Macy's and Bloomingdales are closing a bunch of stores, too.
Looking at this from the non-doomer POV, one could simply conclude that the old adage that the bigger they grow, the harder they collapse. All major empires and civilizations collapsed, theoretically - at least, because they grew too big to be able to adequately defend themselves. Apply the same logic to capitalism. Capitalism requires competition, and a great number of businesses now have grown too big to sustain their operations in light of equally strong competition. They're scaling back their operations in order to avoid a complete collapse. Maybe the Roman Empire would have hung on if they'd've employed this philosophy. Maybe not. I wasn't there and don't know exactly what was going on at the time. But, we can easily see that Boeing grew (perhaps) too dependent on government contracts, and every single Tea Partier and almost every Republican (and even some Democrats) recognizes that the Government is too big. Hence, the big, mighty giant of government is starting to contract, and that contraction takes with it a whole lot of jobs that went along with it. Extrapolate the spin-off effects of this contraction, and there is a lot less money in the economy for people to spend, which affects the retail giants, all of whom have developed their own planetary gravitation pull for consumer dollars. Hence, they contract, too, in order to prevent collapsing completely. Now, the non-doomer would look at all of this going on and come to the conclusion that the goods and services provided by those mega-giants won't disappear, and whereas those giants killed off countless mom-n-pop local businesses, the die-off of the giants leaves an opening for local economies to re-emerge, thus reducing the total number of unemployed. Now, i'm not saying these layoffs are at good thing, at least not initially, but hese layoffs might be the beginning of an actual, sustainable economic balance. Things got too big to sustain, and the contractions might just be a good thing in the long term, meaning that the resulting level of economic activity might be more sustainable for everyone. Only time will tell.