Layoffs Surge 315%

Anyone who thinks that tech layoffs will not lead job attrition in the United States this year is wrong. According to a new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, of 417,500 layoffs announced through the first five months of the year, 136,831 have been in the tech sector. (Your boss does not want you to know about these labor laws.)

The job market, in general, has been poor so far in 2023, and according to Challenger, Gray, May was no exception. Layoffs jumped 287% from May of last year to 80,089, based on job cut plans by large companies. For the year, the number is up 315% to 417,500. According to the report, “With the exception of 2020, it is the highest total in the first five months of the year since 2009, when 822,282 cuts were tracked through May.” And 2009 was at the depths of the Great Recession.

Challenger, Gray blamed the cuts on a jump in consumer anxiety and an expectation by companies that there will be a recession. “Consumer confidence is down to a six-month low and job openings are flattening. Companies appear to be putting the brakes on hiring in anticipation of a slowdown,” said Andrew Challenger, labor expert and senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Some sectors have been sparred significant layoffs. Education jobs cuts were 4,667 in the first five months of last year. They have been 3,394 so far in 2023. Job cuts in the industrial goods sector are also down from 2,766 to 1,849.

These are the jobs figures for the first five months of 2022 and 2023 by industry:

Industry 2022 YTD 2023 YTD
Aerospace/Defense 924 4,065
Apparel 461 1,096
Automotive 5,380 18,017
Chemical 0 675
Construction 1,150 2,585
Consumer Products 4,183 21,544
Education 4,667 3,394
Electronics 355 990
Energy 730 1,333
Entertainment/Leisure 7,253 10,769
Financial 8,788 36,937
Fintech 2,059 9,909
Food 5,101 7,214
Government 4,933 600
Health Care/Products 18,301 33,085
Industrial Goods 2,766 1,849
Insurance 870 2,844
Legal 0 690
Media 1,278 17,436
Mining 161 614
Nonprofit 1,293 2,103
Pharmaceutical 1,132 4,696
Real Estate 2,475 4,802
Retail 4,335 45,168
Services 9,297 26,879
Technology 4,503 136,831
Telecommunications 240 5,743
Transportation 1,777 5,959
Utility 858 509
Warehousing 5,424 9,164

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