Body count: 15,000
One of many tech companies impacted by the increased value of the yen, Panasonic swung the unemployment hammer and closed 27 plants due to slow sales and raw material costs. The largest consumer electronics maker in Japan has been competing with Korean tech rivals Samsung and LG, two companies benefiting from a weaker currency rate, slashing prices on all its products to push sales. Quarterly profits dropped 20 percent in 2008, with overseas' sales having decreased 29 percent and Japanese sales down 10 percent. Looking at those stats, Panasonic's layoffs seem justifiable.