Ford ($F) announced Monday May 20 it would lay off 7,000 workers globally as it continues its restructuring. While the process of layoffs is a complex matter, alternative data had a key indicator of changes looming at Ford: job openings on Ford's official careers page were down 27.5% over the past two months.

After experiencing a strong hiring period where job openings were at its highest levels since February 2017, Ford took down over a quarter of its listings. Whether this is due to positions being filled or not is unknown, but Ford has not listed enough new positions to prevent this significant drop-off in openings.

Ford's corporate job listings page shows openings for mostly white collar positions, the same tier of job openings that are to be reduced by these cuts. The majority of current job openings are in Product Development, where Ford is accelerating efforts to stay on track with industry trends such as autonomous and electric vehicles.

In contrast, the company only has single-digit job listings for categories such as Communications, Sustainability Environment and Safety Engineering, and Finance as of May 20.

With the company recently investing half a billion into electric vehicle startup Rivian ($PRIVATE:RIVIAN), these thousands of cuts are truly helping the company go through a "organizational redesign process" that is "helping us create a more dynamic, agile and empowered workforce." That doesn't soften the blow of thousands of employees losing jobs, but Ford is hoping that the moves will help it save $600 million annually and keep it in the race for the future of the automobile industry.

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