Northrop Grumman to cut 500 jobs in the Baltimore area

Most of the reduction comes through buyouts, but 70 layoffs are planned

May 17, 2011|By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Tuesday that it is cutting about 500 jobs in the Baltimore region — through buyouts and 70 layoffs — as a result of defense spending slowdowns and international economic pressures.

The local layoffs account for half the 140 employees nationwide notified Tuesday that their jobs will end May 31. They are primarily engineers and manufacturing workers in the defense contractor's electronic systems sector, which has headquarters in Linthicum as well as locations in other states.

The company estimated last week that it would lay off about 200 people in the division, most in the Baltimore area, but a spokesman said Tuesday that the number dropped in part thanks to job transfers.

The company also approved buyouts for about 600 employees who agreed to leave voluntarily, more than 400 of whom had been working at Baltimore-area locations. All told, sector employment in Maryland will drop to about 8,000 from 8,500, the company said.

"We are experiencing a near-term reduction in our business volume that is directly related to the current slow-down in defense spending as well as increasing international economic pressures," Jack Martin Jr., a spokesman for Northrop Grumman, said in a statement.

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