The 16 Biggest Mass Layoff Announcements Of The Past Year

Miriam Abrego, 55, unemployed, california

We’re expecting the March jobs report Friday, and expectations are that nonfarm payroll employment will increase by 193,000.

The unemployment rate is expected to hold steady at 7.7 per cent.

While the labour market has been trudging along slowly, mass layoffs in the past year have weighed on employment.

We drew on Bloomberg data to highlight the 16 biggest layoff announcements since April of last year.

16. First Solar: 2,000

per cent of Employees Cut:
28.57 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
7,000

First Solar announced that it would layoff almost a third of its workforce early last year and shut down its factory in Germany. This comes as the European market for green energy has deteriorated.

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg

15: JC Penney: 2,200

per cent of Employees Cut:
1.90 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
116,000

JC Penney employees were told earlier this year that they have to get ready to 'work harder with less' in 2013. 'Service Leaders, administrative assistants, and office/cash room associates' were being cut, though some of these were being reabsorbed and offered sales positions.

CEO Ron Johnson has been trying to transform the retailer. 19,000 employees have been laid off since he took over.

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg

14. Colgate-Palmolive Co: 2,316

per cent of Employees Cut:
6.00 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
38,600

Colgate-Palmolive, which makes a variety of consumer products like shampoo and toothpaste, announced that it would be laying off 2,316 employees by 2016. The layoffs are expected to save the company more than $365 million annually.

Source: The Motley Fool, Bloomberg

13. Best Buy: 2,400

per cent of Employees Cut:
1.44 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
167,000

Thanks to showrooming and online retailers like Amazon eating into Best Buy's market share, the latter announced half way through 2012 that it would be closing 50 stores and, as a result, laying off 2,400 retail employees.

Source: Yahoo, Bloomberg

12. The Dow Chemical Co: 2,400

per cent of Employees Cut:
4.64 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
51,705

Due to falling sales and declining profits, The Dow Chemical Co. announced late last year that it would be closing 20 plants globally, which would mean that 2,400 of its employees would get a pink slip.

Source: Mlive, Bloomberg

11. Supervalu Inc: 2,500

per cent of Employees Cut:
1.92 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
130,000

Supervalu, which ows the Albertsons supermarket chain, announced at the start of 2012 that it would layoff 2,500 employees in its California and Nevada Albertsons stores because of declining demand. Supervalu is also trying to cut costs while it expands its private-label brands.

Source: Bloomberg

10. Thomson Reuters: 2,500

per cent of Employees Cut:
4.21 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
59,400

CEO Jim Smith said the company was in the second year of a 'two-year turnaround'. Sales of its Eikon financial data product however climbed 33 per cent in the fourth quarter. Among its editorial staff, those that got lower than a four in their reviews are expected to have been let go.

Source: Financial Times, Bloomberg

9. Google: 4,000

per cent of Employees Cut:
12.09 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
33,077

Google acquired Motorola last year, and as a part of its efforts to turn the mobile phone maker into a more profitable operation, the company announced that it plans let go of 4,000 Motorola employees.

Source: Marketwatch, Bloomberg

8. Ford Motor: 4,300

per cent of Employees Cut:
2.50 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
172,000

Falling demand in Europe hit Ford causing it to shut down one of its Belgian plants in 2012, and let go 4,500 employees.

Source: Yahoo, Bloomberg

7. Canadian Pacific Railways: 4,500

per cent of Employees Cut:
27.39 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
16,428

Canadian Pacific Railway is eliminating more than 25 per cent of it's workforce over the next 3 years, according to CEO Hunter Harrison. The freight transport company is also considering selling some of its assets, including the Dakota Minnesota & Eastern Railroad and a Midwestern U.S. line.

Source: Twin Cities, Bloomberg

6. Research In Motion Ltd: 5,000

per cent of Employees Cut:
Not available

Number of Employees After Cuts:
Not available

BlackBerry, formerly known as Research in Motion has seen its market share threatened by Android and Apple devices. Half way through 2012 it announced a layoff of 5,000 employees in an effort to restructure.

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg

5. American Express Co: 5,400

per cent of Employees Cut:
8.5 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
63,500

American Express recently announced that it would be letting go of 5,400 employees in 2013 as it shifts more of its customer service online.

Source: CNBC, Bloomberg

4. Lockheed Martin Corp: 10,000

per cent of Employees Cut:
8.13 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
123,000

In the Q4 2012, government defence spending fell at the fastest rate in 40 years, and defence manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corp saw it coming. By 2012, Lockheed had already laid off 26,000 employees, or 18 per cent of its workforce, but in July, it said that it would need to let go of at least 10,000 more in the event of sequestration.

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg

3. Citigroup: 11,000

per cent of Employees Cut:
4.21 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
261,000

Citigroup announced in December 2012 that it was going to layoff 11,000 employees. It has been cutting costs since 2007, but investors have complained that it hasn't been quick enough. Citi expects the layoff to save them about $1.1 billion.

Source: Reuters, Bloomberg

2. JP Morgan: 19,000

per cent of Employees Cut:
7.34 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
258,965

4,000 of JP Morgan's job cuts are expected this year, and some 13,000 are expected from its mortgage unit in 2014.

At the time CEO Jamie Dimon tried to underplay the layoffs and said, 'No one at JPMorgan ever, ever worries about losing their job because they made a mistake. ...I've been on Wall Street my whole life I've seen the hang 'em high shoot 'em you lose money. It also leaves a bad attitude make as much as you can while you can before you get shot in the back of the head.'

Source: Business Insider, Bloomberg

1. Hewlett-Packard: 29,000

per cent of Employees Cut:
8.30 per cent

Number of Employees After Cuts:
349,600

HP had to take an $8.8 billion write down because its acquisition of Autonomy in 2011 turned out to not be worth as much as HP paid for it. HP has already laid off more than 11,000 of the planned 29,000 workers it plans to let go over the next couple years as it tries to lower costs.

Source: Reuters, Bloomberg

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