The U.S. Bureau of Statistics revealed that in 2022 there were more than 15 billion layoffs across the United States.
This represents the highest number of employee layoffs since the Great Recession of 2008 to 2009.
Most of the layoffs in 2022 occurred in the hospitality and leisure sectors followed by the retail and manufacturing industries.
Since then, layoffs have somewhat subsided, but still remains a concern for many workers.
In this resource, we’ll take a look into layoff statistics and explore the trends and demographics of layoffs along with the social and economic consequences that follow.
Let’s explore layoffs.
- 1 Key Statistics
- 2 Top Layoff Statistics in 2024
- 2.1 1. 70,000 tech employees were laid off in the Q4 of 2022 alone.
- 2.2 2. In 2022, 15.4 million layoffs occurred.
- 2.3 3. In 2023, American job cuts fell to 49%.
- 2.4 4. September 2023 saw 1,459 layoffs in the private industry sector.
- 2.5 5. The Northeast region of the United States experienced 228,000 layoffs in September 2023.
- 2.6 6. Amazon tops the charts in workforce reductions in 2023 with 16,080 layoffs.
- 2.7 7. Salesforce layoffs accounted for 7,000 job cuts announced in January 2023.
- 2.8 8. So far in 2023 there have been over 168,000 layoffs in the United States.
- 2.9 9. 61% of adults aged 18 to 34 say they have felt immense pressure and layoff anxiety.
- 2.10 10. California has experienced the most layoffs in 2023 with over 15,000 job cuts.
- 2.11 11. Stitch Fix deployed 558 reported layoffs in October 2023.
- 2.12 12. Charles Schwab reported around 2,000 layoffs in 2023.
- 2.13 13. 28% of Americans have been part of mass layoffs over the past two years.
- 2.14 14. The tech startup retail sector has been hit hard with over 20,000 layoffs.
- 2.15 15. The worst year for layoffs was 2020 when 41.7 million people lost their jobs.
- 2.16 16. Almost half of the employees impacted by mass layoffs said they were totally unprepared.
- 2.17 17. The highest first quarter layoffs in the past 20 years occurred in 2009 with over 578,000 job cuts.
- 2.18 18. ZipRecruiter reported 270 layoffs in May 2023.
- 2.19 19. Geico laid off 6% of its national workforce in 2022.
- 2.20 20. 2005 is the year with the least employee layoffs over the past 20 years.
- 3 Conclusion
- 4 FAQS
- 70,000 tech employees were laid off in the Q4 of 2022 alone.
- In 2022, 15.4 million layoffs occurred.
- In 2023, American job cuts fell to 49%.
- September 2023 saw 1,459K layoffs in the private industry sector.
- The Northeast region of the United States experienced 228,000 layoffs in September 2023.
- Amazon tops the charts in workforce reductions in 2023 with 16,080 layoffs.
- Salesforce layoffs accounted for 7,000 job cuts announced in January 2023.
- So far in 2023 there have been over 168,000 layoffs in the United States.
- 61% of adults aged 18 to 34 say they have felt immense pressure and layoff anxiety.
- California has experienced the most layoffs in 2023 with over 15,000 job cuts.
Top Layoff Statistics in 2024
1. 70,000 tech employees were laid off in the Q4 of 2022 alone.
While layoffs for the year 2022 were excessive, in the fourth quarter alone, 70,000 tech employees were laid off.
Furthermore, in the Q1 of 2023, another 167,400 tech employees were laid off.
The biggest tech giants contributed to most of these layoffs.
This included layoffs at Google, Meta, IBM, and Microsoft.
2. In 2022, 15.4 million layoffs occurred.
Over 2022, there were 15.4 million total layoffs across industries.
While this is excessive, compared to 2002 when 23.6 million layoffs occurred, it’s low.
Also, 17 million layoffs were recorded in 2021 and a massive 41.7 in 2020 in the midst of the global pandemic.
3. In 2023, American job cuts fell to 49%.
In June 2023, employees in America experienced 40,709 layoffs.
