Tech, consumer behavior drive major Q1 job cuts
- Job cuts in Q1 2019 amounted to the highest quarterly losses in almost four years, according to data from Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Its Q1 Jobs Cut Report said cuts also were up 10% over the previous quarter, numbering 190,410.
- "Companies appear to be streamlining and updating their processes, and workforce reductions are increasingly becoming a part of these decisions," said Andrew Challenger, the firm's VP, in a statement. "Consumer behavior and advances in technology are driving many of these cuts."
- The automotive sector led job cuts in March with almost 8,900. On the year, however, retail leads with 46,061 cuts.
As employers look to remain agile in the face of market and tech shifts, many have turned to alternative staffing solutions, relying more heavily on gig workers and automation. And while low-wage, less educated workers likely will be hit the hardest in terms of pay and job loss as automation moves in, some predict the shift will ultimately create more jobs than it kills.
Still, HR is left grappling with today's job losses. General Motors recently reported thousands will lose their jobs as the company makes way for new talent, skill sets and jobs of the future. In the retail sector, international giant IKEA announced plans for downsizing stores to place more focus on online sales as it cuts more than 7,000 jobs worldwide. And as rank and file employees receive more and more pink slips,even executives are not immune. At Starbucks, corporate restructuring began with a round of layoffs in the C-suite last year.
Seasonal hiring pushes remain a mainstay of retail, however. The Home Depot, for example, announced last month plans to hire 80,000 associates for the spring season.
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