NEW YORK (AP) _ International Paper, the world's largest paper company, is paring its work force by about 1,500, or nearly 2 percent, as part of a series of cost-cutting measures.

The company, which makes paper, packaging and other specialty products, reported that the measures, including shutting some operations, would result in savings of about $85 million annually.

In trading on the New York Stock Exchange early today, the company's stock was down $1.12 1/2 to $44.93 3/4 per share.

In a statement Tuesday, the company said it was being pinched by global economic turmoil.

``Economic conditions around the world continue to affect our performance,'' chairman and chief executive John Dillon said. ``In the short term, we expect that the strong dollar and uncertain economic conditions worldwide will result in continued weak demand.''

The company posted net earnings of $21 million, or 7 cents a diluted share, in the quarter ending Sept. 30, compared with $102 million, or 34 cents a diluted share, a year ago.

It took charges in the third quarter amounting to $95 million, including the shutdown of some facilities.

Net earnings before special items were $77 million, or 25 cents a share, in line with analysts' expectations.

Sales were $4.9 billion in the third quarter, down from $5.1 billion a year ago.

International Paper, based in Purchase, N.Y., employs more than 80,000 people in 31 countries.