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Job Layoffs Are at a Record High

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on May 22, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights, Job Trends, Corporate Support, IT, Candidate, Accounting and Finance, Legal and Compliance

It's a candidate's market right now, but at the same time, job layoffs are at a record high. The numbers speak for themselves. In the first quarter of the year, layoffs reached 190,410. This is an increase of 35.6 percent from last year and is the worst first quarter since the 2009 financial crisis, according to a recent report. It was made public one day before the U.S. government's non-farm payroll count, which should see this number grow by another 175,000. Although non-farm payroll growth increased by 311,000 in January and did fall to only 20,000 in February, this is a sharp decrease that can't be ignored by workers. 

At the same time, unemployment is at 3.8 percent; the lowest it has been in the past 50 years.

What's The Cause?

So what's causing all the layoffs? Companies across the U.S. are currently updating and streamlining their processes, and this includes reducing the number of workers they retain. According to some, what's driving this change is rapid technological advancement and consumer behavior. There are also a number of companies filing for bankruptcy or simply closing down. To make matters worse, the U.S. government's threat to shut down the southern border is adding to the economic uncertainty. 

While economists expect the unemployment rate to remain the same, they do see things starting to turn in the job market. For example, private payrolls hit an 18-month low in March 2019, growing by only 129,000. This makes economists believe we are headed for an economic slowdown if we aren't already there. It is another factor contributing to the high number of layoffs we've already seen this year. 

Who's Hit The Hardest?

The industry to see the biggest layoffs is the auto industry with 8,838 layoffs in March 2019. Following this is the energy sector with 8,419 workers cut. Next is financial firms with 4,884 layoffs in March, followed by the retail industry with 4,860 layoffs and an expected 46,061 total job cuts for 2019. 

If you've experienced a layoff and are looking for a new position, ICS is here to help. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are looking on the bright side - unemployment is low, and many successful companies are scrambling to find the right talent. A layoff doesn't need to be the end but rather a new beginning. Contact ICS today to help you find your next position. 

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