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posted on 04 January 2018

December 2017 Job Cuts Lowest Year Since 1990

from Challenger Gray and Christmas

U.S.-based employers announced 32,423 job cuts in the last month of the year, bringing the year-end total to 418,770. That is the lowest annual total since 1990*, when 316,047 cuts were recorded

Said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The retail pivot that caused thousands of store closures and job cuts was not seen in any other industry this year.

While companies in the Pharmaceutical, Health Care, Construction, and Food industries did announce more job cuts than last year, it was nothing like the Energy cuts seen in the last two years or the Financial cuts seen during the recession.

The tight labor market, coupled with uncertainty surrounding health care and tax legislation, possibly kept employers from making any long-term staffing decisions this year. However, 2018 may see an increase in job cut announcements, as companies realign with consumer demand.

Employers announced 20.5 percent fewer cuts than the previous year, when 526,915 cuts were announced. Last month saw a 7.4 percent decrease from November's total of 35,038, and a 3.6 percent decrease from the 33,627 cuts announced in the same month last year.

Retail's restructuring led to 76,084 job cuts this year, a 28.2 percent increase from 2016, when 59,324 job cuts were announced. The move from brick-and-mortar to online shopping has caused over 7,400 store closures, according to Challenger tracking.

The Health Care sector announced 40,732 job cuts, 118 percent more than last year's annual total for the industry of 18,725. The Services sector announced 36,174 cuts this year, nearly quadrupling the total from last year, which was 9,917.

Meanwhile, announced hiring plans are the highest on record, according to Challenger tracking. Employers announced plans to hire over 1,100,000 new hires, 27 percent more than the 868,702 announced last year. Concludes Challenger:

While we may see more job cuts in the first quarter of 2018, some companies have announced wage increases and bonuses for employees due to the passing of the tax bill.

AT&T, Comcast NBCUniversal, and Fifth Third Bancorp all announced $1,000 bonuses to their eligible employees. Meanwhile, Fifth Third Bank and Wells Fargo will increase their minimum wage to $15/hour. Boeing announced $300,000,000 in new investments.

Note: *Challenger began tracking job cuts in 1993. Prior years' job cuts were calculated by a newsletter no longer in circulation.

CHALLENGER, GRAY & CHRISTMAS, INC.

