GM layoffs don't reflect the broader economy: King's College business chairman

  • GM's job cuts is not indicative of a slowing economy, King's College economist Brian Brenberg says.
  • GM is "trying to adapt" to a changing auto industry, he says.

General Motors' plans to cut more than 14,000 jobs and idle plants in the U.S. and Canada next year is an isolated move that does not signal a slowing economy, economist Brian Brenberg told CNBC.

"This is a GM move. They are [in] an industry that is changing fundamentally. They're trying to adapt to that," Brenberg said Tuesday on "Closing Bell." "They're making a move to do that, but it doesn't necessarily reflect the broader economy."

Employing about 180,000 people, the Detroit-based automaker wants to cut 8,100 white-collar positions and more than 6,000 factory jobs, sparking criticism from President Donald Trump and the UAW.

Brenberg, executive vice president and chairman of business and finance at King's College in New York, said although the move is disappointing for the company's staff, he is still optimistic about the strength of the economy and job growth.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up nearly 5 percent year over year, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite are up about 3 percent in that period.

"This is a blip on that screen, but we've seen hundreds of thousands of jobs created in this space, and even with the tariff overhang, even with the interest rate overhang, I really don't see that slowing down," Brenberg said. "There are a lot of investment opportunities, and month after month we've seen numbers that continue to surprise."

Shares of GM spiked as much as 7.8 percent before closing at $37.65 following the reduction announcement Monday. The stock closed at $36.72 Tuesday.