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Caterpillar Slashes Another 10K Jobs

  • VOA News

FILE - Caterpillar machinery

FILE - Caterpillar machinery

The world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment says it will cut another 10,000 jobs, and close a number of facilities over the next couple of years.

Caterpillar is the latest major U.S. industrial company to grapple with a downturn in demand for crude oil, copper and other commodities produced with the help of industrial equipment. Analysts say China's slowing growth means its huge economy needs fewer raw materials and other imported products.

Caterpillar's stock price fell sharply after the company cut its revenue forecast for this year. These layoffs follow more than 30,000 previous job cuts, but the firm still has more than 100,000 employees in its worldwide operations.

Other U.S. economic news was more positive, as sales of new homes rose solidly in August.

A separate report said the number of Americans signing up for unemployment insurance rose slightly last week, but remained below 300,000. Experts say the relatively low level of layoffs is a sign of a healthy job market.

Thursday's mixed economic news illustrates the difficult task facing the U.S. central bank, as officials try to figure out how soon and how fast to raise U.S. interest rates.

Record-low interest rates were put in place to bolster U.S. economic growth during the recession. At some point, the recovering U.S. economy will no longer need such support and rates will be pushed up to avoid sparking inflation that could damage it.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen may discuss jobs and inflation in a speech scheduled for Thursday evening at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.