Boeing Co became the latest US industrial giant to cut jobs on Friday, shedding 4,500 workers from its commercial plane operations, or about 7% of the unit total, as it looks to trim costs in the face of a global recession.

Boeing, which lost the race for orders against EADS unit Airbus last year, said normal attrition and a reduction in contract labour would account for some of the job losses, but layoffs would also be necessary.

It booked 662 jetliner orders last year, a 53 percent drop from its industry record of 1,413 orders the year before, with airlines holding off on buying new planes as they witnessed a sharp drop-off in demand for flights.

Boeing has a record 3,714 planes in its backlog to deliver to customers -- more than six years of work at full production levels -- but industry analysts agree that many orders will be deferred and the company faces a drastic decline in new orders.

The job cuts come shortly after Boeing suffered a bitter strike by its 27,000 production workers, which closed its plants for almost two months. Part of the disagreement between management and its machinists' union revolved around job security and the company's right to outsource work.