Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. News Release (07/01/15)
Planned June job cuts of 44,842 employees were 9.3% higher than the 41,032 planned layoffs announced in May, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. The cuts also were 43% higher than a year ago, when job cuts totaled just 31,434. This marks the fifth year-to-year increase in job cuts in the first six months of 2015.
The first-half surge in cuts was due largely to the decline in oil prices, which rippled through the energy and industrial goods sectors. All told, the drop in oil prices was blamed for 69,582 job cuts in the first half of 2015. That is second only to the 86,978 job cuts attributed to “restructuring.”
“Retailers should be enjoying the benefits of falling oil prices, as consumers have the money they are saving at the gas pump to spend elsewhere,” says John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “However, it appears that consumers were hoarding that cash, at least through the first half of the year. The most recent data suggests that consumers are finally starting to loosen up the purse strings.”