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Why Exxon's Job Cuts Are 'A Sign of the Times'

Here's what the Exxon job cuts mean for the oil industry.

Exxon Mobil is assessing possible worldwide job cuts, a spokesman told Reuters Wednesday. The energy giant announced a voluntary layoff program in Australia following a slump in fuel demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have evaluations underway on a country-by-country basis to assess possible additional efficiencies to right-size our business and make it stronger for the future,” Exxon spokesman Casey Norton told Reuters in an email.

Bloomberg reported at the end of June that between 5% and 10% of U.S.-based Exxon employees, who were subject to performance evaluations, could end up leaving this year after their assessments.

An Exxon spokesperson said at the time that the company had "no plans for layoffs, and there are no targets to reduce headcount."

"Exxon Mobil manages the highs and lows of the industry cycles by supplementing our employees with contractors," the company said. "As we head into down cycles, we reduce the use of contractors. That is happening now. We have a rigorous talent management process that routinely assesses employee performance."

In its latest second quarter, Exxon posted a wider-than-expected loss as the global coronavirus pandemic continued to blunt energy and commodity demand.

Jeff Marks, senior portfolio analyst with Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS, weighed in on the potential job cuts. 

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

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