Magazine article USA TODAY

Job Cuts Relate to Oil Price Cuts

Magazine article USA TODAY

Job Cuts Relate to Oil Price Cuts

Article excerpt

Following two consecutive months of job cuts in excess of 50,000, the pace of downsizing slowed in March, as U.S.-based employers trimmed payrolls by 36,594, according to figures released by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., Chicago, Ill. The March total was 27.6% lower than the 50,579 job cuts in February, and the lowest monthly total since December. Still, the March figure was 6.4% higher than the same month a year ago, making it the fourth consecutive year-over-year increase.

Through the first quarter of 2015, employers announced 140,214 job cuts, up 15.6% from the 120,341 cuts tracked the first three months of 2014. The first quarter saw 17% more job cuts than in the final quarter of 2014, when 119,763 job cuts were recorded. Of the job cuts announced in this year's first quarter, 47,610 were directly attributed to falling oil prices.

"Without these oil related cuts, we could have been looking one of lowest quarters for job-cutting since the mid 1990s, when three-month tallies totaled fewer than 100,000. However, the drop in the price of oil has taken a significant toll on oil field services, energy providers, pipelines, and related manufacturing this year," says CEO John Challenger.

First-quarter job cuts were dominated by the energy sector, where employers announced 37,811 job cuts in the first three months of 2015. The three-month total is up a whopping 3,900% compared to a year ago, when fewer than 1,000 energy cuts were reported. …

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