January 2019 Job Cuts Up 21%

from Challenger Gray and Christmas

Employers at U.S.-based companies announced plans to cut 52,988 jobs from their payrolls in January, 20.7 percent higher than the 43,884 announced in December.

January's total is 18.7 percent higher than the 44,653 cuts announced in the same month last year. While it is lower than the average of 86,347 cuts announced during the month of January since 1993, it is higher than 20 of the last 24 monthly totals.

Said Andrew Challenger, Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.:

Employers are continuing the trend of reducing staff that we saw in the fourth quarter of last year, as several industries pivot to emerging technologies. Companies are battling economic uncertainty and, while consumer confidence was high, consumer spending missed estimates at major retailers during the holiday season.

In fact, Retail leads all sectors in job cuts in January with 22,327. That is 45 percent higher than the 15,378 cuts announced in this sector last January. Most are related to Gymboree's plan to liquidate remaining stores in the U.S. and Canada, costing a reported 10,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, home improvement retailer Lowe's announced it would hire 50,000 seasonal workers for the spring, as well as 10,000 permanent roles and 6,000 managers.

Adds Challenger:

Retail is going through a transformation that may cost many jobs, but is also creating many jobs. The new retail position is much more than giving change and stocking shelves. Retail workers must be tech-savvy.

Financial firms announced the second-highest number of planned cuts with 4,230, followed by the Automotive sector, which announced 3,949, and Entertainment/Leisure companies that announced 3,533 planned cuts.

Note:

  • Challenger has updated the names of two industries to better describe the companies that are tracked therein. "Computer" will now be labeled "Technology" and "Commodities" will now be called "Mining."
  • Challenger is also breaking out Financial Tech firms, which will be referred to as "FinTech." These changes are represented in Table 2 (Job Cuts by Industry) and Table 7 (Announced Hiring Plans).

Financial firms announced the second-highest number of planned cuts with 4,230, followed by the Automotive sector, which announced 3,949, and Entertainment/Leisure companies that announced 3,533 planned cuts.

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

Table 1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

2019

2018

 

Retail

22,327

15,378

 

Financial

4,230

637

 

Automotive

3,949

703

 

Entertainment/Leisure

3,533

440

 

Services

2,530

3,212

 
       

MONTH-BY-MONTH TOTALS

 
   
 

2019

2018

 

January

52,988

44,653

 

February

 

35,369

 

March

 

60,357

 

April

 

36,081

 

May

 

31,517

 

June

 

37,202

 

July

 

27,122

 

August

 

38,472

 

September

 

55,285

 

October

 

75,644

 

November

 

53,073

 

December

 

43,884

 

TOTAL

52,988

538,659

 
       

Some reductions are identified by employers as workers who will take early retirement offers or other special considerations to leave the company.

 

LAYOFF LOCATION

 
 

Year To Date

 

California

 

16,483

 

Illinois

 

11,129

 

New York

 

5,950

 

Nevada

 

2,160

 

Colorado

 

2,102

 
     

Listings are identified by the location of the layoff or corporate headquarters as stated in announcement.

 
 
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