Job Cuts Fall 43% in December, Up 129% from Same Month Last Year, Q4 Cuts Highest Since Q4 2020
Published January 5, 2023
U.S.-based employers announced 43,651 cuts in December, falling 43% from the 76,835 announced in November. It is up 129% from the 19,052 cuts announced in the same month in 2021, according to a report released Thursday from global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
December’s total is the second-highest number of monthly job cuts announced in 2022 and marks the eighth time last year when cuts were higher than the corresponding month a year earlier.
In the fourth quarter, employers announced 154,329 job cuts, the highest quarterly total since the final quarter of 2020, when 222,493 job cut announcements occurred. It is 172% higher than the 56,749 cuts announced in the last quarter of 2021 and 102% higher than the 76,284 cuts announced in the previous quarter.
In 2022, employers announced plans to cut 363,824 jobs, up 13% from the 321,970 cuts announced in 2021. It is the second-lowest recorded total since Challenger began tracking monthly job cut announcements in 1993, with 2021 being the lowest.
“The overall economy is still creating jobs, though employers appear to be actively planning for a downturn. Hiring has slowed as companies take a cautious approach entering 2023,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
U.S. Industries Leading in Cuts
Currently, the bulk of cuts remain in the Technology sector. In December, 16,193 cuts occurred at companies in this industry for a total of 97,171 for the year, the leading job-cutting industry in 2022. It is up 649% from the 12,975 that occurred in Technology in 2021.
With the downturn in cryptocurrencies, Fintech firms announced 1,670% more cuts in 2022 than the prior year: 10,476 cuts in 2022 compared to 529 in 2021.
The Automotive industry announced the second-most job cuts in 2022 with 30,912, up 195% from the 10,469 cuts announced in the sector in 2021.
Health Care/Products manufacturers and providers announced 30,626 cuts in 2022, down 4% from the 31,997 announced in 2021.
Of the thirty industries Challenger tracks, eleven have announced more cuts in 2022 than in the same period last year.
“Clearly, interest rate hikes and inflation impacting the housing market are causing companies in Financial, Real Estate, and Construction to lay off workers,” Challenger said.
Financial firms announced 24,437 cuts last year, up 127% from the 10,784 cuts in 2021. Real Estate cuts were up 192% in 2022 to 8,074 from 2,762 in 2021. Construction cuts were up 84% to 7,187 from 3,900 one year prior.
Newsroom & Media Industry Job Loss
Meanwhile, the Media sector, which has announced high-profile job cuts as the industry consolidates and major mergers occur, announced 3,774 in 2022, down 5% from the 3,961 that occurred in 2021. Despite the drop, job cuts in News, a sector Challenger tracks as a subset of Media and includes digital, broadcast, and print news, announced 1,808 cuts, up 20% from the 1,511 News job cuts announced the year prior.
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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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