Ten American Companies Cutting the Most Jobs
1. JPMorgan Chase & Co. > Job cuts: 19,000 > Number of employees: 254,063 > YTD share price change: +15.7%
JPMorgan Chase is one of the nation’s largest banks. More than half of U.S. households are customers of the bank, according to the company. However, as customers increasingly use self-service technologies, the firm announced plans to trim back its consumer banking staff by 4,000. The company also announced its intentions to lay off 15,000 mortgage workers, many of whom were brought in to process defaulted mortgages during the housing crisis. JPMorgan continues to be one of the most profitable companies in the U.S.
2. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. > Job cuts: 15,020 > Number of employees: 116,000 > YTD share price change: -60.6%
J.C. Penney had been coy about the total number of layoffs at the company, which began under former CEO Ron Johnson. The onetime leader admitted in March the company had trimmed as many as 19,000 jobs since his arrival, the majority of which in early 2013 according to Challenger Gray. Barely a few days later, the company confirmed it was eliminating an additional 2,200 jobs. JC Penney has since fired Johnson, and his largest supporter, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, has quit the company’s board. In recent years, the retailer has been struggling as sales and earnings have declined, and it has continued burning through cash. Recently, Penney had to issue new shares to raise cash, hurting the value of stock owned by existing shareholders.
3. International Business Machines Corp. > Job cuts: 9,400 > Number of employees: 434,246 > YTD share price change: -6.7%
In the first quarter of the year IBM reported a drop in its sales, which was followed by an announcement the company would cut between 6,000 to 8,000 workers worldwide. Yet while cuts took place largely outside the U.S., many American IBM workers were still targets for layoffs. As of August, the company had trimmed more than 3,300 jobs in the U.S. and Canada and furloughed much of its hardware staff. Prior to its recent struggles, the company received criticism for outsourcing jobs to India. Recently, the New York Post reported that IBM now employs more workers in India than in the U.S.
4. Boeing Co. > Job cuts: 5,800 > Number of employees: 174,400 > YTD share price change: +53.2%
Boeing announced in March that it would be cutting over 2,300 machinist positions from its workforce. It followed up that announcement in May, noting it would gradually reduce its Washington-based IT workforce by about 1,500 over three years. These cuts were not all in the form of firings. Some jobs are expected to be lost to attrition and others simply transferred to other states. The company has had many problems in recent years with the development of its newest major commercial plane, the 787 Dreamliner, most notably a faulty battery system. Recently, the company has eliminated another roughly 3,000 jobs related to the production of its C-17 transportation jet, following the cuts to the U.S. military’s budget.
5. American Express Company > Job cuts: 5,400 > Number of employees: 63,500 > YTD share price change: +25.6%
American Express announced at the start of the year that it would cut its workforce by 5,400 employees. Many of these cuts took place in the company’s travel division. Among the major factors driving the company’s restructuring has been the increased reliance of travelers on online travel booking. The company also recently has arranged to sell its publishing division, which includes both general and cardholder-exclusive magazines, to Time Inc.
6. Wells Fargo & Co. > Job cuts: 5,236 > Number of employees: 274,300 > YTD share price change: +17.7%
Wells Fargo announced in August it was laying off 2,300 employees from its mortgage production unit. The major reason for the cuts was the lower demand for mortgage refinancing. This was popular with homebuyers when interest rates were lower, but became far less common once rates began rising. Wells Fargo continued to cut jobs at the end of the summer as mortgage refinancing remained slow. Last year, Wells Fargo processed nearly 400,000 mortgage applications, more than four times the amount of any other U.S. bank. Read more >>