Even as the U.S. job market continues to improve, that hasn't stopped a steady pace of layoff announcements from some of the biggest American employers.
Many of those are coming from the oil patch, where the ongoing plunge in crude prices is forcing production cutbacks in fields that are no longer profitable.
Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes said Tuesday it plans to lay off about 7,000 workers—or 11 percent of its workforce—as the number of oil rigs in operation begins to fall. Executives at Halliburton, another oil services company, told investors on a conference call this week that rig counts had fallen by nearly 15 percent in the past month and said it also expected to announce layoffs.
Schlumberger, another oil services provider, has announced 9,000 job cuts.
Crude oil prices have plunged almost 60 percent since June, hitting five-year lows as increased U.S. production and weak global demand have left the global market awash in oil.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance have bumped up since October, but they're still less than half the level seen at the end of the Great Recession.