Job Cuts Fall 12.6% in May

Employers announced plans to cut 31,517 jobs in May, according to a report issued by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. May’s announced cuts were 12.6% below April’s and 4.8% lower than last May’s.

The retail sector led the way, cutting 4,946 jobs in May. Year-to-date cuts are 49.8% higher than this period last year when 55,910 jobs were cut. The energy sector showed a monthly uptick in cuts, announcing 1,634 in May. However, this is a 47.7% decrease from this point last year when the energy sector had shed 4,513 jobs.

“On average, job cuts are at their lowest in May and June. Companies typically make their staffing moves at the beginning of the year or in the fourth quarter,” said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Telecommunications companies reported 1,641 job cuts in May, 27.0% less than the 10,815 cuts through this point last year.

The services industry shed 4,698 jobs last month. This is a 56.8% increase through this point last year.

Read the Challenger, Gray & Christmas release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.