February Job Cuts Plunge

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Announced cuts by large companies totaled just 35,369 jobs in February. This was down from 44,653 in January and 36,957 in the same month a year ago. The numbers come from employee consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The modest level of the cuts is historic. Challenger reports:

Last month’s total is 4.3 percent lower than the 36,957 announced job cuts in February 2017. So far this year, employers have announced 80,022 cuts, 3.5 percent lower than through February last year. This is the lowest number of announced job cuts between January and February since 1995, when 69,907 cuts were announced.

The period includes the years of the Great Recession.

In the future, Challenger reports, automation may steal jobs. The company said:

President Trump’s proposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum may spell more jobs in those industries in the short term. However, with automation dominating those industries, the tariffs will more likely cause companies that manufacture using those products, such as automotive and aerospace, to cut jobs.

What the recession did not do, modern technology may.