2017 June Job Cut Report: 31,105 June Cuts, Retail Leads



JOB CUTS FALL 28 PERCENT IN FIRST HALF OF YEAR

Employers announced plans to cut payrolls by 31,105 jobs in June, the lowest monthly total of the year according to a report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The June job-cut total is 6 percent lower than the 33,092 cuts recorded in May*, and 19.3 percent lower than the same month last year, when 38,536 cuts were recorded.

The pace of job cutting is significantly slower compared to the first half of last year. Through the first six months of 2017, employers announced 227,000 planned job cuts, down 28 percent from the 313,754 cuts announced through the first half of 2016.

“In a tight labor market, it’s no surprise companies are holding on to their existing workforces. Companies are also waiting to see how proposed regulations from the Trump administration may impact business going forward,” said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Job cuts in the second quarter totaled 100,799, down 20 percent from the 126,201 cuts announced in the first quarter and 24 percent lower than the 132,834 announced cuts in the second quarter of 2016.

“It is typical to see fewer announced job cuts in the summer months. We have not seen large-scale layoffs this year, as we did in the last two years, especially in the tech and energy sectors,” said Challenger.

*Challenger revised May’s number down from 51,692 to 33,092. We reported 20,000 job cuts for Ford. Ford is offering 15,000 buyouts to cut 1,400 workers. Our revision reflects the 1,400 confirmed cuts.

Indeed, through this point last year, oil prices were blamed for 71,075 announced job cuts. Challenger has not tracked any job cuts due to a downturn in oil prices so far this year.

Meanwhile, companies in the technology industry – computer, electronics, and telecommunications – announced 50,161 job cuts through June 2016, 52.5 percent more than the 23,813 tech sector job cuts so far this year.

“Pivoting in the retail sector has led to job cuts, but we are not yet seeing them at the level they were immediately after and during the recession or in 2003, when online shopping really began to catch on,” said Challenger.

Through June, retailers have announced 60,127 job cuts, 42 percent more than the 42,095 cuts the sector announced through the first half of 2016. It is the highest first-half total since 2009, when retailers announced 85,698 cuts. The sector went on to announce 98,807 job cuts that year, the highest annual total since 2003, when 100,518 retail cuts were recorded.

“We’ve tracked over 5,000 announced store closings this year, as retailers continue to focus operations online. It is likely we’ll continue to see cuts in the retail sector going forward, but it remains to be seen if they will mirror the cuts that occurred in the '00’s,” said Challenger.