Chemicals maker DuPont Co said it would eliminate another 2,000 jobs as part of its cost-cutting plan as it tries to conserve cash and operate through the worst recession in decades.

Including the new cuts, which amount to about 3.5 percent of its workforce, the company has reduced employment by more than 8 percent, or 4,500 jobs, over the last year, in addition to laying off about 10,000 contract workers.

Most of the new cuts will be in divisions serving the automotive, construction and industrial markets, DuPont spokesman Anthony Farina said.

DuPont's restructuring plan is expected to deliver $70 million in benefits in 2009 and $225 million in savings by the end of 2010, the company said in a statement.

It will take a charge of $340 million to $390 million in the second quarter; about 40 percent of the charge is expected to be noncash.

Given its lower planned spending and capital expenditures, DuPont will focus its investments in the near-term on its high-growth, high-margin businesses such as seed products and photovoltaics, analyst Laurence Alexander of Jefferies & Co said in a note to clients.

The chemicals sector has suffered as the recession has shrunk demand from both industrial customers and consumers. DuPont said last month its first-quarter sales fell 20 percent.

However, its agricultural segment has been a bright spot and was the only segment to post earnings growth in the first -quarter.

The company is also looking at bolstering its presence in the solar-energy space and tripling its annual photovoltaic sales to more than $1 billion in 2012. Photovoltaic solar panels transform the sun's light into electricity.

Shares of DuPont were down 2.5 percent at $28.04 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They have traded in a range of $16.06 to $50.04 in the past year.

(Reporting by Hezron Selvi and Matt Daily, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)