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U.S. businesses announce 84,638 job cuts in February - Challenger Report

A report from employment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. showed Thursday that the U.S. businesses announced 84,638 job cuts in February, up 2.8 per cent from the 82,307 layoffs announced in January. The February reading was the highest since March 2023.

According to the report, Transportation announced the largest number of job cuts in February (13,573, or 16.0 per cent of all). It was followed by Technology (12,412, or 14.7 per cent of all), Services (8,686, or 10.3 per cent of all), and Education (6,102, or 7.2 per cent of all) and Consumer Products (6,049, or 7.1 per cent of all).

Year-to-date, U.S. employers announced intentions to cut 166,945 jobs, down 7.6 per cent from the 180,713 cuts announced in January and February last year. With the exclusion of the first two months of 2023, it was the highest January through February total since 2009 which saw 428,099 cuts announced during the first two months of the year.

From January through February, Technology led all industries in job cut announcements with 28,218 (or 33.3 per cent of all announced job cuts). It was followed by Financial (26,856, or 31.7 per cent of all cuts), Transportation (14,148, or 16.7 per cent), and Services (13,503, or 16.0 per cent).

Commenting on the latest report, Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., noted that they are witnessing a persistent wave of layoffs as they navigate the start of 2024. “Businesses are aggressively slashing costs and embracing technological innovations, actions that are significantly reshaping staffing needs,” he added.

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