If layoffs and job reductions are any indication, the sluggish U.S. economy still refuses to improve. Citing a potential 50% drop in demand for its products and an overcapacity of generation capability, the Siemens Westinghouse Power Corp. in Charlotte, N.C. will eliminate 140 jobs in the first week of October, and may cut 100 more positions next year, according to The Charlotte Observer.

The newspaper is reporting that the 15% reduction in jobs will cover several departments in the facility, including production, management, and general support. The company expects the weakened demand to last through September 2004.

The plant has been open since 1969 and employs 936. Charlotte workers who lose their jobs will get severance packages based on years of service. The packages include extended pay, extended medical insurance, and a retraining allowance.