Education book publisher Pearson said it would cut 4,000 jobs, or 10% of its workforce, and undergo a restructuring to tackle problems with its business in the US, Brazil and South Africa. Most job losses will be lost in the US, where revenues have fallen most, but will also see the loss of around 500 jobs in the company’s UK operations. Shares in the former owner of the Financial Times rose 17.4%, however, after it accompanied the cuts announcement with a pledge to maintain its dividend.
Barclays also announced that it will cut about 1,200 jobs in investment banking worldwide and close a share trading operation in Asia. Some UK jobs are expected to go, but most redundancies will be in its investment banking businesses in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
The latest Barclays cull comes on top of the 7,000 jobs cut since 2014 and the plan to chop a further 19,000 roles announced by new chief executive Jes Staley.
In the telecommunications sector, Virgin Media said it was cutting 900 jobs, affecting sites in London and Birmingham.
The company said the overhaul was about “making sure we’ve got the right people in the right areas”. It added: “It’s not a cost-cutting exercise, it’s about tightening up the ship.”
But PwC said Brantano, which includes the Jones the Bootmaker brand, was hit hard by the shift to online shopping, leading to speculation that only a few shops will survive. The threat to Brantano workers follows a series of redundancies at major employers this week.
Sheffield Forgemasters told 100 staff they are in line for redundancy, just days after Tata Steel cut 1,050 jobs mainly at Port Talbot in south Wales.
Asda is set to cut 1,000 jobs, including at its head office, where 3,000 people are employed.
The chain, which is owned by US retail giant Walmart, said the job cuts were needed while it funded a revamp of its largest stores.
Official figures show the UK jobs market is buoyant and that most sectors are seeking workers, though skills shortages have meant that many job vacancies go unfilled.
The most recent data from the Office for National Statistics show there were 756,000 job vacancies for October to December 2015, 46,000 more than a year earlier and the highest since comparable records began in 2001.