Huge layoffs in the retail and energy sectors led to a 218 percent jump in January job cuts, while poor manufacturing orders and higher-than-expected jobless claims increase anxiety over the U.S. economy.
U.S. employers posted 75,114 planned job cuts in January — after a 15-year low of only 23,622 cuts in December. In the monthly report from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, layoffs jumped 42 percent from last January’s numbers, the month’s largest increase since the financial crisis.
“Despite relatively strong holiday sales to close out 2015, retailers led all other industries in January job cuts, announcing plans to cut 22,246 jobs from their payrolls,” the Thursday report stated. “That was the highest retail total since January 2009, when retailers announced 53,968 planned layoffs.”
Walmart and Macy’s accounted for the bulk of the retail layoffs, with Walmart announcing 269 store closures nationwide, affecting an estimated 16,000 workers. Macy’s has also been forced to close stores across the U.S., posting roughly 5,000 planned job cuts, Business Insider reported.