The outplacement agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas’s released a report on Thursday. The businesses announced roughly 90,000 layoffs in March. They described a significant increase from the previous month and a significant acceleration from a year earlier.
For the time period, there were 89,703 planned layoffs, 15% more than in February. To date this year, there have been 270,416 job cutbacks, up 396% from the same time last year.
The harm was notably severe in the technology sector, which has so far 2023 reported 102,391 cutbacks. Incredibly, that represents a 38,487% increase from the previous year, accounting for 38% of all personnel cutbacks. According to the report, tech has already experienced 5% more cuts than it did for the entire year of 2022 and is on track to surpass 2001, the worst year ever due to the dot-com crisis.
In related job news, The Labor Department said on Thursday that weekly unemployment claims reached 228,000 for the week ended April 1, exceeding the 200,000 Dow Jones projection. The number of ongoing claims increased slightly to 1.823 million, the highest level since December 2021.
According to benchmark revisions from the agency, claims have exceeded 200,000 almost continuously since late October 2022.
With 30,635 layoffs this year, financial companies have declared the second-highest rate of job cutbacks this year, a 419% increase from the first quarter of 2022. The next highest sectors are healthcare and retail.
In addition to the high number of layoffs, fewer jobs are now available
At the same time, March had the lowest level of planned hiring since 2015, reaching just 9,044. Planned additions are at their lowest quarterly total since 2016 when viewed on a year-to-date basis.
Market and economic conditions have been highlighted as the primary cause of job cutbacks, with cost-cutting coming in second.
The Labor Department’s nonfarm payroll total is one day behind the Challenger report. The Dow Jones survey of economists predicts 238,000 new jobs in March, which would be the weakest gain since January 2020.
According to Labor Department data issued on Tuesday, the number of open posts in February fell below 10 million for the first time since May 2021, showing at least some relaxation in the labor market. While layoffs and discharges decreased by 215,000, the hiring rate dipped by 164,000.
Overall, there were still around 1.7 job opportunities for every available worker.
The Federal Reserve has been targeting an ultra-tight labor market to combat inflation, increasing its benchmark borrowing rate by 4.75 percentage points over the past year. Markets expect the Fed to start cutting rates later this year, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.