This figure declined from the May 2023 numbers of 80,089 layoffs.
While figures may be down right now, employees in the United States are feeling the sting of impending layoffs coming in the next few years.
4. September 2023 saw 1,459 layoffs in the private industry sector.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2023 saw 1,459 total layoffs in the private sector.
This included layoffs across private industries such as mining and logging, construction, trades, finance, retail, transportation, real estate, healthcare, hospitality, and government.
5. The Northeast region of the United States experienced 228,000 layoffs in September 2023.
In terms of regional layoffs in the United States, the Northwest saw 228,000 layoffs.
The South experienced the highest number of layoffs in September 2023 with 599,000 layoffs across industries.
The Midwest had 361,000 layoffs and the West had 333,000.
6. Amazon tops the charts in workforce reductions in 2023 with 16,080 layoffs.
The news in 2022 and 2023 reported thousands of job cuts at Amazon.
In 2023 so far, Amazon has had the most layoffs at 16,080 jobs being cut.
Alphabet (Google) came in second for 2023 so far with 12,000 job cuts.
Microsoft is next with 11,158 layoffs and Meta layoffs account for 10,000.
7. Salesforce layoffs accounted for 7,000 job cuts announced in January 2023.
While not all employee layoff numbers get reported by the press, Salesforce’s layoffs in January 2023 made the news.
At the first of 2023, Salesforce announced first to its employees that there would be 7,000 jobs cut from the company.
8. So far in 2023 there have been over 168,000 layoffs in the United States.
Between the Q1 and Q2 of 2023, 168,000 layoffs occurred in the United States.
While the current data shows a downturn in layoffs for 2023 compared to 2022, experts say that mass layoffs aren’t over.
It’s believed layoffs have slowed for the time being but are expected to pick up again in the coming years.
9. 61% of adults aged 18 to 34 say they have felt immense pressure and layoff anxiety.
Due to excessive mass layoffs across industries and across the USA, 61% of working adults aged 18 to 34 say they are under immense pressure and are feeling the effects of layoff anxiety.
Layoff anxiety comes with a variety of symptoms such as excess worry about job loss, social withdrawal, and physical health issues like fatigue and headaches.
10. California has experienced the most layoffs in 2023 with over 15,000 job cuts.
Statistics show that California has been hit the hardest in 2023 with an excess of 15,000 job cuts.
These job cuts include all industries and are what has been reported from January to April 2023 only.
Overall, in March 2023, more layoffs occurred in tech jobs, which rose by 319% from the same month in 2022.
(Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.)
11. Stitch Fix deployed 558 reported layoffs in October 2023.
According to very recent data from October 2023, Stitch Fix, an online styling service, laid off 558 employees.
Stitch Fix uses data science and algorithms to send personalized clothing and accessory recommendations to its users.
It’s also one of the largest U.S. online retailers.
12. Charles Schwab reported around 2,000 layoffs in 2023.
The year 2023 isn’t over yet as mass layoffs continue across the nation.
However, one of the country’s biggest financial and investment companies, Charles Schwab, laid off about 2,000 employees in 2023.
This was done in a $500 million (USD) cost-cutting effort over the summer.
13. 28% of Americans have been part of mass layoffs over the past two years.
Over the past two years, 28% of Americans have lost their jobs due to layoffs.
That accounts for over one-quarter of the nation’s working population, which is more significant than it may seem.
We aren’t sure how many of the 28% have secured new jobs.
14. The tech startup retail sector has been hit hard with over 20,000 layoffs.
In 2022, data revealed that the tech startup retail sector was hit hard with more than 20,000 employee layoffs over the year.
According to our sources, this was the sector adversely impacted the most in this period.
15. The worst year for layoffs was 2020 when 41.7 million people lost their jobs.
As mentioned in previous statistics, 41.7 million layoffs occurred in 2020.
It was mentioned as a comparison of layoffs between 2021 and 2023.
