Job Cuts Rose 35 Percent in April

Employers announced plans to cut 65,141 jobs in April, according to a report issued by Challenger Gray & Christmas. April’s announced cuts were 35 percent above March’s total, and 5.8 percent higher than the year-ago-rate. Cuts through the first four months of 2016 amounted to 250,061, 24 percent higher than in the first four months of 2015.

“We continue to see large scale layoffs in the energy sector, where low oil prices are driving down profits,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “However, we are also seeing heavy downsizing in other areas, such as computers and retail, where changing consumer trends are creating a lot of volatility.”

Year-to-date, the energy sector has announced 72,660 job cuts (19,759 of which were in April), a 26 percent increase from a year ago. Computer firms announced 16,923 cuts during the month, 12,000 of which were from Intel, which plans to shift away from desktop and laptop computing and toward the mobile market. Year-to-date, job cuts among computer firms are up 262 percent from 12 months ago.

“We are at a stage in the recovery, where it is not unusual to see hiring and firing occur simultaneously across the economy and often within a single company,” said Challenger. “In December 1998, near the height of the boom, we recorded more than 103,000 planned workforce reductions. The fact is, companies are constantly retooling, and sometimes the best time to do that is when the economy is strong.”

Read the Challenger Gray & Christmas release.