Layoffs Soar, Up More Than 300% from Last Year

Employers cut 89,703 jobs last month, a 319% increase compared to March of 2022 and the highest Q1 total since 2020

Laid off employee

Getty Images

Layoff announcements soared in March and the first quarter of the year as employers dealt with higher borrowing costs and moved to reduce expenses according to outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The firm’s survey found employers cut 89,703 jobs last month, a 15% increase from February and a rise of 319% compared to last March. So far every month this year, the number of layoff notices were more than the year before. In the quarter, the announcements skyrocketed 396% from the first three months of 2022 to 270,416. That was the highest first quarter total since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning.

Technology workers have been the hardest hit, with the tech sector accounting for 38% of all layoffs this year. So far in 2023, tech firms have said they would eliminate 102,391 positions, a whopping 38,487% jump from last year. 

Challenger Report - Job Cuts in Tech Sector, March 2023

Challenger, Gray & Christmas

More Layoffs Ahead

Companies are "approaching 2023 with caution," even though the economy is still creating jobs, noted Challenger, Gray & Christmas Senior Vice President Andrew Challenger. He warned that with interest rate hikes continuing and companies reigning in costs, "the large-scale layoffs we are seeing will likely continue."

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. "Job Cuts Rise 15% in March 2023, Up 319% from Same Month Last Year."

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.