Economic Data Roundup (03/08/2018)

3/8/18 12:00 PM

iStock-618526794.jpgThere were 35,369 corporate layoffs announced in America last month, according to a new report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That is a 20 percent drop from January, and 4.3 percent lower compared to this same period last year. Moreover, employers have announced 80,022 cuts 2018-to-date, the lowest number of layoffs for the first two months of a year since 1995. John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, added that “The economy is almost at full employment, and companies are holding on to their workforces. Announced job cuts have been below 50,000 a month for the last 22 months. That’s the longest streak in our tracking.”

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Mr. Challenger, though, also cautioned that “President Trump’s proposed new tariffs on steel and aluminum may spell more jobs in those industries in the short term. However, with automation dominating those industries, the tariffs will more likely cause companies that manufacture using those products, such as automotive and aerospace, to cut jobs.” Regardless, historically low corporate layoff announcements in America continue to agree with the weekly reports on initial jobless claims, and together describe a labor market where employers are reluctant to let workers go in the face of a growing skills shortage. This will keep upward pressure on wages and in turn broader inflation, something officials at the Federal Reserve are likely paying close attention to.

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Sources: Econoday, U.S. DoL, Challenger, Gray & Christmas, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch