Top 10 Biggest Job Cuts U.S. Companies Made In 2012

 @moranzhang
on December 21 2012 3:11 PM
  • Surfboards lean against a wall at the Google office in Santa Monica
    Surfboards lean against a wall at the Google office in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010. REUTERS
  • MetLife
    Shares of Metlife Inc. (NYSE: MET) rose 0.63 percent, to $35.18 a share in Monday mid-day trading. REUTERS
  • Trading price for Morgan Stanley rolls across stock ticker on Morgan Stanley headquarters building in New York's Time's Square
    The trading price of $16.03 for Morgan Stanley (MS) rolls across the stock ticker on the Morgan Stanley headquarters building in New York's Time's Square September 18, 2008. REUTERS
  • A pedestrian walks with a shopping bag from a JC Penney department store in New York
    A payroll tax cut extension will put an extra $40 into the paycheck of a family or worker making $50,000 a year. REUTERS
  • Tide detergent, a Procter & Gamble product, is displayed on a shelf at a store in Tempe
    Tide detergent, a Procter & Gamble (P&G) product, is displayed on a shelf at a store in Tempe, Arizona October 29, 2009. REUTERS
  • 9. PepsiCo
    Coke’s rival PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) jumped in rank from 17th place. With massive operations in both soft drink and snacks (including the Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Tropicana and Quaker brands) Pepsico posted a 5 percent decline in its fourth quarter profits, due to higher commodity costs, although revenue surged to $18.1 billion from $13.3 billion, boosted by the acquisition of two bottlers last year. PepsiCo’s markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa are flourishing. Reuters
  • Bankers Outside Citigroup
    The ongoing U.S. criminal probe into the massive Libor scam could shake up the banking world and redefine the power equation between global financial institutions and U.S. regulators REUTERS
  • American Airlines
    American Airlines flight attendant Stewart walks down from the rear exit of an American Airlines Boeing 737 at DFW International Airport in Dallas. Reuters
  • Twinkies
    (Twinkies might not be leaving your local grocery store shelf after all.) Reuters
  • Hewlett-Packard
    Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) logo Reuters
1 of 10

Despite the faster pace of downsizing as the year comes to a close, the number of job cuts this year announced by U.S. employers is behind last year’s pace -- though it still stands at a staggeringly high level of 490,806 jobs (as of November 30).

Last month alone, U.S. companies announced plans to shed 57,081 workers from their payrolls. That was up 20 percent from the previous month and marked the third consecutive monthly increase, according to the latest report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.  Last month was only the fourth time this year that job cuts exceeded 50,000.

California, Texas and New York saw the most layoffs in 2012. For these mass layoffs, employers cited reasons ranging from cost-cutting to bankruptcy.

The recent surge in layoffs is at least partly attributed to the bankruptcy of private Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc. in November. That accounted for 18,500 of the jobs lost.

"Job cuts this year have really been driven by a handful of large-scale cuts," Rick Cobb, executive vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.

Wall Street firms have been slashing staff since the second half of 2011 as the European sovereign-debt crisis and concerns about the global economy persist and weigh on client activity. Wall Street eliminated 300,000 financial services jobs in the last two years. And experts predict that more layoffs will be come in 2013.

The moderate growth in economic activity in recent months has also meant that payroll growth has been unspectacular but relatively steady, with gains averaging 157,000 per month over the 12 months ending in November.

While this was not as strong an increase as in the past two expansions, it has been enough to push the unemployment rate down at a pace faster than at any point in the previous expansion and about in line with the fastest one in the expansions of the 1990s.

“We believe this is in large part because of the retirements of the baby boomers, which our analysis indicates is the largest single force that has pushed the labor force participation rate down in recent quarters,” Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist at Barclays, wrote in a note. “This downward force on the participation rate means that fewer jobs are now needed to keep the unemployment rate steady.”

Maki estimates employment growth of 75,000 to 100,000 per month would be enough to keep the jobless rate steady. Job growth significantly above that tends to push the unemployment rate down.

Share this article

More News from IBT MEDIA