Google has confirmed it is reducing its 10,000-strong contractor workforce.
The company is facing an increasing lack of immunity to the current economic crisis as internet advertising revenues are hit.
It says it has been looking for some time at reducing its contractor workforce. Contractors are easier to shed because they work on a freelance basis and do not have the same benefit entitlements as full-time employees.
Google looked as though it might be strong enough to beat the economic downturn, but a high cost base is not helping as revenues start to dip. Company growth is slowing and this has been reflected by falls in its share price.
The company said, "As we made clear when we announced our quarterly results in October, Google is still hiring but at a reduced rate.
"We have been reducing the number of contractors for over a year."
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