They Are Calling This “Layoff Season”

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by Michael

Is your job safe?  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 13 million layoffs and discharges in the United States during the first nine months of 2023, and now “layoff season” has arrived.  As the end of the year approaches, companies start taking a hard look at the bottom line, and that can result in harsh job cuts.  When I was growing up, most large companies would at least wait until after the holiday season to shove workers into the street, but these days they just don’t care.  The moment you are no longer considered to be an asset, they will throw you aside like a rotten fish.  We live in a cold, cruel world, and that isn’t going to change any time soon.

Once again this year there will be lots of layoffs during the month of December.  The following comes from a USA Today article entitled “Worried about job cuts heading into 2024? Here’s how to prepare for layoff season”

It’s December, which means more than just cooler weather and holiday celebrations. It’s also layoffs season.

Job cuts tend to spike in December and January as companies prepare for structural changes heading into the new year, as shown by data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Layoff season is hitting the media particularly hard.

Pink slips are flying around all over the place, and we are being told that a “bloodbath” has already begun…

Seasons greetings! And by “season,” we mean that surreal time of year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day when media giants scramble to clear their books and pink-slip a bunch of employees. As 2023 nears its end, the media grinches are about to steal Christmas for many, as several key outlets are poised to suffer through a final wave of layoffs. The bloodbath began Thursday at Condé Nast, where about a dozen New Yorker staffers exited the famed magazine…

Perhaps if they tried to actually tell the truth, mainstream media companies would not have to let so many workers go.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, media companies laid off more than 19,000 employees between January and September.

That number was up 550 percent compared to the same time period in 2022.

Nothing to see here!  Just a 550 percent increase.  That seems perfectly “normal” to me.

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Elsewhere, Pfizer has announced that it will be giving the axe to a large number of workers…

Pfizer officials have confirmed that job cuts and cost reductions are coming to the Groton campus as part of a company-wide $3.5 billion “cost cutting and restructuring plan” the company had announced on Oct. 13.

“Pfizer has launched an enterprise-wide cost realignment program. Various areas of Pfizer’s global enterprise are making changes to operate more efficiently and effectively,” wrote a Pfizer spokesperson in an email exchange with CT Insider. “These changes will be implemented on a rolling basis and will differ from area to area. Part of the effort will result in some job loss across a number of our locations, including Groton.”

It turns out that there is a lot less demand for Pfizer products these days.

Who would have guessed that?

Other industries are being hit really hard too.

Last week, we learned that U.S. steel will be laying off “up to 1,000 workers”

U.S. Steel announced Tuesday it will idle most of its Granite City Works plant, permanently laying off up to 1,000 workers.

The 1,000 workers include about 400 who have been on temporary layoff since Oct. 1 plus an additional 600. Prior to Tuesday’s layoffs, Granite City Works operated with roughly 900 employees, said Dan Simmons, president of United Steelworkers Local 1899. The layoff notices that went to an additional 600 employees could mean only 300 will remain in non-steelmaking operations.

The news is a massive blow to the Metro East community whose economic vitality is centered around the plant.

And Union Pacific has decided to terminate a large number of track maintenance workers

The head of the union that represents track maintenance workers says Union Pacific is jeopardizing safety by delaying nearly 1,200 planned projects until next year and laying off more than 1,000 workers.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division union has been raising concerns with regulators, but the railroad defends the move and the Surface Transportation Board hasn’t intervened.

Seriously?

After all of the rail disasters that we have seen in recent years, they actually think that it is a good idea to lay off a big chunk of their track maintenance workers?

When I read a story like that, I can’t help but shake my head in disbelief.

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Of course the tech industry continues to bleed workers too.

This week, we learned that Spotify is slashing 17 percent of its total workforce…

Music streaming giant Spotify is laying off 17% of its workforce, CEO Daniel Ek said in a note to employees Monday.

Ek said the move will help “align Spotify with our future goals and ensure we are right-sized for the challenges ahead.” He cited slowed economic growth and capital becoming more expensive as reasons for the need for layoffs.

The 17% slash in workforce equates to about 1,500 jobs being cut.

Perhaps if Spotify had not done something really stupid (like paying Harry and Meghan millions of dollars) they would have been able to keep those employees.

Overall, there have been over 256,000 tech layoffs in 2023 so far.

Will we hit 300,000 by the end of the year?

Lastly, I want to talk about what is going on in the banking industry.

This year banks have been letting workers go at a staggering pace, and Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf just admitted that his company will be facing “something like $750 million to a little less than a billion dollars of severance in the fourth quarter” due to layoffs that will soon be conducted…

“We’re looking at something like $750 million to a little less than a billion dollars of severance in the fourth quarter that we weren’t anticipating, just because we want to continue to focus on efficiency,” Scharf told investors during a Goldman Sachs conference in New York.

That expense is an accrual for worker layoffs that Wells Fargo expects to make next year, according to a bank spokeswoman. The company declined to say how many jobs it will cut.

At this point, the entire banking industry is in very serious trouble.

Large banks are permanently shutting down hundreds of branches and laying off thousands upon thousands of workers.

The banks are the beating heart of our economic system, and so if they get into deep trouble the rest of us will soon be in deep trouble as well.

But of course they weren’t going to be able to keep the game going forever.

Their house of cards is starting to collapse all around them, and that is going to result in a tremendous amount of chaos in 2024 and beyond.

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