"They've never made cuts previously," said former employee Lane Burns. "I think a lot of corporations are surprised, I think people are surprised they've never had to."
Northwestern Mutual is one of the area's largest employers with a workforce of nearly 6,000. Thursday morning, executives told employees in downtown Milwaukee and Franklin that their offices will lose hundreds of jobs through next year.
"As we invest in our strategic priorities to meet our clients' current and future needs, we are also committed to maintaining our strong financial position during this period of unprecedented low interest rates," said corporate spokesperson Betsy Hoylman.
Milwaukee Co. Executive Chris Abele says the cuts are concerning for the community.