NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The job market ended 2010 on a sour note, with the economy adding fewer jobs than expected. In December, the economy added 103,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department, less than the 160,000 positions economists predicted. Nonetheless, the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 9.4%, its lowest level since May 2009. Economists were looking for the rate to hover around 9.7% to 9.8%. >>Layoffs Mount in 2010: What Does it Mean for 2011? On the private-sector front, payrolls increased by 113,000, which also fell short of estimates of a payroll addition of 180,000. >>Hiring Heats Up: Companies Hiring in 2011 But the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped significantly during the week ended Jan. 15. The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims decreased by 37,000 to 404,000, after rising to 445,000 in the previous week. Economists were expecting initial claims to fall to 425,000. The four-week moving average in initial claims, which smooths the volatility in week-to-week reports, was 411,750, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 415,750. While experts agree that layoffs will be less severe in 2011, companies will continue to dole out pink slips. TheStreet will track these job cuts over the year. Click on to see what companies have announced layofss in 2011....
Borders ( BGP) made another round of layoffs on Jan. 17, this time cutting 45 jobs at its headquarters. The layoffs at its Ann Arbor, Mich., facility occurred in human resources, finance, merchandising and distribution centers. This is the second batch of pink slips the book seller doled out this year; it announced on Jan. 12 that it would shutter a distribution center and cut 310 positions. A center in Nashville, Tenn. will close in July, a move that is part of its "long-term plan to enhance the efficiency of its distribution network and reduce operating expenses." "After an extensive review of its supply chain, the company found it has excess capacity in its distribution network and requires only two distribution centers to process and ship inventory to stores," the company said in a statement. Distribution will be transferred to other centers in Pennsylvania and California.
Evergreen Solar ( ESLR) said on Jan. 12 that it is closing its Massachusetts plant and laying off about 800 employees. The facility, which makes solar panels, will conclude production by the end of the first quarter. Evergreen Solar has struggled to compete against Chinese panel makers, whose production costs are typically lower. The company announced in December a major restructuring plan.
MySpace, a division of News Corp. ( NWSA), confirmed on Jan. 12 that it will slash 500 positions, or 47% of its workforce. MySpace CEO Mike Jones said the company will enter strategic local partnerships in the UK, Germany and Australia in order to manage advertising sales and content. The layoffs, which will occur in two phases, have raised a red flag over the possibility that News Corp. is gearing up MySpace for a possible sale. The company did not reveal how much the cuts would save.
BigBand Networks ( BBND), which makes digital video management software for broadband service providers, said on Jan. 11 that it will cut about 9% of its workforce as it consolidates parts of the business. All together, about 40 people will receive pink slips worldwide. The layoffs will save BigBand about $8 million a year, and the company expects to incur charges of $2 million in its first quarter.
Fairchild Semiconductor ( FCS) announced on Jan. 5 that it plans to eliminate 120 jobs in South Portland, Maine. These layoffs come as the company, which makes silicon chips that are used in cell phones, attempts to improve its productivity and lower costs. Overall, Fairchild Semiconductor employs about 800 workers in South Portland, Maine.
BJ's Wholesale ( BJ) announced on Jan. 5 that it will shutter five underperforming stores, resulting in nearly 500 layoffs. The stores set to close are located in Atlanta, Sunrise, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.. Aside from cuts in jobs at the store level, BJ's also said it will eliminate 114 corporate-level jobs. As a result of the restructure, BJ's expects to incur impairment charges of about $28 million in the fourth quarter, of 79 cents to 82 cents a share. -- Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jeanine Poggi. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jpoggi. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.