Employers announced plans to cut 61,599 jobs in February, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. February’s announced cuts were 18 percent below January’s total, but 22 percent above the year-ago rate. The planned cuts were led by the energy sector, which has announced plans to shed 45,154 jobs in the first two months of the year.
“Low oil prices continue to take a toll on workers in the energy and industrial goods sectors,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “The major concern is that the job losses in cities and towns that rely heavily on oil production will begin to drag down other parts of the local economy. Shockingly, we have not seen a precipitous rise in unemployment in the many cities that were benefitting from the recent oil boom, suggesting that the job losses are contained to the energy sector for the moment.”
The technology sector also experienced increased job cuts. So far this year, 16,006 cuts have been announced by computer firms, a 143 percent increase from the first two months of 2015.
“There will always be heavy churn in the tech sector. It is an area that embodies change, trial and error, and constant reinvention,” said Challenger. “Even among the more established firms in the industry, we see workforce volatility, as they branch into new products or services, some of which may or may not succeed.”
Read the Challenger Gray & Christmas release.