Layoffs jumped more than five times in February from a year earlier, an outplacement firm reports
American employers announced 77,770 job cuts in February, marking a 410% increase from the same month last year, executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas has revealed.
According to the report issued earlier this week, February’s total was the highest for the month since 2009, when 186,350 job cuts were recorded. However, the figure was down 24% on the 102,943 cuts announced in January.
So far this year, employers have announced plans to eliminate 180,713 jobs, up 427% from the 34,309 cuts announced in the first two months of 2022, the study showed. It is reportedly the highest January-February total since 2009.
“Certainly, employers are paying attention to rate increase plans from the Fed. Many have been planning for a downturn for months, cutting costs elsewhere,” the company’s senior vice president, Andrew Challenger, stated. “If things continue to cool, layoffs are typically the last piece in company cost-cutting strategies.”
The report indicated that technology companies axed the most jobs last month, with the figure hitting 21,387. The tech sector has announced 35% of all job cuts in 2023.
Warning issued for US economy
“Right now, the overwhelming bulk of cuts are occurring in technology. Retail and financial are also cutting right now, as consumer spending matches economic conditions. In February, job cuts occurred in all 30 industries Challenger tracks,” Andrew Challenger added.
Meanwhile, the study showed hiring was down, with companies having announced plans to recruit 28,830 workers in February, a decline of 87% in annual terms.
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