Rocky recovery? Employers announced a record 2.3 million job cuts last year and Texas layoffs spiked again last month

Uncertainty over the economy continues to rise: ‘We can’t forecast anything six months or even one month out,’ says one Texas manufacturer.

By Mitchell Schnurman

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Here’s another metric that captures the dismal pandemic economy: Companies in America publicly announced over 2.3 million job cuts in 2020, almost twice as many as the worst year after the Great Recession.

“It’s the economy now,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a global outplacement firm that’s been tracking layoff announcements and filings since 1993. “Each month, there’s more and more damage occurring because of the economic crisis. It’s just dragging on — in a way that seems different from the first couple of months” of the pandemic.

Chart: Mitchell Schnurman/DMN Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas Get the data Created with Datawrapper

Chart: Mitchell Schnurman/DMN Source: Challenger, Gray & ChristmasCreated with Datawrapper

Consumer spending has continued to lag during most of the pandemic, although the latest federal relief efforts are just starting to kick in. For the week ended Jan. 3, consumer spending in the Dallas area was 9.2% lower than in January 2020, according to Opportunity Insights’ economic tracker.

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