Shareholders == owners
In the case of most companies, they wouldn't exist at all without them - total jobs = 0 for that case.
Now, that's for money raised when the company sells shares to the public. That's relatively rare - most shares are just sold back and forth once in existence. But being able to sell shares from the company to investors is absolutely crucial - like having a credit rating vs being judged as a fraud - should the company need to raise more money (and many do, moreso when times are tough).
I'm not apologizing for the system here - my own company when I started and ran one - worked with my own funding (and as the sole shareholder, I also kept *all* the profits). I put in all the risk, so I got all the gain. I'd like to think I treated my employees well - nearly all of them would tell you so - they're all rich now, except one who embezzled, who was firied than then jailed.
The system is what it is. A company doesn't magically have huge flows of cash raining down on it, believe it or not. Try starting and running your own for a real education. Making ends meet isn't trivial. A lot of these RIF's are a case of a PC way to lose the non-performers. You can't just fire losers these days without a lawsuit, so any other excuse...
You find this out real quick if you put out a request for resumes and read them closely...there's no shortage of people who claim to be good at whatever, but a huge one of those who actually HAVE BEEN good at whatever and produced results - they all still have good jobs.