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March 2024 Layoffs: IBM, Stellantis, and Evonik Lead Major Job Cuts

IBM logo on office building

The ongoing wave of layoffs that have affected the tech industry since 2022 continues into 2024, although at a reduced scale compared to previous years. 

The pattern of cuts fluctuated throughout the year, with a slowdown during the summer followed by an increase towards the winter.

In March 2024, US employers announced 90,309 job losses, a slight increase from February's total of 84,638.

Layoffs were announced at high-profile companies, including IBM, Stellantis, and Evonik in the US as well as Sainsbury’s, Metro Bank, and Unilever in the UK.

This month’s figures are marginally higher than the 89,703 reductions reported in March of the previous year.

It marks the highest monthly figure since January 2023, as noted by the global outplacement and career transitioning firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The tech sector led in job cuts for the year with 42,442 reductions, a major decrease from the previous year's first quarter.

Other sectors also saw varying levels of staff downsizing: the financial sector saw a 6 percent decrease, while transportation companies reported a dramatic increase in cuts. 

Industrial goods, apparel, energy, and education sectors also saw substantial increases in job cuts compared to the previous year.

Conversely, layoffs decreased in the real estate, healthcare/products manufacturing, retail, and automotive sectors. 

The primary reason for these job cuts was cost-cutting, which accounted for most of the reductions. 

Other reasons included restructuring, business closures, and market conditions.

Regionally, the eastern US experienced the highest number of layoffs, followed by the West, Midwest, and South. 

Companies adopt a trend towards increased efficiency and restructuring to adapt to changing market conditions and technological shifts, such as the rise of artificial intelligence.

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