Layoffs Rise In MD, Seasonal Hiring Falls: Report

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Layoffs increased sharply this year in Maryland. Many job cuts were due to restructuring or a business closing, data shows. A stock photo of a person searching for a job is shown here. (Shutterstock)

Patch reporter Michelle Rotuno-Johnson wrote this story. Manager Deb Belt contributed reporting.

MARYLAND — Seasonal hiring is at the slowest pace since 2013, and employers in Maryland and nationwide have cut almost 400,000 more jobs so far this year than in 2022, a new report said.

From January through October, employers nationwide have announced plans to cut 641,350 jobs, according to the report from outplacement and coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

That is a 164 percent increase from the 243,338 layoffs announced in the first ten months of 2022, though it is much lower than the number of job cuts through the first 10 months of 2020 (2.16 million).

In Maryland, employers have cut 9,791 jobs from January through October 2023, compared to 6,510 in that period last year. That included 2,327 layoffs in October. Companies that have announced major layoffs this year in Maryland include Hunter Douglas, Sikorksy, Macy's, General Dynamics Information Technology, and Giant Delivers.

California (171,530) and New York (74,237) have reported the most job cuts this year, according to the latest data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

And though the month-to-month rate of job cuts slowed in October, the total is still the second-highest in the last dozen years, the report stated. Many of the cuts were due to restructuring, or because a business’s location was closing, data shows. Hiring slowed more than 40 percent from this time last year, the firm reported, as forecasts for holiday hiring also look less than cheery.

“Job cut plans have slowed significantly since the first half of the year, and consumers have continued to spend, even in the face of high inflation,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president of the firm. “Pandemic savings and higher wages have gotten many workers through economic uncertainty.

“That said, hiring has also slowed, workers are less likely to quit their jobs, and many companies are beginning to recognize the potential for artificial intelligence in their workforces,” Challenger added.

The industries cutting workers

The technology industry has been cutting positions at the highest rate, the report said. Tech companies have cut 158,513 positions, a 462 percent increase from the 28,207 cuts announced through Oct. 2022.

Financial companies announced the second-highest number of cuts in October with 3,419, for a total of 47,094 layoffs so far this year. Employers in the retail sector have announced 72,182 cuts through October, a 258 percent increase from last year.

Holiday hiring forecast

Major retailers and the U.S. Postal Service are again seeking hundreds of thousands of seasonal workers across the country, though the number of planned hires has dropped off 46 percent from last year. Companies added 573,300 seasonal positions so far this year, compared to 597,600 in 2022 and 966,300 in 2021.

The majority of these are for Amazon (250,000, which is an increase from 2022), Target (100,000), and UPS (100,000). Macy’s plans to add 38,000 seasonal workers, and Bath & Body Works said it wants to hire 30,000 workers. Additionally, 1-800-Flowers.com plans to hire about 8,000 people, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service said it plans to hire 10,000 seasonal employees this year, after converting more than 150,000 pre-career workers into career positions over the last three years.

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Johnny ‘meat and potatoes’ Equity responded, “Layoffs are a good thing. It will not allow people to buy things and use plastic bags. It’s good for the environment.” No word from Mayor Magoo.

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