SEATTLE -- Boeing Co. said yesterday that it will reduce its work force by another 5,000 people this year, 71 percent more than it had planned, as the company continues to try to make jets for less money.
The additional cuts -- a combination of firings and attrition -- will leave the world's largest jet maker with 105,300 employees at the end of the year.
The jet-making business is still struggling to recover from a global recession. Cash-strapped airlines, themselves hurting from fierce fare wars, haven't been ordering as many planes -- something Boeing is trying to change.
"It's just a constant battle to get your costs down as low as you can," said Bill Whitlow, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities in Seattle. "The goal is to make it so airlines will be inclined to replace airplanes."
The company had planned to cut 7,000 jobs this year and now plans to cut 12,000.
Job losses at Boeing have become common. To date, the company has cut more than 31 percent of its work force -- some 52,000 jobs -- since 1989, when the employment level peaked at 166,000.
Most of the additional cuts will be at Boeing's plants along Puget Sound in and near Seattle, where the company is based.
How many of those 5,000 people will be fired depends on the response to an early retirement package Boeing offered to some 13,000 people in March. So far, about 6,000 people have accepted the offer, which expires June 16.