Pluto In Capricorn: Layoffs!

Pluto god dog

It was the middle of the workday at a large corporation when a husband got an email letting him know he was going to be keeping his job.  His wife, who worked for the same corporation did not get an email… until she did, three minutes later.  She was informed that she was being laid off. This is how 2400 people lost their job last week.

I don’t think the laid-off works were allowed to finish their day out.  More here: Former Farmer’s Insurance Employees…

This is quintessential Pluto in Capricorn. It’s cold and this is going on at many companies at this time. It’s unreported or at best, under-reported.

The tactics designed to make people quit (so the company can avoid paying severance) are escalating.

It’s been one month since I wrote this:

Pluto in Capricorn: Watching A Huge Business Implode

The business I’m watching continues to buckle, flatten, snap and break. The employees are tormented and there are other business, as large, beginning the same process. The layoff process seems to follow a template.

What kills me is there’s no reporting.  Maybe a tiny mention. It’s like there’s an unspoken rule, don’t mention the layoffs!

The people have not seen this coming, up until they do. The company starts putting the screws to them, dropping hints and warnings their jobs may not be secure. Way to jack someone up, don’t you think?

From there, the corporate actions unfold, slowly at first and then faster. At some point, the employees enter a grieving process. Denial. Deal-making. Maybe we can organize.  Maybe it will be the old / the young / this or that color / the people who work at home, the people don’t, maybe it will be anybody but me…”  This is horrible to witness.

In the old days, you just got fired. This was a lot kinder.

What I’m seeing now is unspeakable in comparison.  People demoralized and when they finally do get cut; there is more pain when they realize what the aftermath will look like.

I’m talking about good jobs here with good pay and benefits.  So guess what? If you job pays 80% of your health insurance and you’ve been working with the company for fifteen, twenty or more years, you probably have no idea what insurance costs these days.  You may faint.

Making people return to the office is a big part of this. You may think people should go to work, but what if they were told, promised that they were safe to move (out of state in many cases), as their jobs would be remote, permanently?  Can you imagine the train wreck?

You moved and bought a house, after checking with management, fifty times. Now, if you don’t get back to the office, you’re fired.  In the meantime the interest rates have soared and you can’t afford a house, if you move.

But let’s say you do go back to the office. I understand there is no room for you. You will be sharing a desk now; point being the employees, who in most cases have done nothing wrong, are made miserable and have no way to win.

I’ve sitting on this for a week but I decided to post today when I realized cutting slews of  employees tend to raise the stock price. This will allow key people to exit the stock before it crashes. I can easily imagine people being hired back at a lower salary, post the money grab.

Pluto in Capricorn has be a disaster for small business and the common worker. It’s one of the reasons I am so keen on being kind right now.  People just don’t need another kick in the teeth.

What do you know about this?

43 thoughts on “Pluto In Capricorn: Layoffs!”

  1. THIS! My husband was laid off 7 months ago. He cannot find a new job to save his life. The market is flooded from layoffs. He got close a few times, one company did a hiring freeze right as they went to make him an offer. And the reason he lost his job.. they were definitely fishing. He asked an employee to not talk on her cellphone on camera during a training session and she went to HR. They told him it was harassment and had to let him go. They agreed to part ‘amicably’. But after that 100 people were laid off. I moved out of state and agreed to work remote full time a year ago. I have the same thoughts on promises being broken.

    1. Avatar
      Deborah L. Strifler

      I know a lot of people that have worked for WalMart. And they are at all levels. They’ve all said that they are not treated humanely. Expectations and a non-caring attitude. Just produce!
      It also sounds like Amazon.

  2. I know my previous boss was famous for trying to get people to quit when contracts or the persons work history was good and they could not justify firing them. All our custodians, IT people, and bus drivers were moved out and those jobs were contracted out to companies. So instead of giving those jobs to people from our community who know the kids, a big company. All these services have since degraded as a result. Its sad.

    1. It’s not unheard of, you get a lukewarm evaluation some weeks ahead so they can fire you with (fake) cause.

      See, this is what I’m talking about, people realizing there are my psychopaths than they think. People are so trusting!

