Jobs

Ten American Companies Cutting the Most Jobs

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.

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7. Cisco Systems, Inc.
> Job cuts: 4,500
> Number of employees: 75,049
> YTD share price change: +15.2%

Cisco laid off 500 workers in March as part of a minor restructuring in its data center businesses. However, the company did not stop there. And after reporting a disappointing quarter, Cisco cut 4,000 jobs, bringing the company’s total layoffs to 12,300 jobs in the past two years. The company has been aggressively cutting costs in recent years as its networking products have become increasingly commoditized, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, the markets for Cisco’s core networking offerings — modems, switches, WiFi routers, etc. — may have plateaued, while new advancements in cloud computing have undercut the company’s profitability.

8. MetLife Inc.
> Job cuts: 3,150
> Number of employees: 64,000
> YTD share price change: +41.0%

MetLife announced in March that it would cut 650 jobs from its Bloomfield, Connecticut, offices. The cuts are part of its plans to consolidate its operations and open new offices in North Carolina, where it will shift 2,600 jobs. The company additionally cut a third of its advisers, or 2,500 jobs, at the end of May. In regards to these firings, CEO Eric Steigerwalt noted in a presentation to investors that “we’re not financing advisers who frankly were never going to make it in this business.” This was part of the company’s plans to improve its results by cutting off financing to unsuccessful advisers while capping its sales for variable annuities.

9. Blockbuster (Dish Network Corp.)
> Job cuts: 3,000
> Number of employees: 35,000
> YTD share price change: +30.1%

In 2010, Blockbuster, then the largest movie-rental company in the world, filed for bankruptcy. At the time it planned to restructure its business to better compete with faster-growing rivals. Dish bought Blockbuster’s assets in 2011 and has been closing failing stores since. At the beginning of this year, the company announced it would be closing 300 U.S. stores, which resulted in 3,000 lost jobs. According to news reports, Dish still sees value in the Blockbuster brand and will continue its attempt to make it profitable.

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10. United Technologies, Inc.
> Job cuts: 3,000
> Number of employees: 218,000
> YTD share price change: +25.3%

Last year, United Technologies purchased aircraft component maker Goodrich for $16.4 billion and sold several smaller units. The company also took a major restructuring charge that hurt earnings. In its annual report the company disclosed it would cut an additionally 3,000 jobs in 2013. This was on top of the 4,000 cut the year before as part of its restructuring program. Matters could have been worse for many employees, since the company, a major government contractor, had plans to furlough up to 4,000 jobs during the government shutdown. However, employees were able to continue working after the Pentagon removed its own furlough on civilian employees.

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