Lowe's Cos Inc is laying off about 1,700 middle managers across the United States, the country's second-largest home-improvement chain said.

The news comes as home improvement chains focus on cutting costs to tackle tepid demand for expensive renovations in a slowly recovering. U.S. economy.

We are streamlining our store management team -- creating assistant manager positions (4-6 per store) and placing members of the existing management team in those positions, the company's spokeswoman Julie Yenichek told Reuters.

The retailer said it will also add thousands of hourly, part-time sales staff for weekends, and added that applications to fill the 8,000 to 10,000 new jobs will start next week.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, Dhanya Skariachan in New York and Fareha Khan in Bangalore; Editing by Dhara Ranasinghe)