What Were the Major Layoffs in 2023?
Layoffs are an unfortunate, but not uncommon, part of life. Four in 10 Americans say they have experienced a layoff at least one time during their careers.
Layoffs have dominated news headlines, especially in the last few years as the Covid-19 pandemic forced companies to reduce headcount. As the threat of the virus diminished, and the economy started moving, companies were ready to hire again.
However, employers complained of labor shortages post-pandemic as workers became choosier about who they worked for and under what conditions. For the first time in decades, workers had power over corporations—at least for a little while.
During this time, we saw wages rise quickly especially for those in the lowest paid jobs. Employers expanded their benefits packages to attract and retain talent. And many companies embraced work-from-home as a standard business practice. About 66% of U.S. workers now work from home at least part time.
Now, as 2023 ends, most analysts agree that the balance of power is shifting back into the hands of corporations, as evidenced by some of the biggest companies choosing to lay off workers in 2023.
Who Laid Off Workers in 2023?
We saw 17 of the biggest companies in the world reduce their workforce in 2023.
1. Cisco Systems, Inc.
Number of layoffs: 1,023
Cisco Systems, Inc. is a digital communications company. The 1000+ layoffs in 2023 were in addition to the thousands of workers they already let go in 2022. That move, plus an increase in product pricing, seems to have worked for the company as their price per share of company stock increased by approximately 18% in just 12 months.
2. Pactiv Evergreen, Inc.
Number of layoffs: 1,050
One of the biggest fresh food and beverage packaging companies in North America, Pactiv Evergreen reduced staff be more than 1,000 employees in 2023.
3. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
Number of layoffs: 1,069
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. is among the top 5 healthcare companies in the world. In an effort to reduce costs by $450 million, the company announced layoffs in 2023, which impacted more than 1,000 workers.
4. 3M Company
Number of layoffs: 1,100
3M Company is a major conglomerate which announced 1,100 job cuts in 2023. Unfortunately, the job losses will continue well into 2024. All in all, 3M Company expects the cost savings to be between $700 million and $900 million.
5. X (Formely Twitter, Inc.)
Number of layoffs in 2023: 1,132
Elon Musk took over Twitter, changed its name to X, privatized the platform, and reduced headcount by 80%. Most of these cuts happened in 2022, but a significant portion of cuts were made in 2023 as well. Overall, the artist formerly known as Twitter has seen some of the biggest headcount cuts of any major tech company, leaving some to wonder if the company will even survive.
6. Salesforce, Inc.
Number of layoffs: 1,153
Leadership at Salesforce, Inc. received praise in early 2020 for refusing to cut staff despite the increasing threat of the pandemic. However, in January 2023 the company reversed course and reduced staff by 10%.
7. Matheson Flight Extenders, Inc.
Number of layoffs: 1,299
Matheson Flight Extenders is a major player in the logistics industry. The U.S. Postal Service has been one of its biggest clients for the past 25 years. The company declared bankruptcy in 2022, which led to sorting facilities in Georgia, Maryland, and Massachusetts being permanently closed in 2023.
8. Jabil Inc.
Number of layoffs in 2023: 1,391
Jabil Inc. is American company specializing in manufacturing and supply chain management. Some call Jabil the biggest company you’ve never heard of. Chances are, you own something that’s been touched by Jabil, whether it’s automotive parts, cell phone components, or your coffee maker. In 2023, Jabil Inc. announced a major restructuring plan to reduce costs, which of course, meant a loss of jobs.
9. Intel Corporation
Number of layoffs: 1,403
10. Bed Bath & Beyond
Number of layoffs: 2,293
The once go-to spot for every college freshman looking to furnish their dorm, Bed, Bath & Beyond went bankrupt in 2023 and its last brick-and-mortar store closed in July of that same year. The company was already laying off employees in previous years to try and stave off the inevitable, otherwise their 2023 layoff numbers would have been even higher.
11. Tyson Foods, Inc.
Number of layoffs: 2,424
Even after closing four chicken plants and laying off close to 2,500 employees, Tyson will still be one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world heading into 2024.
Number of layoffs: 3,120
Amazon was far and away the clear winner during the Covid-19 pandemic. For obvious reasons, there was a massive increase in demand for online shopping in 2020. Amazon responded by hiring 100,000 workers globally. Now that they pandemic has waned, and demand for online shopping isn’t as high, Amazon announced job cuts throughout 2023 and will likely continue to reduce jobs in 2024.
13. Microsoft Corporation
Number of layoffs: 3,466
Microsoft Corporation is among the most valuable companies in the world, and yet could not escape 2023 without engaging in massive job cuts. There will be more job cuts in 2024.
14. Walmart Inc.
Number of layoffs: 4,586
Walmart Inc. is the world’s largest private employer, with over 2 million employees. Walmart leaders are doubling down on warehouse automation, which means they’ll be able to compete with Amazon, but also have to engage in layoffs that impact thousands.
15. Meta Platforms, Inc.
Number of layoffs in 2023: 5,466
Although Meta Platforms (parent company of Facebook) engaged in massive layoffs in 2022, they did signal that more were to come in 2023. By May 2023, the tech giant completed four rounds of layoffs, making it the biggest tech company to cut their workforce in 2023.
16. David’s Bridal, LLC
Number of layoffs in 2023: 9,503
Founded in 1950 as a single store, David’s Bridal grew to be America’s biggest bridal-store chain with nearly 200 locations in the United States and the United Kingdom.
However, on April 14, 2023, the company laid off more than 9,000 workers, which was approximately 80% of its total workforce. Although the company weathered recessions and changes in social attitudes over the decades, it was unable to overcome losses it faced after countless couples postponed or massively downsized their weddings during the pandemic.
On top of that, attitudes about weddings are shifting. In general, young couples are choosing to put their money towards their college loans or a down payment on a house.
17. Yellow Corporation
Number of layoffs: 32,837
Topping our list of companies with major layoffs in 2023 is Yellow Corporation, which was one of the largest logistics and trucking companies in America. Yellow received a $700 million loan from the federal government in 2020 as part of a Covid-19 relief program.
This loan was controversial as many lawmakers in Congress and Pentagon officials questioned if the logistics giant was even eligible to receive the funds. Furthermore, some believe the funds were mishandled, which eventually led to Yellow Corp declaring bankruptcy and firing all if its employees.
How You Can Deal with Layoff Anxiety
With so much news about layoffs, it’s easy to start to think you may be next to lose your job. You’re not alone in your fears. About two in five adult workers are worried about losing their jobs right now.
However, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of anxiety you feel about the possibility of losing your job.
- Stay in reality. Are you busy at work? Is the company profitable? Do you have good performance reviews? Do you get raises and bonuses each year? If you answered yes to these questions, then chances are your company isn’t looking to downsize anytime soon. You can remain cautiously optimistic that your job is safe.
- Grow and maintain your network. Everyone you know represents a potential ally in your next job search. Remember to regularly reach out to your colleagues to see how they are and invite them to coffee. Attend industry conferences and other networking opportunities to meet new people.
- Always be upskilling. Take classes, attend webinars, and use LinkedIn Learning to improve and gain new skills relevant to your industry or job. By doing so you’ll be more valuable to your current employer, and you’ll have an edge over other candidates should you find yourself looking for new jobs.
- Save money. It’s easy said than done but saving enough money to survive at least six months without income can go a long way in easing your fears of losing your job.
- Keep your resume updated. Don’t wait until you lose your job to update your resume. Review it every six months to ensure it’s up to date. That way if you are laid off you can begin your job search right away. Contact Empire Resume to get started on your new resume.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.