Liberty Lake, WA to feel Agilent cuts

Agilent Technologies Inc., which makes test and measurement equipment, announced a first-quarter loss Friday and unveiled plans to cut an additional 4,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its work force, to reduce expenses.

From staff and wire reports Spokesman Review

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, which eliminated 2,500 jobs in November and 8,000 jobs in late 2001, said uncertainty in the economy has continued to weaken demand for its products.

Some of those jobs will be eliminated at the company’s Liberty Lake site, but the scope is uncertain, said spokeswoman Liz Cox.

"We have no indications it will be a large-scale downsizing here," she said.

Which jobs and how many will be cut locally won’t be known until the first week of March, she added.

The cuts will be in addition to reductions already announced in the company’s printed circuit assembly unit in Liberty Lake. That first round of cuts was announced more than a year ago, and will continue through the rest of this year.

The Liberty Lake operation has about 750 workers. At one time, employment was as high as 1,200.

Agilent, which was spun off from Hewlett-Packard Co. in 1999, had 35,000 employees before the cuts.

For the three months ended Jan. 31, Agilent lost $369 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with a loss of $315 million, or 68 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue fell to $1.41 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2003 from $1.42 billion last year.

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