U.S. Layoffs: More than 103,620 Announced in 2015

U.S. layoffsToday'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.
  • EBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) announced Jan. 22 it's slashing headcount by 2,400 in Q1 2015. That's 7% of the company's 34,600-person workforce. The e-commerce company cited "weak holiday sales, revenues lower than expected, and restructuring" ahead of its PayPal spin-off.
  • American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) reported Jan. 22 it's slashing 4,000 jobs. That's about 6% of its 63,000-person workforce. The news came after the elite credit card company missed long-term revenue growth targets of 8%. Blamed for the shortfall were a stronger dollar, soft retail sales, and tumbling gas prices.
  • Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) and Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) agreed in November to merge in a $34.6 billion deal. Early this year, Halliburton said it's cutting 1,000 jobs. Baker Hughes, meanwhile, is laying off 7,000. That's 11% of its workforce. Plunging oil prices are to blame. Zero Hedge shared this startling stat: When it comes to pay, each Baker Hughes job is equivalent to about 10 waiter and bartender jobs. Those service jobs have been the basis of America's job "recovery."
  • Nabors Industries Ltd. (NYSE: NBR) reported March 3 it has cut 3,480 jobs. That's 12% of the Bermuda-based driller's 29,000 workforce. Nabors' active U.S. rig count is down 32% from its 2014 peak.
  • Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) began laying off workers worldwide in mid-January. The oil company didn't say exactly how many workers will be let go, but said around 5,000. That's about 5% of its workforce. Reasons cited were a slowdown in activity and a budget cut due to falling oil prices.
  • Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) reported Jan. 15 it would cut 9,000 jobs. That's 7.3% of its 120,000-person workforce. The cuts were announced "to better align with anticipated activity levels for 2015." Slow drilling activity due to oil's steep price drop was cited.
  • JC Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) plans to lay off 2,250 workers by April. The company will also shutter 40 underperforming stores. The moves are part of the struggling retailer's turnaround efforts. Shares climbed 0.8% on the announcement.
  • Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) is cutting 1,660 to 2,500 workers. Fourteen stores will also be closed. The Cincinnati retailer said in early January store closings and reorganizations will generate $140 million in annual savings beginning in 2015. Savings will be reinvested into technology.
  • SAP SE ADR (NYSE: SAP) reported March 6 it will reduce headcount by 2,000. That's 3% of the global tech giant's 74,400 employees. Workers in Germany, France, the U.K., and the United States will be offered early retirement, or in some cases, the opportunity to switch jobs and work for other divisions of the company.

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  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. (NYSE: RBS) announced on Feb. 26 it will cut more than half of the 2,000 jobs at its U.S. trading unit in Stamford, Conn. The job losses are part of a wider plan for the investment bank to focus on 13 countries instead of 38.
  • Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) told 319 workers on Feb. 20 they will be laid off as of April 24. The bulk of the workers, more than 200, are in Boeing's Engineering Operations & Technology group. The rest are in Boeing's commercial airplanes and defense divisions.
  • DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) said Jan. 23 it would trim headcount by 500 amid a series of box-office disappointments. The company will also reduce the number of films it releases annually from three to two. This is to ensure delivery of consistent, profitable, high-quality films.
  • Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) said Jan. 23 that 910 workers will be placed on indefinite layoff from its Iowa and Illinois facilities. Another 500 employees at its Moline facility will be idled until late summer. The "workforce adjustments" come as the company continues to align its workforce to meet "market demand for products."
  • Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS) announced Jan. 29 it will let 900 workers go. The cloud computing company said it will cut 700 full-time and 200 contractor jobs as part of a restructuring. The cuts came as the company of 9,166 posted a sharp drop in Q4 net profit.

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