Private Sector Job Cuts Continue to Climb Higher in March

According to the Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. (CGC) Job Cut Announcement Report released Thursday, US-based employers announced 90,309 job cuts in March, up 7% from the 84,638 cuts announced in February. This is a 0.7% increase from the 89,703 cuts announced in March 2023 and the highest monthly total since January 2023, when 102,943 cuts were announced.

In Q1, companies announced plans to cut 257,254 jobs, down 5% from the 270,416 cuts announced in 2023Q1. However, it is up 120% from 117,163 cuts in 2023Q4.

CGC believes the leading reason for job cuts in Q1 was “cost-cutting,” which accounted for 66,302 of the reductions, followed by “restructuring,” which led to 48,352 cuts this year. Another 38,619 were due to business, unit, or store closures. Market conditions were responsible for 23,329 cuts, while 7,591 were linked to bankruptcy.

According to CGC, job cuts were widespread with technology experiencing the largest number of cuts in March, followed by the US Government, financial firms, transportation, industrial goods manufacturing, real estate, and media and news.

US employers announced plans to hire 36,795 positions in Q1, a 48% decrease from the 70,638 hiring plans announced during 2023Q1. This is the lowest number of announced hiring plans since 2016, when employers planned to hire 26,898 workers in the first quarter. The energy sector led all industries with plans to hire 5,800 workers, followed by technology with plans to add 2,237 positions.

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