TORONTO, Jan. 16 -- Nortel Networks is cutting about 4000 jobs from slower-growing operations, but predicts that hiring in other units will keep total employment steady for the year. The company said it hopes to eliminate some of the positions through normal attrition, including retirements, but that there will be layoffs. The company expects to continue hiring in high-growth areas such as optical and wireless network equipment, keeping the overall workforce at about 94,500 during 2001. In 2000, we added critical resources to further enhance our responsiveness to customers and laser-like focus on the high-growth areas of their businesses, where demand is most robust, said Clarence Chandran, chief operating officer of Nortel Networks. In 2001, hiring to address high-growth markets will remain a priority. The announcement came in response to a report in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, saying Nortel was planning to cut at least 5200 jobs in the next three to four months. Later, a wire report from Canadian Press quoted a Nortel spokesman as saying the job cuts will include such areas as research and development, sales and marketing.