Just like the global pandemic was an unexpected and unpredicted event that created panic all over the globe, these layoffs created high layoff anxiety rates.
16. Almost half of the employees impacted by mass layoffs said they were totally unprepared.
No one saw the mass layoffs coming until they were announced.
At that point, many employees were on high alert waiting to find out if they were getting laid off.
One survey revealed that 46% of the employees who were affected by layoffs over the past few years said they were not prepared for separations and layoffs.
17. The highest first quarter layoffs in the past 20 years occurred in 2009 with over 578,000 job cuts.
While 2023 experienced 270,416 job cuts in its Q1, in 2009’s Q1, there were 578,510 job cuts.
In 2009, America was in the middle of a Great Recession, which created a workplace atmosphere of uncertainty across industries.
It was obviously worse than the job uncertainty caused by the pandemic, but jobs were still lost either way.
(Challenger, Gray, & Christmas, Inc.)
18. ZipRecruiter reported 270 layoffs in May 2023.
In May 2023, ZipRecruiter, the popular employment website and recruitment system reported laying off 20% of their employees, which accounted for 270 layoffs.
As mentioned, California is the state that experienced the most layoffs and ZipRecruiter is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.
Therefore, this company was part of the mass layoffs that occurred and are still occurring in California.
19. Geico laid off 6% of its national workforce in 2022.
Geico, an American insurance provider headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, laid off 6% of its national workforce in 2022, which accounted for roughly 2,000 employees.
In Western New York alone, 5.5% of its employee base was laid off.
This move was intended to improve the company’s growth an long-term profitability.
Affected employees were notified via letter and offered career coaching.
Resume help, and support services.
20. 2005 is the year with the least employee layoffs over the past 20 years.
In 2005, the United States saw 884,600 layoffs across industries and states.
This statistic shows 2005 as the year with the fewest layoffs over a 20-year period.
Today, we are seeing employee layoffs in the millions, whereas 2005 didn’t even have one million.
These statistics show us that layoffs have run rampant in recent years, especially since 2020 when we were in the middle of the global pandemic.
Even with the recent drop in layoffs, experts predict a comeback in layoffs in the coming years.
It’s challenging to consider that you could lose your job due to layoffs, but it can happen.
No one is immune to being laid off other than people with specific contractual negotiation agreements or those considered “necessary” employees in a company.
In our opinion, layoffs should be a last resort after exhausting all over cost-saving initiatives a company can implement.
Terminating employees should be at the bottom of the list of cost-saving strategies.
We hope these layoff statistics have helped you better understand the nuances and reasons these things happen.
It may make it easier to process and manage if it happens to you.
What does “layoff” mean?
Layoffs happen when the involuntary termination of an employee occurs when a position is eliminated.
Layoffs happen due to financial difficulties of a company, business strategy changes, after acquisitions or mergers, etc.
Could you get laid off?
Any employee can be laid off, so yes, you could be among them.
No matter your position or tenure at a company, layoffs happen.
However, there are a few exceptions like when an employee has a protected status or disability.
How are layoffs determined?
The specifics of how layoffs are determined differ among companies.
Some common ways companies determine layoffs include performance, seniority, and experience and skill.
While anyone is vulnerable to layoffs, some skills and experience are needed and therefore, so are the employees.
What rights do you have if you’re laid off?
State laws determine the rights of employees who get laid off and whether you’re covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
Most states require employers to provide employees who get laid off severance pay of some kind, which is usually a lump sum payment based on employee length of service and salary.
What can you do if you are laid off?
If you get laid off, your first priority should be to file for unemployment benefits available to you in these instances.
Also, start networking with other professionals in your industry and update your resume.
You can also choose to work with a career counselor.
Are there alternatives to layoffs?
There are several alternatives to layoffs for employers to consider.
Layoffs should be a last resort.
However, even the alternatives aren’t great, just better than getting laid off.
For instance, reducing your hours, furloughs, or buyouts.
There are also areas of a business that can be audited and evaluated before trying to save money by laying off employees.