Published November 3, 2022

U.S.-based employers announced 33,843 job cuts in October a 13% increase from the 29,989 cuts in September. It is 48% higher than the 22,822 cuts announced in the same month last year, according to a report released Thursday from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

October saw the highest number of job cuts announced in a single month since February 2021 when 34,531 job cuts were recorded. It is the sixth time this year that cuts were higher in 2022 than in the corresponding month a year earlier. 

So far this year, employers announced plans to cut 243,338 jobs, down 16% from the 288,043 cuts announced in the first nine months of 2021. It is the lowest recorded January-October total since Challenger began tracking monthly job cut announcements in 1993. 

Announced U.S. Job Cuts data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. 2021 through November 2022

“We saw an unexpected boon in available jobs from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey this week, but at least some of that can be attributed to seasonal hiring needs,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“We are beginning to see more job cut activity in the fourth quarter, historically when the bulk of cuts occur, as companies finalize budgets and plans. Many companies are anticipating a downturn, and with a still-tight labor market and the Fed’s rate hikes, more cuts will be on the way as we enter 2023,” said Challenger.

What Industries Saw the Most Cuts?

Technology companies cut the most jobs last month with 9,587, for a total of 28,207 so far this year. This is up 162% from the 10,781 cuts announced during the same period last year.

The Automotive sector leads all industries in job cuts this year with 28,987, up 182% from the 10,005 cuts announced through October last year. The Construction sector announced significant cuts in October with 2,177, making up the bulk of the 3,983 cuts announced in this industry in 2022. 

“The housing market has cooled as interest rates scare off new buyers. Housing starts and permits have both fallen from last year, according to government figures,” said Challenger.

Likewise, the Real Estate sector has announced 7,206 cuts so far this year, up 564% from the 1,085 announced through October 2021.

Recent Hiring Plans

In October, employers announced plans to hire 237,380 workers, after a soft September total, the lowest, in fact, since 2011. September is typically when seasonal employers announce large-scale plans. 

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

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In the past two months, recruitment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which specialises in helping mid-level managers who have been laid off find jobs, has recorded an uptick in work positions that have been done away with. “Those big, big salaries catch people’s eyes when they have to make those horrible decisions about who to let go,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice-president. Although lay-offs have hovered near record lows for more than a year, some economists suspect the job cuts Challenger observed are the first sign of a “white-coloar recession” where mid-ranking office workers have their jobs eliminated at higher rates than counterparts working in manufacturing, service and transportation.


Download The Challenger Report with Additional Tables