Layoffs in the US reach their highest level in 14 months due to government technology cuts

By Amina Niasse

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. layoff announcements rose 7% in March to the highest level since January 2023, led by job cuts in the technology and government sectors, although cuts announced so far fell 5% from compared to a year ago, amid a still strong economy. labor market, according to a report published on Thursday.

The number of job loss announcements rose from 84,638 in February to 90,309 in March, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. On an annual basis, the level increased slightly by 0.7% compared to the 89,703 cuts announced in March 2023.

The technology industry continued to outpace other sectors in job losses in the first quarter of this year, with 14,224 jobs in March and 42,442 since the start of the year. The US government was the biggest job cutter last month, accounting for 36,044 announced layoffs, the most since September 2011 and largely within Veterans Affairs and the US military.

Through the first three months of the year, companies announced 257,254 layoffs, up from 270,416 in the first quarter of last year, another indication that the labor market is holding up despite high interest rates. A report from payroll processor ADP showed on Wednesday that more than 184,000 private sector jobs were created last month, and the government is expected to report on Friday that a total of about 200,000 payroll jobs were added in March.

Employers most often cited cost cuts and restructuring as reasons for job cuts, Challenger said.

“Many companies appear to be returning to a ‘do more with less’ approach. While technology continues to lead across all sectors so far this year, several sectors including energy and industrial…

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