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Layoffs Continue to Mount

Tickers in this article: ATV HP PEP
Updated with the latest layoff announcements since early February.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite a fantastic jobs report from the government in January, layoffs this year are still piling up.

Companies continue to try to stay lean after drastic cost cutting measures during the recession. And, hiring is far from normal rates given companies' reluctance amid an uncertain global economic outlook.

Job growth in 2012 faces two big problems -- employers complain that they can't find the right people to fill vacancies and many job seekers are unable or unwilling to relocate to places where new jobs are created.

"Information technology, specialty manufacturing, nursing, and commercial construction are areas that are growing, but all of them require specialized skills," say consultants at Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "Even areas like long-haul trucking, which is in desperate need of drivers, requires a certain level of training that many job seekers are unwilling to pursue."

There are signs of improvement. Automatic Data Processing said Wednesday 216,000 private-sector jobs were added in February. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters forecast ADP to report that companies added 200,000 jobs during the month, after an addition of 170,000 in January.

Still, the layoffs continue to grow.

TheStreet is tracking job cuts over the year. Click through to see what companies have announced layoffs so far in 2012...

ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

Activision Blizzard (ATV) is cutting almost 10% of its workforce after wrapping up development on a fighting game follow up called "Diablo III." The company said that the cuts would come from the Blizzard Entertainment unit. The majority of the layoffs, however, will not be related to game development.

The company had 7,300 employees as of the end of 2011.

"Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community," said Mike Morhaime, head of the Blizzard unit. "However, as Blizzard and the industry have evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in order to address the changing needs of our company,"

PEPSICO

Pepsico(PEP) said it's laying off 8,700 workers around the world as it undergoes a "transitional year." While the company ratchets back on costs in employees, it's also pushing money into advertising its soft drinks in North America.

The company, like other food and beverage makers, is facing higher material costs. Even its competitor, Coca-Cola, is undergoing cost cutting.

Pepsico's CEO, Indra Nooyi, said in a media briefing in early February that the layoffs would amount to 3% of its total workforce in more than 30 countries. The company is pouring $500 million to $600 million in ads and marketing this year along. It also plans to invest $100 million in store displays, coolers and racks, and will increase dividends and share buybacks.