Job Cuts Increased 31 Percent in the First Quarter

Employers announced plans to cut 48,207 jobs in March, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. March’s announced cuts were 21.7 percent below February’s total, but 31.7 percent above the year-ago rate. Cuts through the first quarter of 2016 were 31.8 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2015.

“Job cuts have slowed since surging in the first two months of the year, but the pace is still well above that of 2015,” Said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “And it is not just the energy sector that is seeing heavier job cuts. Layoff announcements have increased significantly in the retail sector and computer sector as well. While it may be too early to sound the alarm bells, the upward trend outside of the energy sector is somewhat worrisome.”

During the first quarter, the energy sector announced 52,901 cuts, 39.9 percent higher than cuts during the same period last year. The retail and computer sectors also had significant increases in job cuts, with retail cuts increasing 41 percent and computer sector cuts increasing 148 percent from the first quarter of last year.

“What these sectors share in common is that they are all going through transformational changes,” said Challenger. “These changes are necessary and inevitable, but they come with a cost in the form of job loss.”

Read the Challenger Gray & Christmas release.