The uncharacteristically low December job cuts reflect a “wait and see” approach going into 2020, according to firm Vice President Andrew Challenger.
Bankruptcies weren’t the only reason for significant cuts. Companies cited restructuring for most of the total — 137,968 — with another 130,728 due to closures of operations. Trade difficulties accounted for 11,688 job cuts, and tariffs for 5,881.
Apparel retail, which in recent years has been beset by a host of rising challenges like changing consumer tastes and priorities, and the decline of the middle class, was hit particularly hard, according to Challenger’s account. The sector last year saw job cuts rise by a whopping 74.8%, for a total of 2,386.