By Jonathan Stempel
– Berkshire Hathaway Inc, run by billionaire Warren Buffett, said on Friday its workforce has grown by about 12,000, recovering some jobs it lost earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Omaha, Nebraska-based insurance and investment company said its dozens of businesses now have about 372,000 employees, up from 360,174 at the end of 2020.
Berkshire had shed more than 31,000 jobs in 2020 as economies slumped and demand for many goods and services fell. The decline included about 13,400 jobs at Berkshire’s Precision Castparts aircraft parts unit and 5,600 at the BNSF railroad.
Jobs were added last year as the U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace since 1984, according to Commerce Department data.
Berkshire did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to Buffett’s assistant.
Other Berkshire units with large workforces include auto insurer Geico, Fruit of the Loom underwear, McLane food delivery, several energy businesses, and Clayton Homes.
Berkshire disclosed its recent job count in a registration statement for the sale of bonds.
Buffett, 91, is expected to discuss Berkshire’s performance in his annual shareholder letter on Feb. 26, when the company will also release year-end results.
Analysts on average expect full-year operating profit to exceed the previous $24.8 billion high set in 2018. Operating profit totaled $21.9 billion in 2020.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)