US Employers Make Adjustments Says Report

During President Biden’s State of the Union speech, he touted the economy, calling it the “envy of the world.”

Biden proclaimed, “America’s comeback is building a future of American possibilities, building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down, investing in all of America, in all Americans to make sure everyone has a fair shot and we leave no one behind!”

Adding: “I inherited an economy that was on the brink. Now our economy is the envy of the world!”

What he left out was the acceleration in job cuts by U.S. employers. According to a new study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cuts have surged to 84,638 in February. This marks a 3% increase from January and a concerning 9% jump from February last year. It’s the highest total we’ve seen for February layoffs since records began in 2009. But what’s driving this sudden uptick?

Andy Challenger, the senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, sheds some light on the situation. He explains that as we step into 2024, businesses are facing the need to slash costs and adapt to technological advancements at an unprecedented pace. This evolution is reshaping staffing requirements, leading to a wave of layoffs across various sectors.

Technology companies have been hit the hardest, with over 12,000 job losses in February alone, totaling over 28,000 since the beginning of the year. Financial firms aren’t far behind, experiencing a 54% increase in layoffs compared to the same period last year. But it doesn’t stop there. The manufacturing sector and energy companies have also seen drastic increases in job cuts, with figures that are hard to ignore.

Education is also starting to see layoffs. Over 6,000 positions cut, a stark contrast to the relatively low numbers we saw in the same period in 2023.

The primary reason for these layoffs? Restructuring (Bidenomics). Companies are adapting to economic pressures and market conditions, closing stores, and integrating new technologies. Interestingly, despite the surge in job cuts, only a small fraction is directly attributed to artificial intelligence. This suggests companies are cautious about the public’s reaction to AI-driven layoffs, framing these changes as technological updates rather than a shift towards replacing human roles with machines. Nonetheless, the impact of AI and automation on the workforce is becoming increasingly evident.

Unemployment is holding at 3.7%; however, how many Americans are working a side hustle or taking less pay to keep their lifestyles afloat?


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