      An even if you are not a psychopath, you have to behave like one, if you expect climb to any height of status.

      This is part of this:

  3. It’s bad here and it’s bad in Europe. I’ve been with an international company, yes, many years ago, but my husband was there as well and longer than I. He’s with another international company since 2016. These companies buy up other companies and that all looks good on the books…until it doesn’t, for any number of reasons, including the company is ultimately just a holding company or the supply chain was fucked up and now it’s hitting them. Early retirement packages are popular. Closing down certain unproductive facilities and farming that out is another method.

    Those are just some thing I’ve seen. Another thing is, my husband is grandfathered into many retirement policies that simply do not exist anymore, for decades, including pension and healthcare. A kernel of knowledge would be to try to have as much control over your future finances as you can, however creative you might have to be.

  4. Has anyone encountered the policy of references being unable to give honest reviews to prospective employers? It was my understanding at the last company I worked for that if you gave one of your bosses, coworkers, etc, as a reference, they had to be very neutral. Maybe it was just that company policy. I just figured that if someone sucked as a manager, well, you should be able to say it was your professional opinion and experience that the person lacked supervisory ability at that time. idk

    I think I would not do well in a current corporation, given the things my husband is supposed to do and say.

      1. Oh, yes, then the timeline in my head is right on about this. I remember learning of it about then and thinking all it’s good for is proof from another living person that you worked there.

  5. Avatar
    Anastasia Christou

    Its happening in Australia too – changes in Industry and the Big banks/financial institutions just get rid of people all the time! Problem is Managment gets awarded for the savings savings…

    1. I expect business to continue to contract and consolidate with Pluto in Capricorn. This has been happening since day 1. The thing is, Pluto in Aquarius is no panacea. *This* is leading us to *that*.

  6. Avatar
    Anette Bjerregård

    I was at a company in 2017-2018, who was in a business with an ocean so red (business slang for hight voltage competitive market) that layoffs were “just a regular” thing several times a year. It was not due to seasons, it was just a very tough business to be in, so to speak.

    I had been there for 3 weeks and then the first bout came.

    Then the 2nd.
    And then, the 3rd which hit my department too. My new boss was fired, and she almost cried from relief when she got the email. She had been crazy stressed the past 2 weeks, and no wonder! We had to sit by our desks at 9:00 this and that day, and the large corporation building was almost deadly quiet.
    Being my usual Scorpio self, I went in armed to the teeth with a “if I am going down, let’s go down with a BANG!” attitude, sharp dressed and high heels. Keep my head high, and be a support for those who didn’t make it. Due to local laws, my role as an pregnancy vacay wasn’t possible to touch, so I knew I was secure, but the aftermath…. Oh my!

    And then the clock struck 9 ans you could hear crying from various places, and suddenly everyone was crying, and it was bloody traumatizing, both for the people they fired and afterwards for us left.

    My department was suspended, my bosses’ eyes was red rimmed and he couldn’t talk to anyone but went straight home to drink a whole bottle of wine.

    I went home, ahellshocked, and the day after I went out and bought a new sofa and a giant beef I ate with a G&T for dinner. I was such an extreme event. It followed me for almost a year after, when my pregnancy vacay ran out.

    I’ll never work in this type of industry again. No matter what, the stock price ain’t worth your money, because this is the WORST kind of employer branding you’ll ever get.

    1. … and it so beautifully leads up to the Pluto in Aquarius period, really.

      The People are starting to answer back. The big corporations are dying. No one want a job in a large couldron of death. So there’s a silver lining to everything, I guess. Even if it’s not pretty in any way.
      But it’s Pluto after all. Death ain’t pretty. But it sure is definite.

      1. You’re welcome and thank you 🙂
        It was 2017/2018 so it’s some years back, but it all looks pretty alike to me, in regards to what goes on right now. This is the last “cramps” of Pluto in Cap before we go into the Aquarius mindset.

  7. Any thoughts on how this also seems to be falling into the tide of young(ish) people’s ideologies turning away from capitalism, towards other forms of employment/financial and living support? I think there are many things at play here, including education, the corporations themselves creating their own perhaps unintentional downfall, an entire generation over-promised things, etc. But there is a definite decline in business here, very Pluto in Capricorn. The old way of the corporation being a way to help sustain yourself for your future has been decades in the making, even when I was in the workforce.

