US job cuts decreased 22% in October to 36,836 from 47,457 in September, up 9% year-over-year: Challenger, Gray & Christmas

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November 6, 2023 (press release) –

U.S.-based employers announced 36,836 cuts in October, a 22% decrease from the 47,457 cuts announced one month prior. It is 9% higher than the 33,843 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.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ©

So far this year, employers have announced plans to cut 641,350 jobs, a 164% increase from the 243,338 cuts announced in the first ten months of 2022. This is the highest January-October total since 2020, when 2,162,928 cuts were announced. It is the second-highest total since 2009, when companies announced 1,192,187 job cuts.

“Job cut plans have slowed significantly since the first half of the year, and consumers have continued to spend, even in the face of high inflation. Pandemic savings and higher wages have gotten many workers through economic uncertainty,” said Andy Challenger, labor expert and Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Which Industries Are Cutting Workers?
The Technology sector led all industries in October with 6,524, the most since May of this year, when 22,887 cuts were announced. It also leads all industries this year with 158,513, up 462% from the 28,207 cuts announced through October 2022. So far, 2023 is the second-highest year for Technology sector cuts, following 2001, when 168,395 cuts were recorded for the entire year.

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. ©

Financial companies announced the second-highest number of cuts in October with 3,419, for a total of 47,094 cuts this year. It is 189% higher than the 16,355 cuts announced in the same period last year, and the highest YTD total since 2013, when 57,591 cuts were announced.

Last month, Insurers announced plans to cut 2,752 jobs, the third-highest total in October. For the year, the industry has announced plans to cut 7,777 jobs, a 505% increase from the 1,286 job cuts announced in the sector in the same period last year.

Retailers have announced 72,182 cuts through October the sector, a 258% increase from the 20,191 through the same period last year. It is the highest total since 179,520 cuts were announced through October in 2020.

Artificial Intelligence Use on the Upswing
Challenger tracked another 100 job cuts due to Artificial Intelligence in October. So far this year, the firm has tracked 4,097 cuts due to this reason.

“Companies are beginning to implement AI technology to augment, or in some cases, replace positions. In fact, in the latest Challenger Survey, 34% of companies were using or looking into using AI in their operations, up from 11% who reported this in the spring,” said Challenger.

So far this year, most job cuts were attributed to Economic or Market Conditions with 225,562, 35% of all cuts recorded in 2023. Another 101,880 were due to a store, unit, or department Closing.

Hiring & Holiday Hiring
Through October, companies have announced plans to hire 759,935 workers, down 46% from the 1,400,468 new positions employers announced in the same period last year. This total includes the 573,300 seasonal positions Challenger has tracked in September and October of this year (Table 8). While Challenger will continue to add seasonal hiring announcements from companies, as of now, it is the lowest year for seasonal hiring announcements since 2013, when employers announced 518,000 seasonal hiring plans. By this point in 2022, Challenger had tracked 590,200 seasonal hiring plans, and in 2021, the firm tracked 939,200.

Related: Challenger’s Seasonal Hiring September 2023 Outlook

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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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