The global financial crisis is continuing to eat into the employment market, as the world’s third biggest aluminium maker, Alcoa, wields the axe, slashing production, cutting a total of 15,000 jobs and selling four of its businesses. Most of the job losses — which amount to more than 13 per cent of the workforce — will hit the United States and Europe. Analysts say Alcoa is facing a plunge in the price of the metal, and the only way to deal with that is to cut capacity.
And another of Britain’s most famous High St shops, Marks and Spencer, is having to duck and weave to weather the financial storm. Of its 600 stores 27 are to close — including 25 from its ‘Simply Food’ chain — and more than 1,200 jobs are to go. Like-for-like sales in the quarter to the end of December fell 7.1 per cent, the worst performance in a decade. Management believe the cuts will help M&S through what they call an ‘incredibly difficult year’.