May 2023 Challenger Report

Layoffs Jump on Tech, Retail, Auto;
YTD Hiring Lowest Since 2016

Published June 1, 2023

U.S.-based employers announced 80,089 cuts in May, a 20% increase from the 66,995 cuts announced one month prior. It is 287% higher than the 20,712 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 417,500 jobs, a 315% increase from the 100,694 cuts announced in the same period last year. It is the highest January-May total since 2020, when 1,414,828 cuts were recorded. With the exception of 2020, it is the highest total in the first five months of the year since 2009, when 822,282 cuts were tracked through May.

Related: Employers Announce Nearly 1 Million Cuts Due to COVID-19

“Consumer confidence is down to a six-month low and job openings are flattening. Companies appear to be putting the brakes on hiring in anticipation of a slowdown,” said Andrew Challenger, labor expert and Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Graph showing the total layoff announcement numbers from US companies from January 2021 - May 2023 Challenger Report for May 2023

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ©

 

Which Industries Are Cutting?

With the exception of Education, Government, Industrial Manufacturing, and Utilities, every industry has seen an increase in layoffs this year. The Technology sector announced the most cuts in May with 22,887, for a total of 136,831 this year, up 2,939% from the 4,503 cuts announced in the same period last year. The Tech sector has now announced the most cuts for the sector since 2001, when 168,395 cuts were announced for the entire year.

Graph showing the recent spike in technology job cuts and the total layoff announcement numbers from US tech companies; January 2021 - May 2023; Challenger Report for May 2023

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ©

 

Retailers announced the second-most cuts in May with 9,053. Retail has announced 45,168 cuts so far this year, up 942% from the 4,335 announced through May 2022. The Automotive sector announced 8,308 job cuts last month for a total of 18,017 this year, a 235% increase from the 5,380 cuts announced in the same period last year. Financial firms have announced 36,937 cuts through May, up 320% from the 8,788 cuts through the same period in 2022. Health Care/Products, which includes health products manufacturers and hospitals, announced 33,085 cuts, up 81% from the 18,301 announced in the sector in the first five months of last year.

Media & News Cuts

The Media industry has announced 17,436 cuts so far in 2023, the highest year-to-date (YTD) on record. The second-highest YTD for the sector occurred in 2020, when 16,750 cuts were announced through May. After 2020, the next highest YTD occurred in 2001, when 15,984 Media cuts were announced in the first five months of the year. News, which Challenger tracks as a subset of Media and includes broadcast, digital, and print, has announced 1,972 cuts so far this year, surpassing the 1,808 announced in all of 2022.

May Hiring Plans

In May, employers announced plans to hire 7,884 workers, the lowest monthly total since November 2020, when 6,527 new positions were announced. So far this year, companies have announced plans to add 101,833 positions, down 83% from the 612,686 hires announced through May 2022. 

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Contact Colleen Madden Blumenfeld for more data or to set up an interview with SVP Andy Challenger.

Contact Challenger for Media Inquiries

 

Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. insights and data in additional media coverage.

 

Gizmodo Logo

11 Times Tech Really Did Take Our Jobs

PUBLISHED ON July 8, 2023

Read full article here. By Nikki Main

Looking to the past may be a good starting point when looking at the future of technology in the 21st Century after a report by Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, Inc. found nearly 4,000 jobs cuts last month were replaced by AI. The fears of continued AI advancements are real and the effect it is having on workers’ livelihoods cannot be understated, but if the past shows anything, humans are resilient and capable of adapting.

 


 

How the writers’ strike is crushing Hollywood’s next generation, as job-seekers face ‘skyrocketing’ debt, crumbling hope, and endless hours ‘just doom-scrolling LinkedIn’

By 

PUBLISHED ON July 3, 2023

Read full article here.

Business Insider uses #ChallengerReport data

Young Hollywood workers are facing crushing debt and limited job opportunities as the WGA strike enters its third month. Samantha Lee/Insider

Making matters worse, studios and streamers from Amazon and Disney to Warner Bros. Discovery have been hit with deep layoffs over the past year that have intensified competition for the few roles still available. Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based outplacement and career counseling firm, shared data with Insider showing that entertainment companies slashed more than 15,000 positions since the start of 2023.

