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State

Caterpillar laying off about 60 at Illinois plant

PEORIA (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. is laying off about 60 employees at a plant in central Illinois as the company deals with declining profits.

The Journal Star in Peoria reports (http://bit.ly/11HTSM0 ) that Caterpillar said Thursday that it will lay off workers at a foundry in Mapleton starting in early May. The town is just south of Peoria, where Caterpillar is based.

The facility makes engine liners and engine blocks that wind up, among other things, in Caterpillar mining equipment.

The company has cited a slowdown in its mining business the past few months as it has cut production and the size of its workforce. Caterpillar had already announced plans to lay off about 460 people in Decatur.

Earlier this week the company said its first-quarter profits were down 45 percent.

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