Even though 2018 was in many respects a a strong year for the economy, job cut announcements were up 28% compared to 2017. According to a January release by executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, U.S.-based companies announced plans to cut 538,659 workers, the most since 2015.
Of the companies that announced layoffs of 2,000 people or more in 2018, seven of them were retailers, as the historic shift to online commerce from brick and mortar stores takes its toll on the retail sector.
24/7 Wall St. used data provided by executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, company announcements, and media sources to compile the largest announced layoffs in 2018.
Some economists would call the actions of some of these companies examples of creative destruction, where certain industries and companies that are no longer profitable close down, and capital is redirected toward more productive uses. It might be a necessary process, but it is still painful.