OCTOBER 2021 JOB CUTS RISE 28% TO 22,822
Published November 4, 2021
Job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers rose 27.5% in October to 22,822 from the 17,895 announced in September. It is the highest monthly total since May, when 24,586 cuts were recorded, according to a report released Thursday from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
October’s total is 72% lower than the same month last year, when 80,666 cuts were announced. So far this year, employers have announced plans to cut 288,043 jobs from their payrolls, down 87% from the 2,162,928 jobs eliminated through the same period last year. It is the lowest January-October total on record.
22% of October cuts due to vaccine mandate refusal
Last month, the majority of cuts (5,796) were attributed to plant, store, and unit closing. Workers’ refusing to comply with vaccine mandates accounted for 5,071 cuts in October. Since June, when vaccines were widely available to adults, 6,843 workers have been cut or left their jobs for this reason. It is currently the 10th highest reason for job cuts this year, according to Challenger tracking.
“We’re still in the midst of a labor market in which demand appears much higher than supply,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
“We know companies are holding tight to their workers and are in fact looking for workers. However, we also know that for many employers, a federal vaccine mandate from OSHA is forthcoming, and for many government employees and contractors, as well as for health care providers, mandates already exist. This complicates hiring and retention efforts,” he added.
Indeed, of those who were cut due to vaccine refusal this year, the majority of them occurred in Health Care/Products companies: 5,938. Another 595 occurred in Transportation companies, while 305 occurred in Government entities. Five cuts were reported at organizations in the Education sector.
Industries with the most dismissals
For the third month in a row, companies in the Health Care/Products sector announced the most cuts with 6,694. This industry includes hospitals and other health care facilities, as well as health care products manufacturers. So far this year, this industry has announced 25,630, the second-leading industry for cuts and 56% lower than the 58,105 cuts announced through the same period in 2020.
Aerospace/Defense companies have announced the most cuts this year with 34,207, 57% lower than the 79,861 announced through the same period last year. Telecommunications providers announced the third most cuts this year with 25,481, down 15% from the 29,999 announced through October 2020.
Reasons cited for the job cuts
Company closings caused the most cuts in 2021 with 59,367, followed by restructuring, which was cited for 51,375 cuts so far this year. Market conditions were cited for 48,629, and a downturn in demand caused 48,619 cuts. COVID-19 has been cited as the reason for 8,766 cuts this year, compared to 1,099,726 cuts attributed to COVID-19 through October last year.
Seasonal hiring plans
Through October, Challenger has tracked 939,300 seasonal hiring plans from Retailers, Transportation, and Warehousing companies, up 11% from the 849,350 announced during the 2020 holiday season. It is the most since the firm began tracking these direct announcements in 2012.
“We’re still seeing record-low job cut announcements and the record quits rate and number of job openings suggests workers are really calling the shots right now,” said Challenger.
Job loss in the news & media industry
Challenger continues to follow losses in the News industry, which is tracked as a subset of Media cuts. Through October, Newsrooms have announced 1,037 job cuts, with 10 occurring last month. News cuts are down 93% from the 15,202 announced through October last year.
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COVID vaccine refusal 10th highest reason for job cuts in 2021, report says
While experts say we’re still in the so-called “Great Resignation,” a recent Jobs Cut Report uncovered vaccine refusal as the 10th highest reason for job cuts this year.
Numbers released by Chicago-based outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. came on on the same day President Biden announced new federal guidance and deadline for tens of millions of workers to get vaccinated.
“Roughly 5,000 people that lost their jobs in the last month due to COVID vaccine refusal made up actually 22% of the total number of people that we tracked being let go across the country,” the firm’s Senior VP Andy Challenger told our sister station KGO-TV.
Challenger said since vaccines became widely available to adults in June, more than 6,800 workers have been cut or left their jobs because of vaccine mandates.
He anticipates numbers will grow, following the new federal deadline for two-thirds of the country’s workforce announced on Thursday.
Businesses with at least 100 employees have until Jan. 4 to require workers to be fully vaccinated or face weekly testing.
“As I’m talking to companies, as I’m talking to HR leaders, there really is a lot of turmoil within their organizations across just about every sector,” he added.
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