U.S. Job Layoffs: December Sees Improvement, but 2023 Ends with Double the Cuts - Insights and Analysis

U.S. job layoffs: December shows improvement, but 2023 records double the cuts. Insights on economic shifts and industry impact.

Jan 4, 2024 - 07:50
Jan 4, 2024 - 07:51
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U.S. Job Layoffs: December Sees Improvement, but 2023 Ends with Double the Cuts - Insights and Analysis
U.S. Job Layoffs: December Sees Improvement, but 2023 Ends with Double the Cuts - Insights and Analysis

American bosses slowed down on laying off workers in December, marking the fewest job cuts since July. But for all of 2023, the total job cuts hit the highest point since 2020 when COVID-19 started, says a report released on Thursday.

The number of announced job cuts in December was 34,817, down 24% from 45,510 in November, according to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a company that helps with job changes. Layoffs also fell 20% from December 2022.

But for the whole year, announced layoffs almost doubled from 2022, reaching over 720,000. That's the highest since 2020 when more than 2 million job cuts happened, the report said.

Andy Challenger, who's an expert in workplaces and jobs and works as Senior Vice President at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., said, "Layoffs have started to slow down, and hiring has stayed pretty steady as we finish up 2023. But, you know, labor costs are high. Employers are still being really careful and trying to save money as we head into 2024. So, hiring might not be as fast for job seekers, and job cuts will keep happening in the first part of 2024, but not as fast as before."

In 2023, the technology and retail industries had the most job cuts, and businesses often mentioned not being sure about the economy and having to close shops or units as reasons for laying off workers. The tech industry announced 168,032 job cuts in a year, almost reaching the record of 168,395 set in 2001.

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