Gannett Co. is cutting 700 employees in its community newspaper division, or about 2 percent of its workforce, according to a memo sent by division president Bob Dickey.

“It is important to note that these decisions do not reflect individual performance and we thank and respect those employees for their work,” he wrote in the memo, which was obtained by Romenesko.

The company needed to cut more than 700 jobs, Dickey said, but instead of additional layoffs, employees making over a certain salary will be furloughed “in the coming months.”

According to Gannett Blog, this is the biggest round of layoffs since July 2009, when the company eliminated 1,400 jobs, and the fourth mass layoff since 2008.

Also according to a spreadsheet maintained by Gannett Blog, the Arizona Republic has so far been the hardest hit, with 40 staff laid off; the Monroe (La.) News-Star’s lost 17, and 12 people have lost their jobs at the Tallahassee Democrat.