Published August 31, 2023
U.S.-based employers announced 75,151 cuts in August, a 217% increase from the 23,697 cuts announced one month prior. It is 267% higher than the 20,485 cuts announced in the same month in 2022, according to a report released Thursday from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
So far this year, companies have announced plans to cut 557,057 jobs, a 210% increase from the 179,506 cuts announced in the same period last year. It is the highest January-August total since 2020, when 1,963,458 cuts were recorded. It is the third-highest year-to-date total since 2009.
“Job openings are falling, and American workers are more reluctant to leave their positions right now. The job market is resetting after the pandemic and post-pandemic hiring frenzy,” said Andrew Challenger, labor expert and Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
“The increase in job cuts is not surprising as technological disruption and companies taking a cost- savings approach on the economy claim positions,” he added.
Which Industries Are Cutting?
Twenty-five of the 30 industries Challenger tracks have seen an increase in layoffs this year, the exceptions being Automotive, Government, Entertainment/Leisure, Industrial Goods, and Utilities.
Warehousing led all industries in August with 32,123, primarily on the bankruptcy of Yellow Corp. It is now the fifth-leading industry in job cut announcements this year with 42,768, a 456% increase from the 7,689 cuts announced through the same period in 2022.
The Technology sector leads all industries through July with 149,142, though monthly cuts in the sector have slowed. In August, the industry announced plans to cut 3,198 positions, the lowest monthly total for the sector since June 2022 when 1,266 cuts were recorded.
Retailers announced 6,262 cuts in August for a total of 55,755, a 524% increase from the 8,940 cuts announced in the sector through August last year.
The Health Care/Products industry, which includes hospitals and product manufacturers, has announced 48,865 cuts through August, an increase of 128% from the 21,292 announced in the sector during the same period in 2022.
“Health Care, particularly hospitals, are undergoing a lot of turmoil with staffing and trying to remain profitable while delivering high-levels of care. Hospitals are changing chief executives at a faster clip than last year, as well,” said Challenger.
Financial firms have announced 43,341 cuts through August, up 230% from the 13,118 cuts through the same period in 2022.
Media & News Cuts
The Media industry has announced 19,117 cuts so far in 2023, the highest year-to-date (YTD) since 2020, when 26,259 cuts were announced through August. Just 31 cuts were announced in August, the lowest monthly total since January 2022 when the firm did not track any job cuts for the Media sector.
News, which Challenger tracks as a subset of Media and includes broadcast, digital, and print, has announced 2,360 cuts so far this year, surpassing the 1,808 announced in all of 2022. All 31 cuts announced in Media last month occurred in News.
Hiring Plans Lowest Since 2016
In August, employers announced plans to hire 7,744 workers, the lowest monthly total since November 2021, when 6,527 new positions were announced. So far this year, companies have announced plans to add 135,980 positions, down 83% from the 783,074 hires announced through August 2022. It is the lowest year-to-date total since 2016 when 101,903 hires were announced through August.
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Contact Colleen Madden Blumenfeld for more data or to set up an interview with SVP Andy Challenger.