(Corrects last paragraph to clarify SBC bought AT&T and took its name)
NEW YORK, April 18 (Reuters) - AT&T Inc T.N said on Friday it would cut its work force by 1.5 percent, about 4,600 jobs, primarily affecting management-level employees, resulting in a first-quarter pre-tax charge of $374 million.
The biggest U.S. telecommunications provider, which has about 310,000 employees, said in a regulatory filing that its head count would stay stable in 2008 as it hires workers to support growth areas, but it did not estimate a year-end count.
AT&T said the job cuts -- affecting its wireline telephone business mostly in the United States in “non-customer-facing areas” -- are part of its efforts to streamline the company.
The job cuts, which are on top of a three-year plan to cut 10,000 jobs announced at the end of last year, come as it faces declining traditional phone sales and rising costs for deploying new, high-speed Internet and video services.
AT&T shares were up 28 cents, or less than 1 percent, at $37.85 in afternoon trade on New York Stock Exchange.
AT&T Spokesman Walt Sharp said the company was in the process of notifying employees affected by the job cuts.
Last month, smaller telecom provider Qwest Communications International Inc Q.N said it was cutting jobs by offering a "voluntary separation program" to less than 2 percent of its workers, or less than about 740 workers. Qwest cited a decline in phone lines.
AT&T said that on a net basis it added about 7,000 employees in 2007; it began the year with a work force of 302,000.
AT&T, which posted a 2007 fourth-quarter profit of $3.1 billion, has gone through a corporate transformation in recent years, as SBC Communications bought AT&T, took its name, and then bought BellSouth. (Reporting by Sinead Carew and Ritsuko Ando; editing by John Wallace)
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