Challenger Report Details a Nine-Percent Uptick in Job Losses for May Compared to 2016
As many as 33,092 jobs were reportedly lost in May, mostly as a result of cutbacks in the retail and auto industries, according to outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
The 33,092 jobs lost in May 2017 represents a nine-percent increase from the previous year.
The biggest increase in raw-numbers job shedding came from the retail industry, with 55,910 jobs cut since the beginning of 2017 compared to 38,264 this time a year ago.
Percentage-wise, both the telecommunications industry and the healthcare and products industry suffered with jumps of over 100% since 2016.
Year-to-date, the telecommunications industry has lost 10,815 jobs, compared to 4,303 last year. The healthcare industry job cuts rose to 14,323 from 7,129 a year before.
The top five industries for job loss were rounded out by service job losses and industrial goods. Though, in a bit of bright news, the industrial goods job market decreased at a lower rate compared to a year ago, with 9,343 jobs lost so far in 2017 compared to 18,406 by this time in 2015.
A lot of the major job sheds come as new technology continues to threaten established industries. For the auto sector, automated assembly lines are combining with outsourcing and electric vehicles to hurt some of the biggest auto makers in the country. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) alone has shed over 1,400 workers.
As for retailers, they are suffering from an altogether different but no less threatening technological development: e-commerce.
Companies like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) have made it easier than ever to shop from home, leading to dozens of retail stores closing across the country and resulting in thousands of layoffs to compensate for the weakening revenue stream.
The states also built a large number of malls across the country in the boom times of the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. Many of these malls have since become unsustainable, folding in on themselves and harming the surrounding communities by stripping them of a revenue and employment source. The effect is especially pronounced in poorer communities that rely on retailers and malls as strong drivers of the local economy.
Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M) alone has accounted for 10,000 jobs cuts alone in 2017, while the company focuses on restructuring as it faces declining streams of revenue due to the e-commerce threat.
“2017 May Job Cut Report: Cuts Fall 9 Percent to 33,092,” Challenger, Gray & Christmas, June 1, 2017.