Layoffs hit their highest level for a first quarter in 10 years as 2019's job market got off to a shaky start, according to a report Thursday from outplacement firm Challenger, Gary & Christmas.
Total announced cuts hit 190,410, a 10.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter and 35.6 percent jump from the same period a year ago. The level was worst period overall since the third quarter of 2015 and the highest level for a first quarter since 2009 as the economy was still mired in the financial crisis.
"Companies appear to be streamlining and updating their processes, and workforce reductions
are increasingly becoming a part of these decisions," Andrew Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, said in a statement. "Consumer behavior and advances in technology are driving many of these cuts."
The news comes amid conflicting signs for employment.