The Economy

Job Cuts Increase in April to More Than 65,000

Employers have announced a total of 250,061 planned job cuts so far in 2016, up 24% from the year-ago period, says Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Matthew HellerMay 5, 2016

After slowing for two straight months, layoffs across the United States increased 35% in April, with large-scale job cuts continuing in the energy industry, according to a new report.

The global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas said U.S.-based employers announced plans to trim payrolls by 65,141, up from 48,207 in March. The April layoffs were 5.8% percent higher than the 61,582 recorded a year ago.

Employers have announced a total of 250,061 planned job cuts so far in 2016, up 24% from the year-ago period and the highest January to April total since 2009.

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“We continue to see large-scale layoffs in the energy sector, where low oil prices are driving down profits,” John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a news release. “However, we are also seeing heavy downsizing activity in other areas, such as computers and retail, where changing consumer trends are creating a lot of volatility.”

The energy sector reported another 19,759 job cuts in April, bringing the year-to-date total to 72,660, up 26% from the first four months of 2015.

Computer firms led all industries with 16,923 job cuts last month, a total that includes 12,000 at Intel.

“We are at a stage in the recovery, where it is not unusual to see hiring and firing occur simultaneously across the economy and often within a single company,” Challenger said. “Like IBM and Intel, companies are shifting strategies that require them to cut in some places while adding in others.” Malta escort girls

In another report, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 last week, the biggest gain in more than a year. But jobless claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with healthy labor market conditions, for 61 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since 1973.

“It is not unusual to see heavy job cuts in a strong economy,” Challenger noted, adding that “companies are constantly retooling, and sometimes the best time to do that is when the economy is strong.”