Layoffs Jump in March 2024 to Highest on Government & Tech

April 5, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver=jobcuts

Layoff in the U.S. increased by 7%, reaching the highest level since January 2023, due to job cuts in the technology and government sectors, said a report released on Thursday.

These findings are part of a report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., a global outplacement and leadership development firm.

Throughout the first quarter, companies unveiled plans to cut 257,254 jobs, representing a 5% decrease from the 270,416 cuts announced in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. 

“Layoffs certainly ticked up to round out the first quarter, though below last year’s levels. Many companies appear to be reverting to a ‘do more with less’ approach,” said Andy Challenger, workplace and labor expert and Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

While Technology continues to lead all industries so far this year, several industries, including Energy and Industrial Manufacturing, are cutting more jobs this year than last,” added Challenger.

The findings reveal that the primary reasons for job cuts in the first quarter were due to cost-cutting, followed by restructuring. In some cases there would be business, unit, or store closures. 

Simultaneously, U.S. employers announced plans to add 36,795 positions in the first quarter, marking a 48% decrease from the 70,638 hiring plans announced during the same period last year. This represents the lowest number of announced hiring plans since 2016.

The Energy sector led all industries with plans to hire 5,800 workers, followed by the Technology sector with 2,237 positions planned to be added.


Industries Reporting Highest Job Cuts:

  • Technology led all sectors in job cut announcements this year with 42,442, marking a 59% decrease from the 102,391 cuts announced in the first quarter of the previous year. In March alone, technology companies announced 14,224 cuts.
  • The Government sector disclosed 36,044 job eliminations in March, including 10,000 cuts from Veterans Affairs and 24,000 cuts to the United States Army. This marked the highest monthly total cuts for the sector since September 2011.
  • Financial firms ranked third in job cuts for the first quarter with 28,715, down 6% from the 30,635 cuts announced in the first quarter of 2023. The Services sector have seen a slight decrease in job announcements compared to the same period last year, with 16,014 cuts in Q1 2024 in comparison to 16,612 cuts in Q1 2023.
  • Transportation companies announced 15,746 cuts, marking a 483% increase from the 2,701 cuts in March 2023.
  • Industrial Goods Manufacturing reported 9,214 cuts in 2024, a 726% increase from the 1,115 cuts during the same period last year.
  • The Apparel industry witnessed a 1,702% increase in cuts in comparison to the same period last year, Energy cuts rose by 1,114%, and cuts in Education increased by 756%.
  • The Real Estate industry has seen a decrease of 72%. Meanwhile, Healthcare and Product Manufacturing cuts decreased by 50%. Retail cuts also decreased by 43%, and Automotive sector cuts decreased by 39%.
  • The Media industry witnessed 2,246 cuts in March, totaling 6,931 in the first quarter. These layoffs are a  33% decrease from the 10,320 cuts announced in the sector during the first quarter of 2023. Reasons for Job Cuts:

The HR Observer

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