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posted on 31 January 2019

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.

Table 2: JOB CUTS BY INDUSTRY

18-Jan

18-Dec

19-Jan

Aerospace/Defense

295

3,271

1,735

Apparel

0

0

122

Automotive

703

2,058

3,949

Chemical

65

151

247

Construction

69

0

95

Consumer Products

7,158

949

2,074

Education

135

603

58

Electronics

571

241

0

Energy

1,129

717

247

Entertainment/Leisure

440

1,591

3,533

Financial

637

848

4,230

FinTech

N/A

N/A

186

Food

1,286

2,409

1,339

Government

328

1,157

661

Health Care/Products

6,531

4,665

1,780

Industrial Goods

964

2,684

2,283

Insurance

428

0

370

Legal

0

0

0

Media

855

3,599

1,279

Mining

153

60

144

Non-Profit

36

193

53

Pharmaceutical

976

5,135

539

Real Estate

55

110

78

Retail

15,378

2,059

22,327

Services

3,212

6,352

2,530

Technology

756

1,008

638

Telecommunications

951

50

461

Transportation

1,472

3,463

1,315

Utility

70

84

0

Warehousing

0

427

715

TOTAL

44,653

43,884

52,988

Table 3: JOB CUTS BY REGION, STATE

EAST

January

New York

5,950

New Jersey

1,001

Pennsylvania

742

Maryland

273

Maine

245

Massachusetts

143

Connecticut

0

Dist. of Columbia

0

Rhode Island

0

New Hampshire

0

Vermont

0

Delaware

0

TOTAL

8,354

MIDWEST

January

Illinois

11,129

Wisconsin

1,608

Ohio

726

Missouri

446

Minnesota

237

Kansas

93

Indiana

50

Iowa

40

Michigan

0

Nebraska

0

TOTAL

14,329

Table 3 (cont'd): JOB CUTS BY REGION, STATE

WEST

January

California

16,483

Nevada

2,160

Colorado

2,102

Texas

1,825

Washington

330

Wyoming

101

Oregon

81

South Dakota

70

Alaska

70

Utah

60

Arizona

54

Oklahoma

0

New Mexico

0

Idaho

0

North Dakota

0

Hawaii

0

Montana

0

TOTAL

23,336

SOUTH

January

Georgia

1,943

Virginia

1,245

Louisiana

864

Mississippi

754

North Carolina

750

Florida

635

Alabama

459

Tennessee

288

Arkansas

31

South Carolina

0

Kentucky

0

West Virginia

0

TOTAL

6,969

Table 4: JOB CUTS BY REASON

January

Bankruptcy

19,984

Restructuring

10,055

Closing

7,492

Cost-Cutting

6,968

No Reason Provided

3,097

Contract Loss

2,459

Technological Update

900

Voluntary Severance/Buyouts

801

Acquisition/Merger

546

Relocation

253

Relocation Overseas

160

Demand Downturn

158

Financial Losses

65

Contract Dispute

50

TOTAL

52,988

Table 5: 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

2018

140,379

104,800

120,879

172,601

538,659

AVG

196,959

152,383

174,332

195,907

*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.

Copyright 2019 Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.


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