U.S. Employers That Made The Most Job Cuts In 2012

biggest corporate layoffs 2012

With just two weeks to go in the year, the number of job cuts announced by U.S. employers is behind last year's pace, though it's still staggeringly high -- with 490,806 job cuts this year (as of November).

Last month alone, the nation's employers announced plans to cut more than 57,000 positions, only the fourth time this year in which monthly job cuts exceeded 50,000, according to data compiled by employment-services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

The reasons that employers have given for mass layoffs have ranged from a change in business strategy to bankruptcy. What's more, layoffs have occurred across a wide spectrum of industries, from retail to manufacturing to financial services. But what most have shared: extraordinary generosity to the corporate titans at the top.

So which American companies have made the most draconian job cuts in 2012? AOL Jobs has compiled this list of employers that slashed the most jobs in the U. S.:

Metlife Inc.
Job cuts: 4,300

Though best known for selling life insurance, Metlife was also in the mortgage-origination business -- that is until it announced plans in January to shutter the unit. The move led to the elimination of most of the 4,300 workers who worked in that sector, and cost the company $90 million. About 20 percent, or 860, of the jobs were based in Irving, Texas, with the rest scattered throughout the nation.

J.C. Penney Co.
Job cuts: 4,700

As part of its plan to refresh its stodgy image, the venerable retailer announced plans in January to sell its merchandise at "everyday prices," rather than relying on frequent promotions to drive sales. As part of that plan, the Plano, Texas-based company said it would lay off 4,700 workers. The company said the cuts largely affected temporary workers. The pricing plan has failed to ignite sales, however. Last month, J.C. Penney said it recorded a $123 million loss in the quarter ending Oct. 31 -- likely leaving many still-employed Penney workers to ponder what the future holds.

Job cuts: 8,700

The beverage-and-snack giant announced its plans to cut 8,700 jobs in February as part of its plan to reduce costs by $1.5 billion. The layoffs affect workers in 30 countries, with fewer than 2,000 of the cuts expected to occur in the U.S., where the Purchase, N.Y.-based company has some 100,000 employees. Globally, PepsiCo employs three times that number and the announced cuts account for 3 percent of the company's total workforce.

Job cuts: 11,000

Among the latest companies to announce job actions, the banking giant announced this month that it plans to eliminate 11,000 positions, as it seeks to shrink the size of its business and become more profitable. The cuts amount to about 4 percent of the bank's workforce and carry the fingerprints of Citigroup Chairman Michael O'Neill. The banking industry veteran has a history of ruthlessly shedding businesses that aren't earning enough money.

American Airlines
Job cuts: Up to 14,000

In February, American Airlines parent company AMR Corp. announced plans to cut 14,000 jobs as part of its bankruptcy organization. By September, that number had been whittled down to a about 11,000 workers, who were advised they may lose their jobs by year-end. The company said, however, that it expects fewer than 40 percent of those it sent notices to, or 4,400 people, would actually be laid off. About 800 employees had agreed to leave the carrier voluntarily, American said, moves that are expected further reduce the number of layoffs.

Hostess Brands
Jobs cuts: 18,500

The iconic maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread said in late November that it would eliminate 18,500 jobs as it liquidates its assets and sells off its familiar brands. Strikes crippled the company after it and the union representing some 5,600 bakers failed to reach an agreement during contract negotiations.

Hewlett-Packard Co.
Jobs cuts: 27,000

The legendary computer and printer manufacturer announced plans in May to cut 27,000 workers, and then revised the total to 29,000 by 2014, equaling more than 8 percent of its workforce. HP has said that it will likely cut 11,500 jobs by the close of fiscal 2012, which ended Oct. 31.

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March 27 2013 at 5:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

good for hostess brands........they gave fair warning and the union as they usually do screws up and now 5600++ people are out of a job......they deserve what their union who supposedly represents them did one lousy job--and now at christmas time let them go out and find a jog...ha ha

December 15 2012 at 11:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

top CEOs at hosstess refuss to take pay cuts but wanted workers too get pay cuts ,the company will move oversea

December 15 2012 at 6:38 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

multi billion dollar USA companys but yet the mistreat workers they dont offer heathcare but can afford too without obama care Walmart is bad!!! HP still a good company they got a bad deal in a purchase of another comapany through no fault of there own they had to lay off worker the company they bought had bad bookkeeping

December 15 2012 at 6:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

.........while the execs walk away with millions in bonuses.

December 14 2012 at 10:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to brennemanbelkin's comment

As well as the union negotiators. Unionized employees often fail to realize that no matter what happens in negotiations or how long a strike lasts, union reps get paid and have no incentive to succeed. Suckers.

December 15 2012 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You think there are a lot of layoffs ??? Just wait till Obama care cuts in. Many employers will be hit very, very hard financially and will either have to lay off even more employees or go out of business. This, thanks to Obama and Nancy Pelosi and her famous ststement "we have to pass the bill before we know what's in it". Now that we are finding what is in Obama care-------------------------------------------we can't afford Obama care.

December 14 2012 at 8:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rich lapinski

things are looking up.......yea right.

December 14 2012 at 8:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Met life – shouldn’t have been in the Mortgage Origination business, they should have stuck to what they know – Insurance.
JCP – spends too much on advertising, but no one can afford to buy their clothing (well, until Americans get back to work)…Duh!
PepsiCo – Nobody’s drinking soda anymore, after finding out how fattening it is.
CitiGroup – Well, they have to pay the CEO something, right? Those 11,000 worker’s salaries probably make up the top three CEOs salary/bonuses.
American Airlines – Nobody could afford to fly to Grandma’s for the holidays – let alone go on vacation this year.
Hostess Brands – Yeah, the Twinkie was going to people’s waistlines, so they ditched the sweets here.
Hewlett-Packard – Nobody’s buying HP PCs or Printers, opting to fix what they have to save money

Keep outsourcing so Americans have “No” Disposable income and watch what happens next!!!

December 14 2012 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Paula's comment

Not sure what world you live in but you lost all respect and credibility at the Pepsi thing.

December 14 2012 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is just the beginning. Now that Obamacare is coming home to roost some dems are having buyers remorse. Tough. You voted for it without reading it. You are going to have to live with it. The new regilations that have yet to be written to go with it are going to cripple business even more. One thing that I remember from 8th grade civics class. Vote against any proposal that you don't understand. If it is good enought it will be brought up again.

Recovery. Recovery. We aren't getting any recovery. We are getting socialism on steroids.

December 14 2012 at 3:29 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Wow. The number of people layed off keeps skyrocketing but the unemployment number keep going down. Maybe someone if playing with the numbers to make it look better.

December 14 2012 at 3:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mikehbromley's comment

The unemployment number doesn't reflect those that have just given up looking for jobs or who've run out of benefits. Nor the underemployed, the parents with a mortgage that are flipping burgers or greeting at Walmart.

December 15 2012 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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