The prices of goods and services rose due to disruptions in supply chains and increased demand after the COVID-19 outbreak. The interest rates, which were increased to combat inflation, which became stubborn with the effect of the Russia-Ukraine War, saw the highest level of recent years in Europe.
High inflation and high interest rates and the uncertainty created by the worsening macroeconomic outlook are forcing more and more companies to accelerate layoffs and apply the brakes on hiring to reduce costs.
The layoffs, which have spread to almost all sectors since the beginning of this year, especially the technology, manufacturing and automotive sectors, accelerated with the dismissal decisions announced by the UK-based telecommunication companies BT and Vodafone.
Telecom companies cut jobs to cut expenses
UK-based telecommunications company Vodafone announced last week that it will lay off 11,000 jobs in the next three years to reduce costs and accelerate growth. Vodafone has approximately 104,000 employees worldwide.
It is predicted that Germany, the UK and Italy, the company’s largest and at the same time “worst” performance market, will be the countries most affected by the dismissal decision. In March, Vodafone announced plans to cut 1,000 jobs in Italy and around 1,300 in Germany.
Vodafone’s decision was again followed by the UK-based telecommunications company BT.
BT has announced that it will part ways with 40,000 to 55,000 employees by 2030, due to the need for less workforce in its operations with the increase of digitalization and reducing costs.
The British telecommunications giant’s total employment will fall from 75,000 to 90,000 by 2030, from its current level of 130,000. This decline means that the company has cut more than 40 percent of its total workforce.
Telekom Italia, on the other hand, plans to lay off 2,000 people in Italy through a voluntary early retirement programme.
Swedish telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson has announced that it will cut 8,500 jobs worldwide as part of its plan to cut costs.
Swiss computer accessories manufacturer Logitech has decided to lay off 300 people in March.
Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia announced on May 3 that it will cut 208 jobs.
Accenture, an Irish-US partnership information technology company, decided to lay off 19,000 people at the end of March due to concerns about the global economy.
German software firm SAP announced that it plans to lay off 3,000 jobs, 2.5 percent of its global workforce, in order to cut costs and focus on the cloud business at the end of January.
There are layoffs in different areas of the automotive industry
Automotive manufacturer Stellantis, which includes the Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat, DS, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Abarth and Fiat Professional brands, agreed with the unions in February to lay off 2,000 workers through voluntary layoffs in its Italy operations.
Swedish group Volvo announced in March that it will restructure its bus manufacturing operation in Europe, laying off 1,600 people.
Volvo Cars, on the other hand, announced its decision to lay off an additional 1,300 jobs in Sweden earlier this month. This figure constitutes 6 percent of the workforce in the company’s home country.
Italian automotive parts manufacturer Marelli announced that it agreed with the unions to lay off 400 jobs at the end of March.
British electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival has decided to lay off 800 people, half of its employment, in order to reduce its costs.
German automotive and industry supplier Schaeffler announced that 1,300 more people will be laid off by 2026 during the restructuring process.
Retail and consumer products companies also caught the wave
British food delivery company Deliveroo said it would cut 350 jobs, 9% of its workforce.
British supermarket group Sainsbury’s has announced that 300 jobs will be cut immediately after the restructuring plan, which will affect approximately 2,000 jobs, announced at the end of February.
Just Eat, an online food and delivery company headquartered in the UK, decided to part ways with a total of 1,870 employees, including 1,700 couriers and 170 office workers, at the end of March.
German online fashion retailer Zalando said in February it would cut hundreds of jobs across the company, citing “difficult economic conditions”.
German eyewear retailer Fielmann reported in March that it plans to cut hundreds of jobs by 2025.
British cybersecurity firm Sophos announced in January that it will cut 450 jobs globally.
German consumer goods company Henkel also laid off 2,000 jobs to combat rising costs and low demand.
British retail chain Wilko is reportedly planning to lay off 400 people.
Finnish elevator manufacturer Kone also announced in January that it will cut staff by 1,000, including 150 in its country.
Netherlands-based Philips announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs to offset slumped sales after a massive recall of ventilators at the end of January.
Successive dismissals from the contracting, chemical and financial sectors
British Steel, which is sold to China, has announced that it will cut 260 jobs after it announced planned closure of coke ovens in the north of England at the end of February.
German chemical company BASF, warning that its earnings will decrease further due to rising costs, announced that 2,600 people will be laid off.
German specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik announced a 200-person layoff plan in April.
Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest bank, also announced on April 27 that it will cut 800 jobs in an effort to cut costs by 500m euros over the next few years.
Wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa reported last year that it plans to cut 2,900 jobs by 2025 as part of its plan to return to profitability. 1,900 of this employment reduction is planned to be made in Europe.
Spanish pharmaceutical company Grifols has decided to lay off 2,300 employees as part of its strategy revision, which aims to save approximately 400 million euros annually.
British contracting firm Taylor Wimpey reported in January that it was considering layoffs to limit costs, but did not specify a number.
Swedish engineering group Alfa Laval has announced a restructuring program that will lay off about 500 employees after rising costs took a toll on its shipping business last year.
Husqvarna, the Swedish manufacturer of garden equipment and tools, has announced that it will go through a restructuring and lay off 1,000 jobs.
It was announced that the British homebuilding company Vistry Group may also lay off 200 employees.