EVERETT, WA. --- The Boeing Co. continues slashing its workforce as it seeks to hold off market pressure and make good on promises to shareholders.
The company told workers Monday that it plans to lay off hundreds of engineers by week’s end. The announcement came in an internal memo from John Hamilton, head of engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The cuts are needed to stay competitive, Hamilton said in the memo. A copy was obtained by The Daily Herald. “Along with reducing non-labor and supply chain costs, we are also continuing efforts to match employment levels with business and market requirements.”
More cuts could come later this year, he said in the memo.
Monday’s news may have buoyed Boeing’s stock price, which rose by $3.41 to $179.02 by the time trading closed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Boeing has been slashing its workforce for several years. Company executives in December said they plan to cut jobs this year at about the same pace as in 2016, when Boeing’s total workforce dropped by nearly 11,000, including about 7,000 jobs cuts in the commercial airplane division.
The cuts have continued this year. Boeing started 2017 with a new round of buyouts and limited layoffs. So far, the company has trimmed more than 2,000 jobs this year, including about 1,800 buyouts and more than 200 layoffs.
At the end of March, the aerospace giant employed 146,962 people around the world. Nearly half — 70,640 — work in Washington, including more than 35,000 in Everett. The number of Boeing workers in the state has dropped by nearly 9,000 since the end of 2015.
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(EDITOR’S NOTE: Boeing cut its workforce in Washington State by 9,000 jobs despite having been awarded several billion dollars in 2013 in the form of state tax cuts, subsidies and other fiscal incentives to maintain in-state employment.)