This is a bad period for job announcements.

The U.S. Labor Department said today that new claims for jobless benefits were down last week, but the number of people claiming benefits reached a 26-year high.

Dallas-based AT&T announced today that it will cut 12,000 jobs, or 4 percent of its work force, and slash capital spending.

In our own back yard, Wilmington-based DuPont says it will cut 2,500 jobs, mostly serving the U.S. and European automotive and construction markets, due to lower demand linked to the steep global decline in homebuilding, auto sales and consumer spending.

Hoeganaes, a Cinnaminson manufacturer of metals used in auto parts, said Tuesday that it would shut down its manufacturing activity in January, laying off its last seven plant employees.

Tweeter, which had taken over the locally produced Bryn Mawr Stereo a dozen years ago, shut its doors a few days earlier than had been announced, firing more than 600 people.

Gannett Co. Inc. has axed 206 jobs at its six newspapers in New Jersey, including at the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill.

Westrum Development Co. in Fort Washington, has seen its workforce decrease from 82 people last December to 25 as of Oct. 31.

Local jeweler Jack Kellmer Co. will be closing.

And Reed Smith confirmed to the Legal Intelligencer that 115 employees — none of them lawyers — would be let go at offices around the country. And 11 associates in its United Kingdom may lose their jobs. The law firm is based in Pittsburgh, but has major operations in Philadelphia — and elsewhere.

— Roslyn Rudolph, with some information from the Associated Press

Read more breaking news in our From The Source blog.