WALNUT CREEK — AAA will eliminate nearly 150 jobs in Northern California, Nevada and Utah, the auto club said Monday, in a downsizing linked to a sour economy.

Some 146 people employed by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah will lose their jobs by the end of this year, said Jennifer Mack, a spokeswoman for AAA.

Those losses include 135 job cuts in AAA's Northern California territory, which stretches from the California-Oregon border south to Fresno.

"These reductions are part of a long-term plan to reduce expenses and stay competitive," said Jennifer Mack, a spokeswoman for Walnut Creek-based AAA Northern California.

The loss of 135 jobs in Northern California equates to a 3.9 percent reduction in AAA's workforce in that region.

Besides the California reductions, AAA is eliminating six jobs in Nevada and five in Utah.

"The current state of the economy does not help matters," Mack said. "We are being affected by the deteriorating economy."

The job cuts are due to take effect at year's end.

The employment reductions are across the board. "Facilities, human resources, automotive services, and travel services, every department," Mack said.

AAA is not closing any of its customer offices as a result of the job cuts, she said.

In a completely separate action, AAA Northern California became one of the East Bay's largest employers in October when it moved its headquarters and 1,000 workers into a sleek officer tower in Walnut Creek, alongside Interstate 680.


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AAA defected from San Francisco in the move. The job cuts aren't related in any way to the headquarters relocation.

If AAA is feeling the economic pinch, that could be tied to the effect on members from the recession, said Jon Haveman, an economist with Beacon Economics.

"Being a AAA member is a discretionary sort of expenditure for people," Haveman said. "People might not be driving or traveling as much. It wouldn't surprise me if AAA renewals are down."

To be sure, the job cuts are painful for the employees involved. Still, they are necessary, Mack said.

"We believe these changes will help us better weather the economic downturn," Mack said.

George Avalos can be phoned at 925-977-8477