Oil crash aftershocks send job cuts to a 3-year high
In April, 61,582 layoffs were announced, and 20,675 -or 34% - were directly linked to the oil crash, according to the latest monthly report on job layoffs from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Lower oil prices supported a 68% surge in job cuts last month, the firm said.The total number of jobs lost year-to-date is 201,796, up 25% from the first four months of 2014.
"Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Halliburton have all announced multiple rounds of job cuts in recent months, including April. The largest job cut of the month came from Schlumberger, which announced that it will shed 11,000 workers, in addition to the 9,000 laid off in January," CEO John A. Challenger said in the release.
In March, the number of job losses due to the oil crash plunged to 1,279.
The firm said the jobs most likely to be cut include engineers, oil rig operators and drill operators. And although senior managers and executives are quite safe, mergers and acquisitions could put their jobs on the line.
And as for the broader economic implications, Challenger said:
"We could be witnessing the after-effect of the severe and protracted recession. Much like the generation that lived through the Great Depression, those who scraped by during the recession are being extra careful with their money. Another factor is that not everyone's boat is rising with the tide. Many Americans are still struggling to find work and those that do are not earning as much they once did."Economists forecast that on Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will show employers added 230,000 jobs in April, a rebound from 126,000 in March, while the unemployment rate ticked lower to 5.4% from 5.5%.