Layoffs, store closings strike all sectors

January 16, 2009 11:37:12 PM PST
Sixty years after Circuit City was founded, the nation's second largest electronics chain announced it is going out of business.

The company blames slumping sales; merchandise in all of its stores will be liquidated, starting Saturday.

"It's a bad thing that they are closing for sure, but at the same time, we are hoping to get some good deals," shopper Rishu Khare said.

But these days, it is not just retailers downsizing staff; Hertz Rental Car Company will cut 4,000 jobs. A company spokesperson said it is a direct result of fewer travelers, worldwide.

And at Advanced Micro Devices in Sunnyvale, employees Friday learned of a third round of layoffs in just one year. Staffers who do stay on will likely face salary cuts.

"2009 will definitely be a trying year for everyone," San Jose State University finance professor Janis Zaima said.

The loss of thousands of jobs Friday is proof of it, she said.

"The job cuts today were unusual in the sense that it was diversified across all sectors," Zaima said.

Consumer confidence has not been this low since the great depression, according to Zaima. As a result, people are just not spending.

Many Americans are saving instead. In fact, the rate of personal savings is expected to rise from an average of zero percent to eight percent this year. While it may be positive personal move, spending is what will help jump start the economy.

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