Employers announced plans to cut 60,357 jobs in March, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. March’s announced cuts were 71.0% more than February’s and 39.4% higher than last March’s. It was the highest total since April 2016, when 64,141 job cuts were announced.
The retail sector led the way, cutting 35,042 jobs in March. This is 47.0% higher than the same period last year. The energy sector continued to hold strong, announcing 199 cuts in March. This is a 72.0% decrease from this point last year when the energy sector had shed 7,880 jobs.
“We’ve experienced 22 months of relatively low planned layoff activity. With the current economic conditions, companies are in a position to grow and invest. We’ve seen companies invest back into their workforces in the last couple of months,” said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Telecommunications companies reported 4,056 job cuts in March, 39.5% less than the 9,782 cuts through this point last year.
The services industry shed 2,314 jobs last month. This is a 58.2% increase through this point last year.
Read the Challenger, Gray & Christmas release.