Friday, December 5, 2008

AT&T to cut 12,000 jobs

AT&T announced Thursday that it plans to lay off 12,000 people and curb spending on new equipment — a sign that the telecommunications industry is beginning to feel the pain of the economic downturn.

AT&T had already been struggling with a decline in revenue from its traditional wireline phone service as customers continued to drop landlines. Rapid growth in wireless, television and high-speed Internet services more than offset that drop.

But analysts said Thursday that the recession is now clearly having an impact even on the fast-growing businesses.

AT&T, which had 303,500 employees at the end of the third quarter, said layoffs would begin in December and continue through 2009. Cutbacks will come primarily in its wireline units.

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