MILWAUKEE -- Northwestern Mutual says it's looking at possible job cuts. How many employees and when it will happen is still unclear. The director of corporate communications issued a statement on Friday, September 2nd about upcoming changes that could be coming to the company.
Employees at Northwestern Mutual say they received a video message on Friday, alluding to layoffs in the future.
Company officials confirmed they will be looking at their overall job structure.
As Northwestern Mutual expands downtown Milwaukee, news of future layoffs hit current employees.
"Their CEO sent a message to employees just saying we're going to be looking at some job cuts," said Rich Kirchen, Milwaukee Business Journal.
Rich Kirchen with the Milwaukee Business Journal says just how many employees will be affected and when is still unknown.
"I think they're the ninth largest employer in the area. They have almost 6,000 employees in downtown Milwaukee and Franklin. So it's important, it's significant but we don't know what the numbers are," said Kirchen.
As Kirchen explains, insurance companies rely on two sources of income: one which is based on interest rates -- and while the current low investment rates we're seeing are good for the consumer, it's causing a struggle in the industry.
Betsy Hoylman said in the statement, "We’re streamlining processes and identifying new ways to work efficiently. While we will continue to grow our business and hire accordingly, there will be impact to some positions over time.”
Here is Hoylman's complete statement:
"One of the key reasons Northwestern Mutual has thrived for nearly 160 years is that we continuously evaluate our business to ensure we remain competitive and do what is best for our clients. As we continue to make strategic investments to meet the future needs of our clients, we also have a responsibility to manage our business as efficiently as possible. This is especially important as unprecedented low interest rates are putting pressure on companies across our industry. To maintain our strong financial position and serve our clients’ needs, we are evaluating our operations to ensure we have the skills and digital capabilities we need to take us into the future. We’re streamlining processes and identifying new ways to work efficiently. While we will continue to grow our business and hire accordingly, there will be impact to some positions over time."
Kirchen says until now, Northwester Mutual has been fortunate and unique in that it hasn't had to deal with many layoffs.
Kirchen believes the changes will start with open positions not being filled.
The long-term impact on Milwaukee remains to be seen, especially since we don't know how many employees this could affect or when.