 


 

New York Post horizontal logo. www.nypost.com

CEO fires 90% of customer support staff because AI chatbot outperforms them

By 

PUBLISHED ON JULY 13, 2023

Read full article here.

Meanwhile, over in the US, AI has taken jobs away from nearly 4,000 Americans in May alone.

More than 80,000 jobs were cut in May, according to the analytics firm Challenger, Gray, and Christmas, which cited market and economic conditions as well as mergers and acquisitions as key factors.

But some 3,900 of those jobs were lost because of AI, the firm said.

It was the first time that the tech has been blamed for workers being unemployed.
 


 
Forbes Logo

Labor Market Slowdown: 1.6 Million New Jobs In 2023—But Millions At Risk As These Industries Struggle Most

PUBLISHED ON JUNE 12, 2023

Read full article here.  By Jonathan Ponciano of Forbes.

“Layoffs are up nearly fivefold so far this year with tech companies leading the way” #ChallengerReport data media coverage via CNBC by Jeff Cox

Companies announced nearly 90,000 layoffs in March, a sharp step up from the previous month and a giant acceleration from a year ago, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported.

“We know companies are approaching 2023 with caution, though the economy is still creating jobs,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “With rate hikes continuing and companies’ reigning in costs, the large-scale layoffs we are seeing will likely continue.”

 


 

CNN Business

AI is already linked to layoffs in the industry that created it

PUBLISHED ON July 4, 2023

Read full article here. By Catherine Thorbecke

In its most-recent layoffs report, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said 3,900 people were laid off in May due to AI, marking its first time breaking out job cuts based on that factor. All of those cuts occurred in the tech sector, according to the firm.

 


 

Don’t Ask Us to Come to the Office More — Or We Will Quit, Investors Say

By and

Published on june 4, 2023

Read full article here.

Though the financial sector hasn’t seen layoffs at the same scale as tech or retail, a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an executive coaching firm, shows that the industry has cut nearly 37,000 jobs in the US so far this year, a figure up 320% from the same period last year. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is working on what would be the third round of layoffs in less than a year as deal-making remains sluggish. Morgan Stanley has embarked on its second round of cuts in less than six months.

Despite these high-profile layoffs, Andy Challenger, senior vice president at Challenger, says the picture for job-hunting banking professionals isn’t as dire as it might seem. US employers added some 339,000 jobs in May, a payroll boom that far outstripped expectations and reinforced the perception that workers’ economic position remains relatively strong.

“When we look at the overall labor market, and we look at finance, unemployment remains really low, historically low,” Challenger said. “There still are job opportunities available and companies are still hiring. So it’s not an awful job market to go out and look in.”

What would be more difficult would be to find another job in the sector that has a more flexible schedule, Challenger said, as many of the big financial firms change work-from-home policies in lockstep. Still, more than two-thirds of banks offer either full flexibility or a structured hybrid arrangement, according to a survey by Scoop Technologies Inc., a firm that helps companies coordinate hybrid teams.

What would be more difficult would be to find another job in the sector that has a more flexible schedule, Challenger said, as many of the big financial firms change work-from-home policies in lockstep. Still, more than two-thirds of banks offer either full flexibility or a structured hybrid arrangement, according to a survey by Scoop Technologies Inc., a firm that helps companies coordinate hybrid teams.

 


 

Recession risks still loom for markets calmer after banking turmoil

Published on June 12, 2023

Read full article here.

“Layoffs are up nearly fivefold so far this year with tech companies leading the way” #ChallengerReport data media coverage via CNBC by Jeff Cox

Companies announced nearly 90,000 layoffs in March, a sharp step up from the previous month and a giant acceleration from a year ago, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported.

“We know companies are approaching 2023 with caution, though the economy is still creating jobs,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “With rate hikes continuing and companies’ reigning in costs, the large-scale layoffs we are seeing will likely continue.”

 


 

Recession risks still loom for markets calmer after banking turmoil

Published on June 12, 2023

Read full article here.

Labour markets across developed economies remain tight, but jobs cuts are rising.

According to global #outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers rose 20% to 80,089 in May.

 


 

Fortune Magazine Logo

The A.I. job culling has already begun and 4,000 people lost work last month to the technology, according to a new report

Read full article here.

Artificial intelligence taking people’s jobs is no longer a just threat on the horizon. In May, 3,900 people were laid off due to the technology, a new report has found.

 


 

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