Report: Google to 'significantly' cut contractor use

November has been unusually rife with bad news for Google.

Google Monday acknowledged plans to "significantly" reduce the number of contractors it uses, according to a report on the Web site of the Wall Street Journal. The report noted that the company has no plans to cut its permanent workforce.

"We have been thinking for some time, before the acute phase of the economic crisis, about significantly reducing the number contract workers," spokeswoman Jane Penner, told the newspaper.

Google did not immediately respond to Computerworld's request for comment on the Journal report.

Penner declined to detail how many contract workers - Google has approximately 10,000 -would be cut or when they might be let go. Google has 20,213 company employees, the article went on to note.

November has been unusually rife with bad news for Google. Just last week, Google announced plans to shutter its Lively virtual world. And the unveiling last week of its new SearchWiki interface for re-ranking and commenting on search results immediately came under fire from some in the blogosphere for its lack of an opt-out option..

Meanwhile the price of Google stock sunk to multi-year lows this month as the tech sector was dragged down as part of Wall Street's meltdown.

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Heather Havenstein

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