November Job Cuts Rise 45% From Last Year

The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas on Thursday reported that announced job losses last month rose by 45% compared to cuts announced in November 2019. For the year to date, nearly 2.23 million job cuts have been announced, almost four times the 592,556 jobs lost in all of 2019.

U.S. employers announced 64,797 job cuts in November, a decline of nearly 20% from October’s total of 80,666 job losses.

Andrew Challenger, vice president of the outplacement firm, noted that a coming vaccine for COVID-19 and “clarity surrounding election results” have boosted the U.S. economic outlook. He continued, “That said, disposable income decreased [by] over $130 billion in October, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Undoubtedly, the millions of Americans who remain out of work will have an impact on spending, which will lead to further cuts.”

In November, COVID-19 was named as the cause of 5,873 job cuts, while another 20,021 were attributed to market conditions and 17,659 were attributed to a downturn in demand. For the first 11 months of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic is responsible for more than 1.1 million job losses.

Industry sectors hit hardest in November were entertainment/leisure (11,666 announced cuts), technology companies (11,431 announced job cuts) and transportation (10,455). For the year to date, the entertainment/leisure sector has lost 857,620 jobs, a year-over-year increase of more than 5,800%.

So far this year, U.S. firms have announced plans to hire 3.11 million workers, including 185,504 hiring announcements announced in November. Nearly 800,000 of those jobs represent seasonal hiring plans for the coming holiday shopping season. Last year, companies hired about 814,000 seasonal workers.

New York-based employers announced the most job cuts in November, with 21,819 planned cuts. California (7,545 planned cuts), Massachusetts (5,263), Illinois (4,674) and Florida (3,177) round out the five states losing the most jobs last month.

Wednesday morning, ADP reported that private-sector payrolls increased month over month in November by 307,000, well short of expectations for a gain of 440,000. The weekly report on new claims for unemployment benefits is due later Thursday morning, and the consensus estimate calls for 780,000 new claims filed in the week ending November 28. The monthly employment situation is due Friday morning, and analysts expect nonfarm payrolls to rise by 500,000 and the unemployment rate for November to drop to 6.8%.

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