    1. What I see is exactly what I’ve been preaching before pluto went into capricorn. Cracks in the foundation… much worse now. Land of inevitable at this point, since nothing has been addressed.

  8. I started seeing this in 1985 when Eastman Kodak started ‘downsizing ‘ here in Rochester. And every year after, right on December 1st before Christmas, you were told. Of course, the rumor mill was rumbling for 3 months just what department, division, city, country would be hit. I choose to leave in 2002 after having my 4th child. I was told I was not a target. I still left. Nice severance at the time. Since then, I have perfected the art of reinventing myself. I just had to do it again last year after a very long and invasive spinal surgery. I’m 62. I decided i was going to take the reins. I thought about what I did best, what made me happy and I became the commodity. I choose my clients. I don’t make alot, i struggle believe me, because I would have been and be having my yearly birthday reading from Elsa. I never have a bad day at ‘work’ and I’m happy. Is it scary? YES! ESPECIALLY AT MY AGE! Bi I did it at 42, 47, 51, 56 and last year.

    When life happens and I need more money, I just pick up more clients. The Universe and God provides when I need it once I aligned myself with my purpose here on earth.

  9. Plut in Capricorn is “Death of the old men” (or man).

    90% of all board members are old/white/rich/powerful men.

    Just see how the government in each state fares in this regard. They will see a lot of deaths the next months too… Both physically and metaphorically.

  10. Avatar
    the laughing goat

    I work in the education transportation industry where we cannot get enough people hired to cover the need! However, there are no benefits at the company unless you work 40 plus hours a week doing multiple tasks/jobs. Not a lot of people open and willing to working hard anymore. Just my two cents from my perspective.

  11. I left the workforce when Pluto was in Sag and went back in 2019…Pluto in Cap, which went over my MC.

    Veterinary medicine isn’t what it was. Private equity firms are buying clinics by the thousands. I don’t expect this to stop. And what’s supposed to be a healing profession is full of narcissists and psychopaths. I knew this already, but actually working with it is a far different story.

    I posted my story on FB astrology groups, and people told me I had a gift that corporate people would never appreciate. That’s not the whole reason I had trouble at those jobs, but I’m convinced it played a small role.

    I will never stop trying to help animals in need. I just have to branch out of vet med.

  12. It’s been happening here for a looong time: the new “business model” seems to be take a multi-million dollar golden parachute and drive the business into the ground. Time was, you’d feel like a failure if the people under you weren’t making a good living. I believe this was a shift in ethics before it was a shift in economics.

    But now that it’s happening in Europe, I’m worried. No wonder so many young people dream of making it self-employed as influencers or service (massage, mechanic) employees; they don’t believe corporate America is a safe place.

    Long Covid is forcing me to plan early retirement. I’m a lucky one. I worry so much for my family’s next generation entering the workforce right now. Where will their dreams come from? 😞

  13. I had Farmer’s Insurance until 10 years ago when I moved overseas. Near the end they actually tried to side with a guy who rear ended me! I was a block from my Auto Body shop to drop off my car to repair previous damage, when some guy, excited about racing someone else, started up on the green even though I was in front of him and NOT racing, so he hit my Mustang’s bumper enough to do damage. He also refused to give me his ID or insurance card. Eventually I got his ID, but he called my insurance and said I was lying. Luckily I had to walk home from the body shop, where they immediately noticed the damage, and when I passed by the site where I was hit, I found the guy’s license plate in the street, and took it home. So when Farmers told me they weren’t going to cover the damage because the perpetrator said I was lying, I was able to tell them he hit me so hard that he lost his license plate, and they had to cover it! But that showed me that the insurance field was not doing well. Never in my life did I think they would side with the guy who hit me and refused to show me ID!

