The 16 Biggest Mass Layoffs Of The Year

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Earnings season has been pretty disappointing this quarter, as company after company reports weaker-than-anticipated sales. 

As employers look to rein in costs, there has been one area they’re quick to cut: headcount. 

Already this year, more than 283,000 people were fired according to Challenger grey & Christmas.

Of those laid off, nearly 60 per cent were dismissed because of a corporate restructuring or cost cutting move.

Business Insider dug through corporate filings, press releases, and data through Bloomberg to assemble a list of the North American companies that have been hardest hit by layoffs. 

Figures are based on announced numbers, meaning cuts may be partially underway or set to start later this year.

#15 (tie): Archer-Daniels-Midland — 1,200 layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

3.9%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

29,500

Description:

Layoffs hit the company's corporate offices as ADM tried to cut costs in the U.S. after reporting profits fell 90 per cent in the first quarter. The company had been hard hit by swings in commodity costs.

Source: Associated Press

#15 (tie): Citigroup — 1,200 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

0.5%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

259,800

Description:

Citi has announced plans to trim its securities division as it focuses on its retail banking side. Recently, the bank said it was considering cutting head count by an additional 350 people.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

#13 (tie): United Continental Holdings — 1,300 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

1.5%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

85,700

Description:

As the carrier consolidates operations in the U.S., it said it would cut its Houston operations by some 10 per cent. First to go, canceled routes including Houston to Auckland, New Zealand.

Source: Houston Business Journal

#13 (tie): Cisco Systems — 1,300 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

1.8%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

70,525

Description:

The networking giant cut sales people in both its WebEx and Wide Area Application Services unit. Sources said the entire WAAS sales team was fired, but Cisco could not confirm that.

Source: Business Insider

#12: Kraft Foods — 1,600 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

1.3%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

124,400

Description:

Kraft announced the cuts to its North American workers as it readies to split the company in two. Nearly 40 per cent of cuts to headcount will come from the U.S. salesforce and corporate arm.

Source: Business Insider

#10 (tie): Yahoo — 2,000 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

14.2%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

12,100

Description:

Yahoo announced massive job cuts earlier this year, particularly in its products group.

Source: Business Insider

#10 (tie): First Solar — 2,000 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

28.6%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

5,000

Description:

The solar giant planned to close all of its operations in Frankfurt, Germany and indefinitely idle some production lines in Malaysia, adding to reductions already taking place in Europe and the U.S. in April. However, some strength in certain markets may delay cuts.

Source: Business Insider

#9: Boeing — 2,160 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

1.3%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

169,540

Description:

Boeing announced it would close its Wichita plant after more than 85 years. The site was set to be a finishing centre for tankers, but high overhead costs changed the company's plans.

Source: The Wichita Eagle

#8: Supervalu — 2,500 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

1.9%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

127,500

Description:

Albertsons, a Supervalu subsidiary, said it would cut positions across 247 Southern California and southern Nevada supermarkets beginning in June. The company did not say if it would close any stores.

Source: Associated Press

#7: Best Buy — 2,800 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

1.7%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

164,200

Description:

Best Buy plans to lay off some 600 Geek Squad employees and 1,800 in-store workers as it focuses around mobile. The company also announced it would fire 400 employees in its corporate offices.

Source: Business Insider

#6: Research In Motion — 5,000 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

30.3%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

11,500

Description:

RIM said it would lay off more than 5,000 people after posting a surprisingly deep net loss in its first quarter earnings. The news came as the Blackberry manufacturer said it would delay its new operating system, Blackberry 10, until the first quarter of 2013.

Source: Business Insider

#5: Pepsi — 8,700 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

2.9%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

288,300

Description:

Cuts at Pepsi came as the company grappled with higher commodity costs. The company said layoffs would be spread over 30 countries, with the U.S. workforce likely 3 per cent smaller by the end of the restructuring.

Source: Associated Press

#4: IBM — 9,000 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

2.1%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

424,362

Description:

labour groups in Germany announced that the company was planning to cut as many as 8,000 employees this year. That came on top of reports that IBM had fired 1,000 U.S. and Canadian workers.

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg

#3: Lockheed Martin — 10,000 Layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

8.1%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

113,000

Description:

The company said it could lay off as many as 10,000 employees if automatic defence cuts go into effect at the end of the year, the company's chief executive told the House Armed Services Committee today.

Source: Business Insider

#2: American Airlines — 14,200 layoffs

per cent of Employees Cut:

17.7%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

65,900

Description:

As American's parent company, AMR, trudges through bankruptcy, the company said it would eliminate thousands of employees to cut costs and outsource positions, including those in its reservation office.

Source: Star-Telegram, Dallas Business Journal

#1: Hewlett-Packard — 27,000

per cent of Employees Cut:

7.7%

Number of Employees After Cuts:

322,600

Description:

As weakness in the PC market persists and macro headwinds weigh down sales, HP announced it would cut nearly 8 per cent of its staff. The company said it planned on using the savings to invest in cloud computing, data analytics and information technology security.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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