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Dow will cut 900 jobs, close plants

CEO Andrew Liveris says Dow Chemical faces volatile economic conditions in Europe.

MIDLAND, Mich. - Dow Chemical will cut 900 jobs and shutter plants on three continents because of weakness in Europe.

Four years ago, Dow cut more than 10,000 positions. Chief executive Andrew Liveris has aggressively sought to keep the company, the largest US chemical maker, agile.

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“These actions, while difficult, are in full alignment with our commitment to continually manage our portfolio to adapt to changing and volatile economic conditions,’’ Liveris said.

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, said unemployment rose to 10.8 percent in February. Spain’s unemployment level hovers around 23 percent.

Europe also released data on a bigger-than-anticipated manufacturing slump.

Dow said its latest maneuvers will trim costs by about $250 million each year. In all, Dow will close four plants, idle a fifth, and consolidate other operations.

In the United States, where the company employs about 25,000 people, Dow will close a factory in Illinois and cut fewer than 375 positions.

Dow has 52,000 employees worldwide.

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