More Hiring, Fewer Layoffs Forecast for 2016

Roy Maurer

The labor market experts at Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. forecast fewer layoffs, more hiring and increased wages in 2016.

U.S.-based employers announced 574,888 job cuts for the year through November 2015, already far surpassing the 2014 year-end total (483,171) and setting up for the largest year-end total for job cuts since 2009, when 1.2 million job cuts were announced.

The rise in job cuts this year was due primarily to the dramatic decline in oil prices and heavy downsizing in the public sector, according to John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, based in Chicago.

Falling oil prices resulted in 102,738 job cuts through November, representing nearly 20 percent of job cuts announced in 2015. Military cutbacks claimed another 57,000 personnel.

“With oil prices expected to remain low for the foreseeable future, we could continue to see the industry workforce shrink in 2016, though probably not at the rate we saw in the first part of 2015,” Challenger said.

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