No matter how you slice it, 17,000 is a big number, especially when its seventeen thousand humans looking for jobs. The layoffs represent a four-percent reduction of Panasonic's 380,000 global workforce due to restructuring efforts, according to Nikkei. They are expected to begin this year and will mainly impact employees outside of Japan.
Update: Post updated to reflect the actual number of job cuts, not the 40,000 originally quoted by Nikkei or the 35,000 quoted by the AFP. The cuts will come over two years. The news comes as Panasonic reported a ¥40.7 billion ($499 million) loss for quarter, largely on account of a ¥61 billion ($748 million) restructuring cost. Panny says that its bottom line was also affected by a strong Yen, stiff competition in television sales, and the recent earthquake and tsunami.