Hundreds of IT Layoffs in New Hampshire
Liberty Mutual is cutting 620 employees in technology positions from its New Hampshire offices. This represents yet another round of Liberty Mutual layoffs, with an earlier instance in 2017 also eliminating hundreds of jobs from the company’s tech department.
The final figure for the company’s most recent layoffs is more than triple the number of cuts that the company had previously announced. It also amounts to more than a fifth of the company’s New Hampshire IT workforce.
IT layoffs in 2017 have not been uncommon, with rapidly shifting and changing technologies forcing many workers to find new employment as companies look for newer hires to step in to tackle newer systems that older employees may not have the skills to handle.
The company is the fifth-largest employer in New Hampshire, so any major reshuffling of the workforce could have profound effects on the state’s economy. Liberty Mutual has over 5,000 workers spread across 20 locations in the state, with 2,600 of them being located in the company’s technology hub.
This round of Liberty Mutual layoffs was first announced in March, but the number quickly ballooned from the March estimate of 360 for the whole company (190 in New Hampshire) to 620 in New Hampshire alone. The total nationwide job cuts will number around 1,000, according to NH Business Review, which says it obtained internal memos about the much-larger cuts than first announced.
A memo said, “We have reached a point where we have confirmed that the roles of Managers, Business Systems Analysts, System Analysts, Requirement Analysts and Projects Managers [sic] … will be substantially reduced in our future agile organization.” The memo also claimed that the changes will “deliver the highest technological value to the business.”
Liberty Mutual earned $38.3 billion in annual revenue in 2016, with a profit of $1.7 billion. The company spent $15.0 million on restructuring in the last fiscal quarter and $23.0 million since the beginning of the year. This is a multi-million-dollar departure from 2016 when the company did not spend anything on restructuring.
Ultimately, Liberty Mutual is not alone in its IT layoffs. The company finds itself in a similar position to many other companies across the United States. Technology is only growing in terms of importance to modern companies, while many workers in the industry are finding it hard to keep up with the changes. Meanwhile, retraining can often be a long and difficult process, with some companies instead opting for job cuts as an alternative.
“620 New Hampshire tech jobs on the chopping block at Liberty Mutual,” NH Business Review, December 1, 2017.
“Liberty Mutual laying off 360 technology workers in Mass., N.H.,” The Boston Globe, March 8, 2017.