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Caterpillar axes 2,500 workers

US mining and construction equipment maker Caterpillar has announced it is making 2,500 employees redundant, but expects to be rehiring around 550 employees by the end of next year.

Caterpillar laid off more than 22,000 workers earlier in 2009 as weaker demand led to production cuts. Its workforce has been slashed by 16% overall to 94,000.

Third-quarter earnings this year were down 53 per cent, but the company said there were signs of improvement.

Chairman and CEO Jim Owens said in a statement: “We are pleased that signs of recovery in the global economy allow us to return a selected group of laid off employees to work.

“But it’s important to remember that we are not close to the record-breaking demand we experienced from 2004 through 2008.”

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