In cost-cutting measure, Whirlpool plans to lay off 5,000 workers Soaring raw materials costs and a tepid economy conspired to drive losses at Whirlpool Corp. The company plans to lay off roughly 10 percent of its workforce as it seeks to achieve business cost reductions and stave off weak demand.

Officials from the appliance maker said this week the company would reduce its workforce by about 5,000 people, citing the mounting toll of high costs and stagnant growth. The Associated Press reports the world's largest appliance maker also missed expectations with its latest quarterly earnings, worrying investors.

The company slashed its 2011 earnings outlook on the news. What's more, unlike many other companies that have reported an uptick in business and revenue in emerging markets, Whirlpool said it is seeing slower growth in such countries, which further depressed its profit margin in the third quarter.

Company officials said they expect demand in North America to fall between 3 percent and 5 percent this year. The firm had previously forecast demand in 2011 to decline between 1 percent and 2 percent. The prices of metals such as steel and copper have surged over the past few years, prompting headaches at Whirlpool.

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