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Today's job report showed unemployment fell to 5.5% – but it doesn't seem like things are getting better when you look at the constant stream of planned U.S. layoffs and job cuts being announced.
Companies announced another 50,579 layoffs/job cuts in February, up 21% from a year ago. That's the third consecutive month job-cut tallies grew year over year.
Just two months into 2015, employers have announced a whopping 103,620 planned layoffs. That's up 19% from the 86,942 layoffs recorded during the same period in 2014, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
About 36% (18,299) of all job cuts last month were blamed on oil prices. The plunge in oil prices is responsible for 38% (39,621) of all job cuts so far this year.
That's why the energy sector experienced the heaviest job cuts in February, announcing 16,339 layoffs.
But tech, retail, and finance are all slashing headcount.
Here's a look at some of the biggest job cuts announced so far this year.
U.S. Layoffs in 2015: 103,620 and Counting
- International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has been dismissing rumors that it will slash some 100,000 jobs – or 26% of its workforce. That would be the largest mass layoff at any U.S. corporation in at least 20 years. The tech giant doesn't traditionally talk about job cuts, but layoffs have begun. And Alliance@IBM, the IBM employees' union, says it has so far collected reports of 5,000 jobs eliminated. This year could see as many 10,000, according to the latest rumors.
- Target Inc. (NYSE: TGT) said March 3 it will cut several thousand jobs over the next two years as part of a $2 billion cost-savings plan. No specific numbers were given, but the retail giant's officials said they wanted a "simpler and more nimble structure." In mid-February, TGT announced it would slash 550 jobs from its Twin Cities headquarters.
- Hewlett Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) said on Feb. 24 that 2,800 people "exited the company" during the quarter that ended in January. To date, 44,000 have been cut under HP's 2012 restructuring plan. When all is said and done, HP's headcount is expected to be slashed by 55,000.