Layoffs just keep coming in the retail sector.
A slew of chains and mall mainstays like Macy's, J. Crew, and Sears have announced layoffs, bankruptcies, and store closures in the past few years, a phenomenon analysts are calling the "retail apocalypse." The closures are so severe, in fact, that research from Credit Suisse found 20 to "25% of all U.S. malls will close by 2022."
But other industries have also been hard hit this year. According to Challenger, Gray and Christmas, an outplacement firm, the energy sector has lost some 255,000 jobs in 2017.
Below are the 12 companies laying off the most workers, according to data pulled from Challenger, Gray and Christmas by 24/7 Wall St. The numbers take into account worldwide job losses announced in 2017 through the end of July.
12. The State Department
- Layoffs: 2,300
- Number of employees: 69,000
Though it's technically not a business, the State Department, headed by former Exxon exec Rex Tillerson, will slash 9% of its workforce, according to Bloomberg, in an effort to cut its budget. The layoffs will take place over two years, and some people will receive buyouts.
11. Lowe’s Cos.
- Layoffs: 2,400
- Number of employees: 290,000
Lowe's cut 2,400 managers in January, and Fortune reports it will likely cut hundreds more jobs before the year is up.
10. The Hershey Company
- Layoffs: 2,697
- Number of employees: 18,000
Hershey is cutting thousands of jobs worldwide, reducing its workforce by 15%. Fortune reports other food manufacturers like Kellogg and General Mills are also cutting jobs.
9. General Motors
- Layoffs: 2,700
- Number of employees: 225,000
While 24/7 Wall Street's tally accounts for 2,700 job losses in Venezuela, the car maker has announced thousands more layoffs in the states. According to CNN Money, GM announced in May that it will cut around 300 jobs in its plant in Warren, Mich., and notes that "(t)his is the fifth time that GM has eliminated a shift of work at a U.S. plant since last November, eliminating a total of about 5,000 jobs."
8. Dollar Express
- Layoffs: 2,800
- Number of employees: 0
Dollar Express was sold to Dollar General earlier this year, and many of its stores were shuttered.
7. Weatherford International
- Layoffs: 3,000 (worldwide; also cut 9,000 jobs in 2016)
- Number of employees: 39,500
As energy prices decline, Weatherford International, an oil-field service company, said it would cut around 3,000 jobs worldwide and close facilities in an effort to downsize and reduce its debt burden. Next year, it plans to sell its land drilling rigs business in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Fuel Fix.
6. Wet Seal Inc.
- Layoffs: 3,000
- Number of employees: 0 (the company filed for bankruptcy in 2015)
The retailer announced it would close its remaining 171 stores across 42 states in January. Wet Seal originally filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015, but was unable to find a buyer or raise emergency capital in the ensuing time.
5. The Limited
- Layoffs: 4,000
- Number of employees: 0 (closed all of its stores but will continue to do business online)
Another victim of the retail apocalypse, the Limited closed all of its brick-and-mortars, though its online shop is "coming soon."
4. State Farm
- Layoffs: 4,200
- Number of employees: 70,000
The largest home and auto insurer in the country announced it would shut 11 facilities and cut some 4,200 jobs after a "$7 billion annual underwriting loss last year on auto policies," per the Insurance Journal.
- Layoffs: 5,000
- Number of employees: 0
HHGregg began liquidating all of its stores this year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reports the IndyStar.
2. JC Penney
- Layoffs: 5,500
- Number of employees: 106,000
Earlier this year, JC Penney announced it would shutter 130 to 140 stores and two distribution centers and layoff almost 6,000 workers, some of whom would be offered buyouts. The company expects the cuts to amount to $200 million in savings.
- Layoffs: 10,000
- Number of employees: 158,000
The past few years have not been kind to this retail giant. Macy's announced it would close 68 stores in year, affecting around 4,000 employees, as part of its effort to shutter 100 store fronts, or around 15% of its stores.