Northwestern Mutual will cut hundreds of jobs

The company is building a new tower in Milwaukee
Posted at 11:01 AM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 20:13:26-04

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance announced Thursday it's cutting hundreds of jobs over the next couple of years.

A company spokesperson tells TODAY'S TMJ4 100 jobs are being cut before the end of the year. Some of those employees got their notice Thursday morning.

As Milwaukeeans watch the skyline change with Northwestern Mutual's new corporate headquarters along the lakefront, some are confused by the company's latest announcement.

"Apparently they have all this money to build a brand new building, why would they make 100 job cuts?" questioned Noah Mader.

"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.

"There is no organization that is immune to the occasional setbacks, but their commitment to downtown Milwaukee I don't think anyone questions," Abele said.

Burns believes the move might be inevitable during frugal times for life insurance companies nationwide.

"I don't necessarily think Northwestern Mutual is doing poorly, I just think they might be streamlining in ways to move forward," she said.

We asked the company spokesperson for specifics on what types of jobs will be cut. Hoylman said the evaluation is ongoing.