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Caterpillar Inc., the heavy equipment maker, today reported its global flexible workforce decreased 35.7 percent in the first quarter to 16,319 from the first quarter of last year when its flexible workforce numbered 25,366. The report came as part of Caterpillar’s quarterly earnings announcement.
Global full-time employment at the Peoria, Ill.-based firm fell 1.9 percent in the first quarter to 124,874. Global full-time employment does not include the flexible workforce.
Caterpillar said the decreases were the result of lower production and divestitures, partially offset by acquisitions.
Commenting on earnings, Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman said the first quarter was challenging, as expected.
“In our year-end 2012 financial release, we said the first quarter of 2013 would be challenging, and it certainly was,” Oberhelman said in a press release. “As expected, inventory changes were a major factor. Caterpillar and our dealers usually add inventory in the first quarter to prepare for end-user demand in the spring and summer. In the first quarter of 2012, we added about $2 billion to inventory, but this year, we cut inventory by about a half billion dollars.”