September 2023 Challenger Job Cut Report
Published October 5, 2023
U.S.-based employers announced 47,457 cuts in September, down 37% from the 75,151 cuts announced in August. It is up 58% from the 29,989 announced in the same month one year prior, according to a report released Thursday from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Despite the drop, September’s total marks the eighth time this year when cuts were higher than the corresponding month a year earlier.
Employers announced 146,305 cuts in the third quarter, a 92% increase from 76,284 cuts announced in the same quarter last year. It is down 22% from the 187,793 cuts announced last quarter.
So far this year, companies have planned 604,514 cuts, a 198% increase from the 209,495 cuts announced through September 2022. It is the highest January-September total since 2020, when 2,082,262 cuts were recorded. With the exception of 2020, it is the highest January to September total since 2009, when 1,136,908 job cuts were announced.
“Employers are grappling with inflation, rate increases, labor issues and consumer demand as we enter Q4,” said Andrew Challenger, labor expert and Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
Industries Cutting The Most Jobs
Technology is leading in job cut announcements this year with 151,989, up 716% from the 18,620 cuts announced in the same period last year. The number of cuts in the sector has fallen steadily over the summer, with 2,537 occurring in September, the lowest monthly total since last June, when 1,266 cuts were tracked during the month. It is the second-highest total for the sector ever, with only 2001 leading. That year, 168,395 cuts were announced in Technology.
Retail companies announced the second-most job cuts this year with 70,713, a 288% increase from the 18,213 cuts announced in the sector during the same time last year. Last month, the sector led all industries in cuts with 14,958.
Health Care/Products manufacturers, including Hospitals, have announced the third-most cuts this year with 52,611, a 121% increase from the 23,850 cuts announced in the same period in 2022.
Financial firms announced 43,675 cuts so far in 2023, up 194% from the 14,832 cuts announced through September 2022.
The Media industry shed 19,413 cuts this year, up 550% from the 2,986 announced in the same period last year. Of those, 2,360 were in digital, broadcast, and print News, surpassing the 1,808 and 1,511 that were announced in all of 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Why Are Companies Cutting?
The top reason for job cuts so far this year is Market/Economic Conditions with 225,319. Another 94,515 were attributed to business, unit, or store Closing. Bankruptcy was cited for 31,651 cuts this year, up 3,593% from the 857 cuts recorded for this reason in 2022. Companies cited Artificial Intelligence for 3,997 cuts so far in 2023.
US-employers announced plans to add 590,353 positions in September, 552,800 of which were seasonal positions for the holidays (Table 8). So far this year, employers have announced 726,333, down 38% from the 1,163,088 plans recorded through September 2022, and the fewest year-to-date hiring plans since 2016, when 588,978 hiring plans were announced through the third quarter.
# # #
Contact Colleen Madden Blumenfeld for more data or to set up an interview with SVP Andy Challenger.
Download Full Report with Tables