  14. West coast tech perspective- So much is about image. What the companies want to project vs what’s really going on. Many people hired in recent years were done so to make the company look bigger, successful, but they weren’t needed. Now losing their jobs. There are industries that are busy and booming, like biotech, hospitality (even in uncertain times, people continue spending on leisure, travel, dining out). Construction continues to be big, while offices remain mostly empty. For the most part, post Covid, a majority of office workers here don’t have enough work to do to fill a 40 hour week. Perhaps we’ve become too efficient? It depends on the industry, but some of the biggest tech names are emptying out their offices at 2:30-3:00 each day, with the majority of people coming in 3 days a week. They arrive around 8 or 9. People talk about switching to a 4 day workweek- It’s already happening here for a lot of people. Quietly. I would think that would be stressful if one’s told to go back to the office, and have to find ways to look busy. But this may be the way of culling the herd. One company has spent an enormous amount of money on equipment upgrades= Computers, desks, etc. But those desks remain empty weeks after set up. It feels like Neptune, Pluto and Uranus, and maybe even Jupiter are working together here. Power plays to get people to work with you to maintain an image, a narrative. Spending. Delusion. Denial. Yes, sectors are still hiring (a lot of overseas talent for the more technical jobs). But for the most part, it appears we have more people than work to do, and companies are doing their best to make it look like something else. There isn’t an incentive to dig deeper, because people aren’t outwardly suffering. Most seem to be doing just fine. Great even. More money than ever. The spending continues at a record pace. Airports are full. Restaurants=Full. Shopping malls=Full. Roads=Full of people, even if people are wandering aimlessly just looking for a way to kill time on a Sunday. Groceries, gas and rent at an all time high, with no signs of people pulling back, or refusing to buy. People aren’t staying home, trying to save money. I have one friend who’s been unemployed for a year-She’s traveling in Europe with her family of 5. Things are getting paid for somehow. There seems to be quite the code of silence from people who’ve been let go, or might be on the verge. Those of us who work 40 hours, go in to work 5 days a week-We fear losing our jobs because we are the ones witnessing how hard it is to get back in the game.

  15. Hi Elsa,
    First off I am glad you wrote this. It needs to be discussed. I have Saturn at 29 Degrees Capricorn, and I have been through this 4 times, starting with the IBM layoffs in the Mid-90’s. At the time IBM had 400,000 employees and they laid off 200,000 employees. Where I worked in NC had 6000 employees, and that location does not exist anymore. What you have described is nothing new to me. However, it is always painful the first time you encounter it as it completely challenges your sense of safety. It also creates a different mindset in an employee. Until you are ready to retire you always have to be on your game. Always. However, the first time you go through it, it does feel like a betrayal, and you wonder what the heck happened to the social Contract. There is no social contract anymore. It all goes back to being on your game, saving as much money as you possibly can and not over extending yourself, and always keeping you ear to the rumor mill so you know what is coming.

    I did not know what hit me with the IBM layoffs, and I had been there for 10 years. However, if they had not done this, they would have filed Chapter 11.

    It is reported in papers like the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Financial Times, other business oriented newspapers, but no it is not reported in the mainstream media.

    There are reasons why I have not purchased a house yet, as I am never clear when I have to move again, and to what part of the country. Those who are willing to relocate for a job will do better. There is plenty written about that as well.

    When I took my masters in business we talked about this new reality at length, and the recommendation was to always keep your resume up to date, your certifications and skills up to date, and to read the company’s annual report ever year so you know how they are doing, as it is there in black and white, and they are required to do this yearly.

    IBM Layoffs – Mid 90 Closure of 6000 person facility
    Consumer Products Layoffs – 2006 – closure of a 400 person facility in Milford, Ma- we had an 8000 person factory in China
    Technology Company Layoffs – 2008 closure of a 2000 person facility in Germantown Md
    The start of Government contracting – at the end of the contract the employee is required to find a new job within the organization- so about 3 times there so far

    You learn to always keep an eye on how the company and the contract are doing

    Anyone who has been in product development and manufacturing, which I was for 20 years, has gone through this with all the off shoring to China. Many of us, a whole generation of us, have gone through this. I am not the only engineer I know who has gone into IT because of this.

    I am sorry this is happening to the insurance industry now. All those people moving to Florida and the coast as well as all the wildfires has decimated the insurance industry.

