Challenger reports October job cut announcements rise 37% to 75,644

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U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut 75,644 jobs from their payrolls in October, according to a report released Thursday from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The cuts are the highest since July 2015, when 105,696 layoffs were announced.

October’s total is 36.8% higher than the 55,285 cuts announced in September and up 153.6% from the 29,831 cuts announced in October 2017.

For the third time this year, one company’s announcement made up the bulk of job cuts for one month. Over half of last month’s job cuts come from Verizon’s announcement it will offer voluntary severance packages to 44,000 managers in an effort to save $10 billion.
This came after Wells Fargo’s September announcement of 26,000 cuts, or 10% of its workforce, which made up 47.9% of all cuts that month. The Toys ‘R Us March announcement, which comprised 33,000 cuts, was 54.7% of that month’s announcements.

“All three of these companies are in industries facing serious disruptions, requiring companies to pivot to meet consumer demand. Buyout offers are a significant indicator that while companies are attempting to cut costs, they are also in a position to help facilitate the change process and take care of their workers,” said Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray.

“The good news for those accepting offers is now is a good time to look for a new job, especially if they act quickly. The increase in job cut announcements could indeed indicate we’re heading toward a downturn, although employers are still holding on to their workers for the most part,” he said. “The economy is at near full employment, and job creation has typically surpassed expectations. Wages remain flat, however. Meanwhile, recent fluctuations in the stock market indicate investor concerns and that tariffs are beginning to have an impact.”

Separately, retail, transportation, and warehousing have continued to announce seasonal hires. Challenger tracked 714,000 seasonal hiring announcements, the most since it started tracking individual announcements in 2012. Aside, from seasonal hires, employers announced plans to hire 5,456 workers in October.

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