25 Biggest Layoffs in the Last Year

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The U.S. labor market has been in a sustained recovery. The nation has added jobs for 87 straight months — the longest streak on record, according to the Labor Department, and the unemployment rate has declined to 4.1%, the lowest rate since 2000.

For most American workers, these are good times. Jobless claims are at their lowest level since 1973. Job openings reached a record 6 million at one point in 2017. And 18 states are boosting the minimum wage in 2018. Yet even in flush economic times, there are some casualties in the labor force, and 2017 was no exception.

24/7 Wall St., working with global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., compiled a list of employers that announced the largest job cuts in 2017.

Click here to see the employers with the biggest layoffs in last year.

The job-chopping axe swung more often in retail than in any other industry last year. Companies in the sector that is under siege by the e-commerce revolution had announced 76,084 job cuts in 2017, a 28.2% increase from a year earlier, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Of the 25 companies announcing job reductions, nine were retailers, and half of the top 10 largest job cuts were in the retail sector. The layoffs resulted from businesses either closing or taking cost-cutting measures.

Regardless of the industry, the two main reasons businesses laid off large numbers of employees were companies shutting down or making cost cuts.

Among the companies paring workforces last year were some of the great names in American business — Westinghouse, General Electric, Macy’s, and Hershey.

The public sector also implemented cost cuts that resulted in layoffs in education and government. Private defense contractors such as Boeing trimmed jobs in 2017.

24/7 Wall St. used data provided by Challenger, Gray & Christmas to compile a list of the 25 biggest layoff announcements in 2017. Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ sources for layoff announcements included filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, WARN notices (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act), company press releases, and media reports.

These are the 25 employers who trimmed payrolls the most in 2017.