Those jobs Trump is bragging about are just a fraction of Sprint’s huge layoffs

By Max Ehrenfreund

Sprint has announced plans to expand its U.S. labor force. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Sprint has announced plans to expand its U.S. labor force. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure boasted Thursday about his company’s plans to expand employment in the United States, part of a broader investment by the telecom company’s Japanese controlling owner for which President-elect Donald Trump has taken the credit.

Sprint’s domestic expansion comes after several difficult years for the company and its workers. Since 2013, Sprint — a publicly traded company, majority-owned by Tokyo-based SoftBank — has reduced its U.S. labor force by roughly 21 percent. The new employment will only partially make up for those lost jobs.

Representatives of Sprint have said the company will create positions for about 5,000 more people in the United States, counting both new employees and workers at Sprint’s contractors.

“The 5,000 jobs are NEW jobs that Sprint is creating or bringing back to the U.S.,” Claure wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon. “Great news for the country.”

The company has reduced its headcount by about 8,000 since December 2013 and now employs about 30,000. The bulk of the company’s labor force works in retail sales and customer service.

As the company let personnel go, Sprint outsourced some of the work to contractors with call centers overseas, explained spokesman David Tovar. Some of the 5,000 new U.S. workers also will work for contractors, but at domestic facilities, he said.

For several years, Sprint’s business has yielded disappointing results, as profits have been burdened by declining subscriptions to its cellular services. The most recent series of reductions at the company, headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., began in 2014, when the company put Claure in charge of turning things around.

Claure immediately began planning reductions in the staff. The company had “an extensive list of nice-to-haves and those are the first that are going to …read more