AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint saw a substantial reduction in employee headcount within the past year according to a new report. Meanwhile, the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States, T-Mobile, kept its employee headcount at similar levels within the same time period. The employee headcount figures are from the filings made by the carriers to the Securities and Exchange Commission, with the jobs information dating back to the fourth quarter of 2014. Out of all the carriers, AT&T and Verizon both report a much larger number of employees compared to the other two carriers due to their massive wireline operations. In addition, Verizon has other businesses which include its digital media and telematics ventures which staff may add to the carrier's employee headcount
Out of the four major wireless carriers, AT&T employs the most amount of people. The carrier reported to the SEC that it employed 264,530 employees in the first quarter of 2017. Looking at the data from the last quarter of 2014, the employee numbers had fluctuated from a low of around 250,000 in the first quarter of 2015 to a high of 281,240 last year. The carrier attributed the fluctuations in its staffing levels to the need to increase staff in areas of high consumer demand. Meanwhile, 161,000 people work for Verizon in the first quarter of 2017, which is around 12,000 less compared to the same period last year. The reduction in headcount is due to the sale of its wireline assets in the states of California, Florida, and Texas. This sale also entailed the transfer of employees from Verizon to the new owner of the wireline assets, Frontier Communications.
T-Mobile and Sprint, on the other hand, have much smaller employee numbers compared to its larger competitors. T-Mobile kept its staffing levels the same between the first quarter of 2016 and the same time period this year. In addition, T-Mobile is the only wireless carrier that consistently grew its employee numbers over the past three years. Sprint, for its part, saw a 25 percent reduction in its staffing levels from the last quarter of 2014 until today. The reduction of employee numbers over at Sprint is a result of the cost-cutting measures enforced by Sprint's CEO Marcelo Claure. On a positive note, Sprint is expected to increase its staffing levels soon as it beefs up its network of retail stores within the next few months.