Job Cuts Surged in May

Employers announced plans to cut 51,692 jobs in May, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. May’s announced cuts were 41% more than April’s. The month’s figure was 71% higher than May 2016.

The retail sector continues to lead the way in job cuts, with 55,910 so far this year. This is 31.6% higher than the same period last year. However, the energy sector continued to hold strong, announcing 296 cuts in May, which brings the total to 8,635 in 2017. This is an 88.5% decrease from this point last year when the energy sector had shed 75,232 jobs.

“The retail industry is still shedding jobs. We are now seeing the effect of changing consumer behavior in grocery shopping. Grocery stores are no longer immune from online shopping. Meal delivery services and Amazon are competing with traditional grocers, and Amazon announced it is opening its first ever brick-and mortar store in Seattle. Amazon Go, which mixes online technology and the in-store experience, is something to keep an eye on since it may potentially change the grocery store shopping experience considerably,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Telecommunications companies have reported 10,815 job cuts through May this year, 40% more than the 6,404 cuts through this point last year.

The service industry shed 4,082 jobs last month, totaling 12,347 through May this year. This is an 83% increase from May 2016.

Read the Challenger, Gray & Christmas release.