Layoffs fell in November — but not enough to knock 2015 off course from being the worst year for job cuts in six years, according to consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
U.S. employers announced planned layoffs of 30,953 workers last month, significantly fewer than the 50,504 job cuts announced in October and also less than the 35,940 in November 2014. But those relatively positive results follow four bad months in which 256,263 job cuts were announced.
Oil and other energy industry jobs have accounted for the largest slice of the cuts. Government and retail also saw significant layoffs.
So far this year, 574,888 jobs cuts have been detailed nationwide, the worst result since 2009, when 1.27 million cuts were announced.
"The fourth quarter tends to experience heavier cuts, as employers make year-end adjustments to workforce levels in order (to) achieve earnings goals," John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement.
"The November decline could be the quiet before a December storm or it could signal a lower-than-expected downsizing to close out the year. If recent history is any indication, it could be the latter, as December job cuts have been lower than the annual average since the end of the recession."
In 2008, employers announced 166,348 job cuts in December, the second highest job-cut month of that year. However, beginning in 2009, December job cuts have averaged just 35,784.
"Overall, the U.S. economy is fairly strong. The increase in job cuts this year is due to a handful of industries," Challenger said.
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