Jobless claims hit record high in US, new waves of layoffs expected

by IANS |

San Francisco, March 10 (IANS) The weekly jobless claims have hit record high in the US, and more waves of layoffs could be on the way as the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes push companies to cut costs, the media reported.

Nearly 211,000 people filed initial jobless claims last week, surpassing economist projections for the first time, according to latest Labor Department data, reports Forbes.

Continuing claims rose to 1.7 million from 1.6 million one week prior hitting the highest level since January 2022.

According to career services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the companies in the US are slashing jobs this year at the fastest pace since 2009.

They have announced plans to sack 180,713 employees so far this year, up a massive 427 per cent from 2022.

"The job market is still very tight, but the direction of movement is changing," Comerica Bank chief economist Bill Adams was quoted as saying.

After a dismal year for tech companies and startups in 2022 which saw lakhs of employees being shown the door, 2023 started on a similar note and in January-February, 417 companies laid off more than 1.2 lakh workers globally.

In January alone, close to 1 lakh tech employees lost jobs globally, dominated by companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce and others.

Meta (formerly Facebook) is reportedly planning another round of massive layoffs, after sacking 11,000 employees in its first round of layoffs.

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