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What Do You Call It When the Number of Layoffs in the U.S. Goes up by 136 Percent in Just One Month?

(The Economic Collapse Blog)—Wow, our economic problems really are starting to accelerate at a shocking pace.  I know that I have been writing about layoffs a lot lately, but what is happening to the employment market right now is definitely big news.   Day after day, more large companies are announcing mass layoffs.

Why would all of these large companies be doing this if the outlook for the U.S. economy is promising?  That wouldn’t make any sense at all.  But if these companies are convinced that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession (or worse), it would make perfect sense to slash payrolls at this time.

To me, the most accurate numbers that we get are those that come from non-government sources.  And so I was greatly alarmed to learn that Challenger, Gray & Christmas has just published a report which shows that the number of layoffs in the United States went up by 136 percent from December to January…

The pace of job cuts by U.S. employers accelerated at the start of 2024, a sign the labor market is starting to deteriorate in the face of ongoing inflation and high interest rates.

That is according to a new report published by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which found that companies planned 82,307 job cuts in January, a substantial 136% increase from the previous month.

So what should we call it when the number of layoffs in our country goes up by 136 percent in just one month?

A catastrophe?

A tsunami?

I don’t know.

According to the report, financial companies laid off more workers than anyone else in January

Financial companies bore the brunt of the job losses in January, with the industry shedding 23,238 employees. That is the highest monthly layoff total for the financial sector since September 2018, when it announced 27,343 job cuts.

The technology sector followed with 15,806 layoffs, the most since May 2023 and a stunning 254% increase from just one month prior.

Let’s talk about the financial industry for a moment.

Our banks are in very serious trouble.  Higher interest rates have hit them very hard, and many institutions have been forced to lay off workers in recent months.

In addition, U.S. banks have been permanently shutting down hundreds and hundreds of branches in a desperate attempt to save money…

Banks are shutting hundreds of branches a year – this month some 41 closures were announced in a single week and among those affected were nine US Bank locations.

Bank of America, Chase, PNC, Citizen, Capital One, First National Bank of Pennsylvania and Huntington also said they were axing branches.

Such closures deal a huge blow to customers looking to visit in person to submit a document, make a withdrawal or deposit, cash in a check or simply run through their finances with a trusted bank manager.

This is a trend that I expect to continue all throughout 2024.

Meanwhile, the tech industry continues to bleed jobs at an alarming pace. On Thursday, Zoom announced that 150 employees would be hitting the bricks

Zoom is cutting about 150 jobs, CNBC confirmed on Thursday, the latest tech company to slash headcount this year as investors continue to push for efficiency.

I thought that Zoom was doing quite well. I guess not.

Identity management company Okta is giving the axe to even more workers than Zoom is…

Identity management company Okta said on Thursday in a message to employees that it would lay off 400 employees, which is about 7% of the company’s headcount. Okta also reaffirmed its fourth-quarter and full-year guidance in a securities filing.

CEO Todd McKinnon said in his message that the “reality is that costs are still too high.”

So many layoff announcements are coming in now that I can’t possibly keep up with them all.

But there is one more that I wanted to specifically mention in this article.  The Messenger is shutting down all operations, and all of their employees will now be searching for new employment

The Messenger, an online news site that promoted itself to deliver unbiased and trusted news, abruptly shut down Wednesday after eight months of operation.

Jimmy Finkelstein, the founder of The Messenger, sent an email to its over 300 employees announcing the immediate shutdown.

This is such a stunning development.

In less than a year, the publication burned through 50 million dollars

The Messenger received $50 million in investor money in order to launch in May 2023 with hopes of growing its newsroom relatively fast. With experienced journalists joining their team, Finkelstein’s plan was to bring back the old days of journalism that he and his family once shared.

How in the world did they manage to burn through 50 million dollars in less than a year?

Did they have employees flushing hundred dollar bills down the toilets?

I just don’t understand.

The layoffs that I mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg.

Zero Hedge has put together a list of some of the most notable layoffs that we have seen during the past few months…

1. Twitch: 35% of workforce
2. Hasbro: 20% of workforce
3. Spotify: 17% of workforce
4. Levi’s: 15% of workforce
5. Zerox: 15% of workforce
6. Qualtrics: 14% of workforce
7. Wayfair: 13% of workforce
8. Duolingo: 10% of workforce
9. Washington Post: 10% of workforce
10. eBay: 9% of workforce
11. Business Insider: 8% of workforce
12. Paypal: 7% of workforce
13. Charles Schwab: 6% of workforce
14. UPS: 2% of workforce
15. Blackrock: 3% of workforce
16. Citigroup: 20,000 employees
17. Pixar: 1,300 employees

Needless to say, there are quite a few more that could have been added to that list.

Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and Sports Illustrated are just a few names that quickly come to mind.

We have been anticipating that a massive wave of layoffs would be coming, and now it is here.

Just in time for the most chaotic election season in our history, a great deal of economic chaos is breaking out all around us.

The outlook for the rest of 2024 is not good at all, and the outlook beyond 2024 is even worse.

So many people are going to lose their jobs during the months ahead. Just pray that you will not be one of them.

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Michael’s new book entitled “Chaos” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com, and you can check out his new Substack newsletter right here.