Bankruptcies pushing up job cuts  — especially in retail

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Bankruptcies pushing up job cuts  — especially in retail

By Marianne Wilson - 08/06/2019

Job cuts announced due to bankruptcy have hit the highest level since 2009.


That’s according to a new analysis of monthly job cut announcements from global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.


Through July, companies have announced 42,937 job cuts due to bankruptcy, which is 40% higher than the 30,673 job cuts announced for this reason through July 2018 and 19% higher than the 36,016 bankruptcy cuts announced through all of 2018.  It is the highest seven-month total since 2009 when 50,258 cuts due to bankruptcy were announced, the report said. In fact, it is higher than the annual totals for bankruptcy cuts every year since 2009, when 50,911 were announced for the entire year.


The companies cited by Challenger included  Barney New York Inc., which announced it is closing most of its stores and has filed for bankruptcy protection, and Perkins and Marie Callender's LLC, which filed for bankruptcy protection and will close 19 Marie Callender's and 10 Perkins locations.


Companies attributed bankruptcy to 11.6% of all job cuts announced through July this year. That's compared to 11.3% of all cuts in the same period in 2018. Since 2007, bankruptcy has accounted for less than 6.32% of all job cuts each year through July prior to 2018 and less than 6% when taking into account data for the full year.


"We have seen a number of retailers filing for bankruptcy, closing locations, and cutting workers, and indeed, the majority of bankruptcy cuts occurred in that industry,” said Andrew Challenger, VP of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “In recent months, however, we've seen bankruptcy filings that led to cuts in manufacturing, transportation, and automotive."

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