U.S. employers in March planned highest job cuts since January 2023

Employers in the U.S. announced 90,309 job cuts in March — a 7% increase from February, according to data released Thursday from executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

That amount of planned layoffs mark the highest monthly total since January 2023, when employers announced 102,943 cuts. Companies are cutting jobs as a result of store closures, bankruptcies, organizational restructuring or general cost-cutting, Challenger said. The cuts suggest that “many companies appear to be reverting to a ‘do more with less’ approach,” Senior Vice President Andy Challenger said in a statement. 

While technology continues to lead all industries so far this year, several industries, including energy and industrial manufacturing, are cutting more jobs this year than last,” he said.

The number of March layoffs may seem baffling given that, by most traditional economic measures, the U.S. job market is strong. The nation’s unemployment rate is near a 50-year low and wages are starting to pull ahead of inflation. In January, the U.S. economy added 353,000 jobs, which blew away most economists’ expectations

The Challenger figures land one day before the U.S. Department of Labor is scheduled to release the March jobs report. 

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