices will not affect the sales and operations team, including drivers. UPS expects to incur a one-time charge in 2010 because of the restructuring.

In 2009, UPS had already implemented thousands of job losses to reduce expenses and survive the economic downturn.  By the end of last year’s second quarter, UPS had implemented 15,000 job losses. In the beginning of 2009, the company froze management salaries and suspended 401(k) matches for employees in lieu of job losses and we may see more of this at other companies as we move into the Spring.

Many analysts are saying that the end of the recession is near; but millions of unemployed Americans don’t agree.  Job losses at companies like UPS have a huge impact (and ripple effect) on the economy and many of those jobs are gone permanently.  When companies such as UPS speak of “consolidating” facilities, it doesn’t sound like they are preparing for the next boom, more like they are fortifying their ability to withstand another wave of sagging sales and other events that could severely damage their business as the recession drags on.

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