- Planned job cuts by U.S. companies increased 19% in December compared to November 2020, according to a Jan. 7 report from outplacement and staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
- The 77,030 jobs cut in the last month of 2020 is 135% higher than December of 2019, and the 2.3 million cuts across 2020 represent a 289% increase from the previous year. According to the firm’s reports, the numbers represented an 18% increase from the previous high in job cuts from 2001.
- "While some segments were up, such as warehousing, shipping, financial, and some manufacturing segments, many others were hurt considerably, chief among them Hospitality, Entertainment, and Leisure," said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
While many expect the hiring outlook to improve in 2021, the uncertainty is still causing challenges for those in charge of workforce strategy. A November 2020 survey from XpertHR found that recruiting, hiring and workforce planning were the top concerns of HR professionals heading into the new year.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that payroll enrollment decreased by 140,000 in December as well. It was the first net decrease since April, and the losses were represented entirely by women, who lost 156,000 jobs while men gained 16,000 in the month.
While the Challenger, Gray & Christmas report highlighted industries that saw the most losses, the HR function also saw significant job loss in 2020, according to Glassdoor.
"The job-letting will not end before the pandemic," Challenger said in a statement responding to the latest BLS report. "In fact, we likely will not see the full ramifications of this downturn until years after the pandemic ends, when we get a better picture of just how many jobs were wiped out completely during this period."
By May of last year, workers had already lost trillions of dollars in income due to job cuts, and the losses appear to be continuing. Many are encouraging those who have lost jobs to pursue training to meet employers' digital and other skilled labor needs. Freelance or gig work has also increased during the pandemic.