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Caterpillar announces undisclosed number of layoffs

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. is laying off an undisclosed number of employees because of expected bleak market conditions in 2017.

A statement Wednesday, Dec. 14, by the earth-moving equipment manufacturer says Caterpillar will try to find posts for jobless workers elsewhere in the company.

The statement indicated displaced employees would receive severance packages and "outplacement services from appropriate agencies," the (Peoria) Journal-Star reports.

The company announced a restructuring plan in fall 2015 which included eliminating as many as 10,000 jobs and closing or consolidating 20 facilities around the world through 2018. With additional cutbacks this year the plan has saved nearly $2 billion.

Sales are expected to be $39 billion this year. That's down from $47 billion in 2015 and a $66 billion peak in 2012.

"We do not anticipate any meaningful recovery in CAT's markets until 2018, and new machine sales are unlikely to begin to be realized until well after a market recovery is evident," read a statement on Moody's decision to downgrade their credit rating to A3.