In an era of fast fashion, fast food and fast internet, the old ways of doing business just don’t cut it. As more consumers shift to online shopping and business at many brick-and-mortar retailers slows, layoffs become inevitable. According to data compiled by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, job cuts so far in 2017 have been retail-heavy, a phenomenon known as “retail apocalypse.”
The retail free-fall has implications for shopping centers as well. JCPenney has been an anchor tenant at malls all over the country for decades, but the discount retailer has been struggling, and real estate experts are concerned about the future of malls. According to an analysis by global financial service giant Credit Suisse, 20% to 25% of all malls are expected to close in the next five years.
While retail is bearing the brunt of job cuts this year,the energy sector posted the most layoffs through the same period in 2016. The good news is the pace of layoffs appears to be slowing. There were nearly 360,000 announced job losses by the end of July of last year. So far in 2017, there are about 255,000 announced job losses.
Technology is not just upending the retail sector. One insurance company on this list has actually lost money because of higher claims costs from car crashes as more drivers are distracted by electronic devices.
To identify the 12 companies that are laying off the most workers so far in 2017, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on job losses per month compiled by Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Job cuts announced in 2017 but which only included positions cut in 2016 were excluded from the list. Layoffs do not have to be entirely within the United States. Job cuts were confirmed from data analysis, company announcements, media reports and press releases.