posted on 05 November 2015
from Challenger Gray and Christmas
Employers announced plans to eliminate 50,504 workers from their payrolls in October. More than one-quarter of those were oil-related job cuts, which climbed to a six-month high
October job cuts were 14 percent lower than the 58,877 cuts announced in September. They were down 1.3 percent from a year ago, when 51,183 October job cuts were recorded.
Employers have now announced 543,935 job cuts so far in 2015. That is 31 percent more than the 414,591 cuts announced by this point in 2014. The year-to-date total is, in fact, 13 percent higher than the 2014 year-end total (483,171).
Nearly one in five job cuts announced this year have been the result of low oil prices. In October, oil prices were blamed for 13,671 job cuts, 27 percent of all cuts announced during the month. That is the highest oil-related job-cut total since April, when 20,675 job cuts were attributed to oil.
Overall, oil prices are responsible for 101,383 job cuts in 2015. Several companies have experienced multiple workforce reductions throughout the year. For example, Chevron announced a second round of cuts in October, while Halliburton, Schlumberger and Baker Hughes have each reported at least two separate layoff events in 2015.
Due to the resurgence in oil-related job cuts, the energy sector saw the highest number of planned layoffs last month, with 17,344. That is more than triple the second-ranked retail sector, which announced 5,153 job cuts in October.
Not surprisingly, the energy sector is the top job-cutting industry for the year, having announced a total of 90,052 job cuts to date. That is up 766 percent from a year ago, when employers in this sector announced just 10,402 job cuts through October.
Energy is not the only sector to see a significant increase in job cuts this year. Large-scale cut backs in the military earlier in the year propelled the government sector to the second spot in the year-to-date job cut rankings. The 69,105 government cuts tracked through October are 226 percent higher than the 21,200 announced by these employers in 2014.
In the retail sector, which has the third highest year-to-date job-cut total, layoff announcements are up 67 percent from 38,948 in 2014 to 64,983, as of last month. Said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas:
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