People looking for work stand in line to apply for a job during a job fair at the Miami Dolphins Sun Life stadium.
Photograph by Joe Raedle — Getty Images
By Claire Zillman
October 2, 2015

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the September jobs report on Friday, experts are predicting the addition of 190,000 to 200,000 new jobs—a figure that would keep the unemployment rate at around 5.1%.

The U.S. economy has consistently created at least 100,000 jobs per month for the last three years, nudging the unemployment rate down over that time to where it stands now—a seven-year low.

Despite the relatively rosy employment data, the layoffs announced or reported this week alone—at Neiman Marcus, Walmart, and Whole Foods—serve as a reminder that workforce reductions are not a thing of the past and workers still don’t feel entirely safe.

With good reason.

According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, employers have announced 493,431 planned layoffs so far this year—that’s a 36% increase from the same period last year and 2% more than the total number of layoffs announced in 2014.

Here are the biggest workforce cuts announced so far in 2015:


Troop reductions hit the United States Army hard and the drop in oil prices has not been kind to companies that serve the energy industry. Here are explanations for the top 10 layoff announcements:



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