Nokia to axe 1,700 jobs worldwide

The world's largest mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has announced plans to cut 1,700 jobs globally. The move is part of large cost-cutting measures as the company tries to cope with the economic downturn and falling demand for handsets.

The job loses account for about 3% of Nokia's worldwide work force of roughly 125,000 and will mainly be in their devices and markets divisions, falling across a range of departments including marketing, development and support, and a separate unit concerned with corporate strategy. Up to 700 jobs could be lost at the company's base in Finland, with the rest affecting employees in Europe, Asia and North America. The USA and UK are expected to be the next hardest hit after after Finland.

In January, Nokia revealed that they plan to cut costs by 700 million euros by the end of 2010, including plans to freeze salaries and hiring. They also cut forecasts of handset sales, predicting that sales will drop by about 10% this year. The sale of phones has been hit badly by the current economic climate and Nokia saw a drop in year on year profits in the last three months of 2008. The company will also stop designing phones for the Japanese market to cut costs further.

Last month, the company announced a cut in production at their plant in Salo, Finland. The 2,500 staff there will be temporarily laid off on a rotational system, leaving between 20% and 30% of employees idle at any one time. The plant, which usually makes Nokia's more advanced and high end models, is the last major handset factory left in Western Europe. At the same time, Nokia also said that their R&D site in Jyväskylä, Finland - which employs 320 people - is to close by the end of the year.

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