    These people will do better if they are willing to make the changes they have to make to survive. It sounds cruel but I have been personally been dealing with this since 1993. It also helps to understand the rumor mill.

    The Engineers knew that the facility in Milford was going to close a year before it did – rumor mills work. We all got our resumes together and next steps lined up before the announcements. With engineers, if they even get a whiff of layoffs they start looking for another job immediately.

    I know this is a long post, but I have been through this multiple times. Stay in touch with your network is extremely important. Sometimes it will lead to another job.

    This all started for me when Pluto went into my 4th house, opposing my Sun.

    Sorry again. Nothing is safe- but save your money and do not over extend yourself.

  16. Well, after that screed here is a follow up. Anyone in Manufacturing has gone through this with the off shoring to China. Anyone here who purchased cheap Chinese goods from Walmart or elsewhere contributed to this job loss stateside. Economic choices matter.

    When people buy coastal in Florida, and then the insurance companies have to rebuild their houses after their destruction in a hurricane, it will eventually bankrupt the Insurance Company. How many insurance companies refuse to insure in Florida now? Farmers was one of them.

    I did not handle my first big layoff very well. But, after 5 years of spinning my wheels, I picked up my self and got on with things. My big learning was I would never win with Pluto, and I needed to let go of the thing Pluto wanted to take. Sometimes there was new growth elsewhere. And yes, this Taurus is learning that lesson yet again.

    I have run into IBM Alumni (that is what we call ourselves) at other companies.

    I loved that little job in Milford, Massachusetts, and I would still be there if the company still existed. But, I am still in touch with all the people I loved on FB.

    It has been a ride.

    1. Regarding engineering, my concern is they told these kids to learn to code, They did it and now AI puts them out of work?

      It similar to encouraging people like me to write on every topic under the sun… digitizing our information and now we’re set out with the trash.

      You definitley want to develop new skills, all the time.

      1. Thanks Elsa.

        Agreed on that. I have technical team members I mentor at times. In my current wheel house certifications are important, as well as staying current, and that is what I tell them. The AI thing worries me and I avoid it as much as possible. Interesting thing has happened with that off shoring – some things are coming back now. China is no longer considered business friendly the way it was, and their economy is suffering as they have lost 1/3 of their foreign investment because Xi decided to be a CCP dictator.

        The AI stuff has me worried. I am making choices to not engage with it.

        1. I remember when American engineers had to train their replacements. I understand, with some of these companies, people are being made to return to their office, but they have no space for them. So now they are working in cramped quarters and even sharing a desk; same as working conditions in India, years back.

          There’s just a lot of flip flopping on different levels. Work from home / return to office.

          Then people try to figure our who is going to get fired, based on where they’re working in the moment. It’s so stressful, it’s keeps people up in the air constantly. It also pits them against each other, and affects families and relationships.

          I wonder what careers a ten-year-old might be well advised to pursue at this time.

          1. Hi Elsa, All your points are correct. We had to do that – train the overseas team – just before the closure and layoffs. It is no fun for anyone.

            As far as the 10 year old – my favorite plumber in Boston (you needed one in Boston), and I had the man on Speed Dial and we were on a first name basis – but I digress, his father was an Anderson Consultant and had talked him in to going into a trade. He told him that a trade like that – no one could ever take from him. I know that no matter what we will need Doctors and Hospitals, even though Healthcare can be a tough field. People have to drive their cars around, maintain them, buy them. Now, maybe that will all change. I am personally fond of trains – and used to ride them a lot to DC when I was working there. I am talking Amtrak here. Banking still benefits from a personal branch touch and they always have a back end IT. Government IT Is not leaving the country. People have to eat. I can go on. You always need a good dentist. They cannot offshore that.

            1. Interesting. I would have chose plumber as well!

              Matter of fact, I told my son (who is an engineer), if he did not want to go to college, he could learn plumbing, with the intent of owning his own business; fleet of trucks and such.

              I have a plumber working here, lately. His regular work truck is in the shop so he showed up with his other truck, which he said cost 70K! So I guess he’s doing okay in this small town.

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