Unemployment rates have improved over the course of the year, but large-scale layoffs continue to make headlines too.
The latest news comes from Caterpillar. The world’s largest construction and mining equipment company announced Sept. 24 that it would cut up to 10,000 jobs by the end of 2018. As Reuters reported:
Over the past year, miners and energy companies have chopped budgets and put expansion projects on hold as prices of raw materials such as crude oil, copper, coal and iron ore have plunged to six-year lows amid lingering worries about oversupplies and China’s slowing economic growth. As a result, orders for equipment have dried up.
According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement company that helps workers find new jobs, Caterpillar’s announcement ranked it among the companies that have announced the largest number of layoffs so far this year.
While the company at the top of the list, Hewlett-Packard, has announced 30,000 layoffs so far this year, job cuts by companies like Caterpillar are more worrisome to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The firm’s chief executive, John A. Challenger, says in a news release:
“Despite the fact that Caterpillar is announcing fewer cuts than HP and several other companies, it is perhaps among the more troubling announcements in terms of what it signals about the overall health of the global economy. Hewlett-Packard’s job cuts were more a result of its inability to keep up with changing trends in the tech sector. Fortunately, many companies in the tech sector are thriving and the impacted employees should be able to land new opportunities without much difficulty.”
Other companies at the top of Challenger, Gray & Christmas’ latest layoff list include:
- Target Corp. (layoffs due to Canadian store closures)
- Schlumberger Ltd.
- Baker Hughes
- Halliburton Co.
- Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P)
- Procter & Gamble
- Nabors Industries
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
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