Special Report

Industries Laying Off the Most Workers

There’s been a lot of debate about the record number of Americans who have been quitting their jobs as the country moves past the worst of the economically crippling Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly four million people walked away from their jobs in April alone.

Some argue that the so-called “Great Resignation” can be blamed on emergency pandemic relief that’s been too generous, encouraging workers to live on the dole for a while instead of laboring at poorly paying jobs. Others point to how the pandemic led many Americans to consider the value of the work they’ve been doing. Almost certainly many Americans simply waited out the pandemic before quitting jobs they had planned to quit anyway in search of higher wages, better benefits, and more flexibility — especially in low-paying hourly jobs in the services industries. (These are the worst jobs in America.)

But while many employers are struggling to recruit and retain workers, and even offering signing bonuses and increased hourly wages, many others are still laying off, firing, or furloughing employees temporarily or permanently — albeit at lower rates than they did a year ago. (On the other hand, these are American cities that added jobs during the pandemic.)

Click here to see the industries laying off the most workers.

What industries are laying off the most workers these days? To find out, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the rate and total number of layoffs and discharges across 19 key industry categories. Figures are for the month of May, 2021, the most recent month for which data is available. Parallel numbers are given for May 2020 for comparison.