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Boeing to cut more jobs in new year, citing fewer sales

Boeing 777x prototype
Boeing handout
Boeing 777x prototype

Washington state's largest private employer will make another round of job cuts in 2017.

Boeing leaders notified employees in a letter Monday that the cuts are coming but didn't specify details. Company officials say one major reason is fewer sales opportunities for planes.

Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia says he was not surprised by the news. Boeing already announced this month it will start making fewer 777 jets this summer and focus on designing the next version.

Aboulafia says aside from diminishing demand for the 777, the company is doing fine.

Aboulafia: "What you've got is really just one program that's seeing a falloff in orders, and part of it is that customers are waiting for the 777X in the next decade. So in other words this is not what you call a typical bust cycle."

Aboulafia says not to expect a hiring spree when the 777X is finally manufactured. That's because more work is being automated.

Boeing officials say they will shrink the workforce next year by leaving open positions unfilled. The company also is offering a buyout to employees and could make layoffs.

The company did not specify how many jobs will be cut or in what roles. Some reductions are likely for the workforce in Everett, where the 777 is assembled.

Boeing reduced its number of employees by about 8 percent in 2016.