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

TOP FIVE INDUSTRIES

Year To Date

2017

2016

Retail

76,084

59,324

Health Care/Products

40,732

18,725

Services

36,174

9,917

Industrial

34,179

33,435

Food

20,737

16,260

MONTH-BY-MONTH TOTALS

2017

2016

January

45,934

75,114

February

36,957

61,599

March

43,310

44,207

April

36,602

64,141

May

33,092

30,157

June

31,105

38,536

July

28,307

45,346

August

33,825

32,188

September

32,346

44,324

October

29,831

30,740

November

35,038

26,936

December

32,423

33,627

TOTAL

418,770

526,915

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

63,301

Texas

38,521

New York

27,481

Ohio

24,742

Massachusetts

23,242

JOB CUTS BY INDUSTRY

16-Dec

17-Nov

17-Dec

YTD 2016

YTD 2017

Percent Change

Aerospace/Defense

2,286

849

214

14,153

14,825

4.7%

Apparel

200

1,039

0

-100.0%

Automotive

4,705

1,101

129

19,283

17,521

-9.1%

Chemical

1,920

66

13,107

903

-93.1%

Commodities

9

70

339

3,033

941

-69.0%

Computer

633

2,694

749

66,821

19,417

-70.9%

Construction

133

207

163

1,431

8,822

516.5%

Consumer Products

362

3,053

818

10,397

16,803

61.6%

Education

65

829

2,456

19,545

14,721

-24.7%

Electronics

70

88

12

9,078

4,868

-46.4%

Energy

2,673

1,001

787

107,714

16,631

-84.6%

Entertainment/Leisure

1,200

628

339

18,262

11,645

-36.2%

Financial

598

2,179

664

22,015

16,119

-26.8%

Food

2,929

2,210

759

16,260

20,737

27.5%

Government

3,498

962

260

18,653

9,236

-50.5%

Health Care/Products

1,695

7,011

2,587

18,725

40,732

117.5%

Industrial Goods

1,779

2,623

14,193

33,435

34,179

2.2%

Insurance

1,300

397

1,190

4,371

8,970

105.2%

Legal

193

106

588

454.7%

Media

104

449

197

7,792

4,062

-47.9%

Non-Profit

185

122

83

2,210

1,719

-22.2%

Pharmaceutical

959

433

744

9,940

13,998

40.8%

Real Estate

20

722

552

-23.5%

Retail

1,355

2,065

1,419

59,324

76,084

28.3%

Services

333

3,920

3,338

9,917

36,174

264.8%

Telecommunications

1,197

300

832

20,118

14,223

-29.3%

Transportation

3,439

1,249

131

18,420

12,258

-33.5%

Utility

339

1,044

2,042

95.6%

TOTAL

33,627

35,038

32,423

526,915

418,770

JOB-CUT ANNOUNCEMENT REPORT

EAST

December

YTD

New York

1,993

27,481

Massachusetts

13,562

24,493

Pennsylvania

509

21,462

New Jersey

393

19,260

Dist. of Columbia

4,279

Maryland

20

3,217

Connecticut

84

2,949

Maine

124

2,022

Rhode Island

787

New Hampshire

619

Delaware

402

Vermont

18

390

16,703

107,361

MIDWEST

December

YTD

Ohio

618

25,360

Indiana

268

23,510

Illinois

1,501

19,222

Michigan

516

13,825

Wisconsin

6,733

Minnesota

472

5,430

Missouri

283

4,944

Kansas

78

3,520

Iowa

180

2,876

Nebraska

201

2,323

TOTAL

4,117

107,743

JOB CUTS BY REGION, STATE

WEST

December

YTD

California

4,521

63,301

Texas

3,113

38,521

Washington

30

10,855

Oregon

388

5,128

Colorado

225

4,127

Arizona

1,931

New Mexico

1,494

Oklahoma

198

1,132

South Dakota

409

1,104

Alaska

247

443

Idaho

429

Utah

390

North Dakota

269

Wyoming

222

Montana

99

Nevada

6

Hawaii

0

TOTAL

9,131

129,451

SOUTH

December

YTD

Florida

356

15,365

N. Carolina

140

13,215

S. Carolina

102

9,881

Georgia

178

7,087

Kentucky

649

6,114

Tennessee

271

5,417

Mississippi

3,298

Virginia

226

3,252

Alabama

264

3,092

Arkansas

2,651

West Virginia

2,543

Louisiana

286

2,300

TOTAL

2,472

74,215

JOB CUTS BY REASON

December

YTD

Cost-Cutting

13,271

191,295

Closing

4,857

106,216

Restructuring

12,910

64,188

Merger/Acquisition

424

15,229

Loss of Contract

328

11,106

Demand Downturn

10,516

Outsourcing

94

5,830

Voluntary Severance

539

4,970

Bankruptcy

4,829

Hurricane Irma

1,117

Oil Prices

1000

Hurricane Harvey

934

Immigration Raid

800

Relocation

685

Legal Trouble

55

TOTAL

32,423

418,770

QUARTER BY QUARTER

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

TOTAL

1989

9,850

10,100

24,085

67,250

111,285

1990

107,052

87,686

49,104

72,205

316,047

1991

110,056

76,622

147,507

221,107

555,292

1992*

110,815

85,486

151,849

151,850

500,000

1993

170,615

84,263

194,486

165,822

615,186

1994

192,572

107,421

117,706

98,370

516,069

1995

97,716

114,583

89,718

137,865

439,882

1996

168,695

101,818

91,784

114,850

477,147

1997

134,257

51,309

95,930

152,854

434,350

1998

139,140

131,303

161,013

246,339

677,795

1999

210,521

173,027

173,181

118,403

675,132

2000

141,853

81,568

168,875

221,664

613,960

2001

406,806

370,556

594,326

585,188

1,956,876

2002

478,905

292,393

269,090

426,435

1,466,823

2003

355,795

274,737

241,548

364,346

1,236,426

2004

262,840

209,895

251,585

315,415

1,039,735

2005

287,134

251,140

245,378

288,402

1,072,054

2006

255,878

180,580

202,771

200,593

839,822

2007

195,986

197,513

194,095

180,670

768,264

2008

200,656

275,292

287,142

460,903

1,223,993

2009

562,510

318,165

240,233

151,122

1,272,030

2010

181,183

116,494

113,595

118,701

529,973

2011

130,749

115,057

233,258

127,018

606,082

2012

143,094

139,997

102,910

137,361

523,362

2013

145,041

113,891

128,452

121,667

509,051

2014

121,341

124,693

117,374

119,763

483,171

2015

140,214

147,458

205,759

105,079

598,510

2016

180,920

132,834

121,858

91,303

526,915

2017

126,201

100,799

94,478

97,292

418,770

AVG

198,910

154,023

176,176

200,423

*Estimate based on half-year total. Challenger began tracking job-cut data in 1993. Before that, it was tabulated by an independent newsletter no longer published.

ANNOUNCED HIRING PLANS

By Month

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

January

136,501

8,362

8,774

6,312

60,585

7,568

February

25,765

7,539

14,574

11,054

92,372

10,720

March

127,006

10,997

6,412

6,860

8,115

12,390

April

61,537

11,557

13,898

11,145

9,322

11,794

May

77,447

24,732

12,598

10,141

9,618

7,722

June

40,095

13,564

11,176

15,530

8,774

12,314

July

88,142

16,051

11,637

16,544

9,728

10,350

August

14,530

9,101

11,778

9,657

7,662

12,079

September

422,726

487,075

492,306

567,705

445,617

425,683

October

37,387

135,532

86,107

147,935

87,874

75,065

November

61,300

108,994

10,026

11,291

14,177

28,526

December

8,218

35,198

11,465

7,332

11,362

16,266

TOTAL

1,100,654

868,702

690,751

821,506

765,206

630,477

ANNOUNCED HIRING PLANS

INDUSTRY

December

YEAR-TO-DATE

Aerospace/Defense

1,090

10,753

Apparel

492

Automotive

858

14,605

Chemical

588

Commodities

925

Computer

302

128,523

Construction

300

510

Consumer Products

1,060

4,253

Education

85

2,740

Electronics

150

3,066

Energy

1,354

Entertainment/Leisure

130

98,537

Financial

473

5,565

Food

369

4,971

Government

2,480

Health Care/Products

72

6,552

Industrial Goods

231

8,847

Insurance

500

5,730

Legal

0

Media

1,332

Non-Profit

930

Pharmaceutical

6,748

Real Estate

200

Retail

1,045

568,562

Services

1,145

35,449

Telecommunications

400

29,896

Transportation

8

156,846

Utility

200

TOTAL

8,218

1,100,654

Copyright 2017 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


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