New York: A whopping 71,000 job cuts have been announced worldwide by more than a dozen multinationals, including HP and Nokia, so far this year as they attempt to save costs amid uncertain economic environment.
The cuts have been announced by companies from various sectors, during the first six months of 2012, and those from the technology services space are the worst hit.
Companies to have confirmed massive job cuts, running into thousands of employees each, include tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HP), mobile handset maker Nokia, consumer electronic giant Sony Corp, internet company Yahoo, food and beverage maker PepsiCo, financial services entity Royal Bank of Scotland and airline firm Lufthansa.
Camera maker Olympus, Swedish ball bearing giant SKF AB, drug manufacturer Novartis AG, the Anglo-Dutch firm Unilever, computer mouse maker Logitech International, LM Wind Power and mobile network operator Verizon Wireless have also announced substantial job cuts.
Together, these companies have announced job cuts totaling 71,000 in their operations across the world. Incidentally, more than half of the job cuts have been announced in May alone.
Individually, the Anglo-Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever last week said it plans to cut 500 jobs in Britain as part of a restructuring programme. In addition, it would also see some posts outsourced to India.
In the same week, Nokia said it plans to reduce its workforce by about 10,000 people worldwide by the end of 2013 as the struggling company fights strong competition. The measure is aimed at additional cost savings of 1.6 billion euros (about $ 2 billion) by the end of next year.
SKF also said it would slash around 400 jobs in Germany as part of cost cutting measures due to weakening business sentiment in India, China and European countries.
Announcing the job cuts earlier this month, Logitech International said it would eliminate approximately 450 positions, or 13 per cent of its worldwide workforce in a bid to save $ 80 million in annual operating costs.
Olympus Corp, which employs over 40,000 employees globally, this month said it would axe 2,700 jobs worldwide, or seven per cent of its workforce, in the next two years. The move is part of the company's effort to boost its profitability.
In May, HP said it would layoff about 27,000 employees globally over the next two years as part of restructuring move to stem up declining profits and revenues.
The tech firm said workforce reduction would generate an annual savings in the range of $ 3-3.5 billion by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.